Daily Archives: February 1, 2015

Ivory Coast march on but this tale of two Tourés is far from pretty

Kolo Touré / Ivory Coast
“The good news for Ivory Coast is that they’re through. They’re not playing with any great fluency or style, but they have made it through to the quarter-finals, where they will face Algeria, and there is at least about them a sense of purpose and defensive resolve. “We will fight like elephants,” said Kolo Touré after a second successive draw had left them needing to win their final game, against Cameroon, to progress and if that means presenting a solid barrier, absorbing blows before prevailing through a goal based on raw power, they did just that. Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Cameroon, a team who had beaten them 4-1 in qualifying, was classic Hervé Renard.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Guinea and Mali to draw lots for Africa Cup of Nations knockout place
“The final place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals will be decided by the drawing of lots after Guinea and Mali drew 1-1. Both teams had played out 1-1 draws in their previous Group D matches, meaning lots will be required to decide who finishes second and will face Ghana. Every match in the group finished 1-1 except Wednesday’s other match, in which Ivory Coast beat Cameroon 1-0 to qualify. It is a remarkable set of circumstances and one not seen at the Africa Cup of Nations since 1988, when the drawing of lots sent Algeria through to the knockout stage at the expense of the Ivory Coast. Bizarrely, the draw will not be made immediately but at a meeting of Confederation of African Football officials on Thursday.” Guardian


Analysis: Louis van Gaal’s 3-5-2 and Di Maria/Rooney Conundrums

“With Louis van Gaal at the helm, the 2nd half of the season was supposed to be when the new and improved Manchester United would show that they have well and truly embraced and mastered the Dutchman’s philisophy. However, a dip in form has seen a few questions raised about the tactics used. Rahul Natarajan explores the conundrums faced by the experienced manager.” Outside of the Boot

Ahmed Elmohamady tried his Diego Maradona impression, got caught

“Sometimes, the smart plays are the illegal ones, but more on that in a moment. For now, let’s take in what happened today at KC Stadium in Hull, where Ahmed Elmohamady drew the ire of a nation moments before halftime with this Diego Maradona impression. The great thing about this clip is not only what Elmohamady tries, but it’s the ensuing celebration, followed by the (unfortunately, predictable) moral outrage of the commentators.” Soccer Gods (Video)

You’d let Pellegrini date your mom, but you’d still hire Mourinho as your coach

“This weekend, the Premier League’s two best clubs face off in a match that will likely set The Narrative for the next couple of months. A win for Chelsea makes it champion-in-waiting, while a victory for Manchester City will lead to “Wait a minute, we’ve got a real race here!” headlines. Guiding each team is a former Real Madrid manager who has won the Premier League before, but although Manuel Pellegrini and José Mourinho are both highly respected coaches with clear ideas of how they want their teams to play, their personalities — their levels of assholery — are very different.” Soccer Gods

Tactical Analysis: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City | Sluggish Chelsea hold off City

“When Jose Mourinho starts coming up with his quotable quotes, and the controversy pot is being stirred, you know you’re getting to the business end of the season. As we come closer to the end of the season, and the point where medals are distributed, the heavyweights all need to raise their game. Stamford Bridge was the scene of the battle between the league leaders, and the chasers-in-chief, Manchester City. The animosity between the two sides is quite apparent, given the rewards at stake. Pellegrini and Mourinho too, haven’t been shy of going at it in the past, with clashes between the duo dating back to their days in Spain. The two teams came into the clash in a charged atmosphere, thanks to the off field incidents involving a certain Diego Costa.” Outside of the Boot

Post navigation Real Madrid scored four without Ronaldo; bad math says it should continue playing without him

“Get it, Karim! Nothing says “our superstar is overrated” that than a type of strike normally associated with Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s recently-suspended star. But with the Ballon d’Or winner out for two games, El Real’s other star-worthy talents put on a show against La Real Sociedad, taking advantage of David Moyes’s trademark conservatism to put up a 4-1 win at the Bernabéu.” Soccer Gods