Daily Archives: September 30, 2010

Why CONCACAF is killing the best rivalry in North America

Oguchi Onyewu
“They’re killing the most important rivalry in American soccer. That’s my unavoidable conclusion after speaking to Chuck Blazer, the general secretary of CONCACAF, who confirmed that he expects FIFA to approve a new regional qualifying format for World Cup 2014. Under the new format, which has already been approved by CONCACAF, the U.S. and archrival Mexico — the two soccer giants in this part of the world — would almost certainly not meet during any of the qualifying games for Brazil 2014. Not even once.” (SI)


Valencia 0-1 Manchester United: 4-5-1 v 4-5-1 becomes 4-4-2 v 4-4-2, and United nick it late on

“Smash and grab – Javier Hernandez’s late goal settled a tight contest. Valencia were without Joaquin, so fielded a fluid Mata-Pablo-Dominguez trio behind Roberto Soldado, who started ahead of Aritz Aduriz. Jeremy Mathieu was preferred to Jordi Alba at left-back. Manchester United were without Wayne Rooney, which made it an easy decision to start with a 4-5-1 (indeed, it would have been interesting what Sir Alex Ferguson would have done if Rooney had been available. Michael Carrick and Anderson’s returns from injury were timed well in the absence of Paul Scholes, whilst Rio Ferdinand replaced Jonny Evans.” (Zonal Marking)

How Mainz stopped Bayern – in ten steps

“Mainz are THE story of the European season so far – top of the Bundesliga with six wins from six. Five wins from five was good enough, but few expected the run to continue, since they faced a trip to last season’s champions. But Mainz triumphed 2-1 over Bayern, using a 4-3-1-2 formation and pressing all over the pitch.” (Zonal Marking)

Internazionale 4 – 0 Werder Bremen

Samuel Eto’o
“Samuel Eto’o put Werder Bremen to the sword as Inter Milan delivered a lesson in clinical finishing at the San Siro tonight. The Cameroon striker scored a hat-trick and the influential Wesley Sneijder was also on target as the Champions League holders showed they are still a force to be reckoned with despite the departure of Jose Mourinho.” (ESPN)

Thoughts from the weekend: River Plate 1 – 1 Quilmes

“River Plate only managed a draw in the final match of the eighth round of the Torneo Clausura. They were playing Quilmes, a newly-promoted side and as such key opponents in River’s own battle against the relegation promedio as well as supposedly easy targets for three points in the chase for the title. River were dominant throughout the match, and it was difficult to recall more than a couple of chances for Quilmes, but the visitors came away with the result thanks to a healthy dose of good fortune, as much as anything. I was there, and here’s my attempt at making some sense of it.” (Hasta El Gol Siempre)

Should Spain`s Footballers Have Struck?

“At times it seemed that the players during Manchester United’s Champions League clash at Valencia were on some kind of pre-planned go-slow. It could have been a lot worse, though. Some of them could have actually been on strike. Wednesday was General Strike day in Spain, 24 hours of action called by the country’s main unions in protest over the government’s austerity measures and planned changes to the employment laws, which it claims are required to tackle the country’s debt and improve the crippling 22% unemployment rate.” (Football 365)