Hertha Berlin: Winning Ugly is Still Winning

November 24, 2015

“On a snowy November Sunday in Germany’s capital, Hertha Berlin hosted a Hoffenheim side desperate for points, but it was the Berliners who came away with all three points, winning 1-0. The win was more ugly than an artistic triumph, as Berlin could only manage one shot through the entire ninety minutes, but yet another victory leaves Coach Pál Dárdai’s Berliners in the final Champions League spot in the BuLi table with a 7-2-4 record, one point behind 3rd place VfL Wolfsburg and one ahead of streaking Borussia Mönchengladbach. Hoffenheim occupies the league’s cellar on eight points, and have yet to score a goal under fireman coach Huub Stevens in his three games in charge.” Bundesliga Fanatic

The Beauty (and Boredom) of Bayern’s Brain

November 21, 2015

“Pep Guardiola continues to redefine what we expect from the world’s best managers. His Bayern Munich side are undefeated in the Bundesliga this season, with 11 wins out of 12, and have already established a staggering goal differential of +33. They won the league title and appeared in back-to-back Champions League semi-finals during his first two seasons in charge. Under his reign, they average a staggering 72% possession per game.” 8by8

Football Weekly: Hungary qualify for Euro 2016 as England’s friendly with France goes ahead

November 18, 2015

“The podders reflect on the Euro 2016 playoffs and the rest of the international friendlies. Plus, Raúl retires, Paul Lambert heads to Blackburn Rovers and Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink remains in high demand. On today’s Football Weekly, AC Jimbo is joined by Jacob Steinberg, Michael Cox and John Ashdown to look back on the Euro 2016 qualifiers, with a bit of help from Jonathan Wilson, who was in Bosnia to see (or not) Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Dzecko and co in the fog, and then in Budapest to witness Hungary qualifying for their first major tournament in 30 years, and is now en route to Slovenia. Because that’s the sort of thing he does.” Guardian – Michael Cox, Jonathan Wilson, etc. (Video)

France attacks: Sporting fixtures postponed after attacks

November 16, 2015

“Several sporting fixtures in France have been postponed after a series of attacks across Paris in which 129 people were killed. Three suicide bombers died in blasts outside the Stade de France while France played Germany on Friday. With fans unable to leave, many poured on to the pitch, while both national teams spent the night in the stadium. All European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches set to be played in France this weekend are off. However, the French Football Federation (FFF) said Tuesday’s international friendly against England at Wembley would go ahead following three days of national mourning.” BBC (Video)

As Paris Attacks Unfolded, Players and Fans at Soccer Stadium Remained Unaware
“Shortly after 9:45 p.m. Friday, at halftime of an exhibition soccer match between France and Germany, the players on both teams went to their locker rooms to rest while the coaches, who normally would have been reviewing their strategies, instead received shocking news. Everyone had heard the two explosions outside the stadium during the first half of the game, and Didier Deschamps, who leads the French team, and Joachim Löw, Germany’s manager, were told by French officials that there was a developing crisis, with violence reported near the stadium as well as around the city. President François Hollande, who had been at the match, had already been rushed from the stadium, they were told, but the second half would proceed.” NY Times

Wembley to welcome France for England friendly in spirit of defiance
“So, the show goes on then. As news of the atrocities in Paris on Friday night filtered through to Alicante during the second half of England’s friendly against Spain – a tumorous, spreading sense of horror with each fresh round of details – football became an instant irrelevance. At the time it seemed certain that Tuesday’s game against France, at Wembley, would be cancelled. In part because of the obvious pressing security concerns, but above all because of the sheer rawness of the occasion, the sense of unnecessary intrusion on a period of pain and grief.” Guardian

Tactical Analysis: Dortmund 3-2 Schalke | Dortmund keep changing to pick up the win

November 16, 2015

“In the first Ruhr derby of this season, Borussia Dortmund emerged victorious while Schalke’s poor run of results continued. Thomas Tuchel started out with a 4-3-3 system. For the visitors, Andre Breitenreiter continued with the 4-4-2 system.” Outside of the Boot

Gute Woche / Schlechte Woche: Matchday 12 Edition

November 10, 2015

“You cannot accuse the Bundesliga of failing to offer something for everyone. For those who want some feisty and aggressive football, there was Derby drama to be had this weekend. For those who enjoy predictability, there was a routine Bayern Munich victory to whet the appetite. For those who anticipate the surprise and shock factor of the game, there was a defender netting a brace in the Rhine derby and a Salomon Kalou hat-trick. The 2015-2016 Bundesliga campaign is really starting to heat up, and while the league is beginning to take some sort of shape, it remains as fiercely competitive as ever.” Bundesliga Fanatic

League success – is three the magic number?

November 10, 2015

“From Sheffield FC to FC United of Manchester, clubs have been born with the same ambition: to become the greatest in the world. In France, this sentiment is echoed loudly by the capital city’s starlets Paris Saint Germain. Relatively speaking they’re a new club, formed in 1970 with the merging of Stade Saint-Germain and Paris FC. For a brief time in the early 90s this dream of footballing conquest almost became a reality with Ligue 1 titles and pantheons of the game like George Weah and David Ginola in the side.” backpagefootball


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