What we love about

Getty Images

What we love about Southampton

Leave a comment

This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Southampton.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to focus on the Saints.


An amazing academy: From Gareth Bale, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Luke Shaw in recent years to Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier in the past, Southampton have always had a reputation of being eager to play youngsters and that helps massively with recruiting the best young players from around the UK and Europe. Their training facility in the New Forest national park is geared around developing young talent and if you are a fan of Southampton you’ve seen some of the best young talents in recent history pass through the club. The odd player like Le Tissier or James Ward-Prowse will stick around for their entire careers but one of the things we love most about Southampton is how often new players come through their academy. This season their most recent win against Aston Villa saw five academy products involved for Saints and one for Aston Villa, as they continue to develop top young talent which provides the club with players they don’t have to pay for, plus they can sell them on for huge profits. Will Smallbone, Michael Obafemi and Jake Vokins are the latest youngsters who will break through in the coming months. And so the conveyor belt continues.

Getty Images

Becoming the best feeder club in the Premier League: A feeder club, selling club, call it what you want, but there’s no doubt Southampton have become the top team to develop promising talent and then sell players on for huge profits. Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk and Morgan Schneiderlin were bought by Saints, improved at St Mary’s and then sold on for huge profits to the Premier League’s big boys. Southampton’s fans obviously do not enjoy seeing their best players sold each season but it provides them with valuable income to compete with the top 10 teams. Due to their huge overhaul in 2014 when Mauricio Pochettino left for Tottenham and Shaw, Calum Chambers, Lallana and Dejan Lovren followed him, new manager Ronald Koeman was able to lead Saints to seventh and sixth place finishes in back-to-back seasons. With four-straight top eight finishes from 2014 to 2017 with Europa League appearances and cup runrs, Southampton became the model of consistency despite losing their best players and managers. We have to give a special mention Pochettino and Koeman who both moved on to bigger jobs but owe Saints a lot for allowing them to thrive in the Premier League since their return to the big time in 2012. Moussa Djenepo, Jan Bednarek and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are the latest examples of players bought for relatively small sums from Europe and developed into Premier League regulars at Saints. Southampton are a family club and their is a close connection between the fans and players, which allows them to develop away from the spotlight of some of England’s bigger cities.

Getty Images

Danny Ings: The local lad played for Bournemouth, Burnley and Liverpool before returning home to play for his hometown team and boy has he made up for lost time. Ings, 27, didn’t get into Saints’ famed academy as a youngster and took a long, tough, winding round to get back to St Mary’s. After several injury-plagued seasons at Liverpool he is now fully fit and this season he’s been a revelation with 18 goals in all competitions for Saints. He is the reason they are clear of relegation trouble up until this point in the season. Everybody loves Ings. Jurgen Klopp and every single Liverpool fan adores him and there’s not a neutral out there who isn’t happy to see him scoring goals and playing with a smile on his face. Ings is on the verge of the England squad and he leaves everything out on the pitch each time he plays. He is wearing the number nine shirt and scoring goals for his hometown team and he grew up in a house just three miles from St Mary’s stadium. Ings is home and Southampton are so glad their $22.5 million signing from Liverpool is feeling comfortable and, most importantly, scoring goals.

Getty Images

‘Klopp of the Alps’ has a clear plan: It is safe to say Ralph Hasenhuttl has a clear playing philosophy and plan for Southampton and now he has been in charge for 18 months you can see things starting to come together. Southampton have one of the youngest teams in the Premier League so there’s still a lot of mistakes in their play, especially defensively, and Hasenhuttl has been hamstring by his predecessors making several mistakes in the transfer market with pretty much all of the $100 million they received from Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk in January 2018 now spent on players who are out on loan. The so-called ‘Klopp of the Alps’ is expected to sign a new long-term contract at Saints in the coming months and he loves giving young players a chance to shine, just like he did at RB Leipzig before he arrived in the Premier League. Hasenhuttl loves young, hungry players who are brave, press high and excite the fans. After Leicester smacked Southampton 9-0 earlier this season, Hasenhuttl went back to basics and Saints have been superb in recent months with wins against Chelsea, Leicester and Tottenham some of the highlights. Hasenhuttl completed his coaching badges in Germany at the same time as Klopp and their playing philosophy is eerily similar. The Klopp of the Alps looks set to stabilize Saints after recent relegation scraps and if he is ever handed money to spend, he could certainly push them back into the top 10.

Getty Images

What we love about Sheffield United

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Sheffield United.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to focus on the Blades.


Chris Wilder: The local lad done good. Chrissy Wilder has taken his boyhood club from the third division to the upper echelons of the Premier League in a few seasons and has done it with a clear playing philosophy and a no-nonsense attitude. Ask any player or manager who has got on the wrong side of Wilder. They will not have forgotten. Wilder has put in the hard graft at multiple lower league clubs over the years and is making the most of his opportunity to manage in the top-flight. His hunger and grit is visible throughout his playing staff and what Wilder says goes. The fans adore him and chant his name and if he wasn’t Sheffield United’s manager he would be watching Sheffield United in the stands with them. That is why we love Chrissy Wilder.

Getty Images

Overlapping center backs: One of the main reasons Wilder has had success at his hometown club is due to his interesting and revolutionary tactics. Overlapping center backs is now a term synonymous with the Blades and they have taken the Premier League by storm by overloading out wide. Often you will see Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell meander forward and support attacks and this works because midfielders John Fleck and Oliver Norwood sit deep and cover. Sheffield United are a well-oiled machine and the majority of this squad have been playing together for at least two full seasons. Continuity helps and even though everyone knows about overlapping center backs, Premier League have struggled to figure it out.

Getty Images

Their dramatic European push: That shows as Sheffield United sit in seventh place, five points off fourth place, with nine games to go. The Blades are having an incredible first season back in the Premier League after their promotion to the top-flight and they are tough to beat and eight of their 11 wins have been by one-goal margins. Sheffield United are well in the race to qualify for the Europa League and if fifth-place ends up being a Champions League spot then they are well in the hunt for UCL qualification too. Behind Liverpool winning the title, Sheffield United qualifying for Europe will be the story of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

Sheffield United
Getty Images

Steel City swagger: There’s a likeable arrogance and confidence about this Sheffield United team. England’s Steel City has fallen on tough times in recent decades but Sheffield is a tough and proud city. The Blades are an extension of that and right now they are the pride of Yorkshire with Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United and Hull City in the Championship. From Billy Sharp’s poaching and Chris Wilder’s masterful management, two locals are leading Sheffield United’s charge up the Premier League and that is so rare in this day and age. That is why the fans, players and staff all feel so connected and the feel-good spirit continues at Sheffield United. Bramall Lane has been bouncing all season long.

Getty Images

What we love about Norwich City

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Norwich City.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to focus on the Canaries.


Teemu Pukki: Norwich City’s cinderella season in the Premier League is in large part thanks to the heroics and scoring achievements of the Finnish wonder. Pukki scored 30 goals in all competitions last year as Norwich won promotion, and his hard running up top has led to 11 league goals in the Premier League this season. It’s an incredible change for a player who before 2016, only had more than 10 goals in a season once, playing back in Finland with HJK.

Norwich City will likely go down, but not for lack of effort from Pukki and co.

Daniel Farke: The eccentric German manager helped get Norwich City promotion to the Premier League and it seems that even with the club in serious trouble in the relegation zone, the club is sticking by Farke.

Despite playing with a majority of players who helped get the club promoted, Farke has stuck to his guns with an attacking, possession style of play – when not facing the big six – that has certainly been at times great and other times a nightmare. However, all fans have to respect a coach sticking with his or her style and believing that their methods will eventually work out.

Farke may depart at the end of the season, perhaps it’s time for a new challenge. But if not, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lead Norwich City back into the Premier League, should the Canaries go down as expected.

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Unique jerseys: Other than some teams away kits, no one else in the Premier League currently has as bright and provocative a uniform as Norwich City. With their bright yellow tops fading into green, the Norwich City brand is certainly recognizable by Premier League fans. The style sets Norwich apart from other clubs, who can fall into the assortment of reds, blues, or claret and blues (West Ham and Aston Villa, anyone?)

The style may adjust over time, but the colors never change. We love it that way.

Norwich City fans: Some English soccer clubs can date their origins back to the 19th century, but how many clubs and their supporters are still singing songs they sang on the terraces in the 1800’s? Just one, that we know of.

For more than 120 years, soccer fans in East Anglia – northeast of London, where Norwich is located, have been singing “On the ball, city” over and over again to support their team. According to Norwich City, it’s thought to be the oldest soccer chant in the world.

Norwich City supporters stay with their club, win or lose, just like this song.

NORWICH, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 15: Norwich City fans wave flags during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road on February 15, 2020 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

What we love about Newcastle

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up is Newcastle.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to take a closer look at the Magpies.


Alan Shearer: Internationally, Shearer is clearly the most recognizable player associated with the Newcastle United name and brand. Growing up just a couple of miles from St. James Park, Shearer returned to his home in a big-money transfer from Blackburn Rovers in 1996 and starred for his hometown club for the next decade. Including his time with Southampton, where he first went professional, and Blackburn Rovers, where he won a Premier League title, Shearer scored 260 league goals and 64 assists in 441 matches. Shearer retired in 2006 with more than 400 matches played for Newcastle, and more than 200 goals, and numerous records. His 260 league goals are by far the most of any Premier League player and his 206 goals for Newcastle is also a club record mark.

Newcastle United’s Alan Shearer celebrates his goal in front of the fans (Photo by Owen Humphreys – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Shearer, who has since gone on to manage the club briefly and move into television punditry on BBC’s Match of the Day, was honored with a bronze statue outside of the ground. It features the former England international in his oft-seen goal celebration, running towards the fans with his pointer finger held aloft in the sky.

DeAndre Yedlin: Just the second American-born player to play for the Toon (after Oguchi Onyewu had a loan spell in 2007), Newcastle took a chance on a young, speedy winger who was coming off a loan in 2015-2016 at arch rivals Sunderland. While things haven’t always been rosy and sunny at Newcastle for Yedlin, he’s clearly improved on the defensive and tactical side of the game, and it’s shown in U.S. Men’s National Team matches when he’s returned and been fit to play.

To date, Yedlin has made 125 league appearances for the Magpies. He’s also scored five goals, including this beauty last fall.

Miguel Almiron: Other than scoring boatloads of goals, like Alan Shearer did in his heyday, there’s nothing Newcastle fans love more than a hard-working player who happens to also possess incredible technical gifts as well. Enter Miguel Almiron. Although the Paraguayan international has struggled with his end-product, his lightning-fast runs down the channels have excited Newcastle fans since he joined the club in February 2019.

No matter what happens this season or in the future, Newcastle fans will always have his FA Cup double against West Bromwich Albion early in March.

St. James Park faithful: Through all the ups and downs, you can just about always count on the Newcastle fans showing up to support their team. Newcastle fans are considered among the most passionate around the globe, and it’s been quite a while since the club was contending for Champions League places. They’ve also had their fair share of hopes dashed, and have had to deal twice with relegation in the last 15 years. But they still fill up the 52,000-plus seat capacity at the beautifully-redesigned St. James Park.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Newcastle United fans display anti-racism banners during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on April 20, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

What we love about Liverpool

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Liverpool.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to focus on the Reds.


The Anfield Roar: Throughout our series detailing why we love each Premier League club, we will undoubtedly talk about the great atmosphere at their home stadium because that is one of the main reasons the PL is revered around the world. But Liverpool’s home atmosphere at Anfield is on another level. It is perhaps unrivalled on the planet. Under the lights Anfield on a big European or Premier League night, the Kop comes alive and the ferocious chanting and passion spills down from the Liverpool faithful. The Anfield Roar has always been famous but it has regained its gusto in recent seasons since Jurgen Klopp‘s arrival and he often whips the crowd into a frenzy with his constant gesticulating for them to raise the noise levels. Anfield always delivers and that is why it should be on your bucket list. The fact Liverpool haven’t lost a home Premier League game since April 2017 says it all. Anfield is a fortress and the famous roar has been restored. Many teams are beaten before the game even kicks off as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is belted out with scarves held high and the roar arrives. It is a sight and sound to behold.

Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp and heavy metal football: Since he arrived in 2015 Liverpool have come alive and they’ve won the UEFA Champions League, come so close to winning the Premier League title and are on the verge of lifting their first league title in 30 years as they currently sit 25 points clear even though the 2019-20 season is suspended. Klopp has pulled everything together. He has an incredible knack of knowing the right thing to say at the right time, the right way to act in front of the TV cameras and fans and he has created a family among his players and staff. The German coach has done so much to galvanize Liverpool off the pitch with his personality but on it has been his biggest achievement. His personality is extremely likeable and the way he celebrates every goal, corner kick, throw in and tackle fuels the energy behind Liverpool’s high-pressing. His gegenpressing style has taken years to fine tune at Liverpool but his current squad have it down to a tee and his famed heavy metal football is revered around the world. Direct play, high-intensity pressing and incredible work rate is key to his style working and the fans are totally on board. He currently has a better win percentage (61.3 percent) than any manager in their history which showcases his amazing consistency whilst being handed the funds by American owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) to cleverly assemble this team. Klopp will go down as one of the greatest managers the club has ever seen in their incredible history. His smile is a close second.

Getty Images

An incredible history: Six UEFA Champions League titles. 18 league titles. Seven FA Cups. Eight League Cups. Three UEFA Leagues. Three UEFA Super Cups. One Club World Cup. The list goes on and on. From Bill Shankly to Bob Paisely and Joe Fagan, Liverpool have dominated English and European soccer for decades at a time and their proud history puts them up their with the greatest teams the world has ever seen. Their incredible history is celebrated each and every day by their fans who laud past teams, legendary players and managers and the Song which became famous over the last few seasons details their dominance perfectly. Allez, Allez, Allez, indeed.

Getty Images

Giving us so many greats, decade after decade: One thing that Liverpool has always delivered as well as trophies is legendary players and managers. We’ve already mentioned Shankly, Paisley, Fagan and now Klopp as managers who have shaped the game but on the pitch the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Kevin Keegan, Graeme Souness, John Barnes, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and now Mohamed Salah have become global superstars thanks to their heroics on the pitch in the famous red shirt. Liverpool is a club synonymous with success and having the greatest players in history represent them. Liverpool fans treat their legendary players as god-like figures and the vast majority truly belong in soccer’s pantheon.

Getty Images