Monaco – Jardim to Henry

Only a few months ago Leonardo Jardim was one of the most sought after coaches in Europe, now he has been replaced in his Monaco post by a managerial rookie in the shape of Thierry Henry.

Monaco were guilty of projecting this as a 2nd coming of a club legend but it is undoubtedly a gamble with the team currently sitting in the bottom three of Ligue 1, having amassed a measly 10 points from 14 games.

The French legend is finding life in the dugout a struggle, with just one domestic victory and having watched his side blown away in the Champions League group stages.

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But to us it’s hardly fair to sack a man when you’ve effectively tied his hands and cashed in on the success without replacing what he has had taken from him.

Since Jardim’s appointment in 2014 he guided a resurgent Monaco to successive 3rd place finishes, before guiding the club to its 1st national championship in nearly two decades at the end of the 16/17 season. Since that title win in May of 2017 Jardim has seen the high profile sales of:-

  • Bernardo Silva & Benjamin Mendy – Man City
  • Tiemoue Bakayoko – Chelsea
  • Fabinho – Liverpool
  • Joao Moutinho – Wolves
  • Thomas Lemar – Atletico Madrid
  • Kylian Mbappe – PSG

How does a coach replace this £400m hole in a title winning squad? (Nacer Chadli wasn’t the answer).

Perhaps the dismissed 44yr old Venezuelan had merely lost his way and was scrambling to replace the outgoing quality.

27 players have walked through the entrance door since that title win, squads need strengthening immediately after any triumph but nearly 30 new players coupled with those departures?!

They are no stranger to highs and lows though it has to be said – Champions League Semi Finalists the season before last and now a certain relegation battle. Also a Champions League Final appearance in 2004 followed by subsequent relegation to Ligue 2 just seven years later.

Back to the present day and ahead of the game against fellow strugglers Caen, French Legend Henry has been quoted saying that he “assumes all responsibilities” for the current run of form. However, he has maybe stumbled upon a turning point thanks to Radamel Falcao’s winner at the weekend provided a welcome relief from draws or defeats.

The French League is undergoing a certain resurgence with strong sides coming from Marseille, Lyon, Lille and of course the powerhouse that is PSG.

Monaco will not want to be left behind and the managerial looks to be no more than a misjudged publicity stunt.

Whereas Henry will scuttle back to the Sky studios if this is not a success, could we see Jardim’s next destination be the PL? Even one day being scrutinised by his severely under qualified replacement!

Jardim and Henry image sourced from; www.marca.com

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Euro 2016 – Tournament Review

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Congratulations to Portugal, European Champions 2016!

An extra time winner from former Swansea man Eder was enough to silence the home nation and had Cristiano hobbling up the stairs to get his hands on that trophy.

The final itself summed up the majority of the tournament. Slow, tactical and at times left you struggling to stay awake.

In a game desperately in need of an opening goal, the 2 best chances did fall to the hosts. Griezmann should have buried a header from a superb Coman cross and with virtually the last kick in 90mins Gignac beat Rui Patricio but saw his effort clip the post and roll away to safety.

Portugal were, as expected extremely organised and even with the body blow of losing their talisman early in the game had enough spirit to win their 1st major international trophy.

Deserved or not Ronaldo seemed overjoyed to finally have led his nation to silverware. Might just have had a little something to do with Messi’s most recent final loss with Argentina and subsequent retirement we suspect!

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Now that the final is over and done with let’s have a look back and give some of our winners in various categories…

Player of the Tournament – Antoine Griezmann

The French forward was a clear winner in this category for us. His 6 goals making him the top scorer and he drove his nation into the final single headedly on occasion. He looked tired against Portugal but did not deserve a runners up medal for his efforts over the last month.

Goal of the Tournament – Xherdan Shaqiri

Some cracking contenders for best strike but Shaqiri’s overhead kick just shaded it for us. It took Switzerland into extra time and was a thing of pure beauty. Honourable mentions go to Wales’ Robson-Kanu for his turn and finish against Belgium whilst Croatia’s Modric’s dipping volley against Turkey was also special.

Match of the Tournament – Hungary 3-3 Portugal

Sadly there wasn’t a lot to choose from here but there were a couple of standout games, none more so than this 6 goal thriller. The final game in group F became so very key looking back on it now. Portugal had sneaked through despite trailing on 3 occasions and as news filtered through that Iceland had scored a late winner in the other game Portugal knew they were in the “easier” half of the draw.

Wales 3-1 Belgium and Italy 2-0 Spain also provided good entertainment.

Team of the Tournament – 4-4-2 Formation

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Additional moments of Euro 2016

  • Iceland’s performance and Viking chant (coming to a ground near you this season)
  • Zlatan’s international retirement
  • All 4 qualified home nations progressing through the group stages
  • Will Grigg being continuously on fire despite not kicking a ball
  • The terrible penalties witnessed in Germany v Italy
  • The moths invading Stade De France
  • Ronaldo’s tears and subsequent coaching performance

Euro 2016 provided some great moments and fairytale stories but was largely a poor tournament.

52 games produced just 108 goals, on 31 occasions both teams did not score in the same match and overall the average was just 1 goal every 44mins. Is this the best European national sides have to offer?

We believe that UEFA need to reduce the teams as the extension has created a different mentality this time around.

Portugal have won EURO 2016 winning 1 game in the regulation 90mins whilst failing to defeat Austria, Iceland and Hungary in the group stage. This should not allow any side to progress through in the way that the Portuguese have.

Roll on Russia 2018 where the added competition from other parts of the globe will create added spark and hopefully a more exciting tournament. Let’s just hope that the fan behaviour in the streets of France was not a test run for next time.

Euro 2016 image sourced from; www.scmp.com
Portugal image sourced from; www.thesun.co.uk
Team image sourced from; Lineup11 App


We’re delighted to announce that we have been chosen to be the dedicated Euro blogger for the cool clothing brand Xile Clothing. Based in Scotland, this edgy brand has 3 stores in (Edinburgh, Glasgow & Livingston) plus you can shop online at www.xileclothing.com.

Check out their blog (https://www.xileclothing.com/blog/)for all their latest news and trends and it would be awesome if you could support our blog posts on there too! ;-P 

Euro 2016 – Only 2 Remain

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We have our finalists.

Portugal will face France for the title of European Champions, The contest will take place on Sunday in the magnificent Stade de France located just north of Paris.

The Semi Finals were always likely to be filled with tension and fear of defeat so close to the ultimate prize. All four nations however should have glided onto the pitch with belief in their ability, yet early on it appeared they were all riddled with self doubt.

Ultimately there were deserved winners in both ties.

In Lyon on Wednesday history was made…

Wales were in their 1st ever Semi Final of a major competition and faced a Portugal side looking to extend an impressive recent record in this competition (2 Semi’s and 1 Final in the last 4 Euro’s)

A dream was dashed with a bullet Cristiano header and a prod of Nani’s boot. Both goals coming in the space of just 3 minutes in the 2nd half gave the Welsh an uphill task they were never likely to complete. Ronaldo’s goal moved him joint-top of the competitions’ all time scorer chart, a position shared with the now disgraced Michel Platini who had also found the back of the net on 9 occasions.

Coleman’s men can travel back to Cardiff with their heads held high at their achievements as attentions quickly turn to towards Russia 2018. You get the feeling that Portugal’s tournament experience gave them that extra edge when it mattered on the night.

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So who would Portugal face in Sunday’s showpiece?

A matchup which divided opinions saw the host nation run out comfortable and deserved winners. The World Champions headed home after a night where they struggled to find a killer touch, a familiar story since the start of the campaign if truth be told. I wouldn’t imagine anyone predicted Bayern’s Muller not scoring for a country always likely to contest the latter stages.

It was another night for Antoine Griezmann. The little magician who was rejected by many clubs in France as a teen due to his height is now the icon of the nation, 6 goals so far for the Atletico Madrid man.

A disputable penalty decision initially caused confusion before the referee made his decision clear at the end of a 1st half dominated by German possession. Schweinsteiger was a yard off when Evra connected with a header but it appeared more ball to hand than deliberate handball. That made no difference to Griezmann who calmly slotted the ball past Neuer for a lead at the break. Although Germany pressed for an equaliser Les Bleus always appeared comfortable and when their No 7 produced a neat, yet difficult finish for 2-0 it was game over. Substitutions were made both offensive and defensive in attempts to change the game but it was too far beyond the reach of Low’s men.

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And so onto the Final of Euro 2016…

France will be overwhelming favourites, they have scored goals and unlike Portugal have actually won numerous games of football!

They will be at home, have the majority of support within the stadium and they have a team full of players on top form.

Portugal will once again be heavy reliant on the performances of Ronaldo and Nani who are capable of turning a game with a moment of magic but we just can’t see past the hosts.

Euro 2016 has provided us with so many stories and we believe it would be a fitting end to see France skipper Hugo Lloris lift the trophy at the weekend.

Euro 2016 image sourced from; www.scmp.com
Ronaldo image sourced from; www.indianexpress.com
Griezmann image sourced from; www.rmcsport.bfmtv.com


We’re delighted to announce that we have been chosen to be the dedicated Euro blogger for the cool clothing brand Xile Clothing. Based in Scotland, this edgy brand has 3 stores in (Edinburgh, Glasgow & Livingston) plus you can shop online at www.xileclothing.com.

Check out their blog (https://www.xileclothing.com/blog/)for all their latest news and trends and it would be awesome if you could support our blog posts on there too! ;-P 

Euro 2016 – Quarter Final Review

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We are down to the last 4!

Portugal, Wales, Germany and France will contest the Semi Finals of Euro 2016. Some have progressed impressively and others not so much, let’s have a quick recap of the quarter finals:-

Portugal were the 1st team through with a penalty shootout defeat of Poland. An early goal gave hope of an open game but as soon as Sanches equalised that hope was diminished. What felt a long time later Ricardo Quaresma fired home the decisive kick. Somehow Portugal are in the Semi’s having not won a game in 90mins…Madness!

Wales, Wales, Wales what can you say? Their 1st tournament appearance since 1958 and a final appearance is within touching distance. They had the upper hand over Belgium in the qualifying group to get here and they carried that on in Lille with a come from behind 3-1 win. A long range drive from Nainggolan was cancelled out by Ashley Williams. Then a magnificent Cruyff turn from free agent Robson-Kanu had the Belgian defence baffled, he slotted home and a Vokes header sealed a famous win. Wales squad is littered with Englishmen and this will no doubt raised questions over selection policy at the English FA.

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Moving to Saturday in Bordeaux and it was fair to say we anticipated a memorable encounter. We got one in the shape of some of the worst attempts from 12 yards you are ever likely to see, Zaza and Pelle hang your heads in shame. Before 6 misses from the 1st 10 kicks, we were then treated to a tactical 1-1. You got the feeling that these two superpowers had a mutual respect for each other and were happy for the tie to be decided in the way it was. Italy have gone home with huge credit from the neutrals and Chelsea fans can look forward to what Conte can bring them next season.

Finally it fell to the host nation to end a dream. France disposed of the heroic Icelanders with a 5-2 victory, goals from all of the French’s key men will also bode well for them. Iceland had shipped 4 before half time but refused to go home without leaving every bit of fight on that pitch. They battled to the end and we all applauded as the scored a 2nd late on to make the score line slightly more respectable.

Onward to the Semi Finals this week where we will see Ronaldo v Bale and World Champions v home favourites.

One final game in the Stade De France awaits for two of these nations on Sunday 10th July.

Who would bet against an Andy King double? The Leicester man has already picked up the Premier League title this season, can he now lift the Henri Delaunay trophy?

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Euro 2016 image sourced from; www.scmp.com
Wales image sourced from; www.mirror.co.uk
Semi Final image sourced from; www.totalsportek.com


We’re delighted to announce that we have been chosen to be the dedicated Euro blogger for the cool clothing brand Xile Clothing. Based in Scotland, this edgy brand has 3 stores in (Edinburgh, Glasgow & Livingston) plus you can shop online at www.xileclothing.com.

Check out their blog (https://www.xileclothing.com/blog/)for all their latest news and trends and it would be awesome if you could support our blog posts on there too! ;-P 

Euro 2016 – The Last 16 Round Up

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The knockout rounds have begun, no more teams tactically playing for 3rd place leaving themselves with a hope of staying in France for a few days longer.

It’s best we start off by saying…Thank goodness for Sunday and Monday. The 6 teams that played on Saturday provided us with a poor spectacle for the latter stages of a major international tournament.

Poland v Switzerland opened proceedings in St Etienne and produced 2 talking points. An outrageous overhead kick from Stoke’s Shaqiri and a woeful penalty in the shootout from Arsenal’s new £30Mil man Granit Xhaka. Poland progress and that’s without the prolific Lewandowski finding the net so far.

Moving to the highly anticipated “Battle of Britain.” It very much disappointed as Wales and Northern Ireland produced a cagey affair. It was settled after a Bale cross delivered into the dreaded corridor of uncertainty and was touched past his own keeper by the unfortunate McAuley, the challenge had to be made with Robson-Kanu awaiting a tap in.

To finish the day, a terrible match produced an extra time win for Ronaldo and co. Quaresma’s nod over the line was the game’s 1st on target attempt in the 117th minute and we were all relieved to be able to turn off in time for the Joshua fight! Portugal are in the quarters having yet to win a game in normal time.

Sunday needed to raise our spirits and it did just that…

As expected a spirited ROI gave hosts France a scare with a 2nd minute penalty from man-of-the-moment Robbie Brady. Then Antione Griezmann decide to silence his critics by turning up to the party, a fantastic 2nd half display saw him terrorise the Irish backline and score twice completing a 2-1 comeback win.

Fearfully for the remaining sides, Germany and Belgium destroyed their opposition to comfortably progress. 3-0 and 4-0 wins respectively and it could have been a lot more for either, do not be surprised if these two contest the final on 10th July.

Monday saw us reach the conclusion of the round and it produced the biggest shock the competition has EVER seen, Iceland 2-1 England!

An early Rooney penalty should have settled any lingering nerves for the favourites but within seconds it was 1-1 and minutes the turnaround was complete. Joe Hart should have kept out a Sigthorsson effort but just like Bale’s free kick, his left hand wasn’t strong enough.

Out-battled and out-thought seems a fair way to sum up a woeful night for the English with Hodgson resigning immediately after the defeat.

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In the earlier game Italy produced and stellar “Italian” performance, occasionally threatening going forward and unbeatable at the back. Just like the Belgium game it was wrapped up with a late Pelle volley for a 2-0 scoreline. A mouth-watering Quarter Final with Germany awaits for what was supposed to be their worst side for 50 years.

The Quarter Finals start on Thursday and with every team just 2 games from the showpiece final it should be an exciting watch.

Some of the usual suspects will know what to expect in terms of pressure however the appearance of Iceland, Poland and Wales provides a possible twist for sides that in effect have nothing to lose.

Have we seen the last twist of Euro 2016? Possibly not.

Euro 2016 image sourced from; www.scmp.com
Iceland image sourced from; www.indianexpress.com


We’re delighted to announce that we have been chosen to be the dedicated Euro blogger for the cool clothing brand Xile Clothing. Based in Scotland, this edgy brand has 3 stores in (Edinburgh, Glasgow & Livingston) plus you can shop online at www.xileclothing.com.

Check out their blog (https://www.xileclothing.com/blog/)for all their latest news and trends and it would be awesome if you could support our blog posts on there too! ;-P 

Euro 2016 – Who’s All Going?

This week has seen both highs and lows for France.

The race to qualify for Europe’s premier competition next summer has been rightly overshadowed by the terrible acts of terrorism that we have witnessed.

Back to the beautiful game however as we now have a completed line up for Euro 2016.

Euro-16-Teams-Confirmed

As usual the pot seedings are questionable. I’m not sure how qualifying via the play offs means you are 2 pots higher than teams who topped the group but we are all aware that Uefa & Fifa aren’t really sure what they are doing!

But what a tournament it is shaping up to be with so many questions, new nations involved, great support for sure and perhaps most importantly the promise of a great summer of footy.

Let’s take a look at a few who may surprise or disappoint in the competition:-

Winners – Germany

Who can see past the current World Champions? They topped one of the most difficult qualifying groups it also has to be said.

With the talent at their disposal and confidence gained from Brazil 14 the “always there or thereabout” Germans will be a difficult obstacle to overcome.

Dark Horses – England

A controversial choice perhaps but I seriously believe the serial disappointers that are England have serious credentials this time around.

A 100% qualifying round and a new youthful line up could provide them with a fearless element that may surprise.

The usual problem of facing a decent side at some point will occur but the Three Lions may just have enough in the locker this time.

1st Plane Home – Republic Of Ireland

Yep, sorry it’s a home nation.

The Irish have done well to qualify but the Bosnians didn’t provide as stern a test as we had all expected.

With a pot seeding of 4 a tough group stage is inevitable and they just don’t have enough quality to compete across the channel.

Surprise Package – Austria

Came through a group containing Russia and Zlatan’s Sweden unbeaten, with 9 wins from 10, scoring 22 and conceding just 5.

Only their 2nd time at the championships and with stars such as David Alaba they can impress a few who may not be aware of them.

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This is pre the official draw which will take place on December 12th it must be said.

All in all some big nations, big players and big ego’s will be landing in early July and are sure to impress.

Difficult not to start getting a little excited unless you are Scottish or Dutch!

Let’s all hope everything goes without a hitch in a country which has clearly been targeted and roll on Euro 2016.

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Euro 2016 Pot Image Sourced From; http://www.redcafe.net
Austria Team Image Sourced From; http://sportinglife.aol.co.uk
Euro 2016 Trophy Image Sourced From; http://footballtripper.com