Daily Archives: February 25, 2011

Five lessons from Europe


“With the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 done and dusted, here are five things we’ve learned…” ESPN

Braga 2-0 Lech Poznań

“Lech blew a 1-0 lead from the first leg of this last-32 Europa League tie to limp out of the competition and miss out on a money-spinning tie against Liverpool. Spanish coach José María Bakero set his side out in a 4-2-3-1, albeit with a striker playing on the left wing and a full-back on the opposite side. Thus, the 48-year-old tried retaining the system which brought them that crucial first leg win last week, but didn’t have the performers to make it work a second time.” Defensive Midfielder

PSV 3 – 1 Lille: A controversial incident decides the fate of the game

“The surprise comeback to a 2-2 result in the first leg meant that PSV had quite an advantage going into this match. But the main advantage for PSV was created by their opponents themselves as Lille clearly proclaimed their Europa League campaign to be their lowest priority target, ranked behind their aim of qualifying for Champions League football next season and defending their first place in Ligue 1. PSV, on the other hand, fielded a full strength squad to face this reduced Lille side, where big names such as Gervinho, Hazard and Sow were left out of the starting eleven with the match against Lyon in mind.” 11 tegen 11

From the Coffee House To the Pub


The Grapes pub in Liverpool
“Public houses have long been a strong hold for patriarchy, a place where the working class can convene to discuss the dynamics of everyday existence. My local is called the Village Inn. The word Inn conjures notions of rustic-chic décor; of horse-brasses, oak beams and roaring fires. Banish these. The walls of this particular pub are adorned with a variety of ephemera relating to the two local clubs; one side with Liverpool clutter and the other with Everton tit-tat. Amongst the discussions flitting in and out of earshot, the talk is resolutely of football, tits or a combination of the two. Conversations rarely err to socio-politics.” In Bed With Maradona

What Pundits Get Wrong About Goalkeeping, Part I: The Near Post

“I know I promised fun-filled clangers, but those will have to wait while I tackle something a bit more serious: the persistent misunderstanding of goalkeeping by well-paid pundits, commentators, and other assorted football experts. I say this without malice or snobbery. None of them actually were goalkeepers, and so it makes sense that they all, be it Andy Gray (once upon a time), Craig Burley, or Jamie Redknapp, tend to trot out well-worn cliches in absence of more in-depth knowledge.” The Goalkeepers’ Union

Thanks for nothing, Becks

“Great news, everybody: David Beckham is back! Remember when those words meant something? When the thought of Becks stepping onto an American soccer field made your heart soar because he was going to transform the Los Angeles Galaxy into the second coming of the Cosmos? When it was presumed he would spread the gospel of MLS around the world, just as Pelé did with the NASL back in the day? Yeah, I remember those 20 minutes too.” ESPN