Daily Archives: February 1, 2011

Striker Suarez fits the bill for Liverpool

Luis Suarez
“The last time I saw new Liverpool signing Luis Suarez in the flesh, he was playing his biggest game so far in his native continent. It was November 2009, and Uruguay were taking on Costa Rica with the final place in South Africa 2010 at stake. As Uruguay coach Oscar Washington Tabarez reflected recently, the World Cup can be enjoyed but the qualification process has to be suffered. Uruguay certainly suffered to book their place, and despite having a 1-0 lead from the away leg, they were certainly suffering that night against Costa Rica. They dominated the game, but while the goals refused to go in, nerves were jangling, especially for Suarez.” BBC – Tim Vickery

Agony and Empire
“And so it came to pass that a helicopter carrying Fernando Torres touched down on the wreckage of several earlier helicopters only thought to have been carrying Fernando Torres, and Fernando Torres raised his serene gaze from the book about helicopters that he had been reading on his helicopter and looked inscrutably out the window, leaving the rest of us to stare at his helicopter and wonder what it all could mean.” Run of Play

What’s next for Torres & Co.?
“After a flurry of activity on Monday, the January transfer window is closed. Clubs won’t be able to wheel and deal again until the summer. In the meantime, many teams will now have to adjust to new players joining their squads or key players leaving town. Here are the five big questions facing a few clubs in the English Premier League.” ESPN

A difficult decision that Torres could not resist
“Fernando Torres: Chelsea striker. Actually seeing it in writing feels strange, and the sight of him in a blue, rather than red shirt, harder for fans to come to terms with than the fact the former Liverpool number nine switched clubs for a record breaking £50 million. Last week, the idea that we’d be referring to Torres as a former Red by the following Tuesday was simply un-imaginable for the majority of Liverpool fans – yet the feeling that he was at a club progressing much slower than he had hoped had been growing within the player for some time – and when Chelsea made a serious enquiry ahead of Liverpool’s game against Fulham, Fernando sensed that this was an opportunity that he could not resist.” Guillem Balague

Andy Carroll: Is He Worth It?.
“Yesterday marked the third time Kenny Dalglish has broken the English transfer record for a Geordie striker. On the previous two occasions it worked out pretty well. In 1987, Peter Beardsley arrived for £1.9m, and Liverpool turned into arguably the finest English club side seen to date (certainly few have bettered that red vintage). The Reds won the league that season, and in a three year spell were one win away from completing the league and cup double each time.” Tomkins Times

From the Stadium to the Streets in Egypt

“There were several interesting reports this week about the fact that some of the best organized and most effective groups involved in the protests in Egypt came from what some saw as a surprising place: football fan groups.” Soccer Politics

A little information about Ultras fan clubs in Egypt
“Egypt’s football fan clubs are figuring prominently in stories about the current uprising. For readers wanting to learn more about the Ultras in Egypt and their role in the uprising, here are a few links: James M. Dorsey, ‘Soccer Fans Play Key Role in Egyptian Protests’ (readers of this blog will not be surprised, as this is a fairly consistent topic in writing about the sport and politics). The Football Scholars Forum posted a link to that story and to this BBC interview with David Goldblatt (of The Ball is Round): The Secret Policeman’s Football.” From A Left Wing

It’s 1940s month on The Equaliser

“The ‘Decade by Decade’ series continues in February with a look at football in the 1940s. Interrupted by the Second World War, the decade was in many ways a disjointed and transitional one for the game. After the seismic advances of the 1930s, conflict disrupted football’s progress during the first half of the 40s, but that did not prevent a series of fascinating stories coming to pass.” The Equaliser

La Liga’s dullest deadline day ever

“If the Premier League’s final day of the winter window was a giant paella of SKY TV excitement, la Liga’s was a manky grain of rice sitting at the side of the pan with just six piddling transfers being made in the final few hours in Spain. Perky Carolina from Gol TV had been sent to the offices of the LFP where she made the giddy-eyed promise of fax machines whirring away, churning out contract details of Andrés Iniesta heading to his secret love team of Espanyol and Cristiano Ronaldo enjoying the Pamplona experience so much, on Sunday, the forward had decided to opt to play for Osasuna for the rest of his days.” FourFourTwo

1930s Month: Pentland’s Lions of Bilbao

“Athletic Bilbao, the club which has come to popularly represent Basque identity in the sporting world, was founded in 1898 and quickly established itself as one of the strongest teams in Spain. Ten Copa del Rey titles were won in the first twenty-five years of the club’s existence, but it was during the 1930s – following the establishment of the national league in 1928 – that Athletic enjoyed its greatest run of success.” The Equaliser