Zinedine Zidane Has the Wins at Real Madrid. Where Is the Praise?

April 29, 2018


“MUNICH — Unlikely as it seems, it may be time to consider the distinct possibility that Zinedine Zidane — winner of the Champions League in each of his first two seasons as a manager, and now on the brink of guiding Real Madrid to the competition’s final for a third year in a row — may be quite a good coach. That his brief managerial career has thus far delivered eight trophies in not quite 30 months should have made that perfectly obvious, of course; by this stage, the fact that he could steer his team to a 2-1 victory at Bayern Munich in the first leg of a Champions League semifinal should barely be worthy of note. Zidane the coach, not unlike Zidane the player, has known nothing but success. …” NY Times

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Mohamad Salah Stands Tall, but Liverpool Cracks Door for Roma

April 29, 2018

“LIVERPOOL, England — Of all the teams Mohamed Salah has claimed as his victims this season, of all the defenses Liverpool’s irrepressible striker has shredded, A.S. Roma had a head start. After all, Salah spent two years in the Italian capital before moving to England. He trained alongside Roma’s defenders every day, played alongside them every week. When they came face to face with Salah in the first leg of a Champions League semifinal at Anfield on Tuesday night, they would know all of his tics and his tells, his flaws and his foibles. …” NY Times


Fast and Furious: The Liverpool Front 3 That’s Reawakened a City’s Passion

April 29, 2018

“The Twelfth Man is one of half a dozen pubs on the adjoining roads of Walton Breck and Oakfield where Liverpool supporters congregate before and after home matches. It is 9 p.m. April 14, and Bournemouth have just been beaten convincingly, 3-0. Upstairs, as the pint glasses clatter and the beer and conversation flow, the singing starts up again. ‘Mo Salah, Mo Salah, Mo Salah…running down the wing…Salah la la la la la…Egyptian King…’ On and on it goes for a good 10 minutes, the enthusiasm and noise rising with each verse. Night is falling, and the windows are steaming because of the mass of bodies and the bouncing of some weighty supporters. You wonder whether the floors will be able to take it all. …” Bleacher Report


Sunderland’s hall of shame: club’s (mostly bad) signings under Short

April 29, 2018


“These are all the transfers/seasons that post-date May 2009 when Ellis Short assumed full control of Sunderland. Short did take a controlling interest in the club in September 2008 but we have not included recruitment between then and summer 2009 as, at that time, he delegated transfer business to Niall Quinn and the Drumaville consortium also still had a limited say.” Guardian


Reliving Giants Stadium

April 29, 2018

“The 1994 World Cup in America was the first for Luke Constable of the brilliantly named RGSOAS (Ruud Gullit Sitting on a Shed). His native England hadn’t qualified but thanks to his Irish grandfather, Luke was rooting for the Republic. Having missed the full game with Italy, the myth around the match had grown. Houghton’s goal and McGrath’s performance became legendary as the years went on. Luke has never seen the game in its entirety…until now. …” Pog Mo Goal


Will Carlo Ancelotti be Italy’s next manager?

April 29, 2018

“The deadline the FIGC gave for the announcement of the new Italy manager is fast approaching. Billy Costacurta, one of commissioner Roberto Fabbricini’s deputies, promised Giampiero Ventura’s permanent successor would be in place by May 20.  His former teammate and manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has always been the frontrunner. The last elected FIGC president, Carlo Tavecchio wanted him in situ immediately after Sweden qualified for this summer’s World Cup at Italy’s expense. …” Investobet