The Greatest Footballer in the World

April 13, 2011


“The reason I can attach a title as vitriol-inspiring and inaccurate as the one above is because no such person can exist, by any standard. Pele? Zidane? Maradona? Cruyff? What about Clint Dempsey (kidding…sort of)? The debate rages, without any hope of ever coming to a consensus. So instead of casting my lot with the rest of despairing humanity, I’m sloughing off the bounds of biology and physics and building my own footballer, Mary Shelley style. Selecting eleven factors that I believe to be the most important when building a great player, I set to work in a virtual Gothic mansion, shrouded in storm clouds and ringing with echoes of my own maniacal laughter.” The Other 87

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Guardiola uses Mascherano at centre-back in 1-0 win over Shakhtar

April 13, 2011

“There were no major surprises in Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Shakhtar on Tuesday night. 5-1 up from the first leg, they were fairly comfortable in Ukraine, keeping possession for long periods and winning the game with a Lionel Messi goal shortly before half time. That is, until you consider Barcelona’s line-up, where Javier Mascherano started as a right-sided centre-back, alongside Gerard Pique.” Zonal Marking

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 FC Barcelona – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats
The 90th Minute

Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea: Ancelotti changes formation but still loses the tie
“Goals from Javier Hernandez and Park Ji-Sung saw United progress to the semi-finals. Sir Alex Ferguson made two changes from his first leg line-up. Nani replaced Antonio Valencia – he played on the left, with Park Ji-Sung on the right. Rafael was not fit enough to play, so John O’Shea came in at right-back. Carlo Ancelotti chose Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka and Alex ahead of Yuri Zhirkov, Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa.” Zonal Marking

Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats
The 90th Minute


Goalkeepers: undervalued, underpaid and priceless

April 13, 2011

“If, as they say goalkeepers are mad, then they ought to have really started a union by now. They are an essential anatomy of a team along with the striker says José Mourinho in ‘Can England win the next World Cup?’ but they are not nearly as valued much. In the Premier League, Craig Gordon stands as the most expensive goalkeeper at £9million when he moved from Hearts to Sunderland but he is not even close to getting into the list of the all-time most expensive transfers in England and still some way short of the £15million paid by Newcastle for Alan Shearer – some fourteen years ago now.” Arsenal Mania


Football Weekly: Stan Kroenke gunning for full control at Arsenal

April 13, 2011

“It’s Arsenal who dominate the agenda with their activities both on the field and off it. While Jens Lehmann made his return to see the Gunners through to victory against Blackpool, we wonder what the ownership of Stan Kroenke means for the club (apart from replica moustaches for fans). Next, it’s the second legs of the Champions League quarter-finals. Spurs look to have an impossible task overturning their 4-0 drubbing in Madrid, but there’s still everything to play for between Chelsea and Manchester United, while can defending champions Inter come back from their 5-2 deficit in Germany?” Guardian – James Richardson


The Famous Past of Farrar Road

April 13, 2011

“Bangor City and Napoli are both currently challenging for the championship in their contrasting domestic competitions of the Welsh Premier League and Serie A respectively. While the two clubs appear to have little else in common other than their tradition of playing in blue, their one and only meeting on Welsh soil 49-years-ago has been brought back into the spotlight this week as the ground that hosted that famous Bangor City win is now set to be replaced by a leading supermarket.” In Bed With Maradona