IBWM Meets The Swiss Ramble

November 29, 2010


“At the moment we stand on the brink of a revolution. Football fans seeking something more than just the constant outpourings of The Sun about Fabio Capello now have a place to turn. The Internet has provided a platform for the enthusiast, the casual, the intelligent and the angry. Knowledge now has a platform once denied to all but a privileged handful and few are using it better than Kieron O’Connor, better known by many as simply ‘The Swiss Ramble’.” (In Bed With Maradona)


Rio violence has left its mark

November 29, 2010

“For much of Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, televisions in bars and restaurants were all showing the massive operation of security forces and their invasion of the Alemao group of favelas. By late afternoon, though, they had switched to coverage of the penultimate round of the Brazilian Championship. Viewers were transfixed by both.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)


Bayern Munich 4-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

November 29, 2010

“A quickfire second half double saw Bayern Munich leapfrog Frankfurt in the table and move to within 5 points of the Champions League spots. From the off, Bayern deployed their usual pass n’ patience tactics in the face of a 4-5-1 – part and parcel of being the visiting side at the Allianz Arena. Louis van Gaal had two playmakers on the pitch in Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos, and two direct attackers in Franck Ribéry and Thomas Müller. With so many options in the Frankfurt half, it’s little wonder Michael Skibbe kept his banks set, rather than pressing Bayern vigorously and leaving gaps for them to exploit.” (Defensive Midfielder)


Marseille yet to hit on all cylinders

November 29, 2010


“When Didier Deschamps was appointed as Marseille coach 18 months ago, the club had not won a trophy since winning the Champions League in 1993, back when Deschamps himself was captain. He soon ended the drought: Marseille, known in France as OM, the acronym of its full name Olympique de Marseille, won the French league last season and this week, in beating Spartak Moscow 3-0 away from home, reached the Champions League knockout stage for the first time since 1993.” (SI)


El Clásico: más que un partido

November 29, 2010

“El Clásico is not just the biggest game in Spain; it is the biggest game in all of European football. A clash between two of the game’s most famous institutions, this is a derby that transcends the boundaries of traditional rivalry and a fixture which has come to represent regional identities and the quest for pseudo-political superiority. This Monday, in a city that will be feverish with civic activity in the wake of the latest Catalan elections, Real Madrid and Barcelona will once again take to the field to do battle, the spectacular Camp Nou providing a fitting backdrop. As Phil Ball writes in his excellent book, Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football, the context to any Clásico is a century of mutual antipathy. This is no ordinary game of football.” (The Football Ramble)


Yellow and Green in Haiti: A Footnote to the Election Crisis

November 29, 2010

“In the midst of the brewing crisis over the election in Haiti, I’m taking solace in small, containable observations. Jude Celestin, the ruling party candidate who now stands accused by twelve other candidates of having carried out fraud at the polls today, made a shrewd choice in his campaign colors. As Emily Troutman noted in a pre-election article on the candidates, the green and white of his posters and shirts are the same as those of the Brazilian national team.” (Soccer Politics)


Palermo 3-1 Roma: 4-3-2-1 beats 4-3-1-2

November 29, 2010

“Palermo recorded a comprehensive victory over a toothless Roma side. Palermo’s star striker Fabrizio Miccoli is back, and he spearheaded a Christmas tree shape with Palermo pretty much at full strength. There were no changes from last week’s win over Cesena.” (Zonal Marking)


James Richardson

November 29, 2010


“Cast your eyes skywards on a clear night and, if you’re lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of a small pod circulating in near earth orbit. Contained within that small capsule is a group of people who – twice weekly – produce a master-class in football punditry, namely, The Football Weekly. Rallying those troops together in an attempt to reawaken Blighty with some European footie news interspersed with the odd welcoming pun is James Richardson, AC Jimbo to his mates.” (European Football Weekends)


All the bases are loaded

November 29, 2010

“Essex Park. Try finding that one on the map of grounds in Europe and I bet your efforts at locating it will end in frustration after you have trawled through the English Non Leagues. You see it isn’t on these shores at all. It’s in Denmark, in the city of Randers to be precise and is home to Superliga Randers FC. Quite why it is called such I do not know, but when someone recently asked me I vowed to find out and that is why at 6.30am on a freezing cold Sunday morning I was boarding a Ryanair flight to the even colder area of Denmark known as Jutland.” (The Ball is Round)


Reviewed – Pay As You Play

November 29, 2010

“With December looming, an array of reading matter will be flooding the shelves of your local bookshop. But what to pick? We had hoped to attract Richard & Judy to IBWM but they didn’t answer the phone. Iain Macintosh did though, so we gave him a book. Look what happened.” (In Bed With Maradona)


Premier League chalkboard analysis

November 29, 2010

“Manchester United’s new-look forward line, Arsenal’s pressing, Blackpool’s corners and Rafael da Silva’s tackling” (Guardian)