The Bundesliga and German Society – A Virtuous Circle

August 5, 2014

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“In parts 1 and 2 in my series, I first looked at how the financial fair play rules in German football have an effect on the strengths of German soccer and then looked I looked at the cost of being a German football fan, particularly when contrasted with the fan experience in the English Premier League. However, there is an over-arching theme even greater that football itself that I will discuss in this article. Namely, the role of football, in particular the Bundesliga, within German society. It is very interesting to examine this relationship apart from the statistics, facts and figures that can be represented in different ways. While it is fair to say football does hold an important social place in countries like Germany and England, it is also fair to say that the nature of the relationship is vastly different in either country.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Newcastle United’s Facundo Ferreyra has quality but needs confidence

August 5, 2014

“There are few things more likely to damn an Argentinian player than playing in Argentina. Even before the latest economic turmoil there was no money in the game and that – the wisdom of the talent doughnut has it – means any Argentinian who found himself in the Primera was either under 20, over 30 or not very good. Facundo ‘Chucky’ Ferreyra, who completed a loan deal to Newcastle United on Sunday, bypassing the need for a work-permit through his Italian heritage, did not leave till he was 22, which is indicative of the doubts that have always surrounded him.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


How Chelsea Ruined Football

August 5, 2014

“First of all, let me state that, beyond the tense rivalries of recent years, I harbour no grudge with Chelsea Football Club per se. Let me be clear: I am fully aware that it could just as easily have been Liverpool FC that Roman Abramovich purchased in 2003, and then, like any fan, I’d have enjoyed the decade of undoubted success that would have followed. Back in 2003, neither Liverpool nor Chelsea were geared towards great success. Both clubs were outside the top three (4th and 5th) and well off the pace, managed by good but not exceptional bosses. Neither club was getting close to the £30m Manchester United had already spent on a single player; at the time, Chelsea and Liverpool could spend around £15m tops. That’s how much the Russian oligarch changed things.” Tomkins Times


Joan Gamper: The man who founded FC Barcelona

August 5, 2014

“When Joan Gamper made a stoppage in Barcelona to meet his uncle on his way to try his hands in sugar trading business in Africa little did he know that he would end up founding one of the colossus of European football whose impact would be much beyond the realms of football and in time will symbolize hope and aspirations of a population reeling under the tyranny of oppression.” Outside of the Boot


World War One: Sporting stories of bravery recalled 100 years on

August 5, 2014

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Heart of Midlothian started the 1914-1915 season with a 2-0 victory over Celtic after giving their all.
“They were the sporting stars of yesteryear. Captains, team-mates, local heroes. Many of them went from the playing field to the battlefields of World War One, never to return. Monday marks the 100th anniversary of Britain’s declaration of war on Germany. It was at 23:00 on 4 August 1914 that Britain entered into one of the costliest conflicts in history, and the fighting continued until 11 November 1918. Here, BBC Sport recalls some notable stories – from whole teams who joined the armed forces to a modern-day international inspired by his ancestors’ wartime deeds.” BBC

Hearts, the team that went to war for Britain
“On 4 August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. Eleven days later a full house at Tynecastle cheered Heart of Midlothian to victory over Celtic, the defending champions beaten by the young pretenders of the Scottish game. War seemed a long way off on that summer’s afternoon; somewhere for a foreign field, not the football field.” Independent


Steady As He Goes: Raheem Sterling Has Arrived at Liverpool

August 5, 2014

“In his second full season on Liverpool’s first team, 19-year-old prodigy Raheem Sterling lit up the Premier League with nine goals and five assists. He was an integral part of Liverpool’s unexpected title challenge and eventual second-place finish. He helped the team score a club record 101 goals, partnering in an almost unstoppable attack with Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge. You can get lost watching Sterling’s YouTube highlights from Liverpool’s 2013-14 season — so much so that it’s kind of remarkable to think that two summers ago, the most compelling Sterling clip was one of his manager dressing him down in front of his teammates.” Grantland


League Focus: Eredivisie 2014/15 Preview – Ajax’s Chance to Make History

August 5, 2014

“If one word could describe the Eredivisie it is “engrossing”. Unpredictability borne out of the annual summer upheaval – today’s economic reality means Dutch clubs find it difficult to retain the experience and cohesion forged over the past 12-18 months – leading to its competitive nature. Since the leagues inception in 1956 no team has managed to win five consecutive championships; the feeling among many observers is that it’s all about to change. History will be re-written by Frank de Boer and Ajax. The cornerstone behind their latest domestic supremacy has been De Boer’s system. No longer relying on individuals, anyone can be replaced, and reintroducing Ajax’s traditional game absent for much of the time between his departure as a player in 1998 and appointment as manager in December 2010.” whoscored


TTU Go Predicting: a Club-by-Club League 2 Preview

August 5, 2014

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“In the first of four divisional previews we focus today on who’s who in League 2, which once again looks set to be tight. The bookies are backing Bury, Luton, Portsmouth and Shrewbury – we think that they’ll each do well, but suggest that they’ll have plenty of competition, not least from Southend and York.” TTU


Premier League stars can still shine

August 5, 2014

“It wasn’t quite an action replay — the departing star bade farewell to Liverpool rather than London and he was headed for Barcelona, not Madrid. Otherwise, it was a case of deja vu: For the second successive summer, the Premier League lost the reigning Footballer of the Year. For Gareth Bale in 2013 read Luis Suarez in 2014. Whereas the Uruguayan stepped up seamlessly to replace the Welshman as the division’s dominant player, now Suarez leaves a vacancy, and not merely at Anfield. The English top flight has lost a marquee talent. One possibility is that the senior citizens will again assert their authority, but the fact is that Robin van Persie, Steven Gerrard and Yaya Toure are already in their 30s.” ESPN


football blogging

August 5, 2014

“Over the past couple of days a number of people have been blogging about blogging. Rather than it being some meta-analysis of the practice, many instead opted to discuss why we do it. This, is my two cents. The wave first came to my attention when Jonathan Fadugba, of Just Football fame, asked us all “Is football blogging dying? Or just morphing into something new?” Instead of immediately following Betteridge’s law of headlines – the principle where every headline can be answered with a succinct ‘no’ – I instead opted to responded by (internally) saying ‘yes’ and then ‘yes’ again. As Jonathan points out bastions of this ‘industry’ have, sadly, fallen by the wayside: Ian King of Two Hundred Percent released a public service announcement on the future of that esteemed website and shortly after so did Michael Cox, formerly known as Zonal Marking and now known as that guy who discuss tactics everywhere. In Ian’s case it was, for want of a better word, burnout; in Michael’s it was the cold hard fact that his personal blog doesn’t pay the bills and yet he has suitors knocking on his door every waking hour.” Chris Booth