Brian Clough: who he really was, and what he really achieved

February 8, 2010

“We’ve done it, at last, haven’t we: taken the silent and unanimous decision that Brian Clough matters… Brian Clough has made the step up: he’s cultural now, gone from the close, sweaty barracks of football because he stands for England like Elgar and Dickens. The news about Clough isn’t in the tabloids anymore. It’s strictly broadsheet, review and monthly: it’s been to the London Film Festival and must by now be under Granta’s walls, in strength. All that whilst never being out of place: all that, whilst never abandoning Derby, all that without losing the common touch. Clough, more than Ramsey, or Revie, more even than Shankly, his only possible rival, is a cornerstone and comment upon the zeitgeist, and post War Britain is impossible without him.” (More Than Mind Games)

Mexico mounts multiple Copa challenge

February 8, 2010

“One of the less orthodox after effects of swine flu is the headache it gives the administrators of South America’s premier club competition. In last year’s version of the Copa Libertadores, two Mexican sides, Chivas Guadalajara and San Luis, made it out of the group phase. But how could they stage the home leg of their second round ties? It was at the height of the swine flu epidemic, with Mexico at its epicentre. The South American Federation unsuccessfully tried to find an alternate venue, gave up and announced that the fate of the Mexican clubs would be decided on a single match, the away leg.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Why football clubs no longer flock to the January sales

February 8, 2010

“Ajax Amsterdam’s general director recently tallied his club’s transfers, and came up with this estimate: only 8.3 per cent of the footballers Ajax had bought in the past decade had succeeded. Ajax’s Dutch rivals, he said, had done even worse. This January European clubs spent barely anything during the “transfer window”. English clubs forked out about £30m ($48m, €34m) on new players, their lowest for any January since 2003. German, Spanish and French clubs spent even less. The credit crunch has bitten soccer in the leg.” (Simon Kuper)

Top 5 Harry Redknapp Signings

February 8, 2010

“Harry Redknapp is known as a bit of a wheeler dealer, scouring the football bargain bins for days. He is so good at finding bargains he takes half of January off to play the Wii with son Jamie. It is also reported Redknapp once sold ice to Eskimos, but this hasn’t been confirmed but Mr. Redknapp’s representatives. But after a plethora of successful transfer coups, who are the top 5 Harry Redknapp transfer dealings?” (EPL Talk)

Mis-shapen Boro prove a point

February 8, 2010

“A Boro side compensating for its lack of numbers in midfield with two defenders in advanced roles fought back to clutch a point against Ipswich Town. Gordon rotated his pack for this one considerably. With Adam Johnson gone and Barry Robson suspended, it later emerged that Julio Arca was similarly unavailable, so there was little choice but to put together a scratch midfield. Justin Hoyte partnered Gary O’Neil in the centre while Andrew Taylor played on the left wing.” (Smog Blog)


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