Euro 2016: A minnow’s tale?

September 20, 2015

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“The Euros always make for fantastic viewing and can often spring a surprise on football fans when they see the likes of Greece and Denmark upstaging Europe’s biggest nations to win the competition. And with this year being the first in which the tournament shall contain 24 teams, there’s a bigger chance than ever of a ‘lesser’ nation claiming victory in France. If qualification is anything to go by, football is indeed coming home. The only side to have currently won 100% of their games is England, taking maximum points thus far from Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino. In qualifying for Euro 2012, just two teams won all of their games, Germany and Spain, semi-finalists and champions. In qualifying for Euro 2008, no teams took maximum points. So we’ve established England will, at the worst, be eliminated semi-finalists.”
backpagefootball


20 years since the Bosman ruling

September 20, 2015

“The transfer system in football wasn’t always the way it is today – a free market in the true sense of the phrase. In fact, for most of the 20th century, it was quite the opposite. Admittedly, we still retain some core features of the old transfer system. For example, contracts generally lasted anywhere between one and five years back then, and would normally expire on June 30th of any given year, which is more or less how it works today.” backpagefootball – Part 1, Part 2


Celtic 6 – Dundee 0

September 20, 2015

“Celtic delivered a timely reminder of their commanding nature with an impressive sweeping aside of Dundee. The visitors could not suppress Celtic’s cutting edge or endeavour, and were quickly two goals behind thanks to Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths. Emilio Izaguirre took over the scoring after the break, striking twice and also missing a penalty. That was a rare moment of relief for a subdued Dundee, who conceded further goals to Scott Brown and Nadir Ciftci. Soon after this game kicked off, Aberdeen scored to lead 3-0 at Tynecastle. The Celtic players would have been unaware of that fact – although plenty of the home fans were following events on the other side of the country – but they are alert enough to the pressure being applied by Derek McInnes’s side.” BBC


Time’s up for Venezuela’s own ‘Captain Socceroo’

September 20, 2015

“After 129 matches and 23 goals, Juan Arango retired from international football after the midweek 1-1 draw with Panama. He leaves the field with football in his country on a very different footing from the one it was in January 1999, when the 18 year-old Arango climbed off the bench to make his debut against Denmark. Johnny Warren’s mission was to plant and grow the seed of football in terrain that many said would not prove fertile. Arango has done something similar. Unlike the rest of the continent, Venezuela appeared unable to catch the footballbug. It was a land of baseball and beauty contests. Football existed, but it was a flame kept alive by European immigrants, often from Spain, Italy or Portugal. Some in Venezuela even saw it as a middle-class sport. The popular passion was not for goals but to score a ‘jonron’ – the local translation of a baseball home run.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Top FIFA Executive Jérôme Valcke Placed on Leave Amid Corruption Investigation

September 20, 2015

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“Jérôme Valcke, the second-ranking official at FIFA, was placed on immediate leave and will be investigated for allegations of corruption involving the black-market sale of World Cup tickets, the association announced Thursday. FIFA, global soccer’s governing body, announced Mr. Valcke’s departure in a brief statement posted on its website. It said that Mr. Valcke had been relieved of his duties effective immediately and that FIFA had been ‘made aware of a series of allegations involving the secretary general and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.’” NY Times


Christian Streich – “We all used to be refugees”

September 20, 2015

“This week, the headlines in the German football press have been all about St. Pauli’s refusal to take part in the “Wir helfen, #refugeeswelcome” project which has been created by Germany’s biggest tabloid Bild. After the paper’s editor in chief started to attack the Buccaneers viciously on Twitter, several other clubs decided to pull out of the event, among them SC Freiburg. The issue was brought up in the club’s pre match press conference, and after Freiburg’s press officer rendered an explanation for the club’s refusal, Christian Streich delivered a monologue for 8 minutes laying out his thoughts about the current crisis. Once again, Freiburg’s coach showed why he’s one of the most outspoken and intelligent men in football.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Tactical Analysis: Manchester City 1-2 Juventus | Pressing traps and central overloads

September 20, 2015

“Manchester City, still undefeated and yet to concede a goal prior to Juventus match, had nothing to change in its strategy and Manuel Pellegrini approached the game with a 4-4-2 formation. Juventus, who have not yet tasted victory in Serie A this term, focused more or the defensive structure. Massimiliano Allegri adopted a 4-3-3 formation and Juventus were changing regularly to 4-5-1 when out of possession.” Outside of the Boot