The not goings on at Manchester United

Good morning sports fans, it’s Ayyaz Malik aka The Sports Buff here. Let’s have a chat, about Manchester United. Man United, the 20-time Premier League champions and the three-time Champions League winners, were in 2008/09 the best team in the world (after winning the Club World Cup).

Fast forward some 13 years, now coming on 14 and the current United team is a shadow of the legendary one. Good things don’t last for ever, and no one knew that better that Man United manager at the time, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fergie, yes was aided by an inflated by an inflated war-chest in many a transfer window. This current United team, has that same advantage of being able to spend the cash, but unlike before teams like Manchester City, Chelsea and to an extent Liverpool have the cash too.

The 19-time Premier League champions Liverpool do have cash, but their operation is more shrewdly run compared to the other two teams I mentioned. Last season’s disappointing sixth-place finish was only secured after rivals West Ham were defeated by Brighton.

A rebuild is needed. Pogba, gone. Lingard, gone. Matic, gone. Mata, also gone. What was a part of the pitch (midfield) where United are short in numbers, they are even shorter now. A massive rebuild is needed, I have suggested some players and areas of the pitch that United need to look at in this article; https://the-sports-buff.com/2022/05/09/the-open-heart-surgery-needed-at-man-united-examined/.

The time taken to get this rebuild moving and off the ground is a long time in the making it seems. City have signed Haaland having done the ground work long in advance, the same could be said with Liverpool and their signing of Nunez.

Since Sancho, and that process was far from smooth, I am not sure since the glory years for Manchester United of when United have seen player, desired player and signed him. The example of Frenkie De Jong is an example of how not to do a transfer.

Director of football John Murtagh, who did a respectable job in the summer has been sat on his heels this time round it seems, but the club’s new CEO tells a different story. I am a United fan, yes and it’s difficult to watch rival clubs stealing a march on us with their transfer business getting concluded so early.

That’s one argument, but at the same time United shouldn’t be held to ransom for a transfer fee. But to be blunt, bar big wages what’s the draw to go to Manchester United at the moment?

The Red Devils aren’t in the top club competition the Champions League and nor are they able to mount a title challenge like Liverpool and Chelsea are expected too. To be a gloomy Gary (yes I made that up), United are very far behind, the rest of England’s elite.

If they get a good transfer window this time, they will need a good one next time, and the time after that and so on. But John Murtagh if with a small miracle you read this, just please bring some bodies through the door, and not Daniel Bachman, thank you!

Hi guys, football fans, lover of retro shirts… look no further! You can get some of the most iconic shirts in European football! From that Ronaldinho Barcelona kit famously wore against Chelsea or other European iconic jerseys, look no further than shirtclubjersey.com!

Because I love you guys. Use this code 5q8sjr3f at the check out and guess what? I have only gone and helped you guys get 15% off! And it gets better with free world wide shipping!

Or check their sister site t-shirtsoccer.com, where you can get all the kits of all your favourite teams.

Thank me later and be sure to check out this gem of a company. https://www.shirtclubjersey.com/.

Support The Sports Buff

Hello, good morning beloved sports fans. I hope you’re well. We hear at the-sports-buff.com love telling stories and sharing them too. Alhamdulillah we have been operating for over six years and we’re looking to solidify our website and help it grow too, but we need your support please. Whatever large or little amount you think you can spare, it’s still even bigger to us. With your kind donation/support we want to give a contribution to the local community sports hall, to help young kids do what they do best, have fun! Thank you for your support.

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A defence of Harry Maguire

Jacob Harry Maguire, or as most people know him , Harry Maguire is quite the divisive figure amongst Manchester United fans, and football fans a like. Football fans, I will give you my opinion on the 29-year old former in this piece, but I do want to argue a case for a defence for the former Leicester defender.

One criticism that Maguire gets constantly criticised for is his pace, or shall we say lack of it. This is a legitimate weakness in the Manchester United skippers game, but pointing this out is like saying why isn’t the 1 litre Toyota Yaris a 3.6 litre engine with a V12.

I can make a pop shot at a Yaris, as I had one once upon a time. Harry Maguire, due to no fault of his own is the world record transfer for a defender, and that’s been a stick used to beat him.

Calm on the ball, good at playing out from the back with a good reading of the game are the strengths associated with the former Hull and Sheffield United centre-back, pace is not it never has been. Jamie Redknapp, look away now.

Mr Redknapp, yes you’re man crush material but don’t get carried away by making such ridiculous statements like that. As good as he is reading the game, which would have been good in teams in years gone by, the modern football team unfortunately doesn’t have room for players like Maguire.

There have been many occasions, where the 29-year old has been brutally exposed. What’s exacerbated the issue of last season’s woes were the bomb threat scare he suffered and also the merciless mocking he’s suffered at the hands of Man United fans and rival fans.

Mockingly being called ‘fridge’ and other insults of the like, Maguire is naturally human and is not immune to criticism, especially it has been vicious at times. Justified? Within bounds yes, the bombing threat was too far.

Fans have the right to boo him, they pay good money to watch him play. The ear-cupping against Albania was embarrassing, it’s Albania after all. I say that in the context of certain quarters see England as a World Cup favourite.

Personally, Maguire is a good defender and with good coaching and confidence building Harry Maguire can resurrect his Man United career. Daley Blind wasn’t quick, but he worked well with Erik Ten Haag, as his manager maybe as he had Jurien Timber alongside him in the Ajax defence.

Although not the tallest, Ajax academy graduate Timber is an excellent defender who has pace, which is what’s needed alongside Harry Maguire. John Terry and Paolo Maldini are players who relied on their reading of the game.

To clarify, I am not comparing Mr Maguire to those greats, just drawing comparisons to other defenders who read the game so well. This is the same Harry Maguire who was in the Euro 2020, team of the tournament after all.

JT had Ricardo Carvalho and Gary Cahill alongside him, who were both quick, if United did that, they will see a more confident player, The high-line is going to leave Maguire exposed, it would have done with Terry if he was playing in this era.

To sell Maguire? Is he good enough? Personally don’t think he should be sold, he should be given the chance to see if he can fit into an ETH team, if not he should be sold with no sentimental feeling.

That means no six-minute cringe video package as a send-off. This is Manchester United, once the greatest club in the world. Greater players have left and greater have arrived.

Hi guys, football fans, lover of retro shirts… look no further! You can get some of the most iconic shirts in European football! From that Ronaldinho Barcelona kit famously wore against Chelsea or other European iconic jerseys, look no further than shirtclubjersey.com!

Because I love you guys. Use this code 5q8sjr3f at the check out and guess what? I have only gone and helped you guys get 15% off! And it gets better with free world wide shipping!

Or check their sister site t-shirtsoccer.com, where you can get all the kits of all your favourite teams.

Thank me later and be sure to check out this gem of a company. https://www.shirtclubjersey.com/.

Support The Sports Buff

Hello, good morning beloved sports fans. I hope you’re well. We hear at the-sports-buff.com love telling stories and sharing them too. Alhamdulillah we have been operating for over six years and we’re looking to solidify our website and help it grow too, but we need your support please. Whatever large or little amount you think you can spare, it’s still even bigger to us. With your kind donation/support we want to give a contribution to the local community sports hall, to help young kids do what they do best, have fun! Thank you for your support.

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One of the very few times, they’re wrong

Good afternoon sports fans, let’s go down memory lane. Football fans in particular think Manchester United in the 90’s and 2000’s. Here is an example of a colossus on and off the pitch.

Off the pitch The Red Devils were one of the richest in world sport and most certainly football too, and even a period the richest of all the football clubs on the planet. Key to that success were brilliant minds such as David Gill and Peter Kenyon.

United wanted a player, very few were able to compete due to the swift nature that the Old Trafford club would do their business. Ronaldo for example was signed without too much fuss, maybe because not to many people in the football world were alerted to what a talent CR7 was.

As good as success stories like that are and arguably the signing of Wayne Rooney who would become a very good investment as the former Everton player would become Man United top goal-scorer, there had been times where United had got it wrong in a period where they were very successful and efficient in how the operated.

Juan Sebastien Veron, Kleberson and Bebe are the most obvious examples of transfer gaffes I can think of. On the whole, Sir Alex got rid of players and sold them at the right time, Jaap Stam was I think one of the few he got wrong, which is something the man himself admits too.

So football fans, why am I saying this? The reason is I can a very shrewd operation in operation at Liverpool. The 19-time Premier League champions have operated superbly and in the transfer marker their deals have been mainly successful, with a few exceptions.

Minamino, Keita (maybe harsh) and Oxlade-Chamberlain I argue have been some of the few misses for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. In the player sales Liverpool have sold players (the right players) and maximised their value.

Harry Wilson, Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren are just some of the examples I can think of to support my point. So, in short what I am saying with examples, is that Liverpool of today is working as well as United of yesterday, maybe better.

Nothing is perfect in life and we all make mistakes and for Liverpool, the sale of Sadio Mane, for a pittance is one which has left me scratching my head. There is an argument, that The Reds have not lost anything in terms of monetary value. when selling to Bayern Munich.

Liverpool have lost so much more. The Senegalese attacker’s numbers in terms of defensive pressures might have dropped, but he proved he’s still a force in the attacking third. Mane can play across the front-line and still contribute, which isn’t what can be said of Mohammed Salah for example.

The Egyptian King as he is known may have great numbers in terms of goals, but he does of course take the penalties for Liverpool, Sadio Mane who didn’t, had still very good attacking numbers despite this.

Salah isn’t renowned for his work tracking back, Mane had this in his locker and largely had been over shadowed by Mohammed Salah. Egyptian international Salah is of course a good player, the fact he is always near the top of the scoring charts backs that up, but smaller details is what really makes me (a very passionate football fan), wonder if Liverpool have got this player sale wrong.

Darwin Nunez, who will be coming in to possibly replace Sadio Mane, can play out wide. It’s not the same, now this is my personal opinion as is this article, but I feel that Nunez can play wide like Cavani did and Aubameyang (they can play there but it’s not their natural position as they’re most dangerous down the middle).

For footballing reasons, I admire Liverpool and would love to be proven wrong that Liverpool have made a mistake. Am I right or wrong to have this opinion? Only time will tell.

Hi guys, football fans, lover of retro shirts… look no further! You can get some of the most iconic shirts in European football! From that Ronaldinho Barcelona kit famously wore against Chelsea or other European iconic jerseys, look no further than shirtclubjersey.com!

Because I love you guys. Use this code 5q8sjr3f at the check out and guess what? I have only gone and helped you guys get 15% off! And it gets better with free world wide shipping!

Or check their sister site t-shirtsoccer.com, where you can get all the kits of all your favourite teams.

Thank me later and be sure to check out this gem of a company. https://www.shirtclubjersey.com/.

The Sports Buff

Hello, good afternoon beloved sports fans. I hope you’re well. We hear at the-sports-buff.com love telling stories and sharing them too. Alhamdulillah we have been operating for over six years and we’re looking to solidify our website and help it grow too, but we need your support please. Whatever large or little amount you think you can spare, it’s still even bigger to us. With your kind donation/support we want to give a contribution to the local community sports hall, to help young kids do what they do best, have fun! Thank you for your support.

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We have been here before

Hello, good afternoon sports fans, it’s Ayyaz Malik aka The Sports Buff here . Sports fans and to be more exact here, cricket fans – we need to talk, about England’s men’s team. As you would be aware The Three Lions are currently in a test series against reigning world champions of this format New Zealand.

The last time these two sides faced off in a series it would be New Zealand who would be victorious, this time however under the new captaincy of Ben Stokes, coming into the third and final test, England could achieve a whitewash.

In the winter, The Barmy Army were basking in the sun off the field, but for matters on the field, they were seeing West Indies defeat England for the series win. That series lead then captain Joe Root (who is England’s most successful in terms of test wins) to stand down, which has ushered in this new era of Brendan McCullum as coach and Ben Stokes as captain.

Interestingly, there has been no vice-captain named (despite rumours circulating it could be Kent opening-batsmen Zak Crawley). Praise the Lord this didn’t happen, but remarkably Crawley remains in the England side. Better players have been dropped for less.

Back to the issue and what I wanted to talk about though sports fans. After securing the series with one game still to play, there have been many plaudits for England’s attacking approach, but I want to speak about the need for caution.

Those who say England have a ‘new approach’, it’s fair to say this just isn’t true. Me, as an England cricket fan have been critical how the middle-order can throw their wicket away. In these two tests, this attacking approach that’s been spun could have gone either way.

What I mean is in the first test, they were all out for 141, yes they got the job done in the second test, but this is in part due to Joe Root playing out of his skin. The Yorkshire star has become the joint youngest to reach 10,000 runs.

I am not being a moody Margaret, but as much as I want to support Jack Leach (he’s in the left-handers union), he’s on borrowed time surely. There is room for optimism for this England team, but how is it Matt Parkinson not in this team? It’s beyond me.

Given one innings to prove himself, he didn’t do terribly and shunned back into the cold again. That one innings that Parkinson played was in emergency circumstances (due to Leach’s concussion) too.

The new generation, are advocates of this new year faster form of cricket. T20 and ODI’s are for that, but let test cricket be played properly. Good application, also with wits and bravery. There is at times the need to up the run-rate, counter-attack, but England at times seem obsessed to do this.

This England team is still largely Joe Root’s. Matt Potts has come in an impressed and Jamie Overton (who can bowl 90mph) is expected to make his debut. It’s players like Overton that are precious commodities these days.

The County game doesn’t produce too many, but if someone like an Overton can be given a good sustained run in the team (due to his pace), then maybe there is room for optimism after all.

Hi guys, football fans, lover of retro shirts… look no further! You can get some of the most iconic shirts in European football! From that Ronaldinho Barcelona kit famously wore against Chelsea or other European iconic jerseys, look no further than shirtclubjersey.com!

Because I love you guys. Use this code 5q8sjr3f at the check out and guess what? I have only gone and helped you guys get 10% off! And it gets better with free world wide shipping!

Or check their sister site t-shirtsoccer.com, where you can get all the kits of all your favourite teams.

Thank me later and be sure to check out this gem of a company. https://www.shirtclubjersey.com/.

Support The Sports Buff

Hello, good afternoon beloved sports fans. I hope you’re well. We hear at the-sports-buff.com love telling stories and sharing them too. Alhamdulillah we have been operating for over six years and we’re looking to solidify our website and help it grow too, but we need your support please. Whatever large or little amount you think you can spare, it’s still even bigger to us. With your kind donation/support we want to give a contribution to the local community sports hall, to help young kids do what they do best, have fun! Thank you for your support.

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Three is the magic number?

As the song goes, three is the magic number, but for England and their men’s cricket team, is it? Here I argue not, but there’s more to the discussion than that. Since Jonathan Trott retired from England duty, The Three Lions and the top – order has changed more than the Great British weather.

Jonny Bairstow, Tom Westley, Moeen Ali, Joe Root and James Bracey (who has been seen as a specialist in the role) have been promoted to that position in the batting line-up and demoted from that batting line up.

This is starting to sound a little bit like England football team’s left-wing problem in the Gerrard, Lampard and Scholes era. The latest incumbent of the position is Ollie Pope, the wicket-keeper batsmen who, lazily admittedly on my part, is someone who I am convinced is the air to the Ian Bell throne.

The Warwickshire legend was a player who did bat at all positions due to his class, but it does help to have a player who is naturally suited to the role. Pujara, Dravid or even Hussain have been good players in the position.

In the case of Rahul Dravid, he was known and known as the wall. Why? Well, quite simply at times he was the one man barrier that protected the rest of India’s stellar batting line up to getting exposed to the new ball.

Trott, to a point (even though his scoring speed was criticised) was England’s answer to the Indian legend. So, after stating the players who have filled the role (with varied success in the little time given for most of them), who do I think should be the number three for England?

In short, Ollie Pope. That’s an easy answer as he is the man in possession of the shirt, but in possession he scored a big hundred, so he has bought some time for himself. Australia’s pace attack, South Africa’s, India’s and Pakistan’s too will be stiff challenges for the Surrey, especially if Zak Crawley continues to be given chances, even though he should be replaced by Dom Sibley.

That’s my two cents, but do you agree?

Thanks to our partner and sponsor shirtclubjersey.com

Hi guys, football fans, lover of retro shirts… look no further! You can get some of the most iconic shirts in European football! From that Ronaldinho Barcelona kit famously wore against Chelsea or other European iconic jerseys, look no further than shirtclubjersey.com!

Because I love you guys. Use this code 5q8sjr3f at the check out and guess what? I have only gone and helped you guys get 10% off! And it gets better with free world wide shipping!

Or check their sister site t-shirtsoccer.com, where you can get all the kits of all your favourite teams.

Thank me later and be sure to check out this gem of a company. https://www.shirtclubjersey.com/.

Support The Sports Buff

Hello, good afternoon beloved sports fans. I hope you’re well. We hear at the-sports-buff.com love telling stories and sharing them too. Alhamdulillah we have been operating for over six years and we’re looking to solidify our website and help it grow too, but we need your support please. Whatever large or little amount you think you can spare, it’s still even bigger to us. With your kind donation/support we want to give a contribution to the local community sports hall, to help young kids do what they do best, have fun! Thank you for your support.

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Why this Liverpool team, could be one of the best ever

Hello, good evening Sports fans, I hope you’re well, in good health, enjoying the rain bath (if you’re in the UK) and are in good health. Fans of football, let’s have a chat, on a conversation about Liverpool FC.

Liverpool, who are of course 19-time League winners, at time of writing have a fighting chance to have the chance (maybe not the best chance) to win their 20th League title and go level with arch-rivals Manchester United as England’s most successful team in terms of League titles.

Under the careful nurturing of manager Jurgen Klopp, The Reds who I had been critical of for lack of squad-depth in the past, don’t seem to have that now. Centre-backs. Ibrahim Konate, an outstanding player for RB Leipzig and after a slow-start at Anfield has developed into a world-class player.

Accompanying him is one Virgil Van Dijk, who is one of the better defenders in the world game. The full-backs aren’t too bad either, only arguably the best two in Europe, one of the best at the very least.

Midfield you have Fabinho, Henderson, a rejuvenated Tiago and many other combinations, the choice and selection is frightening, at Klopp’s disposal. The same could be said at previous problem areas, upfront and defence. Joel Matip and Joe Gomes are very capable understudies if it needed.

Criticism of the past, yeah Liverpool are good – but their bench options are thin. Now though Jurgen’s men are well-stocked. Mimamino, Origi, Firminho, Mane, Salah and Jota were good, but then Luis Diaz … He’s arguably one of the signings of the season, he only came in January too!

Ok, maybe Liverpool do have a weak area, full-back- but Tsimikas came in for the final of the FA Cup and scored the winning spot-kick. Goalkeeper after Alison is a weakness? Well, I argue no, Kelleher was superb in the Carabao Cup final against, yet again Chelsea.

If beggars could be choosers, Liverpool could do with a Fabinho replacement and a full-back for the other side, but former Monaco man was a full-back for the French side before his transformation.

Why, I opened this discussion? Liverpool have a player in every position covered, not even Manchester City can say that and they could arguably be this year’s Premier League champions.

Pep you might have signed Haaland, but Liverpool are strong and they can only get stronger from here. You and all the Premier League have been warned.

Thanks to our partner and sponsor shirtclubjersey.com

Hi guys, football fans, lover of retro shirts… look no further! You can get some of the most iconic shirts in European football! From that Ronaldinho Barcelona kit famously wore against Chelsea or other European iconic jerseys, look no further than shirtclubjersey.com!

Because I love you guys. Use this code 5q8sjr3f at the check out and guess what? I have only gone and helped you guys get 10% off! And it gets better with free world wide shipping!

Or check their sister site t-shirtsoccer.com, where you can get all the kits of all your favourite teams.

Thank me later and be sure to check out this gem of a company. https://www.shirtclubjersey.com/.

Support The Sports Buff

Hello, good afternoon beloved sports fans. I hope you’re well. We hear at the-sports-buff.com love telling stories and sharing them too. Alhamdulillah we have been operating for over six years and we’re looking to solidify our website and help it grow too, but we need your support please. Whatever large or little amount you think you can spare, it’s still even bigger to us. With your kind donation/support we want to give a contribution to the local community sports hall, to help young kids do what they do best, have fun! Thank you for your support.

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Antonio Conte; The Under appreciated One

Hello and good morning football fans, it’s The Sports Buff here, we need to talk about a football manager, one Antonio Conte. Italian Conte, is one manager who can divide opinion. Many see him as one of the best in the world football, but there is a contingent who see him as divisive as Jose Mourinho.

In regards to that last statement, this Jose being a bad man manager is somewhat of a myth. Yes, his tactics might upset players, but football players of today’s day and age aren’t quite like the colossus characters that were Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira or even Conte.

Social media dancing and the whole social media culture is something that goes hand in hand with many footballers of the modern age. It’s quite ironic that those footballers who tend to be associated with this social media culture (Lingard and Pogba for example) are currently at a career cross roads.

I personally feel that a manager like Jose and Antonio, are winners, their trophy cabinet proves it and today’s modern day footballer is very entitled, one little disagreement and that’s it, they’re on the phone to their agent and want out. They’re too thin skinned. *clears throat Harry Maguire*.

Although this piece is dedicated to the Italian maverick Conte, Mourinho is someone like Conte once was. Jose is arguably more experienced and wiser than that Porto version of The Special One.

So maybe we don’t see the berating of officials and angry behaviour or true emotions of Jose as he is calmer. If you believed, don’t think about taking up poker as you’re too naive.

All too often Jose and Antonio Conte are accused of having poor man management skills , but didn’t former Spurs boss Jose help Kane post the best numbers of his career last season? Also in the case of Conte, he’s fired a Tottenham team that after losing 3-0 to United at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, were seventh and devoid of ideas and confidence.

Players like Diego Costa, would say Conte didn’t treat him well and to a point this is true, but the former Atletico man didn’t cover himself in glory either when he left Chelsea to return to the Spanish capital.

Lucas Moura is a player re-born in a new position. The former PSG wonderkid, was of course set to go to United until the Parisians came in for him, and in those days, he was a very trickery winger/forward.

He needs money to build his teams is one accusation always thrown at him and to a point, I have been guilty of this accusation too. Dejan Kulisevski and Rogrigo Bentancur have been superb and they were good value signings.

Signing players can be the easiest thing, but the fact that Uruguayan Bentancur, who was formerly of Juventus was showing decline in performance, and is now back to top form, is a testament to the 52-year old Conte and his powers of inspiration .

Yes, the former Juve boss is very passionate and fiery, but with Juventus he helped players like Cuadrado turn into prime Cafu (yeah slight over exaggeration), but the point remains he turned the former Chelsea man into a very good player and changed him from winger to wing-back.

That’s the same that can be said of Victor Moses, now of Spartak. Moses, was of course part of that Chelsea team that won the Premier League after finishing 12th the season before. The headlines won’t point out that Antonio Conte was Moses’ manager and he turned the former Liverpool loanee’s career around.

Since Conte has left, Victor Moses has been the same player before the Italian’s arrival and having been a journeyman before, looks to be heading for a journeyman like career now.

Last night’s 3-0 win over Arsenal was superb, of course it was, but the former Genoa boss I feel has finally got rid of the ghost of Pochettino past. Tottenham are a united team again.

Chelsea only now are in a position to challenge for honours and have won the Champions League (last season), several years after Conte left. West London club Chelsea looked not capable of being able to win the Premier League, but Antonio inspired that success, just like he did at Inter.

The former Juve midfielder inspired Romelu Lukaku to the best scoring season of his career, Big Rom has been a shadow of that player this year, but the narrative is, Antonio Conte is too aggressive with players.

It’s the same with Jose, he helped Lingard (bar his time at West Ham) play some of the best football of his career, like he is currently doing with Tammy Abraham and Henrikh Mkhitariyan .

Rumours are circulating that Antonio Conte will be leaving at the end of this season to take over at PSG. If that’s true Neymar and co will be in for a shock as the Paris front-line although brilliant, will realise that they’re not too big to be dropped, look at the example of Diego Costa who helped Chelsea to the Premier League title.

Tottenham Hotspur fans no doubt appreciate him, but football fans (some of them don’t) the Premier League will be a worse place off. England is in danger of being dominated by Liverpool and Manchester City. Conte was changing that, if this is goodbye Arrivederci Antonio!

Thanks to our partner and sponsor shirtclubjersey.com

Hi guys, football fans, lover of retro shirts… look no further! You can get some of the most iconic shirts in European football! From that Ronaldinho Barcelona kit famously wore against Chelsea or other European iconic jerseys, look no further than shirtclubjersey.com!

Because I love you guys. Use this code 5q8sjr3f at the check out and guess what? I have only gone and helped you guys get 10% off! And it gets better with free world wide shipping!

Or check their sister site t-shirtsoccer.com, where you can get all the kits of all your favourite teams.

Thank me later and be sure to check out this gem of a company. https://www.shirtclubjersey.com/

Support The Sports Buff

Hello, good afternoon beloved sports fans. I hope you’re well. We hear at ayyazmalik.com love telling stories and sharing them too. Alhamdulillah we have been operating for over six years and we’re looking to solidify our website and help it grow too, but we need your support please. Whatever large or little amount you think you can spare, it’s still even bigger to us. With your kind donation/support we want to give a contribution to the local community sports hall, to help young kids do what they do best, have fun! Thank you for your support.

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One hand on the title?

Hello, good evening sports fans, it’s me your Sports Buff, I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and are in good health. Let’s talk, about football. Unlike yesterday, today was a busy day of fixtures both in Scotland and down South (for Scottish fans) for matters in England’s Premier League.

I will start with the Scottish Premier League and after stopping Celtic’s quest for 10 SPFL titles in a row by winning last year’s title by finishing the season unbeaten, Rangers lost last season’s SPFL crown they won from The Bhoys with still one more game left to play.

The Bhoys capped off a brilliant season with a 1-1 draw at Dundee United. Maybe not at their best on the night, but Ange’s men like on so many occasions this season were able to get the job done on the day.

Arch-rivals Rangers did their side of the bargain by thumping Ross County 4-1, but with so few games left, The Gers were always delaying the inevitable. The league table never lies, and the fact that The Hoops Celtic are winners of the Scottish League, for the 10th time in 11 seasons, to add to their Scottish League Cup success shows that Ange Postecoglou’s men domestically have been head and shoulders above everyone else.

The consoling factor for the blue half of Glasgow is that they have two finals to contest. One against Hearts in the Scottish League Cup and the other against Eintracht Frankfurt in this years Europa League final.

Moving to England now where Manchester City and Liverpool have been engulfed in an almighty tussle at the top of the Premier League. Until the end of the last round of fixtures, the lead at the top was just a solitary point between City and Liverpool.

After The Reds dropped points on Saturday, they went about their job in a professional manner and beat Aston Villa 2-1 in Tuesday’s game . That might have caused other teams to panic, but not this Man City side as they swept Wolves aside quite ruthlessly 5-1, which included a four-goal salvo from Kevin De Bruyne.

Maybe they could have saved their money on Erling Haaland. After this thumping win, champions City have a three point lead and a +7 goal difference over Liverpool, which is like an extra point lead.

How the 19-time League champions Liverpool could do with Mohammed Salah’s early season goal-scoring form. Elsewhere in tonight’s games already relegated Norwich were well beaten 3-0 by Leicester who have had a disappointing campaign and Everton, climbed further away from safety with a 0-0 draw with fellow strugglers Watford.

The Hornets, who have announced the appointment of Forest Green Rovers boss Rob Edwards, got some stern words from Forest Green’s owner Dale Vince, who was furious with Watford’s approach for their manager, saying especially after Edwards had only just helped The Green get into League One. About the approach, owner Vince said, ‘they will get their karma’,

That draw for the Toffees Everton, and Leeds’ 3-0 loss at home to Chelsea, means that The Lillywhites have been plunged further into the relegation trap door. West Yorkshire side Leeds are level on points with Burnley in seventeenth, but The Clarets have a much better goal difference, a +21 goal difference in comparison. That’s grim reading for Jesse Marsch’s men..

I said, (I don’t want to sound smug and it’s far from over), that Leeds due to Bielsa’s cavalier approach shall we say, which did have some moments of tactical naivety, would come back to hurt them badly.

To cap a Nick Farage phrase, when I said Leeds United could very seriously get relegated ‘you all laughed at me, but you’re not laughing now are you’?

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County cricket is finished they said

Hello, good afternoon sports fans, it’s me your sports buff. I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and are in good health. For the English cricket lovers amongst you, you will be aware of the English Cricket Board (ECB) ramming down the newly formed, The Hundred tournament down our throats.

It will make cricket ‘appealing to a new audience’, if I remember correctly being the narrative that Tom Harrison and co want us to believe.

Me, Ayyaz Malik – I have been a sports writer for over eight years now and despite my football club allegiances or allegiances to a county cricket club (Lancashire, as that’s my home county), I have and will always aim to be impartial when writing or reporting sports.

With The Hundred however, I can’t do this and I feel strongly about this format than to be ‘impartial’. If not treated it can be a cancer to the intellectual game, that is cricket . Football is the beautiful game fans will tell you, but their sport doesn’t seem to be compatible with technology assistance, but what about cricket and rugby? They have had it for years.

I have watched a few of the games in The Hundred hoping, maybe I am at 35-years old, just being a stubborn middle aged man, but no, I don’t think I am . Football fans, how about FIFA changing each half to 22 and half minutes and make the pitches half the size and no offsides, where players can ‘goal hang’.

What was that, no, not keen? Yeah I didn’t think so. The Hundred has concerts going on alongside the game, during intervals. Sorry but this isn’t The Super Bowl or the opening ceremony of the world cup, if you want to go to a concert, well go to a concert. I don’t appreciate cricket getting muddled in with this.

Cricket isn’t like Cheltenham or Wimbledon, where only the Elite tend to go and when you do attend, it’s a custom to wear the clothes or attire associated with those events, for example at Wimbledon it’s customary for a man to wear a suit when at centre court.

If cricket, would turn like that, then the fancy dress and the atmosphere of test matches would never have been born, it makes the English summer and it’s not the English summer without this . That’s cricket, going to the test match, spending a day with your friends having a meal, basking in the sunshine and enjoying your day.

The T20 format has been introduced and that does keep with the identity of cricket I am referring to, but to keep changing the core and beauty of cricket, will make the natural form of cricket, test cricket diluted.

If there was no test cricket, limited-overs cricket wouldn’t have been born. No Virat Kohli, or AB DeVilliers arguably, would have graced the 20 overs and 50 overs games, if they hadn’t been competing in tests.

Test cricket and longer format cricket (four day games) has helped build players and also shows what can be achieved with patience. The narrative, maybe not necessarily the ECB themselves, but by former players (Messers Pieterson and I believe Agnew) have suggested that the County Championship, England’s biggest club cricket championships be reformed.

Very naive to say the least, when especially after the first four rounds of cricket or so of the championship, it’s clear to see there is a big pool of talent. It’s not the County Championship’s fault that an England opener seems to be moved around like a revolving door, unless your Zak Crawley.

Josh Bohannon, Ben Compton, Nick Gubbins, Hassan Azad. Harry Book and Sam Northeast are just some of the hole host of batsmen who have scored well in the county championship this season. The selection policy is floored and results are expected to happen yesterday.

The additions of some good overseas stars such as Shaheen Shah Afridi, Marnus Labuschagne and to his credit Hassan Ali who has bowled for Lancashire, have made matches competitive and interesting. There have been some drubbings and there have been some closely contested matches too.

Say what you will, but this year, some of the best cricket talent, has come to England due to conditions and the pitches that England tends to serve up

The powers that be at the ECB haven’t been watching test cricket, the last year or two, there has been clearly a renaissance in the standard of the cricket being played. Test series between Pakistan vs Australia and between West Indies vs Pakistan comes into mind, the point is I know there are more than that too.

A very strong piece, by my own admission, but ECB leave test cricket and the County Championship alone. The reason why test cricket is on it’s knees is due to you, no one else. Top English batsmen are performing, but you pick the wrong players, give them 0.5 seconds to prove themselves and move on to the next one, then repeat the steps.

The same with England’s captain Joe Root, he was removed in haste. How many of England’s players were in their early to mid twenties? Point proved … I rest my case.

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Someone tell Lewis the season has started

In what was one of the best championship battles in F1’s recent history, it can be argued that Lewis Hamilton is still facing a hangover from last year’s season ending race the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Safety car laws were interpreted and misinterpreted, which lead to race director Michael Massi, been taken off those duties and reassigned to a different role.

Rules in the aftermath of that have changed, but the outcome remained the same, Mercedes and Hamilton have to get on with it and leave the past to the past as Red Bull and Max Verstappen became world champions . It can be argued, that Mercedes and Hamilton in that very race, was lucky to have been allowed to remain in pole after taking a wide race line in the early laps.

Here at the-sports-buff.com, there was surprise to see the seven-time world champion Hamilton return to F1, it appeared the former McLaren had fell out of love with the sport, especially since declaring his intention to compete this season quite late on in the testing season.

That’s the past and this years F1 championship is five races old and instead of Hamilton being towards the top of the drivers championship, unsurprisingly it’s world champion Max Verstappen, but what is surprising he’s tussling with Charles LeCLerc in the Ferrari.

It’s not surprising to see the Monte Carlo native compete at F1’s top table, not at all, here on my video channel and articles I have wrote about him in glowing terms , and we have sung LeClerc’s praises very highly, but to see Lewis Hamilton being outscored by rookie team-mate George Russell and be seventh in the championship is very surprising.

What doesn’t help the veteran is some of his actions off the track. The jewellery stunt, now seems very petulant, especially with his Mercedes car being no way competitive. A man is only as good as his car, this can be argued to a point, but this is a seven-time world champion we are talking about.

There have been seasons where Ferrari have had a competitive car, but Sebastien Vettel hasn’t been a match for Hamilton, racing fans, for the sake of competitiveness we are hoping for the old Lewis Hamilton to emerge from the Pitt lane, come the next race.

Lewis’ sixth place finish does give some encouragement, but as much as there is a lot of races to go, the season can speed off with out him, if he doesn’t get some wins on the board.

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