North of the Border

August 24, 2011


“Until his death in 2008 after a long illness, Eddie Thompson ensured Dundee United were competitive at the top of the group of teams below the Old Firm in the SPL. A supporter of the club, financially as well as in the stands of Tannadice even before he took control, he used his personal fortune to stretch the budget of United. It is a model of ownership and investment that relates to dozens of club in UK football and hundreds around the world.” ESPN


1990s Month: World Cup ’94 and the Footprint of the World’s Game

August 24, 2011

“Humans naturally grasp for simplicity and certainty. In the case of soccer in the United States, for the last decade, fans have held their breath, waiting for a watershed moment to shout exuberantly “Soccer has arrived!” Yet nobody feels tectonic plates shift. You just wake up one day and you live in South America, not Africa. The 1994 World Cup was wholly unremarkable in the sporting sense, yet indelibly left a footprint stateside. And that footprint led to a trail far removed from the “pick off-American football-fans” of the collapsed NASL.” The Equaliser


Andy Carroll grabs Liverpool’s third to cap routine win at Exeter City

August 24, 2011

“This was another of those occasions that confirmed how much more comfortable life is under Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool succeeding where they failed last year by overcoming lower-league opposition to progress to the next round of the Carling Cup with the minimum of fuss. Daniel Nardiello scored a late penalty for Exeter City but Liverpool were strolling by that stage, following an outstanding display by Luis Suárez, who left the field to applause from all sides of the ground.” Guardian


Garrido uses Bruno Soriano at the back to help guide Villarreal through

August 24, 2011


Bruno Soriano
“Villarreal qualified for the Champions League last night with a 3-0 victory over Odense, sending them through 3-1 on aggregate. Pre-match teamsheets suggested that Villarreal would be lining up in a 3-4-3 shape, with Juan Oriol, Mateo Musacchio and new signing Cristian Zapata in a three-man defence. That seemed unlikely, since Oriol is an attacking left-back, but it was difficult to see quite how Juan Carlo Garrido was going to play.” Zonal Marking


Mata transfer to Chelsea doesn’t bode well for La Liga’s future

August 24, 2011

“Every time they say goodbye, La Liga dies a little. Now Juan Mata has signed for Chelsea from Valencia, just as Sergio Aguero signed for Manchester City from Atlético Madrid. For fans of City and Chelsea, the transfers are fantastically exciting, two great additions to two teams aspiring to win the Premier League. For the Spanish league, they are frightening. Despite the injection of around 75 million euros, the transfers are confirmation of a worrisome trend.” SI


The greatest disallowed goal of all time?

August 24, 2011

“Barcelona defeated Napoli 5-0 in the pre-season Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou on Monday, Cesc Fábregas opening the scoring and Leo Messi knocking in a 15-minute second-half hat-trick. But it could all have been so different for the Italians.” Guardian


The changing of the guard

August 24, 2011

“Should reports in the blogosphere be believed, Netherlands will climb to the top of the new FIFA World Ranking when it is released on Wednesday. This changing of the guard comes as current leaders Spain have lost three friendlies since they were crowned world champions last summer, while the Dutch have been undefeated since. Obviously, it is just statistics, but it is an indication of the progress the team has made since the appointment of coach Bert van Marwijk after Euro 2008.” ESPN


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