Liverpool 4-0 Everton: direct football and Sturridge wide-left helps Liverpool win easily

January 29, 2014

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“Another high-scoring Merseyside derby – but this time, the goals were all at one end. Brendan Rodgers was without Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho, Jose Enrique, Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva, so had a patched-up back four, with Steven Gerrard in the deepest midfield role. Roberto Martinez welcomed back Ross Barkley, but was without both Sylvain Distin and Seamus Coleman. In an extremely intense, fast-paced match, Liverpool effectively sealed the victory by half-time.” Zonal Marking

Liverpool 4-0 Everton: Tactical Analysis | An all-out attacking Merseyside derby
“The match was billed as the biggest Merseyside derby since the 80s. Based on the stats and the positioning of both the sides, it certainly was. Rodgers’ Liverpool and Martinez’ Everton were having impressive campaigns, with both sides fighting it out for that coveted Champions League spot. The two sides played out a 3-3 draw earlier in the season, a match which some considered to be the most exciting of derbies in recent seasons. Expectations were high, intensity at another level, passion flaring and two young managers tactical brains put to the test, in the end, the Red side emerged victorious.” Outside of the Boot

Liverpool can look forward after derby thrashing of Everton
“Liverpool started the 222nd Merseyside derby looking over their shoulders at neighbours Everton and with a glance in the direction of Manchester United, fortified by Juan Mata’s £37m addition. They ended a thunderous night with their biggest Merseyside derby win since November 1982 and, at 4-0, the widest victory margin at Anfield against their rivals from across Stanley Park for 42 years. Manager Brendan Rodgers will seek satisfaction in those statistics – but of greater significance is that this evolving Liverpool team will feel they can gaze forward rather than back in the closing phases of the Premier League season.” BBC


Bayern in search of perfection

January 29, 2014

“The question is no longer whether Bayern Munich will win the league or not; the question is if they can do so without suffering a defeat. No side in Bundesliga history have gone unbeaten for an entire season. In fact, only a handful ever stood an honest chance. These are our nearly men…” ESPN


QPR, Giggling, Mind Games and Greenford

January 29, 2014

“Researching the sporting history of a local area can be a frustrating and frequently painful experience. Perhaps worst of all is that persistent nagging voice that questions the relevance of the research itself. “What’s the point?” a little voice whispers, ‘Who actually cares?’ It probably doesn’t help when your area of interest is an untrendy town (Greenford), in an unremarkable area (Ealing) in a now defunct county (Middlesex). To confound it all, like a moth to a light bulb I’ve recently found myself inextricably drawn to a particular part of sporting Greenford, Birkbeck College sports ground, the former playing fields of the University of London’s Birkbeck College.” In Bed With Maradona (Video)


China’s Stadium Diplomacy in Africa

January 29, 2014

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“In Maputo, the ‘Garden for Sculptors’ behind the Museu Nacional de Arte on Avenida Ho Chi Minh has become a kind of prison yard for Mozambique’s various Ozymandiases, a semi-public dumping ground where colonial monuments now crumble quietly away. A marble European baroness reclines in thick robes, the grasses growing up around her base. Both of her arms have been lopped off, but her amputated left hand still touches the midriff of a black male slave crouched in a loincloth by her side. Nearby, a decapitated Lady Justice presides over a small patch of weeds and bare earth. No longer public art, but not quite garbage, these are the monuments which were extracted like rotten teeth from the city’s squares and public buildings when Portuguese colonial rule finally ended, but which nobody could quite bring themselves to destroy.” Road and Kingdoms


The Case For a Sporting Director at Anfield

January 29, 2014

“In the past two transfer windows there have been a number of high profile targets that have slipped through the net. All of those targets had a recurring theme; they were all at the top end of a competitive market. It could be the case that we were right to walk away from deals for Willian and Salah, whilst we lost out on Mkhitaryan to Dortmund and Costa signed a new deal at Athletico. Sometimes, your first choice targets just don’t come off, and it’s much harder competing in the elite market with no Champions League football.” Tomkins Times


Bundesliga continues to break records as it grows

January 29, 2014

“As is customary ever year, the DFL (German League Association) released its annual report on the economic state of German yesterday and it further underlines the positive growth of not only the Bundesliga but German football as a whole with continuous record attendance and profitability. Much has been said about the performances of German clubs in Europe recently, along with the influx of young talents in first teams throughout the country as well as the performance of the national team but German football has also grown in leaps and bounds from a business and economic perspective in that same period. Growing attendance, economic prudence, sporting success and responsible cost control have resulted in record numbers across the board.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Player Focus: Gervinho – From Figure of Fun to Fan Favourite

January 29, 2014

“Before really getting into his Tuesday column in La Repubblica back in early December, Gabriele Romagnoli had a confession to make. ‘I love Gervinho,’ he wrote. ‘I will not be impartial. It’s necessary to write it with a heart between the subject and the direct object like in the NY logo… I am not a Romanista and I never succumbed to the ecstatic aesthetics of Garrincha, George Best or Gigi Meroni. Rather, it’s a sort of literary passion: the kind that makes you prefer Yanez to Sandokan [the protagonists of Emilio Salgari’s 19th century pirate novels] or Sancho Panza to Don Quixote. With poetic license, this is Gervinho, he’s a creature of ‘Gervantes’: a dreamer-squire, who drags the indolent hero beyond the limits of his fantasy.’ Reading that, it’s fair to say Gervinho has found an appreciation in Italy that he never did in England.” Who Scored?