For well-traveled Freddy Adu, next stop is Brazil

April 7, 2013

adu
“Last month, Freddy Adu arrived in Salvador, Brazil, to meet with officials of what is now his latest club, Bahia. He had worn out his welcome in Philadelphia after two troubled seasons with the Union; the team’s management was just unwilling to keep paying him a star’s wage (rumored to be upward of $500,000) to play like a journeyman. Whether Adu was misused by his coaches, bored by the competition or weighed down by the city’s excellent cheesesteaks, he delivered a total of seven goals and two assists in 35 league appearances, hardly the kind of résumé you expect from a guy who dated pop singer JoJo and had a $1 million contract at 14. So, in a now very familiar scene, Adu packed his soft-sided suitcase of promise and headed to the airport.” ESPN


Room for improvement

April 7, 2013

“Of all the great football rivalries, my favourite is the one between the national teams of Brazil and Argentina. There is nothing to get in the way – no real military history between the two countries, as is the case with the Netherlands and Germany, for example, of England and Germany, and even England and Argentina. When Brazil meets Argentina the rivalry is one of pure football, a battle for supremacy on the pitch between two neighbours vying to be considered the number one nation of the global game.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Improved second half display gives Schalke win over Werder Bremen

April 7, 2013

“Jens Keller lined his side up in a 4-2-3-1 with Ciprian Marica leading the line. Julian Draxler, Michel Bastos and Jefferson Farfán played behind Ciprian Marica, while Marco Höger and Roman Neustädter played in the midfield. Thomas Schaaf opted for a 4-3-3, which saw Nils Petersen, Elijero Elia and Marko Arnautovic upfront. Kevin De Bruyne, Aaron Hunt and Tom Trybull formed the midfield three. Werder Bremen were looking to snap their six game winless streak, and they started the match in fine fashion. Schaaf’s men pressed high up the pitch and forced Schalke’s centrebacks Benedikt Höwedes and Joël Matip to play passes from the back. By applying pressure on the Schalke fullbacks, who were looking to get the balls to their wingers, Matip and Höwedes had no passing options available due to Bremen’s pressing, which often forced them to concede possession.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Sunderland gambles on former self-proclaimed ‘fascist’ Di Canio

April 7, 2013

Paolo Di Canio Swindon City
“It’s quiz time! Your club is one point outside of the relegation zone and sinking fast. Do you: a) call your players and coaching staff together for an energetic pep talk, b) sit in the dark and allow a few tears to roll down your cheeks and into your single malt, c) sack the manager and appoint a man of whom the newspapers have plenty of stock images — you know, the ones in which he is giving a straight-armed salute. Sunderland’s move this week — sacking Martin O’Neill and his coaching team and replacing them with former Swindon Town manager (and until-very-recently self-proclaimed ‘fascist’) Paolo di Canio and his backroom staff — is either one of the worst ideas ever, or a masterstroke.” SI

A Gamble, Wrapped Up In A Gamble, Inside A Gamble: Di Canio To Sunderland
“Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the kerfuffle that has blown up surrounding the appointment of Paolo Di Canio as the manager of Sunderland is how much of a surprise certain aspects of his past seem to have been to so many people. After all, he was hired as the manager of Swindon Town almost two years ago, and the “Roman Salute” business at Lazio happened eight years ago. You might not have thought this had you opened a newspaper this morning, though. It was screaming from the front page of The Sun, whilst other newspapers weren’t far behind with their opinions on the matter. On a week that might be otherwise characterised by a distinct lack of English clubs in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, though, this is a story that the press can really sink its teeth into.” twohundredpercent


Liverpool stutter to stalemate

April 7, 2013

“It is an unwanted Anfield tradition, dating back many a year. The damaging draw was a feature of the reigns of Rafa Benitez and Kenny Dalglish and, while Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool have tended to deal in boom or bust, veering between emphatic wins and hurtful defeats with no half-way house, a stalemate nonetheless conformed to a familiar theme.” ESPN


Brian Clough Television Interview From 1969-70: Cocky And Confident As Always

April 7, 2013

“I came across a new TV documentary this evening that I hadn’t seen before about Brian Clough. It’s from 1969-70. Uniquely, the TV documentary starts off by asking then Derby County manager Brian Clough what his expectations are for the season. He goes through his entire squad and offers his critique of each player, what they can contribute and how he thinks his just-promoted side will do. Then in the second half of the interview, the same interviewer goes back to Brian Clough at Derby and reviews how well (or not) his predictions did, as well as discussing how the season went.” EPL Talk (Video)