Football and the Ewing theory


If you are a NBA fan you might have heard of the Ewing theory.But because this is a football website I know you aren’t, I am going to give you a quick rundown. Patrick Ewing was the superstar center of the New York Knicks from 1985 to 2000. During that time the Knicks won 0 championships and made the NBA Finals only once, while he was missing with an injury. Observing his career NBA fans and media members were convinced that his teams inexplicably played better with him off the floor. Thus they came up with the Ewing Theory and decided the two crucial factors which are required for it:

  • A star player receives a significant amount of media praise and fan interest but his team never wins anything meaningful.
  • The star player then leaves and everyone immediately writes off the team only to be proven wrong the following season.

Does this translate to football?

Yeah it definitely does. The best example has to be Philippe Coutinho. After Luis Suarez(Barcelona) and Raheem Sterling(Man City) left the club, the Little Magician became the centrepiece of Jurgen Klopps Liverpool rebuild. And he didn’t disappoint. His mental dribbling, pinpoint passing and absurd ability to bang it top bins from 35yd, in an era in which outside on the box strikes have dried out, turned him into one of the best young talents in the world. Of course as any Ewing theory candidate he had his deficiencies, like not tracking back or gassing out around the 60th minute mark but despite that he was adored by everyone at Liverpool.

That was until Barca slid into his DMs in the summer of 2017 and as every south american he simply couldn’t resist them so he left Anfield in January 2018 for the mind-boggling 140 million euros. The sale was followed by a lot of criticism going Liverpools way. People were calling them a selling club without ambition and the supporters had lost faith that they could see their beloved team back on the perch they so desperately wanted to get back to.

At this point the Ewing theory just started happening at full force. Salah, Mane and Firmino became one of the deadliest attacking trios in football, while Andy Robertsone and Trent Alexander-Arnold made up for some of the creativity lost after Coutinhos departure. All of this materialised in Liverpool qualifying for the Champions league final and in spectacularly hilarious Liverpool fashion reminding everyone who the OG Banter club is by losing 3-1 to Real Madrid after a Loris Karius masterclass.

Nonetheless what happened next though I’m adding as the 3rd factor needed for any situation to classify as “Ewing worthy” in the football world. And that’s reinvesting the money they got from the sale. Liverpool used the money to buy 3 world class players(Van Dijk, Fabinho and Alisson) they desperately needed to be able to challenge for the big trophies. Those 3 players proved to be exactly what Liverpool needed to finally end their 30 year PL drought.

Potential Ewing theory players:

Harry Kane

Harry has made it abundantly clear that he’s had enough of The Spursy Experience™,he thinks the squad isn’t good enough and wants to leave for Man City. If and I know it’s a big IF but still if Spurs sell him for the reported 120-150m and give these funds to their new manager to spend big thinks can happen. Football is a funny game, you never know what’s going to happen next, I can guarantee Coutinho didn’t believe Liverpool were going to win the Champions league before him Messi and Suarez.

Paul Pogba

Pogba has been a potential Ewing theory player for years and this summer is the last chance for Man U to sell him. Why might you ask? Well I don’t believe he fits the squad they have at the moment. His most productive period was during Oles interim manager stint when he was playing as a number 10, now Bruno plays there and Pogba just isn’t good enough playing on the wing or in front of the defence.

Declan Rice

Declan Rice is an awesome young player who almost every team in the world would to get their hands on. Having said that if there’s something, teams like Leicester and LOSC Lille have shown us is that no player is irreplaceable. So if any of the linked teams(Man U, Man City and Chelsea) decides to cough up the 80m asking price, West Ham have to sell.

Did anyone miss out on selling their Ewing theory player?


Ever since he signed Aubameyang, the Gabonese Travis Scott has shifted his priorities from scoring as many goals as possible to enjoying the luxurious London lifestyle. Arsenal had the chance to sell him for 40-50m last summer when his stock was high but they didn’t and know are stuck with Ozil 2.0 .


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