A new champion in the Premiership

August 7, 2009

Lincoln1831
Lincolnshire, England
“Awaking from our slumber after one of those tedious biennial summers without a showpiece international tournament, it slowly dawned on us: the Premier League is back at last! With only one week before the world’s pre-eminent league kicks off, we headed for Castle Limey to dust down the dungeon-sized supercomputer responsible for our EPL predictions.” (SI)


All virgins are liars, honey: one

August 7, 2009

“It’s easy to climb a tree and fling shit at the vehicles of innocent safari park patrons when you’re talking about someone on a team you don’t support. But sometimes one must retreat to the makeshift, galvanise-roofed hut provided and cogitate on some home truths. So let’s provide some basic materials and see if any monkey fashions some rudimentary ant-harvesting implements from them.” (sport is a tv show – 1, 2


Hi Bob, we’re waiting

August 7, 2009

“So here we are less than five days away from the last relevant (hopefully) U.S. national team match before the 2010 World Cup and we’re still waiting on Bob Bradley to name a squad for the match at Azteca Stadium against Mexico. Perhaps Bradley the Elder is waiting so long to name a squad, while his Mexican non-union equivalent Steven Speilbergo, err, Javier Aquirre picked his team last week, is because the final outcome of this match will lead to direct second-guessing of Bradley.” (That’s On Point)


Germany: new season previewed by Nick Bidwell

August 7, 2009

Bayern-Leverkusen-soccer-scarf-b3
“In a summer when many of the Bundesliga’s leading lights have opted for a change of coach, what happens pre-season might go a long way to determining the identity of the next champions. For incoming bosses such as Louis Van Gaal (Bayern Munich), Felix Magath (Schalke), Armin Veh (Wolfsburg), Bruno Labbadia (Hamburg) and Jupp Heynckes (Leverkusen) time is uncomfortably tight. With just five or six weeks to find their bearings, lay down the law, sift the playing gold from the base metal and work on tactical variations, it is no job for the faint-hearted.” (World Soccer)

Germany’s crazy coaches
“If the surveys are anything to go by, there’s no point in speculating on the outcome of this season’s Bundesliga. Bayern for the title, Bremen for the cup, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart in the Champions League. However, pre-season pontificating about the first managerial dismissal has been conspicuous by its absence. And no wonder: not since the heady days of the bellicose Werner Lorant and lachrymose Frank Pagelsdorf a decade ago has the league had so many headcases in its coaching ranks. Anyone foolish enough to suggest a potential sacking would be well advised to go ex-directory or put on rubber gloves before opening their morning post.” (WSC)


100 Days We’ll Remember All Our Lives: 100-41

August 7, 2009

“We’re already counted down 60 days so far in our 100 Days We’ll Remember All Our Lives countdown, with only 40 days remaining, here is your chance to catch up on the countdown so far….. This summer we look back at 100 Days We’ll Remember all our Lives; from the the 1989 Title Decider to the unforgettable 1977 European Cup Final, to Grobbelaar’s ’spaghetti legs’ in 1984 to the miracle of Istanbul in 2005.” (This is Anfield)


FIFA World Rankings: August 2009 (Or: FIFA Rankings vs Elo Ratings, Round 2)

August 7, 2009

“The new FIFA World Rankings are out. Well, I say new, they’re actually very very similar to the July 2009 rankings, with just Germany and Italy switching places in the top 10. The way this usually works: We publish the rankings here on WCB, and then everyone complains in the comments about how inaccurate they are. And with good reason. Russia probably shouldn’t be two places above Argentina for example.” (World Cup Blog)


The Goal of 2009

August 7, 2009

“This is, plain and simple, one of the best goals you will ever see. Not that every own-half goal isn’t brilliant, it’s just the pace, accuracy and trajectory with which this ball left from the boot of Kazumasa Uesato is beyond perfect. Floating with such harmless intent until landing casually in the goal, almost as though the ball was carried on a cloud steered by baby angels.” (The Offside)