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Joe Difford

Football writer for

Joe, 20, is a football writer for and has been published in MSN, Manchester Evening News and London 24. He is currently studying Film, TV and Theatre at Brunel University and is an avid West Ham fan.

Arsenal Won't Be a Title-Winning Side Even if They Win the League

Sure, the trophy will sit in Arsenal's dusty trophy cabinet for a year and fans will get 'Champions 16' on the back of their replica shirts, but next season, unless they bring in a centre back, holding midfielder and striker at least, they will slump back to their more familiar fourth place. That is, unless the other top sides fail to turn up once again.
06/01/2016 17:30 GMT

Why Are Premier League Clubs Raiding Ligue 1 So Much This Summer?

We'll take a look at the first bit to start with, because it's as good a place to start as any. European transfer prices tend to move up and down in cycles, and clubs strike for talent when the prices are lower. That's obvious enough. But the cause goes deeper than that.
06/08/2015 17:29 BST

Five Premier League Teams in for a Tough Season

​It may be a little negative to discuss the relegation zone before the season has even started, but with all the talk about which sides will be challenging for the title next season, it only seems fair to have a look at the other end of the potential table.
10/07/2015 16:58 BST

What's Gone Wrong for West Ham Since Christmas?

They certainly haven't lost the fight they showed in the first three months of the campaign, except for two of what can only be described as humiliating results against West Brom in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace. So, what's gone wrong?
12/03/2015 17:29 GMT

Faith Has Been Restored in the FA Cup

In the past few years, the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the FA Cup is no longer a David vs Goliath match where the underdog emerges triumphant. It is instead the fact that many of the top teams field an almost different starting XI, resting their key players for the league.
26/02/2015 17:43 GMT

The Dreaded Long Ball: So What?

When the words long and ball are read or heard, many would conjure up images of Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis embracing as the likes of Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll frolic around them. However, many fail to consider that this tactic can be hugely effective, if executed correctly.
19/02/2015 17:55 GMT

Why Manchester United Are Lucky to Be in the Top Four

​Manchester United have been far easier on the eyes this season, but they currently sit on 37 points after 21 games, exactly the same as this time last season when David Moyes was in charge. Just let that sink in for a moment.
16/01/2015 16:40 GMT

Five Factors Behind West Ham's Dramatic Improvement

This time last season, West Ham United were mid-way through their seemingly regular flirtation with relegation and were preparing for a painful second half of the season... Here are the five defining factors in the East London club's rebirth, other than the obvious arrival of new and improved players.
12/12/2014 15:09 GMT

Seven Summer Signings Who Probably Regret Their Move

When the summer transfer window closed just a few months ago, most fans will have been at least content with how their club bought. We witnessed a number of surprise signings and questionable ones too, but three months down the line, would any of these individuals go back to their old club if they could?
08/12/2014 19:50 GMT

Five Reasons Why Critics Should Give Arsenal a Break

Arsenal have been heavily criticised in recent years and there is much debate as to why they continually fail to win the Premier League title or shoot themselves in the foot during key matches. However, critics are far too harsh towards the Gunners and here are five reasons why they should change their tune.
23/11/2014 21:30 GMT

Premier League Strikers Shine Courtesy of Poor Defending

There has been a significant shortage of world class defenders making a living in the Premier League in recent years and quality full-backs are almost non-existent, hence Manchester United's absurdly high fee paid for Luke Shaw, a lad with slightly more talent than many other left-backs in the country.
29/10/2014 16:45 GMT

Five Premier League Stars Who Need to Jump Ship This January

The Premier League season is in full swing and already we are getting a glimpse of who will be claiming the individual awards come May. For some, however, life at their current club has become tough and these five must make a move in January before it's too late.
15/10/2014 17:41 BST

The Premier League's Biggest Over and Underachievers So Far This Season

Players tipped for success have struggled and others have surprised, settling into life in the world's top league. Some teams have bought well and improved on last season's outing, but others have inexplicably struggled. Here is the ultimate collection of the Premier League's biggest over and under-achievers so far.
03/10/2014 16:09 BST

Has Sam Allardyce Done Enough to Win Over the West Ham Fans?

Big Sam has done exactly what has been asked of him and fans can now look forward to every game, something that has not been true for a long time. So after all of this, has he done enough to win over even his biggest critics, or is it still too early to tell?
24/09/2014 17:10 BST

Five Most Injury Prone Premier League Sides

Injuries are, unfortunately, a part of the beautiful game, and can influence a team's season far more than fans would like. Some sides know more about this than others, seeing their players fall victim to the dreaded niggle or even worse, a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
12/09/2014 16:39 BST

Seven Defenders Who Need to Be at Their Best This Season

It's all well and good signing players who can score goals and it's not surprising that the most expensive transfers tend to be attack minded players... In what could well be the most exciting season yet, here's seven defenders who simply must perform this season and what's at stake if they don't.
27/08/2014 16:40 BST