Ten questions for 2012

January 11, 2012


Borussia Dortmund celebrate
“As the major continental leagues resume following the winter break – Serie A and La Liga returned to action over the weekend, with Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga set to follow suit in the next fortnight – Pitchside Europe looks at ten issues that will help determine the balance of power across Europe in the 12 months ahead.” Eurosport


Are We Tackling Racism In Football The Right Way?

January 11, 2012

“In the autumn of 2003 I was in the press box at Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea host Lazio. It was the Blues’ first season with Roman Abramovich cutting the cheques, while the opponents were, by that stage, a spent force. A few minutes into the game, Simone Inzaghi was tackled by John Terry. The referee waved play on, as the Italian striker continued to roll around and writhe in agony, real or imagined. Demetrio Albertini won it back and, seeing his teammate still on the ground, booted it out of play to allow the physios on. After a minute or so, Inzaghi was on his feet and Glen Johnson ambled over to take the throw-in. Angelo Peruzzi, the Lazio keeper, advanced to the corner of his penalty box with one hand in the air. Pretty unmistakeable. Lazio had put the ball out of play because Inzaghi was down; now they expected it back.” Sabotage Times


FA Cup struggles for relevancy

January 11, 2012

“The FA Cup would be nothing without its traditions. Every third-round weekend the regular old rituals are trotted through: the grainy shots of finals past, the semi-knowing talk of the romance of it all, the hand-wringing about how the luster can best be restored to “the oldest cup competition in the world.” The FA Cup is a peculiarly English event, not just because it stretches back to 1871-72 and the prehistory of the game, but because it is something that is never as good as it used to be.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


Speaking out on the Internet: Present Status and Future Prospects

January 11, 2012


“One of this website’s latest followers on Twitter, Simeon F. W. Pickup states his interests as ‘Reading FC, Atheism, Labour. In that order.’ Although Ed Miliband’s negligible impact on the polls may have something to do with his party being relegated behind Brian McDermott and Richard Dawkins in Simeon’s thinking, I did read this as tongue in cheek. Nonetheless, therein lies a message.” thetwounfortunates


A Fragmented Future? English Football Broadcast Rights and the Challenge of Google and Apple

January 11, 2012

“Google and Apple may not exactly be the first names that spring to mind when looking for alternatives to challenge Sky’s dominance of sports broadcasting in Britain, but it should be no surprise that two of the giants of the tech and online world are eyeing up sport as a way to lure consumers into their new offerings. It was, after all, a key part of Rupert Murdoch’s strategy as he battled to establish his satellite broadcasting operation in Britain at the start of the 1990s.” Pitch Invasion


Messi: The best is yet to come

January 11, 2012

“Seven years ago, at the start of 2005, I was covering the South American Under-20 Championships in Colombia’s coffee-growing region when I came across something that gave me a far bigger buzz than the local produce. It was a short, shambling 17-year-old with the air of the pigeon-toed runt of the litter. His name was Lionel Messi.” BBC – Tim Vickery