Tattoos are a big deal in sports and it has been a staple in football culture among players and fans. Its rise in popularity can be credited to footballers showing off some skin on the pitch and displaying numerous body ink markings. It is indeed rare to find athletes without tattoos. It can be painful but it displays a statement of machismo or of something significant for the player. Clubs have allowed players to have tattoos. As long as it does not harm them, they can have as many as they desire.

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The transfer merry-go-round is in full swing. With Samir Nasri the latest player to be linked with a move away from Arsenal top blogger Andrew Winn looks at the idea of Samir Nasri staying at the Emirates for another season.

Much like new kits and pre-season tours, the summer would not be the same without an annual transfer debacle. With increasing reliability, players will announce intentions to leave or join a club, listing numerous explanations, the majority of which will irritate the more suspicious supporters of his once beloved current employers.

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Ligue 1’s final match-day saw seven teams including Caen on the verge of relegation. Hoping to avoid defeat they would play host to 2nd place Marseille in what was always going to be a tough end to the season.

Against the odds it was Franck Dumas’ side that took a surprise early lead through Yohan Mollo’s 7th minute strike. With half time approaching the home fans were hoping to go into the break with their slender lead intact.

Midfield maestro Benjamin Nivet received the ball inside the centre circle and with a lovely ball out wide he found 16-year old striker M’Baye Niang racing through on goal. The youngster charged into the box and then with the composure of a veteran finisher he calmly stroked the ball past Steve Mandanda giving his team an unlikely 2-0 lead. Marseille would come back to level the game late on, but Caen were safe and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind, M’Baye Niang was the real deal.

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Only last month Lens defender Raphael Varane was profiled as one of our Ligue 1 20 for 20 – players to watch. In the piece it was mentioned how many clubs were keeping an eye on this talented youngster ready to make a move for him in the transfer market. Manchester United and Bayern Munich were the big names in contention, Sir Alex had been rumoured to be considering a £3m bid for the 17-year old.

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On the podcast this week I am joined by Charlie Anderson, Chris Mayer and Ethan Dean-Richards. We give our take on how far Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur can go next year. Who will be pushing forward who will stagnate backwards. What do Liverpool do with Steven Gerrard?

Charlie then talks us through the Danish Superliga with four games to go. What has made Champions Copenhagen so good. Who are the players linked with moving away in the summer. The race for the Europa League and 2nd Champions League spot. Also the relegation battle that everyone from 5th place down can still get relegated.

To finish off the show we look back at our favourite moments in the FACup in homage to this weekend’s final between Man City and Stoke.

Link to download the podcast and subscribe and all that jazz!!

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Hello..this week on the podcast I was joined by Chris Mayer from 6 pointer, Dave Bevan from the 72.com and Scott Johnston from the footyblog.net. We discuss this week’s four Champions League games. The pod answers how they think Chelsea will be lining up in the future, also answer whether Serie A is going backwards in terms of quality.

In part two, we take a look at our respective leagues of interest Chris (Belgium) Andrew (France) Scott (Scotland) Dave (The Championship) – and we pick out a team, a outstanding player and a young prospect to look out for. And we also pick out the most underrated players from the Premier League this season.

So plenty to look forward to, I hope you enjoy the show.

Oh and forgot to mention it on the show, but this week’s guest predictor is John-Burn Murdoch from the Trequerista site. Good luck John.

(click the big 27 to be taken to the download page  :) )

 

 

 

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The port city of Marseille will be buzzing at the arrival of Manchester United. Going well in the league and some favourable results in the Group Stage: Juliet JacquesGuardian writer and Ligue 1 fan gives you a glimpse of L’OM’s chances.

Olympique de Marseille enter their Champions League last 16 tie against Manchester United returning to form, but afflicted by injuries. Didier Deschamps’ side recovered excellently from a slow start in this competition, a brilliant 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow securing the French champions’ qualification from their group, but then won just one of their next eight Ligue 1 games as their title defence faltered.

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The wonderful people over at Pan Macmillan have given me FIVE copies of Philippe Auclair’s superb book

CANTONA – The Rebel Who Would Be King

All you need to do to be in with a chance is answer the question below and enter your email address

Competition is now closed for entrants, winners will be announced on Thursday

Good Luck!!

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