Cultured Football #62
Burnley. Kamaldeen Sulemana. Matteo Guendouzi. Chesterfield. Chelsea.
With football at the highest level becoming increasingly predictable, it was wonderful to see Villareal make it to the semi-final of the Champions League this week. It also begs the question of what really went wrong at Arsenal for Unai Emery. Whilst we’re waiting for someone to write that article, here are five others that piqued our interest.
Burnley's US takeover has left club £90m worse off and loaded with debt
By David Conn for The Guardian & Phil McNulty for the BBC
Had Burnley opted to sack Sean Dyche two or three months ago it would have made sense. Doing so now is not only futile but a shameful act against a manager who has done the near impossible to keep them at the top for so long despite minimal investment. It also puts the club’s owners in focus and what emerges isn’t pretty as this piece from last year illustrates. For a more immediate take on the sacking, read this on why this is huge gamble that smacks of blind panic by Burnley's owners.
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Player Analysis: Kamaldeen Sulemana
By Lebohang Mwamuka for Breaking The Lines
As seasons start to reach their conclusions, fans of clubs with little left to play for will start shifting their thoughts to the summer and players they might buy. Kamaldeen Sulemana will probably be one of those whose name will be linked to many clubs. Unsurprising for someone whose progression has been compared to that of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Guendouzi’s chaos-assist was pure syrup of a talent Arsenal didn’t tame
By Rahul Lakhani for Planet Football
“When the Tasmanian Devil goes on a rampage, he spins around destroying everything in sight, leaving a wake of chaos behind him. When Matteo Guendouzi picks up the ball in midfield, there is often a similar outcome.” How can you ignore a piece with an opening like that?
Reading Time: 4 minutes
The Story of the Spireites FA Cup Adventure in 1996-97
By Chris Evans for The Set Pieces
25 years ago Chesterfield (featuring a certain Sean Dyche) were on the verge of making it to the final of the FA Cup. They didn’t but don’t let that spoil this retelling of their incredible story.
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Inside The Last Days Of Abramovich’s Reign At Chelsea FC
By David Dawkins for Forbes
Much has been said about Chelsea’s forced sale but a lot of the more in-depth stuff tends to be behind paywalls. So, if you want to read something with real substance about how the deals are coming along, this is your best bet. An interesting read even if (like me) you aren’t a Chelsea fan.
Reading Time: 9 minutes
Last Week’s Most Read
By Tom Foster for Texas Monthly
This is a fantastic, off-the-beaten-track story about an American high-school and, particularly, its coach that has become an unlikely football powerhouse. I know that I shouldn’t say this but if you read just one of the articles shared this week, this should be the one.