The Day We Went To Belgrade

August 22, 2011

“Stefano peers out at the sparsely-populated stadium from under his disapproving brow. To our left and right stand two entirely empty curve, where the hardcore home and away ultras would normally be. In front of us is the tiny posh stand where OFK Beograd’s directors and WAGs gather, while most of the couple of hundred fans who have bothered to show up are sat alongside us in the main stand, which is set into a hill and towers over the rest of the ground.” In Bed With Maradona

Tactical observations from Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool

August 22, 2011

“With his feet up and tapas in convenient reach, Cesc Fábregas would have been watching Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool with more than a bit of familiarity about it. While a makeshift and inexperienced team performed admirably, they always looked like they needed something special – someone special – to lift them. That burden often fell on Fábregas but on Saturday, he was able to sit back at home safe in the knowledge that he had chewed out of the bear trap that had began to stagnate him.” Arsenal Column

Pass, Move, Goal – Victory Over Arsenal
“Strangely, there seemed to be a fair amount of negativity from a fair few fans after Liverpool’s victory over Arsenal. Perhaps the Gunners’ problems had been overplayed to the point where there was a sense that the Reds were going to face some mid-table side.” Tomkins Times

Arsene Wenger & the Complex Current Frailty of Arsenal
“Pathetic fallacy is the use, by a writer, of words that give human feelings or qualities to objects or in nature. It reached, perhaps, the zenith of its usage in the gothic novels of the late eighteenth century, and one cannot help but wonder whether the likes of Bram Stoker or Mary Shelley might have been looking down approvingly on Saturday lunchtime as the heavens opened, both literally and metaphorically, upon Arsenal’s season. As London was washed by an unseasonable shower of rain, so were Arsenal swept aside by Liverpool, and in doing so, a trickle of criticism has become a torrent, to the extent that it is possible that the club’s season may evencome sliding to a halt before it has had the chance to build any momentum.” twohundredpercent

Italy preview: the usual suspects of debt, match-fixing, scandal

August 22, 2011

“As we set off for the new season, it is again a case of rounding up a number of the usual suspects in the shape of polemics, a betting scandal and hardy annuals such as Totti and Juve’s Alessandro Del Piero. One new element in the Italian firmament this season, however, will be an American-owned Roma for which Baldini has been recruited as an experienced guide. As he assesses his return to an Italian football world he left six years ago, Baldini underlines some uncomfortable home truths about the contemporary Italian scene.” World Soccer

Spain preview: chasing clubs paying the price

August 22, 2011

“Like two immense superpowers, Real Madrid and Barcelona keep on piling up the arms in the race to outdo each other. Football may never have seen two squads like this head-to-head before and the battle looks set to be fascinating. It may also turn downright nasty again.” World Soccer

Bodies of Evidence

August 22, 2011

“The human mania for classification manifests itself in countless ways, and one of the more peculiar is somatotyping: organizing people by body shape, usually with the belief that there’s some correlation between body shape and personality. These types tend to come in threes.” Run of Play

La Révision: Lyon and Bordeaux held, Lille and PSG victorious

August 22, 2011

“Indiscipline seemed to be the theme of the week in Ligue 1, with no less than five red cards shown over the course of the weekend. There were some strong challenges but thankfully they were balanced out by some superb goals.” stv