December 21 – Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been fined a total of £95,000 for failing to control their players during this month’s hotly contested Premier League derby.
December 18 – Wolves are more likely to win maximum league points if Diogo Jota is in the starting line-up than if he isn’t. The same for Chelsea if Ross Barklay and/or Pedro Rodriguez starts.
December 19 – Manchester United have named Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager until the end of the season, a day after sacking Jose Mourinho, but British media have little doubt who United’s long-term target is.
December 19 – It is the first incarnation in English football of baseball movie Moneyball’s premise that the use of smart data during the game can win matches. Manchester City will be the first Premier League team to use live data in the dugout during the match to brief players and hone tactics.
By Andrew Warshaw
December 18 – He was hired on reputation to restore past glories at the club he always wanted to join. But once again, Jose Mourinho, the self-styled Special One, has found himself on the managerial scrapheap after being ignominiously sacked by Manchester United following the club’s worst start to a Premier league campaign for 28 years.
December 11 – Breakthrough Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho has increased his transfer value by more €78 million in the past three months, a bump of more than 800% since the start of the season. Any buyer would now have to pay almost €88 million to sign him.
December 6 – The big are getting bigger and the small are falling further behind. That is the conclusion of a study into the competitive balance within European club fooball by the CIES Football Observatory.
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.