Fergie’s Conundrum: Opt for the 4-4-2 formation or stick with 4-5-1?

July 26, 2010


“Much of Wayne Rooney’s good form last season was put down to his role as lone striker. The 4-5-1 formation deployed by Sir Alex Ferguson saw Rooney enjoying the freedom to roam in the final third, with the majority of his 32 goals being scored in that position. Fergie still has a decision to make, however. Does he stick with the 4-5-1* going into the new season or does he turn his back on that and opt once again for the 4-4-2, a system in which United were consistently inconsistent with last year.” (ManUtd24)


Fans prefer skilful play over English virtues

July 26, 2010

“What do football fans enjoy seeing most, aside from goals for their team? The couple of pre-season friendlies I’ve been to this summer were fairly typical of what I usually witness during a season, in that moments that drew most applause involved skill – a player in possession beating an opponent, quick interchanges of passing, accurate shots forcing goalkeepers to make diving saves. The physical engagement that is reckoned to be one of the essential characteristics of English football – players getting stuck into tackles and visibly expending energy throughout the game – rarely stirs spectators in quite the same way.” (WSC)


So who is accountable then?

July 26, 2010

“England are out – finished, end of story. We did not go out on penalties, nor were we ‘very unlucky’. We were well beaten by a team that were man for man better than us. The Media may cry foul about Lampard’s goal, or the fact our pampered players play too much football, but isn’t it time we simply faced up to the fact that actually we are not as good as we like to believe?” (The Ball Is Round)


Raul and Real Madrid Move On Without Each Other

July 26, 2010


Raul Gonzalez
“Raul Gonzalez, the captain and leader of Real Madrid for more than a decade, will only see Jose Mourinho, the Spanish club’s new manager, in passing. Raul, 33, will leave the club where he has spent his entire career as Mourinho comes in to remake Real Madrid in the new ‘Galácticos’ era.” (NYT)


TP Mazembe and the Congolese regeneration

July 26, 2010

“Ever since enjoying a golden period of success during the late sixties Congolese football has struggled to become an established and consistent force on the international stage, the national side only ever having qualified for one World Cup – a humiliating experience in the country’s former guise as Zaire in 1974 – and producing little in the way of top-class talent.” (The Equaliser)


Let’s Hear It For… Barry Davies

July 26, 2010

“The most elegant and cultured midfielder England has ever produced? Glenn Hoddle, of course. It’s absurd that Hoddle won 53 caps for his country, especially when considering that a vastly inferior player such as David Beckham has more than twice that amount. But such was – is – the English mistrust of mercury. We never have figured out how to integrate brilliant individuals into a team.” (Who ate all the pies)