2014 Fifa World Cup draw: Guide to Group D

May 19, 2014

Argentina Uruguay Soccer WCup
“Gary Lineker’s verdict… Style & formation: As qualifying went on, coach Oscar Tabarez settled on a pragmatic 4-4-2. The industrious Edinson Cavani leads the line, with Luis Suarez given licence to roam. Tabarez, however, is not afraid to switch formations, doing so in away matches and during the Confederations Cup to counteract the opposition, including playing 3-5-2 and 4-3-3. Expect him to vary it up in Brazil.” BBC: Uruguay – England – Costa Rica – Italy


La Liga power balance shifts: Has Barcelona lost its soul?

May 19, 2014

“In Madrid and Barcelona, they will be talking about this for many years to come. Of all the ways to break Barca’s monopoly on Spanish league titles, going to the home of the champions and robbing them of their crown in their own backyard takes some beating. In the Catalan heartland Saturday, unfashionable Atletico Madrid produced a storybook ending to one of the most enthralling seasons Spanish football — or indeed any European league — has ever produced. But as Atleti celebrated, the soul searching began in Barcelona.” CNN


Bayern’s double allows Pep Guardiola to exhale after suffocating first season

May 19, 2014

“Don’t read on if you still want to view the box set, but season one of Breaking Pep, a fish-out-of-water tale about a clever man trying to come up with the winning formula in an alien world of unreliable underlings and a grilled meats-empire boss who hides a dark secret, finished with a big cliffhanger on Saturday night: THE. MOLE. IS. STILL. OUT. THERE. Guardiola had first embarked on a hunt for the informer inside his own ranks in November, when Bild had revealed Bayern Munich‘s long-ball tactics for the away game at Dortmund before kick-off.” Guardian


Serie A season signs off with ding-dong battle for Europa League berth

May 19, 2014

“The Serie A season ended as these things usually do: with contrasting images of joy and despair. In one stadium, champagne bottles were uncorked and grown men were tossed up in the air. In another, an Italy forward wept inconsolably. His failure to convert a last-minute penalty had cost his team everything. Instead of sealing a triumphant sixth-place finish, Alessio Cerci had condemned Torino to disastrous seventh.” Guardian


On A Six Pence – football art and readers’ offer!

May 19, 2014

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The Arsenal.
“Here at PNIG, we love football and we love art. As you’ve seen with my piece on Pirlo, my hook-up with the great people at The Illustrated Game, and my recent piece on World Cup photographer Ryu Voelkel, the beatuiful game really can be the beautiful game in the hands of some people.” Put Niels In Goal


League Focus: Ligue 1 2013/14 Review

May 19, 2014

“As Paris Saint-Germain closed their season in typical style with a 4-0 win over Montpellier, it seemed like an eternity since the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season, when La Paillade had held Laurent Blanc’s side to a draw at the Stade de la Mosson. It was also an extraordinary feeling to consider that Montpellier were the last team to deprive PSG of the Ligue 1 title, in 2012. There will be no repeat in the near future, with the prospect of even getting into the table’s upper reaches severely compromised by the imminent exit of Rémy Cabella, the left midfielder in WhoScored’s Best Xi of the season.” whoscored


UFWC World Cup Classics: Argentina vs Netherlands, 1978

May 19, 2014

“The Netherlands had beaten Italy 2-1 to reach their second consecutive World Cup final, and to deprive the Italians of the UFWC title. Dutch defender Ernie Brandts had scored for both sides in that game, with Arie Haan getting the winner. The Oranje were looking impressive despite the fact that they were without star man Johan Cruyff, who had stayed at home to consider his priorities following an alleged kidnap attempt on his family. The hugely experienced Dutch team still featured the likes of Jonny Rep, Johan Neeskens, big keeper Jan Jongbloed, and troublesome twins Willy and Rene Van der Kerkhof.” UFWC