Year of Xavi

January 8, 2011


“Nearly two years ago, the Daily Mail’s Matt Lawton published a piece under what should surely be considered one of the most dunderheaded headlines in recent football journalism: ‘The best players of the world (and Xavi): Ronaldo crowned king of football.’ In the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s ascension as the world player of the year in 2009, Lawton took the time to cheekily ridicule Xavi Hernández, a player whose patience, measure, and impeccable sense of the tempo in attack and defense has helped to make Barcelona the best club side in Europe (arguably) and Spain the best national side in the world (most certainly).” Run of Play


Hodgson Gone, Dalglish Returns.

January 8, 2011

“So, Roy Hodgson has left Liverpool by mutual consent, and has been replaced by Kenny Dalglish for the remainder of the season. Hodgson leaves with a dignified statement, but his time at the club was disastrous (although the man who replaces him knows the true meaning of ‘disaster’).” Tomkins Times


Kenny Dalglish isn’t the long-term solution. But he understands Liverpool

January 8, 2011

“Here’s a thing about Roy Hodgson. An intelligent man, one of the few football types who knows which way up to hold a book, Hodgson’s favourite novelist is JP Donleavy. A grand choice, is that; the Irish-American is one of the 20th century’s greatest writers. But Roy’s pick from the Donleavy canon – defined by the bona fide 1955 classic The Ginger Man – is a throwaway 1979 effort called Schultz, a novel the author himself would struggle to recall. This is like saying your favourite Shakespeare play is Timon of Athens, or that your favourite Beatles song is PS I Love You. Or that the most dependable left-back in the world is Paul Konchesky.” Guardian


1930s Month: Sindelar & the ‘Wunderteam’

January 8, 2011

“An elegant Danubian centre-forward know to his contemporaries as ‘The Mozart of Football’, Matthias Sindelar was arguably the finest European player the 1930s produced. Born in Kozlov in the Austro-Hungarian Empire to a family of Moravian descent, Sindelar’s career began in Vienna in 1916 and continued upon a steep upward trajectory until his tragically premature death 1939.” The Equaliser


United invincible — so far

January 8, 2011


“Manchester United’s Tuesday night victory over Stoke City epitomized its season so far. The Red Devils managed just two shots on target, yet recorded a 2-1 victory. This season has rarely seen them hit top form, but they’ve still managed to consistently pick up results in the classic winning-without-playing-well formula — the mark of potential champions. Incredibly, they also remain the only unbeaten team after half of the season, with 12 wins and eight draws.” ESPN


Arsenal 1-1 Leeds: Leeds close to another shock

January 8, 2011

“A penalty for either side – Arsenal’s coming in the final minute – meant these two sides will have to settle the tie at Elland Road next week. Arsene Wenger made sweeping changes to his side, keeping only Alex Song and Johan Djourou from the XI that failed to beat Manchester City. Nicklas Bendtner was used on the right, with Marouane Chamakh upfront.” Zonal Marking

Arsenal 1-1 Leeds United – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – FA Cup
The 90th Minute


Ten storylines to follow in Serie A

January 8, 2011

“These are the top 10 storylines to keep an eye on in 2011 as Serie A resumes play…” SI