Going South? Celtic & The English League System

March 19, 2012


“It is one of the most commonly recurring stories of modern football. Should Celtic and Rangers be allowed to leave the Scottish league system and join the English football league system instead? It’s an emotive subject, for sure, and it’s one that seems to divide both supporters and administrators, with the only people that are certain of which way they would like to go being those that run Glasgow’s two giant clubs, who would like to utilise the vaster resources that would be open to them as a result of being in the more lucrative English system than they would get from remaining in England.” twohundredpercent


Brazil’s championship needs a licence to thrill

March 19, 2012

“Before Ian Fleming made his name writing the James Bond books, he was eclipsed by older brother Peter, a derring-do adventurer of the type Michael Palin might have been born to satirise. Peter Fleming was part of an eccentric expedition into the Brazilian jungle in the early 1930s, which he wrote about in a book best remembered for its stand out line. ‘Sao Paulo,’ he mused, ‘is like Reading, only much further away’ – an observation which does, of course, depend on one’s starting point, but which contains an excellent piece of insight.” BBC – Tim Vickery


Quantifying Progress, From Roy To Kenny

March 19, 2012

“After a series of poor league results, including three defeats in a row for the first time in nearly a decade, stern questions were being asked of Kenny and his team’s management of Liverpool, probably for the first time; were the most suitable players purchased in the summer, have the tactics been right, and so on.” TomkinsTimes


Any Given Saturday

March 19, 2012

“INT. DRESSING ROOM – EVE. We are somewhere in the bowels of a large football stadium. Several staff and 23 players – three lions on all their shirts – sit around looking nervy, or nervously applying ‘product’ to hair (hair shaped like one of those asymmetrical postmodernist sculptures named after abstract nouns – Courage, Trust, Camaraderie – and habitually found outside civic buildings, which, within a generation, have become discoloured, unloved, and appropriated by skateboarders).” Run of Play


Champions League draw sets up a potentially epic Real-Barca final

March 19, 2012

“Wow. I’m not sure the Champions League draw could have been scripted any better. Real Madrid and Barcelona can’t meet until the final. And that’s good because a 2011-12 Champions League decided by a clásico, the seventh of the season, would be unprecedented and special, not to mention “right” in the sporting sense: these two are the best teams in the world right now. But that’s a hypothetical. We’re not there yet, of course. Barca and Real still have to play their way to the Allianz Arena in Munich. And there’s plenty that can go wrong between now and then.” SI


Liverpool: NextGen Stars Ready To Step Up Thanks To Rafa’s Revolution

March 19, 2012


“In last week’s derby Liverpool had four homegrown players, here’s five more who are ready for the first team, thanks in no small part to Rafael Benitez’s work on the academy set-up…” Sabotage Times


Strange events in La Liga

March 19, 2012

“Uuuuf … as the Spanish say. Where do we start this week? Well perhaps with a rather unusual theme, at least as far as La Liga goes. It seems to have been a recurring topic throughout the week, set off by Jose Mourinho complaining once again that the Bernabeu is too ‘cold’ and that the stadium needs to get behind its players to a greater extent. ‘Never mind about me’ he said, adding that he wanted the supporters to mostrar mas carino (show more affection) to the players, and support them through thick and thin.” ESPN


Fenerbahce 2-2 Galatasaray: Fenerbahce score two great goals, then go too defensive

March 19, 2012

“Galatasaray are close to the title after an impressive comeback in the Kıtalar Arası Derbi. Fenerbahce coach Aykut Kocaman has named an XI similar to this all season – ten of the positions featured his most-used individual in that role. The exception was Moussa Sow, who only arrived from Lille in January, but has been a regular upfront since. Miroslav Stoch has shared the left-wing position with Caner Erkin, while Serdar Kesimal competes with Fabio Bilica and Bekir Irtegun for a place at centre-back, but this was a typical Fenerbahce XI.” Zonal Marking


Stoke undone by dynamic duo

March 19, 2012

“Kenny Dalglish’s innate, instinctive reaction is to defend his charges, whatever the accusations levelled against them. He can appear especially touchy when the players in question are his signings. But even those accustomed to a defiant Dalglish forming a protective shield in front of an under-fire footballer were taken aback by the Scot’s January justification of Stewart Downing’s recruitment when he said: ‘He is better than what I thought he was.’” ESPN


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