Daily Archives: December 7, 2011

The Death of Sócrates

“Sócrates is dead. It’s hard to see how anyone could be surprised. It’s also hard not to think that he died because he wanted to, since Sócrates always seems to have done what he wanted to. He smoked incessantly because it gave him pleasure; he seems to have ingested vast amounts of alcohol for the same reason. When people die from alcoholic poisoning — which is in effect what killed Sócrates — it’s usual to speak of their ‘demons’: he could never escape his demons, he could never conquer his demons, in the end his demons destroyed him. Few will use that language about Sócrates, in part because, according to much testimony, drinking didn’t really change his personality. He drank because he liked it, probably.” Run of Play

Socrates so much more than a footballer
“Just over five years ago, when Brazil’s 1982 World Cup coach Tele Santana died, team captain Socrates recalled the scene in the dressing room after their elimination by Paolo Rossi’s Italy at the second group stage. As the media were searching for explanations, there were tears and tantrums, dejection and disappointment. Amid the chaos, Santana stood peacefully, proud of his team and the glorious football they had played – still remembered with extraordinary affection all over the world. They had given it their best shot.” BBC – Tim Vickery (Video)

Socrates Dead: Brazil Soccer Captain At 1982 World Cup Dies At 57
“On and off the field, former Brazil star Socrates stood out above the rest. His elegant style and his deep involvement with politics made him a unique figure in Brazilian soccer, setting him apart from the players of his time and even of today. He was mostly known for captaining Brazil at the 1982 World Cup, regarded by many as the best team ever not to win football’s showcase tournament.” Huffington Post (Video)

Euro 2012 Draw In ‘Not That Dull’ Shock

“Is Group C of the Euro 2012 finals – Croatia, Italy, Ireland and Spain – the most catholic group in international football tournament finals history? That thought occurred with the fourth team in two of next summer’s groups still to be drawn out and Italy’s and England’s balls still to be opened. When Saturday Comes magazine asked the question of one of the 2002 World Cup finals groups – also involving Italy and Croatia, alongside Mexico and Ecuador – so it wasn’t an original thought (when I have one, I’ll surely let you know).” twohundredpercent

The Reducer: Week 14, Spurs of the Moment

“Sometimes there are Premier League weekends where it’s all paradigm-shifting, faith-questioning madness that makes The Reducer pull off Johan Cruyff Turns in his living room and Zidane-headbutt the drywall. This was not one of those weekends. So rather than deep dive on one match, let’s speed race through several different results.” Grantland (Video)

Chelsea 3-0 Valencia: Chelsea drop deep and progress to the second round

“Chelsea are into the knockout stages after a surprisingly comfortable win over Valencia. Andre Villas-Boas went for his usual 4-3-3, but sprung a surprise with the use of Raul Meireles on the left of the midfield triangle, meaning Frank Lampard dropped to the bench. Didier Drogba was in over Fernando Torres again upfront. Unai Emery’s expected 4-2-3-1 featured Jonas as the central attacker, Sofiane Feghouli on the right, and Antonio Barragan at right-back. Ever Banega was out injured. Chelsea were ahead after five minutes, and had the game sealed by half-time.” Zonal Marking

Fulham 1 – 0 Liverpool

“Fulham striker Clint Dempsey struck a late winner as Liverpool’s outstanding form on the road ended with a controversial 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage. Dempsey stabbed home a long-range 85th-minute shot by Danny Murphy that had bounced off the arms of Jose Reina, to secure only Fulham’s third Barclays Premier League win of the season. However, a sense of grievance cloaked Liverpool’s night after they were denied a strong claim to a penalty and a legitimate goal from Luis Suarez was disallowed for offside, before Jay Spearing was shown a straight red card.” ESPN

Fulham 1 Liverpool 0: In-Depth Tactical Analysis
“Fulham had failed to score in six in their last eight Premier League games against Liverpool, and the visitors have the league’s best record in terms of shots conceded (44). Unfortunately, neither record prevailed in the end as Fulham gained a 1-0 victory after Spearing had been received a straight red card.” Tomkins Times