Daily Archives: May 16, 2023

How Barcelona won La Liga: Old-school rules, new hunger and a changing of the guard

“When Xavi was made Barcelona manager in November 2021, he found a squad that was lacking in confidence. Barca had not won the league title in two and half years, and there were few signs they would be truly ready to challenge for one again soon. Tough losses in the Champions League had left their mark on a group whose ambition was to compete among the European elite. There was still a sense of trauma around the comeback defeats suffered against Roma and Liverpool, in 2018 and 2019. …”
The Athletic (Video)


Leicester’s relegation battle is a harsh maths lesson for all mid-table clubs – Jonathan Wilson

“All life, Valeriy Lobanovskyi once said, is a number. Which might have made sense for the groundbreaking Dynamo Kyiv manager, with his high-school medal for mathematics, but for most people who follow sport is a little disconcerting. We want to believe in heroes and glory, in imagination and genius, in fate and curses. Even if we acknowledge it probably is quite important, the thought of football as a series of vast interlocking spreadsheets feels a little dry. …”