Daily Archives: December 19, 2013

Football violence: a view from around the world

Spartak Moscow fans displaying a Nazi flag during a game at Shinnik Yaroslavl.
“Brazil: violence around games on the rise. Brazil ends 2013 with a record in football violence deaths. It was a miracle that nobody died in the festival of thuggery that took place on 8 December at the Atlético Paranaense v Vasco de Gama match in Joinville, during the last round of the Campeonato Brasileiro, whose shocking images were beamed all around the world. That, however, did not prevent Brazilian football finishing its 2013 season with the saddest of milestones: the 30 deaths in football-related incidents this year is the highest number in the history of the game in the country. What’s more worrying is that fatal cases have been rising steadily in the past few years. …” Guardian

World Cup – and outbreak of supporter violence – link Brazil and Russia
“In six months’ time the World Cup will land in the home of joga bonito clad in a Fifa-approved wrapping of sun, sea and samba. But the dark side of the beautiful game in Brazil was in evidence earlier this month, when images of running battles between fans of Atlético Paranaense and Vasco da Gama shocked the watching world. The game was being held at a neutral ground in Joinville due to previous clashes between fans of the two clubs, but within 10 minutes Globo was broadcasting close-up footage of supporters repeatedly stamping on the heads of their rivals and chasing one another around the stadium bowl. Following a long interregnum, the fighting was eventually broken up by armed security firing rubber bullets into the crowds and an army helicopter landing on the pitch, but not before several fans were seriously injured.” Guardian


Milan 2-2 Roma: Tactical Analysis | Defensive & Positional Errors

“AC Milan have had a poor first half of the campaign and find themselves struggling to get into the coveted European spots. Roma, on the other hand, had a dream start to the season which saw them winning 10 consecutive games having conceded just 1 goal, before hitting a slight slump; they’ve won just 1 game in their last 5 Serie A matches, and are still unbeaten. AC Milan needed to start getting points to keep pace with those above them, or risk falling into mid-table obscurity. AS Roma needed points for a whole different reason, to ensure Juventus (who won 4-0 on the weekend) don’t runaway with the title again.” Outside of the Boot

Tactical Analysis: What radical changes should the new Spurs manager implement?

“Before delving into what the future holds for Tottenham Hotspur, one has to mention that Andre Villas-Boas had the highest win percentage since 1899 for any Spurs manager with 53.7% Whatever Tim Sherwood comes up with in his first match as interim coach for Tottenham, his tactics and the nature of the team he fields will very much be under the scrutiny of Spurs fans worldwide. Putting oneself into his shoes, one finds that the positives of the squad outnumber the negatives. Spurs have one of the more enviable squad in the Premier League in terms of depth. The squad blends solid, proven players (Moussa Dembele, Sandro, Jan Vertonghen) and unproven youngsters with great potential (Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli, Andros Townsend, Lewis Holtby).” Think Football

Landmark Victory For Rodgers’ Reds

“Well, that was unexpected. My pre-match fear about the Reds never doing well at White Hart Lane proved somewhat misplaced. Not for the first time, I was proved wrong. One post-match Tweeter seemed unusually keen that I admit I was ‘wrong over Rodgers’. Football writers are no different from terrace and armchair pundits in that we want to be right; we want to say something that rings true. After all, who wants to be wrong all the time? What kind of pundit would that make you? That said, football makes mugs of us all. Anyone who can’t see that is deluded. That said, I’m baffled as to how I’ve been wrong on Rodgers. I’ve remained fairly neutral; unconvinced either way, for much of the time.” Tomkins Times

Managerial departures: ‘Sacked’ seems to be the hardest word

“Aaah, how much simpler life would be if all our love affairs ended ‘by mutual consent’. But they almost never do, however much we kid ourselves. ‘Whose decision was it?’ they ask. ‘It was mutual,’ we answer. Hoping they didn’t notice the furtive eyes and the quivering lip. Hoping they didn’t notice the embarrassing public rows, the transparent lack of romance and the affair she had with that hedge fund manager who was funnier and better looking than you.” BBC

Top 50 Players in the World 2013: Part 4 – 20-11

“We’re getting to the business end of the Top 50 now with the players ranked 20th to 11th. Some of the world’s best playmakers are in this batch of players, as well as some clinical goal scorers. If you were to put together a 5-a-side team from the ten names below you wouldn’t need a goalkeeper because the opposition would never get the ball.” Backpage Football

What did we learn tacticaly about Gerardo Martino from Barcelona’s El Classico victory?

“When Martino strolled into the Camp Nou for the seventh time this season, the Argentinian was welcomed to 98,000 fans planted into their seats eagerly awaiting one of the most anticipated games of the year in which many neutrals would happily see the two giants contesting each other in the Champions League Final. An even more intriguing game rose when the line ups were revealed, with Sergio Ramos situated in Midfield, Lionel Messi on the right and even Javier Mascherano swapped to RCB, to contest Cristiano Ronaldo in transitions, which we will get more into detail later.” Think Football

Questions surround Tottenham’s search for a new manager

Tim Sherwood Tottenham Hotspur
“There was a change of manager, a change of approach and a change of personnel, but no change of luck for Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs dominated long spells of Wednesday’s Capital One Cup quarter-final against West Ham United, but Tim Sherwood’s first game since replacing Andre Villas-Boas in a caretaker capacity ended in defeat. Sherwood, who had been in charge of the development squad, went back to basics, selecting an attacking 4-4-2 that included only two of the players who joined in the summer. For a time it seemed to work, with Spurs getting the ball wide and causing West Ham problems. But gradually West Ham stifled the home side and, although Emmanuel Adebayor volleyed Spurs into the lead after 66 minutes, West Ham continued to grow through the game. In the end, the key player was, unexpectedly, Modibo Maiga.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Review: The Football Pink Issue 1

“Self-propelled football writing on the internet has been up and running for some time now and while a number of sites have now established themselves as reliable go-to sources of articles, a recent phalanx of writers has emerged in their wake. Enter The Football Pink, stewarded by Mark Godfrey. The publication has attempted to tackle head on the issue of how to make money in a field assailed by the slings and arrows of open access by requiring its readers to stump up a modest amount of money for each of its issues – hence, each offering is available on Kindle for 99p and Joomag for $1.50. It’s an intriguing experiment and The Football Pink is already on to its second issue, with no shortage of promising writers queuing up to offer their thoughts on a range of subjects.” thetwounfortunates

“The Football Pink is a group of football obsessed writers and bloggers who bring their opinions, musings, observations and stories from all over the world to fans of ‘The Beautiful Game’. We also produce a quarterly e-magazine which can be downloaded to Kindle or Kindle apps.” The Fooball Pink

Face to face: Fernando Roig

“Fernando Roig: Totally. The first thing is the fans; they didn’t appreciate what it was to have a first division team in the city. Now they do. Then there’s the club. We made mistakes but we’ve been able to rectify them. We have dropped the budget to a level that is sustainable. We cleared the debts that were outstanding, effectively set the clock to zero and balanced the budget. Then there’s Marcelino, who is a very good coach who can take us forward in the next few years. Going down can never be seen as a good thing, but it has been positive in some aspects.” World Soccer