Women’s World Cup – The Good, the bad and the ugly

As we reach the knockout stages of the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup, we can reflect back on what has been a tournament filled with talking points, both positive and negative. In actual fact, let us just start with the negatives and that has been the conduct of one team in particular.

The Round of 16 game at the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup quickly descended into farce as the fun, free flowing positive football of England was thwarted by an aggressive, spoiling tactic from Cameron. It was sad to see the Women’s game, on such a big stage, descend into such a fashion that it became awkward to watch. The delaying tactics actually meant the match itself lasted for 2 hours of play time! VAR was disputed, Cameroon were on the verge of quitting and fouled England to the extent that the game was ruined! A shambles all round and the referring display did not help matters!

But let us not dwell on the negatives too long as the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup has been on the whole a shining beacon of how the sport should be played. The Women’s teams all seem to have set out to prove a point, to set an example and to truly inspire the next generation of females to take up the game. The conduct on the whole has been exemplary, and the game has been played in great spirits! There has been very little diving, play acting or poor sportsmanship (except the Cameroonians last night!) and the respect for officials and opposition has been high. What are the odds on this being a cleaner world cup than the mens? Have a look at Bettingoffers.Cash to see.

The games have been entertaining at the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup as the teams have focused on attacking play, creative football and an attitude of presenting football as it should be….entertainment. Often games in the men’s side of things, when tension is high and millions of pounds are at stake can descend into bore fests with both teams trying to be too negative, but based on pure entertainment value…..the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup has certainly outdone last year’s men’s efforts!

The quality of football has also been high. Too many times, especially on social media, comments about Women’s football will always revert back to how inferior people perceive the game in comparison to the men’s game. I suggest that these comments derive from people who have not watched a single moment of the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup as if they had if would have taken a very stubborn person not to see how the quality has risen.

At the end of the day, the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup has got the respect it deserves from press and TV coverage…..That’s what the game needs to grow. Not treated a side show, or a PC exercise, but as what it should be and that is a high quality, entertaining and competitive sport played in the way that the game really should be!

Top earning footballers around the world

Gone are the days when players stayed at one club for their entire career, and in recent years many footballers have turned into hired mercenaries, ready to perform for the highest bidder. Many players leave home comforts in the search for higher wages, and of the Top 20 earners, according to https://www.findbettingsites.co.uk , only 2 players are still playing in the country of their birth. Of these, Gerard Pique has played abroad previously in England with Manchester United before returning to Spain.

The fact that both of these players, Spaniard Pique and Kylian Mbappe from France, are European helps them massively to earning big money in their own countries as 75% of the top 20 earnings are plying their trade in Europe. This shows that the biggest money to be made in Football is to come from Europe, with the remaining players currently playing in China and America. These later countries are really tapping into the market in terms of money being paid to players, as previously these countries were seen as leagues where older players go to prolong the end of their career. Now the football associations in these countries are noticing the vast population that they have and using it to drive money into the game, especially China. They have now been able to attract younger players to their league, including 27 year old Oscar, number 6 on our list, and 15th place Hulk, who moved to the Chinese Super League at age 29.

Where you are born also seems to indicate whether you could be one of the higher paid players as 19 of the top 20 hail from either Europe or South America, with only Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure coming from any other continent. The most common country in the top 20 was Brazil with Neymar Jr, Oscar, Thiago Silva and Hulk all appearing in our list. All these players made the move into Europe very early on in their careers and are now reaping the benefits. The two next highest countries both had 3 appearances on the list with France and Argentina sharing second place. With Uruguay and Colombia also appearing on the list, South America really is a hot bed of football talent with exactly half of the top 20 hailing from the continent.

Recent international successes may lead to improved financial deals at club level, as out of the 9 European players on the list, 3 hail from France who have just become World Champions by winning the coveted FIFA World Cup. It may well be that increased interest in these players have lead clubs to move and try to secure them on longer and better deals.

Infographic source: https://www.betting-sites.uk.com/soccer-earnings/

Splitting the Premier League – A positive step or a daft idea?


As another season of the Premier League unfolds, and the usual pattern emerges with three leagues in one…The top 6, the middle 4 and the 10 clubs scrapping to stay above the drop zone. This had lead to the re-emergence of a long standing debate about splitting the league up into mini divisions at a certain stage of the season.

I for one am a fan of this idea. What it would essentially mean is that for the final 12 games or so, the top 6 teams would only play each other, the bottom  6 would compete for survival and the middle tier would battle for bragging rights. I do realise that under this system the battle for the middle positions would not be too exciting, but the rest of it….its the future.

Can you imagine 10 weeks of the season in which the top 6 battle it out week after week? The rivalries, the drama, knowing that every point is vital to keep pace. The league would tighten up as teams would be dropping points and not steam rolling over lowly rivals. Ticket demand for Man City v Man Utd would certainly exceed Man City vs Cardiff and TV viewers would lap it up!

The same for the Bottom 6 clubs…..Look at Huddersfield, getting cut adrift in the season with games away to the big boys to come. But imagine if they knew their last 10 games would be against fellow rivals? The drama would begin….Constant games week after week of teams knowing that a loss could edge them closer to relegation whereas a win would inch them to another season of Premier League glory…..all makes for better drama than constant 11 men behind the ball displays against teams they are fully and rightly expected to, and often do, loose against! Imagine also how it would impact Betting Deals for EPL and Championship clubs!

I know what you are going to say? Why fix something that is more popular than ever and is not broken? Well the argument I would give you is that if an idea exists that could increase Premier League viewership, attendances and drama….then why not take advantage of it?

Will Juventus win Serie A again next season?

Serie A is a very entertaining and exciting domestic league, if you are not challenging for the title. The relegation battle, fight for the Europa League spots and the contest to finish in the Champions League places are hugely enthralling. However, when it comes to the Scudetto, it has pretty much been a one-horse race.

Juventus have won Serie A for the past eight seasons, as the Bianconeri have established themselves as the team to beat in Italy. Not only do Juve play the best football in the country, but they also dominate matches and pretty much steamroll every team that stand in their way. This season, at one stage, it looked like Napoli were going to give them a run for their money, but Juventus ended up winning the championship by 11 points.

A lot could happen this summer during the transfer window, but at this point in time, it is hard to see anyone aside from Juventus winning the Serie A title during the 2019-20 campaign. The Turin giants have the best squad in Serie A, and in Cristiano Ronaldo, they have one of the greatest ever goalscorers. Then, there are midfielders Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira, forward Paulo Dybala as well as defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. There is no doubt that Juventus will be favourites for the Serie A betting outright markets for the upcoming season

There is one club who will be determined to put an end to Juventus’s winning run who also have the resources and personnel to challenge them, and that is Inter Milan. While Juventus are still looking for a new manager following the departure of Massimiliano Allegri, Inter have appointed Antonio Conte as their boss. It was Conte who started the Bianconeri’s total domination of Italian football, and perhaps it will be Conte who will put an end to it.

Inter have not been great in recent years, but the 2010 Champions League winners are back in Europe’s premier club competition after finishing fourth in Serie A this season. Conte would not have taken charge of Inter had he not been given assurances of the club’s transfer budget and had they not had grand plans for the future. Inter’s appointment of Conte as their manager suggests that the Milanese club mean business. Players such as Mauro Icardi, Milan Skriniar, Radja Nainggolan and Ivan Perisic are superb footballers, and if Inter are able to bolster their squad this summer, then there could be a genuine title challenge on.

Elsewhere, Napoli will continue to challenge for the title, although one suspects that the Neapolitan club will be happy to finish in the top four yet again. In recent years, following the slide down the table of Inter Milan and AC Milan, it is Napoli who have taken upon themselves to give a fight to Juventus, but they always seem to fall short, and next season is unlikely to be any different.