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Monday, 01 January 2018 00:00

Get the latest football headlines

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Haven’t caught up with the latest football matches, scores, and news, yet? We are here to help! Live football on TV today is a little different than back in the day, because you know; it might not even be on an actual TV. We get that this can pose some challenges and might be a little confusing for some of you. It is easy to lose track of the so many channels, streaming services, or TV guides. That’s why we’d like to keep you updated and make you stay ahead of the game!


If you missed out on the last couple of matches, here are the latest football headlines:

Ballon d’Or 2018 Announcement

The winner of the 2018 Ballon d’or will be announced shortly on Monday evening (Dec 3) and everyone is placing their bets on who is going to win. Luka Modric is predicted to be the one to take the award back home and finally end an era of dominance from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Croatian has reached the World Cup with his country, as well as win Champions League with Real Madrid. In addition, Modric has won this year’s Golden Ball, the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, and FIFA Best Men’s Player award. It is the first time since 2006 for Messi to be out of the top 3 players, coming in fifth place right ahead of Liverpool’s forward Mohamed Salah.

Mbappe Wins Kopa Trophy

Crowned as the best young player in the World Cup and the reason why France finally won the cup after 20 years, it is no surprise that Kylian Mbappe won Kopa Trophy. Mbappe has become the first recipient of the inaugural Kopa Trophy, at the age of 19. “I am very happy to receive this award,” Mbappe said. “This rewards a great year, which I realize is thanks to all my teammates in club and national team. My next goal? It is to lift everything (not only the Ballon D’Or). It will be with hard work and I’ll need help from my teammates”.

Jurgen Klopp Gets Charged with Misconduct for Celebration

Divock Origi scored a bizarre last second goal against Everton. What was more unexpected than Origi’s goals was Jurgen Klopp’s reaction. Klopp ran to the center circle at Anfield in celebration of the goal while everyone else was shocked by his actions. 'Absolutely shocking, Klopp should be punished,' Former England full-back Danny Mills said. “To run into the middle of the pitch, I think it's disrespectful to Everton. There are so many managers that get absolutely hammered, but Klopp is very media friendly, everybody seems to love him and he can't do anything wrong. You cannot go on to the middle of the pitch, no matter what the circumstances,” he said.


Others gave him their full support and sympathy, on top of them is Pep Guardiola, saying that it is pretty understandable what he did. "I didn't want to be disrespectful, but I couldn't stop myself," Klopp told Sky Sports. "It just happened. The plan was not to run [onto the pitch to celebrate]. When I chose to stop I was close to Alisson. He was surprised. It was the last situation of the game. Both teams delivered an unbelievable fight."

Liverpool must wait on Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson fitness

The fitness of Liverpool’s players Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson will be assessed ahead of Wednesday's Premier League fixture at Burnley. Both players were injured during Sunday's match after a 1-0 win against Everton. Mane injured his foot, while Robertson suffered a dead leg.


“We have to see, but we have opportunities, options [and] we can make different lineups. We'll see," said Klopp on the club's website."But Sadio got a real knock on his foot, we'll have to see how that ends. He played a game, huh? He was so quick, unbelievable. But that's only one thing. Hopefully all the rest will be OK. Robbo, I think, has a dead leg, his hip, so at the moment we have to see. Of course, we play in three days, that's really hard, but tonight we don't have to think about that. We celebrate, go home, [have a] proper sleep. Tomorrow, recovery, and then we'll make ourselves ready for Burnley."

 

That’s it for now! These headlines are merely just a scratch on the surface. If you wish to be always updated with what is new and what is not, it is important that you follow a credible source and be loyal to it and only it. Because if you end up using Google every time and end up reading too many different sources, your mind will definitely get scattered.

Monday, 07 January 2019 11:28

Importance of fitness in football

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How climbing, mountain running and swimming helps with football fitness and conditioning
 
Are you planning or aspiring to become the footballer? If so, one of the most important attributes is stamina. In a 90-minute match, the average professional player covers 10 km. Do you know how they reach this level?
 
Football demands a strong level of fitness. Players benefit from a good physique with a high fitness level, so that they can remain at the top of their game for longer periods. In the modern game, football is a quick, fast and highly energized game which means unfit players can be left behind.
 
If you want to build a career in the sport then talent and technique can take you far, but it can be hard to get the time on the ball you need, if it isn't match by your fitness. There are various procedures to enhance the fitness level among the footballers. A couple of these fall under the banner of climbing for fitness conditioning, mountain running and swimming.
 
 
What benefits can fitness and strength give?
 
 
 
Climbing, mountain running and swimming are the good activities to take on for footballers. They help you maximize your speed, stamina and power. Apart from that, you can take other benefits as well, such as:
 
  • Additional strength activities can maximize sprint speed.
  • It becomes more explosive and makes you ready to win.
  • Agility training improves your change of direction on the field.
  • It will develop rock-solid core stability as well as stamina.
 
Here we have a look at three important football fitness and strength exercise:
 
  • Climbing:
Climbing is one of the most important physical activities which are undertaken by the footballers to regain their fitness and prepare themselves for the international stage. Often this comings in the form of rock-climbing. It is growing day by day and, becoming one of the fastest growing sports activities across the world. This activity is highly recommended by footballers who cover a lot of ground on the field as well as. It will help them to increase the toughness of mental, physical and even social.
 
 
There are many advantages given by climbing such as:
 
  • It helps in an increasingly firm grip in hands and fingers.
  • It built a strong muscle mass to produce a lean yet endurance masculine figure.
  • It will promote better cardiovascular health.
  • It will result in fewer strain injuries.
 
Mental benefits of climbing include goal setting, good decision making, high visualization and enhanced self-confidence.
 
  • Mountain Running:
If you're physically or mentally tired of running on roads then, it is good for you to vary your routine and start mountain running. It is a part of resistant training which makes the player build strong hamstrings, calves and quads. Apart from that, it increases flexibility to hip flexures thus ensuring good achilles tendons.
There is no difference in running in mountains and running on treadmills as both the running activities strengthen the legs. Having strong leg muscles is very important to footballers as it decreases the risk of suffering from running-related injuries. It helps in building confidence among the sportsman and makes them mentally tough to face any drastic situations. If a footballer includes mountain running in their fitness regime, they would be able to increase their flexibility and durableness to the manifold.
 
 
 
 
The major advantages of mountain running are:
 
  • It will improve flexibility in the football player.
  • One can get higher durability on the field.
 
  • Swimming:
Swimming is one of the most popular activities amongst footballers. It is a good way to keep fit, stay healthy and also give mental health benefits. It is itself a sport which has been included in the fitness regime of various sports across the world. It could be listed as an “all in one fitness package” because of its role in shaping the muscles of each and every part of the human body.
 
This also strengthens the muscles and enhances flexibility. It improves the core strength as it helps in shaping the abdominal, hip and back muscle and makes them toned. In addition to this, a proper swim workout is more beneficial than any other physical activities for a footballer as it brings significant improvement in the cardiovascular system. It promotes better lung capacity which helps in improving breathing which helps the footballer to increase their oxygen intake while running.
 
 
Key reasons why swimming can benefit footballer:
  • It provides an excellent way to prevent injury and rehabilitation.
  • Swimming can help to establish a cardiovascular baseline.
  • Lung capacity can also be improved by this as we know good health and lung condition is needed the most on the field.
  • It also helps generalised strength and full body movements.
 
Looking at the extraordinary benefits of these top three activities in football we must advice aspires to include it in their life. A good and proper fitness training can improve durability, strength and flexibility in the footballer. Apart from that, one can get great exposure to perform at a higher levell and to a great extent in the field.
A proper climbing, mountain running and swimming routine helps a footballer to increase their capacity and enhance their career to a high extent. So, involve these in your training and let us know if you feel the benefit.
Tuesday, 25 December 2018 18:07

The Story of Neymar’s Short-Lived Barcelona Career

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On May 24th,  2013, FC Barcelona announced that they had finally completed the signing of Brazilian winger Neymar Jr from Santos for an undisclosed fee. It was a dagger through the heart for most of Europe’s big clubs who had all been chasing the winger's signature.

At the start, it had the potential to blossom into a lucrative partnership for all parties, as Neymar had a huge following in Brazil and his social appeal and footballing skills were set to elevate the union between him and Barcelona to unprecedented heights.

History was on his side as well, as Camp Nou has a long history of Brazilians showcasing their talent week in, week out. Ronaldo Delima, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Dani Alves, Juliano Belletti, and many others have come and gone, leaving their footprints firmly on the turf at Camp Nou. The general perception was that Neymar was to be no different.

Fast forward four years and the samba star is nowhere to be seen. His Barcelona career was tailing off and eventually coming to a bewildering exit. Things started out smoothly though. His first season in the Barca stripes saw him seamlessly adapt to life alongside star names like Fabregas, Iniesta, and Messi.


First Barcelona Season

His first goal for the Catalans came against rivals Atletico Madrid, a goal that sealed the Super Cup victory for Barca, thus becoming the first of seven trophies the Brazilian would lift as a Barcelona player.

He would give two outstanding performances in both El Clasicos that season, finishing the year in double figures for both goals and assists. It wasn’t the perfect season – as highlighted by their exit at the hands of Simeone’s Atletico in the quarter-final stage - but it was a start and a very good one.


Second Season

Then came the second year and a burst of goals, skills, trophies, and more goals. Barca had signed Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez and Sevilla playmaker Ivan Rakitić. With Messi, Neymar, and Iniesta already in the squad, betting sites all had Barcelona nailed on to win all the major trophies. And they were right.

Neymar would go on to be the chief creator of the MSN trio of him, Messi, and Suarez. The trio would go on to rack 122 goals between them, with Neymar scoring a career-high 39 goals on his way to a treble-winning season.

They would beat both Madrid clubs on the way to the La Liga title, win the Spanish Cup, and Champions League final against Juventus, with Neymar scoring crucial goals in both cup finals.

His final two seasons at Camp Nou would not reach the lofty heights of his sophomore year, and with an ever growing need for more recognition, things slowly started to go wrong.


The Fallout

He came in third for the Ballon d’Or and maybe being there when Messi lifted the trophy sparked a thought in his mind that would manifest two years later. His third season saw another domestic double for him and Barca, with MSN racking up 131 goals between them.

Then came his final season in a Barcelona shirt. It began with business as usual, with Neymar putting in vital performances all season long, but it wasn’t to be his or Barca's year.

The highlight of his season was outstanding performance against Paris Saint-Germain to help drag Barcelona from the brink of elimination. Despite scoring two goals and laying on another two, Messi received all the plaudits for Barca's victory, and this was perhaps the final straw.

Real Madrid would go on to win both the Champions League and La Liga, and with Luis Enrique departing as Barca manager, perhaps it was the best time to pursue his dream elsewhere. A comically drawn-out transfer saga followed, and there were fights between Neymar and his teammates in training.


Transfer to PSG

On August 3rd, 2018, Barca and PSG both announced the deal, with Barca fans left with a sore taste in their mouth, branding him ‘Judas’ and ‘cash cow.'

Whatever Neymar's motives were for leaving Barcelona, a club which had offered him so much, it’s certain that he will not be fondly remembered at the Camp Nou, at least not like Ronaldinho or Rivaldo were.

While the aforementioned are considered legends, Neymar would only be remembered for his contributions to their treble-winning season and little else. It was a puzzling scenario for a player with such a distinguished career, still yet to hit its peak. Although his marriage to Barca seemed like the perfect union, it just wasn’t to be, and a divorce was best for all parties.

 

 
After that nail-biting finish against Israel last month, Alex McLeish’s Scotland side can look forward with confidence to their upcoming Euro 2020 campaign. That said, they will be up against Belgium and Russia in Group I, both of whom outperformed during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, so the Scots will face a fight to occupy either of the top two places which guarantee qualification for the finals.
 
However, a top-two finish might not be necessary for Scotland to qualify for its first major finals since France ’98. That’s because the heroics of hat-trick hero James Forrest against the Israelis at Hampden guarantee Scotland a semi-final play-off match against Finland in March 2020, with the winner then taking on Norway or Serbia in the final. How might Scotland fare against these three teams? Let’s take a look at each of the opponents now to see how they compare…
 
With a population of 5 million, Finland is the largest European country never to have qualified for a major tournament. This ice hockey-mad nation has produced some quality players in the past though, with Jari Litmanen a Champion’s League winner at Ajax, and Dundee United fans still fondly remember Mixu Paatelainen. Finnish football fans are getting excited about the current crop, and former Celtic striker Teemu Pukki scored 3 times in 3 narrow victories for the Finns, as they saw off Hungary, Estonia and Greece in Group 2. Finland are a defensively tight, cagey side, and Scotland will have to show patience if they are to see them off in the semi-final.
 
If they do, then they may face Finland’s Nordic rivals Norway in the final. Interestingly enough, the Norwegians faced Scotland in that last tournament in 1998, when Craig Burley’s volley was enough to sneak a draw. After that tournament, Norway fell into a similar downturn as the Scots did, as the rest of the world worked out how to counter the Route One football of Egil Olsen. But the Norwegians never gave up their style, and are finally back, with a squad based around a solid defensive unit of Rosenborg’s Hovland and Reginiussen, as well as the quick feet of LA Galaxy’s Ole Kamara up front. It ain’t pretty, but it works, and Scotland will need to keep their concentration if they are to beat this tough Norway team.
 
The Norwegians will take on Serbia in the other semi-final, and this Balkan powerhouse is surely the strongest of the teams on paper. The Serbs can still count on big names like Kolarov, Matic and Mitrovic and ooze quality in every department. When they are on form, Serbia can beat anyone, but as the recent World Cup showed, they are prone to lapses of concentration, especially when a team gets under their skin (as the Swiss did in Russia). However, Serbia were pleasingly solid in the Nation’s League group stages, seeing off Balkan neighbours Romania and Montenegro, as well as Lithuania. Fulham’s Mitrovic put his mixed Premier League form behind him by scoring 5 goals in the 6 matches and would be the danger man to watch for Scotland.
 
The big international tournaments have missed Scotland and the Tartan Army these last 20 years. With Euro 2020 taking in Wembley, Cardiff, Dublin and Hampden, this might be a rare chance for the Scots to play a major finals game on home soil. Assuming the Belgians and Russians will be too strong in regular qualifying, the chance to play Finland and then one of either Norway or Serbia looks like one the Scots should grab with both hands.
 
Scottish football fans were doubtful about UEFA's Nations League and its chances to breathe life into the dull international break. But they were wrong. Scotland's Nations League campaign started without much ado, but as the team notched one good performance after another fans started paying attention. By the time Scotland's last two matches against Albania and Israel finished all was different.
 
Scotland's success means that from the season2020-2021 they will compete in Nations League B, together with strong opponents such as World Cup finalists Croatia and serial World Cup winners Germany. More importantly however, the Scottish national team will now have a chance to book its place at Euro 2020.

Playing at Euros and World Cups is what matters to players, especially to those youngsters watching at home, as this is a great source of inspiration for them to continue improving. Scotland are never the bookies favourite. Playing in qualifiers all the time, as Scotland did for so long, is like going to an ordinary casino, it soon gets pointless and boring. However, playing with the best and at the biggest stage is a whole different ball game.
 
New and Improved Scotland

Scottish FA officials were inspired by the German national youth strategy for football when they were making the draft version of their plan to revolutionize Scottish football back in 2010. The Germans looked over the reasons for their failing national squad back in the early 2000s and devised a strategy which later helped them to win a World Cup with players who benefited from that national strategy directly.

Something similar is happening in Scottish football right now. With the Scottish FA's Performance Strategy and the "New Scotland Way" the basis for Scotland's return to the big tournaments has been set.

Young players such as Billy Gilmour, who already signed a professional contract with Chelsea, together with the likes of Kieran Freeman of Southampton, Harry Cochrane, Dean Campbell, and Anthony McDonald will soon join forces with an already strong Scotland main squad. 
 
Squad for the Future
 
The fact that there were only two players who can be considered as veterans in the side which defeated Israel on the last day of the Nations League, reaffirms this notion that those five Scottish youngsters will join a squad which will be in its zenith when the time comes.
 
This means that, should Scotland make it to Euro 2020, its core will be made up of players such as Robertson, Christie, Fraser, Armstrong, McKenna, and Bates who will then be in their prime, while the youngsters will be knocking on the first team door and may even play a role if they progress as planned.

This gives even more weight to this year's Nations League success as it will serve as further incentive for Scottish youngsters to keep on improving, knowing that they have a chance to play in big international tournaments.
 
Aberdeen FC Ladies’ (AFCL) Bayley Hutchison has been voted as the winner of the Scottish Building Society SWPL Player of the Month for October 2018. The forward, who turned 15 years-old last month, claimed the final Player of the Month award of the season. She becomes the youngest ever winner of the award, just edging out Chelsea McEachran of Central Girls who also won the award as a 15 year old earlier this season (click here for story).
 
While she couldn’t stop Aberdeen from suffering back-to-back relegations, Hutchison played a large part in their turn in fortunes after the mid-season break. They won five out of their last eight games, with Hutchison scoring nine goals. This included a brace in their final match of the season in a 4-1 win over Heart of Midlothian. 
 
Speaking from Aberdeen Sports Village, where AFCL played their home games this season, Hutchison said: “I’m really pleased to have won this award. It’s obviously disappointing that we couldn’t avoid relegation but I think we feel like we gave everything we could to pull off a massive shock.” 
 
Aberdeen had just eight points before the break, leaving them and Central Girls FA adrift in the bottom two places. However, Aberdeen’s form improved as they finished just one points from safety. 
 
“To be so close to safety and fall short was very tough. There wasn’t much we could do though. In the final part of the season, we only lost to the top two sides in the league and drew with Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale away from home. 
 
Speaking about her introduction to the first-team, Hutchison said: “It was an exciting opportunity. I have confidence and that was rewarded with the chance to play at that level.  
 
“To score just over a goal a game was really pleasing. I certainly feel I coped at that level, despite my age, and I played my part in helping the team get results. Hopefully I can now help the club get back to that level straight-away.” 
 
Douglas Sharpe, Business Development Manager for Scottish Building Society, said: “A huge congratulations to Bayley. To win this award at just 15-years-old is testament to her ability and how much of an impact she had for AFCL.” 
 
Also nominated for the September award was Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Lisa Swanson (FC Kilmarnock), and Rhianna Tweedie (St Johnstone). 
 
“It was another close month of voting, so a well done to all the nominees. They’ve all deserved the break but I’m sure they’ll be excited for the 2019 season just like we are at Scottish Building Society.” 
 
Scottish football fans were doubtful about UEFA's Nations League and its chances to breathe life into the dull international break. But they were wrong. Scotland's Nations League campaign started without much ado, but as the team notched one good performance after another fans started paying attention. By the time Scotland's last two matches against Albania and Israel finished all was different.
 
Scotland's success means that from the season2020-2021 they will compete in Nations League B, together with strong opponents such as World Cup finalists Croatia and serial World Cup winners Germany. More importantly however, the Scottish national team will now have a chance to book its place at Euro 2020.

Playing at Euros and World Cups is what matters to players, especially to those youngsters watching at home, as this is a great source of inspiration for them to continue improving. Those Scottish fans who visit casinos regularly know how motivating it is to play at the best casinos, such as the ones you can see if you visit this site. Playing in qualifiers all the time, as Scotland did for so long, is like going to an ordinary casino, it soon gets pointless and boring. However, playing with the best and at the biggest stage is a whole different ball game.
 
New and Improved Scotland

Scottish FA officials were inspired by the German national youth strategy for football when they were making the draft version of their plan to revolutionize Scottish football back in 2010. The Germans looked over the reasons for their failing national squad back in the early 2000s and devised a strategy which later helped them to win a World Cup with players who benefited from that national strategy directly.

Something similar is happening in Scottish football right now. With the Scottish FA's Performance Strategy and the "New Scotland Way" the basis for Scotland's return to the big tournaments has been set.

Young players such as Billy Gilmour, who already signed a professional contract with Chelsea, together with the likes of Kieran Freeman of Southampton, Harry Cochrane, Dean Campbell, and Anthony McDonald will soon join forces with an already strong Scotland main squad. 
 
Squad for the Future
 
The fact that there were only two players who can be considered as veterans in the side which defeated Israel on the last day of the Nations League, reaffirms this notion that those five Scottish youngsters will join a squad which will be in its zenith when the time comes.
 
This means that, should Scotland make it to Euro 2020, its core will be made up of players such as Robertson, Christie, Fraser, Armstrong, McKenna, and Bates who will then be in their prime, while the youngsters will be knocking on the first team door and may even play a role if they progress as planned.

This gives even more weight to this year's Nations League success as it will serve as further incentive for Scottish youngsters to keep on improving, knowing that they have a chance to play in big international tournaments.
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Europa League Betting – Celtic or Rangers?

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For Scottish football fans hoping that this year’s Europa League is going to be a catalyst for the renaissance of Scottish teams in Europe, it has to be said that the bookmakers aren’t showing much enthusiasm about their prospects.
 
Carl Bentley, a writer for the UK sports betting site playright.co.uk, doesn’t forecast either Celtic or Rangers making much of an impact on this season’s competition, despite reasonable starts to their respective campaigns.
 
Celtic, of course, come to the Europa League after failing to get through the qualifying stages of the Champions’ League (perhaps unsurprisingly, as they were priced at 1500-1 to win the tournament). Despite good performances against Armenian side Alashkert (winning 6-0 on aggregate) and Norwegian champions Rosenborg, taking the tie 3-1, the Bhoys stumbled against AEK Athens in the third qualifying round, losing 2-3 on aggregate, a particularly disappointing result considering they dominated and played against 10 men for much of the home leg in Glasgow.
 
Brendan Rodgers’ men have also been disappointing in most observers’ eyesin their first two games in Group B in the Europa League. The home win against Rosenborg came courtesy of a late goal by Leigh Griffiths, but this was followed by a 1-3 loss away against Red Bull Salzburg, despite Odsonne Edouard putting the Bhoys ahead in the second minute.
 
So what do the online bookmakers make of Celtic’s chances of progressing in the Europa League? You can currently get a best price of 8-1 on Celtic wining Group B (behind both Salzburg and RB Leipzig), and as much as 100-1 on the Bhoys taking out the title at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan on 29 May 2019. If they did manage to surprise just about everyone and win the Europa League, it would surely have to rank right up there with Celtic’s greatest ever performances in European football.
 
After finishing 3rd in the Premiership in 2017-18, Rangers went straight into the Europa League qualifying rounds. The progress of Steven Gerrard’s side in these games was solid, if unspectacular. Wins against Shkupiof Macedonia (2-0 on aggregate), Croatian side Osijek (2-1) and Mariborof Slovenia (3-1), saw them get to the play-off against Russian club Ufa. A 2-1 aggregate win then put Gers into the very strong Group G, with Rapid Wien, Villarrealand Spartak Moscow.
 
The first round of the group stages saw Rangers come away with a very creditable 2-2 away draw against Villareal, after going a goal down in the first minute. Canadian international Scott Arfield levelled the scores before Gers fell behind again, but Kyle Laffertysalvaged the draw with a goal 15 minutes from time.
 
The second round, however, saw Rangers score one if its most impressive recent European wins, beating Rapid Wien 3-1 in Glasgow. The win was particularly promising as they fell behind just before half time; however, Alfredo Morelos levelled the scores soon after before James Tavernier scored from the penalty spot in the 84th minute. Morelos then settled the tie with a third goal in injury time.
 
Rangers’ impressive start in Group G has seen them installed as second favourites to win the group, behind Villarreal, at a best price of 5-1. However, there is little optimism being shown by the bookies for Gerrard and his men going all the way; the best price you can get on Rangers winning the Europa League is 150-1, although some online sports books have them priced as low as 80-1.
 
In the case of both Glasgow clubs, the bookies seem fairly confident that the Europa League trophy won’t be coming to Scotland in 2019. In terms of the overall betting, Chelsea are favourites at 5-1, with Arsenal at 7-1 and Sevilla next in the betting at 20-1. Given their European experience and pedigree, AC Milan might represent the best value bet, at a current best price of 22-1.
Friday, 12 October 2018 11:05

Is it time to re-evaluate FIFA’s youth system?

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Is it time to re-evaluate FIFA’s youth system?


The recent move of Stuart Armstrong from Southampton to Celtic hit the headlines for unusual reasons. As part of the £7 million deal, Dyce Boys Club received an unexpected six-figure windfall as compensation for the role they played in developing him during his teenage years at the club.


It is money that has left Dyce treasurer Len Nicol “in a sense of shock,” and that, in itself, is a signal that all is not entirely as it should be in the Scottish youth system. This is a view shared by outspoken journalist and broadcaster Jim Spence, who feels that stories like this should not be so exceptional and that it is time to re-evaluate the youth system and return the boys’ clubs to the central position they used to enjoy in developing future players for both the national team Scotland’s professional teams.


What has changed?


Today, boys clubs like Dyce do not have anything like the strength and influence that they had 30 years ago. The path to professional football used to be via school teams, boys clubs, the Boys Brigade and often, a combination of all three. Today, however, the professional system has reduced their relevance.


Boys are tempted away in their early teens, or even younger, by the lure of a professional career with a big team. Like spinning the reels in an online casino, it looks like a tempting path to fame and fortune. But while casino goers can evaluate the options through a comparison site like Casinopedia and make an informed choice on the best path to success, most youth footballers have the odds stacked against them from the start.


As Jim Spence put it, the professional clubs: “Hoover up their talent like an industrial fish factory operation.” He argues that due to the surplus of players, they will sign practically anyone, and the vast majority will be cast aside, left with: “broken hearts and shattered dreams.”


Despite the hyperbole, Spence has a point. The number of players who drop out from professional football compared to those who go on to careers like that of Stuart Armstrong is eye-watering, and the comparison with hitting the jackpot on a slot machine is not as fanciful as you might think.


Who really benefits?


A professional youth system is all about developing future talent. The question is, for whom? The old “S” system that preceded the current professional youth development system produced players like Paul Sturrock and David Narey, men who went on to represent a Scotland team that competed with the best on the international stage.


Scotland’s record in more recent years speaks for itself – it’s been more than 20 years since the last appearance in the final stages of either a World Cup or European Championship.


So where is the up and coming talent? The fact is that there are currently more than 30 Scottish clubs with 20 players in each of the five age groups. That makes more than 3,000 so-called “elite” players. However, only a handful will go on to be professional footballers.


Spence argues that returning to a system whereby youngsters can play with their friends in a less pressurised setting gives talent a chance to shine through, particularly among the later bloomers, and it is logic that is difficult to fault.

A flurry of inclusions in the Ranger’s roster post-Stevie G’s arrival and record transfers being crushed by Celtic — Scottish sides found themselves heavily busy in the transfer market in this window and its verdict is going to be enlivened only with popped eyeballs and jaws losing their hold of the mouth of plenty in the football betting world.
 
Transfer records have been smashed, unforeseen transfers have taken place on both ways and the fans, well there has been an overwhelming blend of reactions. Giving torch to the idea of transfer gossip, we’re discussing some of the major transfers that the giants of the Scottish League were involved in. Let’s roll!
 
Odsonne Edouard: the ‘Biggest transfer’ in the history of Celtic:
 
Being hailed as the ‘biggest transfer’ by Brenden Rodgers, the 20-year-old French Forward Odsonne Edouard got his name in the history of the club. While Celtics were already being labelled as the favourites for this season, the club manager has no intention of making peace those predictions — he’s aiming big, and perhaps, is looking to deliver in the competitions beyond the terminus of Scotland. On his loan from PSG last term, Eduoard’s promising stats back Brendon Rodgers’ decision for breaking the bank for him. He scored 11 goals in 29 appearances in his loan spell.
 
Rodgers has been a long-time admirer of the whizz-kid and lauded him highly after his crucial goal against Rangers in their straw-clutching 3-2 victory. The boss said, “He is one of the best young players I have worked with - his movement, his touch, his all-round play."
 
Adam Rooney: Surprise Farewell
 
There has been a lot of debate over Adam Rooney’s staggering departure from Aberdeen. He was their top-scorer for many seasons and has been an instrumental part of the team. But the decision to be deprived of playing European football to join a side relatively inferior to his current team was an odd call by the 30-year-old striker. Not to mention his lucrative hike in pay is hard to go unnoticed as he would reportedly earn about £4,000 a week — which is nearly double to what he earned at Aberdeen.
 
The club Salford City is owned by a group of iconic players in the history of British football, popularly known as ‘Class of 92’ including Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phill Neville. They are currently in England’s fifth tier after winning three promotions — Rooney’s signing hints towards their intentions of entering the competition of higher ranks as soon as possible.
 
During his time at Aberdeen, Rooney bagged 87 goals in 194 appearances. After his departure, Adam paid thanks to the club and spoke about Salford’s intriguing project that impelled his decision to join Salford. He said,“I had a great time at Aberdeen but when I heard of the interest from Salford, it was something that really intrigued me," Rooney said. “[The club] wants to get as high up as possible and hopefully I can help the club achieve that by scoring goals and help push the club up through the leagues.”
 
Connor Goldson: Rangers' new centre-half:
 
Rangers' new managers spent most of the summer being involved reinforcements. Former Liverpool ace landed Connor Goldson of Brighton early in the summer to fortify his backline. Goldson struggled to become a nailed-on starter at Brighton as he had to compete with the likes of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy for the first-team spot. However, Gerrard has high hopes from his new man and Goldson would most certainly do justice to his £3million price tag— only time will tell.
 
The inclusion of appointment of Steven Gerrard in the Ranger’s side has added a new dimension to the Scottish league. However, Rangers have had an underwhelming start of the season while Celtic and Hearts currently sit at the top of the league. It would be interesting to see how Celtic’s side bereft of their prolific striker Moussa Dembele do as the league progresses. Undoubtedly, this is going to be an exciting season for the Scottish League fans!
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