Ciro and the Azzurrini

November 17, 2011


Ciro Ferrara
“Juventus fans began with grudging admiration for Ciro Ferrara and now it seems the rest of Italian football may be doing much the same as he rebuilds not only his own coaching career but the reputation of Italy’s Under-21 team. Fans of the Turin club were forced to look on as the defender won two Scudetti and the UEFA Cup as part of wonderful Diego Maradona era Napoli and many held both his style of play and his will to win in the highest regard. When Juventus signed him in 1994 it just felt right and the fact he is the only man Lippi brought with him from Naples speaks volumes.” In Bed With Maradoma

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Ireland: defensive, and no reason to change

November 17, 2011

“Giovanni Trapattoni has guided Ireland to their first major tournament for a decade, yet there are still questions about his tactics. His basic approach barely needs further explanation from the diagram on the left. There’s a standard back four, two hard-working central midfielders, two wingers who run with the ball, with a support player dropping off a main striker. It’s a 4-4-2, a 4-4-1-1 if you like, but near enough the most basic system imaginable in modern football.” Zonal Marking

Portugal 6-2 Bosnia: Portugal better all over the pitch (and Bosnia’s complete reshuffle at half-time doesn’t help)
“Paulo Bento’s side wobbled midway through the match, but overall deserved to progress to Euro 2012. Bento made no changes from the first leg, persisting with a 4-3-3 formation with Helder Postiga upfront. Safet Susic kept his midfield and attack in tact, but made suspension-related changes at the back. Sasa Papac was available again so started at left-back to replace Sejad Salihovic. This was a completely different match from the first leg – much more open and also much quicker.” Zonal Marking


The 100: One Year On

November 17, 2011

“How many times have you heard that? At IBWM, we thought long and hard about compiling a comprehensive directory of the most exciting young players in world football. It is, after all, always good to have a handle on where the next global superstar is coming from, don’t you think? But we decided not to.” In Bed With Maradoma


World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, November 17th, 2011

November 17, 2011

“No escaping the FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, today as his ill-advised remarks about racism continue to dominate the headlines. Blatter finds himself in hot water after appearing to brush aside the issue of racism on the pitch. Asked in an interview by CNN whether he felt there is still racism on the pitch, Blatter said: ‘I would deny it. There is no racism. The one affected by this should say this is a game and shake hands.’ Here’s footage of the moment he may come to regret…” World Soccer (Video)


England v The Rest of the World – British Pathé video

November 17, 2011


“Fabio Capello’s team may feel on top of the world after beating world champions Spain, but there was a time when the best the planet had to offer couldn’t even beat them. Rewind to Wembley in 1963, when the likes of Yashin, Puskas and Di Stefano lined up against Alf Ramsey’s team” Guardian


Harsh realities of life after Messi and Barcelona

November 17, 2011

“It is a Sunday afternoon, and a group of youngsters recognise the driver in an Audi people carrier with blacked out windows on Rambla Catalunya in central Barcelona. Lionel Messi lowers the window and signs autographs until the traffic lights change colour and he zooms off. Messi does not spot the pedestrian walking past holding a kitbag and wearing the red and black tracksuit of CD Manacor, a Spanish third division team.” The National


Tales from Tuilla: David Villa’s first footsteps into football still remain

November 17, 2011

“A little more than 10 minutes drive from my current home rests the small, stubborn mining community of Tuilla. Ring a bell? Perhaps not, but to most here in Spain, its reputation surpasses its dowdy exterior. It was in fact, the birthplace of a certain David Villa, who honed his talents on these very streets and pitches. For that alone I felt the need to make the pilgrimage, and to try and consider myself how such a sleepy place gave birth to a footballing genius.” Spanish Football