The European Players League

manchester united europe

Booking under: Keith

The Champions League is back! While our teams (Manchester United and Chelsea) both battled to draws, Real Madrid secured a big 3:1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain while Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Manchester City all blew out their opponents. What an exciting knockout round!

The Premier League is doing well this year, with an unprecedented five EPL teams making it to the round of 16 for the first time ever. And while English stars like Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling are fun to watch, almost all of the best players in the league are foreign – Eden Hazard, Mohammed Salah, David de Gea. How did the Prem become so flooded with non-English players?

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The Red Devils From Newton Heath

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Booking under: Nicole

Happy Chinese New Year! May the Year of the Dog be filled with joy, prosperity, and faith!

Red, the official color of CNY, is considered to bring good luck and fortune to everyone and ward off evil spirits. Red is also the home color of Manchester United. With Manchester City’s lead at the top of the Premier League table stretched to 16 points, it is certainly a lot of work for Jose Mourinho’s side to close the gap (is it possible?) and recover from the defeat at Newcastle before clashing with Sevilla in the Champions League next week.

20 years ago, United won a treble of trophies in the 1998/99 campaign, marking their success in domestic and European history. Credit went to the players and of course, Sir Alex Ferguson and his tactical acumen too.

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Speed kills


Booking under: Keith

This week’s chapter resonates a lot with me. For those who know me, I’ve never been a big, bulky, or particularly tall person. My advantage on the football pitch comes from agility, developing an understanding of the game, and the subject of this chapter: speed.

As the rise of deep-lying playmakers sees an increase in playing through-balls to on-running forwards, two players sped up the Premier League’s evolution with their pace.

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Come On You Gunners!


Booking under: Nicole

As a die hard Chelsea fan, I absolutely feel weird to write about my team’s London rival. Ever since Antonio Conte took command of Chelsea, we weren’t able to beat Arsenal in the last six head-to-head games. Will this situation persist with the Gunner’s record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or drastically change as Olivier Giroud arrived at Stamford Bridge? Definitely look forward to seeing the effects of merry-go-around of strikers in the winter transfer window.

Before that, let’s deep dive on the early success factors of the Gunners.

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Rise of the playmakers


Booking under: Keith

People often say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” If that statement was to be applied to Premier League football, there’s surely no club or player more flattered than Manchester United and Eric Cantona (whom we discussed previously).

United’s success, fueled by Cantona, led many other clubs to emulate their formula: buy a foreign playmaker and build the squad around him. Shortly after King Eric was lighting up English football, several other teams in the league began signing similar stars to their teams. Here are two of the best:

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If You Are Mature Enough


Booking: Nicole

Millennials Premier League fans like Keith and myself would probably perceive Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool as the traditional Big 4. As the world of modern football evolves, the rise of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, and most recently Leicester City, who improbably lifted the Club’s first League title in 2015/16, have intensified the competitiveness and dynamics in the League like never before.

If you have been watching the League since its start, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Kenny Dalglish‘s Blackburn Rovers in 1994/95 and Kevin Keegan‘s Newcastle United in 1995/96 were once at the top of the table and dominated the Legaue by acquiring famous players and adopting simple footballing approach.

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A Whole New Ball Game


Booking under: Nicole

Happy New Year! May 2018 be blessed with joy, love, health, and many many goals in the football games!

We are kicking off the new year with The Mixer, which outlines the history and tactics of the world’s most popular professional football league. The Prem was founded in 1992, during which a new goalkeeping rule was introduced the same year and had a transformational effect on the game tactics and role of goalkeeper in modern football since then. Without further ado, let’s get the ball rolling.

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Looking ahead: 2018


Booking under: Nicole & Keith

This time last year, we celebrated one year of blogging here on ABF2. Today, we again have cause to celebrate: it’s been a happy 2 years of ABF2 blog posts!

Looking back, we’re amazed at how far we’ve come since we first hatched the idea for this site back on 2015. With over 100 blog posts covering two books and many other topics, it’s been an amazing ride – and we’re not done yet!

As you know, 2018 is a World Cup year, and the two of us are football fanatics. That’s why our book for 2018 will be…

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The Five Mindsets (Pt 2)


Booking under: Nicole

The cover photo in my last post in 2017 is a roller coaster not because I like this amusement ride (not at all!), but this precisely described how I felt this past week. Why? Story time….

Whilst I enjoy what I am doing now in consulting, I am always open to opportunities outside even if I am not actively looking. Recently, a headhunter approached me with a promising opportunity working for a very prestigious global firm. I found the job description and the firm itself stood out from all the other Linkedin messages I received so I thought there was no harm to give it a tab and test myself.

Then, the dilemma began. After going through interviews, they liked me and I soon received an offer from this firm with a very competitive compensation package…. something that I would be dumb to reject in monetary terms. What to do now? While tons of considerations and numbers were running on my head, I tried to be as rational as possible and did a risk analysis on either staying at my current firm or making a leap to a new firm. The following five mindsets also did their part in helping me make this decision.

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