World Cup Team History: Argentina (Part I: 1930-1982)

December 16, 2009


Argentina’s Guillermo Stabile slots the ball past American goalkeeper Jim Douglas
“We’re doing a World Cup team history post for each of the 32 teams at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, some teams have a little more history than others. The albiceleste stripes of Argentina have appeared in 14 previous World Cups, stretching all the way back to the inaugural 1930 edition. Theirs is a rich rich story, full of triumph, disappointment, and a fair bit of controversy. Too much for just the one post, and so our history of Argentina at the World Cup has been split into two parts.” (World Cup Blog – 1930 to 1982), (Part II: 1986 to 2006)


Algeria’s play-off triumph

December 16, 2009

“It can’t be easy to focus on an extremely unusual World Cup play-off when you are worrying about security. After Algeria players were injured by stone-throwing Egypt fans in Cairo, 32 supporters from both sides were hurt in post-game clashes and Egyptian-owned businesses were attacked in Algiers in retaliation, safety was on everyone’s mind in Sudan.” (World Soccer – James Copnall)


Crowd trouble blighting Serbian football

December 16, 2009

“It’s been almost six years since Serbia passed a law aimed at preventing violence at sports venues. Yet hooliganism still remains one of the biggest problems in Serbian football. During the Belgrade derby two weeks ago Partizan ultras ripped out seats, hurled smoke bombs and flares, and started fires inside the stadium. The troublemakers don’t fear the police, public prosecutors or judges because they see how inefficient the courts are when processing cases.” (WSC)


Liverpool still labour in the shadow of Bill Shankly

December 16, 2009

“In the tapes he made with John Roberts for his autobiography, Bill Shankly’s voice suddenly leaps to great oratorical heights when the talk moves round to the abject state Liverpool were in when he joined in 1959. The exchange would haunt the Kop as they gather to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Shankly’s arrival during tonight’s home game against Wigan.” (Guardian)


Six big names on the bubble

December 16, 2009


Benni McCarthy
“The thought of the World Cup probably has David Beckham gasping for air. Not just because his recently revealed asthma impairs his ability to breathe, but because England’s second-most capped player ever and proud onetime captain might not make it there. Competition for spots on the England squad is fierce, and no position is as well-covered as Beckham’s out on the right. With at least three strong candidates (Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Theo Walcott) standing a reasonable chance to be deployed there, and several controlling players already certain to make the squad, Beckham has a lot to overcome.” (ESPN)


Atlante 1 – 3 Barcelona

December 16, 2009

“Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez shared the limelight as Barcelona hit back from an early deficit against Atlante to progress through to the final of the Club World Cup and stay on track for a remarkable sixth trophy in 2009. Messi had been struggling with an ankle injury prior to the game and started among the replacements but his introduction in the 53rd minute paid immediate dividends as within 60 seconds he had put Barca 2-1 in front.” (ESPN)


Are the ‘big four’ crumbling?

December 16, 2009

“Last week Manchester City came from behind to beat Chelsea by two goals to one and many a football pundit saw that as proof that, despite all the draws and flattering to deceive, the Eastlands Billionaires could be a real threat to the ‘big four’ this season. Thus, after Everton’s injury-decimated side also matched Chelsea with a 3-3 draw yesterday, the same logic could be used to suggest that my beloved Toffees too, could realistically hope to breach the big four this season.” (They Think Its All Over)


Video Of The Week: Match Of The 70s – 1972/73

December 16, 2009

“This week’s Video Of The Week takes us back to the 1972/73 (the football season during which, fact fans, I was born) football season, with another episode of ‘Match Of The Seventies’. The 1972/73 season featured a prototype version of the Liverpool team that would go on to rule Europe later on in the decade and in the 1980s pipping Arsenal and Leeds United to the First Division championship, while Sunderland surprised Leeds in the FA Cup final, whilst Spurs won the Football League Cup at Wembley against Norwich City.” (twohundredpercent)