Trading places: Cassano and Pazzini

August 23, 2012


Antonio Cassano
“When assessing how realistic a transfer rumor is, you can be fairly confident that any mooted ‘exchange’ deal won’t happen, especially when big-name players are involved. They’re often touted, but they rarely happen. Therefore, it’s particularly exciting when an exchange does take place. Samuel Eto’o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic swapping clubs three years ago was an astonishing transfer. The consensus was that Inter Milan had got themselves a great deal.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Taking Comfort in Statistics

August 23, 2012

“The grand opening of Manchester City’s player data archives last week was, they pronounced, ‘for the benefit of analytics in football,’ aimed at creating a ‘data culture in the UK.’ There was something giddily optimistic, even futuristic, about what is (to some people at least) a relatively worthy, earnest ambition.” Tomkins Times


Injuries hurting, but Man Utd failed to address its most pressing needs

August 23, 2012

“Rafa Benitez’s 2004 departure from Valencia — after a dispute with sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch — brought one of the great expressions of managerial frustration. On Monday, in its 1-0 Premier League season-opening defeat at Everton, Manchester United was left wandering around looking for somewhere to sit down and seeing only covers for light bulbs. Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa are excellent players. That is not in dispute. The question is whether they are the players United needed.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


No excuses as rich Paris St-Germain continue poor start to season

August 23, 2012


“With billionaire owners and big-spending clubs, ridicule is never far away. Even those who don’t hate them for their wealth and the way they’ve skewed the competition can hardly help but smirk when things go against them and the little man fights back. Paris St-Germain have never been a popular club but they are in danger of becoming a ridiculous club, at least in the short term. Having needed a last-minute Zlatan Ibrahimovic equaliser to take a point from Lorient on the opening weekend of the season, they were held to a goalless draw by Ajaccio on Sunday.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Arsenal place faith in brains over brawn

August 23, 2012

“Alex Song’s £15million move to Barcelona, only days after the club announced the sale of Robin van Persie, means Arsenal have now covered the cost of investment on Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla entirely. As Gunnerblog writes; ‘it’s almost as if we planned it like this.’ Whether or not you feel this is good practice for a football club supposed to be competing for top honours doesn’t matter; the mood of the Arsenal online Diaspora seems to be a resounding ‘meh.’” Arsenal Column


The Donkeys Continue To Fly

August 23, 2012

“Donkeys will fly before Chievo makes it to Serie A.’ This was a chant directed towards and poking fun at local upstarts ChievoVerona from fans of city rivals Hellas Verona. Yet after a decade of contrasting fortunes for both clubs, the underdogs are currently having the last laugh. While Verona have spent most of the 2000s attempting to reclaim a place in the top flight, Chievo have all but sustained a place in Serie A since their historic promotion in 2001, even twice competing in Europe.” In Bed With Maradona