Good Day, Bad Day: Crying Coaches and Angry Kittens

January 10, 2011

Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem – View of an Italian Port
“Pep’s Dream Boys – as officially endorsed by FIFA on Monday night, according to the local press – beat Deportivo using the most basic trick in the tactical book against the Galician outfit: staying awake for the whole ninety minutes when facing their terrifically tedious opponents.” FourFourTwo

Real Madrid 4-2 Villarreal: Real battered in first half, but press higher to dominate the second
“Cristiano Ronaldo scored three goals and assisted another for Kaka, as Real came back from 1-0 and 2-1 down. Jose Mourinho used his usual 4-2-3-1 system. Sami Khedira was dropped with Lassana Diarra playing instead, whilst Kaka was again on the bench. Juan Carlos Garrido played Villarreal’s usual 4-4-2 / 4-2-2-2. Nilmar is still unavailable, so Marco Ruben started upfront. Marcos Senna and Carlos Marchena were also out – Jose Catala played at the back. Villarreal were excellent in the first half – by far the better side, and Jose Mourinho admitted after the match that the away side deserved to be leading at half-time.” Zonal Marking

Dalglish cannot refresh Liverpool yet

January 10, 2011

“If the past is another country, then Liverpool Football Club appear keen to emigrate. At a stroke, they have been taken back to 1990 and their last league title, to 1988 and one of the finest footballing sides this country has even seen and to 1986, when a grinning player-manager scored the goal that won Division 1 to set up a historic double.” ESPN

FA Cup Third Round Weekend 3: Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool
“If there is one thing that the last few weeks of Roy Hodgson’s time in charge of Liverpool Football Club became notable for, it was the mass of contradiction that enveloped it. Hodgson was the wrong man for the job at the wrong time, but the hysteria that seemed to engulf the club as the team failed to find any consistency (they neither lost nor won more than two successive matches under his stewardship) ensured that rational discussion was, broadly speaking, the first casualty of the debate that ensued. By the time of Hodgson’s inevitable sacking (and let’s not start chasing down the the alley of that most misleading of football clichés, ‘by mutual consent’, here), it was reaching the level of something approaching collective psychosis amongst Liverpool supporters.” twohundredpercent

Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool – English FA Cup
The 90th Minute

South American youngsters set to shine

January 10, 2011

“The season kicks off on my side of the Atlantic this weekend with one of the great hidden gems of the footballing calendar – the South American under-20 Championship.” BBC –  Tim Vickery

Sampdoria 2-1 Roma: Juan errors cost Roma as Sampdoria alter their shape to beat ten men

January 10, 2011

“Sampdoria battled back from 1-0 down to claim the three points. Domenico di Carlo played a 4-4-2 system, but was forced to leave flu-ridden Giampaolo Pazzini on the bench, with Nicola Pozzi coming in. Daniele Mannini and Fernando Tissone were left out with Vladimir Koman and Andrea Poli starting instead.” Zonal Marking

Internacional superstar

January 10, 2011

“Internacional de Porto Alegre may have been party to a piece of unwanted history in December, when they became the first team from one of the ‘traditional’ powers of South America and Europe to fail to reach the final of the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, but their fans were given something to celebrate, albeit as a small consolation prize, later in the month. On December 29, Inter’s Argentine playmaker, Andres D’Alessandro – formerly of Wolfsburg, Portsmouth and Real Zaragoza – was named the South American Footballer of the Year for 2010.” ESPN