Sergio Batista and the Sharpening of Long Knives

July 11, 2011


Sergio Batista
“We’re one week into the Copa América, and if nothing else it’s proven correct those who made pre-tournament predictions that it would be the most closely-fought Copa in a long time. For the first time ever, both Argentina and Brazil failed to win their opening matches. It must be said that not enough credit was given to the two sides who foiled them in those games; Venezuela in the case of the holders Brazil, and Bolivia in the case of hosts Argentina.” In Bed With Maradona

Critics attack ‘disastrous’ Brazil after they scrape Paraguay draw
“Perhaps Dunga wasn’t so bad after all. He may have been pragmatic and have refused to pick the public’s favourites, but at least he won games. Brazil, after underwhelming in a 0-0 against a Venezuela team that, after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Ecuador, improbably tops Copa América’s Group B, were highly fortunate to scrape a 2-2 draw against Paraguay. Two thirds of the way through the group stage, none of the seeds have yet won a game and, amid all the grumbling about Argentina’s form, the one consolation for the hosts has been that Brazil have been even worse than they have.” Guardian

Can Argentina salvage their Copa America hopes?
“We’re one week into the Copa América, and if nothing else, it’s shown that those who predicted that this would be the most closely-fought Copa in living memory, have been proven correct. For the first time ever, both Argentina and Brazil failed to win their opening matches. It must be said that not enough credit was given to the two sides who foiled them in those games; Venezuela in the case of the holders Brazil, and Bolivia against the hosts Argentina.” World Soccer

Brazil 2-2 Paraguay: Brazil snatch the draw
“Mano Menezes ditched the “European” 4-2-3-1, went for a Dunga-style compromise system, then ended up with 4-2-2-2… He dropped Robinho from his starting line-up, favouring Jadson who played much narrower on the right, as he has done in previous friendlies. Gerardo Martino went for the 4-4-2 / 4-3-3 hybrid that he often favoured at last summer’s World Cup. Roque Santa Cruz played on the right, and made diagonal runs to a centre-forward position.” Zonal Marking


IBWM and World Soccer: Writers Wanted

July 11, 2011

“Providing detailed analysis and featuring articles from the likes of Sid Lowe, Tim Vickery, Jonathan Wilson, David Conn and Brian Glanville, World Soccer is the oldest and most respected football magazine on the planet. Now into its 51st year, World Soccer is read by thousands each month including players, coaches, managers and many of the most influential names in the beautiful game. IBWM is the award winning home of world football which reaches more than 150 countries and is visited by more people each week than you can cram into the Camp Nou on a matchday.” In Bed With Maradona


Video of the Week: Greatest Goals of the World Cup 1954-1978

July 11, 2011


World Cup 1974
“This years Womens World Cup has caused one or two people to comment on the nature of the sixteen team tournament. The WWC is set to be expanded to twenty-four nations for the next competition in Canada in four years time, but this years competition has been taut and exciting – all killer, as some might say, and no filler. With this in mind, our Monday video timewaster (and who doesn’t need a timewaster on a Monday morning?) brings you the best goals from the day when the World Cup was played out between just sixteen nations, between 1954 and 1978. Our thanks go to the original uploader of this article and don’t forget that if you happen to be reading this on a mobile device, you can switch to our desktop view by clicking the link at the very bottom of this page.” twohundredpercent


Ups and Downs

July 11, 2011

“So Marc Pelosi, a seventeen-year-old rising star of American soccer, may be be headed to Liverpool to develop his skills in the Reds’ youth program. He has made an interesting comment: ‘I have been told the current Barcelona coach said that if you don’t go to Barcelona, the second best place to develop is at Liverpool. It’s a great, top notch organization.’ (Pep Guardiola has indeed been reported as having said that, but I can’t track the quote to a reliable source. It would be surprising, though, if Guardiola didn’t have nice things to say about Liverpool’s youth program, since it’s run by people with Barça pedigrees, José Segura and Rodolfo Borrell.)” Run of Play


Barca press cry ‘scandal’ over fixture list, while Zidane puts the kettle on

July 11, 2011

“Last Thursday marked the pre-season’s first bout of conspiracy theorising and childish screams of ‘it’s not fair!’ in the ongoing media war between Real Madrid and Barcelona. It was the day after the fixtures for the 2011-12 campaign were announced and the loonier parts of the Barça press thought they could smell a rather pungent rat as they cast their eyes over Barcelona’s opening few games, which kick off with a trip to a beefed-up Málaga.” FourFourTwo