Stadium tragedy shows peril of World Cup rush

November 28, 2013

soc_g_brazilstadium_576x324
“RIO DE JANEIRO — There are times when it seems that Brazil’s World Cup was born under a bad sign. On Wednesday, the cascade of bad news just got worse, with the accident at the new Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo killing at least two workers and possibly more. It appears that a crane collapsed onto the structure of the stadium that’s due to host the opening game of the World Cup in less than 200 days’ time. The soil reportedly gave way beneath the crane, perhaps a consequence of the heavy rain that has fallen on the city over the past few days. A key question now needs to be answered.” ESPN – Tim Vickery (Video)


Heroes Of the Neighborhood

November 28, 2013

“Klaus Störtebeker was not his real name. Any self-respecting pirate of the late 14th century picked his own nom de guerre, and Klaus of Wismar gave himself a moniker meaning “empties the mug in a single gulp.” According to the legend, the mug in question would be about equal to four liters today. After a few years of wreaking havoc on the Northern European coast, Störtebeker was betrayed, captured, and brought to Hamburg for trial. He was beheaded along with 70 or so of his pirate brethren. When a Hamburg senator asked if the executioner was tired after all of this chopping, the executioner said he’d happily behead the whole senate as well. So a second executioner was brought in to behead the first. Störtebeker left a trail of blood (and gold: the core of his ship’s mast was full of it) in his wake.” SI


Analysis: What has gone wrong with Spurs?

November 28, 2013

“At the start of the Premier League season, most felt that Tottenham Hotspurs might just mount a title challenge. Despite finishing in 5th place last season, there were noticeable signs of improvement under AVB, as the team gathered the highest ever points total for a 5th placed side. The summer saw a 100 million sale, and a lot of recruitment too, with the Lilywhites signing some fantastic talent across the pitch with the aim of breaking into the top 4. Many pointed out the lack of variety in attack for the Spurs last season, as they were constantly Bale-d out of trouble. The likes of Soldado, Eriksen and Lamela were signed for big money, and teamed with players like Townsend, Lennon and Sigurdsson to create what looked like a fearsome attacking side. However, all has not gone as planned. Spurs have defended very well to concede just 6 goals, but they’ve been impotent going forward, scoring just 9. What has gone wrong with Spurs?” Outside of the Boot


Group of Death goes down to the wire, more Champions League drama

November 28, 2013

“It was yet another dramatic night in the Champions League as Barcelona lost its first game of the season while Chelsea was beaten at FC Basel. The tightest group of all, Group F, promises to bring mathematical headaches to all fans, while FC Porto squandered a great opportunity to take control of its own fate. Here’s what caught our eye in a fascinating round of action…” SI


Dortmund 0-3 Bayern: superior squad proves crucial as Bayern extend their lead

November 28, 2013

“Pep Guardiola demonstrated Bayern’s tactical flexibility in the second half, introducing Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara to great effect. Jurgen Klopp had severe injury problems for this contest – as well as the continued absence of Ilkay Gundogan, his entire first-choice back four were out injured. 34-year-old Manuel Friedrich, previously without a club, was drafted in to play at centre-back. Guardiola was without Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger, however, and used Phillip Lahm in midfield. The scoreline exaggerates Bayern’s dominance – for long periods Dortmund competed well, but Bayern simply had greater strength in depth.” Zonal Marking


Confusion reigns at White Hart Lane

November 28, 2013

“Following Andre Villas-Boas’ most difficult week as Tottenham coach, he would probably have wished for simpler opponents than the champions, Manchester United, this Sunday. It’s worth remembering, however, that when he faced United for the first time as Spurs coach last season, his side recorded a famous victory — their first at Old Trafford since 1991 — to kick-start his White Hart Lane reign.” ESPN – Michael Cox