The majority of the most expensive football transfers of all time have involved attacking players. Such is the premium clubs will pay for a footballer who can score or create goals, the last time the transfer world record was broken by a defender was way back in 1922, when Sunderland paid South Shields the handsome sum of £5,500 for Warneford Cresswell. However, our focus here is the players tasked with preventing goals.
Manchester United and Manchester City made it through to the final of the 2022/23 FA Cup after they overcame Brighton and Sheffield United respectively in the semis. Many football fans were rather surprised to discover that these two great sides from Manchester (who have won the FA Cup 18 times between them) have never faced one another in the final. So, in this article, we thought we’d take a look through all the FA Cup finals that have taken place (since the inaugural tournament in the 1871/72 season) and see how many involved derbies, local or otherwise.
When Sevilla beat Jose Mourinho’s Italian side Roma in the Europa League final at the end of May 2023, it was the Spanish club’s seventh success in the competition (including its forerunner, the UEFA Cup). The UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971/72 season and was rebranded as the Europa League for the 2009/10 campaign. Sevilla have now won four more Europa League (and/or UEFA Cup) tournaments than their nearest rivals (Inter Milan, Liverpool, Juventus and Atletico Madrid have won three times apiece).
On Saturday 3rd June Celtic will play Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the final of the Scottish Cup. The Glasgow giants are looking to seal a treble, having already landed the league and League Cup. There are no certainties in football but odds of 1/10 for the Bhoys to win in 90 minutes and just 1/16 to lift the trophy suggest that the treble is about as close to nailed on as you can get.
The 2022/23 Premier League season has been incredible and perhaps the talking points that come to define it will only be known once the dust has settled. Will we remember Erling Haaland’s many, many goals, a Man City treble, the greatest relegation battle in PL history, the emergence of Newcastle as a major force, Man United’s return to the upper echelons of English football… or something else entirely?
Some call the England manager’s role the impossible job, whilst others call it the hardest job in the world. Gareth Southgate seems to be making it look relatively easy – certainly very possible at any rate. That’s a different matter though, because both Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane might well argue that being your country’s captain, hero and record goalscorer is, in fact, an impossible (or certainly a thankless) task.
At the time of writing (21/3/23), Arsenal are sitting pretty eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table with 10 games of the 2022/23 campaign remaining. But Gunners fans are not relaxing just yet, especially with second-placed Manchester City putting in some scarily good displays of late. But as Arsenal focus on marching towards their first title since the 2003/04 season, we’re going to take a look back at when teams have led the way in the top flight, only to fluff their lines. So here we have the worst Premier League title collapses ever – any Arsenal fansout there might prefer not to read this!
The financial might of the Premier League seems to increase every year, with clubs in the bottom half of the table regularly buying players for £10m+. Indeed, we quite often see relatively average players, or certainly unproven ones, move to new clubs for fees of £20m or more. However, even viewed through this lens, and considering that PL sides spent a record £2.8bn on transfers during the 2022/23 season (summer and January windows), Chelsea’s outlay has been startling.
Since the first Merseyside derby was played between Everton and Liverpool in October 1894, the sides have met more than 240 times. The sides have both been in the top division of English football since the 1962/63 season, which means the Merseyside derby has been going on season-on-season in the top flight longer than any other.
The 2023 January transfer window has been nothing short of manic, with Premier League clubs and their respective owners (we’re looking at you Todd Boehly) spending like they’ve never spent before. A jaw-dropping £780.1 million was splashed on 52 permanent transfers, with an enormous number of loan deals also being struck.