Under-19 stars with a big future

August 2, 2009

800px-Raft_of_the_Medusa_-_Theodore_Gericault
Raft of the Medusa – Theodore Gericault 
“As England prepare to take on the hosts Ukraine in the final of the Under-19 European Championship in Donetsk tomorrow, Jonathan Wilson chooses the ten best players of the tournament and considers their prospects for the future” (Independent)


The Ballad of Dédé and Lolo

August 2, 2009

“Romeo and Juliet they might not be, but Laurent Blanc and Didier Deschamps could – almost – be the stars of a footballing remake of William Shakespeare’s classic tale of tough love. The two former international team-mates may not be devoted to each other in the carnal sense, but there is more than a mutual respect between the two men who hung up their international spurs together after the European championships in 2000.” (ESPN)


The Right Sort of Sportsmen

August 2, 2009

“In comments yesterday, George Szirtes enquired rhetorically about why Bobby Robson was so loved, and he answers his own question magnificently here. ‘The right sort of sportsman’, in other words. Most of the great football clubs of England were founded by firms or by churches to provide godly uplifting activity and entertainment to men in what were supposedly the morally-dangerous surroundings of the urban industrial north.” (More Than Mind Games)


This Week in Photos

August 2, 2009

“Gold Cups, disgruntled players trading places, this week was chock full of action on both the European transfer front and in North America. Here is a recap of the goings-ons and what-have-you’s. In the Nou Camp, Barcelona finally got rid of their perpetually disgruntled yet brilliantly prolific striker and they only had to pay Inter a mere $45 million Euros! The best part – Barcelona did not have to borrow one cent to pay Inter. Oh, and they also signed Ibrahimovic.” (Futfanation)


For Ribéry, a Waiting Game

August 2, 2009

Portugal Soccer Champions League
“The summer gravy train has run two-thirds of its journey from June through August, and Franck Ribéry is not yet aboard. When the transfer season in human potential began, the five most coveted soccer players in the world were Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Kaká, Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres and Ribéry.” (NYT)


Believing Fergie

August 2, 2009

“Do you trust Sir Alex Ferguson when he tells you something? Well, the papers have probably got their fingers burned one too many times and are now totally sure that he’ll spend some of the Ronaldo cash before the end of the season, despite saying he won’t. Three papers. Three different potential transfer targets . And we’ll start with the News of the World who think that Valencia’s David Silva is the man to fill the United midfield with some proven quality.” (Paper Round)


Arshavin Sublime On The Pitch, Talks Sense Off It – A Rare Gift Indeed

August 2, 2009

“Atletico were beaten eventually by Andrei Arshavin’s late double strike, leaving Arsene with enough food for thought for the upcoming campaign. Not too much should be read into anything at this stage since there are still two weeks to go before the Premier League season begins. Even so, Wenger will have been relieved that the good work culminating in Arshavin’s opener was not left undone by a poor equaliser to concede, minutes later.” (A Cultured Left Foot)