Wir sind zweitklassig – the ethos of St. Pauli

January 1, 2015

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“For most fans, supporting their club conveys pride and joy, to see the fruits of their youth team set up burgeoning is the greatest feeling on earth. They will follow their team through its highs and its lows. They will travel hundreds of miles to watch them playing, be they opposing Slavia Prague, or Real Madrid’s ‘Galacticos’. Supporting a football club is almost akin to marrying; you know, at the point you start supporting a team, that you will dedicate the rest of your life to watching them play. However, if you happen to be supporting a team going by the name of FC St. Pauli, the fact that you are supporting them at all may have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you’re passionate about football; supporting St Pauli is about making a statement.” THE FOOTBALL PINK


Nemanja Matic is the anchor man driving Chelsea to glory this season

January 1, 2015

“In January 2011, Nemanja Matic was sold to Benfica as part of the deal that took David Luiz to Chelsea. Having signed for the Blues in 2009, the burly Serb failed to make the desired impact and a move away from Stamford Bridge seemed logical. Upon his arrival and after a brief loan spell with Vitesse, Benfica boss Jorge Jesus converted Matic from a playmaker to a defensive midfielder — and it has proven to be a masterstroke. In this position, Matic began to realise his potential. The Serbia international would effectively shield the Benfica defence and his performances saw him awarded the Primera Liga Player of the Year award in his final full season in Portugal.” ESPN

5 Potential Chelsea Weaknesses Premier League Rivals Can Try to Exploit
“Chelsea end the year three points clear at the top of the Premier League, on course for the second-highest points total in history. The arrivals of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have given them a potency they lacked at times last season, while Nemanja Matic’s continued integration has provided a mobile base at the back of midfield. They are, clearly, an extremely good side, but are there any potential weaknesses from which their rivals can draw hope?” Bleacher Report


Promotion Tales: The Rise of ‘Unfashionable’ Blackburn Rovers

January 1, 2015

“A supplementary treat this morning. Regular contributor Phil Lloyd enjoyed our Promotion Tales series so much that he decided to come up with this own version charting Blackburn Rovers’ re-emergence as a force in English football over two decades ago now. Best wishes to all TTU readers for 2015. Once, it seemed that Blackburn Rovers existed mainly to exemplify the word “unfashionable”. As with the TV advert that featured the “Rovers FC” sign above the old Blackburn End turnstiles, it was an icon for a bygone age. By the start of the 1990s, my early recollections of watching football were becoming increasingly hazy, as if nine seasons of Division One football and blue-and-white memories of Bryan Douglas, Ronnie Clayton and Keith Newton were no more than childhood fantasies.” thetwounfortunates


Manchester United – The Magnificent Seventh

January 1, 2015

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“For Manchester United supporters the 2013/14 season is one best forgotten, as the transition from the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson to David Moyes proved to be every bit as difficult as many of them had feared. The team dropped to a relatively low 7th place in the Premier League, which was not only the first time United had finished outside the top two positions since 2005, but also meant that they failed to qualify for Europe – almost unthinkable for a club of this stature.” The Swiss Ramble


Julio Libonatti: First of the Oriundi

January 1, 2015

“Like Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria and Cesar Luis Menotti, he was born in Rosario and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to earn his fortune, but Julio Libonatti’s place in football history was assured when he took advantage of his dual nationality to represent both Argentina and Italy. When the lethal Torino marksmen accepted Mussolini’s offer to become a sporting repatriate, he started a lasting trend…” TheInsideLeft (Video)


Everton – Blue Sky Mining

January 1, 2015

“In his first season as Everton’s manager, Roberto Martinez delivered an excellent performance with his side finishing fifth in 2013/14 and therefore qualifying for the Europa League. The club fared no less well off the pitch, as Everton registered a record profit of £28 million on a record turnover of £121 million, which enabled them to significantly reduce their net debt from £45 million to £28 million.” The Swiss Ramble


the Jedenact

January 1, 2015

“The future is often hard to predict. Nobody knows what lies around the corner, or what will happen next month let alone tomorrow. The same can be said of football; clubs rise and fall, players performances ebb and flow week-by-week, but that is the beauty of the game. Unpredictability reigns supreme. That is why this list, of eleven talented individuals, should not be taken too seriously. With all that in mind let CZEFootball present you with eleven names. Eleven footballers who are worth keeping an eye on throughout the course of the year. These are the Jedenáct.CZEFootball