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MATTERS ARISING: Talking Points from Football This Past Week

Any week that features the UEFA Champions League and club football action in different parts of Europe, is always a golden one. There’s always something to talk about, or tweet about, or argue about.

This past week wasn’t an exception. This one week had more than enough to fill the appetite of any football lover. During the week, Manchester City, against all odds and while almost pressing Barcelona into the stands, got an emphatic win then went on to concede a 90+ min equalizer against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

This same week also featured Atletico Madrid, who surprisingly lost to Real Sociedad. There was also the “FIFA’s Best” list. Nice finally lost a game. Leicester City’s 20-match unbeaten run at home was finally laid to rest.

No, C. Ronaldo couldn’t score. Even though they have only managed to score just 3 goals in their last six games, Spurs are still unbeaten. Ibrahimovic thought he had scored 25,000 goals…

…  and the surprise climb upwards continues for AC Milan.

Oh! Did I mention the romp at the Bridge? 5 unreplied goals? I’m still trying to figure out the last time a team in the Premier League scored 5 unreplied goals.

Enough of the tit bits. How about some of the major talking points?

  • Dear Yaya Toure, Why Did It Take You So Long To Apologize?

Yaya Toure fell out with boss Pep Guardiola
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On the 20th of September, Pep Guardiola declared that Yaya Toure will not play for Manchester City again until his agent apologized for comments he made. Notice the underlined word? Fast forward to the 4th of November, and Yaya came out to apologize for misunderstandings.  That’s like 45 days in between. Well, its not sure why the Ivorian waited this long before coming out to say something.

I’m thinking it was because the “ish” was between his agent and his coach. His coach wanted an apology from his agent. But he has not gotten it. And it’s unlikely he’ll get it anytime soon, according to SkySports. Of course there are a lot of questions. Apart from why it took Yaya this long to come out, will Pep accept Yaya’s “sacrifice”? Or does he want to hear the apologies straight from the horse’s mouth? It’s still unclear. And only time will tell.

  • FIFA’s BEST

The Best: FIFA’s shortlist for their inagural ‘The Best’ awards. (Photo credit: @FIFAcom)


FIFA, during the week, released a 23-man shortlist for its inaugural “The Best” awards. And, taking a closer look at the list revealed that the English Premier  League had more representatives than any other league (although names like Pogba and Zlatan spent most part of the year outside of the league).

Another eye-catcher was the inclusion of a certain African, Riyahd Mahrez. The Algerian was part of Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City that pulled off sport’s greatest surprise, and won the EPL title. Of course, the usual suspects made the cut. And speaking of cuts, this list will be trimmed down to three finalists. I’m, as usual, half-heartedly expecting C. Ronaldo and Messi to make the shortlist. That leaves the rest with one spot to fight for. And this year’s Golden Boot winner, Luis Suarez, may just be the one to nick that final spot. Who will win it? Who knows. In all honesty, who cares?

Rotimi "Papi" Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi is the owner of ForTheGoal. A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @rotdav to keep up with his writings and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.

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