In Victory, Arsène Wenger Shows Off Old and New

October 3, 2014

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“Sports, like many other things in life, often comes down to one generation putting faith in the next. We witnessed the manifestation of that during Arsenal’s 4-1 victory over Galatasaray here in north London on Wednesday. It was the night of Arsène Wenger’s 18th anniversary as Arsenal manager and the night that Danny Welbeck scored a hat trick of goals for the first time in professional soccer. Welbeck was five years old when Wenger, now 64, arrived in England. The Frenchman has coached Arsenal through 1,022 games and has managed some exquisite players through his seemingly eternal quest to win the Champions League.” NY Times


Tactical Analysis | Atletico 1-0 Juventus : Atletico up the tempo to grab an important winner

October 3, 2014

“The second gameweek of the UEFA Champions League had some tasty encounters in store for all viewers, with a number of top teams clashing. In terms of results and entertainment too, it didn’t disappoint, with lots of goals, and a lot of good, competitive football. One of the tastiest fixtures was Atletico hosting Juventus. It was a clash of Champions from Spain and Italy. Coming into the game, Juventus had a 100% record, with no goals conceded. Atletico have made a good start, but find themselves in third after a few indifferent results. This was a different situation, as Atletico had lost their opening fixture in Greece, and a positive result against Juventus was absolutely vital. The Italians were up against it, as a daunting home support, combined with Atleti’s usual aggressive approach had meant that they had 17 wins in their last 19 European fixtures.” Outside of the Boot


Fast starts don’t always pan out, but Chelsea has look of winner

October 3, 2014

“Since he joined Porto in 2002, Jose Mourinho has won the league title in his second season at every club he’s managed. That, it seems, is the optimal time, when he has had a chance to embed his method in his players and before the abrasiveness of his personality has had time to sour the mood. This is his second season back at Chelsea, and, sure enough, the Blues go into Sunday’s game against Arsenal already five points clear of its closest realistic challenger.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


Tactical analysis – Roma’s performance against Manchester City

October 3, 2014

“Tuesday evening saw Roma drew 1-1 with Manchester City away from home and now sit in second place in Group C. The match – which saw Francesco Totti become the competition’s oldest goal scorer – illustrated a Roma side unfazed after conceding an early penalty and go on to play fluid football. The reigning English champions looked sluggish throughout and Roma were able to dictate long stretches of play. Let’s take a look how they did it.” backpagefootball


Leighton Baines vs. Luke Shaw: England’s present and future at left-back

October 3, 2014

“This week, the city of Manchester is hosting a showcase of England’s past, present and future left-backs. Following Ashley Cole’s fine performance in Roma’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad, this weekend Old Trafford is the venue for Leighton Baines versus Luke Shaw. The left-back debate provided the main discussion point ahead of England’s ill-fated World Cup adventure this summer. None of the trio boasted significant experience of playing in other positions, which meant manager Roy Hodgson needed to make a difficult choice. The decision to axe Cole was surprising. While the veteran endured a frustrating season at Chelsea, generally behind Cesar Azpilicueta in the pecking order, he continued to perform extremely competently when required, in big games against strong opposition.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Kaká and Scolari returned home for the hugs

October 3, 2014

“It still feels as though it was only yesterday – Luiz Felipe Scolari wandering hollow-eyed across the pitch after the final whistle, the Mineirão transformed into his own private Agincourt. Around him David Luiz, Julio Cesar and the rest his fallen troops lay prone, or sat broken on the turf. Others simply stood and stared into space. The chutzpah of a couple of hours before had been cruelly exposed by a lethal Germany. In the stands, the Brazilian fans that had not already left gazed through tears at the wreckage of their dreams or poured opprobrium down on their hapless manager.” Fusion


The Unseen Tournament: AFR Captures the Copa Centroamericana

October 3, 2014

“It can be tempting to write off any football tournament not named the World Cup, Copa America or European Championship as something of an excess. Without the most prominent international sides taking part, it can seem to the casual observer that tournaments outside of the most prominent few lack major stakes, with a trophy given out for the sake of giving out a trophy.” A Football Report (Video)


The Oldest Footballer in England

October 3, 2014

“Meet Dickie Borthwick. He’s approaching 79, and still plays football. Beyond the immediate desire to want to kick around with him, this short film by Alex Knowles & James Callum focuses on a man who has been fortunate enough to share his whole life with the game. They made the film with the intent to dispel the myth that ‘old people are past it’ and instead introduce us to inspirational people with invaluable insight, exceptional passion, a never-ending supply of wonderful stories and a thirst for life that refuses to fade.” A Football Report (Video)