Is Capello set to switch to a three-man defence?

May 14, 2010


“There are strong rumours this morning that, in Gareth Barry’s absence, Fabio Capello is considering switching to a system featuring three centre-backs for the World Cup. It would unquestionably be a risky move, completely changing England’s shape that was so successful in qualifying, and installing a three-man defence that hasn’t been used effectively by England for twenty years. The BBC report states that ‘A switch in formation would be a major change for the Italian, who has demonstrated his preference for 4-4-2 throughout his coaching career’, which is certainly true, but a three-man defence has not been alien to him.” (Zonal Marking)


Rewarding Dedication With A World Cup: Randomness, Awesomeness and Identity In Africa

May 14, 2010

“Rewarding love is a worthwhile endeavor. A reward signifies acknowledgment that the recipient is seen and appreciated. The South African World Cup is an exciting time for South Africans who have been loving soccer for decades. But if you look closely at how Africa has reacted since 2004 when South Africa was awarded the World Cup, you will notice that much of Africa has been acting as if they are co-hosts, as if this is the first communally-hosted World Cup.” (Nutmeg Radio)


In the shadow of the World Cup: ESPN covers the rape of South African soccer players

May 14, 2010

“ESPN has done a story on the frequency with which South African women soccer players are raped, targeted as lesbians. (Female athletes often targets for rape) It is a good thing that a media outlet with ESPN’s resources decided to cover this story. But there are a couple of dots ESPN avoided connecting. This comes two years after the murder of former national team player, Eudy Simelane. (See On the murder of Eudy Simelane and Girlie ‘S’Gelane’ Nkosi, Eudy Simelane’s teammate and lesbian activist, murdered). The timing of this story implicitly links to the opening of the World Cup next month.” (From A Left Wing)


World Cup Preview: Group E

May 14, 2010

“With the 2010 FIFA World Cup now just four weeks away, you should by now be able to visualise those wretched pull-out ‘Come On England’ St. George’s flags which come free with The Sun, slowly yellowing at the edges in living room windows up and down the land until mid-September. Nevertheless, we at Twohundredpercent will instead continue to focus on the football. With that in mind, we sent Dotmund on another fact-finding mission with little else than a media badge from the 2006 World Club Championship in his pocket and a dream. Today, he looks at the colourful and exciting Group E.” (twohundredpercent)


World Cup scouting: Antonio Di Natale (Italy)

May 14, 2010

“The express purpose of the World Cup scouting feature is to shed light on up-and-coming young players to look out for in South Africa, but this week Football Further is focusing on a more established player who tends not to receive the attention his ability richly deserves. Antonio Di Natale was this week named in Italy’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad and if, as expected, he retains his place when Marcello Lippi whittles his group down to 23, it will be the first time that the 32-year-old Udinese captain has been selected for football’s showpiece event.” (Football Further )


SPL awards of season: Those Davis deeds and the Motherwell of all goals

May 14, 2010

“Walter Smith almost overshadowed Rangers’ off-field trauma by winning the Scottish Premier League title. However, Celtic’s weakness must be taken into account as should the fact that Smith’s squad aren’t as low on quality, high earners or depth – compared with the rest of the league – as the manager might have you believe.” (Guardian)


The Joy of Six: Great teams that never won the World Cup

May 14, 2010


Ferenc Puskas
“From the mighty Magyars to Maradona’s Argentina side of 1990, here are half a dozen great teams that failed to go all the way” (Guardian)


Authors take hard look at soccer, make predictions

May 14, 2010

“Does soccer have an impact on suicide rates? What strategy should a goalie use during penalty-kick situations? Which country has the most passionate soccer fans? Using robust data and insightful analysis, Financial Times journalist Simon Kuper and leading sports economist Stefan Szymanski provide answers to such questions in their highly entertaining book, ‘Soccernomics’.” (BNET)


England remain a World Cup long shot

May 14, 2010

“Most bookmakers have England as third favourites to win the World Cup this summer. Their odds are always fanciful – driven down by patriotic bets made more in hope than belief. But a cursory glance around the competing squads should discourage any drunken wagering. It is not so much the players in the opposing squads that should deter potential gamblers, but who they can afford to leave out.” (WSC)