Tactics: Tinkerman Allardyce belies brutish reputation

March 4, 2010


The tribute money: Peter finding the silver coin in the mouth of the fish, Jacobs Jordaens
“Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat of Blackburn on Sunday sparked fresh recriminations about the playing style of Sam Allardyce’s side, with Rafael Benitez sarcastically observing: ‘I think it is a model for all the managers around the world, their style of football.’ That Blackburn are a hard-working, physical side is no secret. Allardyce, though, has taken umbrage at criticisms of their football in recent weeks.” (Football Further)

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High Standards, Low Standards, Bloody Standards

March 4, 2010

“During the course of my research for this piece, I discovered that my planned intro, Jerry Seinfeld’s bit about how supporting a team was tantamount to “rooting for laundry” has already descended – or should that be ascended? – to the level of cliche. That’s what I get for being late to Seinfeld, I suppose. Still, every cliche has a kernel of truth (as the cliche has it), so let us anyway remind ourselves of precisely what he said…” (Norman Einsteins)


New-look Brazil go back to basics

March 4, 2010

“Think of the greats of Brazilian football and you will probably come up with Pele, Garrincha, Rivelino, Socrates – players full of flair, skill and vision. In short, geniuses. The name of Dunga, however, wouldn’t necessarily be on the tip of your tongue. A nuggety defensive midfielder who cut his teeth in Italian football and prizes tactics above flamboyance does not quite fit the Brazilian stereotype.” (BBC)


Scotland 1 – 0 Czech Republic

March 4, 2010


“Kris Boyd ended his self-imposed international exile but it was Scott Brown who was the unlikely goal hero as Craig Levein claimed a win from his first game as Scotland manager. Brown grabbed the only goal of the game against Czech Republic to hand the Scots their first friendly win at Hampden Park since victory over Australia back in 1996.” (ESPN)

Levein starts as he means to go on
“It was by no means a textbook performance but Craig Levein’s reign as Scotland manager is off to a winning start and that is all that counts. The members of the Tartan Army who braved a cold March evening to make it along to Hampden Park will never remember the friendly encounter with Czech Republic as a classic but it is the result that matters.” (ESPN)


U.S. Falls to One of Europe’s Best

March 4, 2010

“DaMarcus Beasley may have boosted his World Cup chances. Jonathan Bornstein and Robbie Findlay did nothing to help theirs. And Stuart Holden joined the long U.S. injured list. The United States fell flat in Europe once again, losing to the third-ranked Netherlands 2-1 Wednesday night in the Americans’ last match before coach Bob Bradley picks his World Cup roster.” (NYT)


Beating Egypt will not help England

March 4, 2010

“England played Egypt as a way of warming up for their World Cup clash with Algeria on 18 June, so one wonders what exactly coach Fabio Capello learnt about North African opposition after his side’s 3-1 win. For his players, the experience would have been invaluable because England haven’t faced such opposition since beating Morocco 1-0 in 1998 – a game only Michael Owen is likely to remember from among the current squad.” (BBC)