A Season in the Shadow of the World Cup

December 13, 2009


“A strange midwinter settles across European soccer. The bigger the club, it seems, the more vulnerable the players to injury or early fatigue. In England on Saturday, Manchester United lost at home against Aston Villa for the first time in a quarter of a century, and Chelsea three times surrendered a lead and could only draw, 3-3, in London against Everton. In Germany, Bayern Munich plays on without its star names Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben, but has just scored nine away goals in four days — four in the Champions League at Juventus and five in the Bundesliga at Bochum on Saturday. Munich is resurgent just as the leading teams Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen are running out of steam in the Bundesliga.” (NYT)


WSC Web Awards

December 13, 2009

“A short while ago, When Saturday Comes asked readers to nominate their favourite football websites, blogs and Twitter feeds, and January’s issue, released last Wednesday, presents the results. This blog tendered a syndicate of Championship-related blogs, and one of them, Viva Rovers, as relishable as the football Doncaster play, won a Bronze. Ever faithful to our posse of 24, thetwounfortunates was sorry to see no mention of Black & White & Red All Over, BHaPPY, Smog Blog, or Through the seasons before us, good reads all, but the competition was tough.” (thetwounfortunates)


China | ‘Penalty Phase,’ by Gay Talese (chapter 43)

December 13, 2009


“On Sunday morning, July 11, 1999, I listened to my pastor, down the street from our home in Decatur, Georgia, warn parishioners about the dangers of nationalistic revelry. The occasion was the aftermath of American victory over China the previous afternoon in the Women’s World Cup final. The game finished 0–0, with the United States prevailing 5–4 in the penalty phase. ‘Let’s not forget the Chinese players,’ our pastor said. It was the only time I have heard him, in 13 years, mention soccer within the worship context. ‘The TV cameras did not let us see their faces. What were their players thinking? What were they feeling as they watched all the American flags?’” (The Global Game – July 18, 2009), (The Global Game – 19 July 2009)


Egypt’s rift with Algeria became a political football

December 13, 2009

“Egypt and Algeria’s World Cup play-off caused the biggest international diplomatic incident sparked by football since the ‘Soccer War’ between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969.” (World Soccer)