Facts, Stats and Stadionbier: The Little Bundesliga Book

August 9, 2015

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“I have always been a keen student of Bundesliga statistics, as readers of the Fanatic may well know. Sometime during the summer I had been in the middle of putting together another small number-crunching project about FC Bayern’s trophy cabinet, only to transform it into something else completely. Inspired by a little pocket book from Baedecker containing a series of infographics about Bavaria, I had the idea of turning some of the names and numbers from raw text into pretty graphs and diagrams. At first it was just meant to be a small feature on FC Bayern. A graphical representation of their domestic trophy catalogue, along with a couple of other random facts. Then, it all snowballed. I quite liked the look of my creation, and despite my being a relative amateur in the world of graphic design I allowed things to take their own course. Before long, I had created similar pages for a couple of other Bundesliga clubs.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Stoke 0 – 1 Liverpool

August 9, 2015

“Philippe Coutinho’s stunning long-range strike gave Liverpool a late victory over Stoke on the opening weekend. The match was a lacklustre Premier League encounter until the Brazilian’s magic four minutes from the end. Former Liverpool man Glen Johnson could have put his new side in front in the first half, but skewed his shot over the bar from 12 yards out. Charlie Adam’s long-range free-kick almost sneaked in at the back post but was pushed away by Simon Mignolet.” BBC


Rudi Garcia enters a make or break season at Roma

August 9, 2015

“Inundated with questions regarding his future, Rudi Garcia finally shed light on his position. ‘The day I realise I can no longer help the club to win trophies, I will make way for someone else.’ His comments came after a peculiar 1-1 draw with Fiorentina in the Europa League, a rare positive display wedged between sterile domestic form. Roma entered the tie having tasted victory just twice since the turn of the year.” backpagefootball


An ode to the Stade de Gerland – five great matches in a stadium’s great history

August 9, 2015

“Lying in Lyon’s seventh arrondissement in south of the city is one of the jewels of French football – the Stade de Gerland. The forty-thousand seater ground, with its iconic curves at either end of the pitch, was designed in the early twentieth century by one of the city’s most celebrated sons, the world-renowned architect Tony Garnier, whose use of concrete – a material which dominates the ground’s design – in the urban domain is considered today as having been revolutionary for its era.” backpagefootball


Liverpool Looking Up? EPL 2015/16 Preview

August 9, 2015

“After the sordid love affair that culminated in a strong title challenge in 2013/14, Liverpool barely cast a furtive glance at the Champions League places in 2014/15. Their underlying numbers over the whole season provided scant consolation either, with performance levels in line with a decent team lacking the quality usually associated with a top-four contender. Improvements in results and underlying performance will therefore be required to meet the club’s stated aim of Champions League football.” StatsBomb


Kuban, Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko: Three Parties in Need of a Reignited Spark

August 9, 2015

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“The end of the 2014/15 season saw two Russian legends leave their clubs to become free agents. Since returning to Russia from the English Premier League both Andrey Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko have failed to live up to the fans’ expectations, and this summer they both found themselves without clubs as their contracts expired. Now a couple of months later they have the chance to shine for Kuban Krasnodar, with the pair linking up for the first time since August, 2012, when they both played in a friendly for Russia against Côte d’Ivoire, Fabio Capello’s first match in charge after the dissapointing Euro tournament in 2012. Arshavin hasn’t played for the national time since, and Pavlyuchenko retired from international football in 2013.” Russian Football


Ligue 1 Preview 2015-16: We’re still here

August 9, 2015

“Ligue 1 is easily overlooked in the soccer landscape so before we dive into the nitty gritty of teams and players I think some persuasion is in order. If you are already revved up for the Ligue 1 season, you can skip to the teams and players section below. I understand many of you will be hesitant like I was when dipping my toe into Ligue 1 so we need to establish why you should spend some of your time here instead of elsewhere. We all know the negatives: the lack of goals, lack of quality, etc, etc. Let’s focus on the positives. What does Ligue 1 bring to the table?” StatsBomb


The price is right! Who has the cheapest Bundesliga season tickets?

August 9, 2015

“The Bundesliga regularly tops the rankings of league attendances amongst Europe’s elite top flight divisions outperforming the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A in terms of numbers of spectators inside stadiums. The German top division is also famed for its fair ticket prices that allow fans to enjoy top quality football without being ripped off in the process. But just what does it cost to watch your favourite team live and which club offers the best deal to its loyal fans? The results based on the cheapest season ticket prices on offer for the 2015/16 season by the 18 Bundesliga clubs may surprise you.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Dynamic Pedro Rodriguez Far More than a Mere System Player

August 9, 2015

“It’s August 18, 2013, and Tata Martino is watching on from the bench. It’s the first time he has taken charge of Barcelona in a competitive match, and the signs are good. His selected eleven are already three goals ahead of the less illustrious Levante, on home turf at the Camp Nou, and it’s about to get even better. Lionel Messi has dropped off the front line and is assessing his options. Out on the left-hand side, he sees his trusty sidekick, Pedro Rodriguez. The two have spent many years together at Barcelona, and their understanding is verging on telepathic. As a consequence of this, Pedro prompts a pass from Messi by sprinting in behind the Levante defence.” Licence to Roam