By Samindra Kunti
February 3 – For the third time in history Egypt and Cameroon will meet in the final of the African Cup of Nations. In the semi-finals the two traditional powerhouses of the African game defeated Burkina Faso and Ghana respectively.
February 2 – “You don’t win anything with kids,” is a famous comment by former Scotland and Liverpool player Alan Hansen. But Premier League clubs aren’t even trying to according to data examining the number of debutants in the professional game in the current season in Europe’s Big 5 leagues.
February 1- Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has become the latest high-profile export to the Chinese Super League after joining Changchun Yatai for £20 million from English Premier league club Watford.
Neil McGuinness works as a scout for Aspire in Qatar. Previously, he scouted many years for European elite clubs. The global scout, with Scottish roots, talks to Samindra Kunti about modern-day scouting, scouting in Britain and the rise of China in the global game.
January 23 – Arsene Wenger, the longest serving manager in the English Premier League regarded by many as a role model for aspiring coaches, has been charged with physically pushing the fourth official after being sent off in the closing stages of last Sunday’s last-gasp 2-1 win over Burnley.
January 20 – Long-time Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, one of the most knowledgeable coaches of global footballing trends, says top-flight players should opt for playing a better standard rather than automatically take the money by moving to China.
January 18 – Money can’t buy you love, sang the Beatles, but turning it down might do just that. Yaya Toure will have endeared himself even more to Manchester City fans for turning down a reported $430,000 a week salary offer from China. Sporting Gijon coach Abelardo Fernandez has taken gone a step further.
January 18 – The English Football Association is considering introducing retrospective bans on players who dive or feign injury.
January 17 – Already embroiled in the 2006 World Cup bid scandal, German football has suffered another internal administrative blow with the premature departure of sporting director Hansi Flick, with former under-21 coach Horst Hrubesch hauled out of retirement to temporarily replace him.
January 16 – When is retirement not retirement? FIFA have been asked by Liverpool to make a ruling over the eligibility of Cameroon defender Joel Matip after the club was forced to leave him out in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
January 16 – Hailed as a Messiah and the most sought-after coach in Europe when he joined Manchester City after blazing a trail at Barcelona and then Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola appears to have conceded that winning the Premier League title in his first season in England is over.
January 12 – As European league seasons hot up in the second half of campaigns, the impact of losing players to the African Nations Cup, which begins on Saturday, is once again likely to take its toll.
January 11 – Chelsea are going to win the Premier League, Real Madrid will win Spain’s La Liga, Bayern Munich will top the Bundesliga and Juventus will champion in Italy’s Serie A. In France PSG will get knocked off their perch by Monaco for the Ligue 1 title.
January 9 – With FIFA set to announce the winners of the voting at its new ‘BEST’ annual awards event, the CIES Football Observatory has developed a more technical methodology and ranking of the best players in Europe’s big-5 leagues by position. And Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list.