Daily Archives: March 8, 2023

Can Barcelona’s Alarcon and Torre follow in the footsteps of Gavi and Pedri?

“October 7, 2021. It was the international break, but it was far from a quiet day at La Masia. Barcelona’s renowned academy was still abuzz with the events of the previous night: one of their graduates who still lived in the club’s facilities had become the youngest player to feature for Spain at the age of 17. Gavi had been handed his international debut by then-Spain manager Luis Enrique in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals against Italy, in which La Roja came out 2-1 winners. …”
The Athletic
The Athletic – La Liga analysed: Barcelona’s binary scores and peerless Griezmann
Guardian: Sevilla dragged back into La Liga’s Sarlacc pit after Atlético annihilation


Asbjorn Halvorsen and Otto Harder – the story of two team-mates and a war

Halvorsen, centre, was a star for Hamburg before returning to his native Norway
“Hamburg train station, September 1933 – the scene for a farewell between two long-time team-mates who achieved so much together. Asbjorn Halvorsen was heading home to Norway. A midfielder with Hamburg, he had been a key part of their attack and one of German football’s first foreign stars. The other man – Otto Fritz ‘Tull’ Harder – had been the beneficiary of Halvorsen’s creativity. A clinical finisher with the strength of a removal man, Harder’s goals had powered Hamburg to German titles in 1923 and 1928. …”

Eternal rivals Lazio and Roma dreaming of the Champions League

“The Scudetto is still heading to Naples, but for one weekend Serie A belonged to the city of Rome. On Friday, Lazio toppled the league leaders at their own stadium. On Sunday, Roma beat the Juventus side who would be second if it weren’t for the 15-point penalty given to them at the start of this year. …”

Bury, Macclesfield, Derby and whether a regulator would have saved crisis clubs

“English football has problems it cannot hope to solve by itself. Or so concluded the UK government last week, with the publication of a white paper that promises to reshape the national sport. A new era of independent regulation and tighter financial controls is coming and, under new proposals, no professional club can expect to escape the heightened scrutiny. Too many have been left damaged and hurt by financial mismanagement, too many are or were run by unsuitable owners. Reform was as necessary as it was unavoidable. …”
The Athletic

Borussia Dortmund go into combat mode before Chelsea showdown

“They say that history is written by the winners, but it never felt, before this season, as if Borussia Dortmund would be in the position to pick up their pen. Now, it might be different. It felt that way when Nico Schlotterbeck, the crown prince of defensive drama in these parts, saw Timo Werner’s late shot speed past Alexander Meyer, Dortmund’s stand-in goalkeeper, and reacted to clear off the line with a mixture of chest and shoulder, all but sealing the win. Schlotterbeck clenched his fists, celebrating it like a goal. …”