Ten Scenes From The FA Cup Final

May 12, 2013

1932_FA_Cup_Final
1932 FA Cup Final
“This afternoon at the mildly absurd time of 5.15, Manchester City and Wigan Athletic will kick off in the one hundred and thirty-second FA Cup final and, much as the old trophy has frequently been debased in recent years, it still has a rich history upon which we can draw. What follows is listed chronologically (partly out of a mild degree of Saturday morning laziness, and partly because, well, how do you compare a middle-aged man running onto a football pitch and evading his would-be captors with a penalty save or a match that would prove pivotal in the entire history of the game?), and we should also take a moment anybody with any complaints about this list should bear in mind that this list was plucked almost at random, with a hangover, at ten o’clock on Saturday morning.” twohundredpercent


Sunderland, Stokoe, Montgomery: football would never be the same again

May 12, 2013

“At a little before quarter to five on 5 May 1973, Ken Burns raised his left hand into the air, lifted his whistle to his lips and blew. Across Wearside, there was a scream of relief. At Wembley, Bob Stokoe got uncertainly to his feet, adjusted his trilby on his head and set off on an uneasy jog towards Jim Montgomery. On the terraces, fans who had been whistling desperately for the end for at least 10 minutes could at last celebrate. And amid it all, my dad always said, he felt a shaft of sadness as the realisation struck that football could never be this good again.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


The Beautiful Game behind the Iron Curtain

May 12, 2013

“If I were to walk into a bar in England, Spain or any of the ‘big’ football nations of the world, and tried to start a conversation about Russian football, the dialogue would most likely sway towards one of three topics: 1) Racist fans 2) ‘The team that Eto’o plays for’ (Anzhi Makhachkala 3) Roman Abramovich. Perhaps past images of communism, dictatorship and war prelude the fine standard of football Russians are treated to week in, week out. Or perhaps maybe people just don’t care much for football that isn’t shown on prime time television. Whatever the reason, millions are missing out on the superb action taking place in the former USSR.” Outside of the Boot


What should we make of Barcelona’s La Liga title?

May 12, 2013

“The past few weeks have been full of Barcelona’s players and staff emphasising that any feeling that the title victory isn’t all that impressive, that it doesn’t need to be properly celebrated or appreciated is false. They have taken turns, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Roura, Gerard Pique and a handful of other voices, to dispel the idea that because the second half of the season hasn’t been nearly as impressive as the first, and because the Champions League semifinal was humiliating, the initial work is in any way undermined. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me, this title — won Saturday after Real Madrid drew 1-1 with Espanyol — will potentially become an acquired taste, like fish, gorgonzola or coffee when you are a kid. Not necessarily easy to understand but richer the older you get.” ESPN


Liverpool 0 Everton 0: In-Depth Tactical Analysis

May 12, 2013

“Neither manager made big changes either in terms of formation or personnel, based on their previous games. Liverpool were unchanged from the last game at Newcastle. For the visitors, Moyes made only one change, welcoming back Gibson to play alongside Osman in midfield. With Fellaini pushed forward, Jelavic had to make way and was benched. The formation was the usual 4-4-1-1, having played with 4-4-2 last week against Fulham.” Tomkins Times


Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: Villas-Boas uses subs well, Benitez doesn’t react decisively

May 12, 2013

“Tottenham twice came back from behind in an exciting, open game at Stamford Bridge. Rafael Benitez selected Fernando Torres upfront, and David Luiz as a deep-lying midfielder, so Branislav Ivanovic partnered Gary Cahill in the centre. Andre Villas-Boas was without Mousa Dembele, so Scott Parker played alongside Tom Huddlestone. Upfront, Emmanuel Adebayor got the nod over Jermain Defoe. Tottenham dominated possession, but in terms of creativity Chelsea had the upper hand in midfield, and Tottenham needed Villas-Boas’ substitutions to snatch a point.” Zonal Marking