Daily Archives: October 20, 2012

Weak at the Knees – Is Germany suffering from mental and tactical regression?

“Sweden’s incredible and historic comeback against Germany on Tuesday will no doubt add fuel to an already fiery debate about the National Team’s supposed mental frailty and Löw’s ability to truly reach their potential. Images of despair and disbelief have become commonplace in German football over the years, whether it was Bayern’s dramatic and unexpected loss in the Champions League final against Chelsea, Germany’s capitulation against Italy at the EUROs or the seeming inevitability of a loss whenever Germany is faced with Spain. German clubs’ failure in European competition only enhances a growing reputation of shortcomings and underachievement.” Bundesliga Fanatic

Germany collapse against Sweden brings questions, consequences
“‘I’m in a state of shock,’ said German national team coach Joachim Löw immediately after his squad’s 4-4 draw with Sweden in the World Cup qualifier Tuesday night. ‘This is inexplicable.’ His players were similarly stunned by the biggest collapse in the country’s footballing history; no other German team had ever squandered a four-goal lead before. TV reporters and journalists seemed lost for words, too, initially, before a number of reasons for the embarrassing result were put forward.” SI


Real Madrid And Barcelona – Leaders Of The Pack

” A couple of weeks ago Barcelona and Real Madrid produced an enthralling 2-2 draw in El Clásico with two goals apiece from their superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It seemed appropriate that the latest match in a series of titanic struggles finished level, as there has been little to separate the two Spanish giants recently. Their dominance in La Liga has become unquestioned, as they have shared the last eight league titles between them, Barcelona winning five times, while Madrid have been victorious on three occasions, including last season. In Europe, Barcelona have led the way, winning the Champions League twice in the last four years. Although Madrid have not been quite so prominent recently, they have reached the semi-finals of the last two tournaments, and they have won the trophy more than any other club (nine times).” Swiss Ramble

Like A Bat Out Of Hell

“They say that you never really choose your football team. With little regard for your mental health, current (and prospective) relationships and general hopes and ambitions for the future, one big brutish bastard of a team will grab you by the hand and forcefully drag you down the aisle to be joined in irrational, passionate and bittersweet matrimony until the day you die. Not that it’s all bad – there are good times. Just enough of them to keep you blinded by hope when the shit invariably, and repeatedly, hits the fan (no pun intended).” In Bed With Maradona

Serie A’s new title rivalry

“Europe’s title battles this season will be somewhat familiar — Real Madrid versus Barcelona, Manchester City versus Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund versus Bayern Munich. Though we’re only in October and there’s still time for outsiders to spoil the party, the lack of variety can be frustrating. Serie A is different. This weekend Juventus takes on Napoli: it’s first versus second with both teams having picked up 19 points from a possible 21 so far — but more intriguingly, it’s a genuinely new title rivalry.” ESPN – Michael Cox

Sterling work from Raheem

“Forward Raheem Sterling scored his first Liverpool goal to give manager Brendan Rodgers his maiden home league win against former club Reading following a 1-0 triumph. The England Under-21 international, at 17 years and 317 days old, as a result became the club’s second-youngest Premier League goalscorer behind Michael Owen. His strike should not have been the Reds’ sole effort but such are their problems up front this season – prior to kick-off only Sunderland (two) and bottom club QPR (one) had scored fewer at home – winless Reading remained in the game right up until the final whistle.” ESPN