Where we were wrong about Mourinho

Where we were wrong about Mourinho

It’s just impossible for Manchester United to get out of the spotlight, am I right? Mourinho is under constant criticism, and every loss seems to edge him nearer to the sack.

Lucky for Red Devil fans like me, this morning we had a good result, managing a 2-1 win over Everton (S0 suck it, Oliver). Pogba scored from a penalty rebound and Martial continued his run of good form by scoring his fourth goal in three premier league games.

And it’s Martial who I want to focus on. Because boy has he made a comeback. Before his goal against Young Boys in the Champions League a while back, he had gone eight months without scoring a goal. During the transfer window, he and his agent made it very clear that he wanted a move away from Old Trafford and had it not been for Ed Woodward, he probably would be plying his trade somewhere else right now.

Martial’s relationship with Mourinho has constantly been in the spotlight, and it’s been a rocky ride. Earlier in the year, he was fined for making it to pre-season training late due to the birth of his child, and he has been under constant criticism from his gaffer, and reports had said that Mourinho was the reason Martial wanted to leave the club.

But here we are, and Martial is flourishing. Mourinho, despite their struggles, is getting the best out of him.

And this isn’t just something we are seeing with Martial. Luke Shaw, another player who Mourinho who has constantly, criticized as not being good enough has been the sole mainstay of United’s defense this season, and was named United’s player of the month for August.

One of the big criticisms of Mourinho has been his handling of Martial and Shaw.

But this is one area we all have to step back from and admit the way Mourinho has handled these two players was the right way.

Admittedly, it is annoying to have these two players only now getting into form in his third year in charge, but better late than never.

I do remain dubious about whether Mourinho is the right man to take United forward, but, at the very least, he has gotten the best out Martial and Shaw. Credit given where credit is due.

 

Essence of the Nix #1- The Fans

Yes, I’m finally back! And I know that I took a while to get back into writing but got to get back into it somehow, eh?

Anyway, in this new series of articles, I will be talking about the Wellington Phoenix. The Nix, as they are affectionately known by the fans, have just started the season and are on a high after beating last season’s playoff finalists the Newcastle Jets. There’s also the plus of all the people that write here support them. But you might be thinking: who are these plucky bunch from the capital and why are they playing in the A-League? Well read on and find out.

I think that first, we should take a look at the fans. The main supporters group are the Yellow Fever, a nice bunch of maniacs who take their shirts off at the 80th minute when they’re winning even if it’s 4 degrees. They like to have a pint or two before and after the match and also have quite a diverse range of chants, of which the most famous is Oh Wellington!

As for the rest of the fans, they’re a pretty solid bunch, even though they don’t know the chants. and there are usually a decent amount of them, with tickets starting at around $23 NZD (By a decent amount of people I mean about 5 or 6 thousand but considering the standard of football on show is pretty good.

Premier League: Our round 10 predictions

Premier League: Our round 10 predictions

How time flies! It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting down to see United beat Leicester in the first game of the season, but here we are, 10 rounds in already. Phew.

Blake, who’s real name is Oliver, and will now be refereed too as such, put some distance between himself and Alf last round. He’s on 54 points, Alf is on 49, and I’m well back on 39.

Ugh. No more optimism left in me, watch me continue to fail in this comp.

Brighton vs Wolves

Image result for Brighton FC

Dan

Brighton are a decent enough side, and they are also fairly solid defensively. With the Wolves somewhat struggling for goals, expect a shutout from the Seagulls, but not three points. 0-0 draw.

Oliver

Wolves don’t score many, but they don’t concede many either. Brighton have got home advantage, so I can’t see Wolves winning, but I doubt they’ll go down to the Seagulls. 1-1 draw.

Alf

The Wolves would want to roar back after losing to Watford at home. They have the mentality to do so against a decent Seagulls lineup. 3-1 Wolves

Southampton vs Newcastle

Dan

Last round was my final straw for the magpies, who I have consistently tipped to bounce back from their poor start and have consistently let me down. I can see a draw here for Newcastle, but out of sheer spite I’m tipping them to lose. Go Saints. 2-0 Southampton

Oliver

It would be fair to look at the table and say this is an easy win for Southampton. They’re higher up the table and they’ve got a win. But both sides have six goals, fourteen conceded. This will be a draw, and a dull one at that. 0-0 draw

Alf

Poor Magpies. 0-0 draw.

Liverpool vs Cardiff

Dan

Cardiff may have gotten their first win last weekend, but that was against a Fulham side who are a defensive shambles. Expect a slaughter at Anfield. 4-0 Liverpool

Oliver

Liverpool haven’t scored many goals this season compared to some of the top sides – they’ve got as many as Bournemouth – but it’s Cardiff City we’re talking about. They’ll take an easy win. 3-0 Liverpool

Alf

Liverpool defeated Huddersfield but it wasn’t convincing. Cardiff won against Fulham but Neil Warnock may need to find a new apartment soon. 2-1 Liverpool

Fulham vs Bournemouth

Dan

Two sides in good goal scoring form but with shoddy defenses? This has all the marks of a high scoring draw. 3-3 draw.

Oliver

Somehow, Bournemouth are sixth in the table after nine games. Fulham are conceding goals like there’s no tomorrow. Cherries have got this. 2-1 Bournemouth

Alf

The Cottagers may have lost last week but they scored twice. With the quality of the attack, it shouldn’t be hard for the home side to get the points. 1-0 Fulham

Watford vs Huddersfield

Image result for Watford

Dan

Both sides came away with results they can be proud of last weekend, with the Hornets beating the Wolves and Huddersfield keeping Liverpool to just a 1-0 victory. Watford will eek this out, but the Terriers will put a decent fight. 2-1 Watford

Oliver

It’s the same story here. Watford are seventh, Huddersfield are nineteenth. Watford are starting to slip, but it’s Huddersf1-0 Bield they’re playing. Easy win, but they’ll only score two. 2-0 Watford

Alf

People expected a rout by Liverpool but the Terriers proved otherwise. Yet, I don’t see Huddersfield winning it because their attack is weak. 2-0 Watford

Leicester vs West Ham

Dan

Two similar sides here, both who should be challenging for mid table mediocrity  – the coveted 8-12 places. Given their similarities and with injuries ruling out both Vardy and Yarlomenko, I can see a draw here. 1-1 draw

Oliver

Leicester have scored fifteen, conceded fifteen. They’ve not had a draw yet, and the slowly improving West Ham have only had one, but I can see this game being one. 2-2 draw

Alf

Vardy da man will do amazing things. 1-0 Leicester Editors note: And this my friends, is why you don’t send tips in too early. Vardy is out injured this game.

Burnley vs Chelsea

Dan

Look, if you are being held to a draw by Manchester United, there are some problems in your team if you’re challenging for the title. Let’s predict an upset here. 1-0 Burnley

Oliver

Chelsea will win, we know that much. It’s a question of by how much. They’ll score two, but no more – they’re away from home, after all, but Burnley are terrible defensively. 2-0 Chelsea

Alf

Meh. 3-0 Chelsea

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal 

Dan

I’ve been disappointed with Crystal Palace this season – I expected them to be challenging for top ten, but they are in danger of being pulled into the relegation battle. Unfortunately for them, they are up against an Arsenal side in red hot form. 4-1 Arsenal

Oliver

Arsenal’s winning streak isn’t ending against Crystal Palace of all teams. Palace just aren’t great and Arsenal will score a few. Not without conceding, however. 3-1 Arsenal

Alf

I don’t think Leno will keep a clean sheet in an away PL game. Cri. 2-1 Arsenal

Manchester United vs Everton

Dan

I support United. Oliver supports Everton. Oliver is thrashing me in the tipping. Oliver is a better writer than me. I really, really, need United to win this. Please. 2-1 United

Oliver

Everton have a positive goal differential, for one. United just seem like a mess, especially after the home loss to Juventus, and I just can’t see them taking a point 2-1 Everton

Alf

Mourinho failed to stabilize the ship against Chelsea but it’s Everton, so he can (for once), I guess. 2-0 United

Tottenham vs Manchester City

Dan

For the gazillionth time this season, I’m gonna let emotion cloud my judgement here. I hate Manchester City, and surely, Tottenham have the quality edge them in this game. This emotional form of tipping is why I’m last, folks. 2-1 Tottenham

Oliver

Spurs are on four league wins in a row. Manchester City are on one only, but they haven’t lost a league game this season. They’ll win, and they’ll win well. 3-1 City

Alf

Burnley are no Tottenham, CIty fans. 1-1 draw
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/06/14/brighton-fixtures-2017-18-premier-league-schedule-key-dates/
https://www.thestar.com.my/sport/football/2018/08/27/watford-the-surprise-package-in-premier-league/
https://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2018/10/24/18018522/manchester-united-vs-juventus-2018-uefa-champions-league

Usain Bolt: What’s going on there?

Usain Bolt: What’s going on there?

The big story over the A-League offseason has been Usain Bolt’s trial at the Central Coast Mariners. Last season’s bottom club have managed to somehow lure the Jamaican sprinter to Gosford, and are allegedly offering a contract. It’s a pretty hefty fee they’re paying, too, for someone who’s never played professional football. And at 32, it’s not like they’ll get much use out of him. To be fair, however, he has got huge marketing appeal. Really, the whole situation’s a mess.

Image result for usain bolt central coast mariners

The first thing that needs to be established is that Bolt is a competent footballer. He’s trained with Borussia Dortmund, he’s trialled with Stromsgodset in Norway and there was an offer from Valletta FC, based in European footballing hotbed Malta. He scored two goals in a friendly match in preseason. To write him off as a poor footballer isn’t needed.

But what is he going to bring to the Mariners? Bolt’s played as a forward or winger in the friendly matches so far. Imagine if he’s given a contract and starts playing A-League football. How’s Connor Pain going to feel about that? What about Matt Simon? Or Tommy Oar? The three of them have a combined 31 years of professional footballing experience. Bolt has none.

Image result for tommy oar

And just look at the contract offer. It’s enough for the A-League to need FFA to step in and fund it. It’s been rumoured at $3 million a year. That’s not a bad contract for the Premier League, and we’re meant to expect that giving this kind of money to a fairly unproven non-footballer makes sense? It doesn’t. Not at all. That’s a huge amount of their salary cap, gone.

Yes, Bolt will bring in crowds. And yes, people will buy merchandise. They’ll make some money out of it. But if we’re at a point where the finances are more important than on-field action, then I’m worried for the future of the A-League. The Mariners might be overlooking what gets people to go to the football. When I go to a Phoenix game, I’m not going because I wanna see this player or that player. I go to see the team, my team, play a game of football.

There have been successful crossovers in sport before, I’m not going to deny that. There are players that excel at two similar sports – think Brad Thorn in both rugby union and rugby league, or Jarryd Hayne in just about everything. And there are players who play two very different sports – rugby and cricket have nothing to do with each other but Jeff Wilson still did well in both. Bolt’s effectively doing the second one of those two, and pretending it’s the first. Barack Obama’s apparently a pretty handy basketball player, but the Phoenix Suns aren’t trying to sign him up, no matter how desperate they may be.

Related image

Ultimately, Bolt’s move to the Central Coast Mariners is a farce. It’s not going to be any good for the club, it makes the rest of the league look like a joke, it’s a kick in the teeth to all of the players who have worked for this – and, as Andy Keogh said, he’s got a first touch like a trampoline.

El Clásico – the blockbuster is still a good show without the stars

El Clásico – the blockbuster is still a good show without the stars

The first El Clásico of the 18/19 season in the Spanish La Liga is no ordinary fixture for both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The main man for the home side, Leo Messi, will be absent owing to the injury he contracted while playing against Sevilla while Real Madrid has sold their main man, Cristiano Ronaldo, to Juventus in the summer transfer window.

For those who would like to see Cristiano Ronaldo playing against Messi, they may want to wish for a “Barcelona vs Juventus” clash in the Champions League. Nevertheless, it’s still a tie for football fans to anticipate and a good excuse to grab popcorns.

You’re at the right place for our analysis of the match of the century, with the investigation of both teams in the last few games, records last year and most importantly, score predictions by our fans.


Continue reading “El Clásico – the blockbuster is still a good show without the stars”

5 things noticed in Arsenal’s 10 game winning streak

5 things noticed in Arsenal’s 10 game winning streak

As an Arsenal fan myself, I expected my favourite club to struggle under the first year with Unai Emery, who became Arsène Wenger’s successor.

In spite of the first two defeats in the Premier League, they’re in, currently, a 10 game winning streak, which is impressive. Here are some points I’d like to take note of during these games. Continue reading “5 things noticed in Arsenal’s 10 game winning streak”

Why playing music at A-league games is a terrible idea

Why playing music at A-league games is a terrible idea

After a far too long offseason, the A-league season is finally, finally back.

With it came good news for me; the Wellington Phoenix won our first game of the season for just the second time in our history!

But, it wouldn’t be the A-league without controversy.

I wasn’t able to go to the Phoenix game myself, unfortunately, but I was watching it on TV, and there was a rather annoying feature of the game. At most stoppages and set pieces, music was played.

And, scrolling through Twitter while watching the game, everyone was just as annoyed as me. And this wasn’t just Phoenix fans that were pissed, it was fans from all across the A-league.

Why is the music so bad?

First off, whether you are sitting in the stands or staring at you TV, watching football is an immersive experience. The thud of the ball, the roar of the crowd, the shouts of the players, it’s a good feeling. A nice focus. Quality immersion.

Music ruins all of that. That immersion is brilliant, but music completely ruins it. Quite frankly, it’s a turn off to watching games and will put off the casuals that clubs and the league are trying so hard to get to come to games.

But aside from being just plain annoying, it takes away the greatest asset of playing at home.

The music is played at set pieces when there’s a break in play. However, for the fans, the die-hards, the yellow fever, that’s the perfect opportunity to get some chants going. However, from what I could discern from twitter, the yellow fever, the Phoenix’s die-hards, had around 3 or 4 chants drowned out by the music.

That isn’t ok. Chants add to the atmosphere of the game. It adds to the immersion. And if you’re trying to get the stadium behind your team but you are being drowned out by some audio pretending to be music, then people will want to come to games less.

And here’s the thing. With my scrolling through twitter and seeing what the fans think, from all across the A-league, I’m yet to see a single person in favor of the music.

The football community is very diverse, and our opinions are just as diverse. But our opposition to music at games is universal.

Getting the football community to agree on something is just as unlikely as getting both sides of the political spectrum to agree on anything.

But it has happened.

Surely, with so much opposition, the A-league must listen to the fans. Because, in the end, us fans are the reason the A-league exists.

Premier League: Our round nine predictions

Premier League: Our round nine predictions

The international break is over, hurrah, which means that club football is back, and so is our predictions.

I’d like to give a big shout out to Alf for writing the tipping post last week, as I was in Samoa and I couldn’t, so cheers for that Alf. Zac is also (finally) back from Europe, but has allowed Alf to keep his spot in the comp for the rest of the season. So good man, Zac.

Anyway, my dismal run of form in this comp continues, as I’m on 34 points, as this really is a two horse race between Alf and Blake. Alf is on 43, while Blake sits in the lead on 46.

Time for another depressing round from myself. On with the tipping!

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Dan

Manchester United have been simply sub-par this season, and, to make matters worse, we have faced just a single top six team during that time. While the comeback win over Newcastle did show signs of improvement, they’re up against a Chelsea side that hasn’t yet lost and are proper title contenders. This shouldn’t be too difficult for the blues. 2-1 Chelsea

Blake

Chelsea are a team on fire at the moment. Sarriball’s working wonders, they haven’t lost a game yet, and I imagine they’ll easily deal with a weak-looking Manchester United. 2-1 Chelsea

Alf

Another chance to Mourinho and his men to prove himself. Chelsea may have beaten Southampton but not quite convincing. 2-1 Chelsea

West Ham vs Tottenham

Dan

Just when we thought West Ham were finally delivering on the promise that this squad had, they go and lose to Brighton. Well, there goes any chance of them getting anything out of the match against Tottenham. 3-1 Tottenham

Blake

West Ham were looking a shambles after four games but they’ve picked up seven points from their next four and they should take another point against a decent Spurs. 1-1 draw.

Alf

With some stars absent, West Ham will give Tottenham a hard time in finding a goal with Fabiański between the sticks. 1-0 Tottenham

Newcastle vs Brighton

Dan

It’s coming for the toon. I can feel it. They showed promise against Manchester United, and against Brighton, I think they’ll manage to see it out. 1-0 Newcastle.

Blake

Newcastle are awful. That’s all there really is to say about them. Brighton have been better than expected so far and they can carry that momentum into this fixture and take three points. 1-0 Brighton

Alf

Newcastle may have lost to an inspired Red Devils side, but their goals will inspire them to get the motivation to win the games. 1-1 draw

Bournemouth vs Southampton

Image result for Bournemouth players

Dan

With their 4-0 thrashing of Watford last round, Bournemouth will surely be able to easily overcome any threat that Mark Hughes’ Southampton pose as Eddie Howe’s team continues to show just how good they really are. 3-1 Bournemouth

Blake

Both teams haven’t been stellar defensively so far this season. Bournemouth however have scored sixteen goals, more than Liverpool, and will add a few against their South Coast rivals. 4-2 Bournemouth

Alf

Southampton showed that they have a weak attack against Chelsea. Bournemouth proved otherwise. 2-0 Bouremouth

Cardiff vs Fulham

Dan

Cardiff are all round terrible, but Fulham will still be low on confidence after their humiliation at the hands of Arsenal. One bore draw coming right up. 0-0 draw.

Blake

It says something about Fulham’s poor defending that I’m giving Cardiff a goal here, but it also says something about Cardiff’s quality that I’m still not giving them a point. Don’t expect entertainment. 2-1 Fulham

Alf

Time for Neil Warnock to go? The answer is “yes” if his team failed to win this one. 2-1 Fulham

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Watford

Dan

It’s one of these games – two very good teams in reasonably good form play each other in a match that could easily go any way. The home advantage and the sting of Watford’s defeat to Bournemouth will make me go with the Wolves, but, as I said, this can really go any way. 2-1 Wolves.

Blake

Watford are really starting to slip down the table. Wolves have made it to seventh without being brilliant, although their defense has been solid. They’ll eke out a narrow win here. 1-0 Wolves

Alf

Both teams are in good form and no one would want to lose – so it’ll be an equal contest. 1-1 draw.

Manchester City vs Burnley

Dan

Burnley remain a solid side with the potential to cause any team problems – and while they might cause a few against the citizens, it’ll be nowhere near enough to keep Guardiola’s side from strolling to victory. 2-0 Manchester City

Blake

The Citizens are sitting pretty at the top of the league whilst Burnley are slowly moving up the table. City should still win this one comfortably, at home. 3-0 Manchester City

Alf

Sean Dyche’s Burnley career may end at the Etihad as his philosophy doesn’t work effectively anymore. 3-0 Manchester City

Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool

Dan

Press F to pay respect to Huddersfield, folks. This game will be nothing short of a slaughter. 5-0 Liverpool

Blake

There are two types of Liverpool. There’s the Liverpool that plays poorly and the Liverpool that plays brilliantly, and there’s no way of telling which one you’re gonna get. This game could be 6-0, but let’s go a little lower. 1-0 Liverpool

Alf

I feel sorry for the Terriers but I’ll be more surprised they can stun Liverpool for the three points. 4-0 Liverpool

Everton vs Crystal Palace

Image result for Everton players

Dan

Much like Burnley, Palace are a side that can give anyone problems – on their day. But it won’t be their day, and Everton will put them to the sword. 2-1 Everton.

Blake

The most boring team in the Premier League meets Everton away. Typically I just say 0-0 for Palace games, but I’ve got a different feeling about this one. Everton should take a win. 2-0 Everton

Alf

Richarlison starts scoring again. End of. 1-0 Everton

Arsenal vs Leicester

Dan

Leicester are a decent, if unremarkable side, but as they’ll be up against the red hot Lacazette-Aubameyang partnership, backed up by an Arsenal side that’s working well under Emery, it’ll be Leicester who will be dropping points. 2-1 Arsenal

Blake

Arsenal’s lengthy winning streak isn’t going to be ended by Leicester City of all teams. Lacazette and Aubameyang should manage to combine for a couple of goals. 2-0 Arsenal

Alf

There will be goals from both sides (Leno isn’t going to keep a clean sheet again cri), but things seems to go well for the Gunners. 2-1 Arsenal
Image credit:
http://fcnaija.com/5-chelsea-players-who-could-surprise-you-this-season/page/1
http://europeansoccer.info/amazing-of-a-f-c-bournemouth-on-england-football-images/
https://www.goal.com/en-us/news/rooney-fellaini-and-the-players-who-have-played-for-both-man-utd-/1uex2c4rtzt9k19vglq1oe83kq

 

Top 3 reasons why this season can be Dortmund’s year (and 3 it won’t)

Top 3 reasons why this season can be Dortmund’s year (and 3 it won’t)

With Bundesliga veteran Lucien Favre as the manager of the team, Borussia Dortmund are currently unbeaten in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League, which is the music to the ears of the fans of the club (and sad Minecraft music to Bayern Munich supporters).

This may be the best chance for the North Rhine-Westphalia club to recapture the Bundesliga trophy from Bayern. While it is far from being an amazing run for the Borussens, if the players continue to do well, they are capable of creating a miracle this season under the Swiss.


Reason 1 – Outstanding mentality. 

Against RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim, Leverkusen and Augsburg, they have shown that they can stage comebacks, whether at home or away and however impossible the scoreline was.

This is excellent since Favre has, successfully, instilled the winning mentality to the whole squad, which propel them to do better and keep moving forward, until the last kick of the game.

Without a doubt, this is one of the factors which turns title contenders into champions.

If Dortmund can keep their amazing mindset from the Klopp era, even if they can’t lift the Meisterschale at the end of the season, Favre should be applauded for his effort for inspiring the squad to fight against the odds.


Reason 2 – Quality attacking options. 

Aside from Reus, Kagawa, Mario Götze and Maximilian Philip, loanee Paco Alcácer is currently in superb form with 7 goals in 4 appearances for the Black and Yellows.

With future talents like Pulisic, Bruun Larsen and Sancho started to be on the scoresheet, I’m quite assured that the offence of the team should not be a problem for tearing the opposition defence open.


Reason 3 – Bayern’s poor run. 

After the 1-1 home draw against Augsburg, they lost against Hertha away and Mönchengladbach at home. They also dropped 2 home points against Ajax in the Champions League.

With Dortmund gaining points in these matchdays, this gives the Black and Yellows the numerical advantage on Bundesliga the table. The rest should be self-explanatory.


Despite the fact that Dortmund under Favre looks promising, there are still problems to be prevented and fixed.


Reason 1 – Injuries are a thing. 

It doesn’t matter which club you support, you hate it when injuries hit some of the key members of your team. Dortmund may have a young, talented squad, but sadly, they’re always hit by sufferings and discomfort of the players.

Marco Reus could be seen as a classic case in which he missed out the successful World Cup campaign with Germany in 2014. He did, finally, join the 2018 edition but we know how poorly the squad performed in Russia.

To win the Bundesliga, playing well isn’t enough. A healthy, fit crew is one of the keys to the road of obtaining the trophy. It seems that the medical team of the club is doing well these days but let’s wish that the injury list won’t be piled up.


Reason 2 – Bayern will bounce back. 

Last season, Peter Bosz led Dortmund to a good start in the Bundesliga, yet they suffered a few consecutive defeats and not surprisingly, Bayern won the title, benefitting from the poor condition of their fierce rivals.

Just because they’re halfway there doesn’t mean that they won’t slip up afterwards. Bayern may be 5th on the Bundesliga table but when you take a look at the differences of the points against Dortmund, they still have the chance to turn the tide.

Thus, Favre and his men would need to work very hard to extend their unbeaten run. They’ll certainly make mistakes when they play in their jerseys, but it’ll be best if they don’t afford a margin of error in their training ground, which is what Favre is good at.


Reason 3 – Poor defence yet to be fixed.  

Like Arsenal, Dortmund are facing a problem that they don’t have a good defence.

Diallo may be a good CB but sometimes his rash challenges can get him sent off. Hakimi performs well but Real Madrid may be desperate to get him back. Piszczek is too old while Schmelzer is too injury-prone. Toljan and Toprak aren’t good enough.

Aside from the defence system, goalkeeping is a problem. I’m not discrediting Roman Bürki’s effort between the sticks but he is quite inconsistent, to say the least. 3 clean sheets in 9 games showed that it’s almost time for the Swiss to look for a new club.

Thus, Favre must take a look at the problems of the defence and in goal to see what kind of players they need. But it’s not enough as the integration of new members into the XI is as hard as acquiring them, in reality.


Borussia Dortmund this season can be both exciting and worrying to watch.

On one hand, they’re making significant process and are improving during the last few games. On the other hand, Bayern Munich will be doing everything in the power to put the game beyond reach.

This is why Dortmund will require both hard work and a bit of luck if they want to snatch the deserved Meisterschale from the Bavarians at the end of the season. Come on BVB!

Paco Alcácer – a clear solution and the dilemma in disguise

Paco Alcácer – a clear solution and the dilemma in disguise

Barcelona supporters may have trouble in believing this: Paco Alcácer, the fourth forward in their squad, can’t stop scoring after leaving Camp Nou on loan to Borussia Dortmund, a German Bundesliga giant.

Under Lucien Favre’s guidance, the Spaniard started to find his sense of scoring. And currently, with 10 goals from 10 shots on target, no one would have expected him to be in such a good form.

The 25-year-old used to be a player who lived under the shadows of the players, in the likes of the mighty Leo Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar and later, Ousmane Dembélé.

But at Dortmund, he’s the star himself. Against Frankfurt, he scored. Against Leverkusen, he wrapped up the comeback all by himself. Against Augsburg, he scored a hat-trick to get all 3 points for his club.

Alcácer’s current situation is a blessing to the Dortmund squad. At the same time, Barcelona would be having a headache for the rest of the season in attracting him to be back to the Catalonian capital.

With an urge for Dortmund to activate the release clause of the loan contract, this is where it gets complicated for both clubs to handle.


To be honest, Alcácer is the solution to one of the problems of the Dortmund squad.

Dortmund may have quality players like Marco Reus, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Maximilian Philipp and Marius Wolf, but the lack of an in-form, traditional No. 9 player is what the BVB are yearning for.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did a great job when he donned the Borussen jersey. However, he decided to leave for Arsenal with the German club getting a whopping €63.75M fund in the process.

Michy Batshuayi joined the party on loan from Chelsea as a side-effect of Aubameyang’s transfer.

He did well in the Bundesliga by scoring goals in the last minute to save Peter Stöger’s job, only to have his career there marred by a sudden injury against old rivals Schalke 04 in the Revierderby.

Now, with Alcácer who’s on fire, it is almost certain to say that the whole BVB attack is complete. It’ll be the best if the Spaniard keeps up his form and call Westfalenstadion his “home” after the season.


For Barcelona, the primary objective for them is to take place of, if not replace, the currently misfiring Suárez, who has yet to score a goal after the away win against Real Sociedad.

Munir El Haddadi is, at present, Valverde’s first choice backup to the Uruguayan. Despite assisting the team in salvaging a point from Bilbao at home, the striker spends most of his time on the bench.

The 23-year-old may be the player for the future of Barcelona as Suárez is ageing. However, despite the loan experiences with Valencia and Alavés, he’s still not experienced enough to be a “super sub”.

With 10 goals in 10 appearances for club and country in the ongoing season, the Spanish club may regret in letting Alcácer go, especially if the player decides to make the move permanent.

At the same time, though, they understand that Dembélé was a transfer for the future. Alcácer may be a good player but for Barcelona, they may want to develop the young, French striker more.

So for Bartomeu and his men, here’s the question, “if you can keep only one player, would you rather keep Dembélé or Alcácer?” And the answer is, frankly, obvious.


In short, this deal of Paco Alcácer is complicated, provided that both clubs have contrasting interest in the deal. Dortmund would want to secure the player’s ownership rights while Barcelona are seeking for a “super sub” in hot form.

Dortmund would be more than happy to pay the cash if Alcácer continues to score, yet Barcelona won’t afford to lose him. Anyway, it may be too early to say, but only time will tell if the agreement is worth the transfer fee stated or not.