Messi to Madrid!

“Ah, summer, when the breezes blow and the international soccer media lose all contact with reality. If you thought the World Cup was the only highlight of the season, or that soccer fans should concern themselves only with events that happen in the real world, then you have been missing one of the game’s distinctive pleasures. I refer, of course, to transfer gossip, a popular but critically underappreciated genre of soccer writing comprising frothy speculation about players shifting teams, usually in exchange for massive sums of money. In most European leagues, the summer transfer window—one of two periods during which teams are allowed to buy and sell players—runs from the first day of July to the last day of August, meaning that the peak of the summer transfer-gossip season is now upon us.” (Slate)


The Highs And Lows Of Slovak Football

“The Slovak National Team certainly made an impact on world football this summer in South Africa dumping holders Italy out of the World Cup in dramatic style. Their 3-2 victory at Ellis Park Johannesburg was one of the most exciting matches of the tournament, and reaching the last 16 was an achievement way beyond expectations for the nation of 5.5 million people playing at their first ever major tournament.” (In Bed with Maradona)

Sampdoria 3-2 Werder Bremen (AET): Pazzini puts Sampdoria in charge, but subs prove crucial

“An amazing second leg of a superb tie sees Bremen progress thanks to a dramatic late show, whilst Sampdoria must settle for the Europa League. Both teams changed shape from the first leg, with plenty of personnel changes too. Sampdoria set out with a strange formation vaguely resembling a 4-4-2 diamond (more on that later), with Stefano Guberti and Daniele Dessena starting in midfield, and Marius Stankevicius replacing the suspended Stefano Lucchini.” (Zonal Marking)

Football: A Question of Interpretation

Wassily Kandinsky, Project for Yellow, Red, Blue
“The beauty of football is that it is essentially a subjective pastime, it can be as simple or as complex as the individual wishes it to be. There is no one way to watch football, no template for interpretation, no defined set of behaviours to adhere to. Football can be mathematical, it can be scientific, it can be poetic and it can be abstract. The same simple action can be delineated in a multitude of ways, each as improbable as the last.” (The Equaliser)

Getting The Hang Of Football On The Internet

“In no small part, the print media and the film and music industries both made the same mistake with the arrival of the internet. They both reacted to slowly at first to the new technology and both are repenting their tardiness at their leisure. The print media have been unable – yet – to find a method that successfully been able raise revenue from the shift to online viewing (and the silence from The Times after their paywall went up would seem to indicate that the numbers probably haven’t been spectacular, although Rupert Murdoch has described them as “strong”), but how will football, which has been happily wedded to television for the last two decades or so, react to changes in viewing habits?” (twohundredpercent)

Serie A 2010-11 season preview

“The gloomy headlines are as familiar to followers of Serie A as the six o’clock alarm to Phil Connors during a stay in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Italian football is not so much trapped in groundhog day as groundhog season, but the editorials are just as repetitive. Season ticket sales are down and marquee names have left. There’s violence in the stands and on the pitch. Debt levels are mounting and Serie A’s clubs are at loggerheads with the national federation.” (Guardian)