Gennaro Gattuso quits then returns as manager at OFI Crete

October 27, 2014

“The aggression, intensity, and general bearded shoutyness that made ex-AC Milan star Gennaro Gattuso one of the best defensive midfielders in the world during the 2000s aren’t serving him quite as well now he’s gone from tackler to tactician. First there was a 2013 spell as player-coach of Swiss club Sion, which lasted less than three months. To be fair, that’s actually a long time at Sion. Gattuso was their fifth manager of the season, because the club’s president is a testicle-kicking architect who’s incapable of designing solid foundations. Later that year, Gattuso moved on to another club where managers have shorter lifespans than mayflies – then Serie B’s Palermo. The Sicilians axed him after he steered them to only seven points in the first six games.” Soccer Gods


Champions League: Bayern Munich thrashes Roma amid goal bonanza

October 22, 2014

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“Tuesday’s Champions League action brought thumping wins for Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk and, perhaps most impressively, Bayern Munich, who hammered Roma 7-1 at Stadio Olimpico. Manchester City’s misery went on as it threw away a lead to draw in Moscow, while there was another defeat for Athletic Bilbao away to Porto. Here is what caught our eye from the day’s games, when a Champions-League-record 40 goals were scored…” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Robben impressed by rampant Bayern
“Arjen Robben, Bayern forward. Afterwards it’s always easy to talk. I’m still convinced Roma have a very good team – they’ve shown that this season – but we should pay a big compliment to us, to all the players, but also to the coaching staff who prepared this game in the way we played, the way we created chances and scored goals. There were some great goals tonight. We played a little different tonight. Everybody has seen it, but it’s not good to talk about our tactics and how we want to play. Everybody can see it and watch the match to analyse us. But a big compliment to the team and the tactics.” UEFA


Roma Holiday: How the Italian Club Became a Champions League Contender

October 22, 2014

“Roma are a really good soccer team. This shouldn’t be surprising. They are, after all, the biggest team in the biggest city in Italy. It’s easy to shrug and say, ‘Of course Roma are the second-best team in Serie A. They are Roma.’ Except that, with the exception of two stretches — one in which they were managed by Fabio Capello and another under Luciano Spalletti — Roma have frequently been an average side. They have never been considered a perennial Champions League side. Yet here they are. On a superficial level, Roma’s approach isn’t all that special. They do all the things well that you’d expect good teams to do. They shoot more than their opponents, give up fewer shots, and, in general, create better chances.” Grantland (Video)


Video Analysis: Atletico Madrid’s Defensive Discipline

October 17, 2014

“2013-14 finally saw a break from Barcelona and Real Madrid hogging the La Liga limelight. It was Simeone’s Atletico Madrid that stole all the headlines, taking the league all the way to the last match day. A massive part of that success was their discipline and organisation in defensive. Last season saw Atleti concede just 26 goals in the entire campaign, 7 fewer than the next best team, Barcelona. Certainly Simeone’s team will look to continue this impressive defensive display. Krzysztof Sierocki has done an in-depth analysis of Atleti’s defensive organisation against Real in their recent fixture.” Outside of the Boot (Video)


After years of stagnation Italian football is finally fighting back

October 13, 2014

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“Once upon a time English clubs envied the Italian model of renting municipal stadia and thus avoiding the financial weight of owning and running their own home. The giants of Serie A were thus ‘free’, from the 1950s to the 1970s, to pay the highest transfer fees and most lucrative wages. Then came the TV, sponsorship and new media explosion and England developed the Premier League model and cashed in on the new generation of stadia built and rebuild post-Hillsborough. With restaurants, conference facilities and even sometimes hotel built into the grounds new revenue streams opened up.” World Soccer


Nou Mestalla still vacant, but Valencia’s filling up the win column

October 6, 2014

“It was a simultaneously inspiring and sad sight. Returning to Valencia for a few nights’ decompression after the Festival Internacional de Benicassim – located an hour north of the city, on the Costa Azahar – we looked down from the roof of our hotel, looming over the Nou Mestalla. In the falling dusk, it could easily have been mistaken for a titanic sporting arena, rather than just the skeleton of one. When we spoke to the locals about it, they told us of rumours that the foundations of the stadium had shifted since work stopped on it over a year before, and that the whole lot may have to be pulled down.” Fusion


Tactical Analysis | Atletico 1-0 Juventus : Atletico up the tempo to grab an important winner

October 3, 2014

“The second gameweek of the UEFA Champions League had some tasty encounters in store for all viewers, with a number of top teams clashing. In terms of results and entertainment too, it didn’t disappoint, with lots of goals, and a lot of good, competitive football. One of the tastiest fixtures was Atletico hosting Juventus. It was a clash of Champions from Spain and Italy. Coming into the game, Juventus had a 100% record, with no goals conceded. Atletico have made a good start, but find themselves in third after a few indifferent results. This was a different situation, as Atletico had lost their opening fixture in Greece, and a positive result against Juventus was absolutely vital. The Italians were up against it, as a daunting home support, combined with Atleti’s usual aggressive approach had meant that they had 17 wins in their last 19 European fixtures.” Outside of the Boot


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