The Most Righteous Team in England

February 6, 2014

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“Niall Couper is UK spokesman for Amnesty International. If you follow the news, you’ll understand that means he’s a busy man. You’ll also understand why I, having never met him, was nervous about emailing to ask if he’d like a chat about football. He replied within three minutes: ‘Friday?’ I shouldn’t have been surprised. Niall Couper is a Wimbledon fan, and Wimbledon fans are always happy to talk football. In fact, it is their enthusiasm for the game that has made Wimbledon possibly the finest football club in the world.” Roads and Kingdoms


Carlos Tevez should be at his peak, but is destined for World Cup despair

February 6, 2014

“A vineyard near Mendoza, June 2011. The manager had just learned I was a journalist covering the Copa América and was determined to find out why I thought Argentina were underperforming – which is to say, she was determined to tell me why she thought they were underperforming. I suggested there was a superabundance of attacking talent, that maybe Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi couldn’t usefully play together. ‘Then we must drop Messi,’ she said.” Guardian -Jonathan Wilson


Semifinal: Roma-Napoli 3-2

February 6, 2014

“In Philip Pullman’s His Dark Matters trilogy, central to the plot is a knife. How, where, why and whose it is doesn’t matter, merely this: in the books, it can be used to carve out windows into different, parallel worlds. Only the bearer of the knife can detect the openings, and use it to slice open portals from midair where there were none. If there were such a knife in real life, Francesco Totti would be the one to wield it. As Benatia passed the ball to him over a distance of maybe ten meters, Totti dropped down to meet it and, without ever looking in the right direction, with one touch carved up an opening where there was none.” blogistuta


Michael Laudrup: What went wrong at Swansea for the Dane?

February 6, 2014

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“Swansea’s decision to sack boss Michael Laudrup four days before facing rivals Cardiff has ensured this weekend’s south Wales derby is shaping up to be an even bigger game than normal. Under Brendan Rodgers and then Laudrup, Swansea have had two excellent seasons in the Premier League, capped by finishing ninth and winning the Capital One Cup last year. But since winning that trophy 12 months ago, Swansea have only won eight of 35 Premier League games, and lost 18. That is relegation form.” BBC


What does the modern day footballer stand for anyway?

February 6, 2014

“After seeing the somewhat refreshing images of Lazio’s outgoing midfielder Hernanes shedding a few tears with fans on January 30th, it made me think that this is quite rare. Now I don’t mean players crying with fans; I mean loyalty. Many fans I am sure will say that in the fast-moving game that there is no room for loyalty in football more. I’m sure most players believe this as well.” Backpage Football


Bale steps into Ronaldo’s spotlight

February 6, 2014

“From Gareth Bale’s off-field persona, you wouldn’t expect him to be a superstar. He’s shy, retiring, quiet and modest and, although his commercial activities have increased significantly to reflect his development into one of Europe’s most exciting players, he’s generally keen to evade the spotlight. In pure footballing terms, however, Bale is highly egotistical. Not in a rude, arrogant, spoilt-brat manner but in terms of his playing style. Many expected Bale to become a rampaging left-back, including the manager who made him a regular at Tottenham, Harry Redknapp.” ESPN – Michael Cox (Video)