Two for your Christmas wish list

December 8, 2010


“The last two weeks have been ones of significant travel delays for The Ball is Round team. Not only did we travel to the arctic wastelands of Northern Denmark to bring you all the action from Randers v FC Copenhagen, but we then had to endure Easyjet at its worst with a 5 hour delay long into the middle of the night, and finally closer to home we have had to suffer the ineptness of SouthEastern railways. But all of this time spent waiting gave us a chance to catch up on some long overdue reading and some new games on our iPhone.” The Ball Is Round

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UEFA Champions League Video Highlights

December 8, 2010

“Below are video highlights for all the Champions League matches on December 7, 2010.” The 90th Minute


Liverpool FC’s ‘Directorial’ Debut.

December 8, 2010

“The road that led to the manager’s position as it is currently understood – the man who is in charge of practically everything – has been a difficult and tortuous one. So domineering is the manager today that it is difficult to reconcile with the knowledge that it is a position that was born of the need to put a buffer between the team and those who owned it, one that was originally routinely carried out by the club secretary.” Tomkins Times


Video of the Week 2: Only a Game, the Story of Scottish Football, Part 3: The Player

December 8, 2010

“It’s time for another video, and tonight we return again to the 1985 BBC documentary series ‘Only A Game – The Story Of Scottish Football’. For the third part of this series, the focus is upon the player. The development of the player himself is particularly key to the growth of the game in Scotland. During the 1880s, many of the the first professional players to come into the new powerhouses of the English game were brought south from Scotland on account of their superior technical ability, and throughout the entire history of the game in the British Isles we have been fortunate to see such great players as Jim Baxter, Kenny Dalglish and Jimmy Johnstone, amongst many, many others. This video is divided into five parts, and our thanks go to the original uploader.” twohundredpercent


History teaches us that Fifa has changed little

December 8, 2010

“A couple of weeks ago I was doing the translating when Dan Roan interviewed former Fifa president Joao Havelange at the Soccerex conference in Rio de Janeiro. Still entirely lucid well into his 90s, the Brazilian was asked what needed to change in Fifa. ‘Nothing,’ he replied. ‘It’s perfect. It’s not because of one fact in 50 years [a reference to the recent corruption scandals] that we have to change.’ It is impossible to agree.” BBC – Tim Vickery


Porto’s Buy Low, Sell High Strategy

December 8, 2010


“When football fans witnessed Barcelona’s dazzling 5-0 demolition of rivals Real Madrid, they would have been forgiven for assuming that this was an unprecedented performance, but they would have only had to look back three weeks for a similar exhibition in Portugal, when Porto crushed Benfica 5-0 at the Dragão Stadium. The country’s most successful team of recent times thrashing its celebrated capital city opponents? Check. Inspired by a South American phenomenon? Check. Guided by a progressive young coach? Check. After finishing a disappointing third in the Portuguese League last season, Porto replaced their coach Jesualdo Ferreira with André Villas Boas, a protégé of José Mourinho.” The Swiss Ramble


Finisterrae

December 8, 2010

“These days, Diego Tristán would be hard to find. It’s tough work to watch him on television: The games he played last year for Cádiz, in Spain’s second league, weren’t nationally or internationally televised, and this year, with Cádiz in the third division, it’s hard to prove that he’s on the team at all. It’s much harder to go in person, even if you are in Spain. Good luck looking through the papers. He can assume a caustic, detached air in interviews—if he’s even interviewed—and is already referred to as a has- (or could have-) been.” Run of Play