Is the sweeper set for a return to prominence?

July 24, 2010


Matthias Sammer
“Jonathan Wilson recently wrote in his excellent ‘The Question’ series about the possibility of the return of the sweeper to football. The sweeper prospered as the ’spare man’ in a three-man central defence up against a two-man attack, so now we have two-man central defences up against one-man attacks, should one centre-back not become a sweeper?” (Zonal Marking)

Could the sweeper be on his way back?
“The history of tactics is the history of the manipulation of space. Space is created – or emerges – for one player, and he begins to have a disproportionate influence on the game. Then a way is found to block him, and in turn space will appear somewhere else on the pitch.” (Guardian – 22 September 2009)


Time to Introduce Technology to Football?

July 24, 2010

“The debate about the implementation of the various technologies in football such as the Hawkeye system used in tennis to determine whether the tennis ball falls into or outside of the court has been raging for quite some-time. It has died down in recent times due to the persistent unwillingness of FIFA, the world’s football governing body to implement such technologies in football.” (Beopedia)


Vive la Blanc revolution

July 24, 2010


“The French have a history of doing revolutionary things, and Laurent Blanc’s decision not to call up any of the players that were on ‘the bus of shame’ when les Bleus refused to train at the World Cup is almost up there with lopping the head off Louis XVI. It was the hapless king’s dilettante wife, Marie Antoinette, who declared, ‘Let them eat cake’, and it seems Blanc has taken a leaf out of the Queen’s book with a devil-may-care ditching of every single player who rebelled in South Africa.” (ESPN)


How pre-season jollies got turned into serious money-makers

July 24, 2010

“Judy Garland’s Dorothy followed the yellow brick road to Kansas; Manchester United believe their path to play the city’s Wizards tomorrow is paved with gold. Whether it is the ideal preparation for a 10-month English season remains to be seen. Last weekend United played in Toronto. Next weekend they play in Guadalajara. Besides Canada, Mexico and the American Midwest they will have also fitted in matches in Philadelphia and Houston before returning to England, via a game in Ireland, for the Community Shield.” (Independent)


Diagnosis: Merthyr

July 24, 2010

“One of the perceived anomalies in European club football is the presence of the six Welsh clubs in the English league system. What a lot of people don’t realise, however, is that historically the Football League was the pinnacle of a system that encompassed both England and Wales, and that prior to the launch of the Football Conference in 1979, Welsh football clubs mainly competed in regional leagues that were the pinnacle of non-league football in England and Wales.” (twohundredpercent)