Why the Denis Suárez deal makes sense and why Barcelona can afford to lose him

Why the Denis Suárez deal makes sense and why Barcelona can afford to lose him

As Denis Suárez is now a Gunner for the rest of the season, it ends all the speculations that Arsenal won’t sign anyone in the January window. Even though it’s just a loan deal, it pleases both parties. Here’s why.


From Arsenal’s point of view

  1. Denis is happy to work with Emery. As Denis worked with Emery in Sevilla before, Arsenal now have two Europa League winners in their team, which will help to boost the confidence of the team in winning the UEL.
  2. Denis is the kind of player they want and need. What Arsenal need is not only someone who can play in both upfront and in midfield (like Özil) but also, a playmaker. Denis is the kind of player who can do all these stuff.
  3. If Denis doesn’t play well, he doesn’t have to be here. Arsenal can opt to activate the release clause of 20 million Euros to get him in the summer. But it’s not obligatory, so I’ll see it just a mere option on the contract.

From Barcelona’s point of view

  1. They get money from the deal, should Arsenal exercise their option to buy. Even if Barcelona don’t get the 20 million in July, Denis’ contract extension to 2021 will preserve his current market value.
  2. They would rather develop de Jong than on Denis. de Jong’s arrival will further reduce Denis’ playing time since it’ll be a total waste of money not to play the Dutchman, at least from Valverde’s perspective.
  3. Denis isn’t in Valverde’s plans, so it makes sense to offload him. Barcelona are crowded with talented midfielders like Arthur Melo, Carles Aleñá and Sergi Roberto. Even Aleñá got more chances than him.

From the player’s own point of view

Let’s be honest, if you were Denis, would you rather be a benchwarmer at Camp Nou or the main man somewhere else? For Suárez himself, he decided to opt for a return to England (he used to play for Manchester City before).


The final verdict 

Provided that Denis doesn’t get a lot of chances under Valverde and the confirmed transfer of Frenkie de Jong, I believe that there’s a high chance that the player will sign a permanent deal with the north London club.
Unless there is something bad happen to Arsenal (or Emery), it would be the best for Denis to be a Gunner in the next season. But of course, like Alcácer’s case, it all depends on what Denis will do in the future.
It can’t be certain for now.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Results doesn’t matter, planning does – what FC Barcelona really needs for the time ahead

Results doesn’t matter, planning does – what FC Barcelona really needs for the time ahead

After an admirer of Barcelona, I started to gain more understanding of the club. While I like the first team a lot, I spotted a few things which made me feel a bit uncertain about the future of Barça.

Well, I’m no expert in football, but from my perspective as a follower myself, here are the 5 reasons that FC Barcelona is actually being assessed too highly as a football club.


Reason 1 – Dependence on Leo Messi. 

Without a doubt, Messi is one of the best players in both the history of Barcelona and the world. He’s talented, hard-working and loved by supporters. Well, not only football fans but also, pundits and managers around the globe.

Let’s be honest, though. We all know what happens when Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid. They paid the price, are lacking attacking options with almost all of their strikers misfiring. And seriously, it’s not laughable.

Yes, it’s frustrating to be a Madridista these days, but bear in mind that if Barcelona doesn’t learn from the mistake made by their arch-rivals, the team would be teased at if they’re experiencing the same in the “post-Messi” era.

Football is a team sport. Messi makes everything easier on the pitch but he can’t play forever for Barcelona. The sad thing is that we can’t reverse time to get Messi in his peak form. So deal with it, Culés.


Reason 2 – Their tactics are way too attack-focused.

From the transfer rumours, we know that Barcelona are mainly talking about Neymar, de Jong and Rabiot. While these are essential to Valverde’s “4-3-3” system, they’re missing the essential piece of the puzzle.

Two words needed only. The defence. It may seem not to be a big problem for the team but if Valverde and the scouts of the club don’t realise this, it’ll cost their chances of getting titles in the future.

Piqué is old (31) and started to be error-prone. Jordi Alba is the sole, senior left-back in his position with an inexperienced Miranda as his backup. Valverde should pray that he won’t get injured or he’ll be doomed.

I have no problems with the rest of the defence (e.g. Umtiti, Lenglet and Semedo) but they should also get rid of a few players – with former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen included – who are not needed in the team.

Some may argue that “attack is the best defence”. But in my opinion, not really. You can’t create a defence which can keep clean sheets every time you play but without a coherent defence, having an excellent attack is nothing.

You can’t stage comebacks every time like that magical night at Camp Nou. Just saying.


Reason 3 – No real leadership at the back despite having Piqué. 

I miss Carles Puyol. He’s not just a defender with curly hair and nods in headers. He’s a leader in the dressing room and is exactly the kind of personality the current Barcelona dressing room need.

Every time I see the goals that the Barcelona defence conceded, I feel that they could have done better in pressing and marking opposition strikers. They’re always outnumbered in their own half and this isn’t a positive sign.

Piqué, as the most experienced defender in the team, should be able to command the defence. Nevertheless, it seems that he either didn’t want to or is helpless in this issue. Well, if he’s not the solution, he’s the problem.


Reason 4 – Lack of focus on La Masia as a football academy for the future. 

In recent years, Barcelona employs, mostly, a “transfer-based” approach for the development of the first team. Current members, like Suárez, Umtiti and Arthur Melo, are mostly from various countries and clubs around the world.

While there’s no guarantee that they’ll get chances, this is the truth in football, where a competitive environment ensure that the best players will stand out.

At the same time, La Masia may have produced some talents for the team, like Carles Aleñá, Munir and Sergi Roberto. However, not all of them have the chance to prove themselves under Valverde.

The internationals will be given the priority to be in the starting lineup for their abilities. Nonetheless, youngsters – like Chumi, Riqui Puig and Abel Ruiz – deserve to participate in La Liga football, not just in the Copa del Rey.

If the head coach decided to focus on the transfer market instead of their “escolas”, La Masia will only become a place for wannabe stars to dream about being “the next Messi” while crushing them with the harsh fact of reality.


Reason 5 – Too commercialised, mainly on the players and image of the club.

As I’ve mentioned before, Messi is more than just a footballer playing for Barcelona. He may only a part of the club’s history, but his contributions to the club are astonishing. This is why fans are seeing him as an idol.

Without a doubt, the “Messi 10” jersey is one of the most selling kits in the world. The other stars, like Coutinho, Luis Suárez and Dembélé, also get their own franchise. Just visit the FCBotiga and you’ll know why.

Players in this era aren’t just Tom, Dick and Harry who kick the balls for a living. They’re money makers for their clubs too. As a fan who supports a club under a tycoon who sees the club as a cash cow, I’m not surprised at all.

Frankly speaking, Barcelona no longer produces “star players”. They get them from the other clubs and brand them as “stars”. When they leave, either they fade away (like Alex Song) or shine elsewhere (like Paco Alcácer).

Yes, players come and go. Ronaldinho retired while Iniesta departed from the club to join Vissel Kobe in Japan. And for Messi’s case, it’ll be a bit special since there’s only one Leo Messi.

While the current model can help the potential supporters to make their decision in supporting a club and to boost revenue for them. The bad thing is, it associates with the arrival of the so-called “talents” in football.

I’m pretty sure that with Barcelona’s own branding, there won’t be a shortage of players who want to be a part of the Blaugrana squad. The thing is, who’ll be the “next star” when Messi retires? I, honestly, don’t know.

To survive in the football world, Barcelona need both “stars” of the sport and local talents in their squad. Perhaps Bartomeu should think of this. For real and with deep considerations with it.


I like FC Barcelona as both a team and a club as they play good football with a distinctive brand of Catalan pride. However, as someone who follows the club, they’re far from perfect, just like any other team else.

With a defensively inferior team and a lack of planning for the future, Barça will still be a football club with a wide, global influence but it all depends on how Josep Bartomeu and his men will manage the association.

It’s about decisions and a clear direction. Right now, Barcelona are doing fine but without a clear picture in the heads of the management of the club, things may not be in their favour. It’s their choice, after all.

.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Arsenal and 2018 – a complete review

Arsenal and 2018 – a complete review

2018 is the year when Arséne Wenger decided to pave way for his successor at the Emirates. 2018 is the year when Unai Emery proved his doubters wrong by achieving an amazing unbeaten run with his team.

While it wasn’t plain sailing in the second half of the year, the first half of 2018 wasn’t pretty either. In this article, we’ll be taking a trip down the memory lane to review 2018 as a year for both the team and the fans.


The beginning of the end of the Wenger era.

I’m pretty sure that the football world was shocked to hear that Arsenal were knocked out by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last season, an embarrassing feat which never happened under Wenger, until 2018.

The away days in the final days under Wenger weren’t nice either, losing most of the games away from home with the chance of winning the Carabao Cup slipped away by being beaten by Manchester City 3-0 in the final.

There was some good news, though. Wenger’s parting gift to Arsenal, Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, proved to be a solid signing for the team and now, Emery is unleashing his potential to his best.

In Europe, Arsenal reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, where Atlético Madrid progressed to the final thanks to the goal by Diego Costa at the Wanda Metropolitano, which made it 2-1 to the home side.

So basically, Arsenal won nothing at the end of 2017/18 season aside from the FA Community Shield. They were 5th in the Premier League and hence, are currently playing in the Europa League again.


The end of the beginning of the Emery era.

When Unai Emery was presented as the new Arsenal manager, I still could remember that he needed a translating device to his ear in order to understand English. But apparently, he doesn’t need one now.

Emery’s first PL games after moving from PSG ended up with two consecutive losses. However, they were reasonable defeats, considering the opponents were Manchester City under Guardiola and Chelsea under Sarri.

After beating West Ham 3-1 at home, Arsenal endured a 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions, including the  North London derby which was won 4-2 in style, until being beaten by Southampton away 3-2.

Their Carabao Cup journey also came to an end as Tottenham gained their revenge from the loss earlier this month with Son Heung-min and Dele Alli knocking the home side out by their goals.

Arsenal will be seeking for improvement after winning against Burnley and starting another unbeaten run. At the time of writing, Aubameyang is the top scorer of the Premier League. Hopefully, he’ll score more in 2019!


Why Emery proved that he’s more than a boss

Emery may not be at the same level as the top managers in the Premier League, like Klopp, Guardiola and Pochettino, but for a club who needs to rebuild the team like Arsenal, he’s a reasonable choice.

Back then when he was with Valencia and Sevilla, he had the reputation of having the ability to win trophies with a limited budget. This is partly why Arsenal decided to offer him a contract as Kroenke is a Scrooge.

Emery happens to be the right man to replace Wenger. As I’ve written before, Emery is the exact opposite of Wenger who doesn’t allow his men to give up and the mentality instilled is amazing, despite it doesn’t always work.

A positivity-driven coach, Emery is also active on social media and listens to the opinions of the supporters. He’s a bit stubborn to make changes during half-time but sometimes, it proved to create the game-changing moment later.


The best signings in 2018 (and why they are)

Note: This list is in no particular order and is subjective with the preference of the author. 

Lucas Torreira (Uruguay)

I’m too lazy to list them out here. Please refer to my answer on Quora for the details.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

Aubameyang is now proving his worth in the Premier League not only by scoring goals but also giving assists and helping the team in defence for a little bit. What a signing Wenger made before he left us!

Bernd Leno (Germany)

Despite that he could have done better with the positioning and stuff on the pitch, you can’t really blame him for not keeping clean sheets. One thing for sure, though, is that Leno has the qualities to succeed Čech of his No. 1 shirt.


While there’s a huge chance that Arsenal won’t be winning anything these days, it’ll be interesting to see how Emery and his boys will do in 2019. It’s going to be tough, but I believe that they’ll weather the storm eventually.

On a side note, on behalf of the team, I would like to announce that FootyFans will be taking a break in predicting Premier League fixtures. We’ll be back in 2019. See you later soon!

Premier League – Round 18 predictions

Premier League – Round 18 predictions

Hello there, folks! It’s me again. Dan’s AFK at the moment (for a certain reason, of course) and I’m here to deliver our predictions of the Round 18 of the Premier League this season. Onto the tipping!


Wolves vs Liverpool 

“Wolves are the home side this time but against Liverpool, who are currently still unbeaten in the Premier League, fingers crossed that they won’t get the three home points. 1-0 Liverpool” (Alf)

” What’s happened with Wolves? They were sitting in mid-table, and now they’re seventh. One would expect them to put up a good fight against Liverpool. That said, the Pool are top of the division, so… 2-1 Liverpool” (Oliver)

Arsenal vs Burnley 

“Arsenal lost to Tottenham in the League Cup but that’s okay. They’ll play at home again, against Burnley who hasn’t been doing well these days. No thrashing like last time but a goal or two will settle things down. 2-0 Arsenal” (Alf)

“Arsenal might have lost last week to Southampton, of all teams, but that was away from home and Burnley are really, really bad. Arsenal should do enough to take the three points. 2-0 Arsenal” (Oliver)

Huddersfield vs Southampton

“Southampton gained the momentum to survive by beating Arsenal while Huddersfield didn’t show much improvement to prove their worth to stay in the PL. The winner of this game is obvious. 2-0 Southampton.” (Alf)

“After their win last weekend, Southampton will be on somewhat of a high. Will it be enough to get a win away in Huddersfield? No. But they should take something from the match, even if it’s just a point. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Bournemouth vs Brighton

“Well well well. What do we have here? Brighton’s win can leapfrog Bournemouth of their position but no, the Cherries aren’t giving up and you know what happens next. 2-1 Bournemouth” (Alf)

“What’s happened to Bournemouth? They were going so well and it’s all started to go upside down for them. Brighton have done worse over the course of the season but I’d still expect them to win. 2-0 Brighton” (Oliver)

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace 

“City are still unstoppable despite losing to Chelsea and it’s Crystal Palace who struggled against Leicester, so winning big shouldn’t be a problem for them. 3-0 City” (Alf)

“City have been the best team in the league this season, in my opinion, and they’ve been making their dominance known. Crystal Palace are… well. Crystal Palace, and they’ll get well beaten. 4-0 City” (Oliver)

Newcastle vs Fulham 

“Both Ranieri and Benítez are having a hard time in facing criticisms regarding the team. The home side is doing fine but I don’t believe that they’ll win big. At all. 1-0 Newcastle” (Alf)

“Newcastle haven’t been great this season, we all know that. But they’ve been better than the dismally poor Fulham, whose defence are letting in goals left, right and centre. Fulham will lose, and they won’t lose prettily either. 3-0 Newcastle” (Oliver)

Chelsea vs Leicester City

“Sarri versus Puel with Kanté facing his former teammates. Leicester showed that they can score against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup but I doubt that they’ll do the same again successfully. 2-0 Chelsea” (Alf)

“Chelsea won last week, Leicester City lost, Chelsea are at home, this has the makings of a regular top-six win. But Leicester City haven’t played badly this season, especially in defence, and should make Chelsea work for it. 1-0 Chelsea” (Oliver)

West Ham vs Watford 

“It’s London Derby day again. West Ham are on a winning run and Watford are… meh these days. The home side should win but here’s a pro tip: Fabiański may concede. 3-1 West Ham” (Alf)

“Ninth plays tenth in this match. West Ham and Watford are perhaps the most alike teams in the division so far in terms of record, and this match will be very, very close. So close, in fact, that no one wins. 2-2 draw” (Oliver)

Cardiff City vs Manchester United

“Solskjær’s first game as the caretaker manager is the away fixture against, ironically, his former side. It’s going to be tricky for both sides. Will Solksjær prove his worth after a few years departing his previous employers? We’ll see. 1-0 Manchester United.” (Alf)

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first match in control of Manchester United sees him return to his old stomping-ground, Cardiff. One would think that without Mourinho, United would do better. But I reckon Cardiff might have a good match. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Everton vs Tottenham 

“Please, Everton. Win this one to shut those Tottenham fanboys’ mouth up. I don’t hate them but they celebrate their win against Arsenal as if England won the World Cup. Still, they’ll always be in our shadows and in reality, Pochettino will be the one laughing all the way exiting the stadium. 2-1 Tottenham” (Alf)

” With rumours swirling around North London about a potential exit for Mauricio Pochettino, it’s understable that his players might feel a little unsettled. Everton can use that to their advantage and sneak a win. 1-0 Tottenham” (Oliver)

Believe or not, Gooners, please stop chanting #UnaiOut

Believe or not, Gooners, please stop chanting #UnaiOut

It’s quite painful to become an Arsenal supporter these days. At the time of writing, Arsenal are out of the Carabao Cup and lost their first Premier League game against Southampton, having their unbeaten run ended.

Now, impatient fans may ask Unai Emery, our newest manager, to get sacked after just four months of appointment. However, while we may not lift any trophy in his first year, I truly believe that Arsenal shouldn’t fire the Spaniard.


Reason 1 – Rome wasn’t built one day. 

If you follow Liverpool, you should know that Jürgen Klopp spent a few years to modify his team. He made a lot of sacrifices and at last, he achieved his aim and are looking forward to clinching the title this season.

Now, I’m not saying that Emery is at the same level as his rival coach. However, I’m thankful that he brought quality signings  (like Torreira, Leno and Sokratis) to bolster the squad.

Even though it’s not something to be finished in a transfer window or two, all he needs is time and money. And we, as supporters, should have his back instead of turning on him at this crucial moment.


Reason 2 – He promotes positivity in the team.

I started to dislike comebacks in sports because it showed that they didn’t pay enough attention when they play and started to make mistakes so you’ll need extra effort to win. It’s not a good sign and should be avoided at all costs.

Frankly speaking, Arsenal were quite lucky in their previous unbeaten run, where they should have lost a few games already. Alas, the philosophy of “winning ugly” is in Emery’s DNA. And it’s unlikely to be changed.

The good thing about Emery is that even though they can’t win the game, he’ll ask the players to fight until the end.

Mkhitaryan kept the hopes of Arsenal keeping a draw against the Saints by scoring a brace before Austin crushed it. It wasn’t pretty at all but at least better than giving up and concede a few more. Good improvement nonetheless.


Reason 3 – Some matters are out of his control.

Sadly, real life is no Dream League Soccer or other football games where you can heal injured players in just one click. As Arsenal are currently hit by injuries, Emery must be having a headache in the selection.

They’re yet to be potential title contenders but thankfully, are on the right track of being one of them. Now, they must treat the “wish lists” in the transfer market seriously and wish that there are no new injuries in the future.


Reason 4 – He’s currently the best option Arsenal have.

I’m a realist and here’s my question, “who are you going to replace Emery with if he’s sacked right now?” Laurent Blanc? José Mourinho? Or would you consider re-hiring Arsène Wenger?

I have to admit that football is an unpredictable sport but you’re not firing someone who led the team to a 22-game unbeaten run when you just lost 2 games in a row (and 4 in total). This is plain stupid.

Arsenal are already doing better than Manchester United who still fails to replace Sir Alex Ferguson to date. At least Kroenke didn’t consider David Moyes when he was scanning through the CVs (I wonder what will happen if it’s true).

At the same time, only time will tell if Emery is the right one. Right now, he should stay unless things go really bad.


Reason 5 – Arsenal needs him for the Europa League. Seriously.

Having won the competition three times with Sevilla, we would expect Emery to help the Gunners to lift the trophy in Baku. Yet, as they’re in the knockout stages of the competition, there are too many uncertain factors in it.

For Arsenal, reaching the “Top 4” in the Premier League is no longer something reachable. With the Europa League being Emery’s favourite competition and a target more feasible to aim, it’s a “now or never” opportunity for them.

Frankly speaking, Emery is one of the reasons why Arsenal are seen as favourites of winning the Europa League this season. Yes, there’s no guarantee that the club will win it, but it’ll certainly be harder without the Spaniard.

So why would the club want to release him at the expense of the qualification of the Champions League, which matters them the most? The management isn’t formed by a bunch of stupid people but smart money makers.


Yes, I understand that it’s demoralising to lose consecutive games, especially against Tottenham. But don’t lose hope, Gooners. The season isn’t over yet and everything can happen with a lot of fortune involved.

Here’s a fun fact for all of us: Wenger didn’t win the title in his first year and the rest is history. Hope Emery will prove his doubters wrong soon! At this stage, just be patient and bear in mind that “nothing worth having comes easy”.

What I’ve learnt from supporting Wellington Phoenix in the A-League

What I’ve learnt from supporting Wellington Phoenix in the A-League

As a huge football fan myself, I’m really mad at football. Aside from supporting Arsenal, I happen to follow other clubs like Barcelona and Dortmund. Call me an “addict” if you like. And I don’t care.

Recently, I started to follow Wellington Phoenix, like what Dan, Zach and Oliver does. While I’m still new to the A-League, here are a few things that I’ve observed as a Nix fan outside New Zealand.


“Wellington is wonderful.”

I’m talking about the atmosphere at the Westpac Stadium during matchdays and the “Yellow Fever” fanbase. To be honest, the Nix has one of the most loyal fanbases in the A-League and this deserves a round of applause.

For me, what makes Wellington Phoenix stand out as a football club isn’t just the fact that they’re the “only professional football club in New Zealand”, as their Twitter profile mentioned. It’s their fan culture.

The sense of community of the Nix fans is strong. Even though the club is the creation of 11 years ago, but they’re really supportive of their club. Real supporters who support the team through thick and thin in their hearts.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t live in Wellington, this was why I was envy of the FootyFans crew members living in NZ, who had a chance to watch the “Distance Derby” against Perth Glory live.


The “tradition” of the supporters taking off their kits when they’re winning (like Zac mentioned) amazed me.

You don’t get to see this in Hong Kong, the place where I live. Most teams here do have a supporter’s club (and their official songs), but most of them don’t have their distinctive cultures.

(You know that it’s a problem when a German third-tier side can have a better matchday experience than our so-called “Premier League”. A huge one. Just saying. No one cares, anyway.)

While it can be the by-product of the social environment in Hong Kong, to put it simply, both the clubs and the supporters fail to devote effort and time in creating a supportive environment to attract new fans.

Not even Kitchee, the reigning champions and biggest club in the “Hong Kong Premier League”, who are dubbed as the “Barça of Hong Kong” for their cooperation with FC Barcelona in the past (like 2007).

Most people in Hong Kong are too focused on football overseas (like the English Premier League) and what my experience with Wellington Phoenix reminds me is that the local football culture in Hong Kong isn’t good enough.

We did have some magical moments in the past, but it’s hard to replicate them without the support of the people of the city. How difficult is it? Well, almost impossible as there’s no local brand of football! And you get the idea.


Being a Wellington Phoenix supporter isn’t easy. They’re far from being the best team in the A-League. But honestly, as Jock Stein once said, “football is nothing without fans”.

Wait for me, Wellington and the Westpac Stadium. You’re really wonderful.

#ComeOnYouNix!

Top 5 reasons why we, as football fans, should follow the Bundesliga

Top 5 reasons why we, as football fans, should follow the Bundesliga

What is the first thing which comes to your mind when it comes to Germany? Oktoberfest? Angela Merkel? Or Die Mannschaft‘s disappointing performance in the World Cup this year?

For me, it reminds me of how underrated the Bundesliga is. For football fans who truly see the sport as an art, it’s not something they should miss every week. Why? Let’s check it out!


Reason 1: It’s not just Bayern and Dortmund.

Despite teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia have a higher chance of winning the league (and playing in Europe), there are a number of underrated clubs in the Bundesliga.

For example, Eintracht Frankfurt, who are on fire in the Europa League this season under Adi Hütter. Also, Hertha Berlin, Möchengladbach, Hoffenheim, Leverkusen and Nürenberg are also some of the sides worth following.

Not to mention the 2. Bundesliga, where Hamburger SV, FC Cologne and Union Berlin are competing. You can watch that too if you’re interested and let’s see who’ll be promoted to the first division in May next season!

You may ask, “how about Leipzig?” Well, I personally don’t have hard feelings about them, but I’m not a fan of them either. Just saying. But the truth is, the Bundesliga can be fun to watch even if you’re a fan of the mid-table clubs.


Reason 2: Match highlights almost guaranteed.

It can be frustrating to know that clubs charge people for watching the matchday clips (especially if you’re outside Europe). Worry not! There are, indeed, highlights from Germany in English from YouTube, just like this one.

Sadly, it’s not available everywhere (like New Zealand, as Zac told me before). But when in doubt, YouTube is your friend. Try Fox Sport or the official Bundesliga channel for those moments, especially during the derby days.


Reason 3: Bloopers? They get you covered too! 

This is a scene which happens once in a blue moon in Germany and was caught on camera:

If it didn’t amuse you, then this may:

How about this one, if I didn’t impress you by the first two?

Well, even if the clips didn’t make you smile, you should get what I mean. Bundesliga isn’t just a football league, it reflects a part, if not all, of the culture in Germany. And it, somehow, reminds us that Germans can be humorous too.


Reason 4: You get to know the underrated stars.

Aside from Alfred Finnbogason, the Icelandic striker who’s playing for FC Augsburg in the “featured image”, there are some names that I would like to mention in this section.

Players like Jonathan Tah, Kevin Volland, Sébastien Haller and Luka Jović are the talents to keep an eye on.

Not to mention that a number of Germans stars like Mesut Özil, Leroy Sané, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger played in the Bundesliga too!

You’ll miss out the chance to spot the future celebrities in football if you don’t follow Bundesliga. Simple as that.


Reason 5: It’s more than just a game, after all!

It’s quite interesting to know that some of the words in the football vocabularies in German has its own meanings.

The word for “penalty kick” in German is “Elfmeter”, meaning “a kick from eleven metres” whereas in the word “gegenpressing”, “gegen” means “against” while the word “pressing” is self-explanatory to English speakers.

For me, the Bundesliga isn’t just a thing for entertainment. As a Dortmund lover who’s learning German, football can be a useful tool to aid me in learning the language, especially in both my listening and reading skills.


You may hate Bayern Munich for dominating the league and bullying the small teams. You may despise RB Leipzig for being the “Manchester City in Germany”. You may laugh at VfB Stuttgart for their poor performance.

There can be many reasons to dislike the Bundesliga. Yet, the thing is, being competitive is in the Germans’ DNA. This is what makes Bundesliga an interesting league to watch and makes it more than a game of 90 minutes.

Premier League – Round 17 predictions

Premier League – Round 17 predictions

Oh my god! It’s been a few days since the last matchday and here we are again! I’m doing the predictions this round because Dan’s experiencing yet another technical difficulty. Zac is going to fill in his place.

So here it is, our predictions of the Round 17 of the 2018/19 Premier League season! By the way, Oliver is taking the lead with 94 points and I’m second with 92 with Dan hits rock bottom like Fulham (72).


Manchester City vs Everton 

“Well, it’s an away game for Everton. They just drew with Watford and their next opponent is Manchester City. If Everton wins this, it’ll be, possibly, one of the biggest upsets this season. I really wish they can make history at the Etihad. 3-1 City” (Alf)

Everton has been OK this season under Marco Silva, but Man City are Man City. Easy beans. 2-0 City” (Zac)

“I’d be surprised if City don’t respond to their loss against Chelsea with a win against an Everton side lacking consistency. Everton should have no problem nipping one goal, but it’s a clear City win. 3-1 City” (Oliver)

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City 

“Goddamit, Schlupp! Your goal crushed my hope to leapfrog Oliver in the leaderboard! Last time out, it was 5-0 for the home side. This time, no more thrashing but with Zaha’s suspension, Leicester can dream of winning. 1-0 Leicester” (Alf)

Both these teams are very average, but Leicester are the slightly better team. Expect a snore fest. 1-0 Leicester” (Zac)

“Both sides are coming off losses, and while Leicester City would surely win this match on a neutral ground, Palace’s home advantage should get them to hold out for a draw. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Wolves vs Bournemouth 

“Winner winner Magpie dinner! The Wolves are back again! On the other hand, Bournemouth lost against Liverpool. A draw is feasible but I believe that Wolves will remind themselves that they’ve beaten Chelsea before. 2-1 Wolves” (Alf)

“In-form Wolves come up against a Bournemouth side that just got destroyed by Liverpool 4-0. But both are decent teams and I think will play each other off the park here. 1-1 draw” (Zac)

“Wolves have won their last two matches and have started looking like a much better side. Bournemouth went down hard to Liverpool, which was expected, but not by a 4-0 scoreline. Wolves should have no trouble taking the three points. 2-0 Wolves”

Huddersfield vs Newcastle United

“One of the trickiest fixtures to predict this week. Newcastle will be able to stay up if they win this one. However, at the bottom three, David Wagner will be hoping that he won’t get the sack as the Christmas present from the club. 2-1 Newcastle” (Alf)

Two bad teams, playing bad football, in what will be a bad match. If you want a good match, this ain’t it. 0-0 draw” (Zac)

“Newcastle lost their last match thanks to a 94th-minute winner and they’ll have that fight on them now. Huddersfield are on a three-game losing run, and it’s about to become four. 2-1 Newcastle” (Oliver)

Tottenham vs Burnley 

“Pochettino will remind himself that Burnley is no Barcelona. It’s not going to be easy for Burnley supporters to endure the 90 minutes at Wembley. I’ll expect at least 2 goals above but sometimes, it’s better to be conservative. 1-0 Tottenham” (Alf)

Tottenham have just come off an amazing performance against Barcelona to save their Champions League campaign, whereas Burnley just beat Brighton 1-0. Says it all really. 3-0 Tottenham” (Zac)

“Spurs are winning it and they’re winning it big. Burnley are all the way down in 17th and they’ve really not been good at all this season. That defensive stability they had last season is gone, and it’s showing. 3-0 Tottenham” (Oliver)

Watford vs Cardiff City 

“Digne saved Everton from losing by that free-kick. Cardiff caused an upset for Hasenhüttl and his men. Callum Paterson will remain a threat for Watford but the hosts will show that they have a better defence than Cardiff. 2-0 Watford” (Alf)

Watford have been impressive this season but are coming off a 6 game winless streak. They are facing a much improved Cardiff team who, after beating Southampton last week, could nick a draw here. 1-1 draw” (Zac)

“Cardiff are on a roll, aren’t they? They’ve gone from the relegation zone to fourteenth pretty damn quickly. Watford on the other hand are dropping like a stone. And I still don’t like them. 3-1 Cardiff” (Oliver)

Fulham vs West Ham 

“West Ham are on fire and in the last game against Palace, they scored 3 goals but conceded once. Fulham conceded 4 goals against Manchester United but scored once. This is partly why I don’t expect a clean sheet for either side. 1-1 draw” (Alf)

Although Fulham have looked slightly better under Ranieri they are facing a resurgent West Ham with three wins on the bounce, so will come away disappointed. 2-0 West Ham” (Zac)

“I don’t need to know Fulham’s opponent to know the Cottagers will concede at least two. It’s just how they are. I’d pick West Ham to add another in a fairly convincing win. 3-0 West Jam” (Oliver)

Southampton vs Arsenal

“Against an injury-struck Arsenal side, Hasenhüttl will be hoping that his men will get the points for his first home game. With Sokratis and Mustafi serving the suspension in this game, the unbeaten run may end at St Mary’s. 1-0 Southampton” (Alf)

Since when have Arsenal been good? This season that’s when. They will easily roll over a Southampton team under new management, and good management at that, although I think it will take a while for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s brand of football to take full effect. 3-0 Arsenal” (Zac)

“Southampton aren’t in a good way at the moment. Arsenal haven’t lost in what feels like forever and I’d pick them to win away from home, albeit perhaps less convincingly than one might expect. 2-0 Arsenal” (Oliver)

Brighton vs Chelsea 

“A good season so far for Chelsea fans as their team ended Manchester City’s unbeaten run. Brighton, on the other hand, lost to a Burnley side fighting for the survival in Premier League. It’s going to be a goal fest from the visitors. 2-1 Chelsea” (Alf)

Pretty easy one for Chelsea this one really. The loss of Alvaro Morata will hurt them but they will still pull through quite easily. 2-0 Chelsea” (Zac) 

“Here’s my upset. Chelsea have just beaten City, sure. And Brighton just went down to Burnley. But neither team is exactly… consistent, and I can see the Seagulls taking a shock win. 2-1 Brighton” (Oliver)

Liverpool vs Manchester United

“Manchester United did draw against Arsenal but against a strong Liverpool side at Anfield, they’ll definitely struggle. Not a big problem for Klopp but for Mourinho, who knows the importance of this game. It’s more than a rivalry. 2-1 Liverpool” (Alf)

With defence meeting attack in this one, the main matchup of the weekend, it will be a boring game full of Liverpool throwing attack after attack at the United backline, grabbing a late winner in a dull affair. 1-0 Liverpool” (Zac)

“Would such a hyped game ever be dull? Is there any possible scenario in which we could walk away from this match without being entertained? Yes, definitely. 0-0 draw” (Oliver)

Why fan pages of football clubs on Instagram are overrated

Why fan pages of football clubs on Instagram are overrated

I follow a lot of football clubs as a lover of “the beautiful game”. And as a social media addict, I also happen to use Instagram to take a look at the latest football news and chat with my fellow football fans.

However, if you follow my personal account, you’ll know that I follow no fan pages of my favourite clubs with one exception – a BVB fan page which provides English translations for their posts (I do so to help me to learn German).

Unlike one of my friends, who is a Barcelona fan and follows the fan accounts of all kinds, I’ll never pay attention to the fan pages like what I used to do. Or I’d say, I have a critical view towards them.

The cause of this mindset? The fan pages can be biased and the news they share to us can be wrong. 


I’ll use Barcelona as an example for your easier understanding. We know that Barcelona is one of the most decorated clubs in the world and have a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid. For those who follow football, this shouldn’t be hard to explain, right?

I’m not going to generalise the whole situation on Instagram and not going to lie, a few fan pages did really a good job of being neutral in the middle of the friction. But at the same time, I have observed that a number of them are one-sided. It doesn’t matter if they’re Culés or Madridistas, bragging right is what they’re fighting for.

What some of the Culés do is that they troll Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid (with a “once in a blue moon” chance, Juventus) all day long. Even if Real are playing well, they always happen to get a reason to do it. In return, some Madridistas do the reverse to Messi and Barcelona, calling them “Uefalona” (which isn’t true nowadays).

The lack of respect towards their eternal rivals disgusts me.

I’m not saying that they should love their enemies as they love their own club, like what the Bible said (with reference to Matthew 5:44). I also respect their right to speak out on Instagram. However, when I see this kind of stuff, I tend to ignore them or laugh them off. Occasionally, I’ll leave them a “like”. Then I continue to read the other posts.

As football fans, we’re entitled to our own beliefs. In this case, you don’t have to be impartial or neutral. Yet, it’ll be better if we read more from different kinds of sources to know about the whole picture of the sport.

To be fair, somehow Mourinho is right about the “respect” issue in football. In reality, it is hard for supporters of one club not to be subjective towards their eternal rivals. Despite that, football should forever be a playing field with elements of fair-play, whether it’s on or off the pitch.

Only if we know it the footballing community can be a better place. Just like what we wrote on Instagram:


Speaking of which, as you’ve noticed, we do have our own Instagram account. So why don’t you drop by, take a look at our contents and give them a “like”? A “follow” will be much appreciated!

I swear that this isn’t a post to advertise our presence on Instagram, but oh well…

Why I started to watch the women’s team of Arsenal play

Why I started to watch the women’s team of Arsenal play

We all love watching men’s football and without a doubt, most of our posts are about 20 men running and fighting for the possession of the ball.

However, in recent days, women’s football started to grab my attention and eventually, I became a fan of the women’s team of Arsenal, just like what I did to their men’s counterpart.

Of course, I’m not supporting Arsenal just because of Vivianne Miedema (and her smile), my favourite player of the squad. The reasons why I’m a fan of the female Gunners? Here you go!

  1. The connection with the men’s team. I love Arsenal as a club. Despite women’s football doesn’t get much attention compared to the men’s counterpart, the Gooners family is quite supportive of their young ladies.
  2. The history. As the most-decorated club in English women’s football, they also won the Women’s Champions League in 2006/07 as the first English club to do so. Ironically, the men’s team failed to do the same – sad!
  3. The quality of the squad. Of course, Arsenal Women aren’t just about Vivianne Miedema, but also other good international players like Jordan Nobbs, Daniëlle van de Donk, Sari van Veenendaal and Lia Wältl.
  4. The fighting mentality. The female Gunners aren’t just models off the pitch. They’re warriors when they don their jerseys, doesn’t matter which colour it is. Just like the boys these days who’ll do everything for the points.
  5. The style of the football they deliver. Joe Montemurro does a great job in managing the team, who reminded me of Emery of the men’s team – ruthless in making changes and a proven motivator in the dressing room.

If you really want to watch regular women’s football, the FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL) can be a good start.

Yet, Arsenal aren’t the only side with a decent team. Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are also eager to become the table toppers despite the fact that luck wasn’t on their side. And this is what makes the FAWSL interesting.

In fact, women’s football is underrated these days. A number of international clubs like Bayern Munich, Juventus and most recently, Manchester United have their own women’s team, nonetheless, they’re in the shadows of their men’s counterpart.

Football should be a sport for everyone, regardless of their gender. Let’s promote women’s football and have them gain the recognition it deserves! Come on you Gunners!