A World Cup Miscellany: Group A

May 15, 2010


“Back in October of 2009 when Egypt was hosting the U-20 World Cup I wrote a somewhat esoteric preview of the countries in the competition oriented by one of my favorite soccer quotes (from Eric Hobsbawn): ‘The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people.’ It was the start of the ‘Year of African Soccer,’ to be followed closely by the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria, the African Cup of Nations in Angola, and soon the mega event of them all: the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Drawing inspiration from my all-time favorite World Cup preview, Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey’s excellent edited collection of essays and miscellany related to the participants in the 2006 World Cup, the shared goal was ‘to use soccer as a lens and an excuse to learn something about the wider world’.” (Pitch Invasion)


There is a world of difference in how football is played

May 15, 2010

“On Wednesday nights I play bad football with some other old blokes in Paris. I spend the game shouting instructions at my team-mates in bad French. They don’t listen. What is going on here is a clash of football cultures. I grew up in the Netherlands, where football is a sort of debating society. In France, as far as I can gather, talking during football is rude.” (FI – Simon Kuper)


Hicks The Huckster – Under The Skin Of The Liverpool OwnerHicks The Huckster – Under The Skin Of The Liverpool Owner

May 15, 2010

“The Liverpool reign of US ‘entrepreneurs’ George Gillett Junior and Thomas O. Hicks has been full of oddball news stories from the two warring co-owners’ busy PR departments. But none were stranger than last week’s space-filler about Liverpool’s (latest) sale process. Had the papers waited a day, they’d have had their story.” (twohundredpercent)


1991-92 FA Cup Semi-Final, Portsmouth v Liverpool: Video Flashback

May 15, 2010

“In the build-up to the FA Cup Final today between Portsmouth and Chelsea, I thought it’d be interesting to enter the time machine and to go back to 1992 to watch the first ten minutes of the television broadcast of Portsmouth versus Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi-Final from Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium.” (EPL Talk)


Bullets have eyes

May 15, 2010


Claude Gellée, Idyll: Landscape with a Draughtsman Sketching Ruins
“On the surface, the praise for Lionel Messi during his current extraordinary run has been pure. Astonishing — astonished — praise has followed his every deed. Not for a generation has there been such a rush to consider someone alongside the pantheon of great players past; to name a planet after him; to dress him in armour, plonk him on a horse, dip him in bronze and place him halfway between La Masia and Camp Nou, beside a stall selling miniature bronze-coloured plastic replica hims. Scienticians are rushing to prove by July that he is, in fact, a physical constant.” (Sport is a TV Show) (Must Read Soccer)


Dunga and Diego are at it again

May 15, 2010

“Bizarre inclusions? Check. Big name exclusions? Check. Wringing of hands, tearing of clothes and gnashing of teeth (largely metaphorically)? Check. Señores y señoras, it’s World Cup preliminary squad announcement time! And while there won’t be many chairs thrown through windows in rage at the choices made by the managers of Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile, South America’s two giants are grabbing the headlines. Well, what did you expect?” (ESPN)


Ten conclusions to make from Arsenal’s season

May 15, 2010

“Despite another implosion late in the season, the Gunners have plenty of positives to take forward to next season.” (Arsenal Column)