Daily Archives: May 21, 2023

Serendipity of De Zerbi and Brighton underlines football’s great complexities – Jonathan Wilson

“Imagine that Thomas Tuchel had not been sacked by Chelsea at the beginning of September and that Graham Potter had not been lured from Brighton to replace him. Potter, presumably, would still be in charge at the Amex. Would Brighton’s situation now be better or worse? Would they be heading into Sunday’s game against Southampton sixth in the Premier League table and likely to qualify for the Europa League? …”


How Russia is creeping back into football Tifo Football

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, firstly in 2014, but in far greater and deadlier numbers on February 24th 2022 the country has been isolated politically, economically and culturally. And Russia has been suspended from UEFA and FIFA. But they want to qualify for the 2026 World Cup. How could they do that? Would they have to move federations? Well, it has been done before. James Montague explains. Philippe Fenner illustrates.

Aston Villa have become a team to be feared – and are one game from Europe

“When Aston Villa’s push for Europe started to gain serious momentum six weeks ago, the only question was which competition could they qualify for. Somehow, finishing in a top-four spot and playing Champions League football in September was still on. The difficulty was that however slender the six points between themselves in sixth and Newcastle United in fourth place felt, what was to come — a brutal set of remaining fixtures as well as rivals catching up on their games owed — was always likely to leave Villa lagging behind. …”
The Athletic (Video)

Tales from the Anfield Road: Magical memories from Liverpool’s ‘other’ end

“It may lack the storied glamour of the Kop or the soaring splendour of the new Main Stand, but Liverpool’s Anfield Road end has a history and atmosphere all of its own. The bulldozers will move in after Saturday’s final home game of the season, replacing the current structure with a new stand that will lift Anfield’s capacity to 61,000 at a cost of £80million ($101million) in time for the start of next season. To mark the end of the stand in its current form, we asked those who have watched from or played in front of the ‘Annie Road End’ for their standout memories. …”
The Athletic (Video)

‘There’s a cognitive dissonance for me as a fan’: readers on Manchester City

“… ‘I’m a lifelong supporter of Man City and have had a season ticket since 2011. Obviously, City’s many successes over recent years have brought me great joy. But there’s a cognitive dissonance for me as a supporter. There are ethical issues with contributing financially to a project that is in part serving as the PR wing of an objectionable regime. It really hit me when the Uefa charges first came out against the club and I saw a lot of Man City fans blindly defending the club and its owners. …’ – Michael, 27, programmer in Manchester …”

Paris Saint-Germain Finances 2021/22

“Paris Saint-Germain are seemingly a club in crisis, even though they are currently on top of Ligue 1, as their results this season have been disappointing by their high standards, while rivals like Lens and Marseille are too close for comfort. Fans have recently called for the board to resign, criticising the club’s management for a lack of a sporting vision and poor recruitment, including many over-rated talents and mercenaries. They say that too many players are only in Paris for the money. …”
Swiss Ramble

2022/23 Bundesliga relegation battle: VfB Stuttgart, Schalke, Bochum and Augsburg in four-way fight for survival

“… Schalke had nine points on the board after 17 matches, but have claimed 22 from a possible 48 in the second half of the season. Although hammered 6-0 at Bayern Munich on Matchday 32, previous wins over the likes of Hertha, Stuttgart and Werder Bremen have given them every chance of securing a second successive season of Bundesliga football. A 2-2 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt during Matchday 33 means they could still need a point against RB Leipzig on the final day of the season to avoid automatic relegation. …”
Bundesliga (Video)