Gerrard’s best position for club and country remains open to debate

September 7, 2010


“Twenty years ago, it would have been obvious what Steven Gerrard was. He has boundless energy, a ferocious shot and an extraordinary capacity for bending games to his will. Think of his goals against Germany in the 2001 World Cup qualifier in Munich, against Olympiakos in the 2005 Champions league quarterfinal and against West Ham United in the 2006 FA Cup final. On each occasion, as the ball dropped to him, there was a magnificent inevitability about the ball flashing from his boot into the net. There was something of the comic book about him, a hero who always did what was needed just when it was needed.” (SI)


Slide Rule Passes And…Slide Rules

September 7, 2010

“Title challengers, and relegation battlers. Under normal circumstances, the two would be mutually exclusive terms in which to describe a football team. Under the unique way in which the Argentine system is run, though, they’re more than compatible. On Sunday, River Plate lost for the first time this season, putting them in the direct relegation positions for the first time this year in spite of the fact that they’re only two points off the lead in the title race. Only in Argentina.” (In Bed with Maradona)


Estonia 1-2 Italy: a decent start for Prandelli

September 7, 2010

“Italy fell behind and looked to be struggling for goals, but Estonia’s awful marking from set-pieces came to their aid. Tarmo Ruttli chose an experienced XI, in a broad 4-4-1-1 formation, with Konstantin Vassiljev playing just behind the pacey Sergei Zenjov. Cesare Prandelli set his side out in a 4-3-3, with Simone Pepe keeping wide on the right, and Antonio Cassano just off Giampaolo Pazzini to the left, a combination that works well at club level.” (Zonal Marking)


Pretend excitement over a pretend match

September 7, 2010

“La Liga Loca was going to waffle on about Spain’s clash with Argentina on Tuesday night. Then the blog suddenly remembered that it didn’t really give a hooping hoot about international football. And definitely not about international football friendlies. And definitely, definitely not about international football friendlies where Víctor Valdés is given minutes, something that Marca predict will happen in El Monumental, thus making the game as pointless as getting the Andalusian-accented José Antonio Reyes to record an audiobook.” (FourFourTwo)


Injury rules Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt out for four weeks

September 7, 2010

“Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt will be sidelined for four weeks after injuring his shoulder while on international duty with the Netherlands. The 30-year-old suffered the injury while training for Tuesday’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Finland and returned to Liverpool for tests.” (BBC)