Daily Archives: September 9, 2010

The Zlatan Ibrahimovic Transfer Analysed

“Last week Barcelona sold their enigmatic Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Milan in a transfer that was astonishing not only because it came just 12 months after “Ibra” had moved to the Camp Nou, but also because the price was considerably lower than the amount the Catalans had paid to Inter for the mercurial forward. Although his performances in the blaugrana shirt had been a bit hit-and-miss, Ibrahimovic was by no means a complete failure, having scored 21 goals in all competitions, averaging a goal every other game in La Liga, where he helped Barcelona retain their title.” (The Swiss Ramble)


Norway 1-0 Portugal: A crazy Eduardo mistake and a resilient Norwegian defensive display

“Portugal continue their dreadful start to the qualification group – after two games they’re already five points behind table-toppers Norway. The home side made two changes from their win in Iceland – left-back John Arne Riise was injured, so was replaced by Espen Ruud, a player more comfortable on the right. John Carew was fit to start, so replaced Mohammed Abdellaoue – but only lasted 38 minutes before getting injured, and Abdellaoue was back in.” (Zonal Marking)

Holland in fine display against small San Marino

“This analysis of the Holland – San Marino game might come as a somewhat dated publication, which, in fact, it is… Although it’s been delayed due to busy times on several fronts, I’ve still decided to publish it, mainly for future reference. Last week saw the opening fixtures of the Euro 2012 qualification rounds with Holland kicking off against San Marino in the big-named, but small-sized Stadio Olimpico de Serravalle. The other teams in group E are Sweden, Finland, Moldova and Hungary and it looks like a two-horse race between Holland and Sweden for the qualification place with vice-World Champion Oranje being the big favorite of course.” (11 tegen 11)

Celtic – If You Know The History

“Another nail was hammered into the coffin of Scottish football last week when all three of their remaining entrants failed to qualify for the Europa League, leaving only Rangers to fly the flag. Nowhere was the disappointment more keenly felt than among Celtic supporters, who saw their beloved Hoops unceremoniously dumped out 4-0 by mid-ranking Dutch side Utrecht, after squandering a 2-0 lead from the home leg. This followed Celtic’s elimination from the qualifying stages of the Champions League by Portuguese side Braga, and meant that another European adventure was cut short almost before it had started. Manager Neil Lennon probably spoke for all fans when he complained, ‘I’m fed up with coming back from Europe with my backside being smacked’.” (The Swiss Ramble)

Scotland 2-1 Liechtenstein: An Inquest Into A Victory

“Scotland awoke from its hangovers yesterday morning a little unsure how to react to Tuesday’s 97th heroics (if that’s the right word). On the one hand there’s nothing like a last-kick-of-the-game winner to send you home happy, and every successful team can point to such bits of good fortune in games where it was barely warranted. On the other hand we know that we came within seconds of perhaps the most humiliating result in our history, and Stephen McManus’s late headed winner does not, in some eyes, mitigate such an awful display.” (twohundredpercent)

Football’s Greatest Managers…#9 Vittorio Pozzo

Pozzo is held aloft as Italy claim the 1934 World Cup
“A name that has unfortunately faded into obscurity in recent years, Vittorio Pozzo is undoubtedly one of the greatest managers of all time. One of the most relentlessly successful international coaches the game has ever seen, Pozzo led Italy to two World Cup triumphs and Olympic gold during his twenty years in charge of the Azzurri in three spells between 1912 and 1948.” (The Equaliser)

Batista gives Argentina cause to wonder

“What might have been? It’s not two months since Spain won their first world title to continue an utterly dominant spell which had begun with their Euro 2008 triumph. At the same World Cup, Argentina initially sparkled but were ultimately humiliated when the going got tough. Yet now, with a manager who’s swept through like a new broom, Argentina are able to not just beat, but demolish, the newly-crowned champions of the world. It makes one wonder.” (ESPN)

Brazilian football dabbles in politics

“Brazil’s celebrated 1994 World Cup double act of Bebeto and Romário are hoping to convert success on the pitch into political capital this October when the nation votes at federal, state and city level. Both players will stand for the same party – the Partido Socialista Brasileiro (PSB) – but they will be ploughing separate furrows. Indeed their last contact saw Romário fire Bebeto as coach of Rio side America earlier this year. Cynics suggest that Romário’s interest in politics suddenly surged in the wake of having to sell off his penthouse apartment in Rio’s nouveau riche Barra de Tijuca to pay off debts.” (WSC)