Genoa get their homework done and promptly pass the Sampdoria test

September 16, 2013

“On Wednesday the headlines spoke of global domination, after Italy qualified for the World Cup with two games to spare. By Saturday the focus had shifted completely. Instead of speculating about the strength of foreign rivals, reporters were now fretting about spies within their own borders.” Guardian

Mignolet is Reds’ hero

August 17, 2013

“Striker Daniel Sturridge got Liverpool’s season off to a winning start but it was new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who was the hero with a late penalty save. The hosts had dominated throughout but had only the one goal to show for their efforts when Daniel Agger handled former Reds midfielder Charlie Adam’s free-kick three minutes from time.” ESPN

The Importance of home grown players

August 6, 2013

“Over the past few years, spending on transfers and wages by football clubs has increased dramatically. 7 of the 10 most expensive transfers have taken place in or after 2009, 3 of them occurring in this (incomplete) transfer window. Higher fees, and the greater brand value of every star footballer has also led to an inflation in the wage rate for footballers. While this is all good news for the players, it gives the boardroom staff a right old head-ache. The higher costs lead to lower profits (if any), leaving a number of clubs closer to insolvency. In order to stem the rot, UEFA introduced Financial Fair Play, a scheme that prods clubs to live within their means. So, with a sort of cap enforced on their transfer spending, clubs are forced to look inwards for their supply of players, as a result of which, greater emphasis is suddenly being placed on youth academies, and academy products.” Outside of the Boot

When The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly

June 6, 2013

“VERONA, Italy — Right up until he started quoting Hitler and dropping N-bombs, my new friend was a great dude. I’ll call him The Hooligan. A more generous host would be hard to find. Soon after we met, he made sure we stopped at the one place in town that served Campari correctly. He speaks eight languages, and seemed nothing like the Hellas Verona fans I’d read about, the neo-fascist, neo-Nazi, racist thugs. The Hooligan insisted the Veronese just have a dark sense of humor and refuse to wear the yoke of modern political correctness. Now we are headed toward the terraces of the stadium. Soon I’ll be packed in with the hard-core fans, three people for every seat, chest to back, eyes burning from smoke bombs. Near the entrance to the stands, I ask The Hooligan to translate any chants hurled down at the players.” ESPN

Why are so many black ex-pros unable to land managerial jobs?
“What’s worse than being an unemployed black coach? Being an unemployed black coach who employers believe has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to race. The above became pretty obvious to me when I reached out to black ex-pros who have since gone — or tried to go — into coaching. If I wanted honesty, I couldn’t get on-the-record quotes. If you seek the answer to an age-old question — Why are black coaches so underrepresented in the English game? — and want straightforward views from certain people, you need to go on background.” ESPN (Video)

ESPN – Press Pass Extra: Italy hands out racism punishment (Video)

England’s World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore: 20 years gone, but never forgotten

February 24, 2013

“Across town at Wembley, setting for Moore’s finest hours, the flag of St George will fly at half-mast. A skilled surgeon operated on Moore’s colon in 1991 but the cancer would not yield. It spread to the liver. Moore never complained. He simply set about delaying its pitiless impact. Eventually, on Feb 15, 1993, England’s World Cup-winning captain released a statement, revealing his illness was terminal. Two days later he was at Wembley, commentating on England’s game against San Marino for Capital Radio, his collar turned up to hide his paleness. A week later, on Feb 24, 1993, Moore passed away. He was only 51.” Telegraph – Henry Winter

The Bundesliga in 2012 – A Statistical Overview

December 26, 2012

“The end of the Hinrunde and this past week’s German Cup matches rounded off an action packed and interesting calendar year in German football. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund were the Bundesliga’s most talked about and dominant teams while Germany made all the headlines in the summer (some good, some bad) with their record breaking run of games and the contentious loss to Italy at the EUROs. collected some of the most interesting stats of 2012 in the Bundesliga, ranging from the fastest goal scored, the quickest sending off, the most fouled players and much much more.” Bundesliga Fanatic

Everton 2-2 Liverpool: surprising levels of pressing, while Rodgers switches to a back three

October 30, 2012

“A frantic first half, followed by a more subdued second half. David Moyes was without Steven Pienaar so used Kevin Mirallas on the left, where he was the first half’s brightest player. Steven Naismith started on the right, while Marouane Fellaini returned behind the main striker. If looking for betting tips click here. In the absence of Glen Johnson, Brendan Rodgers fielded Andre Wisdom at right-back and Jose Enrique at left-back. Brad Jones was in for Pepe Reina. Liverpool stormed into a 2-0 lead, before Everton pulled it back to 2-2 shortly before half-time.” Zonal Marking

Total Football Comes To Loftus Road – The 1975/76 Season

August 28, 2012

“QPR fans disillusioned with their recent state of affairs (Four Year Plans, F1 moguls, narcissistic midfielders and the rest of it) will always hark back to the 1970s as the most glorious period in the club’s history. The pinnacle of this was the 1975-6 season, their ‘annus mirabilis’, in which Rangers finished runners-up in the First Division, to this day their highest ever finish.” In Bed With Maradona

The State of Analytics: Crosses “are not an efficient way to score goals”—Kuper

July 18, 2012

“Won’t be a full column this week, but I wanted to point readers to Opta Pro’s interview with Soccernomics co-author Simon Kuper. I’ve written in the past that the perception of Soccernomics as ‘a book on soccer analytics’ has had unfortunate consequences for the popular understanding of statistics in football, reducing it to a set of curious ‘freakonomics’ style tidbits that have little to do with how teams play but instead how many fans kill themselves during tournaments, or why England doesn’t win World Cups.” The Score

Oligarchy, Football, Ethics

July 2, 2012

“With the protracted takeover of Reading FC by Thames Sports Investment having finally gone through and the imminent signing of Pavel Pogrebnyak on the point of being rubber stamped, now would appear to be the appropriate time to consider the background to the impact oligarchy has had on the ownership of British football clubs. You’ll remember that Anton Zingarevich has assumed the ownership of the Berkshire team, laying down £12.7 million for a 51% share this summer while obligated to stump up the remaining 49% (amounting approximately to £12.3 million) by September 2013.” The Two Unfortunates

Italy-Spain Euro final promises to be clash of polar opposites

June 29, 2012

“The final was supposed to be a battle between the two schools of proactive soccer. On the one side Spain, the increasingly cautious protectors of the ball, a side that has used its mastery of possession to prevent the opposition from playing; on the other, Germany, having moved away from the reactivity of the last World Cup, playing in a more carefree way. It’s a battle, in a sense, between the bloodless purists and the more visceral entertainers.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Euro 2012: Now Spain have entered the pantheon of greatness
“It has been repeated over and over that no side has ever won three major tournaments in a row – which is true so long as you exclude the Olympic Games. That may be reasonable in recent times when it has been an Under-23 tournament with added overage players, or even in the years after the second world war when differing definitions of amateurism gave the Eastern Bloc sides a huge advantage. But in the years up to the second world war, the Olympic Games was at least as serious a tournament as the World Cup. If Spain win the Euro 2012 final on Sunday, they will set a new record for the modern era but their feat will only equal that of Uruguay, who won the Olympics in 1924 and 1928 and the World Cup in 1930, and of Italy, who won the World Cup in 1934 and 1938 and the Olympics in 1936.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Wolfsburg 1-0 Stuttgart

December 17, 2011

Charles Le Brun, Horatius Cocles Defending the Bridge
“Stuttgart’s poor form at Wolfsburg continued as young Sebastian Polter’s goal handed the hosts a priceless 1-0 victory to end the first half of the season on a high. The striker came on as a sub to tap in a 74th minute winner, put on a plate for him by Wolfsburg’s scruff-of-the-neck-grabbing, swashbuckling and technically sound left-back Marcel Schäfer. Bruno Labbadia’s side actually enjoyed the best of the first half, and looked much the better team. However, even then it was Felix Magath’s team who were having most of the chances, with Stuttgart’s inability to test Diego Bengalio proving just as big a problem in the second half. Wolfsburg move up to 12th courtesy of this result, while Stuttgart stay in seventh sot (for now).” Defensive Midfielder

Napoli 2-1 Manchester City: Cavani double puts Napoli on the verge of qualification

November 23, 2011

“City dominated possession but Napoli broke typically well to record a crucial victory. Few managers rotate as little as Napoli – Walter Mazzarri named his usual side and his usual formation, a counter-attacking 3-4-3. Roberto Mancini went for roughly his usual system too, though Sergio Aguero was only on the bench. Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov started rather than Micah Richards and Gael Clichy.” Zonal Marking

Olympiakos 1-1 Panathinaikos: game based around pace in wide areas
“A good Athens derby ended all square, with two very similar goals. Ernesto Valverde chose Hungarian Balazs Megyeri rather than Franco Costanzo in goal, and used David Fuster on the right of midfield, coming inside. In the centre Valverde was without creator Ariel Ibagaza, so Francois Modesto and Jean Makoun played. Jesualdo Ferreira played his expected side, with a flexible front four that saw Quincy Owusu-Abeyie and Zeko switching for much of the game. This was a decent game that saw the majority of the chances – including both goals – coming from pace, particularly when the wide players moved high up the pitch and got in behind the full-backs to get on the end of diagonal balls from midfield.” Zonal Marking

Athletic 2-2 Barcelona: Bielsa stifles Barca by telling his players to stick tightly to opponents

November 8, 2011

“Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics managed to hold Barcelona to a draw in an exciting match at the San Mamés. Bielsa went with a 4-3-3ish shape, with Javi Martinez at centre-back, and Iker Muniain out on the right – a slight surprise, given the winger has started on the left for much of the season. Pep Guardiola picked a 4-3-3, but with a front three featuring a deep-lying forward, a central midfielder and a wing-back, as David Villa was left out. This was a match that could have gone either way – Barcelona had four times as many attempts as Athletic, yet needed a last minute goal to snatch a draw.” Zonal Marking

Athletic Bilbao 2 – 2 Barcelona
“Lionel Messi scored in injury time to preserve Barcelona’s unbeaten start to the season as they struggled in heavy rain in Bilbao. Barcelona conceded for the first time in 900 minutes of football and appeared destined for defeat when Gerard Pique’s own goal gave Athletic the lead with ten minutes to go. But Messi took advantage of a slip from Gorka Iraizoz in a drenched penalty area to lash home a late equaliser. Cesc Fabregas had earlier cancelled out Ander Herrera’s opener.” ESPN

Barcelona will never be for sale, says club president Sandro Rosell
“Sandro Rosell, the Barcelona president, has criticised the corporate and foreign ownership of major Premier League clubs, saying that while he is in charge his club, which is owned by its 180,000 members, will ‘never, ever be for sale’.” Guardian

No longer underdogs, Ghana need to become a more complete attacking force

October 14, 2011

“When you’re an unfancied side, playing reactive football is natural. It’s how successful underdogs at international level have set out over the past decade, with Greece in 2004 the obvious example. In aesthetic terms they were mundane, but their strategy of defending solidly and breaking quickly was clearly extremely useful. Their key goals came from set-pieces, but they did have an emphasis upon direct football in open play. Venezuela and Paraguay both overachieved at this summer’s Copa America with a not dissimilar style of play, and for various reasons, it makes sense for the underdogs to play this way.” Zonal Marking

2000s Month: Istanbul

September 30, 2011

“It was the night which saw Liverpool born again. The 25th of May 2005 is now synonymous with the European Cup’s most marvellous and fairy tale. Despite the great lustre and rich history surrounding Liverpool, the side were a distant second best to Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan boasting some of the best world’s greatest talents. Indeed, the route to Istanbul for Liverpool contained enough twists and turns for the Kopites to perhaps feel it was their team’s destiny to march on and claim their fifth European Cup.”The Equaliser

2000s Month: The Power of Anfield
“In the UK in the early May of 2005, there was a clash between two different ideologies, cultures and backgrounds as Liverpool played Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final second-leg at Anfield. A few days later there was a general election. Although it was a match low on technical excellence and even tactical nous, the drama of the night more than made up for it.” The Equaliser

The Day We Went To Belgrade

August 22, 2011

“Stefano peers out at the sparsely-populated stadium from under his disapproving brow. To our left and right stand two entirely empty curve, where the hardcore home and away ultras would normally be. In front of us is the tiny posh stand where OFK Beograd’s directors and WAGs gather, while most of the couple of hundred fans who have bothered to show up are sat alongside us in the main stand, which is set into a hill and towers over the rest of the ground.” In Bed With Maradona

The TwoHundredPercent Premier League Previews: Liverpool

August 6, 2011

Luis Suarez
“When Paul Konchesky was sold to Leicester City earlier this summer, one of the strangest and most stressful periods of the past two decades in Liverpool’s history came to a close. Seen as the embodiment of the mediocrity that had somehow become the norm at the club, Konchesky’s departure was deemed as confirmation that the standards that had been allowed to drop were now being pushed upwards again.” twohundredpercent

Premier League preview No8: Liverpool
“The voice of reason is often muted at Liverpool pre-season by improbable title predictions (except when the club stares into the financial abyss and asks Roy Hodgson to steady the ship) and this summer’s extravagant spending has fuelled a revival. Praise be then for John W Henry, the man who has so far sanctioned over £100m of investment in Kenny Dalglish’s squad since January yet did his manager another, cheaper favour this week by confirming common sense prevails at the top at Anfield.” Guardian

Why Suarez should lead Liverpool’s attack and not Carroll
“With Liverpool adding Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson to their midfield this summer, much attention has centred upon what Kenny Dalglish will do with that area of his side. There has been less discussion about what will happen upfront. It has been widely assumed that Luis Suarez will play alongside Andy Carroll, but after the Uruguayan’s excellent performances at the Copa América – where he won the Player of the Tournament award – he might be better off alone. … Video: Aquilani deal proves that Premier League is a soft touch. Video: Is Henderson the most under pressure player at Liverpool? Video: ‘This is a bigger summer for Comolli than Dalglish’. Video: ‘Liverpool will be genuine title contenders next season’” Lifes a Pitch

Before & After Ronaldo: Nike Soccer

June 7, 2011

“Ronaldo has forever changed football with his speed, skill and strength. He conquered the planet, brought together rival fan crowds and overcame injuries. His legacy inspires the next generation of Brazilian football stars. And all for one simple pleasure: playing ball.” YouTube

CSKA Moscow v Spartak Moscow

June 2, 2011

“Upon the announcement in November that Prince William was to marry Kate Middleton, my overriding thoughts were not of joy for the happy couple, but of nausea and a desire for escape. Attention quickly turned to football: ‘where on earth could I go to get away from this inevitable show of unbridled patriotism?’ A scour through the European fixtures, shortly thereafter, showed that CSKA would host Spartak Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium that very weekend. The Russians would surely not care about Kate and Wills, and instead, I could watch two of the biggest teams in the Russian Premier League meet in the first derby of the season.” European Football Weekends

Fantasy Flicker – Handpainted Subbuteo

April 18, 2011

“Fantasy Flicker can cater for those fantasy subbuteo teams that you’ve always wanted!” Fantasy Flicker

Black Stars light up Wembley

March 30, 2011

“Sir Alex Ferguson should try telling Ghana fans that international friendlies are a “waste of time”. A day after the Manchester United boss also labelled the fixtures “worthless”, 21,000 ecstatic Black Stars supporters celebrated Asamoah Gyan’s last-gasp Wembley equaliser as though it had erased all the heartache of last summer’s World Cup quarter-final exit in an instant.” ESPN

England fans are given a glimpse of the future by Fabio Capello
“The pace of change is quickening in this England side, and though Andy Carroll may not be swift in his current half-fit state, the country’s most expensive home-born footballer led the way in an entertaining friendly with his first international goal. A B-team went home with an A for enterprise.” Guardian

England 1 Ghana 1: match report
“Fabio Capello may have 100 words to elucidate his tactical vision but Asamoah Gyan had the final word. Just when England looked to have secured a good victory through Andy Carroll, Gyan equalised brilliantly in the dying moments of one of the finest friendlies in living memory.” Telegraph – Henry Winter

England 1-1 Ghana – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Friendly
The 90th Minute

Freedom! Your All-Braveheart Team

March 28, 2011

“Attitude. Stubble. Warrior. Braveheart. Pretend for a moment that William Wallace managed a soccer team. After signing on the dotted line and facing the media to discuss his transition from freedom fighter to manager, one of Wallace’s first tasks would be recruiting an army, one, presumably, that would reflect his, shall we say, brave spirit.” Nutmeg Radio

Sunderland 0 – 2 Liverpool

March 20, 2011

“Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez fired Liverpool to a 2-0 victory at Sunderland as the Reds made amends for their beachball disaster on Wearside last season. Kuyt set the visitors on their way with 33 minutes gone when he converted a hotly-disputed penalty, and Suarez completed the job with 13 minutes remaining.” ESPN

Luis Suárez gives Liverpool the edge over Sunderland
“Liverpool’s hopes of hosting Europa League football next season remain extremely slim but, as long as Luis Suarez continues playing as cleverly as this, Tottenham Hotspur will not be able to sit comfortably in fifth place.” Guardian

Sunderland 0-2 Liverpool – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – EPL
The 90th Minute

The Rough Guide to Cult Football

March 7, 2011

The Rough Guide to Cult Football is the ultimate companion to the beautiful game. The only football book of its kind, it goes beyond the usual back page material to uncover the most amazing stories and unlikeliest personalities on Planet Football. It reveals the stories behind the mavericks and cult figures that make up the real heroes of the game – from cultured mid fielders to jailbirds, drinkers to hard men, local legends to international wanderers.” amazon, Cult Football

Barcelona edges Zaragoza 1-0 in Spain

March 6, 2011

“Barcelona beat Zaragoza 1-0 on a first-half goal by Seydou Keita to provisionally move 10 points clear of second-place Real Madrid in the Spanish league on Saturday. Keita scored what proved to be the winner for the defending champions two minutes before halftime, tapping in a pass from Lionel Messi from close range.” SI

Players These Days, Sitting on Their Stolen Toilet Seats, Throwing Money and Shooting at People

March 4, 2011

“Fernando Torres, the £50 million mercenary, can’t score goals. Ashley Cole shoots people, Glen Johnson steals toilet seats, and Wayne Rooney probably shuns direct deposit just so he can wrap his grubby, calloused hands around somewhere in the neighborhood of £250,000 every week. In Rooney’s case, his astronomical paycheck is his reward for verbally accosting referees, assaulting fellow professionals, and the occasional exquisite bicycle kick. At least that’s what the interwebs and media outlets tell me when they aren’t telling me how special he is.” Nutmeg Radio

Borussia Dortmund v St Pauli

February 23, 2011

“Borussia Dortmund v St Pauli at the Westfalenstadion (Signal Iduna Park, if you must) was the first game I looked for when the Bundesliga fixtures were announced last summer. The Westfalenstadion was ‘The Big One’ (© Tony Pulis, probably.) Anyway, it was the one I desperately wanted to tick off my list of German grounds visited. I’d tried a couple of times to combine a trip to Dortmund en-route to watch St Pauli when we were in 2.Liga, and often played on different days to the Bundesliga, but the fixtures had never fallen for me. But to go there with St Pauli – that would be something else.” European Football Weekends


February 21, 2011

“Den Haag is located in Zuid-Holland and is the third largest dutch city after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Despite being the home of dutch government, Den Haag is not the Netherland’s capital. For any pub quiz regulars amongst you, that is Amsterdam. Den Haag is the capital of the province of Holland. Direct trains from Amsterdam Central Station take about 50 minutes and a day return will set you back about 20 euros.” Budget Airline Football

Deconstructing Twitter Accounts: New York Red Bulls vs. Manchester City

February 18, 2011

“Twitter. All the kids were doing it. And then, all the adults were doing it. All the corporations decided they would do it. Then people decided to use it to overthrow dictators. And at some point during this process, all of our beloved sports teams caught Twitter fever. Today, if you’re a sports team without Twitter, you might as well be in black and white. That may explain why practically every professional team in a major sports league is ‘utilizing Twitter as an effective means of connecting with fans,’ or something like that. It’s probably not a stretch to think that in 2011, every team communications plan has a page dedicated to Twitter in the ‘Social Media’ section.” Nutmeg Radio

America and England Should Stick to Their Own Cultural Institutions, Complains Writer for British GQ

February 9, 2011

‘Jason Davis says most of what needs to be said about Andrew Hankinson’s crypto-snide piece on the Sons of Ben for British GQ. Hankinson’s piece somehow manages to sensationalize American supporter culture as out-of-control and scary (“There is no visible police presence today on the railway platforms…. Nothing to protect a vulnerable-looking couple in New York Red Bulls tops from a vicious assault”) while also mocking American supporter culture for being restrained and peaceful (“studenty,” “tame,” “laughable,” “hard to take seriously”).’ Run of Play, GQ – “A new breed of fan”, GQ – “America’s football factory”

A Tale Of Bristol City

February 8, 2011

“Few clubs can have endured such a tumultuous start to the season as Bristol City. Following a very promising finish to last season, when the Robins won five and drew three of their last nine matches, the summer had seen the arrival of experienced manager Steve Coppell and England’s World Cup goalkeeper, David James. Although “Jamo” is clearly now in the twilight phase of his career, this still represented a notable coup for the Championship team and was a clear sign of the club’s intent.” The Swiss Ramble

Happy New Year!

January 4, 2011

“Observant visitors will note that there has been a lack of new posts on Football Further over the past fortnight. Due partly to the traditional indulgences occasioned by the festive season, it is mainly down to the Ligue 1 winter break and the blog will thus remain dormat until the French top flight resumes in mid-January. In the meantime, I’ll post regular pieces of French football news (read: transfer tittle-tattle) on Twitter – as well as updates and insights from the Asian Cup in Qatar, where I’ll be reporting for AFP from January 8 onwards.” Football Further

What did the noughties do for you?

December 23, 2010

“So ten years into the third millennium and football just keeps on changing. The last decade has seen the game become a huge global game where the amount of money in the Premier League itself is more than most countries GDP. Below are some of our regular contributors, and readers highlights of the last decade and our video of where we’ve been, but first 10 facts from 10 years ago…” The Ball Is Round

The 2010 Team of the Year
“2010 is likely to be a year remembered, in footballing terms, by Spanish fans most fondly after their side lifted the famous Jules Rimet trophy for the first time. It has also been a year in which a Barcelona side, possibly the greatest team of all time, have continued to revolutionise football with their style of play.” The Free Role

Barcelona to Rooney: the best and worst of 2010
” WSC contributors give their best and worst moments in football from the past year” WSC

Awards Season
“It’s awards season and never one to miss out on a way to reward my fellow man, here’s my own. In honour of this blog they shall be known as the ‘Nakys’” I Know Who Cyrille Makanaky Was

The Twohundedpercent Vault: 10 Must-See Football Films & Tv Shows
“Twohundredpercent is on its Christmas holidays for a a few days so, until then, we’re keeping the site ticking over with some of the best from our almost five year old archive. In this article, Ian King points you in the direction of 10 films and television shows which demonstrate that the relationship between the game and the box in the corner of your living room doesn’t have to be a fractious one.” twohundredpercent

Argentines Abroad bumper Christmas special
“This extended Argentines Abroad has been made possible by the fact that I didn’t have time to do one last week, but forgot to let my correspondents know – and as a result we’ve got two weeks’ worth of submissions from Spain and Portugal, as well as a very belated (my fault, not Tom’s) report on the climax of the Mexican top flight championship early this month. All this, plus the Carlos Tevez saga and news of a loan deal to Spain for Martín Demichelis. How I spoil you all, this festive season.” Hasta El Gol Siempre

Racism in Russia: It’s Time to Move Past Peter Odemwingie

December 9, 2010

“Jonathan Wilson’s Guardian article on Brazilians playing for Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk is a fascinating read. Wilson primarily focuses on Douglas Costa’s journey from Brazil to Ukraine and the struggles that Brazilian players endure when they uproot from familiar surroundings and head to new frontiers. But perhaps just as interesting as the article are the exchanges in the comment section about racism in Ukraine and Russia.” Nutmeg Radio

Liverpool FC’s ‘Directorial’ Debut.

December 8, 2010

“The road that led to the manager’s position as it is currently understood – the man who is in charge of practically everything – has been a difficult and tortuous one. So domineering is the manager today that it is difficult to reconcile with the knowledge that it is a position that was born of the need to put a buffer between the team and those who owned it, one that was originally routinely carried out by the club secretary.” Tomkins Times

English Premier League Match Of The Day (MOTD) Video Highlights

November 14, 2010

“Below are MOTD highlights for all the Premier League matches on November 13, 2010. (The 90th Minute)

Football, Blogs, and Newspapers Unite? Part One

November 11, 2010

“When I was a precocious thirteen year-old, my favourite part of the morning was grabbing my dad’s Toronto Star on the front stoop, taking it inside and laying it flat out on my kitchen table, and opening it up on the editorial page. There, I would find the Letters to the Editor, featuring rebuttals, corrections, and general complaints about recent articles posted by staff journalists and columnists. I always found the letters more interesting than the carefully prepared screeds they were attacking, and was fascinated that the newspaper would devote an entire page to reader dissent. I even sent a few letters in myself, and some were printed, much to my astonishment.” (Pitch Invasion – Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), (Part 4), (Part 5), (Part 6)

Club, Community and Consumerism: What Do We Support?

October 24, 2010

“What is the purpose of a soccer club? What, indeed, is the purpose of using the word ‘club’ in the name of so many Major League Soccer teams – to keep the question focused on these North American shores just for now. Are we supporters of clubs, or are we consumers of products? (This is a question Toronto Football Clubs have been asking themselves recently, as we will discuss). We should begin with a pathetically brief description of what a ‘club’ is.” (Pitch Invasion)


October 11, 2010

Futebol, Alex Bellos. The best book around about the most successful footballing nation in the world. As with many of these books, the obvious line is that it is ‘not just a book about Brazilian football, but also one about Brazilian culture’. But as interesting as some of the more general parts of the book are, it is at its best when discussing the actual football, after all, Brazil has probably the most distinctive way of playing the game of any national side. The parts about some of the great characters (the likes of Pele and Zico) and the great games, like the 1950 and 1970 World Cup finals – are excellent.” (Zonal Marking)

Torres grabs brace for Spain

September 4, 2010

“World champions Spain began the defence of their European Championship title with a thumping 4-0 win over outclassed Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Fernando Torres struck twice while David Villa and substitute David Silva were also on the scoresheet as the world’s top-ranked side, who this summer added the World Cup to the European crown they won two years ago in Austria and Switzerland, kicked off their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign in impressive style.” (ESPN)

Liechtenstein 0-4 Spain – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Euro 2012 Qualifying
“The defending Euro champions, Spain, begin their qualification for Euro 2012 with a match against Liechtenstein. Spain were heavily favored heading into the match and anything less than a win would be very surprising.” (The 90th Minute)

A Mental Game: Pain

August 24, 2010

“Author’s note: It’s that time of year again where I’m preparing to teach several sections of Intro Psychology, so I thought I’d try to combine purposes and put something together drawing on the section addressing sensation and perception. It is apropos of nothing in particular, but does fit with my occasional series on ‘a mental game’ where I’ve written about sports psychology, group conflict, and happiness.” (Pitch Invasion)

Magic Messi wins Supercopa for Barca

August 22, 2010

“Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona turned around a 3-1 first-leg deficit to claim the Supercopa with an impressive win over an under-par Sevilla side at the Nou Camp on Saturday.” (ESPN)

FC Barcelona 4-0 Sevilla – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Super Cup
“The Spanish Super Cup wrapped up on Saturday, August 21, 2010 with FC Barcelona hosting Sevilla in the second leg. Sevilla had a 3-1 lead from the first leg which was played last weekend. The match highlights can be found here at Free Soccer Highlights.” (The 90th Minute)

There Goes the Neighborhood

August 20, 2010

“The past few years have seen an influx of investors from the Far East, India, and the Middle East looking to break into the English game. Worries about diluting the purity of the English game have become the issue du jour. These sentiments are not restricted to England. Italy has struggled with the introduction of “others” into Italian society. France’s inverse love affair with African and Arab populations is well documented. This same narrative can be found in immigration debates in the United States where conservatives continuously harp on about our immigrant nation losing itself through, well, immigration.” (Nutmeg Radio)

Liverpool 1 – 1 Arsenal

August 15, 2010

Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites, Nicolas Poussin
“Jose Reina’s late howler enabled Arsenal to snatch a draw from a thrilling Premier League opener at 10-man Liverpool. The Liverpool goalkeeper saw the ball rebound off him after Marouane Chamakh had hit the post in the final minute at Anfield to cancel out a David Ngog strike. The goal was reward for a late spell of Arsenal pressure but it was unfortunate for Liverpool, who had survived most of the second half unscathed after the sending off of Joe Cole.” (ESPN)

A few thoughts on Liverpool’s draw with Arsenal
“Roy Hodgson would gain employment as a psychologist … The new Liverpool manager has made a greater impression on the morale of his club than on the shape or make-up of his team. Last season an early dismissal of a key player would have been the signal for moody introspection and finger-pointing, but today they responded superbly to adversity. Not even the timing and manner of Arsenal’s scrappy equaliser should disguise that fact. Liverpool played better with 10 and occasionally nine men on the pitch than they had done before Cole’s red card.” (Guardian)

Pepe Reina howler gives Arsenal a point against 10-man Liverpool
“This was a draw that felt as if it contained a season’s worth of incident. That was encapsulated in the figure of Laurent Koscielny, the centre-half making his competitive debut for Arsenal. He was fouled in the incident that brought a red card for Joe Cole, yet would be dismissed himself in the final moments with a second caution.” (Guardian)

Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats “It was a match that wasn’t pretty and ultimately was decided by poor goalkeeping on both sides. The match was about even in the first half with each team getting some chances but no goals. A turning point came just before halftime when Joe Cole was sent off for a late challenge. It was a red card as Cole had gone on with both feet and the referee had little choice (following the rules/guidelines set by the FA).” (The 90th Minute)

Goals for Galilee and Arab Soccer in a Jewish State

August 2, 2010

“Editor’s note: Our regular book reviewer Alex Usher delves into football in Israel with Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler’s Goals for Galilee: The Triumphs and Traumas of the Sons of Sakhnin, Israel’s Arab Football Club and Tamir Sorek’s Arab Soccer in a Jewish State.(Pitch Invasion)

The curious reluctance to love the Spanish: Part 1, Barca

July 21, 2010

“A debate is raging on the excellent Minus the Shooting regarding the dissatisfaction wrought by Spain’s performance at the World Cup so far. A lot of really interesting points are being made about the cognitive dissonance of the media’s framing of Spain and the difficulty to be excited by the virtuosity inherent in their performances.” (Vieira’s Weary One)

What Not To Wear 2010/11: The Premier League

July 17, 2010

“Now that the World Cup is over (and there will be a couple more bits and pieces to tidy it up over the next couple of days), it is time to start looking forward to the new domestic season, which starts in just over four weeks, and what better way could there be to start it all off than with our annual look at the kits that the teams of 2010/11 will be wearing. As ever, it’s a mixed bag in the Premier League this season, with some clubs getting it right, some clubs getting it woefully wrong and a couple of clubs treating the launch of their new kit as if it is some sort of state secret.” (twohundredpercent)

What Needs to Change in Non-League Football

July 13, 2010

“We’ve been looking at English non-league football all week, and in something of a call-to-arms, Dave Boyle suggests that more supporters of non-league clubs need to take charge of their own destinies.” (Pitch Invasion)

World Cup final preview

July 10, 2010

“This is a tremendously intriguing final for a variety of reasons. Firstly, because it is between the two non-World Cup-winning sides with the best historical record in the competition, using this table as the basis for that statement. One of them will finally break their duck. Furthermore, this is clash between two sides historically appreciated for their style of football. Before the tournament started, if we had asked a large sample of fans what their ideal final would be to guarantee an exciting game, Holland v Spain would surely have been the most popular answer, considering Brazil’s apparent negativity and the highly-structured Argentina side Diego Maradona looked set to field. But then, by their standards, neither Holland nor Spain have played particularly attractive football so far.” (Zonal Marking)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 127 other followers