The new Scottish Premiership season – the fans’ view

August 2, 2013

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Virgil van Dijk
“At the start of the new season, the first of the Scottish Professional Football League, how are the fans viewing their teams’ chances? We spoke to supporters of all 12 clubs in the top flight – rebranded as the Scottish Premiership – to find out how they thought the season would go.” BBC

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New Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino’s tactics fit Barca’s style

August 2, 2013

“All events depend, to an extent, on chance, on a thousand, a million circumstances coinciding. It may be that Gerardo Martino is ousted from Barcelona at the end of the season having finished second in the league and having failed to take them to a seventh successive Champions League semi-final and his appointment will be seen as a regrettable short-term move necessitated by the dreadful news that Tito Vilanova requires further treatment for cancer. Or it may be that he achieves glory, a new dynasty is begun, and the world looks on the turbulent events of this summer and reflects on what a peculiar business appointing a manager can be.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


Tactical Analysis: Bayern’s 4-1-4-1 in German Super Cup

August 2, 2013

“This match was touted as being “the one to watch” across Europe because of the escalating rivalry between these two sides. Last year, Bayern were the dominant force across all competitions, yet with Guardiola now at the helm, a new era of Bayern dominance has seemingly just begun. On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund (BVB) was viewed as a wounded animal after finishing 2nd to Bayern last season. A win for BVB in the Super Cup would send Bayern the message that Die Schwarzgelben shouldn’t be taken lightly, not only by Bayern, but by the rest of Europe. Of course, BVB’s loss of young superstar, Mario Götze, to Bayern only increases the intensity of this match up. So the scene was set, Pep’s Bayern vs. Klopp’s Dortmund, with more at stake than ever before.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Injuries- Ignorance Is Not Bliss

August 2, 2013

“Former Internazionale manager Andrea Stramaccioni will tell you the value of having a fit squad. In the 2012-2013 season, the amount of his players contracting injuries was so vast, and those players so vital, he could have almost smiled. In no particular order, poor Stramaccioni lost Diego Milito, Rodrigo Palacio, Antonio Cassano, Esteban Cambiasso, Yuto Nagatomo, Dejan Stanković, Walter Gargano, Fredy Guarín, Walter Samuel, Gaby Mudingayi, Joel Obi, Ibrahima Mbaye, Luca Castellazzi, Javier Zanetti, Cristian Chivu, Jonathan and Matías Silvestre to injuries during the tail end of the 2012/2013 Serie ‘A’ campaign – and most were serious. His team were 2nd in the league on the 22nd of December 2012, but only finished 9th after their 38th game on 19th of May, 2013. This freak, albeit not necessarily unavoidable depletion of the young manager’s match day squad was certain to reduce Inter Milan’s competitiveness, yet it was only Stramaccioni who paid the price. Far from being consoled, Stramaccioni was fired.” Outside of the Boot


Championship Finances 2011/12 – Numbers

August 2, 2013

“Back in April I posted a summary of the 2011/12 Championship finances on Twitter, but since then I have received a few requests to post them in a blog as a useful resource for fans of those clubs, so here we go. I’m not going to provide detailed analysis at this stage, just the key figures from the accounts plus some graphs for comparisons against others. All these figures have been taken from the clubs’ published accounts, though I have made a couple of presentational adjustments in order to prepare like-for-like comparisons between clubs. In particular, not all clubs use the same revenue classification, so I have had to make estimates on the revenue split for Barnsley, Blackpool, Crystal Palace, Hull City and Peterborough United (though obviously leaving the total revenue unchanged).” The Swiss Rambler


Brazilian fans paying the price for modernisation

August 2, 2013

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“In last week’s second leg of the final of the Copa Libertadores, Atletico Mineiro of Brazil did not only win the trophy – they took the extraordinary sum of nearly $7 million at the box office. A quick, back of the envelope calculation reveals that the average ticket price was over $100. This was a case of exceptional circumstances – the most important match in the history of a big club. But the trend is already out there in Brazilian football.” ESPN -Tim Vickery


Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool legacy intact, but one regret looms

August 2, 2013

“It may be a fortnight before the new Premier League season begins, but Anfield will be a sellout this weekend. The occasion? Steven Gerrard’s testimonial — Liverpool probably could have sold out the stadium twice over for the contest against Greek champions Olympiakos, such is the enthusiasm for the Reds’ long-serving captain, both within Merseyside and from Liverpool’s legions of supporters across the globe.” ESPN – Michael Cox