Tag Archives: Paul Pogba

Premier League Preview: Top 4, Bottom 3, Golden Boot and Fantasy

By, Kyle Gibson

It’s almost Christmas in August. The Premier League is finally upon us. New superstar managers, new superstar players, huge egos and more!

Let’s get into a quick preview, featuring the predictions Champions League sides, relegated sides, Golden Boot winner and my Fantasy EPL side.

Champions League Teams and Champions

4. Chelsea – Antonio Conte is a badass. His Italy team could have won the Euros if Germany did not beat them in penalties. I kept thinking they would win it, but I’m not sure of the back line.

3. Arsenal – Such a talented team, but Arsene Wenger still did not sign the top-of-the-line striker the club needs. Olivier Giroud looked so good at the Euros setting up Antoine Griezmann. Give him someone to work with!

2. Tottenham – “Lads (retches, sweating profusely) it’s…Tottenham.” That line from Alex Ferguson now has a different meaning. This Tottenham team is talented, deep, well drilled and only finished third last year on the final day. Spurs did not make huge changes over the summer, but did not need to.

Spurs needed a backup for Harry Kane and got that with Vincent Janssen, who scored 27 league goals for AZ last year. Adding Victor Wanyama also provides more steel in the midfield.

Many have seen the Spurs falling off, but I see the club improving.

1. Manchester United – I wish i wasn’t jinxing my favorite club. I’m just buying into the hype. Jose Mourinho has so much to prove, after the debacle last season with Chelsea.

The club worked through its central defense slightly with the emergence of Chris Smalling last year. Adding Eric Bailly in the off-season should really help.

Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrihk Mkhitaryan are the elite level signings the club has been lacking.

This all should culminate in a spellbinding year for United. Pau

Relegated Squads

20. Hull City – Ownership in turmoil. Manager Steve Bruce left just a few weeks ago. Selling their best players and not replacing them.

19. Burnley – I still think they are too small of a club, but they are a very solid team and probably the 21st best in England.

18. Swansea City – Sold the team’s heart and soul in Ashley Williams. Borja from Atletico was a solid signing, but too little. Plus, Swansea bought Leroy Fer, who relegates almost every EPL team he is with.

Golden Boot Race

Harry Kane – 24 Goals

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 22 Goals

Jamie Vardy – 20 Goals

Sergio Aguero – 20 Goals

 

My Fantasy EPL Team

I believe that I will win.

Goalkeepers – Kasper Schmeichel, Adrian

Defenders – Hector Bellerin, John Stones, Wes Morgan, Antonio Valencia, Patrick van Aanholt

Midfielders – Anthony Martial, Danny Drinkwater, Andre Ayew, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Phillipe Coutinho

Forwards – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Callum Wilson,Jermain Defoe

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New Kicking It Podcast: The Jordan Year

By, Kyle Gibson

Kyle triumphantly returns to the Kicking It Podcast for 2015, ready to take on his “Jordan year” (recently turned 23).

In this week’s edition, Kyle breaks down the top 5 moments of 2014, the top 5 players of 2014 and his soccer resolutions for 2015. Who is the best player? Messi, Ronaldo, Wondo?

So check it out to find out via Buzzsprout and subscribe on iTunes by searching “Kicking It With Kyle Gibson.”

New Post: The Top 5 Young Players at the 2014 World Cup

By, Kyle Gibson

Here’s my list of the Top 5 Guys at or Below age 23 (when youth competitions end) at the 2014 World Cup.

5. DeAndre Yedlin- USA

Yedlin made the most of injuries and used his speed in 3 appearances at the World Cup. Jurgen Klinsmann was forced to select players with plenty of speed thanks to the Group of Death, which explains why the 21 year old was picked over more experienced names. Yedlin played with unflappable confidence and has attracted transfer
interest from all over Europe, most notably with AS Roma.

5. Divock Origi, Belgium

The 19 year old is the youngest Belgium player to ever score in a World Cup Finals, after hitting the game winner against Russia. Origi is expected to sign with Liverpool, which adds to the already impressive list of Belgium players in the EPL.

4. Mario Götze, Germany

I’m 22 years old. My crowning achievement so far In life is graduating college. Götze can already claim fame as a Bayern Munich star and the man who scored the World Cup winning goal at age 22.

3. Paul Pogba, France

The Young Player of the Tournament Is 3rd on my list, I know, but I think there’s a pretty sensational pair of South American guys ahead of him. Still, Pogba is going to be one of the greatest players of his generation. He reminds me of a deeper-lying Zidane, a supreme French talent that has a bit of trouble with temper. Why did Manchester United let him go??

1. James Rodriguez and Neymar. Colombia and Brazil.

What more can be said about these 2 guys? With 10 combined goals in their first World Cup, I’m wondering just how many these 2 will bring to Russia in 2018 and the USA in 2022 (sorry Qatar).

New Post: The Top 10 Performances at World Cup 2014 including a US Star

By, Kyle Gibson

The World Cup is officially over, but I don’t want to admit that yet. Here’s a list of my Top Ten individual performances at World Cup 2014.

10. Marc Wilmots- Belgium Manager

Yeah, I know Wilmots is a manager, not a player, but unlike some coaches (cough cough, Scolari) who had a poor tournament, Wilmots was able to shine as manager of Belgium. 4 of his team’s 6 goals were scored by substitutes. That’s a manager who knows how to make a move.

9. Tim Howard- USA GK
Howard became the most capped US Goalkeeper at a World Cup and recorded 15 saves in the loss against Belgium. Howard played well in every game, keeping the US in the match in every game, with a very inexperienced back line.

8. Thomas Muller- MF/F Germany

Muller scored 5 goals for the 2nd consecutive World Cup, finishing 2nd for the Golden Boot. He would be higher on this list, but his form slacked off slightly after the Group Stage.

7. Javier Mascherano- MF Argentina

If you want to summarize Mascherano’s tournament with a single play, think back to the game saving slide tackle he made in the semifinals against the Netherlands. Superior performance for a man who thrives at doing the dirty work.

6. Manuel Neuer- GK Germany

Neuer showed he’s more than your average goalkeeper when he had 16 touches outside the box against Algeria and even took a throw-in during the Final against Argentina. Germany had a few shaky moments at the back, but always had Neuer to back them up. His save on Bemzema in the France game was nothing short of special.

5. Paul Pogba- Midfielder France

The young player of the tournament, Pogba has the potential to be a force for France in up to maybe 3 more World Cups. He has a temper, which can get you in trouble in a tournament with yellow card suspensions, but there’s no denying the already refined talent of a player so young.

4. Arjen Robben MF/F Netherlands

Robben is pure theatre. He is a villain, he is a scapegoat, he is the new face of diving in soccer. Above all that, he is one of the greatest players on Earth. I know he didn’t have a goal in the knockouts, but Robben’s performances did not drop off after the group stages. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a soccer player who thrives in big moments like Robben.

Lionel Messi- Mr. Everything, Argentina

Messi didn’t bring home the prize for Argentina, but he really answered his World Cup doubters, scoring 4 goals, collecting an assist and bringing home the tournament’s Golden Ball Award for best player. His goal against Iran was a stroke of genius and his assist to Angel DiMaria was super clutch. Messi is probably the best player in the world. He did what he does.

2. James Rodriguz- Colombia

Rodriguez was captivating for Colombia, scoring in all 5 games he played and getting 6 total on the way to the Golden Boot trophy. His volley goal against Uruguay will be remembered for years to come, as will his unexpected seizing of the spotlight. I wasn’t expecting much from Rodriguez, hell, I didn’t know a ton about him before this World Cup. If he stays with Monaco, there will definitely be a spike in TV audiences for Ligue 1 games.

1. Neymar- Brazil

No one meant as much to their team at this World Cup, or maybe any World Cup since Maradona in 1986. When Neymar was injured by the spineless Zuniga, the world was robbed of a chance to see the clear-cut top performer at the competition in the semifinals. I still think Brazil would have lost to Germany after seeing that 7-1 dismantling, but by nowhere near as wide a margin. In the 2 games without Neymar, Brazil had no idea what to do offensively. I will truly never forget the performance he put on in front of his home nation, under tremendous pressure.

What’s your list? Comment below!