World Cup 2014: Ecuador and Uruguay’s growing rivalry

October 8, 2013

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“England’s bid to reach Brazil next year could be heading towards yet another crunch game with Poland at Wembley next Tuesday, a tie which is rich in World Cup qualifying history. On the other side of the Atlantic, a contest is building up a similar pedigree. Ecuador v Uruguay in Quito, is a story whose latest chapter will be written on Friday. It is a clash with an agreeable contrast; the first kings of the global game visiting a team which, 25 years ago, were merely making up the numbers. Indeed, it was a win over Uruguay in the 1989 Copa America which first hinted that Ecuador might be on their way towards better things. Eight years later I could hardly believe my eyes as Ecuador took Uruguay apart with a 4-0 win in World Cup qualification.” BBC – Tim Vickery


England need consistency and chemistry to elevate their game

October 8, 2013

“The use of well-worn football cliches can be frustrating, but the cliches themselves are generally easy to understand — which, of course, is why they remain so frequently used by fans and pundits alike. It can be confusing, however, when two accepted cliches completely contradict one another. This is particularly problematic when considering a player’s true level of ability. On one hand, we’re told that ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent.’ On the other, ‘You’re only as good as your last game.’ So how are we supposed to view Esteban Cambiasso, for example? Superb throughout the past decade, yet wretched during Inter’s 3-0 weekend defeat at home to Roma — if we follow both cliches, Cambiasso is simultaneously ‘class’ and ‘not very good’.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Juventus 3-2 Milan: Tactical Analysis

October 8, 2013

“As Roma have run away at the top of the table in Serie A, some of the traditional giants like Juventus and Milan have had slightly lukewarm starts to their season. So, there was a lot at stake for both managers in the clash between these two teams, as victory in a match against a big rival can kick start the season. Milan were the visitors to Turin on this occasion. The home side started with a 3-5-2 formation. Buffon and the usual trio of Bonucci, Barzagli and Chiellini started at the back. In midfield too, the familiar trio of Pirlo, Marchisio and and Vidal started. The wings were manned by Asamoah on the left, and Padoin on the right. Up front, Quagliarella played as the one who tried to run in behind, while Tevez dropped deeper to link play.” Outside of the Boot