Suarez skill complements Uruguay teamwork

November 15, 2011

Luis Suárez
“There was a little run and a cracking left-foot shot from outside the area. There were two headers, one classic, the other bundled in after sound reading of the situation. And to complete the set there was a drilled, first-time, right-footed cross shot. Luis Suarez showed the full range of his astonishing talent last Friday, scoring all the goals in Uruguay’s 4-0 World Cup qualifier win over Chile. It was breathtaking stuff.” BBC – Tim Vickery

World Cup qualifying 2014: Argentina 1 – 1 Bolivia: match highlights
“Argentina’s qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup hit another bump in the road on Friday afternoon where, in the glorious Monumental sunshine, Bolivia took the lead and eventually held the hosts to a 1-1 draw in the third round of qualifiers. Marcelo Martins opened the scoring in the 56th minute, only for Argentina – who dominated without overly impressing – to equalise through Ezequiel Lavezzi just seconds after he’d taken to the pitch. In the first half, Gonzalo Higuaín saw an early opener disallowed due to a foul… on Lionel Messi in the buildup. You can see the highlights (in HD if you’re so minded) right here.” Hasta El Gol Siempre (Video)

Wembley sunset

November 15, 2011

“The last time Spain won at Wembley, the old one – was in 1981. They won 2-1, and I was there in schoolteacher mode, surrounded by a phalanx of adolescent schoolkids that I’d accompanied on a coach from Hull. If any of them are reading this, I forgive that kid who ‘forgot’ to pay for his hotdog. It seems like another life ago, from a different planet, and not only because I no longer earn my bread from teaching ‘Kes’ on a Friday afternoon, but because of the different set of expectations that accompanied the game back then.” ESPN

Spain continue to dominate possession but need more penetration
“A criticism of Spain days after an unfortunate 1-0 defeat to England is always likely to come across as a wild knee-jerk reaction, but Spain’s problems against decent sides have been evident for over a year now. They were handed an extremely easy qualification group for Euro 2012 where they had few problems, but in friendlies with larger nations they’ve struggled. Since the World Cup, they’ve drawn 1-1 with Mexico, lost 4-1 to Argentina, lost 4-0 to Portugal, lost 2-1 to Italy and lost 1-0 to England.” Zonal Marking

Brian Glanville on England’s shock victory over Spain
“The general euphoria which followed the wholly unexpected victory of a patched up England team against the mighty Spaniards was easy to understand but hard to justify. The first half approach by England was surely a deep embarrassment to any objective watcher. Nine men behind the ball against a Spanish team which weaved patterns around them but were desperately prevented from scoring.” World Soccer

Pressure is on Portugal in playoff
“International football seems to be increasingly unpopular these days — for various reasons, the club game has completely superseded it, both in terms of quality and reputation. International friendlies are considered irrelevant, while international qualifiers are often a formality for the bigger teams that naturally attract the most attention.” ESPN

World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, November 15th, 2011

November 15, 2011

“Given that Japan had already progressed to the next stage of the 2014 qualifying process and North Korea had been eliminated, the result when the two countries met in Pyongyang was academic. Nevertheless, the North Koreans were clearly intent on ensuring that their visitors did not forget their time in Pyongyang. The Japan team was held up by a baggage and immigration inspection at the airport on the eve of the game. Korean officials berated players when they laughed, and confiscated items including bananas, chewing gum, and instant noodles, according to both Nikkan Sports and Sports Nippon. At a stretch one can see how certain items such as chewing gum might be seen as embodying the decadent, immoral and corrupt capitalist world, but a banana!? Really?” World Soccer (Video)

Football In Sudan

November 15, 2011

“This East African country has suffered through so much ever since its independence from Britain in 1956. From two civil wars due to religious persecution, differences involving a person’s language, ethnicity and of course political power caused the death of millions and the displacement of millions more. This country has been accused of being a haven for terrorists leading to years of international sanctions imposed against them and its people, as well as suffering through one of the worst humanitarian crises of recent times in Darfur. The country that I’m talking about is Africa’s largest nation, Sudan.” In Bed With Maradoma

Del Bosque is getting it wrong

November 15, 2011

“The title of this post is perhaps an example of what can be alluded to in Spanish as palabras mayores; ‘strong words’, ‘big statement’. And it is with regret that anyone throws criticism at the man of integrity that is Vicente Del Bosque. But bear with me… I don’t know which is worse: a) that a manager, seeing the symptoms of illness, misdiagnoses and subsequently elects a course of action or inaction, b) that the manager seeing the symptoms of illness, diagnoses correctly and yet implausibly insists on continuing his preferred method of questionable treatment or c) that he fails to see the symptoms in the first place and thinks that things are in fine fettle.” santapelota

Arsenal and Holland Legend Dennis Bergkamp On His Greatest Ever Goal

November 15, 2011

“One of the finest players to ever grace this planet, Arsenal and Holland great Dennis Bergkamp reveals his finest footballing moment, how he accomplished it and what it still means to him.” Sabotage Times

Andy Carroll, Prime Target

November 15, 2011

“So, according to Derek Llambias, the Newcastle managing director, Andy Carroll is worth ‘fuck all’. Of course, having bragged of turning down a bid of £30m, at which point Liverpool could easily have walked away, they must have had some sense of his value, but that’s by the by. Either way, at £35m, Andy Carroll remains a news story. Welcome to the goldfish bowl.” Tomkins Times