Neymar a match for Messi on Day of the Goal

March 11, 2012


“A Brazilian journalist this week came up with the thoroughly sensible idea that 7 March henceforth be commemorated as world football’s Day of the Goal. It was not only the date on which Lionel Messi chalked up his five for Barcelona in the Champions League; in the South American equivalent, the Copa Libertadores, Neymar of Santos also added a magnificent hat-trick of his own.” BBC – Tim Vickery

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Tactics: Zambia combine spirit with organisation

March 11, 2012

“Oscar Tabarez and Herve Renard may not obviously have a lot in common. With his sober ties and thoughtful limp, the 65-year-old former schoolteacher Tabarez looks like he should be the precinct chief in a seventies detective series, while the flamboyant, 43-year-old Renard’s long hair and unbuttoned shirts make him look like the passionate lead in a 19th-century romance. And yet, in the past year, both have taken unfancied sides to continental tournament triumphs, and both have done so with similar methods.” World Soccer – Jonathan Wilson (YouTube)


European Championship Stories: 1988 – Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold

March 11, 2012

“There can be few things more tiresome in international football than war analogies. Sometimes, however, they are inescapable and this can be no more true than in the case of European nations which once pitched up against each other on battlefields, only to find themselves facing off against their former allies or rivals for decades afterwards. In the case of the Dutch national team, the complex nature of its relationship with its neighbour – and former occupier – Germany has come to manifest itself through an occasional series of gladiatorial matches between the two national sides.” twohundredpercent


Inter’s Treble Was the End, Not the Beginning

March 11, 2012

“Beleaguered Inter Milan dragged themselves back from another near disastrous defeat at home on Sunday. Diego Milito this time was charged with pulling the game level against Catania. They had been two goals down but the comeback tasted as bitter as a defeat due to the performance once again screaming of inadequacy.” In Bed With Maradona


Football – the last bastion of Social Democracy?

March 11, 2012


Hubert Robert – Architectural Composition with the Pantheon
“I know what you’re already thinking. That I’m going to argue something entirely inarguable. That in between skimming the dressing room copies of Nuts and Zoo the average Premier League footballer is more likely to clutch a well thumbed copy of Ayn Rand’s hymn to self interest, ‘Atlas Shrugged’ than the collected writings of Tony Crosland. And you’d be right of course. Modern football is awash with greed – with car swerving prima-donna Ashley Cole its own John Galt – a rifle toting poster boy for the ‘we’ll do what we like’ generation.” thetwounfortunates


Liverpool luckless at Black Cats

March 11, 2012

“Nicklas Bendtner’s second goal in a week secured a 1-0 victory for Sunderland over Liverpool as Jose Reina endured another miserable afternoon on Wearside. The Denmark international pounced from close range with 56 minutes gone to fire the home side ahead after strike-partner Fraizer Campbell’s shot had twice hit the woodwork with the Spaniard unable to do anything about it.” ESPN


Manchester United 2-3 Athletic Bilbao: United unable to deal with pressing and high tempo

March 11, 2012

“Athletic produced an extremely impressive performance, and take a decent lead back to Bilbao. Sir Alex Ferguson left out the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck, and went with Javier Hernandez upfront, and a combination of Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans at the back.” Zonal Marking