How to Survive the Apocalypse

October 5, 2012


“The ships came out of the sky without warning and devastated most of our cities. Washington, D.C., is a crater; Moscow is lit with green flames. In London, packs of slavering, glistening aliens roam the streets outside the rubble of Parliament, harvesting survivors for the minerals in their bones. The future is canceled. To all appearances, humanity is doomed.” Grantland – Brian Phillips


Benfica 0-2 Barcelona: Sanchez and Fabregas exploit the space between Pereira and Jardel

October 5, 2012

“Barcelona constantly attacked into an inside-left position in their comfortable victory over Benfica. Jorge Jesus chose 4-1-4-1ish system with Nemanja Matic sitting deep in midfield and Bruno Rodrigo having most license to get forward. Oscar Cardozo wasn’t fit, so Lima started alone upfront. Tito Vilanova brought back Carles Puyol into defence, while Cesc Fabregas played in Andres Iniesta’s left-centre midfield position. That turned out to be a crucial part of Barca’s gameplan – Fabregas stormed forward to turn Barcelona’s front three into a front four and overwhelmed the Benfica defence.” Zonal Marking

Tito Vilanova sticks to just tweaking Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona plan
“From the first day, the message was clear: keep calm and carry on. On 27 April, Pep Guardiola, appeared in the press room at the Camp Nou to announce that he was leaving at the end of the season. Sat among the journalists were a handful of Barcelona players but Lionel Messi was not one of them. He later said that he just couldn’t be there: the emotion was too great. Barcelona’s most successful coach was leaving, the man who symbolised the club better than anyone else, ever.” Guardian


Porto 1-0 PSG: Porto dominate with more width

October 5, 2012

“PSG remained narrow while Porto played with plenty of width – and the home side’s two wingers were the key attacking players. Vitor Pereira chose his expected line-up in the usual 4-3-3 system. Carlo Ancelotti left out Javier Pastore, preferring Jeremy Menez and Nene. At the back he brought in Mamadou Sakho. Porto played superior football throughout the match, and although PSG had a few chances on the break, Pereira’s side were fully deserving of the three points.” Zonal Marking

Carlo Ancelotti should sharpen his tactics
“For a double European Cup winner, a title winner in two major leagues, and one of the most celebrated coaches of his era, it’s surprisingly difficult to work out whether Carlo Ancelotti has any tactical nous. Wednesday night was a great example. Ancelotti’s Paris Saint-Germain club traveled to Porto and produced a poor performance completely lacking in creativity, width or ambition. PSG lost 1-0 after a late James Rodriguez goal, but the score line could have been 3-0 or 4-0 and not flattered the Portuguese champions, who had 20 shots to PSG’s eight, six on target to PSG’s two. It was a 1-0 thrashing.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Motherland Calls – the World Cup in Russia

October 5, 2012


“The announcement of Russia’s host cities for the 2018 World Cup was hardly the big football story of the weekend. It all seems like a long way off right now – we’ve got Brazil to get through first. But, most football fans probably have an idea of what a World Cup in Brazil will look like, less so one in Russia, whose bid was tainted by the genuinely farcical scenario that will see Qatar hosting the second biggest sporting event in the world. In the desert. That, and the overwhelming stench of corruption that clings to FIFA’s bid process, but we all know about that. I’d rather focus on the allure of Russia’s World Cup.” Regista


Liverpool: Glen Johnson Proves Again That He Can’t Defend For Toffee

October 5, 2012

“The last two home games for Liverpool have seen superb performances undermined by a mix of gross incompetence from referees coupled with individual defensive errors which have ruthlessly been capitalised on by proven goalscorers, and the Reds have somehow come away from both games as the losing team, despite having dominated the majority of the play. This is nothing new for the Anfield faithful, who saw the same thing happen time and time again last season, but despite it feeling like the same old cycle, with each game that passes this team looks more and more comfortable in Brendan Rodgers’ system.” Sabotage Times


Learning from MLS: an American Soccer Weekend

October 5, 2012

“On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to take in my first Major League Soccer encounter as Portland Timbers took on DC United – the first game I have seen outside the UK since my attendance at the 1993 Champions League Final in Munich. The Oregonians are very much darlings of the footballing blogosphere, having become the subject of a wonderful podcast, Mao’s Football Show, been the subject of a cracking piece from its deviser Michael Orr in Issue Zero of the Blizzard and been subject to much praise for its fan culture in a series of posts at the excellent Pitch Invasion blog – indeed, a clutch of these appeared in Tom Dunmore’s book which we reviewed in January. But what can British football – and in particular the Football League – learn from Major League soccer? On this evidence – a lot.” thetwounfortunates


BBC Italia 90 Titles

October 5, 2012

“Deep breath…. No, it’s no good. You were going to get a snappy intro here but I was in a pool of tears and snot after about three seconds…… At the time, Italia 90 was lambasted as a poor tournament, yet hundreds, possibly thousands of us can recall every kick. Anyway, the BBC got the title sequence bang on the money. Here’s the opening and closing credits………sniff……” In Bed With Maradona