Football, Blogs, and Newspapers Unite? Part One

November 11, 2010

“When I was a precocious thirteen year-old, my favourite part of the morning was grabbing my dad’s Toronto Star on the front stoop, taking it inside and laying it flat out on my kitchen table, and opening it up on the editorial page. There, I would find the Letters to the Editor, featuring rebuttals, corrections, and general complaints about recent articles posted by staff journalists and columnists. I always found the letters more interesting than the carefully prepared screeds they were attacking, and was fascinated that the newspaper would devote an entire page to reader dissent. I even sent a few letters in myself, and some were printed, much to my astonishment.” (Pitch Invasion – Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), (Part 4), (Part 5), (Part 6)

English Premier League Match Of The Day (MOTD) Video Highlights

November 11, 2010

“Below are video highlights for the Premier League matches on Wednesday, November 10, 2010. If a match doesn’t have a link, it’s not yet available but should be added soon.” (The 90th Minute)

Wigan 1-1 LFC: Reds invite pressure and pay the price

November 11, 2010

“Had Steven Gerrard‘s shot that hit the crossbar bounced down and in to give Liverpool the three points against Wigan, Roy Hodgson’s side would have moved up to fifth in the league – just three points behind Man City in fourth. However, had Liverpool won this game it would have been a huge case of papering over the, rather large, cracks in their performance and manager’s tactics. Not to mention a huge injustice for a Wigan side who outplayed their more illustrious opponents for 70 minutes.” (This is Anfield)

What the hell is Moneyball?
“I’ve seen many reference to ‘Moneyball’ since John W. Henry prised Liverpool F.C. from the cold, obnoxious palms of Tom Hicks and George Gillette last month, but what does it mean? And, given that it’s a baseball thing, can it be applied to football?” (The Long Ball Tactic)

Wigan Athletic 1-1 Liverpool – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – EPL
(The 90th Minute)

Manchester City 0-0 Manchester United: dull game with no drive from the centre of midfield

November 11, 2010

“A disappointing match that produced very few goalscoring chances. Roberto Mancini went with his usual 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 system. Mario Balotelli was suspended so James Milner came in, with David Silva switching to the left. Sir Alex Ferguson went with his one-striker formation, seeking to match City in midfield by playing Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick. Nani was on the right with Ji-Sung Park on the left. Rafael continued at right-back.” (Zonal Marking)

Match of the Midweek: Manchester City 0-0 Manchester United
“Perhaps it was ‘The Curse Of ITV’ returning to haunt us again. Last night, they showed a documentary about football in Manchester which examined, through the eyes of Eric Cantona, the current and historical state of the rivalry between Manchester City and Manchester United. The two clubs have had their fair share of drama from the matches between them in recent years, so perhaps it was understandable that ITV should choose to schedule this match at this time. Other corners of the press had, after all, also been been building the match up in a wearyingly predictable manner.” (twohundredpercent)

Highly-anticipated match offers little for most to cheer about
“Few Manchester derbies have ever been so hyped; few have ever been so disappointing. It was a game that yielded just one chance of note: the free-kick that Carlos Tevez curved toward the top corner after 35 minutes. The effort lacked pace, though, and Edwin van der Sar was able to make a simple enough diving save. And while most were probably bored rigid, Sir Alex Ferguson could congratulate himself on a job well done.” (SI)

Mad genius Jürgen Klopp takes youthful Dortmund to new heights

November 11, 2010

“It’s too early to tell whether Jürgen Klopp can follow in the footsteps of Bayern manager Louis van Gaal and win the Bundesliga championship this season. But the 43-year-old Klopp is certainly on course to have a similarly positive impact as the Dutchman had on the German national team.” (SI)

Dreams, Dutchmen, & Despair

November 11, 2010

“Wisla Cracow have forced their way to the top of the Polish game but are struggling to make it to the Champions League promised land. With a look at the reasons why, here’s Michal Zachodny.” (In Bed With Maradona)

Meet Portugal’s Boy Genius

November 11, 2010

“Some coaches get their shot with a major club at a relatively tender age (in coaching years, anyway). Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola was 37 when he got the gig. And there are those who get a crack at the big time without ever having played beyond amaetur level, like Aston Villa’s Gerard Houllier. There’s another, smaller subset which includes those who advanced to top jobs with little or no head-coaching experience, like Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho when he took over at Benfica.” (WSJ)

How do we spot diving? Why do players do it?

November 11, 2010

“Diving. Or simulation to use its FIFA approved name. Ask any player, manager or fan in the country and no doubt they’d tell you that they hate it, that conning a referee is never acceptable and that they don’t want to see their club benefit from flagrant cheating. Yet watch any match, from grassroots pub football to the World Cup, Premier League, La Liga, and you will see players accuse each other of feigning contact, referees booking players who they feel have dived and supporters getting angry that the opposition are cheating scumbags who should be in a swimming pool rather than on a football pitch.”(mindgames)