Qatar 2022 is a powerplay aimed at neighbours more than European critics

November 21, 2021


“One year to go, 11 in the making. Welcome to Qatar 2022, the final countdown, and a World Cup that for all the noise, the sense of fingers crossed and a gaze averted from the bloodier details, still makes no real sense at all. It was easy to feel a bit distracted as Sepp Blatter read out the word ‘Qatar’, with a slight break in his voice, shortly after lunchtime on 2 December 2010. There was an edge of hysteria in the chamber at Fifa House. Ten minutes earlier Blatter had broken the red wax seal on another padded envelope, and said ‘Russia’, to protracted squeals of joy. The crowd had already begun to seethe. …”
Guardian
Guardian – Pride and poverty: Qatar’s World Cup fever tempered by legacy of labour abuses
Guardian – The men who built Qatar’s World Cup dream deserve some of David Beckham’s pay packet (October 2021)
Guardian – Revealed: football’s plan for Qatar workers’ centre as World Cup legacy


What has gone wrong at Southampton?

November 21, 2021


“Southampton were once known for their savvy in the transfer market and their dedication to promoting from their youth teams. But Southampton – ‘savvy in the transfer market’ became Southampton – ‘a selling club’, and in recent years they have been unable to reproduce the talent they have lost. How did they form a team of such talent? Why haven’t they done it since? What is their plan going forward? Alex Stewart explains, Philippe Fenner illustrates.”
YouTube


‘I have ambition to manage an elite team, but I am in no hurry’ – Xabi Alonso happy to learn at Real Sociedad

November 21, 2021


“‘My role here is fundamental,’ Xabi Alonso tells The Athletic as he shelters from the rain by a pitch at Real Sociedad’s Zubieta training ground. The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder is now back home in the Basque Country, at the club where he developed as a player and where his current job is to coach the youth team, Real Sociedad B (which they all call Sanse). … The evidence suggests that Alonso and everyone else working at Zubieta have indeed been getting this right. Very right. Real Sociedad’s first team are top of La Liga, Alonso’s Sanse are the only youth team playing in the adult Segunda Division. …”
The Athletic