Daily Archives: September 6, 2011

The Evolution of Wengerism

“Engineers build things, economists study efficiency, and kids who live above pubs learn a lot about soccer. These three backgrounds are the source of Arsene Wenger’s managerial success at Arsenal. He builds clubs, finds players from every corner of the world in a cost-effective manner, and teaches them the art of soccer. After the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, combined with the humiliating defeat at Old Trafford, Arsene Wenger’s professorship is under question.” EPL Talk


A rationally explainable, but emotionally dissatisfying 2-1 win of Holland over Finland

“Another slightly delayed post on our recent national team’s performance. And yet again, for future reference and for the message conveyed in this particular match, it still is important to review Holland’s performance against a stubborn and, apart from the first 20 minutes, well organized Finland side. Oranje, as always, lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with man-in-the-hole Sneijder given a high degree of positional freedom, looking to see a lot of the ball and being involved in a very high proportion of the attacking plays.” 11 tegen 11

Tough qualifying period ahead for South American sides

“While Uruguay’s players were still celebrating their recent Copa America victory, their coach Oscar Washington Tabarez, with typical wisdom, was guarding against complacency. ‘Winning the Copa doesn’t give us any guarantees in terms of the World Cup qualifiers,’ he said. ‘They are much more competitive than this tournament.’ On Friday, in their first outing since the triumph in Argentina, it took Uruguay just 13 seconds to realise that the Copa belongs to the past.” BBC – Tim Vickery

2000s Month: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galacticos

“For almost a century, money and soccer lived an uneasy relationship. Teams scraped by on modest sponsorships and reliable but not cosmic TV deals. They competed for players, but dollars and cents arms races were rare. Then came the Galácticos. If the Bosman ruling allowed the snake of commerce into Football’s Garden of Eden, then Florentino Perez swallowed an entire barrel of apples without thought. Looking back, a Madrid fan doesn’t feel vindicated by the trophies. Rather, he or she wonders how they won anything at all.” The Equaliser

Argentina 3 – 1 Nigeria

“Real Madrid duo Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria were amongst the goals as Argentina defeated Nigeria 3-1 in an international friendly in Bangladesh. Higuain and Di Maria both netted in quick succession to put Argentina 2-0 up after 26 minutes and in control of the contest. Nigeria pulled a goal back right after half-time through Chinedu Obasi, but Argentina sealed the victory when Uwa Elderson inadvertently deflected the ball into his own net midway through the second period.” ESPN

A worrying crush at Ghana v Brazil

“Last night Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium hosted the international friendly between Ghana and Brazil. As friendlies go, this was a particularly enticing prospect, with the likes of Ronaldinho and Neymar on show to people who perhaps haven’t had chance to see them play live before. Not to mention chance for London’s sizable Ghanaian community to see the Black Stars in action against the most famous international team in the world.” Narrow the Angle

Valerio Brandi’s Russian Nightmare

“In the last couple of years a number of Italian footballing personalities have moved to Russia to ply their trade. Luciano Spalletti, the current Zenit St Petersburg manager, and Salvatore Bocchetti of Rubin Kazan are enjoying successful stints, while Domenico Criscito looks set to emulate them under the tutelage of Spalletti at Zenit. But the story of one Italian player, whose promising talent disappeared off the radar during a horrific spell in Russia, is in stark contrast to the positive experiences of his compatriots.” In Bed With Maradona