Time for some humble pie

September 10, 2014

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group C - PSV Eindhoven v Liverpool - Philips Stadion
Ronald Koeman
“Sorry is the hardest word in football. It can be used as a tactical device or a timely diversion. Very occasionally, it is employed with due respect. That sombre moment has arrived, now the distraction of the international break is over. The return of the Premier League offers the opportunity to apologise to those whose powers of motivation and professionalism were prematurely written off. Here are five managers who would be forgiven for wearing ‘I told you so’ smiles when the action resumes. Sorry, chaps.” BT Sport


TPI & Transfers – Early Season Update 2014-15

September 10, 2014

“As the transfer window closed in early September it was possible to draw the first conclusions about what could be expected for the season based on TPI (Transfer Price Index ©). All figures below are based on current values, so the the latest inflation figures have been applied (using the inflation index of all transfers in the relevant season). Amidst all of the hype in the Sky Sports studio, it was clear from an early stage that all records were about to be broken. Man City were hamstrung by FFP regulations and so were unlikely to spend significantly in an attempt to defend their title, but below them Chelsea and Liverpool had sold expensively (David Luis and Luis Suárez respectively) and so had funds to spare, whereas Arsenal wanted to cement their position in the top four, with Man United expected to spend heavily to regain after they missed out on European football for the first time since football began – as Sky Sports would have you believe. All this came with the first influx of money from the new increased television deal.”
Tomkins Times


Dočkal celebrates Czechs’ Netherlands success

September 10, 2014

“Bořek Dočkal, Czech Republic midfielder. It is great, of course, but we definitely expected a really difficult game. We met a team that got to the semis in Brazil, they showed their quality. So we just tried to defend well and wait for counterattacks. It is a great victory for us. [For my opening goal] I received a good ball from our striker. I didn’t want to lose the ball, so I just tried to shoot and hit the top corner, so it was one of the best goals of my life.” UEFA


English Soccer Has a Gambling Problem

September 10, 2014

“On December 3, 2005, Harry Redknapp resigned as manager of Southampton Football Club. Five days later, he turned up some ten miles away in the city of Portsmouth, where he announced that he had become the new manager of Portsmouth Football Club. Redknapp has a reputation for courting controversy, to put it lightly, and in that sense, this move was about right. Portsmouth and Southampton are the South Coast’s two biggest clubs (historically anyway; Portsmouth is now in League Two, England’s fourth division), and they share a fierce, local rivalry. Fans weren’t thrilled by the move, but it turned out to be far more controversial than a matter of rivalries.” VICE


The 5 best soccer mascots based on cuddliness, adorability, and influence on team success

September 10, 2014

“You would be hard-pressed to find another sport that’s had a revolution in analysis the likes of which soccer has experienced in the last few years. Where a decade ago post-match analysis began and ended with guts, determination and hustle, the modern pundit relies on an array of technical minutiae to justify their conclusions. Tactics, heat maps, possession rates, successful dribbles, aerial duels won, distribution percentages, expected goal differentials, goal impact, man-marking, zonal marking, expected goals created, inverted wingers, inverted full backs, false nines, false coaches, training methods, choice of breakfast, team selection, nominal GDPs, and even jersey tightness are just some of the tools in use to break down a team’s performance.” Fusion


The sale of Bryan Cristante: AC Milan’s moment of darkness in an otherwise brilliant transfer window

September 10, 2014

BCAG
“While AC Milan have begun their season on the tail-end of a surprisingly successful transfer campaign; acquiring the likes of Menez, Alex, and Diego Lopez, there is one piece of business which was a huge disappointment for Milan fans around the world: the sale of 19-year old Bryan Cristante. Over the past few seasons, Cristante has been the shining gem of Milan’s youth set-up and it seemed that this year would be the one where he would get the opportunity to showcase his talent. Technically he will be doing just that, but not with Milan. Cristante will be plying his trade in Portugal this season with Benfica. There was plenty of speculation regarding the future of the midfielder at the start of the transfer window, with both Benfica and Sassuolo seeking out the services of the player. However these rumors were quickly put to bed by Galliani who stated that Milan had no intention of selling Cristante, much to the relief of the fans.” Outside of the Boot


Abuse by Gremio fans highlights the fact that racism is doing just fine in Brazil

September 10, 2014

“At first it was hard to work out what exactly was going on. The Copa do Brasil first leg tie between Grêmio and Santos at the Arena do Grêmio in Porto Alegre two weeks ago was dwindling limply to a close, with the visiting team leading 2-0, when all of a sudden Santos goalkeeper Aranha started screaming and pointing at the crowd behind his goal, visibly upset. When the TV cameras zoomed in, they revealed a group of young men, some black, some white, shouting and jumping up and down and moving their arms in imitation of monkeys. Elsewhere in the ground, a well-dressed young woman was filmed cupping her hand around her mouth and shouting ‘macaco, macaco’ (‘monkey’) in Aranha’s direction.” Fusion


The story of Robin and Debtman

September 10, 2014

“Sitting in the Weserstadion, one can’t help but feel that Werder Bremen’s fans do have an impressive support going for their team. I was there for the match against Hoffenheim, and it was lovely to see the way Davie Selke was applauded off the pitch despite not having had the best of matches. The attitude the youngster had put on display was right though, the Under-19 European champion had worked his socks off throughout the entire match, and Werder’s fans showed him their appreciation for that. Even the people sitting behind me in the VIP lounge were getting into the match, which happens fairly seldom at other grounds.” Bundesliga Fanatic