Back Page Football’s five most read articles of 2015

by Back Page Football

It’s been another big year for Back Page Football as we published almost 1000 articles that covered news, views and opinion from all across the globe.

As we head into 2016, there’s no better time to look back at the 12 months that was, and below are the features that grabbed the attention of our readers the most.

 

1. Who’s robbing the bank at Manchester United?

(February 2015)

Manchester United supporters will be glad to see the back of 2015, especially if the New Year coincides with the departure of manager Louis van Gaal.

Ten months ago, James Nolan picked out some of the squad members who weren’t pulling their weight relative to the massive amount there were collecting in their weekly pay packet.

Among those called out was skipper Wayne Rooney who struggled for form right throughout the year and has shown very few signs of recovering since turning 30 in October.

2. The top five overrated players in the Premier League

(March 2015)

List articles always get the juices flowing, and Alex Wood‘s decision to include Chelsea’s Eden Hazard at the time looked like a crazy shout, but the Chelsea man has gone of the boil massively this season.

Adnan Januzaj is another on the list, and a move to Borussia Dortmund hasn’t exactly worked out after he found his playing time severely limited at Old Trafford.

United rejected £40 million for a youngster who only played on average for 61 minutes in 27 league appearances last season, found the back of the net on just four occasions and made only four assists.

While Vincent Kompany may not be the defensive god that he has been depicted as over the past few years, there can be no denying that Manchester City struggle and look a completely different side without him.

3. Eight players to watch at the European Under-21 Championship

(June 2015)

Sweden were perhaps surprising winners of the European Under-21 Championship that took place in June and July, beating Portugal on penalties in the Czech Republic.

In the lead up to the tournament, Alan Nolan looked at some of the promising youngster who could make a massive impact on the international stage.

Included on the list was Portugal midfielder William Carvalho who went on to claim the Player of the Tournament award following some scintillating performances.

 

4. Football’s greatest fraud – Carlos Henrique Kaiser

(November 2014)

Although published at the tail end of last year, this article on Carlos Henrique Kaiser grew legs in 2015 thanks to a number of postings on Reddit, whose posters love a cult hero.

Niall Noonan recounts the tale of a perennial spoofer who managed to lie his way to a professional football career with a number of different clubs.

Kaiser, like all great con men, had a knack of knowing when it was time to move on. He left Botafogo and used his footballer friends to secure him a new contract, this time at Flamengo. Using the same fitness to injury table routine he was able to gain months of employment and fame from the club before moving on again.

Given the nickname ‘Kaiser’ due to supposed similarities with German great Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Henrique managed to play just 30 games over a 20 year career.

5. Mourinho’s greatest achievement might be what costs him this season

(August 2015)

While nobody predicted such an extreme fall from grace for Chelsea, Chris McMullan did speculate that all might not be well for Jose Mourinho the season after claiming the Premier League title.

The Portuguese departed Stamford Bridge in recent weeks with the club hovering just above the relegation zone while ‘specialist in failure’ Arsene Wenger has his Arsenal side chasing league leaders Leicester City.

No longer is it just Manchester City’s stellar squad hot on Chelsea’s heels, but there’s an Arsenal side with a newly-found backbone on his trail too.

The August assertion that we are seeing a new Arsenal is certainly justified, with the Gunners overcoming a long injury list to impressively dispose of Manchester City among others.

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