Barcelona 5-0 Sevilla: Sevilla unable to cope with high pressing, movement, or Daniel Alves

November 1, 2010

“The showcase game of this La Liga round was effectively over before half-time. Barcelona played what many consider to be their strongest line-up. Xavi Hernandez was back in the side, Andres Iniesta was alongside him, with Pedro in the front three. Eric Abidal was at left-back.” (Zonal Marking)

Good Day, Bad Day: Brilliant Barça and Awful Arizmendi
“The Barcelona-barmy sports papers have more sensitive skin than that of the ludicrously pale La Liga Loca, so any slur and slurry thrown in the direction of the cash-strapped Camp Nou club tends to bring them to a bawling, lip-quiver before Sandro Rosell can say ‘cancel that UNICEF contract and sign the Halliburton deal!’” (FourFourTwo)

Normal Spanish Service Is Resumed
“As far as wake-up calls go, it was like being roused from the stickiest, most sensational of dreams by your ear drums being hooked up to church bells. This weekend’s football in la Primera stomped on any last, desperate and ultimately naive hope that this season’s title race might be anything other than a repeat of a Michael Bay-directed, deafening slugfest between Barcelona and Real Madrid.” (Football 365)

IBWM Meets Zonal Marking

November 1, 2010

“Zonal Marking has become the standard bearer for tactical analysis on the web and beyond. It’s creator & regular contributor to ’Football Weekly’ Michael Cox took time out to speak to IBWM’s David Hartrick…” (In Bed With Maradona)

English Premier League Match Of The Day (MOTD) Video Highlights For Saturday, October 30, 2010

November 1, 2010

“Below are MOTD video highlights for all the EPL matches on October 30, 2010. The full edition of Match Of The Day (which includes all the matches) can be found here.” (The 90th Minute)

Bolton Wanderers 0 – 1 Liverpool

November 1, 2010

Roy Hodgson
“Maxi Rodriguez struck a late winner at Bolton as relieved Liverpool finally climbed out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone. The Argentinian latched onto a brilliant Fernando Torres backheel to settle a competitive encounter at the Reebok Stadium four minutes from time. Both sides created numerous chances in an evenly-matched contest but Liverpool left satisfied knowing their near month-long stay in the bottom three was over.” (ESPN)

Bolton 0-1 Liverpool: An unconvincing performance but the Reds snatch 3 vital points
“Neither side dominated an even first half which saw both teams threaten without capitalising on their opportunities. Liverpool’s main offenders were Torres and Gerrard who both should have done better with decent chances. Bolton were happy to sit deep for long periods and let Liverpool keep the ball. (Presumably they saw how well this worked for Everton.) When they had an opportunity Bolton broke quickly and committed large numbers to their attacks. They were impressively drilled – Coyle is forging a tidy team at the Reebok.” (Micro LFC)

Roy’s 10-Game Rating
“Judge me after ten games, Roy Hodgson said earlier in the season. Well, it’s a damn sight better than it was after eight games, so he had a point. That said, it’s still only three wins in those ten games. That these wins were at home to West Brom and Blackburn, and away at Bolton, each by a single goal, in itself tells a story. Inspiring? No. Not even slightly.” (Tomkins Times)

Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Liverpool – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – EPL
(The 90th Minute)

La semaine en France: Week 10

November 1, 2010

“Setbacks for all of their major rivals allowed Marseille to move into second place last weekend and victory at home to leaders Rennes on Saturday night is guaranteed to take the defending champions back to the top of the pile for the first time since the end of 2009-10.” (Football Further)

Wayne’s World spins on its axis to an Old Trafford second coming

November 1, 2010

“It’s not often you can proclaim a stoic full back like Gary Neville a visionary, a man ahead of his time, but in an interview in March of this year – yes, a full seven months ago – the Manchester United veteran painted a picture. Displaying the prescience of a man who’d made a living from reading tea leaves all his life, he painted a future dilemma Wayne Rooney might face.” (Tribune)

The Rooney Saga A Little Historical Perspective
“Following Rooney Week earlier in October, when the Manchester United forward went from publicly requesting a move away from Old Trafford to signing a new five-year contract at the club within the space of 72 hours, the fallout from those days’ events lingers on. Rooney is likely to be out of first team action for longer than expected with an ankle injury – sustained after a training-ground tackle from Paul Scholes – that was evidently much easier to diagnose than the one his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, alleged the player was already carrying, a verdict that Rooney contested. For as long as the forward is injured he will be unable to break a scoring record that stands at no goals at club level from open play since 30th March.” (twohundredpercent)

Ronaldinho offered chance for final hurrah

November 1, 2010

“Ronaldinho has been recalled to the Brazil squad for the forthcoming friendly against Argentina and there are some who might think the call has come six months too late. When it all went wrong in the second half of that World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands, and coach Dunga looked along his substitutes bench in search of a saviour, was he really more pleased to see the likes of Julio Baptista than Ronaldinho?” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Is the Award of a 3-0 Win a Suitable Punishment?

November 1, 2010

“On Friday, UEFA announced the punishments for the abandonment of the Italy-Serbia European Championship Qualifier. As expected, Serbia did not get off lightly. The Football Association of Serbia (FSS) were fined €120,000, ordered to play a home qualifier behind closed doors, with a second game behind closed doors suspended for two years, as well as having their supporters banned from travelling to the rest of their qualifiers. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) were also fined the smaller amount of €100,000, and also ordered to play a game behind closed doors, suspended for two years. While the FSS were punished because their supporters were the cause of the trouble in Genoa on the night of the game, the FIGC were punished for failing to stop the Serbian fans entering the Luigi Ferraris stadium with flares and fireworks, and for the security operation failing to stop the pitch invasion that gave Scottish referee Craig Thomson no option but to initially delay the kick-off, and ultimately abandon the match.” (twohundredpercent)

PSV 0 –1 Twente: An excellent team effort by the reigning Eredivisie champions.

November 1, 2010

“This week’s top clash in the Eredivisie was without a doubt the match between the first and second ranked teams. And PSV – Twente did not disappoint at all. Both teams played a very open match and the high amount of midfield pressing in the first half did the game a lot of good. Not for the first time this season Twente converted a 0-0 half-time score into a win.” (11 tegen 11)