How Mario Balotelli Became MARIO BALOTELLI!!!

November 6, 2011

Mario Balotelli
“Sometime during the early morning of October 22, around the moment when the first reports started appearing on the Internet, Mario Balotelli ceased to exist. The headlines that caused his sudden dematerialization were, for the most part, surprisingly restrained, especially for the British press. You could even call them tasteful. “Mario Balotelli rescued by fire brigade after setting his house alight with fireworks,” the Mirror murmured. “Mario Balotelli’s house set on fire as he shoots fireworks from window,” the Guardian agreed. Maybe the copy editors were struggling just to fit in all the facts — none of them even alluded to the best detail of all, which was that the fireworks that ignited Balotelli’s mansion had been launched from the bathroom window. Or maybe the basic outline was weird enough that not even the tabloids needed to dress it up.” Grantland – Brian Phillips (Video)


Liverpool 0 – 0 Swansea City

November 6, 2011

“Striker Andy Carroll was the fall-guy for Liverpool after missing a first-half sitter in the goalless draw at home to Swansea. For the second successive home match against a newly-promoted team Kenny Dalglish’s side failed to convert their chances. Carroll’s was the miss everyone will remember, although there were enough opportunities created afterwards to have prevented a third home draw in a row.” ESPN

Dalglish laments disappointing performance
“Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish refused to blame Andy Carroll for his close-range first-half miss but said his side’s performance in the goalless draw at home to Swansea was unacceptable. For the second successive home match against a promoted team the Reds created a number of chances but could not convert. Their frustration was not helped by a couple of brilliant saves from Michel Vorm late on to deny Luis Suarez and Glen Johnson but the major talking point was Carroll’s miss from six yards in only the seventh minute.” ESPN

Liverpool FC 0 Swansea City 0 – Final whistle report
“LIVERPOOL’S poor home form continued as they were held to a goalless draw by newly-promoted Swansea City on a frustrating afternoon at Anfield. It was the Reds’ third successive home stalemate in the Premier League and they have now won just two of their six home matches. Boss Kenny Dalglish will rue another stack of missed chances and Swans keeper Michel Vorm pulled off some stunning saves.” FC Liverpool Echo

Fabio Capello a lost soul looking for a new leader in English football’s moral maze

November 6, 2011

“The contrast with the calm demeanour and technical calibre of this week’s opponents, Spain, the champions of the world and fine ambassadors for the sport, must be painful for Capello to behold. As he outlined his views on the England squad yesterday, and particularly sought to justify his inclusion of John Terry but not Rio Ferdinand, the Italian was again accompanied by an interpreter; what he really needs is a guide to steer him through the moral maze of English football.” Telegraph – Henry Winter

All time Har Low

November 6, 2011

“Football on TV was restricted to Match of the Day on Saturday and The Big Match on Sunday tea time. Occasionally, we were also treated to extended highlights on Sportsnight, presented by Harry Carpenter, during the week if there was an England game on or some FA Cup replays. Back then the football authorities were sensible. None of this “we need 10 days to sort out replay days” malarkey. It was as simple as “if we draw on Saturday, we replay on Tuesday”…and if that one is a draw then we will toss a coin to determine where the 2nd replay will be two days later (or on some instances the 3rd and 4th replays).” The Ball is Round

The Reducer: Week 10, Happiness Is a Warm Gun

November 6, 2011

“What do you call a match that had eight goals, was played at Red Bull-on-an-IV-drip pace, and featured breathtaking passing movements executed at fast-forward speed? A match that had the heartwarming rise of one of Britain’s best young talents, a telepathic assist from a man with a very strange hairline, a world-class performance from one of the hottest strikers in Europe, The Reducer’s favorite kind of goal celebration, and a cameo from Epithetus, the Greek god of alleged racial abuse? Why, it’s the match of the season, comrades! Arsenal and Chelsea had a throwdown on Saturday, with the Gunners winning, away. 5-3. And it was one of the great football matches in recent memory.” Grantland (Video)

How Bosnia’s pioneering footballers are succeeding where the politicians failed

November 6, 2011

“A cold autumn mist seasoned with woodsmoke hangs over the stadium on what was no man’s land during Sarajevo’s four-year siege – the first Serbian machine-gun post was just behind the goal where the ‘maniac crew’ of Željeznicar Sarajevo sing and the electronic scoreboard now stands. Tonight, it shows a result of 2-0 in favour of Željeznicar against Celik Zenica in the Bosnian cup.” Guardian

Borussia Dortmund 5-1 Wolfsburg

November 6, 2011

“Borussia Dortmund capitalised on yet another mistake-ridden defensive performance by Wolfsburg to move up to second place in the Bundesliga. Felix Magath started the match with an extremely defensive line-up in a bid to crowd out Dortmund’s midfield-based passing game, and despite these tactics working perfectly in the opening ten minutes of the match, a mistake at the back allowed Dortmund to score, forcing Wolfsburg to come out and play, thereby leaving themselves open to the magic of Shinji Kagawa and Mario Götze – both of whom gave attacking-midfield masterclasses. The 5-1 defeat leaves Wolfsburg in 14th place with the second-worst goal difference in the Bundesliga, and you can’t help but feel that if it was anyone but title-winning coach Felix Magath at the helm, the board’s trigger finger would be getting twitchy.” Defensive Midfielder