The realities of life after Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

September 19, 2014

Wenger-Moyes-2014
“In the wake of yet another pasting by legitimate opposition, it seems that some Arsenal supporters feel that Arsene Wenger’s time at the club needs to come to an end, or that it needs to come under massive amounts of scrutiny at the very least. While I can affirm that I have firmly placed myself in that camp, it still must be realized what that could potentially mean for the club moving forward; it may not be all apple pie and dandelions like so many are expecting.” Outside of the Boot


The Biggest Surprises From the First Champions League Group-Stage Matches

September 19, 2014

“The first matchday of the Champions League is in the books, and, pleasantly, there were some surprises. Let’s have a look at the biggest.” Grantland (Video)


Atletico Madrid’s unsung hero: Gabi

September 19, 2014

“A game of football is punctuated by moments of spectacular nature. The overhead kick, the unbelievable save, the superhuman burst of pace are all instances that take the breath away. However these headline hogging events are simply a small part of a grand narrative. In terms of overall importance to the outcome, the role of the defensive midfielder is sadly ignored at times. Marvyn Paul addresses this by heaping praise on Atleti captain, Gabi.” Outside of the Boot


What’s the reason behind PSG’s current struggles?

September 19, 2014

“Usually clubs with wealthy benefactors aren’t simply attempting to buy success. They’re also attempting to buy style — and it’s extremely difficult to achieve both. … Paris Saint-Germain is a peculiar case, because there doesn’t seem to be any emphasis upon playing beautiful football. Since QSI bought the club in 2011, the results have been excellent — PSG have won the title for the past two seasons and have performed reasonably well in Europe, too.” ESPN – Michael Cox


The Confusing Case of Ribery’s “Retirement”

September 19, 2014

“Rarely do footballers come around that experience a whirlwind trip to the top of the heap, get embroiled in a dirge of controversy, and somehow maintain a level of play that allows them to weather the massive storm. Franck Ribery is no ordinary soccer story, and his play is always anything BUT ordinary. The Bayern Munich winger, now 31, has amassed every success possible at the club level, and has accomplished all of this while being a huge part of the French national team that has not found the success that Ribery experienced in 2006. So, when a player like Ribery decides to lower the curtain on his international career, the process would seem relatively simple.” SoccerPro


Where next for Alejandro Sabella?

September 19, 2014

Alejandro Sabella
“What do you do if you’ve just managed a team that reached the World Cup final? The truth is that you probably don’t go and manage in the English second tier, and particularly not for a chairman as prone to sacking coaches as Massimo Cellino. The reports linking Alejandro Sabella, who left his post as Argentina manager after the defeat to Germany in the Maracanã, to the vacant position at Leeds United all cited the 59-year-old saying he had ‘unfinished business’ at the club after his disappointing season there as a player in 1980-81, and it is the case that the only other club team he has managed, Estudiantes, was a side he had played for.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


In Champions League, Bulgarian Club Is All Fight

September 19, 2014

“There must be an absolute fortune to be made for the psychologist who could affect what goes on inside the heads of players on a big night of Champions League action. Who can explain why Arsenal, whose team has played in this tournament for 17 consecutive seasons, should appear so stricken by fear or inertia that it failed to compete on every level in Dortmund on Tuesday night? Sure, Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion is a mighty cauldron, a sea of yellow and black raucously supporting their team, Borussia. But so rampant were the bees of Dortmund and so submissive was Arsenal that the 2-0 victory by the home team could, without exaggeration, easily have ended 7-0 or 8-0. On the same evening, in another of Europe’s most imposing stadiums, Liverpool needed a questionable penalty three minutes into injury time to see off Ludogorets Razgrad, 2-1.” NY Times


Growing Pains: Real Madrid

September 19, 2014

“It is always a tough ask to think of how to improve upon a Champions League winning campaign. However, when you couple the capture of the CL crown with a third place league finish (in a league with only three actual competitors), there is definitely room for improvement. So, how do Los Blancos gear up for a year of possible improvement? By selling two of the most important players in their side…and by avoiding their biggest weaknesses in the transfer window. Still, if any team can still succeed, it has to be Madrid…right?” SoccerPro


Roger Schmidt is slick and a former auto engineer and just might turn Bayer Leverkusen into a contender

September 19, 2014

“Seven years ago, Roger Schmidt worked in a machine shop. He was an automotive engineer. In his spare time, he managed Delbrücker SC, a semi-pro team in the Fußball-Oberliga Westfalen, then one of Germany’s regional fourth divisions. This past Tuesday, he stood on the sidelines as his team, Bayer Leverkusen, took on Monaco in the Champions League. Not a bad career move, right? From the machine shop to the Champions League in under a decade.” Fusion