Man … Superman … Leo Messi

Leo Messi
“It’s not big and it’s not clever but sometimes swearing is the only thing that will do. Sometimes you’ve used up every other word and nothing else quite hits the spot. You’ve rummaged round the back of the sofa, rifled through the drawers, turned out your pockets and still come up empty. Pep Guardiola insisted that he was clean out of adjectives and frankly so was everyone else. Spain was suffering a severe shortage of superlatives last night. The Catalan newspaper Sport invited readers to send in headlines for what they had just witnessed and there were plenty of super, sensational and sublimes, some magic, magnificent and marvellouses, wows and wonderfuls, plus deities by the dozen, and even a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but still there was no way to really do it justice. No polite way anyway. Just wide eyes, a wider mouth and a simple: holy shit!” (Guardian)

Super Cup sulking and Özil obstruction
“On Saturday night, LLL was considering breaking a firm blog tradition by sacrificing its precious time to watch a pre-season friendly. In this case, the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup between Sevilla and Barcelona. That was, until it discovered that Barça bigwig Sandro Rosell wasn’t bothering to travel to the Sánchez Pizjuán – apparently because he wanted to make his official debut at the Camp Nou next week, showing that the expansion of his presidential ego is progressing at a very pleasing place.” (FourFourTwo)


Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal: Arsenal dominate, but only just grab a point

“A crazy game that neither side truly deserved to win. Arsenal’s side was largely as expected – injuries in the centre of midfield meant Jack Wilshere was deployed alongside Abou Diaby, who played a more conservative role than he likes. Laurent Koscielny made his debut alongside Thomas Vermaelen, whilst Marouane Chamakh also started. Liverpool played a 4-2-3-1 with Steven Gerrard deep alongside Javier Mascherano and Joe Cole as the link player. Milan Jovanovic played an industrious, Kuyt-esque role on the left, ahead of Daniel Agger in an “unfamiliar” left-back role.” (Zonal Marking)

10 Thoughts on Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal
“After the first heavyweight game of the 2010/2011 season (or was it, given it pitted 7th vs 3rd from last year?), here are ten observations and conclusions I came to after an interesting match…” (Just Football)

Robinho in urgent need of fresh start

“Robinho is in footballing limbo. He sat out Manchester City’s opening game of the Premier League campaign and although he might be in action in midweek in the Europa League, or possibly playing his football somewhere else before the end of the month, he needs to sort things out fast because this is a huge season for him. I well recall his debut in the Brazilian Championship for an astonishingly young Santos side that went on to lift the title. That was eight years ago. Eight years from now, Robinho will be 34 going on 35, so his time at the top has probably already passed the halfway mark and yet a huge question mark still hangs over him.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

The IBWM Serie A Preview

“Premier League, Premier League, Premier League….but where did last season’s Champions League winners come from? Italy of course. With the new Serie A season upon us, Rocco Cammisola looks at what we can expect. From afar it would appear that Serie A’s title race has been – and will be – a foregone conclusion this season. Inter have taken the past five Serie A titles, including the title awarded to them following the Calciopoli scandal, under 2 different managers. But last year’s campaign had its fair share of twists and turns to keep us captivated.” (In Bed with Maradona – Part 1), (In Bed with Maradona – Part 2)

You, me and Rothmans

“This week, it was with no small amount of delight that I took delivery of this season’s Sky Sports Football Yearbook (or ‘Rothmans’ as all football fans still refer to it). I haven’t had one for a long time – not since my teens – and had forgotten what a pleasure it is to leaf through its thin, cheap pages. Reassuringly still edited by father and daughter team Jack and Glenda Rollin, it does a brilliant job of reminding you all the stuff from previous seasons that you’d forgotten about – particularly the most recent season.” (Narrow The Angle)

EPL Weekend Review Show #1: EPL Talk Podcast

“The first weekend of the season went into the books with the final whistle at Anfield, Arsenal’s visit to Liverpool the EPL Talk Podcast Match of the Week. To talk about the match and the eight from Saturday, I was joined Sunday night by Kartik Krishnaiyer for the first EPL Talk Weekend Review Show of the season.” (EPL Talk)

Marseille already in the eye of a storm

“When Patrice Evra pointed out to Lilian Thuram that ‘walking around in glasses and a hat does not turn you into Malcolm X’, he could equally have been referring to Hatem Ben Arfa, albeit in a completely different context. The richly talented, if inconsistent, France international bore a faint resemblance to the human rights activist while posing for a moody portrait to accompany an interview with L’Equipe at Charles-De-Gaulle airport over the weekend. Ben Arfa’s beard and his choice of spectacles meant he certainly carried off the look of a freedom fighter, even if his behaviour has once again divided opinion.” (FourFourTwo)