Did the long ball tactic really ruin English football?

March 1, 2015

Long-ball
“In the glorious game of football many things are forgiven—cheating, biting, lying, spitting—but there’s one thing that’s inexcusable. One thing so wretched and sickening it deserves no place in the game we all know and love. That one thing, the cardinal sin, is called the long ball. Next year marks the 50th year of hurt for the weathered and beaten English faithful. 50 years since Geoff Hurst belted the ball against the bar and allegedly across the West German line. 50 years without a trophy and what’s to blame? That despicable long ball.” Outside of the Boot


Tactical Analysis : Juventus 2-1 Borussia Dortmund | Juventus counter quickly and Dortmund fail to use space out wide

March 1, 2015

“The round of 16 never fails to throw up a few interesting fixtures every year. Chelsea-PSG, and Manchester City-Barcelona are both fixtures that took place last season, and were both quite enjoyable, but the real thought provoker from this season has been Borussia Dortmund vs Juventus. In terms of their performance domestically, the two teams are on different ends of the spectrum. Juventus enjoy sole domination of Italy, but Dortmund are having to wage war to avoid the ignominy of relegation. Despite such stark differences in their league performances, even the many observers that bettingwebsites.org have monitored cannot brand this as anything other than a close tie, featuring two pretty evenly matched sides. The element of the unknown that comes into play with 2 vastly different teams like these simply adds to the intrigue.” Outside of the Boot


Liverpool’s 3-4-3 – assessing its strengths and weaknesses

March 1, 2015

“Liverpool’s season started disastrously. Crashing out of the Champions League in the group stage despite a relatively favourable draw and struggling for consistency in the Premier League, serious pressure was building on manager Brendan Rodgers as his expensive summer signings failed to live up to expectations. However, since December their form has turned around dramatically, and the Merseyside club now find themselves as the league’s form side. Rodgers deserves serious credit for the turn around, having changed both the team’s personnel and its formation, switching from variations of either 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 to a 3-4-3 (or, to be pedantic, 3-4-2-1) shape.” backpagefootball


Serie A: Lazio takes care of Sassuolo to keep pressure on Napoli

March 1, 2015

“Lazio kept up the pressure on third-placed Napoli with a comfortable 3-0 win at Sassuolo in Serie A Sunday as the race for the final Champions League spot gathered pace. Goals from Felipe Anderson, Miroslav Klose and Marco Parolo helped Lazio record its third successive win and move two points behind Napoli, which can go level with second-placed Roma with a victory at Torino later. Sampdoria remained four points behind Lazio after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Atalanta. Fiorentina, which is level with Samp, visits Inter Milan later.” SI


Press, Press, Boom: How a Bit of Brilliance Decided a Suffocating Tactical Battle Between Leverkusen and Atlético

March 1, 2015

hakan-calhanoglu-goal
“While Arsenal was off doing typically tragic Arsenal things at home to Dimitar Berbatov and an opportunistic Monaco side, a fascinating tactical battle was taking place in Germany at the BayArena. Two über-aggressive pressing sides rammed heads and locked horns for 90 minutes — only for the game to be decided by a subtle moment of brilliance and a sudden thunderbolt. Both Diego Simeone of Atlético and Roger Schmidt of Leverkusen run highly disciplined pressing sides filled with heaps of exciting talent and Fernando Torres. What makes their matchup so interesting, though, is how differently they use similar tactical concepts.” Grantland


The Madness and Depression of Football Fans

March 1, 2015

“This is an article that is nominally about football, but is just as much about the pressures of modern life and the plight of men (in particular, but not exclusively). This is both a very personal account and an observation of how others behave. It is about being a football fan, but also the impact of social media on our appreciation of life (and sport), and how constantly striving for more can lead to increased unhappiness – even if you attain it. Football fans – and here I naturally include myself – act as if they are mentally ill. It’s a form of mania: fanaticism, the act of being obsessively concerned with something. As someone diagnosed with depression, and who probably has a few other issues as well, I feel able to make such a comparison.” Tomkins Times


Arsenal – Half The World Away

March 1, 2015

“Arsenal’s half-year results for the six months ended 30 November 2014. Profit before tax of £11.1 million, compared to a loss in 2013 of £2.2 million, an improvement of £13.3 million. Profit after tax only improved by £7.3 million from £2.8 million to £10.1 million, as 2013 benefited from a tax credit of £5 million. Profit before tax of £11.1m was almost entirely from the football business £10.8 million, as there was ‘minimal activity’ from property development £0.3 million.” The Swiss Ramble


American soccer is not acknowledging Black History (Month)

March 1, 2015

“A few weeks ago, the editorial staff of SoccerGods.com had a brainstorming session, in the middle of which someone almost offhandedly said, ‘Well, it’s Black History Month.’ It got a genuine laugh, because the idea of American soccer and black history intersecting sounded absurd. It was as if the ghost of Desmond Armstrong (who is still very much alive) came down and blessed us with an idea.” Soccer Gods