The Long Revolution of the Ultras Ahlawy

November 13, 2013

Graffiti of several Port Said victims daubed on one of the American University in Cairo’s external walls
“… On Sunday, as Ahmed Abdel Zaher turned to celebrate scoring his side’s second goal in the final of the African Champions League, he did something strange with his outstretched right hand. He extended his four fingers, and tucked his thumb over his palm. The goal itself was significant — it ensured that Cairo’s mighty Al-Ahly team would beat South Africa’s Orlando Pirates for its eighth champions league title. But in Egypt, it was Abdel Zaher’s celebration that later stole the limelight. For his four-fingered salute has over the past three months become a potent and divisive sign of opposition to the overthrow of Egypt’s former president, Mohamed Morsi. It invokes August’s bloody demolition of an encampment of Morsi’s Islamist supporters outside a mosque called Rabaa al-Adawiya. (Rabaa means ‘fourth’ in Arabic.)” SI

Ahly Ultras show patience in quest for justice, but for how long? 15 February 2012
“Almost three weeks after the Port Said football disaster, no tangible legal action has been taken against the perpetrators. Meanwhile, Ahly’s main Ultras groups, the Ultras Ahlawy, known as UA07 and centralized in Cairo, and the Ultras Devils, whose members are situated in Port Said, Alexandria, Zagazig and Suez, seem to be running out of patience as they demand swift justice.” Ahram Online

Recalling the Past: The Battle over History, Collective Memory and Memorialization in Egypt
“History is inescapable in Egypt. Foreign tourists drawn to the abundant physical remains of Coptic, Pharaonic, Hellenic, and Islamic cultures are reminded of the contemporary past as they head downtown from the Cairo airport past the triumphant October War Panorama, a war museum commemorating the 1973 war with fighter jets parked out front. Numerous place names—Sadat City, the Twenty-sixth of July Street, Talaat Harb Square, the Sixth of October Bridge—are constant evocations of persons and events raised to iconic status by former regimes.” Jadaliyya

“Ultras Ahlawy (UA-07) is an Egyptian ultras group that supports the Cairo-based Egyptian Premier League football club Al-Ahly. The group was founded in 2007 by former members of the first Ahly support group, Ahly Fans Club (AFC). Ultras Ahlawy raised its banner for the first time at a match against ENPPI on 13 April 2007. Ultras Ahlawy also supports the Al-Ahly basketball, volleyball, and handball teams. Ultras Ahlawy first became known for its banners and pyro shows. Later the group began introducing derby matches using theWE ARE EGYPT chant. Ultras Ahlawy also introduced long-form supportive songs to Egyptian stadiums. It’s popular that it’s the fire Ultras in Egypt and Africa. Banner and pyro displays. Ultras Ahlawy is known for its members’ banners at both home and away games. The most famous examples were the Al-Ahly logo at a SuperSport United F.C. match in the CAF Champions League, the red devil at a Zamalek match in the Premier League, and a Freedom for Ultras banner at the match against Espérance in the CAF Champions League. During a match against ZESCO United F.C. in the CAF Champions League, Ultras Ahlawy made a pyro show in the 55th minute.” Wikipedia

Tactics Board: Ozil goes missing against United

November 13, 2013

“MANCHESTER UNITED 1-0 ARSENAL. A feature of Mesut Ozil’s game normally is just how prominent he is. The Arsenal playmaker is willing to roam far and wide to get the ball. Yet in the first half at Old Trafford he was unusually anonymous. That reflected on how well Phil Jones, in particular, played against him and how United patrolled the area in front of their centre-backs. Ozil’s first-half pitch map shows how rarely his team-mates got him on the ball in the No. 10 position (in contrast, there are a cluster of dots near either touchline) and how United kept him out of the positions where he can do most damage. …” ESPN

Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal: Tactical Analysis
“The rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League era has been intense with quite a few memorable encounters between the 2. Incidents such as the infamous tunnel confrontation between Viera and Keane and the bizarre ‘Pizzagate’ fiasco are ones that continue to be widely referenced years after their actual occurrence. Having said that, the rivalry has mellowed over the last few years owing largely to Arsenal’s rather long transition period. Robin van Persie’s transfer last season saw some of the edge return and with Arsenal flying high this season, this is a fixture that both sets of fans were desperate to win.” Outside of the Boot

English football should learn from Southampton

November 13, 2013

“It took just 15 minutes of Southampton’s 4-1 victory over Hull before the inevitable chants started from the Northam Stand, the loudest section of St Mary’s. ‘En-ger-land, En-ger-land, Eng-er-land’ was the first. ‘Come on England!’ swiftly followed. This wasn’t, of course, a message of support for the national side as a whole ahead of England’s upcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany. It was something of a boast: for the first time since the mid-1980s, three Southampton players have been selected the England squad in Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert.” ESPN – Michael Cox

Hungary’s continental woes

November 13, 2013

“This season was one to forget for the Hungarian clubs in European competitions. In 10 matches the 4 clubs of Honved, Videoton, Debrecen, and Gyor mustered only 3 wins and 1 draw. What’s makes this statistic even more disappointing is that the 3 wins came in the first round of the Europa League to teams that finished 3rd and 6th in the Montenegrin League. Stepping into the 2nd round saw both Debrecen and Honved lose at home in second leg matches to Stromgodset of Norway and Vojvodina of Serbia, respectively, by a combined score of 1-6. To bring the reality full circle, the Hungarian teams earned a coefficient score of 0.875 for their efforts in Europe this year. This is combined with previous years to determine the number of European spots available. …” SF Union

Tommy Burns: Bigger Than the Old Firm

November 13, 2013

“The more-than-a-century old rivalry between Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers is well established in the minds of football fans the world over. The colourful, boisterous, sometimes violent, scenes when the two sides meet are Scottish footballs biggest export, beamed to millions of people in hundreds of places from New York to New Caledonia and beyond. The social, cultural and religious backdrop, the almost monopoly-like vice on Scottish silverware and the close proximity of the two clubs to one another does nothing to alleviate the ferocity of the Old Firm Derby, rightly considered among the top three derbies in world football by Sky Sports, World Soccer, Fox Soccer and several other well-respected media outlets. Yet despite the omnipresent hostility and well pronounced divide one man was so well-regarded that he could command respect in both camps, a rare feat, which arguably made him bigger than the ‘Old Firm’ label given to the two clubs. His name was Tommy Burns.” In Bed With Maradona

Tactical Analysis: Why are Spurs struggling to score goals in the Premier League?

November 13, 2013

“As we head into the last international break of 2013, there is good news and bad for Tottenham Hotspur: 11 games in, Spurs are one point out of the top four and only five points away from the summit despite breaking in seven new players. This is due to the side’s dominant defensive performance which, if you exclude the second half against West Ham, has conceded 3 goals in 21 halves of football–three goals per 10.5 games, in other words. Stretched out over a full season, that’s 11 goals conceded over an entire campaign. Mourinho’s 04-05 Chelsea conceded 15 in a year, and while Spurs are unlikely to challenge that mark (see: the second half of the West Ham match), they might come close.” Think Football