Daily Archives: October 19, 2010

The Trade Secrets Behind Lyon’s Rise

“Despite their victory over Lille last weekend, Olympique Lyonnais’ start to the season has been far from convincing with manager Claude Puel reportedly being given three games to save his job. Coming off the back of two seasons where Lyon finished “only” second and third in Ligue 1, questions have been asked about whether Puel is the right man to take the team forward. Although this would have represented success for almost any other club in France, the end of domestic league dominance must have felt like failure to those supporters whose team won the League an unprecedented seven years in a row from 2002.” (The Swiss Ramble)

Morality and Marlon King

“It’s easy and facile to suggest that morality has no place in football, that ultimately only results count, that money talks louder than ethics, and that fans don’t care anyway. The furore over the hiring of Marlon King by Coventry City aside, it’s obvious that morality, both of the general type and of a more specific version relating to football, is at the heart of most interesting discussions about football. Fans care passionately about the nebulous quality ‘fairness’, about the ‘right’ way to play, and even to which values their club should aspire. Almost everything that makes people angry and passionate about football is to do with some kind of morality. It’s just that they rarely care about what two (or three) consenting adults get up to in a hotel room (allegedly).” (Run of Play)

It’s Time For Under-Fire Hodgson To Take Some Risks

“We have all been there. Whether it is a way to pass time in school or a pub debate, we have created an all-star football eleven. Variations within the definition of the team can range from the best players you have seen in person to the best eleven to have played in your lifetime. I’m sure you’ve done it.” (Micro LFC)

Barcelona 2-1 Valencia: Barca outmanoeuvred early on, but stage second half fightback

“Unai Emery’s tactics worked a treat, but pure quality shone through and Barcelona were rampant in the second half. Xavi returned to action to boost Barcelona’s central midfield zone, so Andres Iniesta played in the forward three. Maxwell started at left-back, and Seydou Keita on the left of midfield. Valencia surprisingly omitted Juan Mata and instead used Ever Banega in an advanced midfield role, with Pablo Hernandez on the right. On the left, they pushed nominal left-back Jeremy Mathieu forward onto the left of midfield, with Jordi Alba playing at left-back. Roberto Soldado got the nod ahead of Aritz Aduriz.” (Zonal Marking)

Wayne Rooney and Manchester Uniter: A Sign of the Times?

“They booed the home team off the pitch at the end of Saturday’s match at Old Trafford between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion. For the fifth time in eight league matches this season, United had failed to win a league match and, although they remain unbeaten in the Premier League table and stay in the Champions League places for the time being, for Manchester United supporters that have been plumpened with almost two decades of unbroken success, this is what counts for underachievement. More troubling for supporters of the club, however, will be the apparent breakdown in the relationship between Sir Alex Ferguson and another of his employers’ most prized assets; Wayne Rooney.” (twohundredpercent)

Blackpool deserved more against a fortunate City

“This afternoon I had the pleasure of sitting down to watch a full Blackpool match for the first time this season: I did not think that it would an enjoyable experience, but it was. A thoroughly entertaining match, very open, packed full of chances and (controversial) incidents. Blackpool have exceeded the expectations of many this season; fully expected to be the whipping boys of the league, they currently sit in a commendable 10th position and have more than held their own over the course of the opening eight games.” (Football Express)

Possible Tactical Alternatives for Ireland

“With a chance to experiment in next month’s friendly against Norway, and the 2011 Nations Cup next year, there could be a few new faces in the Irish team. Here we look at some possible formations and starting lineups Ireland could field in next year’s Euro 2012 qualifiers, as well as our take on the future Republic of Ireland starting eleven, and even an outlandish go-for-broke set-piece tactic.” (Green Scene)

Luis Zubeldía — The Rising Star of Coaches

“Argentinian football coaches, it must be said, are a weird mob. Like artists or rock stars or politicians, it takes a certain type of person; a certain type of ego and a particular temperament, to be a successful coach, especially in Argentina. ‘Eccentric’ could be one word to describe the typical Primera Division coach. ‘Nutjob’ sounds better and is probably more accurate, even if Microsoft Word doesn’t acknowledge it as a real word.” (Argentina Football World)