Daily Archives: March 5, 2010

The Philosophers’ Football Match

Wikipedia – “The Philosophers’ Football Match is a Monty Python sketch depicting a football match in the Olympiastadion at the 1972 Munich Olympics between philosophers representing Greece and Germany. Starring in the sketch are Archimedes (John Cleese), Socrates (Eric Idle), Hegel (Graham Chapman), Nietzsche (Michael Palin), Marx (Terry Jones) and Kant (Terry Gilliam).”
(Wikipedia), (Philosophers Football), (Telegraph)

African Teams, But Not Coaches

“As the big countdown ticks away, less than 100 days before the World Cup, perhaps Africa’s strongest team, Ivory Coast, is still without a coach. An article in the Zimbabwean brings up the state of African football and its reliance on foreign coaches. In Cote D’Ivoire, the disgruntled Vahid Halilhodžić was unceremoniously dispensed with following an unsuccessful run at the African Cup of Nations (despite having lost only one match during his two-year tenure).” (Soccer Politics)

Match Of The Week: England 3-1 Egypt

“Roll up, roll up. It’s the biggest circus in town. This year, without a single ball having been kicked, hasn’t been a terribly successfully one for England so far. On the one hand, there were the varying discretions of members of the England team – John Terry offering his own special brand of comfort to Wayne Bridge’s recently separated former partner and Ashley Cole reportedly sending pictures of “Little Ashley” to some poor girl – which led to national hand-wringing in the press, followed by Ashley fracturing a bone (no, not that one) and Wayne deciding that he couldn’t bear to be in the same England team as John.” (twohundredpercent)

Some Wannabes Seize Stage in Rehearsals

“Rehearsals are not everyone’s cup of tea. The Germans and Italians, for example, seldom show up in body and soul for them. Yet this is World Cup year, and on Wednesday their people paid top dollar to see those nationals teams, and others, go through the motions. It didn’t always have the desired effect. More than 60,000 people in Algiers saw their heroes, who are going to the World Cup, succumb, 3-0, to Serbia, which is also playing in the finals.” (NYT)

Raymond Domenech continues to cling on

“Nobody can call Raymond Domenech’s tenure as France manager boring. Following yet more calls from the Stade de France faithful for him to resign during the 2-0 home defeat to Spain midweek, even French politicians are now trying to get him the sack. The discontent surrounding all parts of the national team has never really lifted since his surprise appointment in 2004. This is despite Domenech taking France to a World Cup final in 2006, which arguably they would have won had the talismanic Zinedine Zidane not got himself sent off.” (WSC)

World Cup scouting: Sotiris Ninis (Greece)

“Just as Italian football will always be synonymous with a certain degree of cynicism and Hungary, no matter how far they tumble down the world rankings, will always stir the soul of the romantic, so Greece’s gritty triumph at Euro 2004 means their football will forever be associated with pragmatism and dogged determination.” (Football Further)

The Premier League Gives Up On Play-Offs… For Now

“With as near as he can manage to understatement, Richard Scudamore confirmed this afternoon that his idea of play-off matches for the fourth Champions League place will not be taken any further forward – for now. It was something of a surprising decision. Unlike Game 39, this new idea didn’t require a great deal of support from outside of the Premier League. The smaller clubs, it was assumed, would sell their grandmothers for a sliver of a chance of getting into the qualifying rounds of the Champions League and the big clubs – who were obviously keen not to see their hegemony broken up – were against it, but didn’t hold enough of a blocking vote to prevent it from going through.” (twohundredpercent)

Punishing ineptitude rather than cynicism

“Nemanja Vidic should have been sent off for his foul on Gabriel Agbonlahor in Sunday’s Carling Cup final. Aston Villa’s manager, Martin O’Neill, said it. Villa’s players thought so too and their fans were convinced. Even Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that Manchester United got a lucky break after the Serb conceded the penalty from which James Milner gave Villa the lead.” (WSC)