Romania have Satan on their side against arch rivals Hungary

October 10, 2014

Romania's coach, Victor Piturca, tends to wear black and has 666 on his car number plate.
“When the expected 2,800 Hungary fans arrive in Bucharest for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania on Saturday, they will be escorted directly to the stadium in an attempt to avoid the trouble that broke out when the sides met last year in a World Cup qualifier. The stadium will be sold out, with tickets given by the Romanian football federation (FRF) to ultras from each of the major Bucharest teams.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Six recent things I’ve done for other people

October 10, 2014

“Here is a quick list of six recent articles I’ve had published elsewhere. From the language of football to the First World War, with a healthy dose of Southampton and some very personal, gonzo-style pieces for a new and brilliant site based in Ireland. I will be contributing more ‘flash features’ to The Upright, largely because I enjoy doing them and I really admire the bold editorial stance taken by the site, allowing people to write personal, reflective pieces that are not your standard sort of sports writing (but maybe should be more widely represented?). The False Nine piece is part of a series I want to develop for them, looking irreverently at the use of language in football.” Put Niels In Goal


Analysis: Why Radamel Falcao is so Valuable to Man Utd

October 10, 2014

“When Daniel Passarella was Falcao’s coach during his time at River Plate he famously said: ‘He’s like Van Basten, he scores goals, he attacks on all sides and he heads like a god.’ While this was definitely lavish praise from the former World Cup winner, I’m sure he probably wouldn’t have imagined just how good a career his charge would go on to have. And against Everton, a game in which he opened his scoring account for his new club, he showed that his former manager was pretty spot on in his assessment.” Licence to Roam


Crisis? What crisis? Life in Leeds under Massimo Cellino

October 10, 2014

“Whilst chaos clings to everything around Leeds United – a chairman with “elusive intent”, accusations of breaking United Nations Security Council resolutions and player complaints to the PFA – the squad has quietly being making progress on the pitch, with Neil Redfearn and Darko Milanič rubbishing Dave Hockaday’s claim that he could get ‘more out of these players than anyone else could’. For the first time in a while, we actually look pretty good. Really good, even. Form has stuttered in the last few weeks since Milanič took the job yet this is no real cause for concern – it’s the first time he’s managed in England, and this is the first season in English football for seven of the starting XI.” The False Nine


No fear, but loathing in Wolfsburg

October 10, 2014

travel_vflWolfsburg_header
“It’s October 4th and the sun is shining down on the Volkswagen Arena. I’m sitting close to the pitch watching the match unfold amidst the Wolfsburg faithful. In the 58th minute Dieter Hecking’s men have finally managed to crack the Augsburg defence wide open. The Brazilian defender Naldo had taken the ball upfield and continued his run, then engaged in a lovely one-two with Sebastian Jung, and a few seconds later the former Werder man placed the ball in the back of the net of Marwin Hitz’s goal. The roughly 25,000 fans who have found their way to the stadium in Wolfsburg celebrated, because finally their team looks like making its way towards what the supporters consider to be the right end of the table.” Bundesliga Fanatic


5 Tactical Features of the Premier League Season so Far

October 10, 2014

“The international weekend gives everyone a chance to look back and take stock of the Premier League season so far. Tactics writers are no different, and there have been a number of notable features since the middle of August to consider. Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea have all provided us with something to consider since the English domestic campaign began. Let’s take a look at five tactical features that have caught the eye in the 2014-15 season.” Bleacher Report – Jonathan Wilson


How Petar Zhekov made Bulgarian history

October 10, 2014

“With 25 goals in 44 games for Bulgaria and a record 253 in 333 games in domestic football, Petar Zhekov’s place in national football history is assured. As he turns 70, UEFA.com spoke to the five-time title winner – with PFC CSKA Sofia – who won the European Golden Boot in 1969, as well as Bronze Boots in 1970 and 1973.” UEFA