Daily Archives: October 11, 2010

Scotland embarrassed by Tartan Army and Gaelic socks

“‘Oben am jungen Rhein’ (Up above the young Rhine) is played to the same tune as ‘God Save The Queen’, still the official national ditty of anyone living in Scotland. When Sky Sports News replayed the booing which permeated Liechtenstein’s anthem during their visit to Hampden last month, many a little Englander no doubt bemoaned the anti-British impudence of ‘the sweaties’. The Sweaty Socks. The Jocks. Yet that pejorative rhyming slang provides a clue to the whole problem.” (WSC)

Removing the Romanticism from an Unexpected Victory: Denmark – Euro ’92.

“Denmark’s victory in the Euro Championships in 1992 had all the ingredients of a unforgetful footballing fairytale. It is the story of a team who didn’t qualify for the finals who went onto win the thing, beating the World Champions, the French and the Dutch; surely this would be a story that was woven into the tapestry of footballing folklore?” (Talking About Football)

Brazil happy to experiment

“Brazil will expect another commanding performance from Thiago Silva when they take on Ukraine at Derby’s Pride Park in an international friendly on Monday. The 26-year-old Milan defender was in fine form in last Thursday’s 3-0 win over Iran – especially important as his centre-back partner David Luiz had a poor game, obliging Thiago Silva to show off his excellent sense of cover.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)


Futebol, Alex Bellos. The best book around about the most successful footballing nation in the world. As with many of these books, the obvious line is that it is ‘not just a book about Brazilian football, but also one about Brazilian culture’. But as interesting as some of the more general parts of the book are, it is at its best when discussing the actual football, after all, Brazil has probably the most distinctive way of playing the game of any national side. The parts about some of the great characters (the likes of Pele and Zico) and the great games, like the 1950 and 1970 World Cup finals – are excellent.” (Zonal Marking)

Archibald: Scots must capitalise on Xavi’s absence

“Reigning World and European champions Spain have an unblemished qualification record in Group I following consecutive victories over Liechtenstein and Lithuania, and former Scotland striker and La Liga aficionado Steve Archibald says his countrymen should count themselves lucky they’ll at least be spared the task of trying to stop two of the world’s best when the two sides clash on Tuesday.” (ESPN)

Moldova 0 – 1 Holland: Is the deep-lying playmaker the way forward?

“The runners up of the past World Cup have started their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign well. Holland is grouped with Sweden, Hungary, Finland and Moldova, San Marino. The Dutch and the Swedes were expected to battle for first place, and indeed so far these two team managed to win all of their matches. Compared to the team that finished second in the past World Cup, Holland has been changed on several positions. In discussing the 0-5 away victory at San Marino, the positional changes have been explained in detail. Of the team playing the final against Spain three months ago, seven players featured again in the match against Moldova.” (11 tegen 11)

Laurent Blanc’s ‘coaching’ wins it for France

Laurent Blanc
“October 14th 2009, that was the last time France had won in front of their home fans when they beat Austria in World Cup qualifiers. A win at the Stade de France was long overdue and the three points against Romania will do the greatest of good to Laurent Blanc and his men, now top of Group D. Les Bleus dominated the play for most of the match, creating many chances, but could not find a way past a clinical Costel Pantilimon. The decisive factor ended up coming from Laurent Blanc’s inspired coaching as substitutes Loïc Remy and Yoann Gourcuff secured a second consecutive win for France.” (Match Centre)

Portugal 3-1 Denmark: Everything Turned Bento

“‘Everything turned Bento.’ That brief but illustrative phrase (it’s a rough translation, thanks to one of my Twitter followers for an explanation here, here and here) appeared as a headline in the Saturday edition of Record, who, along with their peers in Portugal’s sporting press, were left scrambling on Friday evening for original ways of saying: ‘wow, that was actually quite good wasn’t it?’ Answer: yes, yes it was. Portugal’s 3-1 victory over a fairly listless Denmark outfit might not herald a return to the golden generation, but considering what had recently gone before, it was a much-needed return to form. Here’s a few disconnected thoughts on Friday’s display.” (cahiers du sport)

Spain’s ugliness a problem for Scotland

“It was the kind of game Harry Redknapp would have loved had he been a national team manager and widely successful at the job to boot. ‘I woz daaahn to the bare bones,” he would have tooted. “Eight of the lads wot were in the squad wot won the World Cup wasn’t abaaaht. But we dug deep, stuck the big lad up front with that kid that looks like an ‘amster aaaht wide and they done the business.'” (FourFourTwo)

Wrap Wilshere In Cotton Wool, But Dont Give Him A Make-Over

“Imagine, if you will, that England are a goal down to Montenegro with thirty minutes to play on Tuesday night. It’s not such a far-fetched proposition. The team from the tiny nation that borders the Adriatic have so far gained three straight single-goal victories and currently top Group G. Fabio Capello’s side might have enjoyed two comfortable wins themselves too at the beginning of their qualification campaign for Euro 2012, but a win at Wembley this week should not be taken for granted.” (twohundredpercent)