Arsenal’s Finances – 21 Questions

October 6, 2011


“Just a few months ago Arsenal were riding high, as they still had credible chances to win trophies in four competitions. However, a late defeat to unfancied Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final initiated an awful sequence of events. Elimination by Barcelona in the Champions League was maybe predictable, though hopes had been high after a scintillating victory in the first leg, but the collapse of form in the Premier League was less understandable.” The Swiss Ramble

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Shallowness of France squad echoes Blanc’s Bordeaux slump

October 6, 2011

“In the build-up to France’s final two Euro 2012 qualifiers, the French press have been quick to draw comparisons with the situation that faced Les Bleus at the end of their ill-fated qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup. Needing just a single point from their last two matches at home to Israel and Bulgaria, Gérard Houllier’s side somehow conspired to lose both to gut-wrenching last-minute goals. The stunning failure confirmed France’s unwelcome reputation for producing gifted but psychologically fragile sportsmen and the trauma of the event was only partially alleviated by the outcome of the next World Cup on home soil five years later.” Football Further


European Football Weekends A to Z

October 6, 2011

“The 2011 EFW Oktoberfest will take place between October 20-24. Based in Prague, and branching out as far afield as Bratislava, forty or so fans of clubs from all around Europe will attend a festival of football, beer and giggles. Danny Last and Stuart Fuller put some meat on those bones……” European Football Weekends


Brian Clough: Nobody Ever Says Thank You – By Jonathan Wilson

October 6, 2011


“Brian Howard Clough was never less than a complex man; the sum of a contradictory bunch of impulses, desires and drives. Jonathan Wilson, in this first full, critical biography draws an intimate and powerful portrait of one of England’s greatest football managers, and his right-hand man, Peter Taylor, and reveals how their identities were forged in the unforgiving world of post-war football, a world where, as Clough and Taylor’s mentor Harry Storer once said, ‘Nobody ever says thank you.'” In bed With Maradona

Brian Clough, Bosnia & Bruce – Our Chat With Jonathan Wilson
“The words ‘genius’ and ‘legend’ are bandied about football these days far too easily. Nyron Nosworthy accidentally does a Cryuff turn in the face of Wayne Rooney, he’s a ‘legend’… A manager staring defeat in the face brings on two strikers with ten minutes to go, they both score, the team wins, he’s a ‘genius’… please, don’t insult us.” Roker Report


Happy Twenty First, Germany

October 6, 2011

“It has been, by any standards, a quiet twenty-first birthday. The reunified German nation celebrated its coming of age on Monday, not with wild revelry, but with a mature, modestly demure acknowledgement of this remarkable achievement. Of course, Germany has been young before its time. Alcohol consumption began not this week, nor surreptitiously in mid-teens, but with uncharacteristic abandon upon its very birth, in the wreckage of the Berlin wall in the remarkable autumn of 1990. Germany has been financially responsible for itself for a long time; and for some years has held the keys to the Eurozone door. It is a protective parent, privately admonishing a young, careless Greece, whilst agreeing to bail it out of its worst excesses.” In Bed With Maradona


Three Stadiums, A Team and A Road: Remembering Romeo Menti

October 6, 2011


“Football pays homage to the great and the good through various touching appreciation. At the bottom, above conversation in the pub of course, are songs, ‘I still see that tackle by Moore and when Lineker scored Bobby belting the ball and Nobby dancin,’ that sort of thing. In England most clubs will honour a real legend with a staute, Billy Wright outside Molineux, Billy Bremner at Elland Road, Sir Stanley Matthews at The Britannia. Great managers get roads; Sir Matt Busby Way, Brian Clough Way, Sir Alf Ramsey Way. That prospect certainly gives the adage; Where there’s a will there’s a way, a more physical feel. Finally there’s stands; the Matthew Harding Stand at Stamford Bridge, the Gill Merrick Stand at Birmingham City and so on.” In Bed With Maradona


Ecuador and Venezuela set sights on 2014 World Cup

October 6, 2011

“As recently as two decades ago, when Ecuador met Venezuela in World Cup qualification it was about as significant as when Liechtenstein take on the Faroe Islands. Not any longer. This Friday, the two South American countries face each other in the opening round of the continent’s Fifa 2014 World Cup qualifiers – with both entitled to believe that they are taking the first step on the road to the finals in Brazil.” BBC – Tim Vickery