Connect with us

English Premier League

Should we all take a break from football?



As I sit here typing, Sky Sports News is on in the background. The ‘BREAKING NEWS’ gold ticker runs across the screen, announcing that Raheem Sterling has just opened his Manchester City account inside three minutes against Roma.

There’s no mention of the Women’s Ashes series which started today. There’s no mention of the Tour De France. There’s no mention of Zach Johnson’s dramatic play-off Open Championship victory. All these marvellous sporting occasions are being neglected for the sake of a Mickey Mouse pre-season tournament in Australia.

You go to the back page of the majority of newspapers in this country and 99% of the time the main headline will be football related. Open it up and transfer rumours fill the pages. England’s crushing defeat in the second Ashes test gets a good deal of analysis granted, but not as much as it should.

We all seem to be football obsessed in this country, and the media coverage the game gets reflects that. But once the summer begins, shouldn’t we, like the players, have a break from it?

Shouldn’t we be embracing other sporting events that occur throughout the summer? As clubs jet off to all corners of the globe, why don’t we just leave them to it?

Clubs are flooding their social media pages with all the latest pictures, videos and information to make sure that we don’t miss a second of the action. But surely I’m not the only one who finds it all rather mundane? Trawling your way through YouTube to find highlights from your team’s latest meaningless friendly seems a rather pointless exercise if you ask me.

Flicking through the TV channels, I caught a few minutes of Everton against Stoke the other week. The game was played in Singapore and it was probably the dullest five minutes of football I’ve ever seen.

But it made me think; who is actually watching this at home? Even the most hardened of Evertoninans and Potters fans couldn’t have put themselves through ninety minutes of that.

I personally have tried my hardest throughout the summer to avoid as much football related stories as possible, and it’s been great. Being a huge cricket fan, I have really engaged with the Ashes and haven’t given football a second’s thought, and I feel so much better for it.

The game has gone mad now. Well, it’s been mad for a number of years, but when you see Man City paying £49 million for Sterling it just confirms how far the game has moved away from the working man.

A 20 year old worth £49m, this isn’t ‘the working man’s game’ anymore.

Back in the 1970’s and 80’s, fans on the terraces saw those playing football as equal to them. But now with the multimillionaire athletes that represent football clubs, and with the game driven by money with club’s operating as profit machines, it’s much harder for supporters to really connect with their clubs.

If you had asked me last year that I would go the whole summer without reading a single bit of transfer gossip I wouldn’t have believed you. But I’ve had a nice break from football, maybe you should try it.

[interaction id=”55ad6d90da99a66f3d71c9c5"]

English Premier League

Keanan Bennetts has perfect opportunity to impress Mauricio Pochettino this week

The left-sided star has a chance to impress in first-team training during the international break.



Photo: Getty Images

With the international week in full flow, plenty of teams in the Premier League have seen their squads diminished by call-ups to national teams.

Tottenham Hotspur are one such side. Nonetheless, with most of the first-team squad away with their respective nations, work continues at Hotspur Way.

In order for Spurs to have a full complement in training, plenty of young talent needs to be pulled in to the ranks.

Mauricio Pochettino will, therefore,e get a chance to see some of his young players training with regular first-team players such as Fernando Llorente, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

One player who will be training with the first-team this week is talented wide-man Keanan Bennetts, according to London Live.

The 19-year-old left-winger has been catching the eye for the club’s youth team in recent weeks, making the news after scoring a fantastic goal for the under-19s against Monaco in the UEFA Youth League last month.

Bennetts has also been attracting interest for his positional dexterity. The wide-man has played at left-back in recent times and it could be that is his future best position.

This week he will be up against some excellent players such as Lamela and Moura, who did not receive selection to the Argentina and Brazil national teams, respectively.

If he can prove himself with this calibre of player, Pochettino will have to take notice.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It is coming to a point in his Tottenham career when Bennetts has to make such an impact. The teenager is out of contract at Spurs in the summer and needs to ensure he is kept on for at least one more season.

Tottenham fans who follow the youth teams are certain he is deserving of such a chance. If he can show Pochettino what he is capable of this week, then a new deal will surely be in the pipeline for the talented wide-man.

Continue Reading

English Premier League

Despite improvement, Everton should not rekindle Thomas Vermaelen interest

The Belgian defender has been in better form for Barcelona this season.



Rumours have emerged today suggesting Everton could be back in for Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen.

Catalan newspaper Sport has reported that the 32-year-old could be offered a new deal by Barcelona, with a team from the Premier League interested in signing him.

Sport Witness has openly hypothesised that Everton could be that team. Whilst there is no confirmation or substantiated report that is the case, the boot certainly fits.

Last summer Everton tried to sign Vermaelen.

As reported by the Liverpool Echo, at the time Barcelona vetoed a loan move to Everton as they felt the defender could be a useful asset.

The Belgian certainly has. After struggling with injuries and form throughout most of his Barcelona tenure the former Arsenal man has enjoyed a good season.

The 32-year-old has been a genuine asset to the Catalans, despite still being used sparingly, and such form has even seen him win back a place in Roberto Martinez’s national selection for Belgium.

If it is Everton interested in Vermaelen it is easy to see why. Centre-back has been a major problem for the club this season.

However, Vermaelen, or a player of his ilk, is not the answer to the Toffees’ woes.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The Belgian is obviously a talented player with plenty of experience, but Everton need to freshen up their back-line.

Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka’s age has shown in recent months.

The pair have been, at the best, inconsistent for the past 18 months and Everton need fresh young talent in the heart of defence if they are to succeed.

Vermaelen is not only 32 but also immensely injury prone. Everton need reliable figures to plug their leaky defences and the Belgian can simply not be relied upon.

Whilst on paper it seems a good deal, and one Everton could certainly turn to their benefit.

The truth is supporters of the Goodison Park outfit will hope they are not the club reportedly keen on bringing Vermaelen back to the Premier League.

Continue Reading

English Premier League

Have West Ham United found the next Mark Noble in Alfie Lewis?

The 18-year-old put in a fine performance against Dagenham and Redbridge this week.



Photo: Getty Images

West Ham United took on Dagenham and Redbridge in a friendly yesterday, in a match to raise funds for the National League side.

It was no surprise to see West Ham come out victorious. They won 3-1, with Michail Antonio at the double and Jordan Hugill scoring his first goal for the club.

It was, however, a Hammers team depleted by international selection.

With that in mind, David Moyes’ side fielded some of their younger players. Plenty of them caught the eye, but none more so than central midfielder Alfie Lewis.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The 18-year-old put in a fine display for 90 minutes which left West Ham fans very excited on social media.

It was an even more special achievement given Lewis spent most of last year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

Lewis himself told the official West Ham website after the game: “I’m delighted.

“It was a good experience for me tonight, to play with the likes of Patrice Evra, and Mark Noble in midfield. It was a good challenge and a good test for us as well, and I think I did well.”

He spoke of it being an honour playing alongside Mark Noble, but is he the successor to the throne?

Whilst Noble has had his critics in recent times there is no doubt he has been a long-term hero at West Ham.

Fans of the club have often wondered why Noble has never received England recognition given his consistent form in the Premier League.

(Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Noble has gone on to play over 400 games for West Ham since his debut for the club back in 2004.

Lewis certainly has the ability to follow in his footsteps. An energetic midfield creator, West Ham look to have another midfield gem in their ranks and one that can hopefully progress into the first-team soon.

The Hammers have a fine record of bringing through young players.

Noble is one current example and Lewis could not be at a better club if he is to find his way into the West Ham first-team.

This season, with a relegation battle raging, might come a little too soon for the teenager.

Nonetheless, in 2018-19 it will not be a surprise if Lewis finds himself playing alongside Noble in the West Ham midfield once again.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 The Boot Room.