Video – Remembering Robert Enke

November 11, 2012


“The Hannover and Germany keeper committed suicide on November 10th 2009, leaving a massive hole in the heart of those who loved him, both family and friends as well as the football community. We revisit the tragic moment and pay tribute to the great man and player on the three year anniversary of his passing. The news of Enke’s depature sent shockwaves through the German football world and united the German public in a sobering manner. The national team cancelled a planned friendly against Chile after the team had spoken to the DFB officials. Team manager Oliver Bierhoff had trouble holding back his tears when he had to explain the decision to the German media.” Bundesliga Fanatic (Video)


Attack the best form of defence

November 11, 2012

“If Manchester United’s comebacks are a tradition, the formation for many a fightback is old-fashioned. The system Sir Alex Ferguson is most associated with is 4-4-2 or, he would argue with reference to split strikers, 4-4-1-1. But when United need goals and have nothing to lose, it becomes 4-2-4, the shape Brazil brought to prominence in the 1958 World Cup. It is a risky formation but when United have to gamble, they push both wingers right up against the opposition defence, with both full-backs advancing in their slipstream. It can leave the two centre-backs isolated and the two central midfielders outnumbered – and as United’s pair usually aren’t tacklers by trade, it means they effectively only have two defenders.” ESPN


Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool

November 11, 2012

“Luis Suarez dealt a huge double blow to Chelsea’s Barclays Premier League title hopes today after inadvertently ending John Terry’s comeback and snatching a deserved draw for Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. Terry looked set to enjoy a dream return to action after his domestic four-match racism ban when he powered the European champions ahead from a corner at Stamford Bridge. But the Blues captain then collided accidentally with the man at the centre of football’s other race scandal, forcing him off on a stretcher, with Suarez going on to equalise for Liverpool and almost steal victory.” ESPN


Steve Zungul: the Lord of all Indoors

November 11, 2012

“Here’s a perfectly geeky question for your pub quiz night: which player was the top goalscorer for two different teams within the same season, both champions of their respective countries? Help: it was on two different continents. And in two different sports. Of course, posing that question would only make sense if you’re somewhere in what was once Yugoslavia. Maybe also in certain places in the US, such as Long Island and Manhattan’s Upper East Side – the old stomping grounds of Steve Zungul. The rest of the football World has forgotten about the player who had variously been nicknamed the ‘Yugoslav Gerd Müller’, ‘The Nureyev of soccer’ and, perhaps most famously, ‘The Lord of all Indoors’. The forward whom the legendary Giorgio Chinaglia, famous for his bad-mouthing of Beckenbauer, Cruyff and even Pelé, once described as ‘almost perfect’.” World Soccer


A Game Without Rules

November 11, 2012


London’s Wembley Stadium, 1954
“In 1904, three years after the first Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to the French poet Sully Prudhomme, the English Football Association chose not to participate in the formation of an International Football Federation (FIFA). They could not see the point. Nor in 1930, the year in which Sinclair Lewis won the Nobel, did England participate in the first World Cup: the English objected to the prospect of a ten-day ocean crossing to Uruguay to play teams that meant nothing to them. The first international football game, they pointed out, had been between England and Scotland, in 1872—a time when Alfred Nobel was still focused on improving his dynamite. Who needs Argentina or Brazil when you have Scotland to play?” NYBooks


Hoof for the Sky: Crystal Palace 1990-1

November 11, 2012

“Our Great Teams series of posts, soon to be augmented with its fortieth episode, has occasionally been joined by an occasional look back to those top flight seasons where it all came together in wondrous fashion for clubs more accustomed to life in less exalted company. In February, Adam Orton recalled Norwich City’s valiant heroes of the early nineties while just a couple of years before, Crystal Palace were the ones defying gravity. Here, we are delighted to welcome Terry Duffelen for his first post for us. many of you will know Terry as co-pundit on the always listenable Sound of Football podcast and he also devotes considerable time to analysis of the Bundesliga, both via the Bundesliga Show pod and the Bundesliga Lounge blog.” thetwounfortunates


Schalke 2-1 Werder Bremen

November 11, 2012

“Schalke fought back after a lacklustre first half performance to beat Werder Bremen 2-1 and keep pace with 1. Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. An Aaron Hunt-inspired Bremen deserved the 1-0 lead they took into the break after executing an effective gameplan and capitalising on some lethargic play by the home side (with Hunt himself putting the ball in the net). But after being allowed to equalize a little too easily shortly after the hour mark (Roman Neustädter’s headed goal was pretty defendable, and came at a time when Bremen were still exerting a degree of control), Schalke took charge, with 18-year-old substitute Julian Draxler showing great composure – amid erratic defending by the visitors – to score the winner with just under 20 minutes to play.” Defensive Midfielder