Italian teams remain wedded to tactically narrow formations

February 24, 2011


“In terms of tactics, the most important factor in Tottenham Hotspur’s victory over AC Milan last week was that its wide players were able to exploit the width left by Milan’s narrowness. As a corollary to that, Spurs had the pace and energy to ensure that its numerical disadvantage in central areas didn’t mean it had to cede control over possession. Milan’s only three league defeats this season have come against sides who play with attacking width — Cesena and Juventus — and Roma, a team that usually deploys a 4-3-1-2, but deployed its trequartista, Jeremy Menes, in wide areas in that game.” SI

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Man United, Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs: The 5 La Liga Superstars Your Club Should Sign

February 24, 2011

“Borja Valero. Midfielder – Villarreal – Pass-master, dead-ball wizard, no hair. In an alternate universe, a happy Borja Valero is the king-pin playmaker in the centre of West Brom’s midfield, guiding the Baggies towards a top six finish and all the footballer-lusting floozies the squad could ever need. Unfortunately, the real world is largely a sucky one which is why Valero couldn’t be tempted back to the West Midlands, last summer, after a loan spell with Mallorca after the apparent horrors suffered in England in the 2008-2009 season and WBA are facing relegation. And maybe one or two nights too many for the players with just naughty magazines for company. …” Sabotage Times


The Future History of the Cosmos

February 24, 2011

“1990* : The philosophical inquirer Francis FUKUYAMA appropriates and reconceives the defunct notional entity known variously as The New York Cosmos, The Cosmos, and Pele’s Studio 54 Fantasia. As an actual football team, this construct played its final match in 1985, but Fukuyama—working in clandestine concert with the business operative Peppe PINTON, whom rumours nominate as a fugitive from international justice—reinvents the Cosmos as the world’s first post-historical soccer club.” Run of Play


Inter 0-1 Bayern: Gomez nicks it at the end

February 24, 2011


Antoine Jean Gros – La bataille d’Eylau
“Mario Gomez struck very late to give Bayern a crucial first leg lead. Leonardo was without Diego Milito (injured) and Giampaolo Pazzini (cup-tied). He played Dejan Stankovic and Wesley Sneijder off Samuel Eto’o. Louis van Gaal played the same XI that started the weekend game against Mainz, though had to make a change towards the end of the first half when Danijel Pranjic got injured. Breno replaced him, with Holger Bastuber going to left-back.” Zonal Marking

Inter Milan 0-1 Bayern Munich – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats
The 90th Minute

Marseille 0-0 Manchester United: stalemate
“A lack of goalmouth action resulted in the only goalless game of the Champions League second round first legs. Mathieu Valbuena was only fit enough for the bench, and Andre-Pierre Gignac was out completely, so Didier Deschamps used a patched-up 4-2-3-1 with Brandao as the lone forward. Sir Alex Ferguson fielded Wayne Rooney on the left of a 4-1-4-1, with Darron Gibson surprisingly starting over Paul Scholes in the centre of midfield.” Zonal Marking

Marseille 0-0 Manchester United – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats
The 90th Minute


1940s Month: While Europe burned

February 24, 2011

“On Saturday 2 September, 1939, the day after Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, Britain woke up to a full Football League programme. Blackpool went top of Division One with three wins from three after defeating Wolves 2-1 at Bloomfield Road, Sheffield United and Arsenal were one point behind, both also undefeated. Luton Town headed up Division Two, while Accrington Stanley and Reading led Division Three North and South respectively.” The Equaliser