Chelsea’s rise back to the top of English football this season has a lot to do not only with their new manager, but also to their summer signings of 2016. The likes of David Luiz and N’Golo Kante have received a ton of praise from fans and pundits alike. However, the same can’t be said about Marcos Alonso.
It took him a while to settle in, but the former Fiorentina man is now a regular in what is likely to be a title-winning Chelsea squad. Despite that, there remain a few who are sceptical about him; he is still criticised for a lack of pace or a supposed inability to defend by many, including Chelsea fans.
However, his importance to the style of football that the Blues employ was highlighted by a stat doing the rounds online.
Whenever the Spaniard has started this season in the league, Chelsea have scored 74 out of a potential 84 points, which serves to highlight just how underrated he really is.
See the amazing stat showcasing Alonso’s importance and how Chelsea could have accumulated 100 points this season below:
Chelsea have taken 74 out of a possible 84 PL points when Marcos Alonso has started. That’s 100 point-a-season form.
Newcastle confirmed their promotion back into the Premier League with what likely was one of the most thrilling Championship victories in history. However, that is now in the past and the club’s management will need to ensure the club can actually stay afloat in the Premier League for a long time.
Needless to say, the squad will require some overhaul. Whilst it was good enough to win the Championship, the Premier League is a whole different beast. To this end, the Spanish media have already begun linking players with a move to Tyneside, one of whom happens to be Leganes’ own Gabriel Pires.
The young attacking midfielder has been a part of the club for two seasons now. Aside from his versatility, the Brazilian is capable of producing moments of sheer class. This was all the more evident during this weekend’s game against Real Betis, where Gabriel channelled his inner David Beckham to lob the Betis goalkeeper from the halfway line.
Check out the rumored Newcastle target’s amazing goal here:
The fact that Liverpool are likelier to make the top 4 ahead of club’s like Manchester United and Arsenal is down in no small part to the fact that they are able to see off top sides. In fact, they even lead the charts for most goals scored against sides in the top 6 this season, showing how adept they are at taking on the big boys.
However, Reds fans have also been frustrated with how their side consistently fails to break down the smaller sides, teams that come to defend and maybe scrap a point.
Whilst Klopp’s footballing philosophy lends itself better to big-match situations, it is imperative he come up with solutions to break down teams parking the bus.
According to training footage released by the club itself, the team has been working on patterns of play to break down rigid defences. The Reds can be seen hard at work to find a way to break down low-block defending sides.
When recently Tottenham lost 1-0 to local rivals West Ham, it essentially all but ended any title hopes they may have had. An anti-climatic end to a title run that at one point actually looked like it might end in their favour. Of course, it also resulted in a lot of overreactions coming in from certain rival fans.
Amusingly, Spurs got labelled “bottlers” by many rival fans, mainly because they absolutely blew their chance at the title at such a crucial phase of the season. To an extent, there is some level of truth to the fact that they could have at least dragged out the race a little longer, thus making Chelsea really earn their title win.
However, as explained by famous YouTuber The True Geordie in a recent video, the North London side actually surpassed all expectations this season. The title was never in their hands and they’re set to finish ahead of clubs with more resources.
Absolutely spot on from the Geordie, check out the rant below:
Tottenham’s 1-0 loss to West Ham has essentially brought a sudden screech to any talk about a Spurs title win still being in the works. As of now, all Chelsea need to do is win their next two games and they will be champions before Spurs even play their next league game against Manchester United.
It’s an anti-climatic end to what was the only challenge to Chelsea’s league win this season. The story of Spurs was a perfect underdog story this year, as they defied all odds to actually finish above sides like Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs. No matter how unlikely, it won’t be easy for fans to forget about what could have been.
However, one person who seems to be doing just fine in putting all this behind him is Dele Alli. The star midfielder, who won the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the second time on the trot this season, was spotted getting cosy with girlfriend Ruby Mae during a vacation in Ibiza, Spain.
Check out Alli and his lady love enjoy their vacation below:
Newcastle United’s Championship win this season will forever go down as one of the greatest heists pulled off in football history. Going into the last gameweek of the season, the Magpies were a point behind Brighton, and had their work cut out for them.
However, Brighton could only managed a draw against Aston Villa thanks to a late Jack Grealish equaliser and Newcastle’s win 3-0 over Barnsley meant they ended the season as champions in what was a dramatic end to a season.
Naturally, members of the Newcastle squad hit the town to celebrate this win.
Their partying, which saw them initially head to Japanese restaurant Aveika before then going to the nightclub Livello, would have been fun to say the least. However, the man of the night was Rolando Aarons, who turned up for the party wearing his Championship winning medal.
Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United was notable for the fact that Arsene Wenger recorded his first competitive victory over a side managed by Jose Mourinho. Over the years, few rivalries have been as one sided as this, and Wenger would have been glad to finally get a notch on the W column.
Their win, however, wasn’t down to luck or United being the inferior side – even if they didn’t exactly play at their best. Credit must be given to Arsenal and Wenger, who came armed with a concrete game-plan and executed it to perfection. This is particularly true in regards to the defence, who are often criticised for poor decision-making.
Laurent Koscielny in particular was hungry to ensure that the Gunners walked away with all three points. The Frenchman effectively pocketed Martial for huge portions of the game, not allowing him space to operate or run into. In fact, the 31-year old defender even beat the 20-year old striker outright in a one-on-one race.
Check out the moment in the Frenchman’s highlighs package below, it comes after the 30 second mark:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s knee injury has put his Manchester United future in jeopardy. Signed on only a one year deal, the Swedish striker is currently set to be out till the end of 2017 itself.
Whilst his performances for the club have been good, there is no certainty as to how he will deal with this setback at this age.
The good news is that he went over to the United States of America and underwent successful surgery in America. The legendary striker has also promised to make a comeback from this injury, meaning his fans around the world will get to see him play again, just possibly not in a United shirt.
These sentiments were echoed by agent Mino Raiola, who also shared an amusing anecdote regarding the striker and his doctors. Apparently the doctors treating Zlatan’s knees were so impressed by the lack of wear and tear on them that they wanted to open him up and do further research on his knees once his playing days are over. Amazingly, this is something both agent and player are interested in doing.
See the quotes from Raiola on the matter below:
His knees are so strong that doctors said they had never seen anything like it.
He has a knee that’s almost impossible for a football player with a 20 year long career to have. It was perfectly clean, there were no damage to it.
Zlatan’s knee is so strong that the doctor’s want him to return after his career to do research on him. They work at the world’s best research institute for knees and ligaments.
They research a lot about the subject and that is why they are better than everyone else. So after Zlatan’s career we will go back and open him again to research his ligament.
Arsenal’s win over Manchester United was not only a pleasant surprise for Gooners, but it also gave them an outside chance of making the Top 4. Whilst this might not seem like much, it’s worth noting that they had been all but written off from the race for the European spots just some days back.
The game itself was largely dominated by Arsenal, especially when it came to creating chances. Whilst they do tend to create a lot, the one thing Arsene Wenger’s men did differently this time around was actually taking their chances. All the domination in the world is of no good if you don’t convert chances.
That wasn’t to say that Arsenal’s domination of the game wasn’t entertaining; on the contrary, it led to several good moments for the home crowd. One such moment was when Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain pulled off a sublime dummy over Wayne Rooney that all but ended the Manchester United captain.
One noticeable thing about Chelsea this season is that the squad is back to being a tight knit unit again. The previous season had seen the team lose focus, especially around the end of Jose Mourinho’s term; however, team spirit is back in the dressing room and seems ready to propel them to another title victory.
Which would seemingly explain why Marcos Alonso decided to air his team-mate Eden Hazard’s dirty laundry in public; almost literally, in fact. The Spaniard posted a picture of the Belgian winger on his Instagram story and clearly poked fun at his appearance, which was quite amusing to say the least.
The reason it was so funny? Hazard decided to turn up to training wearing nothing but the brightest of pink wherever possible. Aside from his pink jacket, the attacker had on a pink and white cap as well as bright pink trainers.
See Hazard’s hideously funny attire for yourself here: