Daily Archives: October 9, 2013

Uruguay under Oscar Washington Tabárez can claw way to World Cup

Oscar Washington Tabárez returned for second spell as manager of the Uruguay national team in 2006
Uruguay – Oscar Washington Tabárez
“Rationally, football teams should not have personalities. There is no reason why certain clubs or countries should not be able to change the way they play, or why the same pattern should keep repeating itself, and yet they do. Why do England keep losing on penalties? Some would argue it is to do with basic technique – and yet Holland’s record is almost as bad. Why did Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams score so regularly in the final minutes of games? Given how Roy Keane briefly transferred the habit to Sunderland, it cannot surely only have been fitness?” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Qatar 2022 could be FIFA’s biggest mistake ever

“Growing up around an Egyptian father–absolutely obsessed with football–there were certain truths that I had to accept and never question: 1. Pele is the greatest soccer player of all time, and any Argentinian fan who disagrees is blinded by bias. 2. Never trust a fan of the Algerian national team. 3. Never be optimistic about the English national team. 4. Never trust FIFA because it is the most corrupt governing institution in the world. With the 2022 World Cup eight short years away, FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, arguably the most nefarious man in sports, has dug himself into an inescapable hole by picking Qatar to host the world’s largest sporting spectacle.” Soccer Politics

Inter 0-3 Roma: Totti drags Inter’s back three out of shape to prompt quick attacks

“Roma maintained their 100% record with a win at previously unbeaten Inter. Walter Mazzarri made two changes from the 1-1 draw at Cagliari, bringing in Saphir Taider and Rodrigo Palacio for Mateo Kovacic and Ishak Belfodil. Predictably, Rudi Garcia kept exactly the same side which demolished Bologna 5-0. This was another superb Roma display – and although their 3-0 half-time lead was slightly flattering, they played some sparkling football at times.” Zonal Marking

England expects … quite wrongly

“In 2009 the sports economist Stefan Szymanski and I published a book about football and data called Why England Lose. Going into the World Cup of 2010, people kept asking us: ‘Aren’t you worried about your title? What if England win?’ We weren’t very worried, and predictably, England lost. Later we changed the title anyway, because it turned out (amazingly) that English people wouldn’t buy a book called Why England Lose. Still, our original title remains pertinent. England enter their last qualifying matches against Montenegro and Poland on October 11 and 15 very uncertain to qualify for next year’s World Cup. It’s time to explain, once and for all, why England lose.” <a href=”http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/8683a198-2bc4-11e3-a1b7-00144feab7de.html#axzz2hFhItdi7FT – Simon Kuper

amazon – Why England Lose

Liverpool 3 Crystal Palace 1: In-Depth Tactical Analysis

“Liverpool would have continued with the same XI used for the past two games if it wasn’t for the Lucas ban that enforced a change. Sterling came in as right wing-back, enabling Henderson to occupy Lucas’ spot beside Gerrard. For Palace Delaney was surprisingly fit to start, and he replaced the injured Gabbidon. With Dikgacoi injured too and Bannan unexpectedly left out of the match squad (without any indication he was injured), Holloway had to make two changes in his midfield. In came O’Keefe and the available again Puncheon (he was unable to play in the last game as it was against his parent club, Southampton). In attack Gayle was replaced by Jerome.” Tomkins Times

Tactical Analysis: Should Roy Hodgson build his England team around Daniel Sturridge?
“England face two crucial World Cup qualifiers in the next two weeks. Roy Hodgson’s side earned a valuable draw in Ukraine during the last round of fixtures and sit top of their group on 16 points, a point ahead of Ukraine and Montenegro who are second and third respectively and three points above Poland. With England ready to face two sides who are capable of finishing above them in the next fortnight, these could be crucial games for Hodgson’s men, make or break fixtures on the road to Brazil 2014. So how should Roy Hodgson set his side up?” Think Football

Back To The Eighties: 1980/81 – Part One

“It’s the summer of 1980, and a decade that started with England as the champions of the football world has just ended in a manner that few would have predicted ten years earlier. The national team’s arrival back in tournament football had ended in every conceivable flavour of defeat at the 1980 European Championships. The team itself found itself eliminated from the competition with a game to spare, and rioting supporters who faced tear gas in Turin as the team drew its opening match against Belgium. Perhaps the only consolation that could be taken from the whole dismal episode was that, having missed out on the previous two World Cups, at least the team had managed to find its way there in the first place.” twohundredpercent (Video)