Soccer The ‘World Cup Is Over, Now What?’ Guide to Soccer

July 18, 2014

jurgen-mad
“Just because the World Cup is over doesn’t mean soccer stops. Soccer never stops; that’s one of its biggest appeals. There are so many different teams, leagues, club competitions, and international tournaments that, if you want to, you can always find someone to cheer for or some team to root against. It can also be a bit daunting to wade into without any experience. Luckily, you have me, your Russian Premier League–watching, tactics board–chalking, Opta Stats–devouring Gandalf, to help you tailor your soccer-watching habits. And now I will answer some completely made-up questions to guide you along your soccer path.” Grantland


Would a 4-3-1-2 Formation work for Barcelona?

July 18, 2014

“Various Spanish media have today reported on Luis Enrique’s proposed adaption to Barça’s traditional 4-3-3 formation, but would it work? The hypothetical formation sees new signing Luis Suárez alongside Neymar as the two up the top with Lionel Messi sitting deeper. Andrés Iniesta plays behind the Barça number 10, while Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets make for a double pivote.” Barca Blaugranes


Germany’s Narrative Hangs by a Final

July 18, 2014

“The narrative is crafted: finally, Germany has been rewarded for its fußballing makeover. More specifically, the narrative unspools this way: over the last decade, Germany have transformed themselves from a stolidly “German” side of efficiency (and whatever other cliches apply) to one of exciting open football, thanks to revamping its entire development system. Like any narrative of this magnitude, there’s necessarily simplification and truth shading. However, dots of truth do indeed clot the cloth. Yet what’s even more remarkable is that the entire narrative of German’s makeover hangs on the vicissitudes of single football matches. Really, in the minds of us fußball lovers, the whole thing was contingent on what happened at the Maracanã on Sunday night. So much depends … Indeed.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Reassess transfer window timing

July 18, 2014

“Transfer speculation dominates football like never before. An incredible amount of coverage is dedicated not to games themselves, but to the possibility that footballers might one day play them for another team. At this point of the year, it makes sense. The World Cup has finished, the club season is a month away and there’s nothing else to talk about. In the old days, newspapers would fill their pages with other sports, but football has become all-consuming, and fans demand constant information — seemingly regardless of whether it’s actually true. Once, the offseason meant no football stories: you’d load up Ceefax and discover nothing was happening. These days, football never stops.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Argentina Wins! (for Best Fans)

July 18, 2014

Argentina Soccer Fans in Copacabana
“They flooded the cities of their rival—an estimated 100,000 Argentines were in Rio for the World Cup Final on Sunday. They came in caravans and campers and old taxis and whatever could bring them from their homes in Rosário, La Pampa, Santa Fé, Santa Rosa, Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Mendoza. They slept and ate and screwed and drank and maybe even tangoed at their temporary home at the Samba-drome, a concrete dance pavilion where they had been sequestered for the city’s safety and their own. In Buenos Aires after the loss, Argentina rioted a little, but in Rio, the loyal fans took their loss in peace. Photographer Eduardo Leal spent the last weeks following the Argentines’ journey through the tournament, from the early tight games to the final wundervolley that sank them. There were other fervent fans that made a showing, from Iranians to Chileans, but for sheer determination, emotion, and size of pilgrimage, the supporters of La Albiceleste would clearly deserve this tournament’s Golden Winnebago, if such a thing existed.” Roads and Kigdoms


Bayern Munich players continue to break records at the World Cup

July 18, 2014

“Over the past couple of seasons, it has become a common sight to see Bayern München crush all the record books. At the start of the World Cup, the Bavarians had 14 players featuring in the World Cup, 7 of whom played for Germany. Over the course of the tournament, these players have made waves and grabbed several of the headlines all over the world. Here’s a look at some memorable stats just pertaining to Bayern München’s players.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Exeter City return to Brazil one hundred years after special trip

July 18, 2014

“It almost seems unthinkable that a century of samba football was borne out of a bunch of Devon boys, a misjudged skinny dip and a pair of knocked-out teeth. How Exeter City, who finished just five points outside the League Two relegation places in 2014, helped form the first ever Brazilian side is little known, to those in both South America or south-west England. But it all happened when, en route home from their 1914 pre-season tour of Argentina, the Grecians stopped off in Brazil, after Nottingham Forest and Southampton turned down requests to make the trip.” BBC


Another flood of exciting European talent arrives in the Premier League

July 18, 2014

“Every summer, the internet is set ablaze with speculation, rumours and counter-rumours of potential transfers once the window opens in July. Of course, with all the ‘on the verge’ and ‘set to’ headlines, the only stories that truly matter are the completed transfers. This summer has been no different in ushering in another breed of exciting young Europeans that will surely help keep the drama of the Premier League alive. Despite having only been officially open for a couple of weeks, some Premier League clubs have wasted no time in getting ahead of their rivals as manager’s study scouting reports from every corner of Europe before setting about strengthening the squad. Alan Pardew is eager to improve on last season’s 10th placed finish and has signalled his intentions of furthering the French revolution on Tyneside with the double acquisition of Remy Cabella from Montpellier and Emmanuel Riviere from Monaco.” backpagefootball