23 For 2010: Choosing the England Squad for South Africa pt. 1 – Keepers & Defenders

October 23, 2009

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“An impressive qualifying campaign such as England’s throws up some interesting questions for those looking forward to next year’s global spectacle. The discussion about us being able to win it is not one I would wish to undertake single handed or sober.” (Just Football), (Just Football – 23 For 2010: Choosing the England World Cup Squad pt.2 – Midfielders & Strikers)

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Pato champions Milan’s cause

October 23, 2009

“Alexandre Pato’s two goals in AC Milan’s stunning Champions League victory over Real Madrid on Wednesday night may just have turned the Rossoneri’s uncomfortable start to the season on its head. Ahead of their Serie A clash in to Chievo on Sunday evening, ESPN Soccernet’s Nick Bidwell caught up with the Brazilian international.” (ESPN)


My Belated Tirade on Statistics…

October 23, 2009

“So, I begin with a disclaimer. I love and hate statistics. As a graduate of a graduate school, I realize that statistics can cleverly mask value judgments and assumptions. If I feel like cleverly hiding my deontological proclivities, I reach for the graphing calculator. Brian Phillips at the runofplay has a philosophical aversion to such statistics, but for me, they simply cause a spell of indigestion. My defense of soccer focuses on the qualitative aspect of the sport. While some may focus on the “beautiful game” as a collective interaction between 11 men on each side, I will highlight individual moments and glimpses of brilliance which, for me, transcend a number or stat count.” (futfanatico)


Hitler, Soccer and Alfred Wainwright

October 23, 2009

“At the age of 31, Alfred Wainwright, chronicler of the fells, did what you might expect and took a walking holiday. Beginning at Settle, he went north via Appleby and Hexham, following Hadrian’s wall for a spell before returning to Settle by way of Ronaldkirk and Askrigg.” (James Hamilton)


Routledge Classic

October 23, 2009

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“With those at the top of the table experiencing an autumnal crisis at the moment and Middlesbrough taking dramatic steps to offset this earlier today, it was my chance to assess the progress of one of the pretenders last night. Queen’s Park Rangers’ start to the season had been sluggish, with too many stalemates peppering their progress, but a notable win at Cardiff and hefty hammerings of Barnsley and Preston have followed – and the Super Hoops are now looking dangerous.” (thetwounfortunates)

The Gate Closes – Southgate Sacked!
“After a bad night’s sleep, I was stunned to finally wake up, switch on the computer to trawl the usual websites and come across early stories about Gareth being sacked by Sir Steve. This was my first exposure to the news, a sympathetic and regretful article by Rob Nichols – who was probably as close to the manager as any supporter was likely to get – that compared his departure with that of Lennie Lawrence.” (Smog-Blog)

Championship Chow: Abu Zaad
“An inexpensive rundown of dish promised much, and so it proved. Tempted as we were by a full range of hot and cold starters (another visit might see me take the meze route), my dining companion and I opted for Farrouj Abu Zaad, a dish of lightly spiced baby chicken and the Kastaleta, dainty lamb cutlets.” (thetwounfortunates)


Midterm grades in Champs League

October 23, 2009

“We’re halfway through the Champions League group stage, which means it’s midterm report-card time for Europe’s elite. In this evaluation, though, you don’t get a straight grade — you’re on a curve based on how you’ve performed relative to expectations.” (SI)


Tickets and Safety May Be Scarce in South Africa

October 23, 2009

“According to 2010 World Cup chief executive Dr. Danny Jordaan, stadium construction is on track, 1,000 more new buses and 200 additional aircraft will ferry visitors around the country and there will be plenty hotels for fans traveling to South Africa 2010 World Cup.” (NYT)