Hannover 2-1 Stuttgart

December 11, 2010


“A brace from Didier Ya Konan punished two defensive mistakes as Hannover moved into second place. As a result, Stuttgart will be stuck in the bottom three over the winter break. Stuttgart came into this game as the only team who hadn’t won away from home in the Bundesliga this season, and knew that a win wouldn’t even be enough to lift them out of the drop zone. Hannover, on the other hand, went into the game knowing that a win would give them a new club record of five consecutive victories – and, as mentioned in the introduction, a win would also lift them up to second place. That’s Hannover. In second place. In December. Oh, and they’d be taking that position from Mainz. Yes, Mainz.” Defensive Midfielder

Tactical Breakdown: How High-Flying Hannover Edged Struggling Stuttgart
“A brace from Didier Ya Konan punished two defensive mistakes as Hannover moved into second place. As a result, Stuttgart will be stuck in the bottom three over the winter break. Stuttgart came into this game as the only team who hadn’t won away from home in the Bundesliga this season, and knew that a victory wouldn’t even be enough to lift them out of the drop zone. Hannover, on the other hand, went into the game knowing that a win would give them a new club record of five consecutive victories.” Goal

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Newcastle United 3 – 1 Liverpool

December 11, 2010

“Andy Carroll and Joey Barton combined to hand Alan Pardew a winning start to his Newcastle reign as jeers turned to cheers at St James’ Park. The 21-year-old England international’s 10th goal of the season cemented a priceless victory for the Magpies after Scouser Barton’s 80th-minute strike had restored their lead.” ESPN

Alan Pardew’s Newcastle era begins with a gutsy win against Liverpool
“There have been almost as many fake messiahs as false dawns on Tyneside, but for a brief moment at least Newcastle fans have reason to believe that Alan Pardew may prove an unexpected answer to their woes after all. A gritty, gutsy win will not erase the mystification and misery induced by the club’s bizarre decision to sack Chris Hughton last Monday but at least it buys the latest messiah time to implement his personal blueprint for Geordie salvation.” Guardian


Crucibles and Coffee Houses

December 11, 2010

“While football may have been initially organised and codified on English soil, the tactical and theoretical development of the game has historically been cultivated in other pockets of Europe, most notably the inter-war bourgeois societies of the Danubian region. From Vienna, to Budapest, to Prague and beyond, football was met with a deeply philosophical and sophisticated approach to the game which resulted in a distinctive style of play emerging from Central Europe. The social driving force behind this development was, of course, the coffee house.” The Equaliser


When Warriors Speak

December 11, 2010

“It’s a day in the Premier League, and a lot of players are having thoughts about events! To you, that may sound like a joke, but to these grim warriors, whose wills are ruthlessly fixed on the next match, whose eyes scan a horizon more threatening than you or I could imagine, whose minds, if we could see inside them, would look like a slow camera-pan up a desolate mountainside, climbing higher and higher, past walls of rock, razor-sharp outcroppings, and windswept, snow-covered goats, past the bones of forgotten adventurers, past the shattered faces of cliffs, into a bleak, snowy nowhere a stone’s throw from the sky, where a lone castle rises like a spire, eternally vigilant, eternally armed against the encroachment of any imaginable foe—these proud champions understand that sometimes the best way to prepare for an epic battle is to engage in an absolutely piss-tacular slapfight.” Run of Play


Barcelona and the Sacrifice of Principles

December 11, 2010


“One of the more singular quirks of some football rivalries is an appropriation of the moral high ground by one club over another. It can be seen in some ways in the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers, where the perception from the outside has long been of a near-bunker mentality at Ibrox. A similar situation exists in Spain, where Barcelona have, in recent years, become a symbol of something other than just football. FC Barcelona was in itself, long ago, a political statement. Camp Nou was, in Franco’s Spain, the only place where Catalan nationalist feeling could be openly expressed and, although it is now more than three decades since the general’s death, a sense remains that Barcelona stands for something “other”, while Real Madrid are the club of the establishment.” twohundredpercent


La semaine en France: Week 16

December 11, 2010

“Just as Marseille looked to be gathering momentum, a setback arrived in the form of a 1-0 defeat at Nice. Little matter that OM dominated the game at the home of their Mediterranean near neighbours. They barely created a chance of note and were punished in the second minute of injury time when former Reading man Emerse Faé side-footed home unmarked from Anthony Mounier’s cut-back.” Football Further


Liverpool FC: On The Up?.

December 11, 2010

“It’s only fair to acknowledge that Liverpool have been playing well and moving up the league of late. After a fairly terrifying start to the campaign in almost all respects, things have settled into a more comfortable pattern. It took 16 games, but the Reds are finally into positive goal difference, the latest arrival at that point since 1964/5.” Tomkins Times