Daily Archives: August 19, 2010

The Best, The Best, and The Best

“I owned a football encyclopaedia as a child, dating from around 1980 and now sadly lost, in which Jimmy Greaves rates the top ten footballers of all time. Pelé is number two. Greaves notes that he can’t be considered the best ever, because he was never tested in the English League, the toughest competition in the world. So George Best gets the accolade instead.” (Run of Play)


Internacional’s trophy remains nothing short of remarkable

“The prospect of the first Mexican winners of the Copa Libertadores flickered briefly on Wednesday night. In last week’s first leg of the final, Chivas Guadalajara had been outplayed and beaten 2-1 at home by Internacional of Brazil. Few people gave them much of a chance in the return game. In front of their own fans in Porto Alegre, Internacional had a 100 percent home record.” (SI – Tim Vickery)

The Synonym

“When People Who Don’t Like Football ask me why I do, I invariably answer: ‘You know Pelé? Well, it’s not because of him.’ Then I launch straight into the tragic story that is Garrincha’s life. I explain how he was Pelé’s direct opposite in so many ways. I’ve gotten pretty good at telling that story over the years. I try to make the game tangible for those poor lost souls. Lots of passion. Lots of Alegria do povo.” (Run of Play)

From Russia without gloves

“You wouldn’t think UEFA and the Oxford University Press has the kind of relationship where the former helps the latter do its job. However, after introducing a Europa League into football’s bloated calendar, never again will the makers of English language dictionaries struggle for the relevant example to elucidate ‘ambiguous’! PSV Eindhoven sit atop the Eredivisie table after 2 rounds, but start life in the 2010/11 edition of UEFAs second-class competition after a disappointing campaign last season.” (Tactics, analysis, opinion, & scouting)

Rangers: The Future Is As Murky As Ever

“This weekend the News of the World reported that the Andrew Ellis takeover of Rangers was back on, this time with funding from the almost inevitable Russian tycoon, in the form of Vladimir Antonov. The ‘paper quoted a “source close to” Antonov who claimed the deal was ‘99% complete’. This apparently came as news to Rangers who immediately denied any knowledge, and indeed to Antonov who also denied that any contact had been made, though he didn’t deny an interest. At the moment it seems likely to be yet another red herring in the ongoing Rangers saga, but for all the denials there is some plausibility to the idea that Ellis and Antonov might have teamed up. Antonov has the cash and is searching actively for a football club in which to invest it.” (twohundredpercent)

Match Of The Midweek: Lewes 2-1 Thurrock

“After a defeat at Staines Town in their opening Blue Square South match of the season on Saturday afternoon, the real test followed for Lewes this evening. Tonight’s match against Thurrock wasn’t merely their first home match of the new season. It was the first test of a brave new world, the first chance to see if they have a chance of stabilising their club under new management.” (twohundredpercent)

Werder Bremen 3-1 Sampdoria: Late Pazzini goal keeps the tie alive

“Bremen were the better side and looked to be sailing through to the group stage, but their loss of concentration might come back to haunt them. The game was an interesting match-up in terms of formations – Bremen played a 4-3-1-2 / 4-4-2 diamond system, with Aaron Hunt shuttling across the pitch into wide areas, hoping to impress after the departure of Mesut Oezil.” (Zonal Marking)

Paul Scholes: Adapta-Dull

“For the past week Paul Scholes has deservedly had his name in lights, and you imagine he’s spent most of the time squinting. Compliments sit as cosy as crabs in the pants of the Manchester United midfielder, or so we are led to imply from his meek, modest, once in a fuchsia moon post-match interviews. Every so often a marvellous performance, like that in the 3-0 win over Newcastle last night, demands his interrogation by the media, and he proves to be consistently coy.” (Spotters Badge)