County Deepen Celtic’s Woes

April 13, 2010


“When the draw for the Scottish Cup semi-finals was made all the talk was of Rangers and Celtic being kept apart for a potential Old Firm final. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Rangers didn’t even reach the semis in the end, losing to a scruffy but deserved last minute goal in their quarter-final replay at Dundee United; but it’s Celtic’s semi-final humiliation at the hands of Ross County which is the real story.” (twohundredpercent)

Self-interested SPL clubs must push for change
“Motherwell travel to Celtic tonight for the second time this season, but it won’t be the last. Thanks to the Scottish Premier League’s remarkably pointless innovation of splitting the league in two with five games to go, Motherwell have been allocated a third visit to Parkhead on May Day. The SPL rules guarantee ‘so far as reasonably practicable’ that teams will play an equal number of home and away fixtures, but the Lanarkshire club will end up with 18 home games and 20 away, and has announced that it will exhaust ‘all avenues of protest’ to complain about the lopsided allocation. Expect to see manager Craig Brown chained to the gates of Hampden Park any day now.” (WSC)


Video Of The Week: Hooligan

April 13, 2010

“This week’s ‘Video Of The Week’ is ‘Hooligan’, a 1985 documentary made by Thames Television about a problem which, at the time, seemed to more or less intractably woven into the very fabric of English football. The film focusses upon the ICF, the West Ham United hooligan firm, but also offers a brief history of the problem within the game as well as a look at how the problem affected the English national team (although the makers chose to use footage of the notorious match between England and Belgium in Turin at the 1980 European Championship finals, although there is no doubt that there would have been more recent footage that they could have used in 1985), the growth of the problem abroad and some analysis of the psyche of the football hooligan, including an interview with John Williams, latterly of the Department of Sociology at Leicester University.” (twohundredpercent)


Pulling Back the Curtain on the Wizard of Real Madrid

April 13, 2010

“Every time I write on this subject, self-doubt creeps in. Barcelona’s possession game has seeped into the soccer inteligentista social network, forever altering its philosophical foundations and how we view the “beautiful” game. Every time a defender passes to a goalie, we don’t roar with cheers, but rather applaud quietly in a Starbucks while sipping on a latte and flipping through the Guardian. And if the goalie passes to a defender?” (Run of Play)


Leverkusen 1-1 Bayern: The home side dominate, but miss too many chances

April 13, 2010

“An enjoyable game that Leverkusen should have won, and ultimately it was a terrific weekend for Bayern – with Schalke suffering a surprise defeat, Bayern are now two points ahead of Schalke and six ahead of Leverkusen, with four games to play.” (Zonal Marking)


Never enough

April 13, 2010


Michael Bradley
“It’s another heated U.S.-Mexico match — a World Cup qualifier in Columbus, in February 2009, before a typically crazed crowd — and as usual, there’s a flash point. U.S. keeper Tim Howard rises to grab a ball that floats in front of the six-yard box, and as he does he’s kicked in the leg by Mexico’s Rafael Marquez — a flagrant red card. In a flash, American midfielder Michael Bradley has sprinted to the fallen Marquez to loom over him. Just as suddenly, U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra arrives to give his younger teammate a quick, hard shove.” (ESPN)


The Case of the Soccer Con Artist

April 13, 2010

“Last summer, CSKA Sofia, the winningest soccer club in the history of Bulgaria, invited an intriguing prospect to train with the team. The player, a Frenchman named Greg Akcelrod, had been climbing the ranks of European soccer, signing with a top-flight Paris club and training with a team in Argentina. He had an agent and a Web site that showed him scoring a goal for the English club Swindon Town. He’d even been chosen as an ambassador for Lance Armstrong’s charity.” (WSJ)


Book Review: Hunting Grounds

April 13, 2010

“In Hunting Grounds, Scottish journalist Gary Sutherland undertakes a season long journey around the grounds of all 42 Scottish League clubs, offering a good introductory overview for those encountering the world of Scottish football beyond the Auld Firm, whilst also presenting the hardcore fan with some heart warming stories powered by Scotrail and Tennents.” (thetwounfortunates)


Uruguay rates as Group A favorite

April 13, 2010

“The group that drew hosts South Africa, rather than one of the seven other seeded teams, was supposed to be among the easiest in the World Cup. Instead, Group A will be one of the toughest and certainly among the most competitive. Consider that this group could have consisted of South Africa, New Zealand, Slovakia and Paraguay. Instead, the hosts are paired with three teams that place in the Soccer Power Index’s top 17. And South Africa itself will be no pushover, as it’s playing better football of late and is poised to take advantage of its home status.” (ESPN)


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