My Current Favourite Premier League Players

I used to absolutely love weekends and evenings sat in front of the TV watching the Premier league, but then I fell back in love with the lower leagues thanks to Bradford City and with the recent introduction of VAR I feel as though some times it can be hard work watching the top flight of the English game. I had enough waiting around for goal confirmations in the Women's World Cup I don't need it every week. Plus my weekends now usually consist of me being at the Bradford City men's or women's games and by the time I have got home I end up just putting YouTube on. I have watched quite a few games this season just nowhere near as many as I would have liked to, but when I have watched them there has been some definite stand out players for me. So here are my current favourite Premier League players...

Virgil Van Dijk 
He might be a Liverpool player but WOW what a player Van Dijk is. Liverpool definitely got a bargain when they signed him. The thing I love about Virgil is that he is consistent, some defenders have a couple of good games but then a few bad ones, whereas with Virgil bad games very rarely happen. Not only is he solid in defence but he is a threat when attacking too especially at corners, his height definitely helps him tower over the opposition but his ability to read the play certainly benefits him too.

Jamie Vardy
Vardy is having another great season minus the injuries. Vardy is a play who can read the game really well and can time his runs to perfection, he is definitely a big part of why Leicester are where they are currently in the league. I love how he has stayed at Leicester too where some players such as Mahrez, Drinkwater & Kante all moved onto the big name clubs, Vardy seems to have made the right choice and stuck with Leicester. If he comes back fighting fit from this latest injury he will definitely continue making an impact and will score plenty more goals.

Mason Greenwood 
Greenwood has been handed the chance to make a name for himself this season at United with the amount of injuries that have occurred to the other forwards & the recent poor form. The best thing is he has stepped up and taken the opportunity given to him. Yes he may only currently have 4 goals to his name but he gets the goals when United really need them along with doing really well in the build up play too. If he can stay free of any major injuries then he has the potential for becoming a big household name. 

Aymeric La Porte 
Unfortunately La Porte has spent a lot of time out injured this season and to be honest I think that has resulted in Man City's poor form. The center back was surely set to become Kompany's permanent replacement and would have really strengthened the defence for City but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be as he got injured. Hopefully he will come back stronger than ever and help City get back to a strong defence like we have been used to for the past few years. If he can bounce back from this injury he will easily win back his starting spot.

Tammy Abraham
Another youngster who is really proving himself this season. Abraham is really excelling under Frank Lampard's management and has even bagged himself 13 goals so far this season. Unfortunately he has picked up a knock at the moment but I am sure he will soon bounce back and hopefully continue his form. With the progress he has made at Chelsea already he is definitely one to watch over the next few seasons, let's just hope that if Chelsea bring anyone new in he doesn't become out of favour.

I really do hope that someday soon I can fall back in love with the league and actually enjoy it once more. Fingers crossed I can get watching more games too as it would be nice just to sit in front of the TV, in the nice warm house watching my favourite game. 

Favourite Football Boots I Have Worn Over The Years

Thanks to playing both football and rugby over the years I have got to wear plenty of different boots, mainly Nike but with a few different brands thrown into the mix. With me playing through from such a young age I have been able go through plenty of different variations of boots and some of the best for that time. So here are the top picks for boots I have worn over the years.

I absolutely loved the Totalissimo boots and in fact I wore these for quite a while, I had the red colourway of these in a soft ground boot and thy were brilliant. I was pretty young when I had these and I actually passed these down to my sister when I moved on to my next pair. I just loved the colourway and silhouette of this boot, it was my first boot with an overlapping tongue.

I honestly believe the Total 90's will forever be my favourite boot. I had these in red & blue boots and even the trainer versions I was never out of them. It even went to the extent of me getting a Total 90 ball and tracksuit. Again the design on these were absolutely perfect and they were super comfy. Nike recently rereleased the T90 laser football boots (yellow and black colourway) and it took all the willpower in the world not to pick up a pair. I just wish they would rerelease the whole Total 90 range.

A bit of a surprise addition to this list is the Adidas F50 boots, I got these when I went to college and was playing football daily on turf and these really didn't disappoint, they just felt so good on the feet as the sole plate was perfectly laid out. The upper is really nice too and the purple colour way is something I wouldn't have normally gone for but I am so glad I did. I actually still have my pair of these somewhere (still not fully taken everything from the parents house) so who knows you could be seeing them on here or Instagram soon.

My final pair is another one that I still have somewhere (these have gone missing completely, I really hope they are at the parents) if I remember correctly Liam actually got these for me when I signed up to my local team around 5 years ago. These were my first Hypervenom's and they didn't disappoint. I love the bright colours on them and how the pink and yellow surprisingly work so well together. As you can see I got these in a soft ground version so was limited to how many times I could wear them but I really got my money worth.  I won't say too much more on these either as if I can find them I will be doing a play test and on feet review of these.

Football boots are definitely something I want to feature more on here and I actually have 2 pairs still in the boxes at home ready to be tested out for future reviews so keep checking back for more football boot content. 

Favourite NWSL Shirts From Last Season

Last season saw some absolutely brilliant shirts released for the NWSL each giving the clubs their own standout pieces. They also seemed to get some pretty good reactions from fans around the world too. 
From the 9 teams kits I have picked out my personal top 5 so here we go...

The Orlando pride home kit was absolutely brilliant last season, inspired by Lake Eola the 'Reflection' jersey is definitely different to other teams in the league. The way the purple is lighter to show the ripples in the lake looks fantastic and having that local element incorporate is brilliant. Team this up with the blue sleeves it is one very good looking shirt.

Next up we have the Pride secondary kit also known as the 'Eola Energy' jersey. A white shirt with an amazing purple pattern to keep in with the Orlando colours. I love this shirt although I think if you look at it for too long it might send your eyes a bit funny. The design is really well worked though showing that reference back to Lake Eola.

I love the orange of the Houston Dash as it really stands out but the main reason I like this shirt is because it has no sponsor. Having no sponsor means the shirt is left to speak for itself and thanks to the vibrant orange it does as it stands out. The blank space on the shirt also helps it stand out too as some people would honestly sit and question why the space hasn't been used by a sponsor to bring in more money for both the club & sponsor company.

The Utah Royals second shirt was brilliant last year, keeping it simple in a white shirt with the teams gold accents subtly incorporated as small stripes and a neck detail. But the best part about this shirt is the crown detailing between every alternate section created by the gold lines. It really kept in with the Royals theme. The crowns are in a silvery/gold colour so they stand out without breaking the simplicity of the shirts colours. I think if the crowns were in any other colour then the shirt would have looked awful but with this done the way it is the shirt looks absolutely brilliant.

Finally we have the Portland Thorns home jersey, according to the Thorns this jersey is inspired by the Portland flag framing red smoke and the design looks absolutely fantastic. It even has an interlocking rose stem on the back neck tape just to add that Rose City element to the shirt. I love the way the red and black fill the full shirt and captures the Thorns regular red colour, it was definitely one of the shirts on the top of my list to get last season, lets hope next seasons is just as good. An honourable mention also goes to the Thorns 2nd shirt which is just a nice simple white shirt with a red Nike swoosh & Thorns badge, it's not often you seen simple white shirts like this now a days.

I wish these shirts were easier to get in the UK as I would love to add some of these to my shirt collection (that post is coming very soon). I can't wait to see what this season is going to bring in terms of the new kits, fingers crossed there are some good ones.

A Few Current Favourite WSL Players

The FAWSL is a league that I love to watch and with the FAPlayer now making it easier to watch games I am watching more than I ever have. Watching the games certain players really stand out and don't actually get the recognition they deserve so here are just a few of my current favourite players from the league...

Jill Scott

I still think Jill is such an underrated player, she doesn't get anywhere near the recognition she deserves. The Man City midfielder always seems to put in a shift when she is on the field as not only is she brilliant on the attack but she is a player who will always challenge for the ball and if she loses it she makes sure she tries her hardest to win it back. She always seems to be in the mix of things.

Lauren Hemp

Lauren Hemp is a youngster with a brilliant future ahead of her as long as she can avoid any serious injuries. when we went to see Man City vs West Ham earlier in the season she had a fantastic game and made some fantastic runs down the wing finding plenty of space. Give it a few more years and I really do believe she could become a household name for the women's game here in England.

Leah Galton

Leah Galton has played in the States & in Germany and is currently playing for newly promoted Man Utd where she is definitely becoming a stand out for the side. With her attacking runs, brilliant crosses and ability to score goals. I have to say I believe Galton could easily be my favourite United player.

Vivianne Miedema 

To me Miedema is one of the most underrated players in the league at the moment for some reason when it comes to the big awards she is overlooked, such as at the best awards she should have been in that top 3, same with the Ballon d'Or she should have won it in my eyes or at least come in the top 2. Miedema is only 23 years old and is already breaking records for the fun of it so imagine what she is going to be able to achieve in a few years with even more experience. She is really beneficial to Arsenal in their title fight and is just overall an amazing player who definitely needs more recognition.  

Don't worry if your favourites aren't on this list as there will be a follow up to this post with even more of my favourites who didn't quite make today's list as there were quite a few. Who are a few of your current favourites?

Adidas X Tango 17.3 Turf Boots

 I have never really had any other boots whilst growing up than Nike ones. However occasionally I have opted for a few Adidas pairs and they have treated me well. A few month ago now whilst looking around JD Sports I came across these Adidas X Tango 17.3 turf boots and seen as they were on sale at the time for just £15 I though I would pick them up and give them a try. Especially with our garden just being redone and getting some training equipment for in here I wanted something to wear when the ground was harder than usual and these turf ones were the perfect fit for the scenario. 

The thing that tempted me the most towards these boots was the colourway. I absolutely love the red and white with the red dots all over the front of the upper with the big X logo towards the heel on the inside and the Adidas logo on the outer. Team these colours and the pattern up with the black sock like cuff around the ankle and you are onto a winner. The boots are a mid cut due to this sock like cuff but I honestly do believe this makes the boot a like sturdier and gives your ankles that extra little bit of support. This part is made out of a breathable fabric which continues down the boot to for what would be the tongue making the boots seem like a one piece boot.

This gives you a sock like fit which to be honest is a good idea but as the boots fit nice and snug around the front of the foot you really have no room for movement, you can't adjust this part. In fact it actually made the boot really difficult to get on as it doesn't give you much stretch at all. Thank to the way this boot is formed together too in my opinion it makes the laces just look like they stand too far out, with the little eyelets on the outer boot, it isn't for me. I like my upper to be as clear as possible so I can get as good of a touch on the ball as possible, plus I like to took in my laces, something that isn't possible with these. I opted for a size 7 in these as with my Nike sports socks they fit fine, but change those socks to football ones and I wish I went just half a size up for comfort purposes, with them fitting so snug they are definitely going to take some getting used to. 

The rubber soleplate is perfect for the turf, but also thanks to them not being too long in length you can actually use these on hard grass and even concrete if needed meaning I can go into the garden or just kick the ball about in the street with them on and it wont really affect anything no sliding around unnecessarily. Some people may think you can feel every single bit of rubber through the bottom of the boot but you don't feel a thing as the actual insole is nice and thick too. The boot is actually really lightweight too to say it is a takedown model which I was really surprised by. 

In terms of the actual play in these you get a nice connection with the ball with the side even with the dots as these aren't too raised. The only problem I had was getting a clean strike through the ball with them on as the laces just seemed so bulky and in the way. Passing wise though you are fine as the inside feels perfect. It is the same with control the side is fine, the ball doesn't slide straight off but if the ball hits the top it is going to hit those laces. With them feeling like sock fit too at times I forgot I had them on but you don't feel too much of the ball you feel just the right amount.  I will definitely have to test them out in the wet though as with them having a bit of a shiny finish it will be interesting to see if the ball roles away or if you can't still get a good touch.

I honestly believe if I had to give these a rating it would have to be a 3.5 out of 5, yeah they are were really cheap due to being in the sale but I doubt I would pay full price for them they are just too hard to get on in the first instance and until they are properly broken in they are a little too tight. On the plus side though they are good enough for just kicking the ball around in the garden, who knows after doing this a little longer they may end up changing my mind but as it stands this is all they would be used for. They do really stand out though which is something I really look for in a boot, I don't want to blend in, I want to stand out.

So there you have it that's my thoughts on the Adidas X Tango 17.3 turf variant. What would you like to see next?

Football Flick Urban Skills Trainer #Gifted

I was lucky enough to be sent the Football Flick urban skills trainer from Football Flick themselves, I had been looking at this trainer for quick a while as I try get some football training done and regain the basic skills I seem to have lost since been out injured. The trainer itself is to improve core skills such as control passing and touch. It is made up a front ramp, to improve passing technique, your touch and overall skills such as volleys etc. Then you have the rear ramp to use to develop control and your first touch, this is essentially a rebounder. Finally you have the target net, this is for your target practice. 

The Build
The trainer came in a pretty decent size box, in fact my little arms couldn't fit around it so Liam or my dad had to carry it around for me. Once the box is opened everything is compactly packed and to be honest I was a little surprised with how little pieces they were for this. Sometimes when you open a box you can get overwhelmed with the amount of items in front of you but with this you don't get it at all. It took us a while to build the trainer at first but we realised that we had in fact put some of the bolts in wrong (yes I did say we, I had Liam assisting me as I am useless but honestly I think I could easily do this myself). I think after actually building it that it would be suitable for anyone over the age of 11 to build as it isn't complicated at all. Which is perfect as I would say this is around the target age for this item, given anything between 10 year old & way up to adults. 

We built this trainer in the back garden so we had an even surface to build it on, when in reality we could have just build it in the side garden, but the good thing was it was super easy to carry round to the other garden (can easily do one handed). The only issue was getting it through the gap in between the bush and garage to get it in there. The trainer even comes with a handy carry bag so if I opt to take this to a field or pitch to do some training it is going to be super easy to do so. The trainer itself isn't heavy either which means it is even better to transport.

Front Ramp
I love this front ramp, you have the bold logo in the front with arrows to show possible directions the ball can go in. This ramp is perfect for players wanting to improve their technique when receiving the ball from different heights, angles and speeds which will benefit the players overall game. This ramp is definitely going to be one I use to work on my finishing skills along with my touch from balls coming in at different heights and speeds, I am hoping it really benefits my reaction times too as you just don't know at times where it could land.

Target Net
The perfect target practice without a net and perfect for those looking for more precise target practice as it is a bit of a smaller space. It fits perfectly in between both ramps with Velcro holding it place but the Velcro is really strong as it can hold the weight of the ball as it falls into it. I especially love this part as it can help with things such as pinpoint passes, which can come in handy for game situations as you can learn to put the ball into a small space. There is plenty you can do with this as in training you can have players challenging each other to see who can put the ball into it the most times or from the furthest distance. I actually think this could be my favourite part of the trainer and can see me and Liam having plenty of challenges with this. Who would be interested in seeing some of these?

Rear Ramp
This for me is brilliant as it perfect for training on your own, it is basically like having someone to pass to. This is a great side to practice your first touch and overall control,  the ball can bounce back to you at any speed or any height so you have to be on your feet constantly. As I say though this is definitely brilliant if you are training on your own or if you just fancy a quick session to keep on top of your touch. I think now the weather is getting a lot better I could end up bringing this out plenty of times after work or whilst Liam is at work on Saturday's just so that I can keep on top of my touch and be constantly making improvements. This is attached to the framework at the top by 2 small bolts then you just tie the Velcro around the bottom and you are good to go.

Take Down
I can't really comment on the take down as I leave this to Liam, I am usually far too tired or rushing off to do something else. But to be fair it really doesn't take him long at all, just unscrew the bolts, undo the Velcro, pop it all in the bag and you are good to go. It couldn't get much easier.

This trainer is currently £104.99 and not only can it be bought direct but you can also get it from the likes of Argos for the same price. The price tag did scare me at first but after really giving it a try I can see why, it is built brilliantly and you can do so much with it. Plus it can help players out so much and grow as the player does, it is always going to be handy. The fact it can help with so many aspects to me that is where you get the value, touch, passing, shooting and overall control. Not only can you train with this but as I say you can have fun with it, me and Liam ended up playing a little game with the target seeing who could get it in with certain amounts of touches. You can also use the ramps to help do things such as shooting challenges and crossbar challenges so the options are endless.

Overall I would say if you are a parent looking to help your child progress or a football yourself wanting to improve definitely take a look at Football Flick and specifically this Urban Skills trainer as it can be a huge help.

Football Flick have some new products being released today and I can't wait to see what they are as I will definitely be trying more of their products in the future, take a look at their website to see the full range of products they offer and what you could pick up yourself. Keep an eye out on this blog to see more of their products being reviewed as they are worth every penny. Plus I have more training product reviews coming very soon. Be sure to checkout my Instagram edgeofthearea where I will be posting videos of my training with this and other equipment, who knows I may even do some YouTube challenge videos with it.

You can also find Football Flick on Twitter & Instagram.

*The item in this review was gifted to me however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.