The difference between two derbies – illustrating the change from Benitez to Hodgson.

October 22, 2010


“It was no surprise that Liverpool lost the 214th Merseyside derby given their woeful start to the season. No Liverpool fan, not even the most pessimistic of follower, would have fathomed such baffling results and such perturbing performances on the field given the strength of their squad at the start of the season. With some trading-up and trading-down from both Rafael Benitez and Roy Hodgson over the past couple of seasons, the majority of the Liverpool team still remain from the title challenging season of 2008-09. Crippled by the Hick’s and Gillett’s unwillingness to service the promises they provided when they took over the club, Liverpool stumbled around the Premier League last season, like a common drunk who is just about on their last legs before slumping face first into the bar.” (Talking About Football)

Napoli 0-0 Liverpool: the home side not brave enough when going forward“A fairly uneventful 0-0 at the Stadio San Paolo. Napoli played broadly their usual system, although here it frequently looked like a 3-4-3 rather than a 3-4-1-2 or a 3-4-2-1, as has been more accurate in recent games. Michele Pazienza and Walter Gargano started in midfield, whilst Hugo Campagnaro was in on the right side of defence, with Salvatore Aronica on the other side.” (Zonal Marking)

Napoli 0-0 Liverpool – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats
(The 90th Minute)


Video of the Week: Match of the Eighties, 1983/84

October 22, 2010

“It’s a couple of days later than usual, but this week’s Video Of The Week returns to the BBC’s ‘Match Of The Eighties’ series and on to the 1983/84 season. Liverpool had run away with the 1982/83 league title and they were to repeat this by finishing three points clear of Southampton, with Nottingham Forest in third place. How times have changed. Meanwhile, it wasn’t a terribly good year for most clubs in the Midlands – West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City, Coventry City, Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers took up the bottom six places in the First Division.” (twohundredpercent)


Pjanic on the streets of Lyon

October 22, 2010

“There are few things fellow Rambler and South American football guru Rupert Fryer likes better than discussing what constitutes a ‘true number 10’, as I rediscovered at dinner last week. From here we got onto a mutual pet subject, the marvellous Miralem Pjanic. Rupert, and Jonathan Wilson, who with us, both aired their doubts over Pjanic’s future, following the arrival of Yoann Gourcuff at Lyon. Two playmakers in the same team? These days, only if Rupert was the gaffer.” (The Football Ramble)


La semaine en France: Week 9

October 22, 2010


“The Ligue 1 table has a slightly more familiar look to it ahead of the 10th round of matches, after victories for all the big teams last weekend. Paris Saint-Germain climbed to third with an impressive 2-0 win at Toulouse on Saturday. Mevlüt Erding claimed only his second goal of the season to seal the win, finishing a neat move involving a typically ornate flick from Nenê and an astute through-ball by Ludovic Giuly. Paris are above Marseille on goal difference after the champions edged Nancy 1-0, with Loïc Rémy claiming his first OM goal – and taking a swipe at Damien Gregorini’s face in the process – to cover up an unconvincing display from Didier Deschamps’s side.” (Football Further)


Werder’s defense still an issue

October 22, 2010

“Some goals Werder Bremen conceded in the 4-0 drubbing at Internazionale last month were so soft that Italian football paper Gazzetta dello Sport rechristened the team ‘Werder Crema.’ It was a charitable assessment; Gazzetta easily could have reached for a stronger Italian word.” (SI)

Panathinaikos 0-0 Rubin Kazan: little invention from attackers and a good result for neither
“A disappointing match in which both sides’ shooting ability deserted them.
Panathinaikos lined up with their now customary 4-2-3-1 system. Simao sat infront of the defence with Kostas Katsouranis playing a more energetic role, and linking up with Giorgos Karagonis. Luis Garcia started from the left and drifted into the centre, whilst on the other side, Stergos Marinos linked up with with Loukas Vyntra, the right-back.” (Zonal Marking)

Inter Milan 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats
(The 90th Minute)

Twente 1 – 1 Werder Bremen: A self fulfilling prophecy for defensively tuned Twente
“Dutch champions FC Twente faced Werder Bremen at home for their third Champions League Group stage match tonight. This offered them a chance at revenge for both team’s match-up last season when the Germans knocked Twente out of the Europa League competition in the first knock-out stage. After winning 1-0 at home, Twente went on to lose the second tie 1-4.” (11 tegen 11)

UEFA Champions League Power Rankings After Matchday 3
“The Champions League is halfway through the group stage and the contenders to win the title have not really changed. Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern, and Real Madrid remain at the top. Other teams showing great form are Arsenal and Lyon who are both 3-0-0. The rankings are below and through October 21, 2010 and only include the top 8 (along with teams just missing the cut).” (The 90th Minute)


Love football, hate footballers

October 22, 2010

“If this week’s Wayne Rooney saga has done anything other than earn the Manchester United striker a huge pay rise and, presumably, an even huger grudge from his manager, it’s added yet another hammer blow to the wedge that is being driven relentlessly between players and supporters. The nutshell version of the story is that Rooney allegedly nailed a hooker, not-only-allegedly disgraced himself at the World Cup and allegedly briefed journalists that he wanted to leave United.” (twofootedtackle)

For a Break-Up [UPDATED]
“I, personally, have never been the type who dwells on heartache and tragedy. Others may whinge, but it’s never been my way. When a thing goes pear-shaped, you can either throw a bin through a window and steal a pair of trainers, or you can lift a pint to the good times and set about refactoring your tattoo situation.” (Run of Play)

Wayne Rooney, Manchester Uniter and Contempt
“Manchester United supporters have learnt a tough lesson this week. The fact that footballers are mercenaries may be common knowledge amongst fans of most clubs, but Manchester United, by virtue of their sheer scale, have been largely insulated from this. They have been able to hang on to the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs for years and years, and have been afford one major luxury that is denied to almost every other club – they sell, by and large, only when they need to sell and they feel that a player is surplus to requirements. Comments to the effect that they are not matching the ambitions of a player (a deliberately ambiguous statement – ‘not matching ambitions’ can quite easily be extended in its interpretation to ‘not doubling my wages’) are not something that they are used to.” (twohundredpercent)


History repeats itself as crowd trouble rocks Serbia

October 22, 2010

“Serbia is currently gripped by the dilemma of whether to cancel this weekend’s Belgrade derby between the country’s most famous clubs – Red Star and Partizan. This fierce debate was sparked by events which have once again cast the nation in a poor light around the world. Firstly, on October 10, Belgrade’s Gay Pride parade was marred by ugly scenes as right-wing football hooligans attacked security forces and laid waste to the capital city, resulting in more than €1 million (£890,000) of damage, 132 injured policemen and 249 arrests.” (WSC)