Touchline Notebook

MUGA Special: Harry Maguire: Man Utd’s Emperor in New Clothes – By Elijah

One great thing about stories, fables and tales is that they are able to explain complicated phenomena quite easily. Such is the case of the pluralistic ignorance and Danish folklore, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The story goes that two weavers come to the emperor with new linen possessing a special power. It is invisible to …

Touchy Gooners Special: “pLaY aUbA dOwN tHe MiDdLe” – By Dan Koogs

I think most people will agree that, on the whole, Arsenal fans were filled with a quiet, but lingering, optimism stepping into this season. Rightly or wrongly, this was mainly due to the more enjoyable way that the, generally miserable, 19/20 season came to an end. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal team were able to beat both …

“Stick to Football” – Politics & humanitarianism in the modern game

In a world that’s as polarised politically and socially as it’s ever been, it can be very difficult for anybody to air an opinion without being shouted down. Say something in support of A and people will criticise you for not supporting B, while judging you for not even mentioning C.  Add social media and …

N’golo Kante: Why He Still Has Some Years At The Top – by Semms

N’golo Kante has without a shadow of a doubt established himself as one of the world’s best ball-winning central midfield players since coming to England when Claudio Ranieri signed him for would-be champions Leicester City in 2015. Upon arrival, little was known about the Frenchman and very few knew his name, however, that would quickly …

East Side Goon Special: Leeds 0-0 Arsenal – “Robust FC”

When I first saw the line up today, I thought ite this guy has finally benched Laca for his treacherous ways”. Willock also deserved his spot coz he has defo been balling onna low recently. Still upset “Villan Willian” nicked another start yet again, but Auba going striker and Pepe starting was a bigger question …

Contrasting Fortunes: Ole vs Super Frank

At the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season, Manchester United and Chelsea were in similar positions. The two clubs, who for so often have demanded success at all costs, now appeared to have been set much lower expectations of the coming season. Both were going into the new campaign with an ex-player at the …

The Curious Case of British Asian Footballers

At the time of last Census, British Asians (Britons who trace their origins to South Asia: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, The Maldives & Sri Lanka) made up nearly 8% of the UK’s population. Of all British professional footballers in the UK, just 0.3% are Asian. Why and how is such a large proportion of the population …

Has Paul Pogba flopped at Manchester United?

Paul Pogba has publicised his desire for a “new challenge” away from Old Trafford. The Frenchman stated, “it could be a good time” to move onto greener pastures whilst acknowledging “everything that happened this season, being [his] best season”. This follows a precarious three years at Manchester United, where a large section of supporters have …

Solskjær’s Slump: A deeper look into Manchester United’s recent decline

With just two unconvincing wins in their last eight games and a Manchester derby to come, many would argue that Ole has lost control of the wheel. It seemed hopeful at first, with Solskjær’s first league loss coming against Arsenal, a whole 83 days after his appointment. But after a string of languid performances, there …

An insight into practical solutions to racism in football

Just over 30 years separates the infamous John Barnes’ banana back-heel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang confronted by the same repulsive animus from rival fans last December. While the perpetrator at the Emirates was banned and fined, minimal action has been taken by football’s governing bodies to vigorously stamp racism out of football. Lip service has been …