World Cup 2014: Super Eagles can be the best of Africa

May 8, 2014

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“If there has been a consistent theme in these World Cup columns – and there has been at least one, honest – it is that the Ivory Coast are not as good as people think. Given they have vied with Egypt as the best African team of this century but have a much higher global recognition factor because so many of their players play in the major western European leagues, that’s perhaps understandable – but support for them goes against the evidence of the last Africa Cup of Nations. In South Africa, the Ivorians looked what they are: an ageing squad. Yaya Toure, of course, remains an exceptional player and his influence can still turn games, but with Didier Drogba now 36, he is increasingly having to do it alone.” Betting – Jonathan Wilson


PSG’s dramatic rise to European giants

May 8, 2014

“Paris Saint-Germain’s success in winning the French football league for the second year in a row represents a dramatic transformation over the last three years in the club’s fortunes. This season they have also won the French League Cup and, as in 2013, once again reached the quarter-finals of the Champions’ League. For the first time Parisians are beginning to feel they may have a team to shout about. In the beginning there was a little club from Paris called Paris FC and another little club from the suburbs called Stade Saint-Germain. In 1970 they got together and became Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).” BBC


Manuel Pellegrini should get credit he deserves if Manchester City win title

May 8, 2014

“Assuming Manchester City earn the point they need against West Ham United on Sunday, this will be Manuel Pellegrini‘s first league title since collecting the Clausura with River Plate in Argentina in 2003. There will be those who suggest he has won it almost by default, merely by not falling over as Chelsea and Liverpool suffered unexpected setbacks, but winning titles is often as much about that as it is about the glamorous wins in the landmark games.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Scolari given easy ride over Brazil World Cup squad

May 8, 2014

“The press conference at which Luiz Felipe Scolari announced his World Cup squad was arguably the easiest 45 minutes the veteran Brazilian coach has ever faced. The 23-man list named was largely devoid of controversy as the assembled media patted friendly questions in his direction. Scolari himself recalled that by contrast in 2002 he had to change hotel at the last minute to free himself from media intent on pursuing the issue of the non-selection of Romário, one the heroes of the 1994 World Cup win.” WSC


Serie A 2013/14 End of Season Awards

May 8, 2014

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Rudi Garcia
“The readers of Outside of the Boot have cast their votes across Europe’s top 4 leagues across 10 different award categories with 4 nominees under each to pick the players who they believe deserved recognition the most. The Serie A 2013/14 End of Season Awards were the most closely competed one, with most categories lacking a clear winner. Note that no club has more than one representative in a particular product category.” Outside of the Boot


Confessions of a Liverpool Addict

May 8, 2014

“My name is Mikey, and I’m a Liverpool supporter. It has been three days since I last watched a game. I get up at four or five in the morning to watch matches because I now live in Australia. There have been times I have woken up the entire family with my screaming at the TV. I force my son to wear Liverpool pyjamas and sleep beneath a Liverpool bedspread every time Liverpool play. I blamed my wife for a defeat once because she put the duvet on his bed the wrong way around. I have a kid’s football shirt in a frame on the wall because I believe it made Liverpool unbeatable whenever my baby son wore it. I even got my wife to wake him up and put it on when we were 2-0 down to Portsmouth. He got back to sleep eventually. We won.” Tomkins Times


Football Montages: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly… and The Rest

May 8, 2014

“Where there’s a major tournament, you can bet there’ll also be a flashy (or on occasion, not-so-flashy) montage put together by the broadcaster showing its face at some point. David takes us through a few choice picks.” Branch of Science (Video)


Football and the Internet

May 8, 2014

“Hovering just above, using satellite view, on Google maps there appears to be little remarkable about the modest football ground on the Southern edge of Caen: a small clubhouse, a white rail around the perimeter and two dugouts. It is no different from hundreds of thousands of others across France, across Europe. For a few short years however, it was this ground which was the scene of an experiment (dubbed l’adventure’ by those involved) which had the potential to transform not only the way in which football cubs are governed, but more importantly to create radically new relationship between fans and club.” In Bed With Maradona