Book Review: Raphael Honigstein’s “Das Reboot” Tells Story Behind Germany’s 2014 World Cup Victory

October 9, 2015

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“‘This piece originally appeared at The New Republic.’ When U.S. Men’s National Team coach Jürgen Klinsmann declared ahead of the 2014 World Cup, “We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not that level yet,” it sparked howls of outrage across the country. Landon Donovan, who had recently been cut from the team by the Germany native, took to television to disagree, while ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon was so incensed he told Klinsmann to ‘get out of America.’ Klinsmann wasn’t wrong—the U.S. lost in the round of 16—but his cold pragmatism was unwelcome in a country that not only regularly makes heroes out of underdogs but that likes to view itself as one.” Bundesliga Fanatic

How to Build a World Cup Winner
“When U.S. national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann declared ahead of the 2014 World Cup, ‘We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not that level yet,’ it sparked howls of outrage across the country. Landon Donovan, who had recently been cut from the team by the German-native, took to television to disagree, while ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon was so incensed he told Klinsmann to ‘get out of America.’” New Republic

Das Reboot: How German Soccer Reinvented Itself and Conquered the World
“… Estádio do Maracanã, July 13, 2014, the last ten minutes of extra time in the World Cup Final: German forward Mario Götze jumps to meet a floated pass from André Schürrle, cushions the ball with his chest, and in one fluid motion volleys the ball past the onrushing Argentine goalkeeper into the far corner of the net. The goal wins Germany the World Cup for the first time in almost thirty years. As the crowd roars, Götze looks dazed, unable to comprehend what he has done. In Das Reboot, Raphael Honigstein charts the return of German soccer from the dreary functionality of the late 1990s to Götze’s moment of sublime, balletic genius and asks: How did this come about?” Public Affairs

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Poland’s Robert Lewandowski: the man Scotland fear in Euro 2016 qualifier

October 9, 2015

“There was a time when Scottish football conjured up images of artistry, of neat triangles of passing, the ‘pattern-weaving’ approach. Not any longer. A century ago, Hungarian football was obsessed by trying to emulate the Rangers tourists of 1905; this past week has featured a series of Polish condemnations of Scotland’s supposed clogging. The message has been so consistent, it feels there must be policy behind it, a string of not especially subtle nudges to the referee, Viktor Kassai.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


The top ten fan owned clubs in English football

October 9, 2015

“An enticing concept has been quietly incubating within English football in recent years: supporter ownership of clubs. While it may be the norm in places such as Germany and Argentina for football fans to own their club, it’s still a fairly alien idea in the United Kingdom and most of the Commonwealth. The allure is obvious: football fans and club owners often disagree about how clubs should operate. Wealthy owners – often with minimal connection to the club’s community – tend to prioritise the pursuit of profit, and take financial risks that can destabilise or endanger clubs. Football fans, however, view their club as a community asset rather than as a business, and desire to be treated loyally as valued club members instead of as replaceable customers.” backpagefootball – Part 1 (Video), Part 2 (Video)


Ireland v Germany – the build up, the battle, and the bliss

October 9, 2015

“The international scene in Ireland needed an injection of positivity after a steady decline since the 2002 World Cup in Saipan. So much negativity surrounds the soccer team, with bandwagon loads of people getting their fix from rugby because, well, we’re quite good at a minority sport. Perhaps that’s harsh but we witnessed something special on Thursday night. For me, a young freelance journalist based in Co. Tipperary, it was a surreal experience after being granted media accreditation for the first time.” backpagefootball


Non-league football – A pyramid built on uncertain foundations

October 9, 2015

“Ever sat down to send a tweet, and no matter how hard you try, simply can’t fit in everything you want to say in 140 characters? Well, at this very moment in time, I’m trying to condense the world of non-league football, with its dozens of leagues, hundreds of teams and thousands of players into one simple yes or no answer. Is the game below the Football League working? Every fibre of my body wants to be able to type a big fat yes, but the reality is that the game at this level is too vast to say that in a convincing manner.” Football Pink