Jose Mourinho: Chelsea boss wrong on 19th-Century football

January 31, 2014

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“Jose Mourinho is an intelligent and articulate man and a talented manager, but he is not a historian. He said West Ham played “football from the 19th Century” after the Hammers’ defensive approach secured a 0-0 draw on Wednesday. Mourinho’s remarks were clearly meant more as a general slur alluding to the dark, unenlightened pre-Premier League days of English football than an accurate comparison to the game’s Victorian past.” BBC


‘We are Union, you are not’: Genuine fans saddened as criminals hijack the headlines in Sweden

January 31, 2014

“Football is as much about the 90 minutes on the pitch as spending time with your mates – an away match and one on European soil, heightens this feeling for the average fan. Pre-match drinks, a few songs perhaps and almost certainly exploring the cultural delights of a new country. However, a small minority from both sides used this game as a vehicle for violence. Let’s be clear. These people are criminals and should be dealt with. No true football fan throws flares at other fans, no true football fan throws a flare that narrowly misses their own goalkeeper and no true football fan rampages around Stockholm after a friendly looking for a fight. The behaviour described above, if proven beyond reasonable doubt, should see those people punished in the severest of terms. So far, this has been in the form of stadium bans.” Bundesliga Fanatic


The juggling act faced by all coaches

January 31, 2014

“On a phone in show recently a caller asked if players who had not featured in qualification should be taken to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He did not mean it in a sense that governing body should prevent them from playing; rather, he suggested, that it might be in the best interests of the coach to stick with the group that earned a place in the party. I cannot agree. The example that instantly came to mind was that of Italy in 1978. During the qualification process the sweeper was the veteran Giacinto Facchetti. Come the World Cup, however, he had been replaced – elegantly and successfully – by Gaetano Scirea. And a jack in the box striker called Paolo Rossi had also emerged as a domestic star, and went straight into the first team in Argentina ’78, with impressive results.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Tottenham’s midfield still a work in progress

January 31, 2014

“Manchester City’s 5-1 thrashing of Tim Sherwood’s Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night shouldn’t be used as evidence of Spurs’ lack of quality. Few clubs have the capability to cope with Manuel Pellegrini’s side in top form, while Spurs had two extremely tight decisions go against them, denying them an equaliser and reducing them to 10 men.” ESPN – Michael Cox