Is Barcelona’s dominance of La Liga about to end?

March 2, 2012

“In his tribute to Dutch soccer, Brilliant Orange, journalist David Winter writes of how the Dutch brand of attractive, free-flowing beautiful soccer always seemed to be overcome by a more utilitarian, pragmatic (German) approach. In the history of the game, this isn’t unusual. One of the classic problems facing anyone involved with the game is whether it’s better to play beautifully or to produce wins. Traditionally, the Dutch opted for the former and the Germans and Italians for the latter. (Meanwhile, the Brazilians managed both while the English, generally speaking, struggled to do one.)” Just Football

Robben plays party pooper

March 2, 2012

“Long to reign over us? Stuart Pearce’s grasping of the England nettle in his country’s hour of need has drawn both admirers and detractors, but any comfort in his tenure being extended was always likely to hinge on a positive result. Wanting the job will not be enough. Pre-match statements of intent can only fade into the shadow of defeat. Now, the clamour for Harry Redknapp will grow as a result of a victory from a clinical Dutch team, for whom anything beyond second gear was not required, even when England looked to have fought back for a 2-2 draw.” ESPN

England’s revival snuffed out by the brilliance of Arjen Robben in friendly against Holland at Wembley
“This was a mad end to another mad day in the England madhouse. From a shock choice as captain to a crazy finish, via some alarming naivety of play and an even more alarming sequence of injuries, England’s friendly defeat to Holland contained all manner of dramas.” Henry Winter (Video)

Can Brazil rely on David Luiz?

March 2, 2012

“The World Cup can be a cruel thing. No matter how well the team is doing in the competition, it need not take a bad game, or even a bad half, for them to be eliminated. A bad few minutes can be enough – as Brazil know very well. Brazil’s team in the last World Cup in South Africa may not have been to everyone’s taste, but results were excellent in the two years leading up to the tournament, and at half-time in the quarter-final against Netherlands few would have bet against them. Yet, in a matter of minutes, a 1-0 lead evaporated into a 2-1 deficit, and they were back on the plane home.” ESPN – Tim Vickery

Germany’s defense gives Löw cause for concern ahead of Euros

March 2, 2012

Joachim Low
“Was it really ‘a wonderful defeat,’ as Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote? The supporters in the Weserstadion had certainly shown little leniency with their team at the final whistle, when the Germany players were jeered and booed on their way into the changing room.” SI

Blanc’s France still searching for an identity

March 2, 2012

“For a team protecting an unbeaten record that now stretches to 543 days, France will approach Wednesday night’s friendly against Germany in Bremen with a surprising degree of uncertainty. Since going down 1-0 at home to Belarus in Laurent Blanc’s first competitive game in charge in September 2010, France have qualified for Euro 2012 – without recourse to the play-offs – and enjoyed friendly wins over England, Brazil and the United States (as well as some forgettable draws against Croatia, Chile and Belgium).” Football Further

Five famous dressing room revolts

March 2, 2012

“Frank Lampard is unhappy at being benched, Ashley Cole is fed up with being treated like a robot, Gary Cahill wants to know why he’s not playing more games. Chelsea has won just three games in 11, it teeters on the brink of Champions League elimination and the dressing room appears to be in perpetual and open revolt. With Andre-Villas Boas staring rebellion in the face, a look back at five managers who’ve been here before..” SI

Is More Regional Football The Answer To The Lower Divisions’ Prayers?

March 2, 2012

“Spiralling wage bills aren’t the only thing that are making the lives of non-league football clubs more and more difficult. Paul Caulfield has taken a look at the difficulties that clubs face and arrived at the conclusion that a possible solution may be to reintroduce greater regionalisation back to the lower divisions.” twohundredpercent


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