France are favoured to win their World Cup play-offs

November 11, 2009

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“France justifiably head into their World Cup qualification play-off against the Republic Of Ireland as favourites, especially given that the second of the two legs takes place in Paris at the Stade de France. But if any supporters of ‘Les Bleus’ who believe that qualification against Giovanni Trapattoni’s side is a foregone conclusion are surely mistaken. And they clearly haven’t paid enough attention to the Republic’s qualifying campaign so far.” (WorldSoccer)


FC Barcelona beats Cultural Leonesa 5-0 (7-0 on aggregate) – Recap and Video Highlights

November 11, 2009

“FC Barcelona hosted Cultural Leonesa on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 in the second leg of the round of 32 of the Spanish Copa del Rey. Barcelona had a 2-0 lead after the first leg and are the overwhelming favorites to advance. Here’s a recap of the match along with video highlights.” (The 90th Minute)


Cutting Edge lost. If found, please return to Mr G Strachan…

November 11, 2009

“Apologies for not updating since before the Crystal Palace defeat. Those of you who regularly peer into the bowels of this blog will understand why. As the news of our loss filtered through, following various desperate attempts to find some way to listen to the match without having to subscribe to the decidedly hit and miss service offered by Boro World (like our forwards, it’s frequently unavailable when you really need it), I was at a genuine loss to find anything new to say. I mean, you’ve heard all this stuff before, haven’t you? We lack cutting edge in attack and we struggle to dominate midfield and possession.” (Smog Blog)


Robert Enke and Depression in Professional Sportsmen

November 11, 2009

enke_elfmeter_468x345“This week the football world was shocked by the suicide of Hannover 96 goalkeeper Robert Enke. Seemingly at the top of his career Enke was firmly established as the first choice stopper at one of Germany’s most respected clubs, and looked the favorite to be his country’s number one heading into the World Cup next summer in South Africa. That was before depression claimed his life after just thirty-two years.” (Pitch Invasion)


A Portrait of the Arsenalist as a Young Man

November 11, 2009

“I went down to see young Robin’s art class today. Had to get away from ‘er indoors; she was having another one of her happenings: feminist reclamation of craft, and all that gubbins. Anyway I get down to see Robin and let me tell you, he doesn’t take after his old man! He was really floundering out there, I mean, it’s hard for me to admit this but the boy just isn’t cut out for a life in art.” (The Run of Play)


32 For 2010: Chile

November 11, 2009

“The FIFA World Cup 2010 welcomes Chile to South Africa after they qualified in an impressive second place. This will be the first time they have qualified for the finals since 1998 (they were banned from qualifying for 1990 and 1994 after their ‘keeper feigned injury during a qualification match against Brazil). While they have made seven appearances at the World Cup (including the first in 1930) the Chileans have never fared too well. Their best performance was as hosts in 1962 when they made it as far as the semi finals only to be knocked out by the eventual winners Brazil.” (spaotp)


Taxing times in Spain

November 11, 2009

“In recent years, generous tax breaks have been a key factor in encouraging players to move to Spain. But that may be about to change. In 2004, the Spanish government passed a law to lower the tax bracket for high-level ‘foreign executives’ working in the country in an attempt to attract multinational corporations. This law was specifically applicable to non-Spanish residents earning an annual salary of €600,000 (£537,000) or more and therefore included footballers.” (WSC)