Spain: The Year of Success for La Roja?

May 1, 2010


“The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is almost upon us and millions around the world will be tuned in with all eyes on this year’s favourites, Spain. They have been regularly touted as potential champions for many years now, and rightly so with the talent they have at their disposal. But somehow it always seems to end in disappointment.” (Just Football)


One Style Does Not Fit All: Deconstructing A Universal Football Style

May 1, 2010

“Africa has some of the best footballers in the world dominating some of the world’s best leagues. Yet African nations tend to struggle when their players come together for internationals. What gives? The easy answer to this conundrum almost always begins and ends with what has become a familiar refrain; African football lacks discipline. But if that’s the case, someone needs to explain why African teams have dominated for years at the youth level. Consistently beating the best footballing nations must require a certain level of organization and discipline even at the youth level, no? Surely the answer to this age old problem is more complex than discipline.” (Nutmeg Radio)


Quality time (1954 style)

May 1, 2010

“Ay ay all, and fit like theday? Today is a national holiday in The Netherlands, meaning I’ve got to spend quality time with the family, which as anyone with kids and a day off from work will know translates approximately as ‘get awa fae thon computer for once!’. So probably no updates today and probably no Four to Follow either; take a look at the piece we did yesterday for something approaching an SFL preview for this weekend.” (Inside Left)


Lev Yashin: Russian Revolutionary

May 1, 2010

“Soviet Union goalkeeper Lev Yashin was a true football revolutionary, who transformed the way people viewed his position and became a shining example to future generations of stoppers. Oozing charisma and talent in abundance, Yashin earned iconic status for pioneering a new approach to playing between the posts and is regularly attributed the title of ‘greatest goalkeeper to have played the game’.” (ESPN)


World Cup scouting: Nicolás Otamendi (Argentina)

May 1, 2010


Nicolás Otamendi
“While much of the attention surrounding Argentina’s World Cup campaign will understandably focus on their star-studded attacking line-up, their chances of success in South Africa depend just as much – if not more – on Diego Maradona’s ability to configure an effective defensive unit.” (Football Further)


Football Conference (aka Blue Square Premier League)-Top of the table, 2009-10 season

May 1, 2010

“Stevenage Borough will play in the Football League next season for the first time in their 35 year history. Stevenage Borough were famously denied entrance into the Football League in 1996, when, after winning the Conference, their automatic promotion was denied due to their ground being below standards. So 14 years later, it’s payback time for Stevenage and their fans. In the interim, the club had improved their ground, Broadhall Way, to the point where it was considered one of the top facilities in the Conference. This season, Stevenage saw a 30% increase in average attendance, to a very respectable 2,589 per game.” (billsportsmaps)


Security and the World Cup

May 1, 2010

“I’ve just had an interesting meeting with a man who runs a big private security company in South Africa. He’s looking after one foreign football team, and many VIPs, during the World Cup. For a variety of reasons he didn’t want his name to be mentioned, but here are some of the main observations he made about the upcoming tournament, and South Africa in general.” (BBC)


Analysing Arsenal’s pressing system

May 1, 2010

“Arsenal’s pressing game has suffered since the start of the season mostly due to a matter of distances. Shortened names are all the rage these days. From Subo (Susan Boyle), R-Pat (Robert Pattinson) and Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), it’s a wonder they still haven’t thought of one for Babyshambles front man Pete Doherty. And after Barcelona swept all before them to bag six trophies last year, with Bordaeux and Chile prevailing as underdogs doing it, Arsenal became the latest side at the start of this season to adopt football’s trendiest tactic – that of ‘high intensity pressing’.” (Arsenal Column)