Golden goal: Paolo Di Canio for West Ham v Wimbledon (2000)

March 22, 2015

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“If you came here looking for a brief recap of Paul Weiland’s 2006 film, Sixty Six, then you are in luck. The story of a Jewish boy whose Shabbos spirit was dampened by his barmitzvah tragically falling on the same day as the World Cup final between England and West Germany in 1966 (spoiler alert: England win in controversial circumstances) was a niche topic that was met with mixed reviews, but it struck a resounding chord with me.” Guardian (Video)


Dortmund 0-3 Juventus: deep defending and quick countering

March 19, 2015

“Juventus produced a classic away performance to win this tie comfortably. Jurgen Klopp named his default 4-2-3-1 formation. Kevin Kampl made his Champions League debut on the right, with Henrikh Mikhitaryan on the left flank – neither are natural wingers, and both prefer to drift inside. Soktatis Papastathopoulos started at right-back, with Lukas Piszczek still out following the injury he collected in the first leg.” Zonal Marking


Werder Bremen’s rebound will mean little if it can’t reach Champions League

March 13, 2015

“Poor Werder Bremen. When struggling, its woes went unheard, so loud were the laughs at Borussia Dortmund’s expense. But when soaring, in comes Wolfsburg, knocking in five goals two weeks ago to crunch Werder’s near-success into a throw-away sentence at the end of a paragraph. All this team wants is someone to notice it, damn it, but in this league of showoffs and scrappy strugglers and this weekend’s hedgemonic opposition, Bayern Munich, people are constantly swiping left when encountering the insipid green diamond that is Werder Bremen.” Soccer Gods


European Cup Classic – “A victory in vain”: FC Bayern München v AC Milan, 1990

March 9, 2015

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“In 2015, there is something of a gulf between the German Bundesliga and the Italian Serie A. While the former was booming with full grounds and exciting football, the latter was in the doldrums both on and off the pitch – a situation best summed up by FC Bayern München’s 7-1 demolition of AS Roma in the group phase of the champions league and Parma FC’s financial collapse.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Change of tactics pays off: Schalke’s Week 24 victory

March 9, 2015

“Week 24’s game was an attempt from the Royal Blues to come back after the most humiliating defeat to Dortmund at the Revierderby the week before. I among many was convinced this club was not good enough for any Champions League position in the league. My mind still has not changed. That being said, Roberto DI Matteo, who I will still stand by as not truly being at fault for the club’s shortcomings, made some tactical changes for this home match against Hoffenheim that paid off. First of all, with the lack of any offence and most of all midfield movement, the club changed from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2. This allowed players who have been absent in recent weeks, such as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to be more present in the game, with EMCM in particular having an impressive game with a few shots and setting up both of Max Meyer’s goals.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Ranking the Top 10 Young Midfielders so far in 2014-15: Sterling moves up as Liverpool begin late season resurgence

March 6, 2015

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“After another minor break, the Talent Radar Player Rankings return, with the men in the middle of the park the focus of our attentions. A lot has changed since the last time the rankings were out, Borussia Dortmund’s fall was only just starting, Liverpool were still in the Champions League and the Italian Serie A race actually looked interesting. While the rankings itself saw Marco Verratti on top, with a couple of challengers looking to dethrone him. Here’s who continue to impress us as we move into the business end of the football season.” Outside of the Boot


Centers, Catchers, and Chileans: The Trouble With Mesut Özil’s Unquantifiable Excellence

March 6, 2015

“Watch any Arsenal game, and you’ll very quickly notice something: Alexis Sánchez is really good at soccer. The lovable Chilean buzzes around the field from start to finish, and it’s clear what he brings to the side. He shoots a lot, he runs with the ball at his feet, he shoots some more, he gets fouled, he puts crosses into the box, and he presses defenders who have the ball. In other words, Sánchez is always, visibly, doing stuff. Now, all that stuff came with a price tag, as Arsenal had to pay somewhere around £35 million to bring him over from FC Barcelona last July. As we’ve already said, signing Sánchez has added a dangerous, active component to Arsenal’s attack, but there was also a bit of a statement behind the signing: It marked the second summer in a row the Gunners spent big money on a big-talent, big-name attacker from one of the two big clubs in Spain.” Grantland


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