Orange Devolution

July 9, 2010


“Like all soccer writers, I have a debilitating nostalgic streak, and like all soccer writers, I love Holland. The Dutch, who face Spain in Sunday’s World Cup final, are soccer’s most gorgeous losers, a team defined by a single generation of players who brilliantly failed to reach their potential. The Dutch teams of the 1970s—led by the mercurial Johan Cruyff, who’s widely considered the greatest European player of all time—launched a tactical revolution, played one of the most thrilling styles of their era, and lost two consecutive World Cup finals in memorable and devastating ways.” (Slate)


The Name of the Game

July 9, 2010

“Do Americans hate football? Not regular football, of course. Not football as in first and ten, going long, late hits, special teams, pneumatic cheerleaders in abbreviated costumes, serial brain concussions—the game that every American loves, apart from a few, uh, soreheads. Not that one. The other one. The one whose basic principle of play is the kicking of a ball by a foot. The one that the rest of the world calls ‘football,’ except when it’s called (for example) futbal, futball, fútbol, futebol, fotball, fótbolti, fußball, or (as in Finland) jalkapallo, which translates literally as ‘football.’ That one.” (New Yorker)


Argentina’s Gaping Holes (Part 2/2)

July 9, 2010

“In this second part about Argentina’s visible gaping holes in their squad, it will now be about Javier Zanetti’s possible impacts on the team had he been included in Maradona’s 23 man squad alongside Esteban Cambiasso, whose analysis on his possible impacts have been explained in part 1. To be frank, no matter how well argued arguments such as the one written by yours truly in part 1 about the justifications for Cambiasso’s inclusion in the squad, many would be able to still argue against it in a relatively effortless manner.” (Beopedia)


Is Soccer Innovative?

July 9, 2010

“If you look at the history of soccer for groundbreaking, ‘game-changing’ innovations, you realize they have been scarce; by and large the game hasn’t evolved much. Some innovations resulted from a changing of the rules. Most of them, however, were driven by either organizational or individual excellence.” (GOOD)


The Greatest of the World Cup’s Greats

July 9, 2010


Zinedine Zidane
“The race between Spain’s David Villa and Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands to finish as leading scorer of the 2010 World Cup could be the decisive factor in Sunday’s final. It could also establish which of these players, each with five goals apiece, comes to define this tournament and joins the ranks of the World Cup’s greatest players. It would be difficult to dispute that either player deserves such recognition, but in whose exalted company would they stand?” (WSJ)


How to Stop Them? (Part 1/2)

July 9, 2010

“The semifinals of the World Cup 2010 have come and go. Holland managed to overcome the resilient but under strength Uruguay in a thrilling 3-2 encounter, while Spain finally managed to shake off their ‘flopping on a big stage’ curse and cruised to the final to face Holland after totally turning off the goal tap of Germany and finished them off by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. Holland and Spain will battle it out in a high stakes battle to become the very first European nation to win the trophy outside of their own continent and also for each of them to win the thing for the very first time in their respective histories. One main question which is undoubtedly in the minds of everyone associated with the respective teams the moment Spain defeated Germany 1-0 last night is surely just like what the title above is saying, ‘How to stop them?’. The following will be some possible ways that could be employed by the respective teams to halt the other in their quest for glory. In this first part, it will be about how to stop the first team that reached the final, and that’s Holland.” (Beopedia – How to Stop Them? (Part 1/2), How to Stop Them? (Part 2/2)


The Question: What have been the tactical lessons of World Cup 2010?

July 9, 2010

“This has been the tournament of 4-2-3-1. The move has been apparent in club football for some time; in fact, it may be that 4-2-3-1 is beginning to be supplanted by variants of 4-3-3 at club level, but international football these days lags behind the club game, and this tournament has confirmed the trend that began to emerge at Euro 2008. Even Michael Owen seems to have noticed, which is surely the tipping point.” (Guardian)


World Cup 2010 – a truly international tournament

July 9, 2010

“After travelling through South Africa for three weeks I have struggled to find anyone who is not interested in the World Cup. The owner of the guesthouse I stayed at in Johannesburg, a former rugby professional, has watched every televised game. I spoke to an old anti-Apartheid campaigner at the fan-park in Cape Town.” (WSC)


Univisión, Latino (Dis)Unity, and the World Cup

July 9, 2010

“In this past month of World Cup football, I have seen my facebook stream lit up by ‘friends’ claiming that they are loving to watch coverage in Spanish. In many cases, these friends speak Spanish as a second language; I even have friends who don’t speak Spanish well at all, yet watch the Spanish coverage because they claim it is more dramatic.” (Soccer Politics)