Update…

This blog has been decidedly vacant over the past few months while I have been honing my journalism skills at the Press Association. However, I have still been showering words on the wonderful world of sport, from covering the depths of the Ryman Premier League to reporting live from the London Marathon.

To view a portfolio of my published work to date, click on the image below.

Screen shot 2013-07-03 at 20.08.25

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How do we solve a problem like diving?

abidal_drogba

How do we solve a problem like diving? How do we even define a problem like diving? It’s rarely a black and white, yes or no issue that can be correctly evaluated and dealt with in the blink of an eye.

Of course there are the painfully obvious examples where individuals hit the turf as though someone has stolen their knees, but what about when players genuinely come together? Unfortunately, in these common scenarios, ‘going to ground’ is usually the decisive factor in convincing a referee that a foul has taken place.

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Why AVB has finally silenced his critics

Tottenham Hotspur's manager Villas-Boas reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane in London

I wonder if Andre Villas-Boas has a framed screenshot of the Premier League table hanging in his office? Having amassed 40 points from 22 games, Tottenham sit just two points behind the Champions of Europe, with a six-point gap ahead of fierce rivals Arsenal. The club may not be hailed as the outside ‘title challengers’ they were this time last season, but they are arguably in a better shape to regain entry into the Champions League.

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Is it ‘do or die’ for Aston Villa?

Paul-Lambert

On May 14 2012, the entire country was battered with gale-force winds after every Aston Villa supporter let out a collective sigh of relief. The news that the much-loathed figure of Alex McLeish had departed was met with rapturous applause, especially when Paul Lambert was announced as his replacement, having just guided a mediocre Norwich City side to unimaginable heights.

Alas, six months later, the club is still wallowing at the wrong end of the table after securing just four Premier League victories all season while boasting the worst goal difference in the division. A demoralising festive period saw the Villans concede a startling 15 goals during three consecutive defeats in which they also failed to score. A potentially season-defining set of fixtures remain in January, but can Lambert’s young side finally fulfil their potential?

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Is Joe Allen the weak link at Liverpool?

Joe Allen

Cast your mind back to August, Joe Allen is standing tall as the golden boy, set to orchestrate a potentially golden era on Merseyside. His refusal to concede possession, a trait once reserved for the sunny shores of Spain, has already begun to wash away a relentless feeling of frustration among the Anfield faithful. Oh, how times change.

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Yann M’Vila: Perfect or Poison for Arsenal?

Yann-M’Vila

“He reads the game like Claude Makelele, has the presence of Patrick Vieira and can pass the ball like Yaya Toure.” (Le Parisien)

If the effusive praise of Stade Rennais manager Frederic Antonetti carries any merit, Yann M’Vila is destined to enjoy a career at the very pinnacle of the beautiful game. Less than a year ago, the 22-year-old was the standout figure in the latest batch of exciting French talent, before a string of controversies provoked a partial fall from grace.

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Are Crystal Palace ready for the Premier League?

Ian-Holloway

December was a particularly harsh and unforgiving month at Selhurst Park. Despite suffering defeat just once at the hands of table-topping Cardiff, Crystal Palace tasted victory also once, having thrown away winning positions on four separate occasions. The club were still endorsing the same brand of attractive football but perhaps the runaway bandwagon was beginning to grind to a halt.

The prospect of January offered little reprieve, with the uncertainty of the transfer window threatening to steal away the team’s shining stars. However, New Year’s day was greeted by a comfortable victory against Wolves, a result that completed a surprising double over the recently relegated Wanderers. Palace then hosted Stoke in the FA Cup and in spite of the goalless scoreline, the match showed signs that the club are finally ready for a return to the big time.

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