Tactical Philosophy: Andre Villas-Boas

July 27, 2015

“André Villas-Boas is still only 37, but it feels like he’s been a football manager for a very long time. Indeed, the 25th of October, 2015 will only be the 6th anniversary of Villas-Boas’ first game in charge of a senior, professional football team, discounting a brief stint as Technical Director of the British Virgin Islands at the age of 21. Villas-Boas has taken first team management roles in Portugal, with Académica de Coimbra and his beloved FC Porto, then in London, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and he is now currently working for Zenit St. Petersburg, in Russia.” Outside of the Boot

Russian Premier League beauty contest winner stripped of crown over racist postings

July 22, 2015

“Anti-racism campaigner Piara Powar has attacked Russian football’s record on racsim after it emerged that a winner of the official Russian Premier League annual beauty pageant had posted neo-Nazi messages on social media. The latest racism story to emerge from the 2018 World Cup hosts comes days Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off for gesturing towards abusive Spartak Moscow fans. The Russian Football Union later ruled there was no evidence to prove that Frimpong had been targeted by racists and the player’s two-match ban for being sent off was upheld.” World Soccer

The soccer world continues to condone Russia’s racism
“With all the outrage surrounding the 2022 Qatar World Cup, it’s easy to forget that, in just three years, Russia will be hosting the 2018 World Cup. Yes, the same Russia where players regularly get racially abused at Russian Premier League games for sport. That should be comforting to players and fans, particularly those who may be of a similar hue to those who get abused on a weekly basis. I mean, welcome to Russia 2018, amirite? Save up for your bananas. Zenit St. Petersburg’s Brazilian striker Hulk said yesterday that he faces racial abuse in ‘almost every game’ in the Russian league. That’s a hell of a statement and, to be fair, a remarkable level of consistency and dedication from Russian fans.” Fusion

Red Star and the land of great knights
“As an English football fan, I’m surprisingly comfortable with the notion of congregating into the symbolic centre of a town far away from where I live and belting out messy, off-key renditions of self-written songs. Those obnoxious little ditties glorifying my own roots at the expense of others are usually characterised by puerile language and an awkward cocktail of self-deprecating humour mixed with the most ridiculously aggrandising boasting.” Football Pink

Tactical Philosophy: Besnik Hasi

July 17, 2015

“Born in Gjakovë, Kosovo on 25th December 1971, Besnik Hasi started his football career at Liria Prizren (then a team playing in the Superliga of Kosovo), before moving to many different clubs in Balkan leagues, and then in 1994, found as he recalls his 2nd home: Belgium. In 1994 he signed for the KRC Genk, where he played 141 games, winning the Belgian Pro League and Belgian Cup once each.” Outside of the Boot

Tactical Philosophy: Andre Breitenreiter
“Andre Breitenreiter, the footballer, was horribly unlucky. His luck started out undeniably positive as at only 17 years old, he lifted the Deutscher Pokal in 1992 with Hannover 96. Then plying his wares in the second tier, Breitenreiter became an overnight sensation. ‘The Lightning Bomber’ as he was known in Germany, made the jump to the Hamburger SV in 1994 and at 19 years of age, scored a 19 minute hat-trick in the now defunct Inter-Toto Cup against Danish side Ikast FS. His Bundesliga debut came against, of all the sides, Bayern München. His brace helped Hamburger SV to the victory. Andre Breitenreiter, the footballer, had arrived and tragically his luck decided to strike two days after that momentous victory over Bayern when he broke his cheekbone and jaw and was sidelined for the rest of the season.” Outside of the Boot

A land that time forgot – Steaua Bucharest and the 1986 European Cup

July 14, 2015

“Way back in the mists of time that was 1986, it was possible for an Eastern European team to become kings of the continent. Everyone remembers the great Red Star Belgrade team of 1991, of course, but five years before that, in 1986, the Ros-Albastrii ( the Red & Blues) of Bucharest became the first club from the East to claim the ultimate prize in European club football.” backpagefootball

Bohemian Rhapsody: Masopust and Dukla

July 2, 2015

“Cold War Europe was a sinister place. Behind the Iron Curtain, popular opinion told us, it was a grey, totalitarian world where spies drank thick black coffee in cafes, children informed on their parents, smoke-chugging cars rolled off production lines and food queues, for inedible black bread, went on for miles The lingua franca was strictly Russian. As for football, teams were supposedly mysterious, functional, militaristic and tough. They were known as ‘Crack’ Hungarians, Bulgarians and East Germans. But while these teams were hard to beat, it was the latin contingent in Europe that emerged as the dominant forces, notably the Spanish and Italians. In 1962, the trend was broken when one Josef Masopust, a 31-year-old Czech, was named European Footballer of the Year.” Football Pink

Valeriy Lobanovskyi: Football’s Premier Scientist

July 2, 2015

“Through the annals of footballing history, there have been a multitude of figures whose contribution to the game can be termed as colossal. Names such as Jimmy Hogan, Herbert Chapman, Victor Maslov, Rinus Michels, Arrigo Sacchi, have left their inedible mark on the sport through their philosophies of how the game should be played. But among these, the name of Valeriy Lobanovskyi has long gone unnoticed and underappreciated. His contribution to the game is as important and as ground breaking as any of the contributions of the rest of these eminent personalities. Born in Kiev in 1939, the young Valeriy was a smart kid, evidenced by his gold medal in mathematics which he was gifted when he left high school.” Outside of the Boot

Russian wrap – Zenit claim top honours for the fifth time

June 27, 2015

“With the vital Russia v Austria Euro 2016 qualifier lost in disappointing circumstances, the Russian season eased to a finish with pretty much everyone and everything where we expected them. The Russian Football Union (RFS) hasn’t the money to pay off their expensive Italian (a crowdfunding gimmick was launched to do just that) and President of the RFS Nikolai Tolstykh was slaughtered by the Sports Minister’s allies.” backpagefootball


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