More questions than answers for Capello after Switzerland draw

June 6, 2011

“Two poor goals conceded and then a decent fightback, but it’s hard to draw many positive conclusions from England’s 2-2 draw with Switzerland.” Zonal Marking

Fabio Capello’s England fail to inspire confidence despite fightback
“Switzerland: England’s nemesis. Discuss. First the FA is wiped out at the court of Sepp Blatter, then two set-piece goals past a shambolic English defence lay the ground for an underwhelming 2-2 draw that casts doubt on their qualification for Euro 2012.” The Observer

Ancien regime of Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand holds England back
“The most hopeful words uttered on England’s behalf came from their youngest player, speaking in the buildup to Saturday’s draw with Switzerland. Jack Wilshere said how much he was looking forward to being joined in England’s midfield by Josh McEachran, Chelsea’s 18-year-old playmaker. Unfortunately for Wilshere, the man next to him as the match kicked off was Frank Lampard, McEachran’s clubmate, now only a couple of weeks away from his 33rd birthday.” Guardian

England 2 – 2 Switzerland
“England fought back from two goals down but still dropped two precious points against Switzerland as their bid to reach next summer’s European Championship finals stuttered. Switzerland profited from a pair of inexplicable errors from the normally solid Joe Hart to establish a two-goal cushion.” ESPN

Just Football: Serie A 2010-11 Team of the Season

June 6, 2011

“With the 2010/11 Serie A season now complete and Internazionale Coppa Italia winners, time for the obligatory team of the season. Naturally, champions Milan are the most represented team in the main XI, with three players. The midfield area, however, contains choices from teams outside the top three in Italy this season.” Just FootBall

Africans in European football: the best of 2010-2011?

June 6, 2011

“It’s been another momentous year for African footballers, with players from the continent involved in title-winning sides in Spain, Italy, France and Germany. Others have won a domestic cup, although the biggest trophy on offer ended up in the hands of Mali’s Seydou Keita after his Barcelona side destroyed Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday.” BBC

Mundialito 1981

June 6, 2011

“On Wednesday Holland play Uruguay in Montevideo, which is not the first visit for the Dutch team. In 1980-81 they went to play in the Mundialito to celebrate 50 years of World Cup football. All winners were invited, but England, without a winterbreak, declined and Holland were asked instead as the shining lights of European football during the seventies.” Total Football NL

Brian Phillips: Are even Barcelona unable to save football?

June 6, 2011

“Football has been murdered, resurrected, strangled, saved, thrown in a ditch, pulled out of the ditch, bought, sold, given away, wrecked, and redeemed so many times that nothing’s really shocking anymore. But even by the standards of the modern game, the contrasts presented by the last ten days have been eye-opening.” Life’s a pitch – Brian Phillips

Football Scholar Miscellany: A First Eleven

June 6, 2011

“In the spirit of helping to make the Football Scholars Forum a space for exchanging and enriching scholarly perspectives related to the beautiful game, I suggested the possibility of periodically posting a collection of links to and notes about work or events that might be of interest or use to the group. After that initial suggestion, however, I’ve realized that I’m not exactly sure what could be of most interest or use. But as a starting point I’m thinking of something like Arts & Letter Daily, morphed into something like Football & Letters Quarterly (or perhaps Football & Letters Very Periodically).” Football Scholar Miscellany

Recap: USA 0 – 4 Spain

June 6, 2011

Philips Wouwerman, Battle Scene
“Saturday’s friendly between the USA and Spain sadly provided what many American fans were fearing, with the World Champions thoroughly dominating possession on the way to a four-goal win. The re-match of the memorable 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal took place in Foxboro, Massachusetts in front of a packed crowd of more than 64,000, just three days ahead of the US beginning their quest for a fourth Gold Cup title and a spot in the coveted 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.” Yanks Abroad

Santi Cazorla helps Spain rout U.S.
“After allowing three goals in a 13-minute span, United States goalkeeper Tim Howard pounded his hands on his thighs in frustration. And there was still another half to go. ‘When you get knocked down, you see what you’re made of,” Howard said Saturday after World Cup champion Spain overwhelmed the U.S. 4-0 in an exhibition that the Americans used to tune up for the Gold Cup.” ESPN

Friendly – USA 0-4 Spain

Portugal 1-0 Norway: Portugal attack, Norway sit back, and Postiga gets the breakthrough

June 6, 2011

“Helder Postiga’s well-taken goal gave Portugal an important victory. Paulo Bento was without Ricardo Carvalho through injury, so Pepe was partnered by Bruno Alves. Joao Pereira came in at right-back, and the midfield trio was the three Ms. Egil Olsen played his usual 4-5-1 system, with the expected XI. John Carew was upfront, and Vadim Demidov came in at the back for his first start in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.” Zonal Marking

On Helplessness

June 6, 2011

“I do very little on Sundays. I sleep late. I half-heartedly clean my apartment. I peruse my Netflix Instant queue. Sometimes I nurse a hangover and journey a few blocks north for some fried chicken and a soda. I also spend roughly two hours staring at a laptop screen with a slack jaw, intermittently wiping spit from the corners of my mouth. I do not have a medical condition nor do I indulge in Sunday afternoon peyote binges. I’m an Atlético Madrid supporter, and
TracksI am in awe.” Run of Play