Liverpool: Why Brendan Rodgers Must Stay And Other Stories

April 29, 2015

Brendan-Rodgers
“A lot has been written about Liverpool in the aftermath of their meek cup exit to a Sherwood-charged Aston Villa, and a nil-nil draw, thwarted by the full Pulis has done little to ameliorate the prevailing fan mood. The reasons given for this season’s “failure” have been extensive and variable with transfers, a lack of Suarez and Sturridge, too much tinkering with formations and even the fact that the 5th biggest club in the league is likely to finish 5th all being cited. The Liverpool fan base is huge and vocal and many thinkers and writers from the same generation have been brought up on a diet of success and quality throughout the 1970s and 1980s.” Stats Bomb


What if they met? Brazil, Netherlands national teams in the early 1970s

April 29, 2015

“What if? It’s a question so often posed in the realm of sports. What if a certain player wasn’t suspended, traded or hurt? What if a controversial call went another way? What if a coach had called a different play? What if a certain matchup had occurred at a different time. That last question, above the others, has piqued our interest. In light of Floyd Mayweather finally facing Manny Pacquiao this Saturday in Las Vegas, years after both boxing greats were widely considered to be at their absolute best, it got us wondering: What if two soccer titans of their era who never got the chance to meet at their peaks actually did? All week in the build-up to Mayweather-Pacquiao, Planet Fútbol will take a historical deep dive into some of the greatest teams in soccer history, why they ultimately never got the chance to meet their equals and what might have happened if they had.” SI – Jonathan Wilson (Video)


Like everything in Spanish soccer, the relegation picture’s a complicated one

April 29, 2015

“When Las Palmas’ fans started rushing on to the pitch, there was no indication they would stop. Veteran midfielder Apoño had just given the club a lead that could have sent it into Spain’s top flight. The Basque folk from hilly Éibar had already purchased their seats next to Barcelona and Real Madrid, and so too had Deportivo de La Coruña, now a ghost of the team once hailed as SuperDepor. Only one spot remained in 2014-15’s Primera División.” Fusion


Who Needs Goals? Chelsea and Arsenal Turn a Scoreless Draw Into a Referendum on Head Injuries, Refereeing, and Philosophy

April 29, 2015

jose-mourinho-arsenal
“Realistically, even if Arsenal had beaten Chelsea on Sunday, they weren’t going to catch the presumptive champs. A seven-point lead with five matches remaining would’ve required a massive collapse from Chelsea. And as we saw yesterday, ‘collapses’ aren’t José Mourinho’s kind of thing. Still this is Mourinho’s Chelsea and Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal we’re talking about, so even a scoreless draw in a meaningless game can’t keep us from finding things to argue about. Here are the three biggest story lines from yesterday’s match.” Grantland


The persisting fall of English soccer’s Donald Sterling

April 29, 2015

“It would be an exaggeration to claim that for a few years, Wigan Athletic was English soccer’s favorite underdog tale. But it was certainly one of the nation’s favorite artificially-flavored upstarts. Dave Whelan was the kind of owner fans of small clubs fantasize about. Hartlepool, Grimsby, Exeter: they’d all have loved a man like him in charge. Because until he arrived, Wigan was smaller than even those microscopic specks on England’s soccer’s map.” Socccer Gods


This Is What Will Happen This Summer!

April 29, 2015

“Based on the law of averages, you will find that certain things happen more or less every summer, both in terms of transfers and squad evolution. And not all of them are good. While certain elements remain unpredictable, this very unpredictability is, in many ways, totally predictable. Mass clear-outs always seem like a necessity at times like these, but you then usually need to make mass purchases to compensate. And while that can sometimes work, it often doesn’t. The whole summer process is complicated, as I will now show, in what is a fairly long piece (think of it as a book chapter, if you’re allergic to long internet articles).” Tomkins Times