Daily Archives: March 23, 2011

Milan derby looms large in four-horse race for the scudetto

Antonio Cassano and Pato react after Palermo’s goal in the win over Milan.
“Crisis? What crisis? As Internazionale prepared for their Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich on Tuesday, newspaper editors up and down the peninsula were putting the finishing touches on bleak spreads about the decline of Italian football, preparing for the worst as Serie A faced up to the prospect of having no teams in the quarter-finals of either major European competition. But then Inter won. Better still, four days later Milan lost.” Guardian

UEFA Champions League Power Rankings: Before Quarterfinal Round

“The Champions League is now to the quarterfinals which will begin on April 5-6 and conclude on April 12-13. There are two Spanish sides, three English sides, one Italian club, one German club, and one from Ukraine.” The 90th Minute

All Change At Leicester City

“Leicester City’s home defeat against Portsmouth on Saturday might not have definitively ended their hopes of securing a Championship play-off place, but it has certainly put another nail in the coffin. The recruitment of Sven-Göran Eriksson initially looked like a masterstroke, as the Swede inspired a dramatic improvement in the team’s fortunes, including a run of seven wins and one draw after the turn of the year, but Leicester’s surge up the table has virtually ground to a halt in March. However, few leagues are more competitive than the Championship and while there’s life, there’s hope, particularly as the Foxes are still only five points away from featuring in the end-of-season play-offs.” The Swiss Ramble

On Monarchies and Captains, John Terry and the Meaning of Armbands

“John Terry, a man you may know from Bridgegate and Tour-for-moneygate, is now back in the limelight in the latest episode of England Captaingate. England manager Fabio Capello has reinstated his former captain as England’s new temporary-permanent captain, replacing the injured Rio Ferdinand in what can only be described as a Capello-esque manner. The decision, like all of Capello’s now trademark decisions, has been everything but straight-forward and has sparked heated debates about the merits of Terry’s reappointment as captain. But does it matter who sports the elastic armband for England? Probably not.” Nutmeg Radio

The Best Looking Football Shirt. Ever?

“France. Cultured, sophisticated, elegant. Fine wine, fine dining, beautiful people and beautiful clothes. It’s no wonder that many of the great restaurants and design houses are French, with Paris the symbolic home of the fashion industry. The embodiment of sophistication and beauty isn’t the primary reserve of the gastronomic or fashion universes either. Think great artists – Matisse, Monet, Rodin – and then think great footballers; Platini, Tigana, Giresse, Cantona, Henry. Artists themselves. If ever there was a footballing nation that deserved a stand out football shirt, it is France.” In Bed With Maradona

Tactics: French sides flock to worship at altar of 4-2-3-1

“A peculiar tactical phenomenon has been witnessed in France in recent months. In a microcosm of global trends that have shaped the game over the course of the last decade or so, Ligue 1′s top sides have all – without exception – begun to ditch their preferred formations in favour of a 4-2-3-1.” Football Further