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    New Football Laws

    New Football Laws | YL department of sports

    introduced for the 2019 – 2020 season. First and foremost, attempts have been made to clarify the handball law. Accidental handball is now an offence  if it results in a goal, if a player’s hand or arm is raised above their shoulder, or it makes their shape “unnaturally bigger”. Drop balls will no longer be contested, whilst the requirement that a goal kick must first clear the area before another player on the same side can touch it, has been abolished. And the practice of an attacking team putting members of their side in the defensive wall of their opponents is now no longer allowed.

    And, in a bid to clean-up touchline behaviour, coaches and managers are now responsible for the conduct of anybody who sits on their bench, and will receive yellow, or even red, cards in the case of major transgressions. 

    The Audi Cup 2019

    The Audi Cup 2019 | YL department of sports

    The Audi Cup was a pre-season football tournament, featuring Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid, Fenerbahçe and hosts Bayern Munich, with all matches played at their Allianz Arena Stadium.

    Played over two days at the end of July, the tournament followed a knock-out structure. The two semi-finals were played on Tuesday, July 30th, and the final and third place match the next day.

    The final was contested between Spurs and Bayern, after both won their semis -  Tottenham beat Real courtesy of a Harry Kane goal, whilst Bayern thrashed Fenerbahçe 6 – 1.

    Spurs went on to clinch the cup 6 – 5 on penalties after the sides finished normal time level 2 – 2. The Londoners went two goals up thanks to Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen, but the Germans levelled through Jann-Fiete App and Alphonso Davies.

    Real Madrid beat the Turkish side 5 – 3 in the other match.


    Being a Great Football Player

    Being a Great Football Player | YL department of sports

    It is the dream of many a boy, and, increasingly, girls as well. To become a great football player and to enjoy the rewards and recognition that comes with such a status. There is an argument that great players are not made but instead are born but, almost all top players have some commonality, including excellent technique, peak physical conditioning, the ability to read the game, mental toughness and the capacity to deal with pressure.

    They also need to be team players. Football is a team sport and somebody who does not put their talents at the disposal of the team can never achieve all that they might in the game, because they need the help of other people to shine.

    Last and not least, great football players work hard. They are the ones who stay after training or in the gym to hone their skills and fitness, long after their lesser talented colleagues have all left for home.

    The World Transfer Market 2019 – 2020

    The World Transfer Market 2019 – 2020 | YL department of sports

    The World Transfer Market refers to the forum where players are bought and sold worldwide, usually in the summer months between the end of one season and the start of the next, although with the exception of a few leagues, there is some overlap at the start of each campaign.

    Due to differing rules regarding each league, the World Transfer Market fragments into a number of secondary markets based around local deadlines. For example, the Chinese market closed at the end of July, whilst English clubs in the Premier League and Championship saw their window close on August 8th. Meanwhile, lower division clubs in England, as well as most continental leagues can still buy and sell players until the start of September, although the Portuguese and Turkish windows do not traditionally close until later.

    Premier League Preview 2019 – 2020 Season

    Premier League Preview 2019 – 2020 Season | YL department of sports

    The 2019 – 2020 Premier League season gets underway on Friday night with the visit of newly-promoted Norwich City to Liverpool, runners-up last time round, and Champions League winners.

    Once again, Manchester City will start favourites to retain their title, having strengthened their squad by signing defensive midfielder Rodri from Atlético Madrid, and Portuguese full-back Joao Cancelo. Captain Vincent Kompany has left for Anderlecht to become player-coach, and Leroy Sané faces a long layoff because of an ACL injury, but he had been linked with a move to Bayern Munich anyway, so City should be able to cope with his absence.

    Liverpool will again be in the mix for the title, but their pre-season plans have been hit by players coming back late from summer tournaments. They have been relatively quiet during this transfer window, and need to start well if they are to keep pace with City at the top.

    Tottenham Hotspur finished fourth last season and will be looking to do better this time. After two transfer windows where the Champions League runners-up were forced to sit on their hands to pay for their new ground, Spurs have splashed the cash this summer, breaking their transfer record to sign defensive midfielder Tanguy Ndombélé from Lyons, and wing-back Ryan Sessegnon. Midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has also arrived on loan from Real Betis, signed, in part, to cover the eventuality of Christian Eriksen departing before the European transfer window closes.

    Europa Cup Winners Chelsea, who finished third last season, have a new manager in Frank Lampard, but have had a difficult summer because of the transfer ban imposed by UEFA. They have leveraged pre-existing deals to bring in  Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund, and to make the loan of Matteo Kovacić into a permanent deal, but the loss of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid will be sorely felt, and with the club forced to rely on its bedrock of young talent, they may struggle to replicate last season’s successes.

    Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton appear to be in a three-way fight to fill out the top six. Arsenal had limited funds to spend, but, by carefully structuring deals, they have had a successful transfer window, signing Nicolas Pépé from Lille, Kiernan Tierney from Celtic, and Chelsea’s David Luiz. They have also acquired midfielder Dani Ceballos, from Real Madrid on a season’s loan.

    By contrast, Manchester United have had a less successful window according to some of their fans, although the club has managed to hold on to both Paul Pogba and David de Gea. Harry Maguire has signed for £80 million, a world record fee for a defender, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James have also joined the club. However, no replacement has been brought in for Romelu Lukaku, who has been allowed to join Inter Milan, whilst the failure to sign Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon has frustrated some supporters.

    Everton are another team to have had a good window, although Crystal Palace rebuffed their efforts to sign their main transfer target, Wilfrid Zaha. Instead Alex Iwobi arrived from Arsenal instead in a late deal, and he joined other new recruits, Moise Kean, Fabian Delph, and Jean-Philippe Gbamin at Goodison Park, whilst Andrés Gomez’s loan from Barcelona has been converted into a permanent deal.

    At the other end of the table, the three newly promoted clubs, Aston Villa, Norwich City, and Sheffield United, can all expect to struggle, but Villa, having signed no fewer than 12 new players in the window, may be the best placed to survive. They are likely to be joined in their relegation fight by Brighton, under new manager Graham Potter, and Burnley.

    And Newcastle United look particularly vulnerable to the drop, after revered manager Rafa Benitez finally lost patience with owner Mike Ashley and upped sticks for China. His replacement, Steve Bruce, was the choice of few of the club’s fans, and, having lost Salomón Rondón, who followed Benitez to China, and Ayoze Pérez, who has moved to Leicester City, it is hard to see where their goals are going to come from this season.