Which of Southampton’s players will step up?

October 25, 2011


Goalkeeper: Kelvin Davis
“Earlier this year, we analysed then Championship Queen’s Park Rangers in order to guess which of their stars might successfully negotiate the jump in standard once promotion was secured. Of course much of that thinking has been rendered moot by a squad overhaul that has left many of last year’s heroes either elsewhere or out of the team, although there is an argument that Alejandro Faurlin has confirmed our belief in his ability, that the jury is still deliberating on Adel Taarabt (well…a one man one at least) and that Sean Derry has defied the years and our lack of faith in him.” thetwounfortunates


Reconstructing An Identity: This Is Dynamo Dresden

October 25, 2011

“Things are going well for SG Dynamo Dresden at the moment, a club rich in history as a former giant of East Germany. Back in the 2. Bundesliga this season for the first time in five years, a positive atmosphere at ‘Dünamö’ is growing rapidly, as they seek to put recent troubles behind them. Dresden, the ‘Florence of the Elbe’ is one of Germany’s most politically and culturally important, and most beautiful, cities. Saxon neighbour Leipzig has always been seen as the more modern city compared with Dresden’s classical and traditional atmosphere, a city better-known for its Baroque architecture, as an important centre of art and music in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and as the proud centre of the old Kingdom of Saxony.” In Bed With Maradona


World Cup 2014 – a scheduling headache

October 25, 2011

“‘It’s been a big task and long work,’ said Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke last week when the calendar of the 2014 World Cup was presented. “We had 57 versions of this match schedule and finally nine on which we have been working. We took into account the medical aspects, logistics, travel and accommodation.” Staging a World Cup in a country the size of a continent is not easy, and Brazil in June/July offers a specific challenge – winter bites hard in the south and barely touches the north.” BBC – Tim Vickery


The new creators

October 25, 2011


Javier Mascherano
Saturday night’s the night I like, sang Elton John (that ages me), especially when you’ve got Malaga v Real Madrid followed by Barcelona v Sevilla on the telly. It sets you up nicely for the in-the-flesh Sunday game, ultimately something of a snooze-fest in Anoeta between Real Sociedad and Getafe (0-0). Perhaps it just paled by comparison, although that should never be the case when it comes to savouring the live experience. Putting your feet up on the sofa and popping open a half-decent Rioja is one thing, but getting down to the local stadium should always be the aesthetic priority.” ESPN

Granada 0 – 1 Barcelona
“Champions Barcelona returned to winning ways in the Primera Division but had to grind out the three points in a 1-0 win against nine-man Granada. Although it was a less than emphatic success, Barca they did get the job done against their struggling hosts as captain Xavi’s first-half free-kick was just about enough to earn them the victory.” ESPN


Watching Tractors In Tehran

October 25, 2011

“It is a swift six hour drive along the modern, three-lane freeway from Tabriz to Tehran. Descending from the historic city, the driver traces the ridge of the Sahand volcano, where the tower blocks of Tabriz give way first to sparse, sandy villages, then to vast, empty dust plains. The journey skirts the eastern edge of the Angoran protected area, where wild boar and wolves roam freely in the grey, scudded hills. On arrival at Qazvin, an ancient city once razed by Genghis Khan, the traveller joins Freeway One for the final ninety minute run into the capital.” In Bed With Maradona


Energie Cottbus 0-2 Greuther Fürth

October 25, 2011

“Fürth beat Energie Cottbus 2-0 and shot back to the top of the 2. Bundesliga table thanks to a performance that was built on a solid defence and deadly attack. The Bavarians were just too good for their East German hosts, who struggled for inspiration and urgency. Although the visitors were under the kosh for about 20 minutes straight during the second half, Cottbus barely created a single chance in that period, let alone during the whole match. Fürth could easily have scored several more goals at the Stadion der Freundschaft this afternoon, and nobody in green put a foot wrong all game: defensive midfielder Edgar Prib was in particularly fine form, and my man of the match. Surely there can be nobody out there now who doubts the title-winning credentials of Mike Büskens’ side?” Defensive Midfielder


Beckham’s Last Stand

October 25, 2011

“On a sun-drenched day in Southern California, it’s hard to imagine a more peaceful vibe than the one at The Home Depot Center. A dog frolics on the grass in front of the south goal. The scent of honeysuckle fills the air. Landon Donovan leans back in a bleacher seat and shares a wish he wouldn’t have dreamed of three years ago: that Los Angeles Galaxy teammate David Beckham extend his expiring contract and turn down overseas suitors (Paris! London!) to return to MLS next year.” SI