Paul Merson, never missing out on his first love and his current and healthy addiction

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Paul Merson is a man with real commitment to football and in his latest book and well written story about a man and his problems, you get the knowledge of what addiction can be also in the wrong direction.

He has been around at Sky Sports since the start of this century being a pundit who shines as an indivudal and often his comments makes a debate or a laugh as you get a balance in the studio with other pundits being in another mood or fase.

We all knew his ability on the field and how good he was for Arsenal during his days playing alongside great players of his era doing twelve seasons with The Gunners before starting his travel to other clubs.

Merson played a vital part in the teams of George Graham winning the league in 1989 and 1991, and later also doing well in the time of the early years of Arsene Wenger.

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The man himself is a riddle and opening up about gambling, drinking and using other substances might be an old story and well known, but again always good with a reminder as many do struggle with different aspects of mental health issues.

Paul Merson, as we know him from the football field, he was a grand player, a special talent and as so many others of his generation we do see a different approach today, but as we all know, we do love to see those players that stands out for different reasons and are not main stream.

After leaving Arsenal, Merson moved to Middlesbrough and as he describes it himself, probably not the best of places, with a certain Paul Gascoigne also at this football club at the time. The stories of the two might have stopped others as they both have suffered from the life they lived and struggled with.

After a short stay up north, Merson moved to Aston Villa were he had a number of good years and just before played for England in the 1998 World Cup, probably forgotten by most that he scored in the penalty shoot outs as other were missing their target.

During his four years at Aston Villa, described by himself to be his best years in the game, he has fond memories of his last final at Wembley playing in that millennium year of the FA Cup final. Despite losing 1-0 to Chelsea, still very special as it was his only final for The Villa.

After his time with Aston Villa he made a move down south to help Portsmouth winning promotion to the top flight and at the age of 35 taking charge of Walsall becoming their player manager. His time with The Saddlers never really became any success though avoiding relegation from League One might have been a bigger achievment than valued, and he can proudly say that he was never relegated as a EFL manager and there after moving away from the trade of football management with a short period at Non-League club Tamworth.

He has also over the years played in a number of games of charity and such, always seen with a smile on his face as he still show his skills even at the age of above fifty.

Many of us watching Sky Sports do still remember his good days in football and hopefully he will continue to talk of the game as he continues to make his reports and comments on Premier League.

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When Sheriff came to Madrid, a Real awakening, who are the surprise of Europe

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FC Sheriff Tiraspol is the full name of the club few would give any chance or hope to get through the steps to get into the final stages of Champions Leauge action this season, but even with that seen as a massive struggle a result like the one accomplished against Real Madrid will for always be seen as history.

The two goalscorers in the game for FC Sheriff were Jasurbek Yakhshiboev and Sebastien Thill, not really household names among football writers and pundits. Yakhshiboev is on loan from Legia Warsaw, playing internationally for Uzbekistan, and with little or no special grand history in the game. The 24 year old forward scored his goal after 25 minutes. Thill is also on loan, coming from Luxembourg club Progres Niederkorn. Both players are making their mark in international football as well as on the European stage.

To be able to qualify for Champions League action is something few manage with FC Sheriff a grand holder of many Championship seasons behind them in their own domestic league, and to have vital experience from winning football games is a key to further progress in Europe.

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They are also playing out of a system that is well known and used as a grand formula for possible fantastic results as their 4-2-3-1 approach can be difficult to handle with a domination and good marking in the central midfield area.

Another key is of course the players that need a certain experience as well. Goalkeeper on the day was also a player brought in on loan from AEK Athens. Giorgos Athanasiadis (28) has also played for Panathinaikos and do have that key European experience.

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Their captain is Frank Castaneda. A Columbian forward with a past at Slovakian club Senica. He has an impressive tally of goals with 31 goals in 43 appearances in the domestic league. Another player arriving from Senica is Edmund Addo, born in Ghana and also among the best performers v. Real Madrid.

Greece international Dimitris Kolovos is another player to watch as he arrived first on loan from Panathinaikos and later being seeing his full move completed. Kolovos has so far scored 12 goals in 25 games for FC Sheriff.

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Moldovan players are few in the squad and in the game in Madrid four were on the bench without getting on. Maxim and Serafim Cojocari, Celeadnic and Pascenco were all sitting the game out.

The talent of flank man Adama Traore is also there and he made his contribution in Madrid, being vital with an assist to Thill for his goal and also being a treath at other times in the game.

With this win FC Sheriff are current leaders of the group also defeating Shakhtar Donetsk in their first game at home, winning 2-0. To get into the group stages they also won their battles against quality opponents such as Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb.

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Still early days in their home league with three games in hand they are currently third, but still very much in reach with the leaders, Milsami.

FC Sheriff do depend on foreign import but that is also a fact at most clubs in Europe at the moment getting results with grand and special scouting, so we have probably not seen the last of FC Sheriff and their surprising lift in top flight football.

Their manager is Ukranian Yuriy Vernydub, who arrived at the club from Belarus football and previously been in charge of Ukrainian top club Zorya Luhansk for eight years. He is a well known football personality in the east of Europe.


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OGS and his great hope for Man Utd, up’s and down’s, Ronaldo with that special important edge

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So far no one can ask anymore from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his critics did start to fly after their recent defeats in Premier League and Europe, but a certain Cristiano Ronaldo makes the difference and his presence will of course be a key to a new and hopefully successful season at Old Trafford.

Few or no one with a football knowledge knows that bringing trophies to the table is difficult as Villareal did defeat Man Utd in the Europa League, Chelsea winning Champions League and Leicester bringing home the FA Cup, that edge is so vital and it will win you trophies.

OGS has no experience from winning major trophies as a manager, but during his years with Molde he managed to bring success to a club that had no previous past of a tradition of winning trophies season in and season out, so that would be something to take into the consideration before you judge him on his three latest performances, before yesterdays vital CL win v. Villareal.

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The problem for OGS has been to fix that final goal that seals the deal and at his club at the moment you have very few players with that experience, and with the current players at the club covering the central defensive midfield positions you do not have what it takes to winning those special games.

You cannot blame OGS for being let down in games v. Young Boys and also against West Ham, with certain players doing errors you cannot really pin point as a manager failure. Bruno Fernandes missing his penalty in overtime has nothing to do with OGS.

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Manchester United are currently fourth in the Premier League, one point behind Liverpool, and to our notice seeing their best start to a season since OGS appeared. He do need to strengthen his team even more and with a certain N’Golo Kantè said to be available, or making a massive approach to sign the England midfield duo Rice and Phillips he would be close to a great number of titles.

Players such as Matic, McTominay, Fred do seem to fail at the last hurdle and not be as good as they should in those vital parts of games and looking at the central midfield positions at their main rivals they do seem to be a bit weak.

Cristiano Ronaldo showed yesterday that he still has the edge to bring home trophies as he has done over so many of his previous seasons and hopefully other players will grow with that key player in place.

Manchester United have been in transition all the way sine Sir Alex stepped down with a squad a bit out of balance and a number of players getting to an age that made them all ready to be replaced. Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes leaving the dressing room at Old Trafford will always bring a big gap not really able to fill and to see Rio Ferdinand and Namanja Vidic close to retirement ment two other massive leaders being on the way out as well.

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David Moyes is at the moment doing a fantastic job at West Ham getting time to build and Louis Van Gaal is back as manager of Holland and Jose Mourinho at the moment with AS Roma in Italy are the three previous men to be handling the Manchester United transition, so far a bit in the air, but still not catastrophy and every aspect of a winning formula close to completion.

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OGS needs to bring home a trophy this season, but will still last if not, if he manages yet again find himself in one of the four top spots in Premier League, not really anyone who can say anything if that happens.

To see Alex Telles among the goalscorers and really taking his chance when getting to play is good, that is really what this is all about that you grab every opportunity with producing good games when called up on.

The project under OGS is something that will continue and he is so very close, but still would love to see him get the teams lowest point to a higher level. He has been let down too many times by players who don’t really perform as well as they should getting the chances they get, but we will see if OGS will manage to see those key errors to solve as his team can manage to get a result even on some other bad days.


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