On Second Thoughts: Italia 90

October 15, 2010


Toto Schillaci
“As a footballing show it left a bit to be desired – but as a dramatic spectacle the World Cup of Schillaci, Milla, Gazza, Pavarotti and the rest was nothing short of immense” (The Sport Blog)


Tactics: Were Holland 1974 the last true innovators?

October 15, 2010

“The words are those of Carlos Alberto, captain of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning team, and they come from an interview published in the 50th anniversary issue of World Soccer magazine. The former Santos right-back is one of a number of greats – including Pelé, Bobby Charlton, Franz Beckenbauer and Diego Maradona – to have granted interviews to the magazine about the changes in the game over the last 50 years and their answers repeatedly return to the same complaints: that in becoming faster and more athletic, football has lost some of the artistry that was once central to its raison d’être.” (Football Further)


Football and the Far-right

October 15, 2010

“Sometimes The Beautiful Game isn’t so beautiful. Waking up to pictures of Ivan Bogdanov, the Serbian ‘fan’ fingered by the Italians as the mastermind behind yesterday’s Serbia/Italy riot in Genoa, sure was unsettling. He looks like the prototypical eastern bloc fascist, complete with grenade tattoo and everything. The Spanish newspaper, El País, described the scene outside the stadium, prior to kickoff, as a ‘real pitched battle.’ The scene inside the stadium didn’t look much different, and the game was called off after only six minutes.” (Touch and Tactics)


The tall tale of Peter Crouch’s aerial abilities

October 15, 2010


“Peter Crouch is a strange footballer in many ways. Chiefly, he simply looks very strange. His gangly nature makes him stick out like a sore thumb – he looks awkward when merely running onto the pitch, and at a time when a club like Barcelona are packing their side with quick, mobile, 5′7 players upfront, with other clubs around Europe seeking to move in that direction, the sight of 6′7 Crouch battling with defenders seems somewhat bizarre.” (Zonal Marking)


The Liverpool Crisis: Where Are the Lords and Masters?

October 15, 2010

“As the week has worn on, the situation concerning the ownership of Liverpool Football Club has descended into chaos. With each passing day, the tug of war for the ownership of the club has passed through low comedy, drama and bathos to the point that has started to feel exhausting. There is too much information. There are too many conflicting opinions. And with this exhaustion comes a feeling of profound depression and the feeling that, for all that we could have told the world – indeed, have tried to tell the world for several years – that it was always likely to end up like this, this situation has spiralled out of all control. If football supporters in England hadn’t had the extent to which their game has been taken away from them spelled out in plain enough language over the last twenty years or so, they surely have over the last week or so.” (twohundredpercent)

English Premier League, Week 8 Preview: EPL Talk Podcast
“Did you miss us? Kartik Krisnaiyer, Laurence McKenna and I missed yo during out near-two week break, with the EPL Talk podcast going silent during the international break. With players returning to their clubs, the show is back to look ahead to the eighth match day in the English Premier League. There is, however, this small news story to discuss first, with Liverpool on the verge of being sold to a different set of American owners. For the first half of the show, we talk about the slow and merciless end to the Tom Hicks, George Gillett era at Anfield.” (EPL Talk)


Football’s Greatest Managers: #3 Rinus Michels

October 15, 2010

“Rinus Michels’ association with Ajax was a truly lifelong one. Born in February 1928 just a stone’s throw from the Olympisch Stadion, Michels began playing in the club’s junior ranks in 1940 aged 12 and quickly marked himself out as an industrious young forward. Having had his career put on hold by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War Two, Michels eventually broke into the Ajax first team in 1946.” (Equaliser Football)


Antonetti has his cake and eats it at Rennes

October 15, 2010


“Frédéric Antonetti should really be watching the game. After all, the silver-tongued Corsican tactician is on the brink of a momentous achievement. Rennes are playing early pace setters Toulouse in Ligue 1 and if the Breton outfit win, they will go top of the table for the first time in 40 years.” (FourFourTwo)