In gaming, a scrim is when a pro or competitive team decides it’s time to get out of public matches and head into a true competitive setting against another pro or competitive team to practice.

Before any major domestic or global tournament, most of the teams scrim against their opponents or even opponents similar in style to the one they’ll face, to try out new strategies — basically to test the water.

That’s exactly how it felt on Saturday as Manchester City hosted Chelsea at the Etihad. A win for the blue side of Manchester would have granted them their…


Batman & Robin. Well, Batman & Ruben. Saving Gotham. Saving Manchester City once again.

The colossal duo has been the cornerstone to Manchester City’s rise this season. Even before Pep Guardiola made his adjustments, it was that duo’s defensive performances that steadied the ship.

One step away from Manchester City’s first Champions League final, John Stones and Ruben Dias stepped up again. Celebrating Oleksandr Zinchenko’s block on Neymar’s shot as if they had just scored the winner. In essence, it was equivalent.

For all of Paris Saint Germain’s penetration in the first half, it was the presence of Stones and…


In a world where humans want information fed to them as fast as possible, forming an opinion about a 90 minute football game seems tedious for some. The inability to focus through 90 minutes for one reason or another, forces them into the safest shortest path. Results oriented opinions.

The team who came back in the second half after being dismantled in the first, definitely smashed the opposition. Their second half display was the best away performance from an English side since the 6th of June 1944.

Opinions are in fact easy to make. Takes one second.

Yet, the beauty…


Under the dark clouds of the Super League, there were some football games being played in the previous days. Their results at the time seemed irrelevant, especially when the threat of a breakaway league was looming in the shadows.

Now that the clouds relatively faded away, the results and performances could be brought back to the light. Liverpool played their best 45 minutes in a long time, Ryan Mason lead Tottenham to their first win under the interim manager, and Manchester City painted a portrait of how to control a 10 vs 10 football match.

In between those games, as…


Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez’s arrival to the Premier League 17 years ago had a long lasting effect on the English sides. Even before Pep Guardiola’s influence on football and the German school, led by Juergen Klopp, re-popularizing pressing, the influence that the Iberian duo had on England was and is still clear to the naked eye.

It’s so clear that it became part of the furniture. Yours eyes got used to it, year after year, that it no longer stands out. The Iberian duo influenced how English teams defend. Defensive organization was the new toy back then. …


In the 1985 American sci-fi hit, Back to the Future, Marty McFly goes back in time accidentally while trying to flee the Libyan terrorists. While being there, Marty alters the future and most importantly saves Doc Brown in the future — The scientist who created the time machine — by writing him a note warning him about his future.

From 1985 we take the DeLorean to the Etihad. It’s the Champions League Quarter-finals where Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have always reached an end to their voyage. Monaco, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Lyon were the culprits before.

This time it’s a…


Three goals conceded in thirty-two minutes and Arsenal were dead.

A three goal deficit is a game state that Arsenal had managed to comeback from and avoid defeat only twice in the Premier League. First in 2017 against Bournemouth and yesterday against West Ham United.

West Ham’s dominance in the first twenty minutes was helped by Arsenal’s sterility in attack. It wasn’t until Arsenal’s change in attacking approach that the resurrection rituals began.

Initially, Arsenal’s attacking structure had three players dropping deep to present themselves as passing options. Bukayo Saka, Alexandre Lacazette and Martin Odegaard. …


Near the lake of Lerna inhabits a serpentine water monster commonly known as the Hydra. It possess many heads, the exact number varies from one source to another. Poisonous breath and harmful blood meant that its scent was deadly. Regenerative body parts only added to its prowess, chop one head and two would grow back.

A monster. One that was only defeated by the hands of the mighty Hercules and his cousin Iolaus. They needed a specific coordinated strategy, executed rapidly before the Hydra grew new heads.

So far, 20–21 has been the season of the football Hydra, Manchester City…


Jose Mourinho’s comments prior to the North London derby were nothing out of the ordinary for the Portuguese manager. Taking a slight dig at the opponent, and not any opponent. Arsenal.

The irony in the comment “I look up, I don’t look down. If Arsenal was seven points ahead of us I would look to them but because we have seven points more than them, I don’t look down.” is that on the field of play Tottenham Hotspur weren’t looking up. The approach as expected was reactive, and when Tottenham tried to find their golden goose they were nullified.

Mourinho’s…


In biology, adaptation is the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment. For example, many animals have developed certain body parts to adapt to their environment.

Most aquatic animals have adapted and evolved with webbed feet to aid swimming. Webbed feet provides security from predators by allowing these animals to move faster in water.

In football, it’s a similar scenario. Transfers, injuries and suspensions at times force you into new decisions and approaches. Creating solutions to overcome these circumstances is a form of adaptation.

Liverpool’s injury woes coupled with the hectic schedule…

Ahmed Walid

English Football. United

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