Football Weekly Extra: The last word on Liverpool’s Champions League exit

November 28, 2009

“These include: Liverpool crashing out, Chelsea marching on, Juventus looking shakey and joy for those Viola of Florence. Sid Lowe joins the fun from Madrid with news of Inter’s dismal performance in Barcelona, plus a preview of the weekend’s El Clásico between Barça and Madrid.” (Guardian – James Richardson)

The Team of the Decade – Football

November 28, 2009

Gianluigi Buffon
“A few weeks back I said my player of the decade as Zinedine Zidane and earlier today I posted my cricket team of the decade. So, now, as Mr. Eugenides states in the comments to the cricket team, a footballing team of the decade will be much harder to put together. He is, as often is the case, correct. In every position I had an exceedingly difficult choice. Do I play 4-4-2? Do I play 4-1-4-1? Do I play 4-5-1? Do I play a False 9? Do I play a Makelele and if so, do I play Makelele? Choices, choices and all of them enviable ones.” (Left Back in the Changing Room)

Early Football Violence: Glossop v Bolton Wanderers 1908

November 28, 2009

“That’s your man John Cameron again. If he’s being ghost-written, he keeps his intercessor busy in this period – in addition to this weekly column, there are his chapters in Association Football and the Men Who Made It and his own book Association Football and How to Play It . In fact, Glossop and Bolton were striving to get out of Division II: the Third Division (North) didn’t exist until 1919.” (James Hamilton)

Messi wait for Barca

November 28, 2009

“Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is still sweating on the fitness of Lionel Messi ahead of Sunday night’s El Clasico with Real Madrid, but believes his side can win with or without the Argentina winger. Messi picked up a thigh injury in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao and was missing as Barca beat Inter Milan 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday night.” (ESPN)

The dawn of El Derbi
“The Saturday before a ‘clasico’ in Barcelona is like Christmas Eve. And it’s not just the kids who are getting overly excited. The first meeting of the season between Barca and their arch-rivals Real Madrid takes place at the magnificently imposing Camp Nou on Sunday and the city has been almost entirely consumed by the affair for days.” (BBC)

Troubled players deserve a Sporting Chance

November 28, 2009

“In the wake of the tragic suicide of Robert Enke, the world has begun to ask questions about the levels of psychological support available to players who have to deal with the highly pressurised environment of professional football. In England, the Sporting Chance Clinic has been asking those questions and providing that support for the eight years since its inception.” (ESPN)

English Premier League, Spanish Primera División, Scottish Premier League

November 28, 2009

ESPN – Sat, November 28, Sun, November 29
ESPN – Sat, November 28, Sun, November 29
ESPN – Sat, November 28

The FA vs The Premier League Reaches Critical Mass

November 27, 2009

Jean Cousin the Elder, Saint Mammes and Duke Alexander
“Lord Triesman could be forgiven for wondering why he is bothering. England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup, a bid which was widely reported as being theirs to lose, stands at the point of collapse after what is starting to look like a systematic attack on the credibility of Triesman and the Football Association. It is starting to feel as if the battle lines are being drawn for some sort of Battle Royale for ultimate control of the English game, and that the emotive subject of hosting the World Cup finals is being used as the opening gambit in the battle.” (twohundredpercent)