Should You Back Tottenham to Win a Trophy Next Year?

Should You Back Tottenham to Win a Trophy Next Year?

The last time that Tottenham Hotspur lifted a trophy was well over a decade ago in 2008. Despite some false dawns, most notably the hallowed years of Mauricio Pochettino and the encouraging if uninspiring start to life at the Lane with Jose Mourinho at the helm, Spurs have not managed to replicate that success.

Indeed, since the League Cup triumph against Chelsea 14 years ago, they have reached four major finals (including the Holy Grail of the Champions League) without winning a single one. However, the incredible upturn in results inspired by head coach Antonio Conte, coupled with the astute signings made so far and the return to form of talismanic Harry Kane, gives Spurs fans plenty of cause for optimism. Should they continue in the same vein, it might be worth placing a flutter on them next season – and with Bitcoin it becomes easy to gamble anonymously for those who prioritise their privacy above all else.

Kane and Conte key

Spurs were a whisker away from losing their captain and boyhood fan Kane last summer, who has posted over 20 goals in six of the last nine seasons. However, Daniel Levy’s refusal to countenance a deal, coupled with the fact that his main suitor Man City have turned their attention elsewhere to Erling Braut Haaland, means Kane is most likely to stay put.

That outcome will be made all the more probable if Spurs do manage to outdo their fierce rivals Arsenal and pip the Gunners to the final Champions League spot. Such an achievement would be remarkable given the turmoil that Conte inherited when arriving in Tottenham and would go some way in convincing him to extend his stay. That, and significant backing the transfer market, of course.

New recruits needed

Conte has undoubtedly turned a decent squad into a strong one, with the additions of Rodrigo Bentacur and Dejan Kulusevski providing some much-needed composure, class and flair to the team. Other improved lpayers under Conte’s tutelage include Ben Davies, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Eric Dier, while he has also succeeded in bring the best out of the Kane-Son axis.

Nonetheless, it’s obvious that Spurs will have to dip into the transfer market if they are to compete with the big boys next season. Cristian Romero has been a revelation in centre defence but has proven injury prone, so another top-class centre back in the mould of Alessandro Bastoni or Josko Gvardiol is a must. Elsewhere, improved options at RWB and LWB would not go amiss; Jurgen Maehle, Tariq Lamptey and Aaron Hickey are all potential upgrades, while a ball-playing central midfielder would complete the puzzle. Youri Tielemans of Leicester and Spurs fans favourite Christian Eriksen would both be ideal additions. And a backup striker for Kane is the conundrum that just keeps of confounding those in the Spurs boardroom.

Of course, the main keys to achieving silverware and breaking their long-standing hoodoo will be to hold onto Conte and Kane. That, alongside a few astute signings in the off-season, would mean that Spurs would certainly be a force to be reckoned with on all fronts.

What was ‘that tackle by Moore’?

What was 'that tackle by Moore'? For the uninitiated, ‘that tackle by Moore’ is immortalised in the song ‘Three Lions’, which was first released in 1996 and has since become an anthem of the English national football team. Readers of a certain age will, no doubt, be all too familiar with the Moore in question, and his tackle, which has been replayed countless times on television.

However, for those unfamiliar with the history of English football, the lyric refers to the late Robert ‘Bobby’ Moore OBE, who was capped 108 times by England and, most famously, captained the team to its 4-2 victory over West Germany in the World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in 1966. Indeed, Sir Alf Ramsey, who managed the national team between 1963 and 1974, said of Moore, ‘Without him England would never have won the World Cup.’

However, ‘that tackle’ did not occur in 1966, but four years later, in a group game between England and Brazil at the Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, during the 1970 World Cup. Facing a Brazilian break, led by right winger Jairzinho, Moore found himself two against two, but bided his time and, as his opponent dribbled into the England penalty, cleanly dispossessed him and carried the ball away upfield. The impeccable timing of the tackle, or interception, made it one of the most iconic in the history of football.

How long was Don Revie England manager, and who now manages England?

How long was Don Revie England manager, and who now manages England? All told, Donald ‘Don’ Revie was England manager for a total of 1,104 days, or 3 years, 8 days. He was appointed on July 4, 1974, replacing ‘caretaker’ manager Joe Mercer, who had been in charge for seven games following the sacking of Alf Ramsey, which became public knowledge in late April. Revie enjoyed a successful first year, with England winning the British Home Championship in 1974/75 and three of their first four games in European Championship Qualifying. However, a 2-1 defeat by Czechoslovakia in Bratislava in October, 1975, followed by a 1-1 draw with Portugal three weeks later, meant England failed to qualify for the 1976 European Championships.

By the time July, 1977 rolled around, England were in a precarious position in World Cup Qualifying, having already lost 2-0 to Italy in Rome the previous November, and Revie decided to jump ship. The Football Association (FA) refused to accept his resignation so, instead, he made his feelings plain in a paid exclusive with the ‘Daily Mail’ and timed his resignation letter to arrive at Lancaster Gate after the newspaper had been published. It was revealed that Revie had negotiated a contract, worth £1.36 million over four years, to become manager of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and, furthermore, had done so while still England manager. He was promptly sacked – his tenure officially coming to an end on July 11, 1977 – and the FA initially sought to ban him from English football for ten years, although the ruling was subsequently overturned.

Fast forward to the modern day, and England is led by a former player (Gareth Southgate) who has rejuvenated both the national passion for the team and also confidence in the players. Though his own England career had its ups and downs he was capped an impressive 57 times for England which goes some way to informing you of who pivotal he was to the team. Those into football and always searching for different picks for soccer may well have bet on a number of England games led by the man.  Always something of a thinker compared to many, it was no surprise when he decided to pursue the role of manager, but I doubt even in his wildest dreams did he realise how close to glory it would take him (and there is still time yet to cement his legacy yet further).

Cutting his teeth in management at Middlesbrough from 2006 – 2009 , Southgate soon moved on to management the England under 21s and it wasn’t until 2016 following the exit of Sam Allardyce (after accusations that he was attempting to use the position for dubious financial gain) that he was given the opportunity to manage the national team. In that position his record speaks for itself; the first manager since Bobby Robson to reach a World Cup semi final with an England squad. Just two years later England reached the final of the Euros. Indeed it was the first final they’ve been in since England’s World Cup winning days of 1966. Some have claimed ‘easy run’, but you still have to beat what is in front of you and that’s far from a formality. A penalty failure while in the England shirt became a painful aspect of his own career, and England left the Euros 2020 final against Italy in the same way, but now Qatar 2022 provides an opportunity for Southgate and a competent England team to impress on the world stage and leave their names in the history books.

While England fans can sometimes be a negative bunch, viewing anything other than a long awaited final win as failure, most reasonable people appreciate the calm, considered and cerebral approach that Southgate has brought to the team and the successes that have come with that. They’re currently 5th in the FIFA World Rankings (behind Brazil, Belgium, France and Argentina). It’s no surprise then that he received the honour of an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the 2019 New Year Honours. Well deserved.

 

Can Benzema create a lasting legacy with Champions League triumph?

Can Benzema create a lasting legacy with Champions League triumph? Karim Benzema was forced to play second fiddle behind Cristiano Ronaldo when Real Madrid were the dominant force in the Champions League, winning four crowns between 2014 and 2018. Despite his contributions in the final third, Benzema was never the shining light amid the presence of Ronaldo along with the performances in big games from Gareth Bale.

Following the departure of Ronaldo, Benzema has flourished into the leading man at Los Blancos, scoring not only with regularity in LaLiga, but also the Champions League. Benzema has allowed Madrid to regain their hold of LaLiga, putting them on course to win a second crown in three seasons with an outstanding record in front of goal. However, his impact has been felt more in the Champions League, where he has singlehandedly propelled Los Blancos into the last four of the competition.

Benzema has impressed not only with his clinical edge in front of goal, but also his leadership and work ethic in the final third. His drive and determination were crucial against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 against PSG. Madrid were seemingly down and out in the tie after Kylian Mbappe fired the French outfit in front on the night and 2-0 ahead on aggregate at the Bernabeu.

Benzema would turn the match on its head by pressuring Gianluigi Donnarumma and forcing a mistake from the Italian that resulted in a Madrid goal, sparking a sensational comeback as the forward notched a hat-trick to dump Mauricio Pochettino’s men out of the Champions League.

Benzema then displayed his clinical edge and his propensity to panic opposition defenders against Chelsea in the quarter-finals. He put the Blues to the sword in the first leg by scoring his second hat-trick in a row in the competition. And although he was not at his best in the second leg, Benzema loomed large at the key moment in the tie, dispatching a perfect header past Edouard Mendy to secure Madrid’s spot in the last four of the Champions League.

There is value to find in betting on Madrid to win the Champions League, with Los Blancos backed at 6/1 in the wagering odds with bet365. Using a bet365 sign up offer punters can use free bet credits to wager on Carlo Ancelotti’s men, who will have to produce a special performance to reach the final in their semi-final clash against Manchester City.

City and Liverpool are considered joint favorites for the crown, and Pep Guardiola’s men proved their determination to get over the line for the first time in Europe with a disciplined effort against Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals.

The onus will be on Benzema to rise to the occasion against City, which will only enhance his legacy. The 34-year-old carries the weight of expectation to deliver just as Ronaldo faced at the peak of his powers. City will be keying on Benzema as the focal point of the attack, so his play and his leadership of the Madrid line will be equally as crucial.

Vinicius Junior has developed in leaps and bounds during the 2021/22 campaign, earning a regular spot in the side alongside Benzema. Rodrygo Silva has also produced key strikes, none more so than his tie-leveling effort against Chelsea. Benzema will need to work with the young Brazilians in the final third to down City.

The Frenchman has become arguably the best forward in Europe as a result of his performances. However, to establish a legacy that will last beyond his playing days, Benzema may need to be the driving force in a memorable campaign to defeat two of the finest teams of the modern football era to capture another European title for the fifth time in eight years.

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