Ten Great Italian Goalkeepers Under the Shadow of Gigi Buffon

September 14, 2015

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“It seems that foggy, snowy afternoon in Moscow was yesterday, when a 19-year-old Gianluigi Buffon made his national team debut, substituting an injured Pagliuca and valiantly protecting the Italian goal; a responsibility he would assume at the highest level in the subsequent two decades. Keeping a clean sheet for Italy again in last week’s Euro 2016 qualifier match in which the Azzurri beat Bulgaria, the 37-year-old veteran has completed his 150th international appearance, an endeavor spanning over 18 years.” backpagefootball


Manchester United players’ row with Louis van Gaal may not be a crisis

September 14, 2015

“When Bobby Robson took over at PSV Eindhoven in 1990, he was shocked by the culture he found there. ‘An English professional,’ he said, ‘accepts the manager’s decision, but after every match here the substitutes come and visit me.’ Debate has been part of Dutch football from at least the days of Rinus Michels and his ‘conflict principle’ by which players were encouraged to critique one another’s performances, seemingly on the logic that every pearl begins with a little grit of irritation.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Kevin De Bruyne helps Man City revert to Plan A to beat Crystal Palace

September 14, 2015

“On Saturday at Selhurst Park, Manchester City squeezed past Crystal Palace to seal an 11th straight league win, thanks to a stoppage-time winner from 18-year-old striker Kelechi Iheanacho. Though City were good value for the 1-0 scoreline, the leaders had been troubled in the opening exchanges: Palace started well and attacked quickly, with Yannick Bolasie threatening down the channels as a roaming centre-forward. At the other end, Manuel Pellegrini’s switch to 4-4-2 hampered City’s usual fluency. The services of David Silva and Raheem Sterling were clearly missed, while new signing Kevin De Bruyne started on the bench.” ESPN


The spirit of ’96 – When Tommy Burns’ heroes revived Celtic

September 14, 2015

“If Celtic’s great teams are measured in terms of trophies won, the 1995-96 side should have quickly become a distant memory. It is difficult to imagine parents and grandparents regaling children with tales from the season when Tommy Burns’ Celtic lost just one league game but still failed to win the league or any, in fact, any other trophy. Jock Stein’s 1967 Lisbon Lions, Billy McNeil’s 1988 Centenary double winners and Martin O’Neill’s 2001 treble winners feature more often when looking back at the great Celtic sides of the past 50 years.” backpagefootball


No need for Liverpool to panic, says Danny Murphy

September 14, 2015

“Liverpool’s approach in their defeat by Manchester United on Saturday has been criticised because of their lack of attacking threat. Whether you call it a 4-2-3-1 or 4-5-1 formation, there were question marks over the tactics that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers went with at Old Trafford because they left Christian Benteke so isolated up front.” BBC