Solidarity at the Stadium

September 1, 2016

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Celtic fans on August 17, 2016.
“The headlines that reported on August’s Celtic–Hapoel Ber’er Sheva football match didn’t cover the importance of the game — although it was a qualifier for the Champions League — nor the quality of the play, despite it being an entertaining encounter that Celtic won by five goals to two. Instead, it was the Celtic fans who grabbed everyone’s attention. They had been warned that if they raised the Palestinian flag inside the stadium, the Union of European Football Association (UEFA), which prohibits political messages at matches, would fine the club. There had even been rumors that police would arrest those carrying the flag.” Jacobin

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Brazil’s Olympic football gold is a step forward but decadent culture must be reformed Reconstructing Brazi

September 1, 2016

“Given the history, it is understandable Brazil were so delighted to win gold in the men’s football at the Olympics. Uruguay had won it (twice), Argentina had won it (twice), while they had lost three times in the final. “Finally, the champions of everything,” roared the newspaper Estado de Minas the morning after the final. It is a box that had needed ticking for a long time. The hope for Brazil is that winning the Olympics will restore self-esteem, that it has reminded them how to win after two miserable Copa Américas and a hugely disappointing home World Cup.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Tactical Analysis: Real Sociedad 0-3 Real Madrid | Madrid stay tactically disciplined to keep Sociedad at arm’s length

September 1, 2016

“Real Madrid picked up where they left off last season with a comfortable 0-3 victory at the Anoeta against a Real Sociedad side who would normally provide tough opposition for most clubs in the division. Zinedine Zidane’s side understandably came in as favourites given the strength of their squad, however the absence of key players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema was sure to give Sociedad some hope that they could possibly snatch a win. Unfortunately, this was not to be as Real Madrid raced into an early lead when a Dani Carvajal cross met the head of Gareth Bale to put them ahead in just the second minute. After that, despite the best efforts of the Basque side, the away team remained in complete control of the game, defending compactly and resolutely to force Sociedad into wide areas and exploiting their high defensive line on more than one occasion.” Outside of the Boot


Anchors and Wankers: the Psychology and Reality of Transfer Prices

September 1, 2016

“While the price of a Premier League footballer does indeed get further and further away from the financial realities of the average fan, it’s not necessarily ‘insane’, as it still only rises at a fairly predictable rate of inflation. Based on our Transfer Price Index model, Graeme Riley and I could have told you at the start of the summer that the going rate (if there is such a thing) for an elite but not ‘top three in world’ player – at a good age – was £90m.” Tomkins Times


Book Review: Bendelow and Kidd’s Dictionary Of Football

September 1, 2016

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The army of terms required to talk convincingly about football has been a great source of mirth over the years. As far back as the 1970s, footballers were depicted as alternating between being ‘over the moon’ or ‘sick as a parrot’ depending on their feelings at 5 o’clock on a Saturday while Ron Atkinson let loose a whole new phalanx of phrases during his co-commentating days alongside Clive Tyldesley – to the extent that ‘crowd scene’, ‘little eyebrows’ and the daddy of them all, ‘early doors’ started to gain common currency. Ian Bendelow and Jamie Kidd are the latest to draw attention to the sheer glorious illogicality of soccer phraseology. That they are merely the latest is the one criticism one might level at their eponymous Dictionary of Football, for this exercise was carried out in pretty much identical fashion in Leigh and Woodhouse’s Football Lexicon published in the early Noughties and re-republished for as wider audience by Faber & Faber in 2004.” thetwounfortunates, amazon


2018 World Cup qualifiers: Coleman ready for next adventure

September 1, 2016

“It is a scene every Welsh football fan will recognise: rewatching goals from Wales’ historic Euro 2016 campaign in an attempt to relive the euphoria of an unforgettable summer. The moment has passed, the rapturous celebrations fading from view, but still they cling to the memories. As does the man who masterminded it all.” BBC


Hipster Guide 2016-17: Sevilla’s tactics, key players and emerging talents

September 1, 2016

“Sevilla made history last season by winning the UEFA Europa League for the third consecutive season and for the fifth time in the previous decade. Their comeback victory against Liverpool in Basel further proved that no team takes to UEFA’s second tier competition quite like Sevilla do, but as incredible an achievement as it was, it did paper over some cracks. Their Europa League run was born from the ashes of a failed attempt at the Champions League, only claiming third spot in their group with a last-gasp win against Juventus, and a 7th place finish in La Liga without a single win away from home was highly underwhelming for a team expected to challenge for 4th place.” Outside of the Boot