Crisis in the capital

October 26, 2009

Francesco Guardi, Canal Grande e Ponte di Rialto
“A mixed week for Spanish fortunes, with the country’s leading European lights (at least in statistical terms), both slipping up in the Champions League, although Sevilla continued to make it look like child’s play with a 3-1 win at Stuttgart. Champions League? They’re ‘aving a laugh. Chelsea had one as well, predictably stuffing Atlético Madrid 4-0 and condemning their manager, Abel Resino, to the social security queue.” (ESPN)


Can European managers succeed in South America?

October 26, 2009

“‘Would any South American nation,’ asks reader Craig Thompson, ‘consider appointing a European coach (specifically Italian), and would the coach succeed with a South American team?’ There are a few precedents here. Jack Greenwell from England took Peru to victory in the 1939 Copa America. More recently, Xavier Azkargorta from Spain qualified Bolivia for the 1994 World Cup. And at around the same time Dussan Draskovic from Montenegro played an important part in the early stages of Ecuador’s rise.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Video: Ibrahimovic Free Kick Goal Against Zaragoza

October 26, 2009

“Due to popular demand, SFS posts the ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC free kick goal from yesterdays FC Bareclona 6-1 win over Real Zaragoza. The Swede has already 7 goals in the Spanish Liga.” (Spanish Football Sports)

Xavi: All is well at Barca
“Barcelona midfielder Xavi hopes his side’s 6-1 demolition of Real Zaragoza is more than enough proof that all is well at the European champions.” (ESPN)

Keita hat-trick as Barca hit Zaragoza for six
“Seydou Keita hit a hat-trick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted twice to lead Barcelona to a 6-1 thrashing of Real Zaragoza and send the La Liga champions three points clear of Real Madrid on Sunday.” (ESPN)

Chile: 2009 Primera División, with attendances.

October 26, 2009

“The Primera Divisón de Chile has it’s roots in the Liga Profesional de Football de Santiago, which was formed in May, 1933. Of the 8 founding clubs of the league, 3 are currently in the 2009 Primera División de Chile: Audax Italiano, Colo Colo, and Union Española.” (bill sports maps)

Supporter Ownership in Italy

October 26, 2009

Royalty Free
Fiorentina – Juventus
“In recent years the model of fan ownership exercised through supporters’ trusts has been increasingly high-profile in British football, not least thanks to the sterling work of the national body Supporters Direct (SD). Meanwhile, very different yet nonetheless successful models of fan ownership exist across the continent, as seen throughout the Bundesliga or alternatively with the ‘socio’ model as at Real Madrid or Barcelona. Though the scale varies along with the specifics of the structure, all of these systems share the basic features of greater fan participation in the running of the club. But until recently few projects of this kind have been found in Italy. Now at last that might be beginning to change.” (Pitch Invasion)

Benitez’s brinkmanship strikes again

October 26, 2009

“Rafael Benitez’s twin boyhood passions were football and a Spanish military board game called “Stratego” – both appealing to his calculating mind and analytical approach. So when faced with a simple calculation on the coach journey to Anfield to face Manchester United, Benitez weighed up the odds and took a gamble that could shape Liverpool’s season. Liverpool’s figures of influence, from Kenny Dalglish and managing director Christian Purslow to co-owner George Gillett, had formed an orderly queue to insist the club’s worst run in 22 years had not shaken belief in Benitez.” (BBC)

Strachan sees title there for the taking

October 26, 2009

“Middlesbrough’s vastly improved performance in their unfortunate 2-2 draw with Preston yesterday, capped by a brilliant Adam Johnson goal, will provide encouragement for the man openly touted to be unveiled as their new manager tomorrow, Gordon Strachan. For a man who will ever be associated with the red shirt of Manchester United, Strachan’s playing career was perhaps most significant at its bookends. In the early eighties he was a tireless presence in a never to be forgotten Aberdeen side, winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983 after a win over Real Madrid in Gothenburg; at the dawn of the nineties, he was the pivotal figure as Leeds ended an eight year sojourn in the second division in 1990 and followed it up with a full English league title two years later.” (thetwounfortunates)