Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1: In-Depth Tactical Analysis

November 6, 2012


“As expected Reina and Johnson were injured, so Jones and Enrique started instead for Liverpool. Everyone else who featured in the past several league matches started, and even Sterling and Suso reverted to their usual positions on the left and right flank respectively. For Newcastle there were no major surprises either, except for the fact that Anita started on the right and Simpson on the bench. Ba was fit to feature and Steven Taylor was restored alongside Coloccini.” Tomkins Times

New Messi Or Barn Door Luis? Suarez Deconstructed
“He definitely doesn’t score when he wants or he’d be on 30 goals by now, but to deride Suarez as a poor finisher shows a complete lack of understanding of the situation. Here’s a look both at and behind the stats of the man everyone bar reds loves to hate…” Sabotage Times


Mousa Dembele – breaking the mould

November 6, 2012

“Football is becoming increasingly universal when it comes to tactics: the best defenders can start attacks; top-level attackers are expected to defend. Classic number tens have declined in popularity, but then so have traditional wingers — there are more multi-faceted, versatile players. Because of the convergence of player styles, it’s rare that a player’s unusual technique grabs your attention. When witnessing a talented player for the first time, you can generally crudely compare him to a more established player; Argentina has had plenty of “new Maradonas” — primarily because of the overwhelming desire to create another superstar in his mould, something eventually achieved with the ascent of Lionel Messi into the world’s greatest player, but also because it’s easy. Why spend a minute explaining a player’s characteristics when you can accurately summarise it with a quick comparison?” ESPN – Michael Cox


Blogging as an Historian

November 6, 2012

“In an increasingly open sourced world where libraries and archives are accessible from everywhere and in which working and writing in a cloud has become state of the art, where do we place history and historians? This is an attempt to describe the work as an aspiring historian of sport and as a blogger and how to combine these two.” Do not mention the war – Jonathan Wilson


The ‘Polish Barcelona’: This Is Ruch Chorzow

November 6, 2012


‘We’re not German; We’re not Polish; We’re Silesian.’ This is a common refrain from members of the Silesian minority in the industrial region of Upper Silesia in southern Poland. With a population of around 2,000,000, the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union (GZM), whose largest city is Katowice, is one of the biggest urban agglomerations in Europe. For many years, this densely populated region straddled the border between Germany and Poland, with Katowice (Kattowitz) part of the German Empire and neighbouring Sosnowiec part of Congress Poland. After the First World War, the League of Nations arranged for a plebiscite to determine the fate of the region, with Western Upper Silesia remaining part of Germany and Eastern Upper Silesia joining with the Second Polish Republic (although given a considerable degree of political autonomy). When the Germans invaded in 1939, Polish Upper Silesia was annexed to the Third Reich and many Silesians were granted German citizenship.” In Bed With Maradona


Shakhtar Donetsk have learned lessons and again stand in Chelsea’s way

November 6, 2012

“And so it goes on. Shakhtar Donetsk beat Metalurh Zaporizhzhya 2-0 on Saturday – Douglas Costa converted a penalty before a late goal from Luiz Adriano sealed it – to take their winning streak in the Ukrainian league to 23 games, 14 of them this season. They lead the table by 12 points and, already, with the season one game from its halfway point, it seems inconceivable that they will not lift a seventh title in nine years. The focus, understandably, is all on the Champions League and Wednesday’s game against Chelsea.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


La Liga Review: FC Barcelona 3, Celta de Vigo 1… Ghostbusters!

November 6, 2012

“With this win, Tito’s Barça have now the best ever Liga start in club history, with 9 wins and 1 draw in the first ten matches. In spite of many more close scorelines than we were used to, this team is bringing in a series of excellent results. Tito deployed the following starting XI: VV, Adriano, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Cesc, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi and Villa. Initially, we thought Busquets would play as CB, but no, Tito decided to go for an exciting 3-4-3 to test our fortitude; Pinto, Alves, Montoya, Bartra, Song, Alexis and Tello were left on the bench, JDS was left out of the squad yet again. Only in Can Barça can you have two natural right-backs on the bench and decide to play a left-back in their place.” The Offside (Video)


Arsenal Supporters Prepare For A Winter Of Discontent

November 6, 2012


“It wasn’t so much the fact of the defeat itself, of course. There are few clubs on the planet that would expect to come away from Old Trafford with a win but this was not really the matter at hand. What will have been vexing Arsenal supporters this afternoon will have been the manner of their defeat. This match was emphatically not the sort of titantic battle of wills and egos that we have come to expect from such fixtures in recent years. This was a match between championship contenders and a mid-table side, a welcome perfunctory Saturday afternoon stroll for a Manchester United squad that has been exerted by two consecutive matches against Chelsea in the last six days, and the final result was one which, if anything, flattered the losers even more than it flattered the winners.” twohundredpercent


Arsenal continue to stumble and the dissenting voices grow louder

November 6, 2012

“Things manifestly have been going wrong at Arsenal and arguably not only on the field. Apart from a number of deadly dull displays, the home defeats by Schalke and Chelsea, the slack surrender at Old Trafford, there seem to be structural failings if one can call them so. Certainly the natives, or rather the fans, are restless and you can understand why.” World Soccer


Valencia 2-0 Atletico: neither side at their best as Simeone’s midfield selection backfires

November 6, 2012

“Valencia won 2-0 in a disappointingly tame contest. Mauricio Pellegrino changed his two wide players, bringing in Andres Guardado and Sofiane Feghouli, and also introduced Jonas behind Roberto Soldado. Diego Simeone made a few changes, bringing back Tiago, Arda Turan and Adrian Lopez and moving to a different midfield format. Neither side played particularly sparkling football in this match – the only interesting tactical feature was in the centre of midfield.” Zonal Marking