Daily Archives: May 8, 2023

The New A.C. Milan Picks Up Where the Old One Left Off

“Stefano Pioli could feel it, even if he could not quite define it. In the nicest possible way, Pioli has made several journeys around the block as a soccer manager. At 57, he has been coaching in the volatile, capricious world of the Italian game for two decades. His current job, at A.C. Milan, is the 13th of his career. There is very little, these days, that counts as new to him. The couple of weeks leading up to and surrounding Milan’s Champions League quarterfinal against Napoli last month, though, were different. …”
NY Times


Liverpool fans and the national anthem: A history of hostility

“The message from the Kop could not have been clearer. ‘You can stick your coronation up your arse,’ came the cry from the most vocal section of Liverpool’s crowd during Wednesday’s home win over Fulham, an echo of the sentiment that had reverberated around Hampden Park in Glasgow a few days earlier courtesy of Celtic fans. It was the latest iteration of Anfield’s long-standing antipathy for the British establishment, and which manifests itself most obviously when Liverpool supporters routinely boo the playing of the country’s national anthem, God Save the King. …”
The Athletic (Video)
The Athletic: Liverpool fans and Jurgen Klopp: Is the love affair as strong as ever? (Video)
The Athletic: Why Liverpool want Jorg Schmadtke as their new sporting director
The Athletic: What would make managers improve behaviour towards officials? We asked some
The Athletic: Virgil van Dijk hails Alisson after Liverpool clean sheet century: ‘I’m very glad he’s my goalkeeper’

Do football managers matter?

“Managers can’t perform magic, although some people seem to think they can. They’re not David Copperfield or Harry Potter. They can’t work miracles or sprinkle some magical dust to make players know how to play football. Spending hours on analysis isn’t very useful. It doesn’t put you in better conditions to win the game. The tactics, the schemes, they’re all bull***t. Of course tactics matter, but players win the game. For 45 minutes at a time, players make their own decisions. Football is a continuous sport in which the coach has barely any influence, less than in any other sport. …”
The Athletic

Napoli’s title-winning tactics analysed and explained

“The Scudetto is heading to Naples. A lot has happened since Napoli’s last league win in 1989-90. A Diego Maradona-inspired team won that title with 51 points — Serie A had only 18 teams and a win was worth just two points at the time. They were then relegated in 1997-98, came back up at the second attempt before going down again immediately in 2000-01. They even spent two seasons in the third tier before getting back into Serie A for the 2007-08 campaign. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Real Madrid vs Manchester City: Champions League semi-final tactical breakdown

“A place in the final is within touching distance. Manchester City and Real Madrid face off in a Champions League semi-final for the second season running, and you would do very well to predict an outright favourite. In many ways, we are fortunate that we get to witness these two heavyweight teams battle for 180 minutes across two legs as opposed to a single 90-minute final — with a strong case to be made that a final-four tie has produced greater entertainment historically. …”
The Athletic (Video)