Good morning and happy new year, everyone! As I promised a while back, when I came onboard to provide social media support here at The Short Fuse, I also wanted to see the role of Cannon Fodder evolve. Like many other blogs, I wanted to provide a place for off-topic discussions but, also like many blogs, I wanted to have a place to provide reading from around the league and around the world of soccer, as well as some stuff about off-topic things like movies, games, and whatnot.
Feel free to use these as jumping off points for conversation, or feel free to bring up whatever you'd like to talk about as long as it isn't religion or politics. Also, go ahead and leave anything I missed - including links to individual articles and just news sources you enjoy that you'd like to see make it into Cannon Fodder on the regular. Also, keep in mind that I'm just trying to find interesting or fun things for you to read - so there might be some weird sources here and there, or ones we tend to disfavor when it comes to transfer rumors. If you disagree with something, go ahead and start a conversation about it in the comments!
Here we go!
Alexis Sánchez should play on the right when he returns from injury - The Short Fuse
What better way to start my first linkpost than with something from one of our own? In case you missed it, Aidan did a great job breaking down the way Alexis' role should evolve in a resurgent Arsenal side on his return.
Mythbusting: MNF, Jamie Carragher and Mesut Özil | Analytics FC
You guys know how much I freaking love Mesut Ozil. You also know I tend to look down my nose at most pundits, especially player pundits. They tend to say a bunch of garbage that doesn't make sense, and they say it in the most inflammatory way possible in order to get people to pay attention. Jamie Carragher did it recently when comparing our beautiful, perfect German to Manchester City's special Spaniard, David Silva. Luckily, sometimes good things can come from people saying really dumb stuff, and this article on Analytics FC provide a brilliant breakdown of the stats to see how they really line up.
Watch: AS Roma make Wojciech Szczesny 'best saves' video | Daily Cannon If their latest video is anything to go by, the folks over at AS Roma are Wojciech Szczesny fans. Well done, Chezzer!
Allardyce Premier League fixture risks player health - ESPN FC
Honestly, I agree with Big Sam. What is happening? What even is life? Who am I?
Adidas chief makes surprise dig at Man United boss Louis van Gaal | Daily Express
Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer took a jab at the quality of play from United manager Louis van Gaal's Red Devils. I am not sure what he was expecting, given the horrendous way the Chevrolet logo is splashed across the front of their kits, but there you are.
Real Madrid fires Rafa Benitez, names Zinedine Zidane head coach | Soccer By Ives
The managerial merry-go-round continues to turn as Real Madrid decide to move on from their quizzical selection of Rafa Benitez. His successor? A guy who was, admittedly, really good at soccer but who also has never managed a top-flight team. Good luck with that, guys!
UK Back Pages: Bale to Follow Benitez out of Bernabeu, Adidas Criticise Man Utd | Bleacher Report
It's kind of fun to take a look at the SENSATIONALISM that takes place on the back pages of the UK papers. Could Bale be on his way back to the Premier League?
How The Return of the 4-4-2 Formation Has Shaken the Premier League
I don't know a ton about tactics, but I am trying to learn. This seems like a good place to start in a piece that critically examines how the tactics in the Premier League have evolved such that Leicester can compete at the top of the table while United languish and look like hot garbage.
Galaxy 'close' to acquiring England's Ashley Cole - LA Times
In other former Arsenal player news, spending huge money on a 35-year-old fullback can't possibly go badly! Can it?
ASN article: Dear Patrick Vieira: In MLS the Team Is Always the Star
Our old friend Patrick Vieira is about to start his managerial career by taking over the storied, one-year-old franchise New York City FC. Wendy Thomas has some thoughts for him that are worth a read.
12 predictions for 2016: Copa America, USWNT, FIFA - Planet Futbol - SI.com
Some folks love to laugh at Grant Wahl because of how seriously he tends to take himself on Twitter dot com. You can do that and still think his predictions are interesting! I enjoyed his parity talk and his prediction for Arsenal.
Slate: Carol is the best movie of 2015, if not the decade.
An interesting take on some of the best movies of the year. Feel free to debate below which was your favorite - and definitely consider seeing Carol, which was really a heck of a flick. Here's a trailer!