Der Kaiser Wears a Tracksuit: The Management Career of Franz Beckenbauer

September 10, 2015

“The lists compiling football’s best players nearly always include the Franz Beckenbauer fairly high up the order. The German World Cup winning captain of 1974 amassed 103 caps and with his nonchalant style invented the role of the ball-playing libero. His playing career saw the twilight of his days spent in the USA helping to raise the profile of the nascent NASL as well as a return to Germany at Hamburg SV. These moves, however, were not the end of der Kaiser as he moved into management.” Bundesliga Fanatic

What the Ligue 1 numbers tell us so far

September 3, 2015

“It’s the first international break of the 2015-16 season, which means the Ligue 1 season is 10.5% completed. From the numbers we have, this is what we have learned so far. PSG will win Ligue 1, easily. In the last three seasons, two of them were dominated by PSG and there wasn’t any semblance of a title race. What made last season so much fan for the neutral in France was that PSG weren’t running away in Ligue 1 and through 35 weeks last season, PSG were in a dogfight to win Ligue 1. It was the best title race in Europe. It was just as much ‘Lyon and Marseille have improved considerably’ as ‘PSG weren’t trying, even by their lackadaisical standards’.” backpagefootball

Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week #4 — Matthias Ginter, Raheem Sterling, and Nabil Fekir feature

September 1, 2015

“A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled into an XI from across Europe’s top six leagues. You can read this for all details on Talent Radar, who is eligible under it and what else we publish within this feature.” Outside of the Boot.

Champions League draw analysis: Picks to make it out of each group

August 29, 2015

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, left, and UEFA Competitions Director Giorgio Marchetti, right, remove the balls containing the names of the soccer clubs, during the draw for the Champions League 2015/16 play-offs, at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
“There was a twist to the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco Thursday. UEFA’s new seeding regulations meant that only reigning champions would be picked from Pot 1, leaving some dangerous contenders in the lower pots. And so it proved, as Manchester City was drawn with Juventus and Sevilla while Real Madrid drew Paris Saint-Germain and Shakhtar Donetsk. The draw resulted in some intriguing individual storylines, powerhouses going up against one another and the first steps on the road to the San Siro.” SI (Video)

Is Lablatinière buying Ligue 1 happiness?

August 26, 2015

“Until recently, the picturesque town of Angers was known mostly because of its Plantagenet-era history and because of its tradition of being one of Europe’s intellectual centres. However, after achieving promotion to Ligue 1 in the 2014-2015 season, the city’s football club, SCO Angers, has once again emerged into the limelight, taking centre stage.” backpagefootball

Examining Olympique Lyonnais’ reformed attack

August 17, 2015

“It’s very, very early into the 2015-16 Ligue 1 season so any overarching analysis must be taken with a massive grain of salt. We’re only 5.3% through the season and as last season proved for a lot of teams, nothing can really be deciphered with any sort of validity until perhaps 10 weeks into the season. That being said, it’s been curious to see how Lyon has reshaped their attack for this season. Lyon sold winger/forward Clinton N’Jie for around €17 million after just completing his first season in Ligue 1 last season. Claudio Beauvue was brought on earlier this summer from Guingamp and Lyon only a few days ago signed Mathieu Valbuena from Dynamo Moscow.” backpagefootball

La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1: Who will win titles?

August 14, 2015

“From managerial changes at some of the continent’s biggest clubs to long-running transfer sagas, it has been a hectic summer of activity across Europe. The season has already begun in France, Germany kick off their league campaign this weekend, while Spain and Italy start the following week. So what has changed? Who are the new faces to watch out for and, crucially, what does it all mean for the title races in Europe’s major leagues?” BBC


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