Mayweather vs McGregor

Just two days to go until the fight everyone is talking about. The fight that looks to smash every pay-per-view record and make Mayweather and McGregor a minimum of nine figures each. The biggest star in boxing will face the biggest star from UFC in front of a packed T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas.

Following months of speculation as to whether this fight would ever take place, the build-up has had everything from hostility to outright madness. On one side we have the greatest boxer of our generation, with wins against Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez and Oscar DeLahoya amongst many other future hall of fame names that comprise a perfect 49-0 boxing record. On the other we have an Irish fighter who has never taken part in a professional boxing fight.

A money-spinning abomination certainly but also a fight that many won’t be able to resist watching. In some ways it’s a shame as the fight has taken the spotlight away from great upcoming fights coming up such as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez for Sor Rungvisai’s WBC junior bantamweight title. And who can forget the fight of the year coming up on September 16th between Gennady Golovkin and  Canelo Alvarez for Golovkin’s WBA/IBF/WBC middleweight title.

Even a fight on the Mayweather McGregor undercard between Nathan Cleverly and  vs. Badou Jack should prove more competitive.  But money talks, as the betting markets show….

McGregor opened at about 10/1 and is now as low as 3/1, which is absolutely bewildering. The incomprehensible nature of this betting pattern can only be explained by people backing the UFC star. But isn’t that the key point? He is a UFC star. Not the greatest boxer of our generation.

The other explanation is that people are reading heavily into the recent change of gloves. Originally the combatants were set to use the traditional 10oz boxing gloves but against safety advice, they have been reduced to 8oz. The Irishman has declared that this is ‘only half a fight’ with limited rules and he has mocked the boxer for being totalitarian in having everything his way but ‘Money’ has appeased the UFC star in this aspect.

Conversely, as someone who has followed Mayweather’s career closely for around 15 years, it is fair to say “Money” (or formerly “Pretty boy in his Super-featherweight days) is always in control. He has a consummate and unparalleled belief in his own ability such that a 2oz gloves difference shouldn’t deter this.

McGregor is a skilled Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, who to be fair excels at stand up punching more than any of the other disciplines that make up MMA. However, he isn’t even the best “boxer” within the UFC brand of MMA. Masvidal, for one, has a superior left hook and jab. Garbrandt is probably the best pure boxer in MMA right now.

Excellent footwork, unreal head movement and really tight hooks. The square-on MMA stance is very different from the boxing one as you have to defend kicks and take downs, not just punches, and your weight is proportioned slightly forward so that you can spring back more easily. There is also a lot less standing up close up “In-fighting” as MMA fighters rarely have to adjust their weight on the inside. So you have all of that adjustment on one side and on the other side you have Floyd Mayweather- a man without a weakness in the squared circle.

A victory for Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) would eclipse the revered record of Rocky Marciano, who retired as heavyweight champion in 1955 with a record of 49-0 and 43 knockouts. Critics of the fight, focused exclusively on McGregor’s lack of professional boxing experience, have labelled it a circus and claimed it should be considered an exhibition match rather than a sanctioned fight.

In fact, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has been widely panned for approving the match up between the greatest boxer of his era and one making his boxing debut with many labelling it as an exhibition” match. Amongst them is Rocky Marciano Jr., the son of the late legendary heavyweight, quoted as saying “No matter what happens, I don’t think it should go towards Mayweather’s professional career [record], win or lose.”

I can’t recall giving a fighter such little chance in a fight of this magnitude but the fact remains there is ALWAYS a chance. My hero Muhammad Ali beat Sonny Liston in 1964 when Heavyweight champion Liston had a record of 35-1 and was a brutal physical presence in the ring, registering 15 knockouts in his previous 17 fights. Ali (Clay at the time) was a 22-year-old and first-time challenger; a heavy 7-1 underdog going into the fight. The fight ended with Liston bowing out on his chair between the sixth and seventh rounds.

A bigger upset and perhaps the biggest ever in a boxing ring occurred when James “Buster” Douglas beat Mike Tyson in 1990. Tyson was in imperious form, undefeated in 37 fights and holder of the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the most feared man on the planet. Bar none. Tyson got knocked out. Would a victory for McGregor surpass the Tyson upset? The fact that this is McGregor’s professional boxing debut means is has to.

After a couple of months of pretending the fight didn’t exist I’ve given up and no doubt, as so often before, I’ll be staying up bleary eyed until the early hours of Sunday morning to watch live. That part of it is a conclusion I’ve already fully accepted. The result is also already a foregone conclusion.

I think.



We won, get over it! – Manchester United

Don’t be fooled by our fluke performance against West Ham! Is what no United fan should be thinking right now, and here’s why.

4 goals, a clean sheet, and a more than convincing win. Are we back to greatness or was it merely a fluke against a poor opposition? It is maybe not so simple. The reality of it is, on occasions last season we would demonstrate a similar dominance, and would either scrape a 1-0 win or end up conceding late and dropping 2 points. If I recall in the league last season we managed to put 3 or more past a team without conceding on only two occasions, and drew 15 times. So what’s changed?

Well firstly we have a rapidly fast developing centre back in Bailly, who’s presence at the back is influencing the stability of our defence more and more as each game goes on. Secondly, we took our chances when they came. Lukaku, who has undoubtedly silenced a number of critics with his clinical performance today, does so much more than just score. He instills fear into defences. Possessing his pace and power is enough to scare any back four, but knowing he can lay off to a number of attacking midfielders equally capable of finding the net (to which we have many), is terrifying.

A key factor, as I keep banging on about, is balance. Could it be that our new signing Matic is the final piece to the puzzle – I’m convinced. Each and every time we lost the ball in the final third, he was there to pick up the pieces and re-distribute effectively. I hadn’t noticed in the past just how comfortable he is on the ball under pressure, and his composed performance rightly earns him the man of the match. His contribution and ‘replacement’ of Carrick has been talked down due his lack of passing ability – well when your job is to filter the ball back to a creative player, it surely nullifies this apparent weakness. I’ll go one step further in Matic’s impact. It plays a huge part in another game changing aspect – confidence. His positioning alone allows our creative players to express in the final third. They are offered the chance to play with freedom in knowing that they’re covered. Notably this cover allows the likes of Pogba to move into the channels and influence the game like we know he can.

A criticism I have was to deploy Fellaini in a deep role during the closing stages of the game. In this instance I want to see Carrick coming on and forming a wall in front of the defence with Matic rather than the Belgium international. Fellaini ought to be brought on as a nuisance in the final third when we’re trailing, rather than being relied upon to break up the play and create.

An additional positive – Martial. As a fan I want to see this kid succeed as I strongly believe in his ability to change games if given the chance. Despite only being offered 10 minutes to fight for his place, he remarkably managed to both score and assist – well done son, I hope you’re rewarded next game with a start.

I’ll end on a low, so not to give the impression of over confidence seeing as we’re only one game in – Lingard came on.

We played creatively, we scored goals and we defended well. I ask that we keep up the momentum and take our growing confidence into our next game away to Swansea.

Let’s stay top of the league!

Common United!

Andy Andreas

Manchester United for the title! Behave!

We welcome back the new season with open arms. We’ve all missed it dearly, and we can now begin our overly optimistic outlook on our teams chances to pose a title challenge. Manchester United’s transfer activity has been positive and importantly, we hope, effective. We were desperate for a strong CB, an influential CDM and a prolific CF – and we’ve hit every target (all the signings Arsenal needed if you don’t mind me adding). Having watched my team get ripped apart by an elite Real Madrid side in the UEFA Super Cup, the heights required to compete in Europe have become abundantly obvious and out of reach. On that note however, I certainly believe Mourinho is leading us in the right direction.

We’re capable of competing for the Premier League this year – fact. I may not be as confident as Tim who boldly tipped us as table topping champions in this weeks Sofa Sports Podcast. Unfortunately having this level of faith is an emotional rollercoaster I’d be scared to open myself up to at this early stage. I am beginning to believe mind you – but I need more convincing.

My three pillar reference from an article I wrote last year raised the need for the 3 important structures I chose to be required of a team to compete. 1) an effective spine 2) a hero to stand up and count 3) confidence to run high. With the arrival of Matic and Lukaku, I would edge closer to ticking this box, providing Lukaku can bang in 20+ goals. Our hero is yet to be identified, and I have the highest hopes for Pogba to step up to this role. Optimistically, in theory, with our current squad and manager, the confidence ought to flow freely. Only time will tell and I am eagerly looking forward to our opener this Sunday against West Ham. Let’s give our fans something to shout about at Old Trafford early on this season.

My predictions, often wrong, tip Manchester City’s Jesus to be the leagues best performer this campaign. I rate their young Leroy Sane highly too. I can see Chelsea’s Fabregas to be given a bigger role in the starting line up with the sale of Matic (which still baffles me). Speaking of Matic, I sense he will be the signing of the season in terms of value for money. His balance and calmness on and off the ball fills the void left by Carrick, who unfortunately cannot sustain a week in week out contribution, given his age. The role of protecting the defence, breaking up the opposing attacks and keeping our attacks alive will prove to be massively relied upon. It will undoubtably contribute to our title challenge. It’s a huge season for Luke Shaw, Martial and Mkhitaryan, and an exciting one for Rashford.

The supporter in me wants to give United the title – but the reality check suggests we will need another year to gel and develop before posing a true threat. This along with the acquisition of a wide creative right midfield player with some flair, which I feel we lack.

Common United!

Andy Andreas

Premier League Review: Opening Weekend

The panel discuss the opening weekend of the English Premier League. Chelsea stumbled at the Bridge, Liverpool were held to a draw at Watford, Arsenal left it late. Spurs, City and United cruised to victories. As well as all the action, we discuss the ongoing transfer stories surrounding the Premier League.

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Scouse Talk

It could be argued that Liverpool have the best front four in the league with Mane, Coutinho, Salah and Firmino. However, the thing missing for me is a 20+ goal a season striker. Every title winning team has at least one in their side. Leicester had Jamie Vardy, Chelsea had Diego Costa and Klopp’s Bundesliga winning team had Robert Lewandowski.

Whilst talk of the title may be premature when writing about Liverpool, the point still stands. To challenge, you need a prolific striker. The 4 players mentioned are top quality and will no doubt score goals for Liverpool next season. The issue is, I can’t see any of them reaching that magic number of 20 league goals.

For me, the answer is sitting on the bench in the form of Daniel Sturridge. When he plays, he scores. It’s as simple as that. The Achilles heel with Sturridge (pun intended) is that due to his disastrous injury record, he simply doesn’t get enough game time.

Click on the image to listen to our recent interview with Mark Halsey

In the last three seasons Sturridge has made just 25 appearances (scoring an impressive 15). The last time Sturridge had an extended run in the team was during the infamous 2013/2014 season when he scored 21 goals in 26 league games and before you say something like “that was only because of Suarez”. Let me remind you that Suarez was serving a 10 game ban for tucking into Branislav Ivanovic towards the end of the previous campaign and so, missed the first 5 games of the season.

5 games in which Liverpool won the first three 1-0 with Sturridge scoring the winner in each game (he also scored in 2-2 draw away at Swansea).

It remains to be seen whether he’ll be fit enough to feature predominantly next season and more worryingly for Sturridge, whether he’ll be as effective coming off the bench as its crystal clear Klopp prefers the extra off the ball, tracking back work that Firmino brings to the table. The front four and their interchangeability its key to the way Klopp wants to play and Firmino is seen as the first line of defence in pressing the opposition. Something Sturridge doesn’t do.


Spending lots of money doesn’t guarantee success. You can ask any Spurs or Liverpool fan about that, after their clubs famously squandered the large transfer sums they received for Bale and Suarez respectively.

However, it is hard not to be concerned when other clubs are improving their squads whilst your side just aren’t doing the same. Whilst I am delighted with the signing of Salah (I wanted him to join us whilst he was at Basel), the jury is still out on Andy Robertson and Solanke. I am the same as any other football fan. I’m greedy and I want the best to play for my club.

At the time this was written, Liverpool had made only 3 signings with 2 of those seemingly not bought to go straight into the starting 11. Worryingly, clubs that finished above and below Liverpool have all bought players that have improved their starting 11.

Lukaku will score the goals against the “smaller” teams, the goals that were missing for Manchester United so often last season and it doesn’t take a football expert to know that Matic is a vast improvement on Fellaini.

Click on the image to listen to our recent interview with Marlon Harewood

Manchester City have improved both their full back and goalkeeper situations and Arsenal have bought one of the best goal scorers in Europe in Alexandre Lacazette. These are all positions that have been identified by the clubs as areas that needed improving, and they’ve done just that.

Liverpool’s weakness has been the same for a number of years now and that is their defence. They haven’t had a solid defence since the Rafa days.

Every manager that has preceded the Spaniard has tried to improve it. Hodgson bought Danny Wilson and Paul Konchesky. Kenny bought Jose Enrique and Rodgers acquired the likes of Moreno, Sakho, Mignolet, Toure, Cissokho, Ilori and Lovren to name a few.

So far, Jurgen Klopp has signed Karius, Manninger, Klavan, Matip and Robertson whilst being heavily linked with Van Djik from Southampton. It is clearly an area of concern that despite all these changes in personnel, has yet to have been addressed. In the last three seasons, Liverpool have conceded 140 goals in the league alone.


In terms of where Liverpool will finish this season I think their starting 11 has more than enough quality to finish in the top 4 maybe even top 3. My concern would be that they are 2/3 injuries away from having a very average side (Lallana is already out for a minimum of 2 months).

To challenge for the top positions and the cups you either need to be exceedingly lucky with injuries (see Leicester in 2015/16 and Chelsea last season) or have at least two quality players in each position.

Last season, up until January, Liverpool were the only ones really challenging Chelsea at the top. After 20 games Chelsea were top with 49 points and Liverpool were second on 44. They had just beaten Man City at Anfield and were flying.

Then came the AFCON, off went Saido Mane and with it, their whole season. Liverpool fell apart during January and February losing at home to Wolves in the FA Cup and falling further and further down the table as a result of poor league results.

Click on the image to listen to our recent interview with Steven Caldwell

The frustrating thing as a Liverpool fan is that the manager knew that we would be losing Mane for two months due to the AFCON and we still didn’t bring any cover in during the summer or winter transfer windows.

It can be forgiven to an extent if they’d lost Mane to an unexpected injury but that wasn’t the case. They were fully aware of the situation during the summer, long before the season even started and they failed to address it.

If they can have another strong start and maintain it throughout the festive period with minimal injuries then I think Liverpool will finish in the top 4 again. However with the fast, pressing style Klopp demands from his players. Injuries are pretty much a certainty during the campaign and I think the lack of squad depth will really have an impact on their season.


(Liverpool Fan)

Twitter: @sofasportsnews_

Marlon Harewood Interview

Our host Harry & Alavi were joined on the phone by former Nottingham Forest, West Ham & Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood. We discussed Marlon’s fantastic career, in particular his time in the Premier League!
Also available on the FNX Network, iTunes, Stitcher & Tune in Radio!

Thanks to our partners: Shoot the Defence, TagPay, GreekBeat Radio and the Mandem Podcast.

Subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, The FNX Network, Tune in Radio or Stitcher
Facebook: Sofa Sports News – The Football Fan Network
Twitter: @sofasportsnews_

Marlon Harewood Interview

Marlon Harewood Interview

Premier League: Transfer Talk

Some of our team discuss the latest transfer stories from the English Premier League. Is Coutinho to leave Liverpool? Have Man Utd done the right business this summer? Can Alvaro Morata cut it in the Premier League? Is Lacazette the right man for the Gunners? Peps revolution continues and why haven’t Spurs delved into the transfer market?

Also available on iTunes, the FNX Network, YouTube, Stitcher and Tune In Radio!

Facebook Page: Sofa Sports News – The Football Fan Network
Twitter: @sofasportsnews_
Instagram: @sofasportsnews

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher, The FNX Network or Tune In Radio.

Premier League: Transfer Talk

Interview with Former Premier League Referee Mark Halsey

We had the pleasure of talking to former Premier League referee Mark Halsey. We discussed his fantastic career, his battle with cancer and some of the current issues surrounding the game. A truly inspirational story from an absolute gentleman! It’s no surprise Mark went to the very top of the game.
Twitter: @sofasportsnews_ Facebook: Sofa Sports News Instagram: @sofasportsnews
*This show is available on the FNX Network, iTunes, Stitcher and Tune In Radio*


Spurs: To spend & sell, or not to spend & still sell?

“Football has gone mad” is what most non millennials bellow every time a player is linked with a big money move. “The new TV deal is to blame for all this” is what usually follows. Notice the key word in that sentence. “New”. The “new” TV deal is to blame. It’s almost as if the domino effect that was Sky’s 5 year, £191M deal with the Premier League back in 1992 didn’t happen. Fake news, apparently.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Chairman Daniel Levy today (26th July 2017) defended his club’s lack of transfer activity this summer, claiming the spending by other Premier League clubs is unsustainable.

When you take into consideration the timing (redevelopment of White Hart Lane and the surrounding area, plus a year at the “home of football” – Wembley Stadium) Mr Levy’s choice of words deserve the **scratching chin**/”hmmmm” emoji. Is this another point to add to the list of reasons for the lack of spending? A member of the Shoot The Defence Facebook group page wrote:

“I’ve been telling Spurs fans since the stadium was granted planning that they were going to face a decade of financial restraint. Just like Arsenal – Spurs are a self-sustaining club which means they have to generate the money before they can spend it.”

A fair point, no question about that. This leads to a question that’s been asked over and over – have Spurs become, or have they always been a selling club? Looking at the last 10-15 seasons, there’s little evidence to suggest they aren’t a selling side. This summer alone is a clear indicator that our resident poster is onto something.

England international Kyle Walker, Tottenham’s 27 year old first choice right back (for the best part of 5-6 years) was sold to Manchester City for a whopping £45M – yes, a right back has been sold for £45M, deal with it.

While it’s fair to say this is a great bit of business given the emergence of Kieran Trippier, Levy’s frugality leaves another bitter taste in the mouths of Spurs fans. In Levy’s defence, Opta stats (as of 2nd May 2017) show Spurs top the Premier League table over 2 years, despite a NET spend of £7M. Incidentally, the sale of Kyle Walker has made the club’s NET spend over the last 5 years MINUS £44M.

There’s no denying the club has moved in the right direction. Their youth academy is one of the best in the country and in Pochettino they have a Head Coach who isn’t afraid to trust a young group of players. whilst the other “big clubs” smashed transfer records left, right and centre, the Argentinian guided Spurs to their highest Premier League position, finishing above the big spending Manchester clubs two seasons in a row, surpassing people’s expectations in the process.

Nevertheless, titles, trophies and medals are the be all and end all, and unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re from the red half of North London), the trophy cabinet has been bare since 2008. A top 4 league finish has gone from being desirable to imperative in the clubs continued growth, development and future.

That being said, it goes back to the aforementioned “be all and end all” – trophy victories. Many Spurs fans would argue that, for now, obtaining Champions League football equates to a successful season given their size, spending power compared to others and recent history. More often than not, the follow up questions lead to more questions than answers.

How long will the sought after Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier wait for the trophy drought to end before wanting out? Is Harry “one of our own” Kane going to honour his £80,000 a week contract extension that ends in 2022 if the club fails to win some silverware soon? Let’s not forget the other sticking point – wages. Spurs only recently restructured their wage policy to make Kane the highest paid player to fend off interest from the elite clubs. While Levy is lauded for running a tight ship, Spurs are a Champions League club paying like a mid table club.

Tight ship or not, rumour has it the ship on the outside may not be what it is on the inside.



Check out our partners over @ShootTheDefence – a great show with fantastic guests!

Klopp & Liverpool: The Next Step?

Jurgen Klopp is about to enter his second full season in charge of the Merseyside giants.  The charismatic German arrived at the club back in October 2015 and it wasn’t long before he won the hearts of the Anfield faithful.  Like Jose, Arsene and Fergie he wasn’t the greatest of footballers in his day but took to management like a duck to water.

He began his managerial journey with his beloved Mainz 05 and worked wonders during his 7 year spell at Borussia Dortmund before arriving on the British Isles.

Even as somebody who doesn’t support Liverpool, it’s almost impossible to dislike the man, his charismatic press conferences and interviews often put a smile on my face and many others.

At the start of the 2016/17 season Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool’s primary objective would have been to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition – the UEFA champion’s league.  Job done, the reds finished the season in fourth place, a point clear of Arsenal.

As a neutral I admire Liverpool Football Club, they’re rich in history, ooze class and their European dominance in the past provided the platform that has seen the English top flight become one of the most desirable destinations for footballers all over the world.

Without doubt, the countries second biggest club but their failure to win the title since 1989/90 means they’ve been somewhat left behind.  Brendan and Luis came close but it was not to be.

Klopp has found a way of beating the leagues ‘bigger sides’ and Jurgen’s reds are just a few players away from mounting a serious title challenge.

Away wins at Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton combined with draws at Old Trafford and The Etihad were overshadowed by points dropped at home versus West Ham, Swansea, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.

Champion’s league participation will increase the strain on what I already believe to be a thin squad.  The Virgil Van Dijk saga continues to drag on and with the Red’s yet to make a marquee signing this summer how do you see them getting on?

The Race for the Title – You get what you pay for!

The transfer market has gone bananas.  Cast your mind back to 2006 and the sum of £38m could buy you one of the world’s most prolific strikers – Andriy Shevchenko.  Fast forward to the 2010/11 season and that kind of money would bring you…Andy Carroll!

The latest Premier League TV deals and an influx of wealthy foreign ownership have contributed to a transformation in the football landscape nobody could have foreseen.  July 2017, and the previously mentioned sum of £38m isn’t even enough to sign half of Romelu Lukaku.

The money men at City have spent in the region of £133m on full backs, Romans Chelsea have laid out a further £119m and the idea of FFP (Financial Fair Play) is beginning to seem like a fairy tale.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…You get what you pay for.

Arsenal smashed their transfer record this summer with the acquisition of French striker Alexander Lacazette.  The Gunners are known for keeping their cards close to their chest and although the fee was officially undisclosed it was believed to be around the £50m mark.

Having splashed the cash on Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi before him, the Gunners are still not competing financially with the likes of Manchester City, United and Chelsea.

To put it bluntly, the Arsenal specialize in second rate signings. The game’s elite players demand the kind of wages that would blow the Gunners wage structure apart.  The power is with the seller and Arsenal’s reluctance to be held to ransom and pay a premium means they’re being left behind.

The same can be said for Liverpool.  Another club who’s fan base are desperate for premier league success.  Ownership who seemingly won’t pay the top dollar and a manager who’s inability to defend will ultimately cost them.

Tottenham Hotspur have exceeded expectations for two seasons now, but that won’t continue.  The financial burden of a new stadium and the move to Wembley will see Mauricio Pochettino’s side struggle to compete on all fronts and I’ve yet to mention their lack of transfer activity.

Throughout recent history, with a few anomalies of course, there has been a clear correlation between the title winners and the most dominant in the transfer market.   The title race will be between the top 3 spenders and the sooner the Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs fans accept this, the better.

So you can rest assure, the Arsenal Fan TV melt downs will be back next season, the Spuds will end up heartbroken and the Scousers will still be talking about 2005!


Check out the latest episode of the SSN Podcast!

Steven Caldwell Interview

Steven Caldwell Interview

Our host Harry had the pleasure of talking to former #Newcastle, #Sunderland, #Burnley, #Toronto FC and #Scotland defender Steven #Caldwell.

We discussed…

> His fantastic playing career.
> What its like to move between two rival clubs.
> What its like to play for #Roy #Keane.
> The Play-off system.
> Why international football is ‘dead’.
> The rise of the #MLS.
> Stevens career after #Football.

This show was sponsored by DELTA PLUMBING.

Thank you to our partners:
– Shoot The Defence
– GreekBeat Radio
– The Mandem Podcast



Steven Caldwell Interview

Micky Hazard Interview

We had the pleasure of talking with Spurs legend Micky Hazard about his fantastic career. Micky spoke to us regarding his FA & UEFA cup triumphs, a play-off final win, promotion, some of the games current issues and his emotional farewell to White Hart Lane.
An absolute gentleman!

Thanks to our partners:
Shoot the Defence, FNX, Elite Editorial Services, Tagpay, GreekBeat Radio and Perfect Radio UK

Micky Hazard Interview

Transfer Rumors: Arsenal

The transfer window hasn’t officially opened yet but Gunners fans all over the world are already feeling frustrated.  Some things never change eh? 


The rumor mill continues to turn and the North London club has been linked with a whole host of players.  Here at I’m going to take a quick look at the rumors in today’s papers and try to make at least some sense of it all…


Starting with those already at the club, its being reported that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have been offered a 20% pay rise to sign contract extensions at the Arsenal. 


Our two most talented players without doubt and whilst were all looking at potential arrivals i can’t help but think the priority should be preventing their departures. 


The club have made a point of saying that even if they fail to extend their contracts neither of them will be leaving the club this summer.  


We would all like to believe the powers that be at Arsenal would dig their heels in but in reality if a £50m bid for either man comes in from the likes of Bayern Munich with just 12 months remaining on the contract Stan Kroenke & co will make sure the deal is done. 


Chilean head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi says Alexis has not been distracted by the uncertainty surrounding his future. “We think he’s very happy, he’s giving his best like everyone else”. He also said that Alexis is already at one of the “best clubs in the world”. 


It’s hard to tell whether he believes that or if he’s trying to deflect the media frenzy elsewhere leading up to their Confederations Cup semi final vs Portugal. 


Another player linked with a move away, perhaps more surprisingly is Laurent Koscielny. Gazetto Dello Sport claim that cash rich AC Milan are interested in the Frenchman’s services. 


There doesn’t appear to be much headwind regarding this story so I wouldn’t panic just yet.


Do not fear, our over rated centre half will likely still be with us come the end of the transfer window.  Why would he leave a club where he’s exempt from any criticism or responsibilities?


AS Monaco attacker Thomas Lemar has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates in a deal believed to be worth around £30m.  A positive signing no doubt, but with Arsenals track record of concluding deals I’m sceptical until he’s wearing an Arsenal shirt on the official website!


Finally, the deal you’ve all been talking about! Conflicting reports have come to light today regarding the potential transfer of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. 


David Ornstein of the BBC today claimed a deal worth around about £48m has been agreed and only minor details were holding up its completion. 


However, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas does not think the striker will be leaving the club this summer.  


We just don’t know who to believe these days! 


When pressed on Lyon’s potential interest in Olivier Giroud, Aulas said they were certainly interested but things haven’t progressed.


That deal is dead. 


Twitter: @HarrySymeou