Do Managers Matter? Simon Kuper says he could do Alex Ferguson’s job

August 9, 2009

Washerwomen below a Bridge, Hubert Robert
“Apart from transfer rumours, commentary on managers probably forms the bulk of football chatter. Before, during and after every game, every decision is scrutinised; every minute move debated; tactics, strategy, man-management, motivation, appearance — all feed into an endless discourse debating whether any given manager is succeeding or not. Protest and praise come by the truckload, and managers end up prematurely grey from it in every country.” (pitch invasion)

Simon Kuper on Money (More Than Mind Games)

The 8% (Left back in the changing room)

Premier League Preview: Part One

August 9, 2009

“Good day Ladies and Gentleman, and welcome to the first part of my Premier League Preview. Over the next few days I’ll be looking in detail at all of the twenty teams that will compete in the Premier League this season, with a view to providing a comprehensive preview to what should be an exciting season.” (they think its all over…), 2, 3, 4

France: new season previewed by Howard Johnson

August 9, 2009

“His players had barely begun pre-season training before Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc started the psychological battle. According to Le President, his target for the forthcoming campaign is exactly the same as it was last time out: to finish in the top four. Pull the other one, Laurent. Having finally broken the Lyon hegemony there’s no way Bordeaux will be happy with anything less than another championship triumph and Blanc’s comments surely have more to do with keeping the pressure off his own side than any genuine targets. So is it possible Bordeaux could chalk up back-to-back league titles? Possible, yes; probable, maybe not.” (World Soccer)

Ligue 1 Preview – Bordeaux, Marseille and Lyon’s Summer of Love
“What a difference a year makes. Against odds, FC Bordeaux dethroned Ligue 1’s 7 time consecutive champions Lyon to lift the Ligue 1 trophy. With 12 wins on the trot at the tail end of the season, FC Bordeaux secured a top dog status with its first league title in a decade. Along with the Coupe De La Ligue crown to secure a league and cup double, les Girodins wagged its tail at fellow title hopefuls Marseille and Lyon – leaving the former chasing tails and the latter stuck with its tail between its legs.” (SoccerLens)

Turkey: new season previewed by Mehmet Demircan (World Soccer)
Czech Republic: new season previewed by Sam Beckwith (World Soccer)
Belgium: new season previewed by Nicholas Harling (World Soccer)
Holland: new season previewed by Klaas-Jan Droppert (World Soccer)
Denmark: Superliga new season previewed by Jim Holden (World Soccer)
Austria: new season previewed by Harry Miltner (World Soccer)
Switzerland: new season previewed by Nick Bidwell (World Soccer)

Delayed kick-off in Argentina

August 9, 2009

“The Argentine first division was supposed to start on the same weekend as England’s Premier League this year, but to those who pay attention to the goings on in Buenos Aires, Wednesday’s announcement that the Apertura championship probably wouldn’t start as scheduled came as no surprise.” (WSC)