December 5 – The average lifespan of a Premier League manager is less than 1.5 years. Mark Hughes, who was sacked by Southampton after their draw with Manchester United at the weekend, lasted just 8 months and is Saints’ 23rdmanager in the past 20 years.
December 4 – Fans who want to see the ball in play get the best value of money in Europe’s Big 5 leagues if they watch the Bundesliga where the ball is in play on average 58.5% of the time. Sweden’s Allsvenskan tops the list of European leagues though with the ball in play 60.2% of the time.
December 4 – Real Madrid’s Croatian captain Luka Modric followed up his FIFA best player award by winning the prestigious Ballon d’Or on Monday, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade.
December 4 – As faux pas go, it was right up there with the most awkward. Monday’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris was in full swing and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg had just won the inaugural award for the best player in women’s football when the moment was tarnished by a moment of chauvanistic indiscretion.
By Paul Nicholson
December 3 – The US Soccer federation is abandoning its controversial U12 academy system, which it launched in 2016, in favour of returning this age-group’s player development responsibilities to its youth club system.
November 30 – Belgium remain top of FIFA’s latest rankings, just, with world champions France a close second and Brazil in third spot. Sweden and Serbia were among the big movers.
November 30 – The world players union FIFPro has called for an urgent inquiry into suspect medical treatment administered at several top-tier clubs in Cyprus.
November 27 – French developed players dominate Europe’s Big 5 leagues with almost one in five minutes being played (19.7% of total minutes) by players who grew up in the country.
November 26 – Can there ever be redemption after losing a World Cup semi-final 7-1 on home soil? Perhaps not, but Luiz Felipe Scolari must have felt a measure of satisfaction as he led Palmeiras to the Brazilian championship on Sunday, just months after having joined the Sao Paulo club.
November 22 – Manchester City dominate the stats charts in the expanded Performance Atlas released by the CIES Football Observatory.
November 21 – Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane have resigned after a series of poor results in which the side won only one of their last 11 games.
November 21 – UEFA looks set to fast-track the implementation of video assistant referees (VAR) for the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League after growing pressure to fall into line with most of Europe’s domestic leagues and following the system’s success at the World Cup.
November 19 – An open letter calling on the chief executive of England’s Professional Footballers’ Association, Gordon Taylor (pictured), to step down after 37 years in charge has been endorsed by more than 200 current and former players.
November 14 – Claudio Ranieri, the much-travelled Italian who shocked world football by leading unheralded Leicester City to the 2016 Premier League title as 5000-1 outsiders in one of the greatest team sport achievements of all time, is back in the top flight after being appointed manager of Fulham in succession to Slavisa Jokanovic.
November 13 – Germany’s Bundesliga and France’s Ligue1 clubs give almost three time more playing time to under 21 players than English Premier League teams.