Tactics: Is the 4-4-2 making a comeback?

May 5, 2010


“Having supposedly died out halfway through the last decade, the 4-4-2 formation has enjoyed a surprising renaissance this season. England’s unthinking attachment to the shape first introduced by Alf Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ in 1966 (pictured) took a battering when José Mourinho swaggered into English football in 2004 and promptly won back-to-back Premier League titles with a counter-attacking 4-3-3 at Chelsea. The 2006 World Cup, meanwhile, was dominated by teams playing in a 4-2-3-1 to such an extent that hosts Germany were the only side playing in a 4-4-2 to achieve anything of note in the tournament.” (Football Further)


Video Of The Week: Match Of The Eighties – 1980/81

May 5, 2010

“This week’s Video Of The Week may be a couple of days late, but it’s well worth the wait – it’s the first episode of the BBC’s ‘Match Of The Eighties’ series. ‘Match Of The Eighties’, hosted by Danny Baker, was a six-part series that first aired in 1997. It follows a fairly simple theme, telling the story of each of the first six seasons of the 1980s (the series stops at the point at which the BBC lost television rights to show Football League matches). There’s nothing too complex going on here, but the sheer volume of the BBC’s football archive carries it along.” (twohundredpercent)


Marc Antoine Fortuné strikes to strengthen Neil Lennon’s case at Celtic

May 5, 2010

“This was a night of novel concepts as the unwritten rule of not publicly criticising the other half of the Old Firm was well and truly shot to pieces after Celtic claimed the season’s final derby. A deflected free-kick from Lee Naylor and a close-range effort from Marc-Antoine Fortuné secured victory for the Hoops. Kenny Miller had briefly restored parity, with Rangers feeling they were denied another chance to equalise late on, when Darren O’Dea appeared to handle in his own area.” (Guardian)

Celtic 2-1 Rangers: The Bhoys secure bragging rights but the title is still heading to Ibrox
“Neil Lennon gave his chances of landing the Celtic managers job another boost tonight as he led the Parkhead side to a 2-1 victory over city rivals and newly crowned SPL champions Rangers. Full back Lee Naylor opened the scoring for Celtic before Kenny Miller equalised for Rangers. And on the stroke of half time Marc Antoine Fortune restored Celtic’s lead, a goal which proved to be the winner as Lee McCulloch saw red in the final minute of the game after a lunge on Aiden McGeady.” (ScotZine)


Italy World Cup Team History

May 5, 2010


World Cup 1982
“We have trudged through to the final part, a portion which is vaguely familiar to many in the peninsula – some good, some bad. In fact, they just about ran the gamut of Italian emotions from ‘98 to ‘06: disappointment, anger and ecstasy. It all may change in June, but as of right now, this long labor of love that is Italian football history has an awfully nice bookend: they won their first and they won the last.” (World Cup Blog – Pt. I: 1934 & 1938), (Pt. II: 1950-1974), (Pt III: 1978 – 1994), (Pt. IV: 1998-2006).


Barcelona 4 – 1 Tenerife

May 5, 2010

“Lionel Messi struck twice as Barcelona overcame some nervy moments to comfortably beat relegation-threatened Tenerife at the Nou Camp to put the pressure back on fierce rivals Real Madrid as the Primera Division draws to an exciting conclusion. Madrid travel to fourth-placed Mallorca tomorrow night in what looks like the hardest remaining fixture for Manuel Pellegrini’s side. And they will need to win it after Barca saw off Tenerife thanks to goals from Messi (2), Bojan Krkic and Pedro.” (ESPN)


World Cup Legends #1: Just Fontaine

May 5, 2010


Just Fontaine
“Despite the superstars that have graced the World Cup over the decades, there is one record that may never be beaten by any player ever again. Only 3 times has a player scored double figures in a World Cup tournament, once in 1954, Sandor Kocsis scored 11, in 1970 the legendary Gerd Muller scored 10 goals. Yet one man surpassed both of these incredible efforts when he scored 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup, French legend, Just Fontaine.” (EPL Talk)


First XI: World Cup wingers

May 5, 2010

“Following the First XI goalkeepers, defenders, defensive midfielders and attacking midfielders, the latest First XI looks at the wide players who have made their mark on the World Cup.” (ESPN)


Do Liverpool Football Club A Favour Rafa: QUIT

May 5, 2010

“All great relationships come to an end, the natural course having run as far as it can. Sometimes they start passionately and brightly and quickly burn away to nothingness. Sometimes, they are a slowly burning and taut affair that consumes all within them in a supernova of passion oblivious to all around them. Occasionally, despite saying the opposite, things simply aren’t working. The public face presents a lie, when everything behind the scenes falls apart.” (EPL Talk)