“The last time I was over for the match, smoke bombs were let off during the game, as has become increasingly popular during the brief history of our club. Whereas in the past the effect of flares and smokebombs had looked ace (view based on anecdotal evidence from messageboard comments and friends, as well as my own views), and had even received positive acclaim from some unlikely sources (ESPN’s commentary of the Brighton FA Cup replay described our support as colourful whilst showing footage of the flares. Shoot Magazine featured a photo of the flares at the Rochdale game and commented on the tremendous atmosphere directly underneath that photo), the effect on the 22nd January was however slightly underwhelming.” FCUM A.D.
“Rwanda is a country that still bears the scars of its recent past. Just seventeen years ago 850,000 people were murdered as post-colonial tensions spilled over into a genocide that was perpetrated by members of the Hutu ethnic community against the Tutsi people. Powerful memories of those brutal days still reverberate throughout modern Rwanda, but today the country is one of contemporary Africa’s greatest success stories.” The Equaliser
“For the first time since the inception of this blog, writers of TYAC have not touched on a USMNT match – the USA-Chile match last week. At this point, a comprehensive analysis serves no purpose for two reasons…” The Yanks Are Coming
“It’s Super Bowl weekend here in the United States and football is on my mind. I grew up in Los Angeles, a city without an NFL team. In fact I’ve never lived in a city with an NFL team. When I’m asked what team I support I run through a brief flow chart, and this year I’m backing the Pack. I’ve based my chart predominantly on geography, and the Packers come out on top because I lived in Wisconsin for three years. You could say this makes me a disingenuous fan or some kind of fake or a bandwagoner, but nobody ever has. People just shrug and nod their head. It’s not that controversial.” Run of Play
“A handful of surprise results saw Lyon, Rennes and champions Marseille fall off the pace in the title race, while Paris Saint-Germain tightened their grip on second place and Bordeaux ended a six-match winless run stretching back to the end of November. Lyon’s 13-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt halt in a 2-1 loss at Valenciennes, with Aly Cissokho the chief culprit in an error-strewn performance and Yoann Gourcuff worryingly off the pace. It followed hot on the heels of a 1-0 defeat by Nice in the Coupe de France and left Claude Puel’s side seven points off the pace in third place.” Football Further
“Who are your top 3 players in the world? Naturally it changes every couple of years as new stars emerge. At the end of 2011? Here’s Luke Colbourne on a contender.” In Bed With Madadona
“It was assumed that Fernando Torres’ arrival would mean a place on the bench for Nicolas Anelka, but Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over Sunderland showed that Carlo Ancelotti might have a different role in mind for the Frenchman. So far this season, Chelsea have generally lined up in a 4-3-3 shape, with Anelka and Florent Malouda either side of Didier Drogba. In the long term, Torres might not be competing with Anelka and Drogba, who will be 32 and 33 respectively by the end of this campaign, but for the final months of the season, Ancelotti has somewhat of a selection dilemma, with three top-class strikers.” Zonal Marking