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


Football Manager 2013 – review

November 3, 2012

“Another year goes by, and so, another release of Football Manager to review. Describe the new features, add in a little colour about how addictive it is, name-drop Tonton Zola Mokouko – job done. Sadly, I’m not going to be able to use the tried-and-tested formula this year as Football Manager 13 is quite unlike any previous edition in the series. While the original game is still there (and yes, don’t worry, I’m still planning on describing its new features), this year marks the arrival of Classic mode – a new, streamlined version of the game aimed at lapsed ChampMan enthusiasts. It’s a pretty radical departure for Sports Interactive, what with their unerring focus on adding complexity and depth to the series over the past 10 years. To abandon that now is somewhat surprising – after all fans have been moaning about how complex and time-consuming the game has become for a long time.” Guardian

Can the king of the dugout retain its crown?
“Dust off your suit, prepare your best post-match clichés and get ready for some fallout with a nefarious agent or two, because you’re about to be flung back into the cut-and-thrust world of football management. The most successful series of football manager sims is looming on the horizon, ready to leave an array of broken relationships and destroyed social lives in its wake. While you may well be well into the second half of the 2026 season with Hereford United, having taken them from League Two to the upper echelons of the Champions League in last year’s game, the simple fact is you’re going to have to bite the bullet and upgrade to Football Manager 2013 at some point.” IGN

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013- Beta Review and Key Features
YouTube:


Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal: United attack down the right

November 3, 2012

“Manchester United won comfortably without having to play well. Sir Alex Ferguson named the same side that started last weekend’s win over Chelsea – Tom Cleverley retained his place in the centre of midfield. Arsene Wenger also named an unchanged side from Arsenal’s last league fixture, so Theo Walcott was on the bench despite his midweek hat-trick. Manchester United raced into an early lead and Arsenal never looked likely to get back in the game, failing to record a shot on target until they were 2-0 down, and reduced to ten men after Jack Wilshere’s dismissal.” Zonal Marking

Manchester United 2 – 1 Arsenal
“Robin van Persie struck inside three minutes against his former club as Manchester United eased to a comfortable 2-1 victory over 10-man Arsenal at Old Trafford. The prolific Dutchman was taunted throughout by visiting fans but reminded them of his talents in the opening moments in a Barclays Premier League contest United dominated from the outset. Wayne Rooney missed United’s fourth penalty of the season but Patrice Evra added a second and Arsenal’s misery was compounded by the sending-off of Jack Wilshere before Santi Cazorla hit an injury-time consolation.” ESPN


Never a dull moment in Bolivian football

November 3, 2012

“Firstly, let me set the scene. It’s my first game from the Bolivian LFPB (Liga del Fútbol Profesional Boliviano) with Universitario de Sucre facing Oriente Petrolero, two teams languishing in the mid-table region of the Apertura half of the competition. Going in to the game, Oriente Petrolero had drawn a mind-boggling 8 of their 11 games, and had only lost once. Universitario were just a point better off but were playing at the Estadio Olímpico Patria, where they had a fine record. Football tends, more often than not, to follow certain formulae and basic principles. Being a Bolivian football newcomer (save for a few games in the Copa Sudamericana and a harrowing experience with Aurora in the Libertadores), I applied these principles to the game and assumed it would be a turgid, boring, low quality draw. Despite my inexperience with Bolivian football, I’ve commentated on scores of South American games from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru – well, you get the picture.” World Soccer


Radamel “The Tiger” Falcao emerges as a ferocious scorer

November 3, 2012

“Gonzalo Ludueña started it and now there’s no stopping it. Gonzalo was fourteen at the time. He played in the youth team at River Plate in Argentina and shared a dormitory with a handful of other players at the club’s residency. One day one of them scored twice in a game against Huracán and was awarded the Man of the Match Award, sponsored by the petrol company Esso whose adverts famously involved a prowling Tiger and whose slogan ran: Put a Tiger in Your Tank.” SI


Does Real Madrid have the stomach for the fight?

November 3, 2012

“Here we are a quarter of the way through the Spanish domestic season and it’s Halloween, a time of tricks and treats. So when better than to examine five things we have learned about La Liga in the 16,200 minutes of football we’ve seen so far. Let’s start with the reigning champions and defeated Copa del Rey finalists because it’s clear that they have both found themselves coping with the same enemy.” ESPN


The end of the holding midfielder?

November 1, 2012


Jan Brueghel, the younger – Venus in the forge of Vulcan
“When Manchester City beat Manchester United in what was effectively a title decider at the end of April last season, the area in which they were dominant was clear. United fielded a midfield three of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Park Ji-sung. Against City’s 4-2-3-1 that should have given them an additional man in the centre. Even though City had the trident of David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri dropping back, United had Ryan Giggs and Nani doing much the same – but as it turned out United were physically overwhelmed.” World Soccer – Jonathan Wilson


Juventus tops Bologna; Serie A unbeaten streak at 49

November 1, 2012

“Defending champion Juventus scored a stoppage-time winner to beat Bologna 2-1 on Wednesday and extend its unbeaten Serie A run to 49 games. Paul Pogba headed in the winner to cap an excellent game from the young midfielder, who showed exactly why Manchester United was so desperate to keep him before his move to Italy in the offseason. Fabio Quagliarella put Juventus in front in the 54th minute, but Bologna midfielder Saphir Taider leveled in the 71st.” SI


My Football Nightmare: Les Reed & Charlton’s Terrifying Tumble Down The Leagues

November 1, 2012

“Iain Dowie, Les Reed and Alan Pardew: The three managerial stooges that brought nothing but doom and gloom to Charlton Athletic. .. Footballing horror stories often involve one depressing afternoon where a team ships goals left, right and centre leaving the fan alone amongst empty seats, miserable and forlorn about a dismal home performance. But Charlton Athletic fans witnessed a horror show that ran for the best part of three years. The capitulation of the team during its slide towards League One was undoubtedly a dismal thing to sit through.” Sabotage Times