History Of The World Cup (1958)

Brazil defeats Sweden 5-2 in the World Cup. Pele;, at age 17, scores a goal in the game
“The venue of the 1958 World Cup was Sweden which infuriated the South Americans who expected it to revert back to them after Switzerland four years ago but they buried their hostility enough to be represented by Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Paraguay. For the first and only time, all four of the British home nations qualified and we saw the first entry for the Soviet Union. People forget just how vast the Soviet Union was – once it split in 1991, the remnants formed a total of 15 different countries including Russia.” (Yanks Are Coming)


Bayern 2-1 Manchester United: Ferguson loses the game with a strange substitution

“How on earth did Manchester United manage to lose this game? On top after twenty seconds of playing time, Rooney causing the Bayern centre-backs no end of trouble, and a spare man in the centre of the pitch, it really is quite remarkable that Bayern will go to Old Trafford with the advantage. Sir Alex Ferguson has been constantly praised on ZM for his tactics so far this season, but he might have to take the blame here.” (Zonal Marking)

Carragher: We can still salvage our season

“Rewind twelve months and Jamie Carragher was looking back on what had been a prosperous March for Liverpool, having played every minute of the Reds’ four successive victories against Sunderland, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Aston Villa. With fifteen goals scored – including four against both United and Madrid – and just one conceded, Rafael Benitez had just signed a new five-year deal, Steven Gerrard had just netted a hat-trick in the 5-0 mauling of Villa and the boys from Anfield were just a point off top spot in the Premier League.” (ESPN)

Caniza experience crucial for Paraguay

“Can Lionel Messi reproduce his Barcelona form for Argentina? Will Wayne Rooney be able to sustain his current level of performance into June and July? Might Cristiano Ronaldo, or even Kaka, be fresher at the end of the club season because Real Madrid are out of the Champions League? The World Cup is where reputations are confirmed and football fans across the planet are hoping the stars to be firing on all cylinders in South Africa.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Tactics: Alchemist Blanc harnesses power of the collective

Laurent Blanc
“Irrespective of what Bordeaux go on to achieve this season, it is impossible to overstate what their coach Laurent Blanc has done for the club. In just under two years and nine months he has transformed the south-west side from occasionally successful also-rans into the emerging force in French football, having led them to a league and Coupe de la Ligue double last season, the top of the table this term and the last eight of the Champions League for the first time since 1988.” (Football Further)

Van Gaal’s technological revolution

“Last season I interviewed Louis van Gaal a few weeks before he celebrated the Dutch title with AZ Alkmaar and it became very interesting when we started talking about the prospect of technical aids in football. In the previous game, AZ had a goal disallowed for offside and we both agreed that the decision was debatable. The scorer of the AZ goal was level with the stomach of a defender, who was lying prostrate with his head near the goal-line and his feet in the direction of the penalty spot. We both wondered which body part exactly constitutes offside and which makes it level.” (ESPN)

2009-10 UEFA Europa League, Quarter-finals: the 8 clubs, with stadium photos

“Europa League fixtures/results, Europa League fixtures/results (ESPN Soccernet). The Quarter-finals of the 09/10 Europa League begin on Thursday, 1st April, with the second leg matches a week later. Of the 8 clubs still alive, there are 2 English clubs (Fulham and Liverpool), 2 German clubs (Hamburg and Wolfsburg), 2 Spanish clubs (Atletico Madrid and Valencia), a Belgian club (Standard Liege), and a Portuguese club (Benfica).” (billsportsmaps)

Arsenal’s dynamic dribbling duo can drive the Gunners to glory

“The benching of Arsenal’s too most gifted dribblers due to slight knocks did not help the Gunners’ cause in the 1-1 draw to Birmingham. Two goals. One had a bit of luck; the other was dizzyingly graceful. Yet both were just rewards for the almost impudent desire of both players – although paved with good intentions – to get as close to the goal as possible.” (Arsenal Column)