Daily Archives: March 23, 2010

Uruguayan football on the rise

“In ‘Back Home,’ his excellent account of the 1970 World Cup, Jeff Dawson does a disservice to the first kings of the global game – after 90 minutes of their quarter-final with the Soviet Union, he writes “the score is that old Uruguayan party piece, 0-0″. Just 16 years earlier, Uruguay produced a very different party piece in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. They beat Scotland 7-1, ended England’s campaign in with a 4-2 win in the quarter-finals, but then fell 4-2, after extra time, to the great Hungarians in the semi-final. It was the first time Uruguay had lost a World Cup match and six years later, when World Soccer magazine was launched, its inaugural edition carried a feature arguing that this was the greatest match ever played.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Why tactics say a lot about humanity

“In theory there are no tactics when you play Sunday league football, or five-a-side, or any type of football that involves normal men for whom the basic nuts and bolts of being able to run and kick and occasionally even head a football are usually enough. This is because of the nature of tactics. Tactics are something you do when you have already achieved physical and technical parity. They presuppose a certain level of reliability; patterns of play that can be predicted and rearranged.” (FourFourTwo)

The Beauty Of The Ugly Relegation Scrap

“Speaking as a Reading fan, I remember the day vividly. In my time away at University in Portsmouth, we were playing Middlesbrough away in an utter dog fight of a match in 2007/2008. This was not going to be pretty, with both teams languishing in the relegation zone, the deepest, darkest echelon of any league table where nobody wants to be in May. With 91 minutes of this dire spectacle gone, terrier like midfielder James Harper popped up to score a priceless winner for us. Sheer jubilation.” (EPL Talk)

What Ian Watmore’s Resignation Tells Us About The FA

“Eighty days before the World Cup finals and not more than a year after he took the job in the first place, Ian Watmore has quit as the Chief Executive of the Football Association. When Watmore spoke at the Supporters Direct annual conference in Birmingham last October, he didn’t inspire a great deal of confidence. His with the Premier League’s Richard Scudamore’s comment that, ‘You can’t bar people because you don’t like the cut of their jib’ seemed ill-placed, considering the audience that he was addressing that he may even have already been in the pocket of the Premier League to some extent. That the rumours are that he is leaving because he has been unable to bridge the implacable gap in values between the FA and the Premier League comes both as something of a surprise and no surprise at all.” (twohundredpercent)

Czech Republic: 1.Liga (aka Gambrinus Liga), 2009-10 season.

“The Czech Republic’s Gambrinus Liga is the top tier of football in the country, and has been around since the late summer of 1993, which was half a year after the Czech Republic and Slovakia peacefully separated. That was two and a half years after the modern, 20th century Russian empire, also known as the Soviet Union, collapsed (hallelujah), in August 1991. Which was 20 months after the Vaclav Havel-led Czechoslovakian ‘Velvet Revolution’ occurred, in 1989, at a similar point in time as when the Berlin Wall fell (in November, 1989).” (billsportsmaps)

Football Weekly: Manchester United in pole position

“Manchester United sit on top of the Premier League today after beating Liverpool, while Chelsea dropped more points against Blackburn Rovers. On your brand new Football Weekly, James Richardson, Sean Ingle, Paolo Bandini and Fernando Duarte analyse the various machinations of the title race. Can the Blues regain their confidence? Are the Red Devils utterly unstoppable? And will Arsenal still have a say, or will the Champions League prove too much of a distraction?” (Guardian – James Richardson)

Man … Superman … Leo Messi

“It’s not big and it’s not clever but sometimes swearing is the only thing that will do. Sometimes you’ve used up every other word and nothing else quite hits the spot. You’ve rummaged round the back of the sofa, rifled through the drawers, turned out your pockets and still come up empty. Pep Guardiola insisted that he was clean out of adjectives and frankly so was everyone else. Spain was suffering a severe shortage of superlatives last night.” (Guardian)