ZM’s European Team of the Season

May 20, 2010

Pepe Reina
“With only one game left of the 2009/10 season, it’s time to create that inevitable, impossible-to-please dream team from across the major European leagues. Playing in a fluid 4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1 system that remains the most popular formation throughout Europe, it also reflects the current emphasis upon centre-backs who can pass the ball, attacking full-backs, ball-playing central midfielders and versatile attacking players.” (Zonal Marking)

La Liga title the least Barcelona deserve as Madrid again finish empty handed

May 20, 2010

“Javier Clemente squeezed into blue tights, pulled red knickers over the top and slapped a big yellow S on his chest. A quick fiddle with Photoshop and the amazing transformation was complete. Real Valladolid’s manager had, in his own words, gone into the phonebox Scum and come out a Saint; he had, in Athletic Bilbao manager Joaquín Caparrós’s words, gone from whore to nun in five minutes.” (Guardian)

23 for 2010 – Italy: World Cup squad analysis

May 20, 2010

“Italian head coach Marcello Lippi has named his 28-man provisional squad for this summer’s World Cup in South Africa, with some surprise omissions (Totti, Cassano, Balotelli) and some not so surprise omissions. Let’s dissect Lippi’s selection and predict the 23 that will board the plane for Cape Town in June.” (Just Football)

Iconic Grosso bows out with fistful of heaven

May 20, 2010

Fabio Grosso
“The naming and subsequent pruning of provisional World Cup squads in recent days has yielded a number of high-profile casualties, among them Ronaldinho, Francesco Totti, Antonio Cassano, Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Zanetti and Karim Benzema, and the tournament will undoubtedly be poorer for their absences. Young stars including Italy’s Mario Balotelli and the extravagantly gifted Brazilian pair of Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso have also missed out on the call-ups that many purists had hoped they might receive.” (Football Further)

Heartache for Fulham and Blackpool’s superstar DJ

May 20, 2010

“Raphael Honigstein, Barry Glendenning and John Ashdown help James dissect the week’s football action. As Fulham narrowly lose in the Europa Cup final, the pod ponder why they are patronised so much, and what the future holds for Roy Hodgson’s men. There were amazing scenes in Madrid where 40,000 Atlético fans danced the night away and Sid Lowe explains just why it means so much to the people’s club of Spain’s capital city.” (Guardian – James Richardson)

Real Madrid & Barcelona – Giants in a troubled league

May 20, 2010

“A question: What defines a league as strong and what classes it as weak? Should a league’s overall strength be measured on the successes of it’s most powerful constituents? Or on the sum total of all parts? If your answer is the former, then based on the 2009/2010 season’s outcome Spain’s La Liga is undoubtedly one of the strongest in world football. If you lean to the latter answer however, then La Liga may be classed as a league in serious structural trouble.” (Just Football)

Jose Mourinho: the cases for and against

May 20, 2010

“You can expect to hear a lot about Jose Mourinho over the next few weeks. Playing in the Champions’ League final and possibly moving to the world’s biggest football club will do that. Plus, of course, there is nobody – and I mean nobody – in the game who has such a talent for putting his point across and turning the media into some kind of megaphone (for better or worse, sometimes it backfires).” (TimesOnline)


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