Liverpool tears flow as Reds pay price for defensive frailties

May 6, 2014

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“A tearful Luis Suarez was led away from the scene of the accident with his face hidden inside his white Liverpool shirt, first by captain Steven Gerrard waving away an intrusive television camera, then by unused substitute Kolo Toure. Gerrard had been on his haunches, as had several of Liverpool’s players, while others sat in utter misery on the Selhurst Park turf before manager Brendan Rodgers emerged into the media suite and spoke of his squad being ‘devastated’. Never has going top of the Premier League with one game to play been greeted by such an outpouring of grief, despair and disappointment – but this was a thunderous night in south London that turned all logic on its head.” BBC (Video)

Istanbul in reverse signals death of Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool dream
“It was the expression of shock on those in the visiting contingent, from Brendan Rodgers in the technical area to Luis Suárez out on the pitch, which told the story. At least the Uruguayan had mustered a smile of disbelief while the game was still in progress before disintegrating into floods of tears, hiding his face in his shirt. Steven Gerrard was just as inconsolable before recovering some level of composure to hoist his team-mate from his haunches and push away the intrusion of a television camera.” Guardian

Liverpool Lost the Premier League Title Just Like They Almost Won It
“They finished last season in seventh place and came into this year with something like 33-1 odds of winning the Premier League. After back-to-back losses to Manchester City and Chelsea to end 2013, they found themselves in fifth place. But since the beginning of 2014 they’ve won 14 games, tied three, and lost one. They’ve clinched a spot in the Champions League group stages, and they’re atop the table with one game left in their season. Or: Humans exist as cast members in the blackest comedy, directed by some cruel, faceless, string-pulling auteur we will never see. Everything is a disappointment. And any success is just seemingly self-prescribed medication against the bleak, hopeless, ultimately hollow reality that nothing will ever work out the way we want it to.” Grantland


World Cup 2014: England Squad Selector – pick your 23 then compare with our choices

May 6, 2014

“Ever wanted to be Roy Hodgson? It’s a common condition. His is a life of easy charm, muted bookishness and lovely warm coats. But there’s one unenviable task looming for the England manager ahead of Fifa World Cup 2014 in Brazil, and that’s picking 23 men to make up a squad capable of avoiding humiliation. With Hodgson set to announce his provisional list of players on Monday May 12, we’ve cast the net wide for potential England squad members, from the players who are on the plane barring a late metatarsal injury (Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart), the youngsters who may or may not have done enough to impress (Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley) and the longshots (Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, ideally both at once).” Telegraph – Henry Winter


Borderball with Club Tijuana

May 6, 2014

“About a decade ago, a T-shirt became popular in American malls. In retro graphics featuring a 1970s-style monorail swooshing by, the shirt read: ‘Tijuana: City of Tomorrow.’ Its message was sarcastic and disparaging. A border city in a distant corner of the continent, Tijuana had a seedy reputation as an “adult playground” and as a haven for all sorts of criminality. For many Americans, the short hop across the border to Tijuana still carries connotations of murky vice and sleaze. Times have changed. Every week, Americans make the journey to Tijuana for an irreproachable reason: they cross into Mexico to watch their beloved soccer team, Club Tijuana. It may be located in another country, but the Mexican league side has become the de facto hometown team for San Diego.” Road and Kingdoms


Despite its inescapable past, Bosnia-Herzegovina writes new chapter

May 6, 2014

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Oct. 15, 2013
“In the shadows next to the airfield, eight men huddled behind piles of snow: a soldier and seven soccer players. Or at least they had once been soccer players. This was February 1993, and league football hadn’t been played in Sarajevo for well over a year. The siege of Sarajevo, which would last four years, had begun in April ’92, one month after Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia. The battle to control the new capital was the centerpiece of a civil war among ethnic Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) that would take nearly 100,000 lives. In these times there was no prospect of even a casual outdoor kick-around.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


The next big talent coming through from Brazil – Gabigol!

May 6, 2014

“A certain 17-year-old kid from Brazil, more specifically Santos, has been doing the rounds in the footballing world over the past few months. Here’s a Scout Report on the latest sensation from the nation that produces the most exciting talents in the world. His name is Gabriel Barbosa, commonly known by the nickname Gabigol.” Outside of the Boot


World Cup Watch: Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Louis van Gaal

May 6, 2014

“The World Cup is only 37 days away, with the opening match between host nation Brazil and Croatia taking place in Sao Paulo on 12 June. BBC Sport, with the help of European football expert Andy Brassell, is taking a weekly look at happenings from across the world of football and what impact they could have on the tournament in the summer.” BBC