The Double


“The mainstream football media are convinced that there is a ‘new Mourinho’ at Chelsea. Although I’m inclined to agree, I’m not entirely sure who this ‘new Mourinho’ actually is. Of course, to even ask who this ‘new Mourinho’ is implies a form, a Mourinho, from whom to begin. José Mourinho was a Chelsea manager, young, Portuguese, poached from Porto after a blistering season domestically and in Europe, who was expected to grasp a small but ambitious club by the horns and haul it that final step which it couldn’t take under its previous (Italian) coach.” Run of Play

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A Farewell to Cannavara

“A couple of years ago, when Brian was running his ‘Inner Life of … ‘ posts, I wrote to him to suggest that this would be a good representation of the Inner Life of Fabio Cannavaro. Cannavaro may be the calmest defender I’ve ever seen, and his on-pitch serenity stemmed directly from his uncanny positional awareness. One way to think of Cannavaro is as the defensive counterpart to Xavi: just as Xavi with the ball at his feet sees angles and opportunities invisible to other players, so Cannavaro, when he was in his prime, saw attacking developments earlier than anyone else and intervened incisively to stop them.” Run of Play

The Improble Legacy of Los Matadres

“If you were to pay a visit to a home game at the Saniat R’mel stadium in the Moroccan City of Tetouan, you would be forgiven for thinking you were in the domain of a lower league Spanish side. For although this is the home of Maghreb Athletic Tetouan of the Botola League, there is a distinctly Spanish theme present amongst the clubs fanatical supporters. From the banners honouring ‘Los Matadores’ (the matadors) and the passionately waved Spanish flags, to the replica shirts of Athletic Bilbao and Athletico Madrid that echo the Red and White colours of the home team, the tributes are commonplace on the terraces.” In Bed With Maradona

Javier Pastore – El Flaco the new star in Paris


“‘He is irreverent, an ignoramus of football…he touches the ball as if he has already played in four or five World Cups.’ Of all the plaudits heaped onto the back of Javier Pastore, perhaps this endearing quote from one of the greatest legends of the game, Diego Maradona, speaks best to his unbridled potential and future as a superstar. With his record-breaking transfer from Serie A to Ligue 1, the question is whether the Argentine playmaker can live up to the hype his price tag brings.” French Football Weekly

Klinsmann Calls In 22 Players to Face Mexico on Aug. 10 in Philadelphia

“U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named a 22-player roster that will travel to Philadelphia in advance of the match against regional rival Mexico on Aug. 10 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The match will be the first for the former FIFA World Cup and European Championship winner at the helm of the U.S. Men’s National Team since being named head coach.” US Soccer