The game is still a national identity

August 18, 2009

paris-saint-germain-des-pre
Paris Saint-Germain
“I’m on the eve of a quick tourist trip to Paris, and I leave in a perplexed frame of mind. How can it be that a major European capital has only one big soccer team? And even Paris Saint-Germain, founded in 1970, is a recent arrival, with little tradition.” (SI – Tim Vickery)


On greatness – in the land of legends

August 18, 2009

“In a recent conversation with my good friend Rhydian Morgan we discussed the idea of sporting legends. Who are these people? What does it take to make a legend? Is it an era-defining performance or is it consistent excellence? Is it accumulated trophies, preternatural ability or something akin to ‘Je ne sais quoi’?” (Left Back In The Changing Room)


Burnley 1920-21 Game One

August 18, 2009

“If we’re going to follow Burnley through the year, and throw their last Championship season up for comparison, I thought it might be just as well to involve their first title year as well – 1920-1. There’s what must be all of the surviving Burnley footage, save the 1940s pioneering colour film of Turf Moor, in this excellent if blurred Youtube compilation…” (More Than Mind Games), (1)


The Best Stadiums in the World

August 18, 2009

dortmund-signal-iduna-park
The Times had an interesting list of the top ten stadiums in the world last week, as judged by Tony Evans. Here’s his top ten, with a photo of each — what do you think of the list? It seems impossible for one man to have visited enough world stadia to have even made this judgment, and there doesn’t appear to be any particular criteria being used — no special focus on architecture, atmosphere, location or history, just a jumbled up mix of each randomly justifying each selection. Notably, nine of the ten stadiums are in Europe, and only one has been built since the 1970s (though most have obviously been renovated or almost entirely rebuilt since their original openings).” (Pitch Invasion)


Let’s Be Servantless

August 18, 2009

“Well, here we go. 365 days, 524 recipes. Time to learn a little something about life. Operating assumptions for the start of the season: Spain is more interesting than England. All good souls should want Arsenal to win the Premier League. (I will be unabashedly wanting that this year, thanks very much.) Serie A is a ghost town, and it has a ghost town’s rickety appeal: good for hideouts, rendezvous, creepy scenes in the middle of Hitchcock movies, gunfighters, preservationists, and cacti. Folks in these parts say that if you put your ear to the old well at night, you can still hear the moaning of José Mourinho’s ego.” (Run of Play)


Premier League Goals and Championship Gaffs

August 18, 2009

“Like a kid at Christmas, the waiting has been unbearable. The restless nights and the days filled with anticipation, before the moment finally arrives and you have the presents in your hands. Similarly, after waiting and waiting the Premier League finally got under way on Saturday and the days worth of football didn’t disappoint, with the possible exception of my team Aston Villa, who due to confusion surrounding the kick-off time failed to turn up and instead submitted eleven Madame Tussauds waxworks in the starting line-up.” (Three Match Ban)


Europe’s champions play off

August 18, 2009

“The idealistic president of UEFA, Michel Platini, once said that he would favour abolishing the current European club cups to stage instead a single, 256-team, unseeded knockout tournament. A real European Cup, in fact, where the final eight would be impossible to predict, and where Milan, Bayern, Barcelona and Chelsea would risk being knocked out in September. How New Football laughed at that idea. But it’s doubtful Platini ever seriously thought he could even start the discussion about such a plan. Like all idealists, he was merely setting out his best-case utopia. Something we could at least think about working towards.” (WSC)