Season Review: Premier League

July 5, 2011


“It might not enter the annuls of history as a vintage season, but 2010/11 arguably had more intrigue, twists, turns and drama than any other for a long while. And while the players have discovered Twitter (a new way for them to disgrace themselves) and superinjunctions (a new way for them to hide the old ways), there was plenty to enjoy on the pitch – for neutrals, mainly.” twofootedtackle


Brazil 0-0 Venezuela: Brazil fail to impress

July 5, 2011

“Mano Menezes’ first competitive game as Brazil manager ended with a poor 0-0 draw against a resilient Venezuela side. Menezes played his expected side, which meant Ganso playing as the playmaker behind a front three. Cesar Farias named a solid 4-4-2 side, with La Liga duo Nicolas Fedor and Jose Rondon upfront. Brazil dominated possession, of course, and in the first ten minutes of the game looked like they were going to run riot. The longer Venezuela went without conceding, however, the more confidence the underdogs had, and the better they defended.” Zonal Marking

Seleção Draw Blank Against Venezuela in Copa América
“As opening gambits go, it was far from convincing. Having watched their most bitter of rivals stutter against Bolivia (a result which was reported with considerable verve in Brazil) the seleção met Venezuela, hoping to put down an early marker in the competition. A year after being knocked out of the World Cup with barely a whimper of protest, opportunity hung heavy in the La Plata air; this was the moment for Brazil to shake off the dust, to reintroduce itself to the world. A team rich in youthful vim and logic-defying hair styles marched onto the pitch. Mano Menezes looked on sagely as Neymar, Ganso et al. took their starting positions. The stage was set. And then… nothing.” Snap Kaka A Pop


Opening skirmishes hint at wide-open Copa

July 5, 2011

“They may have had a little bit of help from some a less than perfect pitch in La Plata and some opening match nerves from the big two, but in holding Argentina and Brazil respectively, Bolivia and Venezuela made a powerful declaration of the current strength in depth of the South American national teams. Whoever wins the Copa America on 24 July will have to battle their way to the title but both hosts Argentina and 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil will feel they are capable of far better than they produced in their first group games.” BBC – Tim Vickery


Copa América 2011: Chile win at ‘home’; Uruguay are held by Peru

July 5, 2011


Brazil and Venezuela
“Group C of the 2011 Copa América began on Monday night with a double-header in San Juan, and it was the most entertaining evening of action we’ve had so far in the Copa. Uruguay surprisingly fell behind to Peru before a brilliant assist from Nicolás Lodeiro and a smart finish from Liverpool’s Luis Suárez gave them a deserved equaliser. Shortly after, Mexico’s Under-23s took on Chile, and went in at the break with a lead before Claudio Borghi’s entertaining team fought back in the second half to win 2-1. Chile and Colombia are the only sides to win their opening games. You can see all Monday’s goals right here.” Hasta El Gol Siempre


The Meteoric Rise of Novara Calcio

July 5, 2011

“To some, the words Novara Calcio are about as unknown as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. After all, it was only two seasons ago that the Piedmontese side was floating around in Italy’s vast third division, now known as the Lega Pro. Most the teams in Lega Pro play on pitches comparable with fields found right outside the highway – complete with live & active growing vegetation. It is here that the curious case of Novara Calcio commenced, right down to their unusual synthetic pitch that could very well be renamed ‘Il Cimiterio’ (The metaphorical graveyard of a footballers career) for its awkward surfaces that have caused plenty of twisted ankles and exploded ligaments from players not used to the artificial ground.” In Bed With Maradona


1980s Month: Justin Fashanu & the Meaning of the Goal

July 5, 2011

“Everyone at Carrow Road, forty days into the 1980s, knew immediately that they had witnessed a moment that would transcend the match they were watching. BBC commentator Barry Davies, covering Norwich City’s clash with Liverpool for Match of the Day, instinctively knew too. That moment was Justin Fashanu’s phenomenal Goal of the Season – if not the decade.” The Equaliser