Gambles pay off as Hungary get to France and Storck proves his worth

November 18, 2015

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“At the final whistle, after Hungary had won 2-1 to reach their first major tournament since 1986, their players gathered in front of the goal they had been attacking the second half, behind which the most vociferous of the home support was gathered. The ground, momentarily fell silent, then players and fans joined in singing the national anthem. Two lines, perhaps, had particular significance: ‘Long torn by ill fate, Bring upon it a time of relief.’” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Football Weekly: Hungary qualify for Euro 2016 as England’s friendly with France goes ahead

November 18, 2015

“The podders reflect on the Euro 2016 playoffs and the rest of the international friendlies. Plus, Raúl retires, Paul Lambert heads to Blackburn Rovers and Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink remains in high demand. On today’s Football Weekly, AC Jimbo is joined by Jacob Steinberg, Michael Cox and John Ashdown to look back on the Euro 2016 qualifiers, with a bit of help from Jonathan Wilson, who was in Bosnia to see (or not) Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Dzecko and co in the fog, and then in Budapest to witness Hungary qualifying for their first major tournament in 30 years, and is now en route to Slovenia. Because that’s the sort of thing he does.” Guardian – Michael Cox, Jonathan Wilson, etc. (Video)


Talent Radar Young Forward Rankings: Harry Kane & Paulo Dybala enter top five

November 18, 2015

“Judging the calibre of a young player is often a tricky task. Perceived potential has an important bearing in any consideration and is just one of the many parameters to consider when trying to quantify the ability of football’s young stars. To add a basis to what may be a leap of faith, it is useful to look back and trace the growth, or indeed lack thereof, in young players.” Outside of the Boot


Dele Alli scores stunner as England beat France at Wembley

November 18, 2015

“Dele Alli enjoyed a stunning full debut as England beat France 2-0 on a night of tears, compassion and defiance at Wembley. The 19-year-old Tottenham midfielder found the top corner with a stunning 24-yard strike and played a key role in Wayne Rooney’s second-half volley. England’s ninth straight Wembley victory was an impressive one that came against a star-studded France side. But the real winner here at Wembley was football. Just four days after 129 people died in the Paris terror attacks, the France team and their English counterparts, as well as the home and away fans inside this famous stadium, stood shoulder to shoulder to send a defiant message to the terrorists who wreaked havoc in the French capital.” ESPN


Klinsmann and the Americans: An Uneasy Alliance

November 18, 2015

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“It’s fair to say that U.S. Men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been under fire this year from American fans and writers. The failure to gain the finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, after being defeated on penalties by Panama in the semifinals, coupled with the October loss to archrival Mexico for a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup, has created doubts as to whether Klinsmann is still the right man to lead the American squad that earlier in the year had beaten Mexico, the Netherlands and Germany in successive friendlies. Klinsmann, who has also coached the German national team and Bayern Munich, led his squad through a strong 2014 campaign, highlighted by their advance from the World Cup ‘Group of Death’ in Brazil, but the question in sports is always ‘what have you done for me lately?’” Bundesliga Fanatic


Maurizio Sarri should heed past failures as he mounts Europa League assault

November 18, 2015

“Maurizio Sarri, with his unassuming, coffee-sipping, zealous sideline watching demeanour, is scarcely a figure guilty of flattering his players. The Italian had been forced to quash talk of a first domestic title in Naples since the heady days of Diego Maradona when his side dispatched four past Diego Lopez at the San Siro and, after smashing five past FC Midtjylland at the San Paolo in Europa League action, he was again obliged to subdue talk of an assault on Europe’s second-tier prize.” backpagefootball


Lucas Biglia scores to give Argentina first WCQ win over Colombia

November 18, 2015

“Argentina claimed their first win in 2018 World Cup qualifying against Colombia at the Metropolitano Roberto Melendez stadium. Lucas Biglia’s first-half strike was enough to give the Albiceleste a 1-0 triumph — their first win at the fourth time of asking on the road to Russia. It was also only their second goal in four games, but that result now catapults Argentina up to fourth and back into contention in the fledgling campaign.” ESPN