Five transfer window bargains

September 4, 2014

“It was another record-breaking transfer window in terms of money spent, but sometimes the most intelligent transfers cost extremely little and clubs that take a chance on overlooked players are frequently rewarded with fine performances. Here, then, are five of the bargains of this transfer window…” ESPN – Michael Cox


Tactical Analysis: Roma 2-0 Fiorentina | Giallorossi overcome Viola

September 4, 2014

“Roma 2-0 Fiorentina | A match that was about discipline and pressing culminated in the home side grapping their first 3 points of the Serie A 2014/15 season. With the result, Vincenzo Montella’s record in the Olympico as a coach reads an uninspiring 8 matches, 0 wins, 2 draws and 6 losses.” Outside of the Boot


Serie A preview: Juventus face new challenges for fourth straight title

August 29, 2014

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“Last season, Juventus won Serie A by 17 points. The season before, Juventus won Serie A by nine points. The season before that, Juventus won Serie A by four points. Juventus is the best-placed Italian club (ninth overall) in the 2014 Deloitte Money League, a ranking of Europe’s top-earning clubs. It’s Italy’s biggest club and recent record suggests it has the best squad. The only question in Serie A is whether anybody can prevent Juve making it four in a row.” SI – Jonathan Wilson (Video)


The end of the Rafa Benitez revolution at Napoli?

August 29, 2014

“At the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao there’s an olive tree. Tourists write down their wishes on pieces of paper and tie them to its branches. Before the second leg of his team’s Champions League play-off on Wednesday night, Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis made one of his own. His wish? ‘That Napoli win against Athletic.’ No Italian team had ever claimed victory at San Mames but Napoli coach Rafa Benitez was defiant before the game: ‘We aren’t here to be the victim,’ he said on the eve of the game, which began with the two sides level 1-1 on aggregate.” ESPN


Plenty on the line in Napoli’s UCL playoff tie

August 19, 2014

“‘It’s not long now until we hear that tune again,’ tweeted Napoli’s stadium announcer, an excited Decibel Bellini. The emcee known throughout the world for his spine-tingling call and response routines when the likes of GON-ZA-LO HI-GUA-IN sgonfia la rete [make the net bulge] wasn’t referring to the latest summer hit to emerge from the city’s flourishing rap scene. Nothing from the likes of CoSang’s Luche, nor Rocco Hunt. Instead, Bellini was alluding to a piece of classical music — George Frideric Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest,’ the Champions League anthem.” ESPN – James Horncastle


Rafa Benitez and Napoli Need to Hit the Ground Running in Champions League

August 19, 2014

“It is the day that the dress rehearsal becomes the gala performance. A full 12 days before Napoli’s Serie A campaign starts with an away trip to Genoa, Rafa Benitez’s side begin to shape their destiny of their fledgling season as Athletic Bilbao arrive at the Stadio San Paolo for a Champions League play-off. Such a high stakes tie is probably not what the former Liverpool boss would ideally want at this stage of preparation, with transfers still in the pipeline and peak form yet to be attained. Yet Napoli and Benitez have no choice. They have to be ready, knowing a false step could put a hugely negative spin on their season before it has really begun.” Bleacher Report


The Baroque Entanglements of Valencia

August 1, 2014

“An investment fund, a super agent, and a Singapore businessman: What will it all mean on the field for Los Che this season? While the summer’s silly-season headlines have mostly focused on big names like Luis Suarez, James Fernandez, and Diego Costa, La Liga’s most interesting transfer business has been taking place at Valencia. Los Che have brought in promising attacker Rodrigo and young midfielder Andre Gomes from Benfica, and were widely reported to be tracking even more high-profile targets like Argentina’s World Cup midfielder Enzo Perez and Colombia’s $53 million-rated striker Jackson Martinez.” Fusion


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