Benoît Assou-Ekotto-Tenenbaum

Or at the very least be in love with Margot, let's face it, everyone else was...

Maybe he'd have a pet armadillo or something

Benoît Assou-Ekotto is certainly something of an odd character. At times the Tottenham left-back behaves like he could have come straight from the scenes of a Wes Anderson film. More on that later.

When he first came to England in 2006, Benoît struggled to get a chance, but ever since Harry Redknapp took over at White Hart Lane he has gone from strength to strength. As a Spurs fan, I love the guy but I know plenty who don’t. As a footballing personality he fascinates me, and at the very least many of his detractors now have to admit that they no long wince in anticipation of a hairy moment when he receives the ball – something that I think every Spurs fan was doing at one point.

More to the point, since he’s grabbed this spot in the first team, his unorthodox life has come to light under the increasing glare of the media’s attentions, and its mainly for this that I admire the man, and would now count him amongst my favourite footballers.  Continue reading

Mario, Mario, wherefore art thou?

During his time playing for City, Mario Balotelli has amassed more controversy and rumours than any player in recent memory. He is quickly acquiring an iconic status, whether he gives a shit or not. If you heard the rumours that make it as far as, say, TV news, without seeing Balotelli on the pitch, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the man is some kind of saint.

If you actually looked in to all of the stories, he reads like a mixture of Mother Theresa and a rich-kid (edit: VERY rich) trying desperately to get an ASBO. However, if you went a step further and believed these rumours, then you’d have no problem juggling the following claims: Continue reading

Putting A Swan Among The Pigeons: Why Swansea City Are The Best Team In The Premiership

While most spend their time debating whether City or United are the best team in the English Premier League, the real answer could a little more…Welsh.

Yes, I truly believe that Swansea City could be the best team in the EPL today. Stay with me…

Let’s kick-off with an outrageous claim; Swansea are the Barcelona of the EPL. While Arsene Wenger has spent years trying and failing to get his side playing the tika-taka style football that Barca have made famous, Brendan Rodgers has managed to stroll in with his band of merry men and do just that within months. There is no doubt that the possession football which the Swans play must be admired. On average this season they have had 56% possession and 85% completion – joint top in the EPL with Chelsea and City.  Continue reading

Old Firm rules everything around me – why Scottish football is stagnating thanks to the history of one city.

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One of the greatest prospects about playing in the English Premiership is the opportunity to possibly get into a position for sustainability of a club – take Stoke for example, a team who many expected to go straight back down, who instead didn’t change the way they played and made themselves a firm fixture in the top league, as well as having a successful foray into Europe this season. Every league has it’s traditional leaders – but nowhere is this more evident than in Scotland.

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Imaginary red cards — why so serious?

Away from the hotly discussed and often completely misinterpreted discussion on two-footed tackles, imaginary card waving has been hitting the headlines recently. Roberto Mancini’s actions taking the headlines on a day in which Darlington looked set to go under – something which I think says a lot about priorities these days.

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Why the Game needs Referees to make mistakes: A defence of human error

Over the past few weeks (more so than usual at least) there has been a constant debate over the subjective nature of refereeing decisions. We’ve seen Dixon and Hansen pleading every weekend with the FA for “clarity” and “consistency,” but they’re missing the point. Unless we scrap the authority of the ref altogether an implement a cold and ruthless video refereeing system, the game will never be free of errors in judgement, of differences in perception. This is not a bad thing.

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Time For Some Answers: Valencia Vs. Stoke

When Stoke City Football Club take on Valencia Club de Futbol we should all be paying attention. It is a game that could answer a question or two. Even I can accept that it is not often a Europa League last 32 tie is considered to be one of the years most important games, but this one has some potential.  Continue reading