Daily Archives: December 8, 2022

How the Netherlands (finally) learned to start loving each other

“Opulence is traditionally frowned upon in the Netherlands, but Doha doesn’t do pared-back. The St Regis, the Dutch squad’s hotel in the West Bay district of the Qatari capital, is an Arabian palace by way of Disneyland: toffee-coloured marble, quadruple-height ceilings, an Olympic-sized pool overlooking the sea, a bronze Ferrari in the lobby. …”
The Athletic (Video)


Pochettino: Only man to coach Kane and Mbappe on their rare talents – and how to stop them

“One of the turning points in Harry Kane’s career came a few weeks into my first season as Tottenham manager. I had started with Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado as our two first-choice strikers — great players, senior players, and deserving of respect. Harry was only starting in the Europa League. On September 18, we played at Partizan Belgrade, but Harry struggled and we drew 0-0. Three days later, when we played West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League, I didn’t even put him on the bench. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Why this World Cup is the tournament of the ‘finisher’

“‘With five substitutes, you can have half of your team change during a game, so you want different options for different moments of matches and for different stages of the tournament as well,’ said England manager Gareth Southgate when announcing his squad for this World Cup. The ‘finisher’ was outlined as one of five tactical trends to watch this tournament, but how are teams having success with substitutes and who are the impact players? …”
The Athletic (Video)

Can penalty shoot-outs be improved?

Perhaps the most nerve-shredding component in competitive football, the penalty shootout. One vs one, shooter vs keeper. It’s a simple and straight forward task, score the goal, win the game, miss and the opposition can win. But surely there is a fairer way to divide the result of a game? Seb Stafford-Bloor explores the alternatives, Henry Cooke illustrates.

Brazil, 1970, and the Captivating Mythology of the ‘Beautiful Game’

“The Ringer’s 22 Goals: The Story of the World Cup, a podcast by Brian Phillips, tells the story of some of the most iconic goals and players in the history of the men’s FIFA World Cup. Every Wednesday, until the end of Qatar 2022, we’ll publish an adapted version of each 22 Goals episode. Today’s story involves a mesmerizing team goal from Brazil that changed the World Cup forever. …”
The Ringer (Video)

Explained: How a 48-team World Cup could work

“When FIFA president Gianni Infantino is not empathising with minority groups, lecturing on postcolonial theory and sitting next to heads of state, he comes up with ideas to improve/ruin football (delete as applicable). Biennial World Cups, a global Nations League, 32-team Club World Cups… the ideas come spitting out of his head like tracer bullets. …”
The Athletic

World Cup 2022 power rankings: how the remaining eight teams shape up

“We cast our eye over the quarter-finalists’ key strengths and assess who is most likely to lift the trophy in Qatar. 1 – Brazil.  The Seleção are in full flight and, as you may have heard, enjoying themselves in the process. Their first-half evisceration of South Korea felt like a throwback, moments such as Richarlison’s seal impression offering reminders of those days when nobody could rival Brazil for sheer fun. Even without Gabriel Jesus they retain a depth of attacking talent few can match, partly thanks to Neymar’s Lazarus-like recovery from injury. …”

Migrant worker died in accident at World Cup base during group stage

“A migrant worker died during the World Cup while performing repairs at the resort used as a FIFA training base for the Saudi Arabia squad during the group stage of the competition. The five-star Sealine Beach resort, which has been open for more than 25 years, is home to 58 luxurious villas, as well as a full-size training field, a beach bar, a mini-golf course and several restaurants. For this weekend, a room for one at the resort would cost 1,180 Qatari Riyals (£265; $324) per night. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Qatar World Cup whistleblower was tortured, claims family

“A Qatari whistleblower who was jailed after raising concerns about the mistreatment of migrant workers at World Cup stadium sites was tortured on the eve of the tournament, his family has claimed. The human rights organisation FairSquare also released a letter from the family of Abdullah Ibhais, a former media manager in Qatar’s Supreme Committee, who accused Fifa of ‘callous indifference’ for ignoring his case. …”