An Old-Fashioned Plan and Perfect Execution Key to Leicester’s Amazing Success

May 5, 2016

“When Greece won the UEFA European Championship in 2004, Otto Rehhagel had his side man-marking. Forwards brought up to play against zonal systems found themselves unable to cope, and over the six-game span of a tournament, no opponent was able to rediscover the art of bypassing man-markers. What Claudio Ranieri has done at Leicester City has a similar sense of invoking an old style of play and discovering that modern sides have no answer.” Bleacher Report

Claudio Ranieri: from inveterate tinkerer to do-nothing tactical master?
“Everybody had known the end was coming for Claudio Ranieri at Chelsea but the moment at which the decision seemed made – and, more than that, was made to seem justified – came in Monte Carlo in April 2004 when he presided over a substitution that appeared baffling at the time and proved disastrous in retrospect. It is easy to pick fault with hindsight but this was one of those rare occasions when everyone reacts as one. After 62 minutes the board went up: Mario Melchiot off and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on. What was he doing?” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Premier League Diary: Leicester City emerges from a sea of failure to win historic title
“There are ways to fail to win a title, and then there are ways to fail to win a title. Chelsea, for example, failed to win this season’s title by being, broadly, total garbage. Despite starting with the advantage of being champions — and so, in theory, as the best team in the country — they quickly started to look like a collection of strangers who actively resented one another’s company. Like the inhabitants of an overfilled train carriage that’s ground to a halt at the peak of rush hour, they squirmed and chafed and sweated against one another until it became too uncomfortable to bear, and then Jose Mourinho got sacked. That’s probably the equivalent of opening a window or something.” Fusion

How La Liga can prove it’s got bigger cojones than the Premier League tonight

May 5, 2016

“Although the reality is largely as inaccurate and wayward as Roberto Soldado’s shooting, there is a deep-seated perception of the social divide between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid fans across Spain. Especially from folk peering in from abroad. The Madridista is commonly seen as a royalist, Spanish-flag waving member of the elite. The horrible boss with the ‘Hala Madrid!’ ringtone. The aristocratic toff that won’t even let you eat cake as they want to hoard it for themselves.” FourFourTwo

Hump Day Dumpster Dive: Crisis-hit Barcelona is crumbling to a domestic double

May 5, 2016

“By the time you read this, it may or may not be Wednesday. “Hump Day” is a cute concept, but some meaning is lost when you’re a functional alcoholic who treats Tuesday as the start of the weekend. But enough about your dad. Let’s dive into the dumpster together.” Fusion

Rivals: Chivas vs América

May 5, 2016

“Mexican football has multiple local derby matches in the cities of Guadalajara (Clásico Tapatío), Monterrey (Clásico Regiomontano) and Mexico City (Clásico Joven and Clásico Capitalino), but the game worthy of the title Clásico Nacional is a cross-city clash. Games between Chivas of Guadalajara and América of Mexico City, known as Clásico Nacional, El Súper Clásico or El Clásico de Clásicos, grab the attention of people across the nation, as well as expatriates  outside of Mexico. With the large Mexican-American population in the US, the game has become a major event in the US as well as Mexico, with this year’s match the most watched game in the US since 2010.” Outside of the Boot

Werder Bremen rules our Bundesliga Team of the Week

May 5, 2016

“With the Monday Night Massacre in Bremen, the Bundesliga has reached the month of May, but is still without a champion, as a diet Bayern side were held to a draw at home by Gladbach. That and a late Eden Hazard goal created a strange situation in which Leicester City’s dream season somehow culminated in a championship before the fait accompli Meisterschaft of FCB. Take that EPL snobs!” Bundesliga Fanatic

Danny Is The Turnstile – Rayners Lane FC Vs Cockfosters FC, Middlesex Senior Charity Cup Semi-Final, The Tithe Farm Social Club, 21/04/16.

May 5, 2016

“I thought Rayners Lane was just a place on the far extremities of the Piccadilly line, not somewhere that unless I happened to fall asleep, and awoke post public dribbling or perhaps I was plucked from my bed by a great tornado with my small dog, and dropped on a witch with snazzy shoes, I would never have any reason to visit. As I step off the tube I realise I’m not in Finchley anymore.” Beautiful Game