You are the Ref

February 28, 2010

“Cult classic cartoon strip You are the Ref appears exclusively this season on on Fridays, with Keith Hackett’s official answers following on Mondays. Click here for the story behind the strip, from its debut in 1957, to artist Paul Trevillion – the man who brought it to life.” (Guardian – Paul Trevillion)

Julio Cesar bears a huge responsibility for Brazil

February 28, 2010

“It is hard to think of a position in sport that carries the same pressure as keeping goal for Brazil in a World Cup. While there is often little to do, there is even less margin for error. Do it badly and the hopes of an entire nation crash from a height unmatched anywhere else.” (World Soccer – Tim Vickery)

The Joy of Six: matches that never were

February 28, 2010

“Pele’s Brazil against Gerd Müller’s West Germany in Mexico 1970, plus five other classic games that never took place” (Guardian)

Aston Villa hope for League Cup glory

February 28, 2010

“Sixteen years ago I saw Aston Villa play Manchester United in what was then called the Coca-Cola Cup final. Our opponents were favourites on that day too, although the gap between the clubs was less clear cut than it has become in the intervening period. Man Utd were going to be League champions for the second year in a row but prior to that they had gone 26 years without winning the title (a fact that rivals fans gloated over in much the same way that United fans now like to laugh at Man City’s 35 years without silverware).” (WSC)

Rangers 1 – 0 Celtic

February 28, 2010

Susanna and the Elders, Artemisia Gentileschi
“Rangers moved a step closer to securing a second successive Scottish Premier League title with victory over 10-man Celtic in a pulsating Old Firm derby. Robbie Keane was denied a debut goal when Allan McGregor twice saved brilliantly to thwart the striker. Rangers had a Maurice Edu goal chalked off for Kenny Miller’s handball. Celtic captain Scott Brown was controversially red-carded following a clash with Kyle Lafferty before Edu scrambled home the winner at Ibrox.” (BBC)

Tony Mowbray queries standards of referees but sees no bias against Celtic
“Tony Mowbray is a man who prefers to deal with statistical evidence, rather than conspiracy theories. So the Celtic manager will be hoping that his number comes up in more ways than one when he takes his side to Ibrox tomorrow.” (TimesOnline)

No paranoia at Celtic, says Tony Mowbray ahead of must-win Old Firm clash
“It is a safe assumption that the leak was designed to put the performance of Sunday’s referee – in this case, Dougie McDonald –under even more intense scrutiny than is normal on such occasions. However, Mowbray made it clear that Celtic, like any other Scottish club, have exercised their right to discuss such matters with the SFA’s head of refereeing development, Hugh Dallas.” (Telegraph)

Guardiola claims Barca back to their best after win

February 28, 2010

“Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola felt his side were back to near their best during their 2-1 home win over Malaga, even though they needed a late strike from Lionel Messi to seal the points. Guardiola admitted earlier this week that his sextuple winners were struggling to find top gear but he was far happier following last night’s victory which kept the Catalan giants two points clear of Real Madrid at the Primera Division summit.” (ESPN)