Del Bosque finally proves he’s far more than just a player’s coach

July 16, 2010


Vicente del Bosque
“‘Vicente del Bosque is a lovely man.’ Rarely has anyone been quite so damned with faint praise; never has a human strength been so readily and immediately presented as a professional weakness, a quality presumed to be a defect. Del Bosque is indeed a lovely man, a good man — impeccably polite, overwhelmingly decent. Loyal, humble, kindly, he is like a favorite uncle with a bushy ‘tache, a portly belly and the warmest of handshakes. But by extension, by definition, he is not much of a coach. After all, nice guys come last.” (SI)


Diego Forlan Deserves the Golden Ball

July 16, 2010

“World Cup 2010 has been done and dusted, as we have found a champion out of the 32 teams competing for the biggest prize of all in footballing universe, Spain, as well as Thomas Muller, the winner of the Golden Boot award and also for the young German to officially announce his arrival in world football. However, there’s still one more award which drew quite a lot of criticisms and that’s the Golden Ball award, awarded to the best player in the tournament. In World Cup 2010, the winner is Uruguay’s Diego Forlan, and many pundits and fans, especially Internazionale fans out there feel that Forlan is not a deserving recipient of this award, as they feel that Wesley Sneijder, the runners-up for the award, or in other words the Silver Ball winner of this tournament who should have been the recipient of the Golden Ball.” (Beopedia)


World Cup scouting: The 32 – Conclusions

July 16, 2010


Antonio Di Natale
“Starting with Nicolás Lodeiro back in December last year, Football Further selected 32 players to watch out for at the 2010 World Cup and then tracked their progress through the tournament via weekly scouting reports. Below is a full compilation of those reports, along with conclusions (and marks out of 10) on how each player performed.” (Football Further)


From Total to Anti-Football: Why Holland Lost, and I’m Glad

July 16, 2010

“Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll provide you with all the post-WC analysis you can handle, but for now, let’s talk about the final. As I was watching the game, I didn’t have a strong rooting interest either way, but I expected a great game. Both teams were stocked with All-Stars at virtually every position. The Spanish had won Euro; the Dutch were working on an undefeated tournament. Although the score line of a lot of the Spanish games this tournament were not as impressive as some of the other teams (Germany for example), anyone who watched a Spain game – watched the execution, understood their dominance on the ball, marveled at their ability to play ‘keep away’ after scoring a goal – knew that they were impressive. Meanwhile, the Dutch had seemingly rolled through the tournament and they managed to defeat mighty and heavily favored Brazil. This game was to be an epic showdown.” (Yanks are coming)


The final analysis, part three: brilliant Busquets

July 16, 2010

“As is customary after a Spain or Barcelona success, the performance of Sergio Busquets (two La Ligas, a Champions League and a World Cup after two seasons of professional football) has largely been ignored. In the World Cup final he was one of the key players for Spain – keeping Wesley Sneijder quiet, providing his usual solid, reliable passing from a deep midfield position, and dropping between his centre-backs to turn Spain’s 4-2-3-1 into something more like a 3-3-3-1 or 3-4-3 when in possession.” (Zonal Marking)


World Cup 2010 Redux: Links & Videos

July 16, 2010

“So, yeah, the World Cup has ended. Some hated it. I enjoyed it. Of course, I took into account that no even can realistically live up to the hype as “the greatest and most entertaining” sporting event on Earth. Still, from the fluid counter-attacking Germans to the patient passing Iberians, this tournament was light years ahead of the catenaccio Italians and plodding French of 2006. Yes, Zizou was amazing in the outrounds of that tournament. No, that did not redeem the other 31 teams or other games. But enough of that, onto links and classic videos from South Africa 2010.” (futfanatico)


Old Firm Haves and Have Nots

July 16, 2010


Joe Ledley
“Another summer in Scotland, and another period where Celtic possess the money to strengthen their squad and Rangers are forced to sell their most bankable assets. These last few days have seen a whirl of activity surrounding the Old Firm, but once again, as during the past 18 months, the main questions seem to be: where is Rangers’ money? And why is there already a sense of deflation around the reigning SPL champions?” (ESPN)

Lennon confident on Juarez
“Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes he is close to making Mexico midfielder Efrain Juarez his latest summer signing. Lennon is confident of landing Pumas UNAM starlet Juarez, 22, and hopes he could even make his Celtic debut against Manchester United while on their pre-season tour of North America.” (ESPN)


Champions League is perpetrating big-fish-in-small-pond syndrome

July 16, 2010

“For half an hour on Tuesday in the Champions League qualifiers, Dinamo Zagreb was worried. Davor Bubanja had given Koper the lead, and the specter of yet more European failure was raised. But then the excellent Milan Mandzukic equalized, and Miroslav Slepicka had the Croatian champion ahead. Second-half goals from Mandzukic and the two Brazilians, Sammir and Etto, gave Dinamo a 5-1 win and should have put the tie to bed.” (SI)


Why football can’t save the world

July 16, 2010

“Now the tournament is over, it’s a good time to get some perspective on the World Cup. In the latest WSC, Ian Plenderleith looks at some sporting (and marketing) myths.” (WSC)