Sturridge and Suarez deliver

October 6, 2013

Daniel-Sturridge-and-Luis-Suarez-for-Liverpool
“Two weeks ago Liverpool lost at home to Southampton and relinquished top spot in the table. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think we’d see the Reds back on top of the pile again this season, yet a fortnight later that’s exactly where they are following another ‘Suarez and Sturridge’ (or SAS as they have been dubbed in some quarters) inspired victory. That league position will change if Arsenal can avoid defeat against West Brom at the Hawthorns on Sunday of course, but irrespective of what the Gunners do, Brendan Rodgers’ men will still be in good shape going into yet another international break. There never used to be this many, did there?” ESPN


Leverkusen 1-1 Bayern Munich: Tactical Analysis

October 6, 2013

“The German Bundesliga is fast gaining recognition as one of the best leagues in the world, and this game was a perfect advert for the league. With Borussia Dortmund slipping up at Gladbach earlier in the day, both these teams had the chance to scale the summit. The champions only needed a point to go top, but Leverkusen needed all three. The electric atmosphere at the Bay Arena only added to the spice, with both sets of fans contributing with a lot of singing from the stands.” Outside of the Boot


EA Sports FIFA, US, and The Global Game

October 6, 2013

“In the United States, Saturdays and Sunday are reserved for one thing: football. Across the country, people neglect their chores, homework, jobs, and responsibilities to flock to sports bars, friend’s couches, and the biggest TV they can find to in order to watch college and professional football. Recently, however, American sports fans have been putting aside one kind of football in favor of another. American soccer, or football, as it’s known to the rest of the world, has seen a seismic shift in popularity during the last several years. According to Rich Luker, the brains behind the ESPN Sports Poll, soccer is America’s second most popular sport for those aged 18-24. How? What could be the source of this newfound fanfare? Perhaps it’s the increasingly global reach by the world’s most popular clubs? Soccer Politics


The price of stardom can be a big one

October 6, 2013

“I won a prize! Some days ago Brazilian journalists voted me as foreign correspondent of the year. I had also won in 2011 but that time I was in London at the time of the ceremony. This time I turned up and was somewhat taken aback by how prestigious and sophisticated the whole thing was. I improvised a little acceptance speech, threw in the odd quip – which seemed to go down very well. In the shameless tradition of the British scoundrel (one local compared me to 007). I used the occasion to heap praise on a stunningly gorgeous journalist who had also just won a prize. She loved it, and sought me out to tell me afterwards. Her husband took it well, and didn’t glower at me too badly. I decided I deserved some wine and it turned out to be that good stuff that doesn’t give you a hangover. I had a wonderful time.” The World Game – Tim Vickery (Video)


Fandom and Ethics

October 6, 2013

“In the few minutes it’ll take you to read through Elliott Turner’s recent piece on the latest allegations surrounding Qatar’s World Cup preparations, you’ll experience a series of emotions ranging from outright disgust to Zach de la Rocha-inspired rage, with a pair of paragraphs near the end sure to provoke even the least politically-minded individual…” Futbol Intellect


DEBATE: Oscar vs Mata, Who’s the Number 10?

October 6, 2013

“At the beginning of this new season, Jose Mourinho has courted a lot of attention for some of his rather unusual team selection. Generally, a guy who has scored and assisted a truck load of goals, along with being a two time player of the year at the club, walks into the starting 11, but not at Chelsea apparently. The Special Juan has fallen behind Oscar for a place in the starting 11 as a play-maker at the start of this season, but only time will tell which one of the two is going to make the ‘No. 10 Role’ his own.” Outside of the Boot


Mel Machin and AFC Bournemouth’s Original Great Escape

October 6, 2013

“The adventures of the Championship season have been mixed for AFC Bournemouth so far but the difficulties and crises of the past remain fresh in the memory. Since the early 1990s the story of the club has been one of promotions, relegations, takeovers and more than one instance of near financial oblivion. Many of the supporters who were at the rebuilt stadium at King’s Park for the first home game of this season will also have been at the town’s Winter Gardens theatre throwing notes into buckets in an effort to save their club during the 1996/97 season. The Cherries became a community club – Europe’s first, so it was said – but their problems were far from over. Similarly, they were hardly just beginning. By the time Tony Pulis left Dean Court in 1994 after two seasons in the job after replacing Harry Redknapp, Bournemouth were in the third tier and set for a troublesome season. After losing their first seven matches and scoring just four goals before eventually drawing against Chester City, they turned to a former Manchester City manager with a promotion in his scrapbook alongside a famous brush with Alex Ferguson in 1989.” In Bed With Maradona