La Copa De La Espana Libre

March 30, 2012


1937 map showing the areas held by Republicans in white and Nationalist areas in grey
“In 1937, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, Republican areas of Spain formed la Liga del Mediterraneo (the Mediterranean League) and la Copa de le Espana Libre (the Free Spain Cup) as the national league was suspended. These competitions mark a period many in Spain would like to forget, but one club wants them officially recognised. The competitions are just as important because of the teams that were omitted as they are for those that took part. Held in the Republican strongholds of Valencia and Barcelona, the most notable omissions were Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.” In Bed With Maradona

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Talking Tactics: What Barcelona can expect from Milan in San Siro

March 30, 2012

“Barcelona travel to Italy this week in the Champions League to face Serie A leaders AC Milan, having scrapped through 4-3 on aggregate against Arsenal in the last sixteen. Arsenal suffered from a poor first leg, where they lost 4-0 and were tactically played off the park, but this was turned around in the second leg as Wenger was willing to pinpoint Milan’s weaknesses (lack of width and an over reliance on counter attacks) and exploit them. Here are five things Barcelona can expect from their visit to the San Siro…” Just Football


All Elbows and Ugly

March 30, 2012

“Because he looks ridiculous, is a streaky player, has pixie cheekbones despite being 6-foot-7, reads as ‘posh’ and ‘soft’ in a sport that complicatedly worships killers with no nerves in their knuckles, has a sense of humor, is married to a woman who is noticeably hotter than he is, and tends to be photographed in the process of transforming himself into comedic aerial hieroglyphs — e.g., this, and this and this — Peter Crouch gets a bad rap. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that Peter Crouch is not often judged with the benefit of nuance.” Grantland (Video)


The downward spiral

March 30, 2012

“Late March, and if you listen carefully you can – in the parlance of a certain puce-cheeked knight of the realm – hear the sound of bums starting to squeak. So, time to cast an eye over the teams who this May are most likely to be swapping the preening pros, plastic fans and prawn sandwiches of the Premier League for the Bovril, goal celebration music and cheerleaders of the Championship. In descending order…” thetwounfortunates


Liverpool: Kenny Needs To Copy Newcastle’s Transfer Strategy

March 30, 2012

“After transforming his side’s fortunes last season and investing significantly over the summer, expectations were high for Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool heading in to this season. Unfortunately, the season has not played out as the Anfield faithful had hoped it would. The Reds have been something of a Jekyll and Hyde side: still unbeaten in cup competitions and well on course for a domestic cup double, but infuriatingly inconsistent in the Premier League and far from where many had expected them to be. They slumped to their fifth defeat in their last six league games – an uninspiring, lethargic 2-1 loss at home to relegation battling Wigan – and fans are beginning to turn on the very man that has long been revered as royalty at Anfield.” Sabotage Times