Valencia – On The Road To Recovery?

September 30, 2011


Roberto Soldado
“Despite losing to Sevilla last weekend, Valencia have made a very promising start to this season, most evidently when they led reigning champions Barcelona twice before securing an unexpected draw. On the one hand, this should not be too much of a surprise, as Valencia have finished third in La Liga in each of the past two seasons, though admittedly they were a hefty 25 points behind Pep Guardiola’s superlative team last year. On the other hand, this represents a hugely impressive achievement for Los Che after all the upheaval they have faced both on and off the pitch.” Swiss Ramble


Hope Solo, on her toes

September 30, 2011

“Could they please just let her dance in flats? That’s what I thought as I watched Hope Solo fight her way through a jive in high-heeled converse sneakers. Letting Solo dance in flats would make this whole Dancing With the Stars thing less anxiety provoking. Who isn’t worried about her turning her ankle? Those joints are of national importance! I have been so preoccupied by her feet I’ve scarcely noticed this season’s gender drama.” From A Left Wing


Scotland, Despair and the World Cup Final

September 30, 2011

“Sport, and perhaps most predominantly football, is one of the few facets of society where men can be unabashedly emotional and not be frowned upon for being so. The TV cameras love identifying a fan showing their feelings at the end of a big game. Whether it’s the ecstatic character celebrating a title win or a weeping child commiserating relegation, football and emotions are inexorably linked and I, like any other fan have experienced every single one over the years.” In Bed With Maradona


2000s Month: Istanbul

September 30, 2011


“It was the night which saw Liverpool born again. The 25th of May 2005 is now synonymous with the European Cup’s most marvellous and fairy tale. Despite the great lustre and rich history surrounding Liverpool, the side were a distant second best to Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan boasting some of the best world’s greatest talents. Indeed, the route to Istanbul for Liverpool contained enough twists and turns for the Kopites to perhaps feel it was their team’s destiny to march on and claim their fifth European Cup.”The Equaliser

2000s Month: The Power of Anfield
“In the UK in the early May of 2005, there was a clash between two different ideologies, cultures and backgrounds as Liverpool played Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final second-leg at Anfield. A few days later there was a general election. Although it was a match low on technical excellence and even tactical nous, the drama of the night more than made up for it.” The Equaliser


James Richardson’s European football papers review – video

September 30, 2011

“AC Jimbo is back to rummage through coverage of this week’s Champions League matches, revealing the exact percentages of credit to give to members of Bayern Munich’s team and how Porto are in a storm” Guardian – James Richardson


The Noordwijk Experiment – Ajax and the 3-4-3

September 30, 2011

“The last time Ajax regularly played three at the back, Sandra Bullock was one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood with a bright future ahead, and the same could be said for Ajax who dined at the top of Europe’s elite table. Since those halcyon days Bullock has gone on to amass a fortune and bag an Academy award in the process whereas the Godenzonen have been in the doldrums, slowly losing their identity and barely feasting on the crumbs.” Just Football