Martin Laurence

Author's details

Name: Martin Laurence
Date registered: December 17, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/qpr

Latest posts

  1. How Wolves became early favourites to win the Championship — September 20, 2017
  2. Bournemouth’s season: four games, four defeats, one goal and central problem — September 14, 2017
  3. Transfer window: six underrated players who should be attracting more interest — August 30, 2017
  4. Everton should think twice before signing Gylfi Sigurdsson for £50m — July 26, 2017
  5. Do Chelsea really need new £34m signing Antonio Rüdiger? — July 11, 2017

Author's posts listings

Sep 20

How Wolves became early favourites to win the Championship

Wolves finished 15th in the Championship last season but, after changing their manager and signing 12 players, they look like genuine title contenders

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

The Championship is notoriously competitive and this season is proving to be no exception. After eight rounds of fixtures, the top six clubs are separated by just two points and none of the three pre-seasons favourites – Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Fulham – are in those play-off places. Villa and Fulham aren’t even in the top half – although they are just seven points behind Leeds, Wolves and Cardiff, who sit at the top of the table with 17 points.

The season isn’t yet two months old but momentum has already swung one way and then another. Cardiff City won their first five games of the season; Ipswich will go top if they win their game in hand on the leaders; and Leeds currently sit in first place. But Wolves are the one side who look like genuine title contenders, which is somewhat remarkable given their summer of upheaval.

Related: Jorge Mendes and Wolves: how deep does the agent’s influence run? | David Conn

Related: Is Wolves’ record signing Rúben Neves really suited to the Championship?

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2017/sep/20/wolves-favourites-championship-jota-nuno-neves

Sep 14

Bournemouth’s season: four games, four defeats, one goal and central problem

Eddie Howe’s decision to not to sign a strong midfielder in the summer transfer window becomes more baffling with each defeat in the Premier League

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

When Frank de Boer left Crystal Palace this week he became the first manager to be sacked after just four matches in the Premier League, breaking Les Reed’s record of losing his job after just seven games with Charlton in 2006. De Boer had the added ignominy of not even seeing his team score a goal in the league, but he is not the only manager to have started the season with four straight defeats. Bournemouth are yet to win a point– and they have only scored once in the league.

Speaking after his team’s abject showing in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal last weekend, Eddie Howe sounded concerned: “I’m worried by the performance. The four performances we’ve had, I’d accept one of them. I won’t accept three of them. That’s a pretty damning verdict, so I have to do better to solve the issues we have and make sure we put on better displays in the future.”

Related: Frank de Boer left Crystal Palace after 77 days. Dave Bassett didn’t last 77 hours

Related: Lewis Cook: ‘To be mentioned in the same sentence as Bobby Moore was crazy’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2017/sep/14/bournemouth-premier-league-midfield-brighton-crystal-palace

Aug 30

Transfer window: six underrated players who should be attracting more interest

Transfer fees have gone crazy this summer but players such as Malcom, Idrissa Gueye, Ricardo Pereira and Nabil Fekir could have been good value signings

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

There are always a few players who dominate the conversation during any transfer window. Neymar, Naby Keïta, Kylian Mbappé and Alexis Sánchez have attracted a lot of the hysteria this summer, leaving other talented players to fly under the radar for one reason or another. Here are six players who have been mystifyingly overlooked this summer.

Related: Transfer window: players who should move to help their World Cup chances

Related: Who to sign on deadline day? Premier League fans share their transfer requests

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2017/aug/30/transfer-window-six-underrated-players-who-should-be-attracting-more-interest

Jul 26

Everton should think twice before signing Gylfi Sigurdsson for £50m

If Ronald Koeman wants a creative midfielder he should invest in Valter Birsa, Ryad Boudebouz or Jonathan Viera

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

This transfer window is taking the phrase “silly season” to a whole new level, with record signings being unveiled throughout the Premier League. Thirteen of the 20 clubs in the league broke their transfer records last summer but Everton broke the mould. Their record signing dates back to 2014, when they paid Chelsea £28m for Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has nearly trebled in value in three years, becoming Everton’s most lucrative sale by a country mile, and the club are ready to spend a huge chunk of the £75m they received from Manchester United to break their transfer record once again. They have bid £40m and £45m for Gylfi Sigurdsson but Swansea City are holding out for another £5m.

Related: Swansea reject second Everton bid worth £45m for Gylfi Sigurdsson

Related: How will Monaco cope after losing so many of their title-winning stars?

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2017/jul/26/gylfi-sigurdsson-everton-swansea-transfer-window

Jul 11

Do Chelsea really need new £34m signing Antonio Rüdiger?

The 24-year-old German international has potential but so do Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Nathan Aké

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Since arriving in London, Antonio Conte has had one definitive wish: to sign a centre-back schooled in his homeland. In Antonio Rüdiger, to an extent, he has finally got that man. Yet, Conte would have preferred Leonardo Bonucci and there is a lingering sense that Chelsea have again had to settle for second best in this transfer window, even after winning the title so convincingly. They have stumbled over a number of targets this summer – most notably Romelu Lukaku – and the manager is unimpressed.

Rüdiger has been linked with the club for some time now but his arrival seems like a move designed to appease Conte in the short term. Chelsea needed to make a signing and, while a transfer for Monaco midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko remains close, a deal for the Roma defender has proven more straightforward.

Related: Chelsea complete £34m deal for Roma defender Antonio Rüdiger

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2017/jul/11/do-chelsea-really-need-new-34m-signing-antonio-rudiger

Apr 20

Who will win the Europa League? Rating the chances of the eight quarter-finalists

Manchester United are the outstanding favourites but Lyon pose a big threat and Celta Vigo will be keen to extend Spain’s dominance over this competition

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

After the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals all eight sides have realistic hopes of progressing to the final four. Manchester United conceded a late equaliser in Anderlecht but were the only side to get a positive result away from home. Celta Vigo take a 3-2 lead to Genk; Lyon go to Besiktas 2-1 in front; and Schalke have a little more to do after a 2-0 defeat in Ajax. We take a look at the remaining sides’ prospects of winning the trophy – and earning a place in next season’s Champions League.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2017/apr/20/europa-league-quarter-finalists-manchester-united-lyon-anderlecht