Book review: Fully Programmed – The lost world of football programmes

January 10, 2016

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“Derek Hammond and Gary Silke have already achieved critical praise and impressive sale figures for their excellent ‘Got Not Got’ and ‘The Lost World of’ series of books on footballing nostalgia. Their regular articles are also featured in BackPass magazine. This book represents another worthy addition to their collection. To some people, programme collecting as a hobby is on a par with train spotting. It is considered to be the preserve of males still living at home with their mothers and is a peculiarly British tradition. Nothing could be further from the truth- programme collecting has always been cool.” Football Pink, amazon, [PDF] Fully Programmed: The Lost World of Football Programmes

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Messi the favorite, but could Neymar jump Ronaldo in Ballon d’Or voting?

January 10, 2016

“What do Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Franck Ribery and Manuel Neuer all have in common? In the last four years, each was the ‘gooseberry’ on the Ballon d’Or podium behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. This year could be different; for the first time since 2010, when Ronaldo slipped to sixth (Iniesta was second and Xavi third) the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly could be broken by the player Barcelona signed to one day replace Messi: Neymar.” SI (Video)


A Compilation of EPL Model Predictions after Round 20/38

January 10, 2016

“The 3rd round FA Cup weekend is already under way which means a break from the arduous Premier League season. With 20 out of the 38 rounds finished and 200 current season matches to draw data from, it seems like a good time to attempt to predict what might happen at the end of the season. Will Leicester City carry on with their spectacular early, but recently waning, form and be crowned champions at the end of the year, having been fighting against relegation just the year before? Will Spurs win their first league title in more than half-a-century, or will it be one of the more usual suspects in Arsenal or Manchester City? What should we expect from traditional powerhouses Manchester United and Chelsea? And is there any salvation for Aston Villa? Too many questions and if you are looking for definitive answers, this is NOT the place to be.” Stats Bomb


Leicester City: The secret behind the success

January 10, 2016

“Sitting two points clear at the top of the table come Christmas was not the position anyone expected Leicester City to be in. Newly appointed manager Claudio Ranieri even stated himself that 40 points was the target for his side prior to the season, as 40 points usually ensures safety from relegation. Playing in a style of football which wouldn’t exactly be considered attractive by most, Leicester are certainly able to get the results irregardless of the popularity of their style.” Outside of the Boot


SI Now: Wahl on European coaching carousel, Arsenal, FIFA election

January 10, 2016

“The European coaching carousel is in overdrive, with a number of the sport’s biggest names on the move. Jose Mourinho is gone from Chelsea, and Guus Hiddink is in charge for the rest of the season. Pep Guardiola announced he’ll be taking a Premier League job after this season with Bayern Munich, where Carlo Ancelotti will then take over. Zinedine Zidane has taken over for Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid, where Zidane starred as one of the world’s greatest players. To make sense of it all, speculate on where the carousel might stop next and also delve into Arsenal’s Premier League title chances and the latest regarding the FIFA election, SI’s Grant Wahl joined Maggie Gray on Thursday’s SI Now. Watch the video above for the entire interview, and for more on the goings on in the world of soccer, listen to the new Planet Fútbol Podcast here.” SI


The Premier League: A New World Order or a temporary glitch?

January 10, 2016

“So is this the most extraordinary Premier League season ever? One where all the certainties of elite financial domination have been smashed and football is once more truly competitive and absorbing? Or is where we find ourselves after the first half of the season just a blip before the football universe’s financial masters reassert themselves? The truth is that we won’t know until the end of the season, until the game is played out. But it is also true that the very existence of that state of not knowing means there has been change.” Football Pink