Why Barcelona Wants Jean-Clair Todibo

Jean-Clair Todibo joined a small football club, located in the north of Paris when he was just six years old. In the French League system, he is currently competing with a first-team in the fifth tier. Todibo used to train in Les Lilas three times a week until the age of 16 before he decided to leave to make his way to Toulouse.

Two years ago, Todibo was still playing at the club where he captained the under 17’s. However, now he is set to play at Barcelona, alongside Lionel Messi, next season after accepting a deal on a free transfer during the summer.

Jean-Clair Todibo’s Football Career

Up until the 2018/19 season, Jean-Clair Todibo had never participated in a professional match in his life. However, after 10 Ligue 1 matches for Toulouse, he is well on his way to Barcelona. It’s essentially a fairy-tale story that can only be written within the world of football. But how on earth did the defender manage to get here?

Bruno Coton-Pelagie, the Les Lilas sporting director, trained under 19’s and 17’s for more than two decades, stated to reporters,

“Les Lilas is essentially a family club, and Todibo formed part of the family. We witnessed how he matured, developed, grew, and become stronger since he arrived at the club. He was always extremely ambitious, driven, and determined. However, Todibo was a local kid from Bagnolet and was hard-working and very respectful. He obviously had the talent, but he had to work very hard to reach the top.”

At the age of 14, Jean-Clair Todibo was not considered one of the best players at the club in Les Lilas. So he did only a few kids would do in such a situation, he continued to work on his skills and abilities. When he turned 16, he managed to become much stronger as a football player and his incredible talent started to shine.

Jean-Clair Todibo’s Transfer to Barcelona

Todibo, a 6-foot-2 versatile centre-back with great technical abilities and pace, had trials at Le Havre, Man Utd, and other European clubs but he decided to sign for Toulouse in 2016 during the summer. Although he played for the under 19 squad, he was never offered a professional deal until he managed to make a remarkable breakthrough with the first-team.

It took Toulouse a total of 2 years before they realised his talent, but it was far too late by then as Todibo avoided signing for the club. After only ten matches, the defender was benched by the club and hasn’t played a match since 3 November 2018 due to his contract situation.

Once Barcelona made their intentions clear, it was quite an easy choice for Todibo. There isn’t a lot of players who will refuse to play at Camp Nou, and Todibo was overjoyed with the idea to play for such a prestigious football club. Now we merely need to wait until next season to see what he is capable of.

Premier League Predictions for 2019

The Premier League returned this weekend with some of the most incredible matches to date, both for the title race and for Champions League qualification. Manchester City’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool managed to reignite the title race, while United has created a three-way battle with Arsenal and Chelsea for the top-four finish, especially after their sensational win against Tottenham Hotspur. So, who will finish where in the Premier League, and why?

Manchester City

Manchester City will be facing back-to-back home games against Chelsea and Arsenal in February, and if Pep’s team can get 6 points from these games, they will fire off a warning shot to The Reds. Man City is vulnerable against lower-ranked teams as they suffered defeats against Leicester and Crystal Palace this season. However, victories over the top-six will allow them to reclaim the top spot in the premier league.

Liverpool

Liverpool’s defeat against Man City was their first for the 2018/19 season, which means they are definitely not out of form. However, their biggest danger is injuries. Liverpool has three players that they cannot afford to lose, including Alisson as its goalkeeper, Mohamed Salah as the forward, and Virgil van Dijk as the central defender. If any of these players are out, Liverpool will be in real danger. Liverpool is currently boasting with 4 points, but the lack of reliance and success with certain players definitely makes them vulnerable.

Tottenham Hotspur

If Tottenham wants to be a serious contender in the Premier League, they need to claim victories on the matches they are expected to win. This is a huge problem this season as they managed to lose against Wolves and Watford. They have also failed to win against Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Man United this weekend which was a huge shock to Tottenham supporters. They are quickly turning into chokers as they fail to produce the goods when its needed most.

Manchester United

Manchester United managed to defeat Tottenham this weekend, bringing Solskjaer’s record to five consecutive wins since he took over from Mourinho. The victory against Tottenham managed to revive the momentum for the team and allow them to re-enter the race to finish in the top-four of the Premier League. Manchester United certainly has the necessary firepower to succeed this year, and with Solskjaer managing the team, they can definitely pull it off.

Arsenal

Chelsea’s visit on 19 Jan is an important game for both squads, but it’s one that the Gunners cannot afford to lose. An Arsenal win will be good for the Premier League title race and for Manchester United as they will be one step closer to claiming the fourth spot in the Premier League standings. Unai Emery has managed to make progress with the squad he received from Arsene Wenger. However, a lack of strength has become a problem again at the back. Unai Emery needs time and patience to rectify this going forward. However, the likelihood of rectifying this before it causes more problems is near impossible.  

Arsenal Can’t Afford To Let Ramsey Go

These are confusing and strange times for Aaron Ramsey. The midfielder for Arsenal is playing for a manager that decided to sanction the withdrawal of a brand-new contract agreement earlier this season. However, despite being undesirable by Unai Emery, Ramsey is well aware that he has admirers at Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and Juventus, all of which are willing to sign Ramsey as a free agent during the summer.

Judging by the extended chanting of the footballer’s name by over 5,000 Arsenal fans during their 3-0 win against Blackpool in the FA Cup third-round on Saturday, Ramsey certainly has the vocal backing of the supporters in the stands as he starts his final six months with Arsenal.

Ramsey’s Current Situation at Arsenal

The fact that Aaron Ramsey started the game against Blackpool highlights his standing under Emery when it comes to the pecking order. Although Ramsey was involved on a frequent basis this season, he started less than half of the Premier League games for Arsenal which means he is not one of Emery’s top-tier players at the moment.
When asked after the match whether he wants Ramsey to stay onboard, Emery merely danced around the question with an evasive answer. “I’m not sure about the situation,” Emery stated. “But I’m extremely proud of his achievements and how he assisted the squad today.”

Several sources have informed us that the decision to withdraw the contract offer last September, which spanned across eight months, was solely down to Emery who believed that Ramsey couldn’t fit the requirements of an Arsenal midfielder. Meanwhile, Ramsey was ready to ink a brand-new contract worth £180,000 until the club decided to withdraw the contract.

Arsenal is well aware that the footballer can cover more miles and run longer than most players at the club. However, his strengths are more based on endurance as opposed to the high-energy needs that Emery wants which caused the contract to be withdrawn. As of 1 January 2019, Ramsey is welcome to talk freely with any non-English clubs regarding a summer move.

Where Will Ramsey Go?

Juventus are currently the front-runners when it comes to Aaron Ramsey, making it clear to him that they require another midfielder that already contains an arsenal of top-tier players. Bayern Munich are also quite interested in Ramsey and are prepared to swap Allianz Arena for the Emirates, while Liverpool also sees a highly diverse player that will cost them nothing when it comes to a transfer fee if they decide to sign Ramsey towards the end of the summer.

However, if Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and Juventus are so keen on obtaining Ramsey, who has been a fantastic player at Arsenal since he arrived in 2008 from Cardiff City as a young teenager, why has Emery already decided to write him off due to not fulfilling the necessary requirements? This is one question most Arsenal fans are wondering about, and they definitely made their concerns loud and clear when they chanted his name during the match against Blackpool.

Xherdan Shaqiri Is The Answer To Liverpool’s Success

Liverpool’s complicated move for Nabil Fekir, and it’s predictable collapse that took place last summer, created a huge frenzy among fans, so much so that when Liverpool eventually turned its attention away from Fekir, their ‘Plan B’ was considered a bit overwhelming. However, while there are plenty of contenders for the Player of the Season award at Liverpool this year, including James Milner, Andrew Robertson and even Virgil van Dijk, Xherdan Shaqiri is right there with them.

Shaqiri’s two sensational goals during the 3-1 victory against Manchester United earlier this month were definitely considered the most noticeable contributions the star has made at Liverpool, but most fans believe that his presence has been felt much earlier.

Xherdan Shaqiri Contributions to Liverpool


The addition of Xherdan Shaqiri, who was signed from Stoke for approximately £13.5 million during the summer, has worked perfectly on a number of levels for Jurgen Klopp, with individual performances being the most basic of them. Klopp has described the midfielder’s contributions as ‘not normal’ and ‘genius’ on several occasions and is regarded as a symbol of how amazingly the Liverpool side functions as a machine. Xherdan Shaqiri slotted in seamlessly and was absorbed into the club like a dancer who joins a group routine without ever missing a single step. That’s primarily down to him as well as his attitude but also due to the overall unit being so amendable and flexible to brand-new arrivals.

Usually, players are signed by huge clubs to act as backups, to place additional pressure or to replace already established stars. However, Shaqiri immediately complimented the marvellous attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane last season. To introduce Shaqiri to that attacking line-up was a massive gamble for Klopp to undertake.

Given the problems Liverpool had last season at the back of 91 goals scored by the attacking trio, no one would have criticized Shaqiri for leaving the club alone and focusing on his skills elsewhere. However, Klopp was well aware that his forwards were struggling at times to break down lesser sides which meant a different approach was required. The approach involved a 4-2-3-1 formation where Shaqiri played alongside others to make the team whole and excel individually.

Liverpool’s Gamble Paid Off

Acquiring a low-profile footballer from a relegated club, especially when you have title aspirations, seemed like a huge gamble. However, Liverpool made it work as it’s a recipe that the club has tried before. Georginio Wijnaldum and Andrew Robertson were brought in from Newcastle and Hull, following their demotions, and if you include Shaqiri, the three of them cost a mere £45 million.

This indicates how flexible the transfer policy is at Liverpool and it makes the statement quite clear that the club is after the right player for the position as opposed to the most expensive player that is currently the most popular. Klopp definitely made a gamble for Shaqiri, but if you look at what the player is bringing to the table, you can see why Liverpool is at the top of the log at the moment.

Man Utd Hire Solskjaer After Sacking Jose Mourinho


By the summer, Man Utd will have five managers appointed after the era of Sir Alex Ferguson, including Jose Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal, David Moyes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker, and another permanent boss that has yet to be decided. Every time, the debate regarding the identity of the newly appointed manager has focused heavily on the identity of the club. Does the manager get the club? Does he understand the traditions? Is the new boss considered a Man Utd manager?

Ole Gunnar Replaces Sacked Mourinho

The decision to hire Solskjaer to take the role of the new Man Utd manager after the club sacked Mourinho is probably the most shocking decision in Premier League history. Solskjaer might be a temporary fix for the club, but more than half the season still remains, and Man Utd are also in the Champions League Round of 16.

Solskjaer is regarded as a bright and experienced coach, but he only managed to succeed in Norway where the top-flight team can be compared against the Kazakhstan Premier League as per the coefficients of UEFA, and he contributed to the relegation campaign for Cardiff in 2014. Manchester United might be struggling at the moment, but they remain the biggest club in England and its impossible to recall another coach who made such a sudden leap into the Premier League.

The main reason for Solskjaer’s appointment is purely based on the fact that he known the club. He spent more than a decade up front for Man Utd and managed to coach the reserves for several seasons. To be honest, it’s not about Solskjaer knowing the club, it is about the club knowing Solskjaer. Man Utd fans are delighted to see a familiar face again after they got sick of the gloomy frown always presented by Mourinho.

Is there a benefit to Solskjaer?

In all honesty, it is hard to imagine any real benefit when it comes to Solskjaer knowing Manchester United. Solskjaer will probably be familiar with most faces around Carrington and won’t require any directions to find the dressing room in Old Trafford. However, the implication is that he understands the playing traditions of the club.

What this means is still unclear. The modern history of the club is completely dominated by Sir Alex Ferguson who is the only manager for Man Utd to win the title in the last 50 years. Under Ferguson, Man Utd had no permanent approach, no grand philosophy, which is exactly why the club was so feared and so successful. They managed to win in any manner that was possible.

Ferguson’s Man Utd squad played positively and were always title contenders, pushing for wins in situations that other clubs wouldn’t dream of. This allowed them to become England’s richest club which allowed them to acquire top-class players who provided imagination and flair. What exactly should Solskjaer do to formulate such a brilliant team going forward? That is the biggest question on everyone’s mind at the moment.

Tottenham Hotspur Advances to Champions League Knock-Out Stages After Draw Against Barcelona


Tottenham Hotspur has managed to remain in the Champions League after Lucas Moura scored a much-needed goal during the 85th-minute to cancel out the sensational individual effort by Ousmane Dembele to draw against Barcelona.

Tottenham Hotspur were only required to match the results of Inter Milan to progress. However, for a long time, it seemed that they would fail in their pursuit due to the remarkable saves that Jasper Cillessen made during the match while Barcelona had a 1-0 lead. Meanwhile, Inter Milan were only able to draw against PSV Eindhoven at home, which allowed Tottenham to make it through to the round of 16 thanks to the late goal by Lucas Moura which allowed the game to end up in a draw.

Tottenham could only blame themselves if they didn’t make it to the round of 16. They had a string of chances against Barcelona where they dominated the game and had disappointing results against Eindhoven and Milan earlier on in the tournament.

Tottenham’s Difficult Task Against Barcelona

Tottenham travelled to Spain knowing full well that a win would be more than enough to make it through to the round of 16 if they could defeat Barcelona. They were also fully aware of the fact that Barcelona has been unbeaten for a total of 28 matches at home, a phenomenal run that stretches back all the way to 2013 against Bayern Munich.

Barcelona also had two record signings that started against Tottenham Hotspur, including Philippe Coutinho and Dembele, costing the club a staggering €300 million for both, but the game against Hotspur soon showed why. Dembele might be in the headlines for his poor punctuality, but his remarkable opener ensured that he stays with the club a little longer. Dembele’s goal occurred within the opening 15 minutes while Tottenham was still trying to get into the game. Heung-Min Son had the best opportunity on goal during the first half but wasted the opportunity for his team, while Coutinho managed to hit the post on the other end.

The second half was dominated by Tottenham but got extremely frustrated due to the ball-saving abilities of Cillessen. The Barca goalkeeper made several impossible saves from Moura and Eriksen, while Coutinho managed to hit the post once again during the second half. Harry Kane managed to shoot over for Tottenham and started wondering what on earth they could do to score a goal as Messi was brought in from the sidelines. At that very moment, however, Moura made his appearance, fizzing a ball in from close range with 5 minutes left on the clock.

The 5,000 Tottenham Hotspur fans at Camp Nou, including the millions of fans watching from home, nervously waited for news from San Siro. Once the final whistle went off in Milan, fans erupted. And this happened without Hotspur even breaking the incredible Barcelona unbeaten record at home. Now we wait and see how they perform in the round of 16.

Virgil van Dijk Disappointed at Liverpool Football Club

Virgil van Dijk states that he hasn’t achieved anything as a Liverpool player as of yet, telling reporters that he “expected a great deal” from his world-renowned transfer to Anfield at the start of the year, while also adding that there’s something special brewing at the club at the moment.;World’s Most Expensive Defender.

The captain for the Netherlands national team became the most expensive defender in the world when he decided to leave Southampton in a £75 million deal to play at Liverpool in January 2018 where he quickly emerged as an important figure in Klopp’s squad.

Van Dijk played a crucial role in last season’s Champions League final for Liverpool, ending in a defeat in Kiev against Real Madrid, and he has played a key role of Liverpool’s defense that has only conceded 5 Premier League goals this year as Liverpool has mounted a constant challenge to Manchester City in the Premier League title race. However, although there are several signs of progress at the Liverpool club during the 2018/19 season, Van Dijk believes that there should be more in order for him to see the move to Anfield as a successful one.

Van Dijk stated in a recent interview,

“I expected quite a bit from my transfer.I expected a great deal from myself to further improve as a player as well as a human being.Obviously, things have been going extremely well, but we currently don’t have anything apart from loads of improvement and ensuring we’re on the right track. However, I get the feeling that something is taking place at the club. We’ve got incredible momentum at the moment. All of us are feeling great although we can all still improve when it comes to the game, but as I stated before, we’re definitely on the right track.”

The £75 million Transfer Fee

Although van Dijk made headlines due to the massive transfer fee from Southampton to Liverpool, the 27-year-old’s performance for the squad has ensured that the huge figure is barely mentioned at the moment. However, while Van Dijk admits that he has improved as a player in Liverpool, he agrees that the transfer fee can still be used against him if he can’t maintain his consistency.
Van Dijk believes things can turnaround stating,

“In the off chance that things go wrong, people will obviously start bringing up the huge transfer fee. This is something that I cannot control and therefore I merely need to accept it.I’m extremely honoured that Liverpool decided to pay that much for me to join the club this year. The only thing that is required of me is to work extremely hard and play well at the club. Thankfully, I am progressing as a player with a lot of pressure, a different environment, and different tactics in each and every game where it’s crucial to win. It’s something I love doing which is also the main reason why I started playing football.”

The Ultimate Attacking Trios in Football


Three can definitely be considered a magic number, especially when it comes to football. It’s for this very reason that we decided to take a look at the most potent and important trios in the game of football and what makes them so amazing.

Liverpool – The Lords of Open Space

This sensational threesome flourishes on open space and peaks when there’s room for running and attacking behind a rushed retreating defense. They perfectly fit the high-pressure ideals of Jurgen Klopp and are fully equipped to completely exploit the most innocuous change in possession. The blistering conviction and pace of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah is what makes them so deadly when they have the ball in their possession. The Liverpool trio requires open space to operate sufficiently and once they receive it, the front three is unmatched.

Manchester City – Assassins in the Penalty Area

It almost seems unfair to showcase the trio of Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane, and Raheem Sterling given how remarkable Pep Guardiola’s entire team is at destroying opponents. However, the truth of the matter is that these three football stars are the most proficient at applying the final touch to claim victories. Their overall strength doesn’t lie in the creation of chances, but more in the conversion.

Paris Saint-Germain – The Creative All-Stars

If you believe it’s completely unfair that Ligue 1 squads need to deal with Mbappe, Kylian, and Neymar, you’d be right. To be honest, its an embarrassingly creative trio within the French league. However, what’s even more impressive is how three world-class football stars at their previous clubs have jelled and worked as a functioning unit without their egos getting in the way. Unfortunately, the squad has struggled a bit in the Champions League this season, but their incredible combination of style and skill makes them rather impossible to stop, regardless of who they are facing every week.

Barcelona – The Potent Champions

What this miniscule threesome lacks in stature, they quickly make up for in pound-for-pound brilliance and potency. Whether they are playing away or at home in Camp Nou, in the Champions League or La Liga, the three-headed monster of Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, and Lionel Messi has a nearly telepathic connection on the field, allowing them to easily extract the most from their penalty areas, even if it’s over crowded. The Barcelona threesome haven’t hit their absolute best too often but 2018 was the perfect indication of how well these three perform together, accumulating 67 goals along with 29 assists during the La Liga alone.

Tottenham Hotspur – The Superior Group

There’s no denying that this can’t be considered the conventional attacking force when you compare it to the teams mentioned above. However, where would Tottenham Hotspur be without Happy Kane, Christian Eriksen, and Dele Alli? To be completely honest, only Harry Kane can be considered a reasonably top-tier football player, but the magnificent beauty of the triple threat in Tottenham is that they each compliment each other on the field, creating perfection each and every time.

Didier Drogba Retires from Football

Didier Drogba, the legendary Chelsea football star, has recently confirmed that he is retiring from football, ending his phenomenal two decades in the most popular sport in existence. The striker from Ivory Coast had two spells with Chelsea where he managed to score 164 goals in a total of 381 matches and managed to win the 2012 Champions League as well as four Premier Leagues.

He spent the last year and a half of his career with Phoenix Rising, a U.S football club that he also co-owns. “After two decades, I decided to bring my playing career to an end,” he told several news reporters earlier this week.

It’s been expected that Didier Drogba would retire following the Cup final in the United Soccer League earlier this month. His last game was against Louisville City where they, unfortunately, suffered a 0-1 defeat during the United State’s second tier final. “This is the perfect way to end, assisting young talent to further develop their game,” Drogba stated. To give back what I can is the perfect way to end my playing career as I learned a great deal from the game.”

Didier Drogba’s Career

Drogba only started playing top-flight football when he was 23 years old. He was initially signed by Guingamp, a famous French side, in January 2008 to play in the Ligue 2 Le Mans. Eighteen months later, he made a move to Marseille and a year after that he was transferred to Chelsea for a whopping £24 million where he experienced the best spell of his entire career.

Didier Drogba managed to win claim three Premier League titles during the first eight years while playing for Chelsea. During this time, he also won two League Cups and four FA Cups. He also managed to win the Premier League Golden Boot on both the 2009/10 season and the 2007/7 season.

He left Chelsea on an extremely high note as he scored the winning penalty during the final against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Thereafter, Drogba played with the Shanghai Shenhua for six months and 18 months with Galatasaray before he made his return to Chelsea. He managed to score seven goals during the 2014/15 season, allowing him to win his fourth Premier League title as well as his third League Cup. When he left Chelsea, he was considered the fourth highest scorer in the game all of time.

During 2015, Drogba decided to join Montreal Impact, a Major League Football side, followed by becoming a co-owner of the Phoenix Rising squad. Drogba also scored 65 goals in a total of 105 caps while playing for Ivory Coast and enjoyed 3 World Cups where he was also named the African Football Player of the Year on two occasions.

Saying Good-Bye To a Legend

Didier Drogba was a phenomenal football player that will always be remembered for his amazing skills and incredible goals for Chelsea. He will continue coaching young players going forward, giving back to the game that he loves so much.

Wayne Rooney Makes Final England Appearance

Since the initial shock at the beginning of the month that Wayne Rooney might be making his last run for England, attention has centred around the country’s record goalscorer. How long would Rooney play for? Will he be wearing the captain’s armband during the match? And is it right that he received another cap? Let’s take a look at Wayne Rooney’s final appearance for England and answer all the questions in the process.

Pre-Match

“It’s been sensational having him around this week, providing those bits of glory,” Gareth Southgate stated before kick-off. Wayne Rooney clearly had a positive impact on Gareth’s young squad during training where he managed to present England shirts to three players who made their international debuts for the team on Thursday.

Wayne Rooney had to wait until the second half of the match to wear his England shift for the 120th time. However, prior to the start of the match, Rooney walked his sons through the prestigious guard of honour where he received some silverware from Greg Clarke and Henry Kane. There were more than 60,000 fans in the stands, and every single one was on their feet as Wayne saluted the massive crowd before the start of the National anthems.

The Cameo

Wayne Rooney was all jokes and smiles with Henry Kane during the game, and there was plenty for the 33-year-old football player to enjoy during the first half of the match as the new generation of players showed off their skills, including Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jadon Sancho. Rooney didn’t have to wait too long during the second half to be called by Southgate, allowing him to step onto the Wembley turf for the last time with just under an hour left on the clock.

Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson entered the match at the same time, but it was Rooney that got the fans up on their feet, chanting his name while passing the captain’s armband. Wayne Rooney took his place alongside Callum Wilson, and Sancho in England’s front three and immediately searched for the striker with a striving ball which was unfortunately cut out.

During the 69th minute, there was also an interruption where an over-eager fan managed to run up to Rooney to give him a hug. However, once the fan was escorted off the field, Rooney was back in the game where he received a pass from Sancho followed by a tame shot towards goal. He certainly didn’t see the ball as much as he wanted to, but every time he touched the ball it was pure quality. Rooney received his best chance for a goal during the 91st minute mark, but unfortunately, the low shot was too comfortable and central for the goalkeeper. Rooney obviously knew he should have done better and smiled.

Shortly thereafter, the full-time whistle blew which brought the end of Wayne Rooney’s international career which was the second time for the outstanding player. As he walked off the pitch, Rooney made jokes with the goalkeeper with handshakes and hugs all around while the crowd gave him an applause along with a pat on the back from Gareth Southgate.