Adel Taarabt a premier league flop?

Adel Taarabt is a 32-year-old Moroccan who had a bright career ahead of him in England however it was not to be as his off-pitch antics left a bad taste in the mouths of many undermining his impact on the pitch. Let’s look back at his time in England and where things went off the rails.

Tottenham Hotspur

At 17 years old Taarabt showed great potential at then club Lens. He did enough to catch Damien Comolli’s eye who was the then director of football at Tottenham. He joined Spurs on a loan deal under Martin Jol. Taarabt went on to join Spurs permanently later that year. He made his debut against West Ham at the 87th minute with Spurs losing, Spurs ended up winning that game and Taarabts’ performance was part of that comeback which led many Spurs fans to think they got a future star. He was a disappointment making only 8 appearances for the club with 0 goals scored. He was building up a bad reputation for his lacklustre attitude that once saw him being banned from the training grounds. He would, later on, be loaned out to Queens Park Rangers where we got to see a glimpse of his potential.

Queens Park Rangers

Taarabt was loaned out to QPR for the 08/09 season with the hope that he can help them to promotion and establish himself as a serious option for Spurs in the future. During his loan he showed he had the skills to take on players and a vision worthy of the worlds best, however, his bad-boy attitude got the best of him. He joined online casino australia QPR for 1 million pounds. Stories such as him leaving a game during halftime after being subbed off to go to a local pub started to be common. He played 157 games for QPR and scored 34 times for them. It’s important to note that goal scoring was not what he was known for but rather he was known for his creative play, he could dribble past a locked defensive or provide that pinpoint through ball.


He joined Fulham on a season-long loan making only 12 appearances for them before returning to QPR. Upon return to QPR then manager Harry Redknapp called him out for his work ethic stating that he was at least 3 stone overweight.  

Adel Taarabt now applies his trade in Portugal for Benfica joining them for 4 million Euros. So far he has made 59 appearances for them scoring 1 goal. He is not a first-time player but should be grateful that he still plays for a big team such as Benfica even after being blacklisted by most of the footballing world.

Taarabt is another story of footballers with great potential destroying their careers by their actions. The football world has always had its fair share of bad boys but if you can’t back that attitude up on the field then you will always go down as a what-if case.

Howard Webb: Police officer turned football referee

Howard Webb MBE is a former FIFA and English FA referee who will always hold the spot for being one of the most intimidating referees but more importantly he is known for being one of the best Premier League referees to ever officiate.

Webb was born in Rotherham and started refereeing part-time while still a police officer with the South Yorkshire Police. He started his career in 1989 and eventually became a Premier League assistant referee in 1998. He took a sabbatical from policing to focus full time on refereeing a decision he won’t regret. In 2003 he made the step up to main match referee.

He made his Premier League referee debut on 18 October 2003 taking charge of Fulham vs Wolves. He took charge of 296 Premier League games. He also officiated 43 FA cup games and 19 EFL cup games. He wasn’t without his controversy. In 2011 he officiated a match between Liverpool and Manchester United which Manchester United best au online casino ended up winning by a penalty. Liverpool forward Ryan Babel took to Twitter to display his anger by posting a picture of Webb in a Manchester United shirt insinuating the former police officer of being biased. Babel later removed the most and was fined.

 He went on record saying he regretted awarding Manchester United a penalty in a game against Spurs which United ended up winning resulting in them getting an edge in the title race, the penalty was a mistake as Gomez the Spurs goalkeeper made contact with the ball first. He received a one-week demotion from the Premier League for his mistake.

He was appointed as the referee for the 2010 UEFA champions league final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. The game ended 2-0 Inter Milan. He issued 3 yellow cards in a game with not much controversy. He oversaw 36 games in the UEFA champions league.

He was selected as England’s representative for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. 

His first game was in charge of Spain vs Switzerland which Spain, the eventual world cup winners, lost. He took charge of the final between Spain and the Netherlands. He showed 14 yellow cards in a very physical game which also saw him sending Dutch centre back John Heitinga to the stands. However a big talking point came when Nigel de Jong committed a high tackle on Xabi Alonso studding him on the chest, Webb deemed the foul only a yellow card. He would later on say that his view was obstructed when making the decision.

Webb would eventually hang up his whistle in 2014 to pursue a role as Professional Game Match Officials Board. The board’s role is to decide on who officiates in English top tiers.

Webb now works as an analyst for different media houses. He also married Bibiana Steinhaus, who also was a referee and also a police officer. He officiated in 534 games in the span of his 13-year career no doubt that he will always be held in high regard for his officiating.

Covid allows clubs to make 5 substitutions

Now watching Diego Simeone bring on four subs at once during the game against Liverpool might have left you confused but that was due to a rule change that was meant to save players. We all know the effects that Covid-19 has had on our everyday life, so when UEFA announced that 5 substitutions will be used for the remainder of the 19/20 season in both Champions League and Europa League no one was surprised.

This rule has transferred into the 20/21 and 21/22 seasons with some changes. The rule was implemented as a way to prevent injuries to players after a change in pace came about from the restart of the 19/20 season when players who were inactive suddenly started to play 3 games per week to recover lost time. This was shared amongst the top 5 leagues in Europe with only England choosing not to use the rule even with the congestion of fixtures. Pep Guardiola called it “ridiculous” for the English FA to not adopt the new rule.

Teams are allowed to make 5 substitutions during the group stages of the UEFA Champions League and should they progress to the knockout phase of the champions league they would be allowed to use 6 substitutions however, the 6th substitution is only valid in extra time. UEFA allows 3 stoppages in play for these changes; this does not include half-time or before extra time and during the half time of extra time.

The rule will allow clubs who had invested in squad depth to get the best out of their players. This will allow managers to try out new tactics. Teams are also allowed to have bigger benches. This will give players like Donny Van de Beek a chance to break into the first team and get some playing time under their belts with the rotations. We will also see a more competitive game with managers bringing in fresh legs to change the dynamics of the game. Managers such as Jurgen Klopp will certainly benefit from this with his heavy metal football that demands a lot from his players.

Changes in sports are always hard to adjust to at first like VAR but when you realise that this rule will best online casino only help to improve the game the fans will come around. It is better to have more subs than to have a player overexert themselves and get injured and be out of action for a few months. This also goes in hand with UEFA’s previously proposed rule change for an extra sub for head injuries which could be fatal.

The rule change was certainly needed as it preserves the players’ longevity. This rule change is expected to last until December 2022 with hopes of life getting back to normal. This could however be a permanent change in the rule book should it not affect the game too much and get the go-ahead from the IFAB. One sub can change a game imagine the possibilities of 5.

Messi subbed in the first half

Lionel Messi has had a lengthy adjustment period in Paris as the Argentine has yet to register a single goal for PSG in the league.

After another disappointing start, Messi was subbed off at halftime in their game against Lille, a game they were trailing. Mauricio Pochettino felt Messi was not benefiting the team due to him not being on top of his game because of muscle pains. He was replaced with Mauro Icardi. PSG would go on to win the game without the help of Messi in the second half.

Messi joined PSG in a shocking move after Barcelona found themselves in financial troubles. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner hasn’t kicked off at PSG domestically. Many questioned how Messi would perform outside of Barcelona, unfortunately so far it’s been not good.

Nicolas Anelka has criticised the 34-year-old stating “Today we demand from Neymar, but we can do the same with Messi. Since the beginning of the season, it is not extraordinary either. There is a player who has six Ballon d’Ors and finally is not so extraordinary,”.

His reunion with former Barca star Neymar has not gone to play, everyone involved with PSG would surely want to see a glimpse of their Barcelona days but the link-up has been slow. He has other familiar faces at the club like long time international teammate Angel Di Maria but still, his transition has not been smooth. Messi finds himself playing through the middle with Neymar and Mbappe supporting him on either side. That’s where he has always played and thrived in so that could mean that the tactics are not helping him.

Messi was shocked at his sudden move from Barcelona stating in an interview after signing for PSG “I had to find another club because Barca could not afford to extend my contract. That changed my plans”. Even though he did plan to leave the season before but decided not to. Could this sudden change be the best online casinos reason why one of the best of all time is struggling to perform in the French league, a league where his current club dominates every year? Messi’s family still live in Barcelona and he stated that it has been a hard adjustment for him this is a contributing factor towards his current form.

Messi could still be under pressure despite being a 6 teams Ballon d’Or winner because he would want to prove that he can still get things done at another club. Add that to an annual salary of around $41 million a year and you have a player with a chip on his shoulder struggling to get results.

When we talk about players like Messi the old saying comes to mind “Form is temporary but class is permanent”. Messi has started slowly in Ligue 1 but has had an excellent champions league run. It’s only a matter of time before he gets back to his best and silences the critics.

Why not try our Messi Quiz

Hammers captain calls curtains on his career.

Mark Noble has confirmed that this season would be his final season before retirement.

Noble, a one club man nicknamed ‘Mr West Ham’ has played 463 games for the Hammers and scored 54 goals for them in a career spanning 17 years. He joined West Ham in 2000 as a youth player and has never left them ever since. He did however serve two short term loans at Hull CIty appearing 5 times and Ipswich Town appearing 13 times and netting once.

He made his West Ham debut at 17 years old in a League club tie to Southend United in 2004. He made his league debut in 2005 against Wolves. He always played in the middle of the pitch helping out more defensively with West Ham so used to absorb pressure. He is known online casinos for playing box to box and leaving everything out on the field. He is on penalty duty and set pieces.

He has been with the Hammers through the lows and highs. He has seen them in relegation, he has helped them out of relegation and into the Premier League. He has played his part in making West Ham a Premier League side. In 2015 he was named as the clubs’ new captain a role he has taken seriously. He embodies West Ham. He leads his team with so much honour which is returned with respect. Mark Noble told David Moyes that he would take care of the locker room so he can focus on his part. 

Noble was included in the PFA Team of the Year 2011-2012 championship. He was awarded Hammer of the Year for the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 seasons. His most honourable award was being named the Hammer of the Decade.

Despite a long career, unfortunately, he was not called up for his country’s first team. He did however represent England at lower levels. The closet he got was being on the standby list for Roy Hodgson for the Euros 2016. Noble is eligible to play for Ireland.

After retirement Noble has made his plans clear in an interview with Premier League TV, that he would go into coaching at West Ham starting at the lower levels but hopes to end up with the first team. He is currently working on his coaching badges. He was set to retire at the end of last season but chose to stick around for one more season to observe how the club is run and learn more about the tactical side of the game from David Moyes and his current staff. He signed a one-year contract extension at the end of last season.

Mark went to West Ham as a youngster and will be leaving a club legend, it’s fair to say he fulfilled so many aspiring footballers’ dream of not only playing for the club he loves so dearly but also having a long career and becoming a fan favourite. He would go down as a true professional of the game.

Let us talk about Oldham Athletic

Oldham Athletic, based in Oldham, a working city known then for hatting. Is a 126-year-old footballing club that has seen and is part of the football revolution in England. The Latics as they are affectionately known was started in 1895 as Pine Villa.

In 1899 Pine Villa became Oldham Athletic. Pine Villa was formed by John Garland and named after the nearby Pine Mill. Oldham played in both Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League. In 1907/08 they gained promotion to the second division of the Football League and eventually, in 1911 they got promoted to the first division.

Their success was stalled by World War 1. Unfortunately, unlike today’s era where clubs lose star online casino players to transfers to other clubs at that time, Oldham lost players to the war, many of them going but not returning. However, there was some glimpse of light with Oldham scoring 11 goals in an 11-2 bashing of Chester.

Oldham started playing at Boundary Park, previously known as Athletic Ground. They benefited from Oldham County’s downfall and moved into their stadium when the club was dismantled. The stadium has a capacity of 13500 people and went under a remodel in 2008 to attract more fans into the stadium.

Manchester has many clubs from Manchester City, Manchester United, Bolton to Accrington Stanley but Oldham’s rivals are Bolton Wanderers, Rochdale and Stockport County. Their biggest rivalry however is with Huddersfield Town known as the A62 derby, named after the A62 road between Huddersfield and Oldham.

Oldham is currently run by Abdallah Lemsagam. His ownership has been met with protest from fans who have gone to the extent of throwing lit flares onto the field during games. The fans are not happy about his management of the club. They do not believe in his vision for the club. The fans want an injection of funds to improve the club which currently has a salary average of £1,800 per week. He has remained firm on not selling the club and has vowed to restore the club to its fighting best.

Oldham was one of the first teams to compete in the first instalment of the Premier League in 1992. Their stay in England’s top flight was short-lived when they got relegated in 1994. That was just the start of their downfall. They got demoted right to the third tier of English Football. In 2018 due to financial strains, the club was relegated from League One. In club competitions, Oldham can be a tricky fixture for big clubs with the title of giant-killers knocking out teams like Liverpool from the FA Cup, beating them 3-2. In a competition, that they are 3-time semi-finalist.

Oldham is a club full of history. A fan base that is always supportive and a club with a heart of a lion. They currently play in League Two of the English Football League. Under head coach Keith Curle, the founding members of the Premier League would hope to return to the league they belong to.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time at Manchester United so far.

After three years in charge at Old Trafford and escaping the sack like Houdini, it looks like after a thrashing by fierce rivals Liverpool that could be the final nail in the coffin.

Solskjaer joined Manchester United from boyhood club Molde, as caretaker coach. During his first game in charge at his former club Cardiff City, he defeated them 5-1. A revitalized United would go on to win their next four games in the Premier League. Was it the new manager effect or was he just that effective? Manchester United pulled off a classic Champions League comeback to beat PSG 3-1, overturning their away goals advantage and progressing to the next round.

He was caretaker manager for 19 matches winning 14. At the time the idea of him taking the role on a full-time basis was not a far stretch. Ole was rewarded with the Manchester United job. After putting pen to paper on his permanent deal, United had a mixed bag of results winning only two of the eight remaining league games and losing both legs to Barcelona in the Champions League.

In his first full season in charge, he managed to get the team to a third-place finish in the Premier League. His campaign started at home to Chelsea with United beating them by 4-0. The whole league took notice as this could be the start of something great. United won 18 of 38 games in the league that season and was ahead of Chelsea only on goal difference. He guided them to 3 cup semi-finals however he failed to progress to the final in all 3 competitions.

In the 20/21 season, he managed to get United to the Europa League final against Spanish side Villarreal. United found themselves in the Europa League because they failed to progress from the group stages of the Champions League. They would lose the final and continue their trophy drought. He managed them to a second-place finish in the league, the closest they’d come to the title since Jose Mourinho was in charge.

At the start of the 21/22 season, United made some statement signings such as Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and surprisingly brought in Cristiano Ronaldo. The side looked good at the start and Ole was set to turn his fortunes around at United. He oversaw a 5-1 drubbing of Leeds. They then drew 1-1 to Southampton with fans calling for his sack fearing nothing had changed. Like many seasons before when his job was on the line he performs. United would win the next 3 games in the league however that was overshadowed by them losing 3 out of their last 4 league games. A loss to Young Boys in their opening match of the group stages of the champions league would see fans pushing for his dismissal even more.

Ole hoped that on his return to United as their manager he would be able to bring back the glory of this giant club, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. His time there looks to be coming to an end after escaping the sack so many times.

Pepe: An overlooked legend

Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira, known as Pepe, is a Brazilian born Portuguese centre back who currently plays for Porto. An aggressive and bullish defender that is a serial winner.

Pepe is known mostly for his time at Real Madrid but also for his tough brand of football. Pepe made his professional debut for Maritimo. He was still a teenager at the team and he was rotated to various positions before noticing he had a skill for defending. Even without him having a set position, he was a regular at Maritimo.

He caught the eye of the best club in the land at that time, Porto. He joined Porto in 2004 playing 64 times for the Portuguese giants, scoring 6 times. By now he was a well established centre back who can tackle hard and fair. He would spend 3 years with Porto before Spanish giants Real Madrid came calling.

He signed a 5-year contract with Los Blancos. He would not know at the time but that contract would be one of the best choices he could have made. He was the most expensive defender sold at the time. Not long after signing for Madrid, he got into a scrap with a teammate in training but he was so important to Real Madrid that he still went on to start the next game and escape disciplinary action. In his first year, he would get his first taste of the big time when Real Madrid won the league title.

Pepe was developing a reputation for being a physically tough player, sometimes too tough like when he kicked Javier Casquero twice, an action he was sent off for. Surprisingly that was his first red card. Early on at Madrid injuries would get the better of him but it didn’t take long for him to regain his starting position in the team. He would prove himself a valuable asset to Madrid continuously putting in man of the match performances at the back.

He was naturalized as a Portuguese citizen and was eligible to play for them. He built a great relationship with Cristino Ronaldo and the two were the backbone of the Portuguese team for years to come.

Pepe would go on to be part of one of the most successful teams of this era. He won 3 champions league trophies back to back. He also contributed to 6 league titles. Two time club world cup winner. 7 time domestic Supercup winner. 2 times UEFA super cup winner. He was part of the Portuguese team that won the UEFA Nations League and the Euros.

His highest personal accomplishment is winning the 2014 player of the year for Portugal. He most recently won Porto’s Defender of the Year award.

One of the more controversial players of the current generation but undoubtedly one of the best defenders of that generation. We tend to overlook the problem players accomplishments because of their reputation but that is something one can not simply ignore.

Lucy Bronze

England full-back Lucy Bronze is a well-seasoned professional with multiple titles under her belt.

The 29-year-old was born in Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, currently applying her trade for Manchester City. The 1.7 meter full-back started her football journey playing with the boys’ team at Alnwick Town until under 11s. That’s when she got recruited for Sunderland under 12s. She became a senior player for Sunderland at 16. She had a good run at Sunderland however due to her education she left them to attend the University of North Carolina.

Upon completing her studies she then signed on for Everton where she spent 2 years. She appeared 20 times for them, scoring twice. She made her UEFA champions league debut for Everton in a 0-0 draw. She quickly established herself as a starter even at that young age. In her last season at Everton, she helped the team finish third in the FA Women’s Super League.

In 2012 she made the move across the road to rivals Liverpool. At Liverpool, she became a starter and contributed to the teams’ title win in 2013 and 2014. Giving her the taste of league glory. She also got the recognition she deserves from her colleagues when she won PFA Women’s Players Player of the year. She played for Liverpool for 2 years appearing 28 times and scoring 3 times for them.

and contributed to the teams’ title win in 2013 and 2014. Giving her the taste of league glory. She also got the recognition she deserves from her colleagues when she won PFA Women’s Players Player of the year. She played for Liverpool for 2 years appearing 28 times and scoring 3 times for them.

Women’s football leagues are small and players often find themselves moving around frequently in search of more opportunities. That search for those opportunities led Bronze to leave Liverpool where she had already been successful and join Manchester City who was in an exciting development period.

Bronze helped Manchester City finish 2nd in the FA Women’s Super League during her first season with them which was their highest finish at that point. She was part of the Manchester City team that went the whole season undefeated the following year. Another moment of glory came in the FA Women’s League cup when she scored a 105th-minute winner in the final. She was named in the PFA Women’s Players Player of the year award for the second time showing how good she is considered by her colleagues. She was included in the PFA WSL Team of the year as well as the Women’s Champions League Squad of the Season.

She went on to join powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais from 2017-2020. In her first year, she helped the team win the Women’s Champions League. The first champions league title of her career. She went on to win the treble with Olympique Lyonnais. She went on to make 48 appearances and score 3 goals.

Her performance at Olympique Lyonnais was enough to earn her a position on the list of top 10 nominees for the first-ever Women’s Ballon d’Or. She finished third in The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award and went on to win her biggest personal trophy, the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award. She has rejoined Manchester City and at 29 years old she still has a lot more to achieve.