Pressing is the Premier League’s big trend, but it’s not without its problems

December 22, 2016

“If Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool win the Premier League title this season, we might look back upon Monday’s 1-0 victory over Everton as among their most significant triumphs. It was a classic ‘the mark of champions’ win: an away trip to local rivals, a poor game, a below-par performance and a late winner. Liverpool supporters haven’t celebrated so hard for years. For neutrals who anticipated a good game at Goodison Park, however, Monday was a damp squib.” ESPN – Michael Cox

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Pierre Mony: the footballer so popular he got away with murder

December 22, 2016

The following is an extract from issue 23 of the Blizzard, which is on sale in December. The Blizzard is a quarterly football journal available from www.theblizzard.co.uk on a pay-what-you-like basis in print and digital formats. The first full international match between France and England was played on 15 May 1923 at the Stade Pershing in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris. It was an interesting game, attended by an impressive 30,000 spectators, despite driving rain and hail. France had beaten an England Amateurs team at this same venue in 1921 but a similar result was not expected against the full England side.” Guardian, W – History of the France national football team


Forever Pure – Football and Racism in Jerusalem

December 22, 2016

“Documentary which follows events at Israel’s most notorious football club. Beitar Jerusalem FC is the most popular team in Israel and the only club in the Premier League never to sign an Arab player. Midway through a season the club’s owner, Russian-Israeli oligarch Arcadi Gaydamak, brought in two Muslim players from Chechnya in a secretive transfer deal that triggered the most racist campaign in Israeli sport and sent the club spiralling out of control. Forever Pure follows the famous football club through the tumultuous season, as power, money and politics fuel a crisis and shows how racism is destroying both the team and society from within.” BBC (Video)


Fred – Shakhtar Donetsk’s unsung hero

December 22, 2016

“Shakhtar Donetsk’s defensive midfielder Frederico Rodrigues Santos, better known as Fred, has been very much the unsung hero of a stellar side this season. We have featured a vast array of Shakhtar Donetsk players of late, but with Paulo Fonseca leading his side to a 13-point lead over rivals Dynamo Kyiv, and with winning six out of six games in the Europa League, it is not difficult to praise the work done at Shakhtar Donetsk this season.” futbolgrad