Bayern’s Uli Hoeness: The Rise And Fall of a Soccer Saint

March 14, 2014

FC Bayern München - FC Barcelona
“Uli Hoeness, the president of Bayern Munich and an icon of German club soccer, could end up behind bars for tax evasion. The case has highlighted the dark side of the skilful entrepreneur and philanthropist whose burning ambition made Bayern what it is today — and has now triggered his fall from grace. Although he is not sitting in jail awaiting trial, although he has not been convicted, although he can sit in a stadium dressed in a suit with a red-and-white scarf and can spend his nights at home, Uli Hoeness, the president of top German soccer club Bayern Munich, is already a prisoner. He is a prisoner of a small device — not an electronic shackle or a beacon that informs the authorities of his whereabouts. The device is a receiver. It informs its owner of developments on stock markets around the world, and Hoeness can’t stop himself from constantly staring at it.” Der Spiegel – Part 1: The Rise And Fall of a Soccer Saint, Part 2: Jail Sentence Possible, Part 3: Chatting With Merkel, Part 4: A Duopoly in the Bundesliga (May 1, 2013)

The rise and fall of Uli Hoeness – Bayern president will not appeal sentence
“Uli Hoeness has decided not to appeal against his three and a half year prison sentence for tax evasion and has offered his definitive resignation as president of Bayern Munich. Initially, after the sentence delivered yesterday by Judge Rupert Heindl, the 64-year-old defence team had claimed the right to appeal. However Hoeness said today that, after discussions with his family, he felt the only responsible action was to accept to sentence and also to step down from his positions with the world, European and German champions.” World Soccer

Messi nears his peak to lift Barcelona, PSG rolls to CL quarterfinals

March 14, 2014

“There was controversy in Barcelona, but it made little difference to the outcome as the hosts beat Manchester City 2-1 to go through to the Champions League quarterfinals by a 4-1 aggregate. In Paris, meanwhile, PSG eased through, with a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen completing a 6-1 aggregate margin.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Arsenal gains morale from Bayern Munch draw, but little else

March 14, 2014

“Arsenal went to Munich seeking the impossible. That didn’t happen but the club did achieve probably the best it could realistically have hoped for: a decent performance and a draw that might provide the sort of jolt of self-belief that galvanized it last season after a victory in Munich. Back then it took 26 points form its last 10 Premier League matches to pinch fourth place from Tottenham Hotspur. A similar run this season might clinch it the league title. In terms of the specifics of overturning the 2-0 first-leg deficit, though, Arsenal never came close.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Bayern Munich 1-1 Arsenal: Tactical Analysis
“Arsenal put in a commendable performance against Bayern Munich at the Emirates stadium, two weeks back, but came away with nothing and a difficult second leg at the Allianz Arena their only hope. They were buoyed by the fact that they emerged victorious there last season, but still found themselves knocked out. The English side once again put in a stellar performance, which didn’t necessarily make them the better side, but did earn them the plaudits. For Bayern, it wasn’t their usual dominating performance but they were more deserving of the victory. They go through to the next round, full of confidence, and the title of ‘favourites’ still very much in tact.” Outside of the Boot

Man City’s biggest problem? A lack of leadership

March 14, 2014

Vincent Kompany
“In the unlikely event you haven’t noticed, Manchester City have a significant problem at centre-back. Vincent Kompany remains excellent but is unable to depend upon on a reliable partner. Manuel Pellegrini favours Martin Demichelis, despite the Argentine’s constant stream of errors. Joleon Lescott, a reliable performer throughout City’s 2011-12 title-winning season, endured a horrendous match at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night while young Matija Nastasic is enduring second-season syndrome. Javi Garcia, uncomfortable in his favoured position of central midfield, doesn’t seem to be a solution, either.” ESPN – Michael Cox (Video)

Graham Westley and Stevenage Are Not Disappearing Yet

March 14, 2014

“I in a fascinating article in the most recent issue of The Blizzard , one which largely debunks the idea that football has any real likeness to the game of chess, Scott Oliver bemoans ‘the obsessive measurement of atomised players’ individual contributions’ measured by way of ‘output’, suitable perhaps ‘for ‘the neoliberal market’ but not for ‘the socialist midfield’. Graham Westley, that lower league bogey man, might concur. In Westley’s world view, the individual is ruthlessly subjugated for the wider good of the team and while that seems to be no reflection at all of the man’s personal and political views – his Machiavellian ditching of Farnborough Town is evidence of that – on the pitch at least, all notions of creativity are suppressed in favour of the collective.” thetwounfortunates

Wigan’s Uwe Rösler revival

March 14, 2014

“On the 2nd December 2013, with Wigan having lost four of their last five games and sitting 14th in the Championship, Owen Coyle was dismissed as manager after a mere six months in charge. Only five points separated them from 21st placed Millwall and the unbridled glory of their FA Cup triumph against Manchester City seemed decades ago. However, under the guidance of the young and relatively inexperienced Uwe Rösler, they have now rather unbelievably booked their place once again at Wembley for a semi final showdown with the odds on favourites Arsenal and sit in seventh place, level on points with Brighton and just three points behind Nottingham Forest – with two games in hand on both of them.” backpagefootball