Whatever happened to Nicola Ventola?

It is a well-known fact that many talented prospects don’t turn out, with the mental and tactical rigours of modern football often too heavy a load to carry. It hurts far more, however, when a player has the brains, the technique and the guts to go far, only for it to become clear that his body – and his luck – were never cut out for a career in the pros.

Read the rest here

On This Day: Lazio’s Perfect Storm (For Football Italia)

Lazio may not win many Scudetti (three), but when they do, they’re quite something.

Just as Tommaso Maestrelli had turned a divided squad of gun-toting eccentrics into surprise Scudetto winners in 1974, so Sven-Goran Eriksson finally took big spender Sergio Cragnotti to the Promised Land in 2000, but it wasn’t easy.

Read the rest of the article on Football Italia!

Premier League Matchday 3 – Tottenham v Liverpool Prediction

Take a look at what the Draftkings team thinks will happen when Tottenham take on Liverpool at 1230 today.

With the great Jamie Hinks (@JamieHinksDK) , Andy Davies (@MrAndyD72)
and Tyrone Atkins (@Tyzerbomb, #BertieHitsThirty).

All edited and supervised by Wade McElwain @wademcelwain

Premier League – Matchday 3 Draftkings Picks

Check out my choices for Saturday’s Matchday 3 action!

GK Lukasz Fabianski, $4,500, LEI v SWA

I’m not so impressed with how Leicester City have been attacking this season, and this man has been pulling off a lot of saves. A bargain even if he doesn’t keep a clean sheet.

DF Kyle Naughton, $3,700 LEI v SWA

Again, the CS factor is unimportant, as Naughton has been pumping in the crosses this season, and even had what looked like a goal-bound grasscutter be turned away… by Fernando Llorente!

DF Matt Targett $4,500 SUN v SOU

Are Sunderland rubbish? Answers on a postcard please. They’ll spend the game in their half holding out, and Targett will bombard the box. Good enough for me.

MF Eden Hazard $8,600 CHE v BUR

Chelsea’s North, South, East and West at the moment. He’s everywhere.

MF Paul Pogba $8,000 HUL v MUFC

What a debut for the £89 million man. Hull have defended stoutly so far but Pogba has proved that he can dance past multiple opponents and make dangerous runs. A liability.
FW Zlatan Ibrahimovic $9,600 HUL v MUFC

Don’t mess with the form. If he can outjump Jose Fonte, he won’t struggle with Curtis Davies and Jake Livermore. What is it with Hull recruiting former Tottenham players? And ex Tottenham guys often being valued DK picks?

FW Nordin Amrabat $4,000 WAT v ARS

No, I’m not crazy (ahem) and no, this isn’t a mistake. He really isn’t my utility pick, I saw him there and though he was value. He’s scored good points so far, Arsenal’s defence looked horrendous against Liverpool, and Watford have kept up with their strong opponents so far.
UTIL Andros Townsend $7,100 CRY v BOU

He’s been scoring hatfuls of points, and now he’s got that Christian Benteke chap alongside him.

Roberto Mancini still the right man to lead Inter Milan

While Juventus fans got an early Christmas present in July with the arrival of striker Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli, the Inter faithful have been treated to a somewhat different summer. It began with a series of clever signings, but has since been spoiled by Napoli’s pursuit of Mauro Icardi, whose agent (and wife) Wanda Nara has rankled Inter supporters with recent comments via social media.

Things have arguably got worse since then, with speculation that coach Roberto Mancini would leave the San Siro if ownership didn’t satisfy his transfer requests, not to mention renew his existing deal, which expires next year.

Read the rest on ESPNFC HERE http://www.espnfc.co.uk/club/internazionale/110/blog/post/2920176/roberto-mancini-still-the-right-man-to-lead-inter-milan

Inter and Mancini need each other

Inter’s tour of the United States has hardly been a relaxing affair: as if speculation over a possible Mauro Icardi departure to Napoli wasn’t bad enough, the Italian sports press is awash with reports of Coach Roberto Mancini’s dissatisfaction with the club’s transfer policy, with some even indicating that the former Manchester City gaffer would leave if his demands were not met.

There is, however, something that isn’t quite convincing about Il Mancio’s supposed desire to leave.

Read the rest of the article on Football Italia here
http://www.football-italia.net/88438/inter-and-mancini-need-each-other

Lotito: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It has not been a relaxing summer for Lazio fans. Fresh off a disappointing eighth place finish, their two big stars – Antonio Candreva and Lucas Biglia – reportedly want to leave, whilst flashy Coach Marcelo Bielsa jilted the club a mere 48 hours into the wedding.

The 5,000 fans who showed up to recent demonstrations against owner Claudio Lotito were proof that last season’s problems – when the Aquile went down against Roma in front of two empty ends – have only gotten worse, with a mere 11 supporters signing up for season tickets within 24 hours of their being made available.

Read the rest on http://www.football-italia.net/87683/lotito-good-bad-ugly

EURO 2016: Wales v Portugal Prediction (For DraftKings)

Check out my take on tonight’s key match between Wales and Portugal.

Surprisingly, I think Wales may just pip this one…

ESPN BLOG: Ever Banega is the perfect piece to Inter Milan’s midfield puzzle

An oft-repeated complaint from Inter Milan’s 2015-16 season reads as follows: coach Roberto Mancini will be unable to achieve his tactical dreams if the club fails to add another skillful player to the midfield mix.

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Lazio’s Antonio Candreva and Lucas Biglia have all been linked to the Nerazzurri in recent weeks, but Mancini may have already found the player he so desires in Argentine midfielder Ever Banega, who joined the club this summer on a free transfer.

Banega isn’t just a capable playmaker, he may well be the signing that makes the team gel and takes Inter’s ailing attack (the club only managed only 50 goals last season, seventh in Serie A) to the next level.

Read the rest of the article on ESPN at
http://www.espnfc.com/club/internazionale/110/blog/post/2896218/ever-banega-is-the-perfect-piece-to-inter-milans-midfield-puzzle

Future is bright for Roma

It is rare to claim that ending an eight-game Serie A winning streak and losing your Sporting Director in one night is good news.

Yet for Roma, last night’s 1-1 draw with Inter could well end up being a step in the right direction, and for reasons which go beyond Walter Sabatini’s departure.

For a start, there is no shame in drawing with an Inter team whose manager, Roberto Mancini, has outsmarted Coach Luciano Spalletti before (and vice versa). Despite murdering Inter 6-2 in the 2007 Coppa Italia Final, Lucianone’s Giallorossi never won a home league game against Mancini’s men (even losing 4-1 in September 2007), and generally struggled to right the ship if things went wrong against the Nerazzurri.

Read the rest of the article here

What’s Mihajlovic ever done for Milan?

A typical refrain heard from many Milan fans this season is that the squad isn’t good enough. Early on, it wasn’t strong enough to compete for the Scudetto, despite Silvio Berlusconi’s usual bombast and the spending of around €85 million on the likes of Carlos Bacca and Alessio Romagnoli.

More recently, many Rossoneri fans weren’t buying that Mihajlovic’s men could suddenly lead the charge for Europe, despite a 12-game unbeaten streak and rivals Roma, Inter and Fiorentina all either running out of steam or facing an identity crisis.

And who could blame them? The Diavolo lined up the likes of Mattia De Sciglio, Antonio Nocerino, Cristian Zapata and Suso as they lost two of their first three league games, triggering an early panic and somehow justifying Silvio Berlusconi’s repeated public criticism of his coach.

Read the rest of the article here on Football Italia’s website