Tactics: How Barcelona have changed football

November 30, 2011

Victor Valdés
“Tiny cracks may be starting to appear in the previously impregnable armour of Barcelona, with Real Madrid rampant and Pep Guardiola’s side rudely obliged to play catch-up, but this team’s place in history is already secure. The trophies and the unique, hypnotic passing style have made sure of that, but less remarked upon is the tactical legacy that they have bequeathed to the game.” Football Further

Goodbye Twentieth Century

November 30, 2011

“A proposal: when we wile away the hours compiling lists of the Greatest Ever Footballers, we are doing a disservice to this form of discourse if we do not take its premises seriously. To pretend that we can go on existing without this genetically-hewn proclivity for reducing the world to an Excel document is both futile and obscene, and we’ve no interest in arguing as to whether Grand Ranking is real a childish waste of everyone’s time.” Run of Play

Arsenal 1-1 Fulham

November 30, 2011

“The argument that Arsenal are reliant on Robin van Persie would prove most conclusive when the Dutchman isn’t scoring goals, as opposed to when he is. So, in the first league match in seven games in which he has failed to score, are Arsenal reliant on Robin van Persie? That answer is probably yes although the overriding reason for Arsenal’s mute performance on Saturday seemed to be down to fatigue as well as Fulham’s obdurate defending.” The Arsenal Column

Discovering Three Sided Football

November 30, 2011

“As the clock ticked down on the final minutes of the match, the onslaught became irresistible. Deeper and deeper they defended. More and more attackers appeared. The siege became overwhelming. Desperate challenges, heroic lunges, astonishing saves. The ball thudding against the post. A penalty turned down. Shots raining down upon them. And ultimately resistance proved futile — eventually the winning goal came. The goalkeeper could do nothing. Nor could his outnumbered defenders. To a huge roar, victory had been secured in the very last minute.” SI

Brazilian football needs to take the opposition seriously

November 30, 2011

“I flew back to Brazil from London on the day that the group phase of the Champions League kicked off. I well recall that the talk in England at the time was that the entire group stage was dull and predictable. It was almost too easy for the Premier League sides. But that is not the way things have turned out.” BBC – Tim Vickery

Surprise rise of the Borussias

November 30, 2011

“A few months, even a few weeks, ago, it would have been silly to assume that the game between the two Borussias – Dortmund and Mönchengladbach – on the coming Saturday would pair the league leaders with the runners-up. Too difficult was Dortmund’s start to this season, too narrowly did Gladbach avoid relegation in the last season for anyone to predict this match would be anything special.” ESPN

Bhoys are back in town

November 30, 2011

“This week, Celtic start to show their credentials and there is a further recurrence of the depressing violence directed at Old Firm personnel.” ESPN


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