Talking of tactics

“Tactical talk is all the rage nowadays thanks to books like Jonathan Wilson’s Inverting the Pyramid, an enlightening read on the history of tactics and the philosophy of formations that taught me many things I never knew. World Soccer magazine sometimes runs a double-page spread outlining one coach’s tactical history with every club he’s managed. It’s all fascinating stuff. However, I confess that I recently let my decade-long subscription lapse. Such features made my heart feel heavy with a sense of duty rather than of joy when I picked the magazine out of my postbox – I could frankly not care less how Frank Rijkaard’s 2001-02 Sparta Rotterdam team lined up.” (WSC: Talking of tactics, WSC: Inverting the Pyramid)


Udinese 2-3 Inter Milan (Internazionale) – Recap and Video Highlights – Italian Serie A – Sunday, February 28, 2010

“Italian Serie A leaders Inter Milan looked to rebound from a draw last week with a trip to face Udinese on Sunday, February 28, 2010. They lead AC Milan by four points heading into the weekend and looking to get their fifth consecutive Scudetto. Udinese were just above the relegation zone and in need of points.” (The 90th Minute)

Earthquake tragedy hits Chilean Cup preparations

“This week is the last for international friendies before the end of the season. It’s the final chance for fringe players to push their claims for a World Cup place. Chile thought they had found the perfect way to give all their players the opportunity to show their stuff with a double-header on Wednesday against Costa Rica and North Korea, one after the other. But then the country was struck by Saturday’s massive earthquake and amid the chaos and confusion the matches could clearly not go ahead.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

The Sweeper: Chile’s Earthquake and the World Cup
“Following the devastating earthquake there this weekend, Chile unsurprisingly cancelled two international friendlies scheduled for this Wednesday as part of their World Cup preparations. Few in Chile right now will be thinking about football with more than 700 dead.” (Pitch Invasion)

Torres on target as Reds win

“Liverpool striker Fernando Torres marked his first start since January 13 by scoring the winner in an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over Blackburn at Anfield. The Spain international hit his 13th goal in 17 Premier League appearances just before half-time, having missed five weeks at the start of the year after a knee operation. Liverpool had gone ahead midway through the half through Steven Gerrard only for Jamie Carragher’s handball to allow Keith Andrews to equalise from the penalty spot five minutes before the interval.” (ESPN)

Benitez fires volley at Allardyce as Reds win
“On the final whistle, they shook hands with the briefest of touches and then hostilities between Rafael Benitez and Sam Allardyce resumed. It had been a close enough contest for there to be no danger of the Liverpool manager crossing his hands to indicate the match was over after 33 minutes, which had so incensed Allardyce when Blackburn last visited Anfield.” (Independent)

Fernando Torres wants as much playing time as possible for Spain
“Fernando Torres is keen for as much international playing time as possible despite the Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez’s concerns over the striker, who has recently returned from a lengthy lay-off after knee surgery. Benítez will hope Torres returns from Spain without picking up any new knocks in the European champions’ friendly against France on Wednesday.” (Guardian)

Beyond The Debt – Are You Going To Be A Part Of The Solution?

“It was standing room only in the social club at Gigg Lane, Bury on Saturday lunchtime for the “Beyond The Debt” rally as a crowd of hundreds watched an impressive array of those in the know explain that the time for debate on the ownership of football clubs is coming to an end. We seem now to be entering a different time. A time when action is required. A time in which shrugging your shoulders and muttering that, “well, my club is alright” is no longer enough. When opening speaker and rally chair Andy Walsh from FC United of Manchester spoke, he talked of the rivalries between supporters of football clubs being an artificial construct which masked the true enemies of football supporters – the people that run the game itself.” (twohundredpercent)

A Mental Game: Sports Psychology is the Future (and Always Will Be?)

“Why, after several failed attempts at European glory, has Landon Donovan with Everton finally performed at a level appropriate to one of the top leagues in the world (barring the occasional ‘horror miss’)? Is he a different player physically from his depressing stints with Bayer Leverkusen in 2000 and 2005? Maybe a little bit—but probably not much. If anything he was likely a bit more spry back in 2000 and 2005. The most dramatic difference is his confidence, composure, and attitude. Donovan is not a very different physical player, but he seems very different psychologically.” (Pitch Invasion)