The Story of Arsenal vs Barcelona: Will Arsenal ever beat Barca?

March 2, 2016

“The Story of Arsenal vs Barcelona: Will Arsenal ever beat Barca? Arsenal and Barcelona are frequently compared among football fans with their similar football styles; high possession rate, tiki-taka, total football, and etc. Both teams, almost every season, record highest ball possession rates in their corresponding leagues. Iniesta once said ‘I think Arsenal still play the best football in England. They play in a style in the way that most emulates what we do in Barcelona – and what is in our opinion the right way to approach the game … their football philosophy is the most attractive in England.’ As shown in this comment, one of the greatest products created by the Barcelona system obviously has respect for Arsenal’s football and also admits that Arsenal is somehow imitating Barcelona’s style.” Soccer Politics

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Football Management – Davis Muthoka

June 21, 2015

Football Management is a blog maintained by Dr. John Beech an independent academic who is an Honorary Research Fellow at Coventry University where he was Head of Sport & Tourism at the Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration (SURGE). Through his work on this blog, Dr. John Beech received the Football Supporters’ Federation Writer of the Year Award for season 2009/10. With detailed data on over 200 English soccer clubs, the blog offers commentary on current as well as historic issues on management and governance of English league clubs. The blog is read in over 175 countries across the globe. The homepage of Football Management is easy to navigate. The first section on the homepage is the Recent Posts section. An article that caught my attention under this section is titled Opening a can of worms ?.This article covers the issue of the relationship between English clubs’ management and their local councils especially when the clubs are at the center of an issue. Given the big roles these clubs play in the economies and the unwillingness of the councils to anger fans, the author claims there is a possibility of these clubs failing to be subjected to the due legal process in settling significant issues. …” Soccer Politics


Pellegrini Out?: Evaluating Manchester City’s Manager Options

May 1, 2015

“Manchester City is teetering on a crisis. Since the new year, when they were tied with Chelsea atop the table , they have struggled, and are now sitting 13 points behind the soon to be champions. Not only that, but the team has looked poor doing it, showing little drive or defensive structure. Manchester City supporters are questioning his leadership and ability to motivate his players. The agent of city’s star midfielder, Yaya Toure, called Pellegrini ‘a good coach, but a weak manager.’Soccer Politics


Soccer Analytics – Do They Belong in the “Beautiful Game”?

March 24, 2015

“There is a revolution happening in the world of sports, but it is not happening on a field or a court. Rather, the revolution is happening in the Excel sheets and the computers of statisticians and analysts who are tracking every play in sports today. In an age where the accessibility of data and the ability to analyze it quickly has reached team managers and coaches, the question remains, ‘How will analytics affect the sport of soccer?’” Soccer Politics

What Analytics Can Teach Us About the Beautiful Game
“Sports analytics, no matter the field’s renegade posturing, has now been around long enough to have its own pieces of conventional wisdom. Baseball’s cognoscenti know all about the primacy of on-base percentage over batting average, and they’ve also come to realize once-treasured strategies like bunting and stealing bases are best used sparingly. In basketball, the mid-range jump shot is slowly being phased out as an inefficient relic of antiquity. Spreadsheets are shaming football coaches into rolling the dice more often on fourth downs.” Five Thirty Eight


The Barrabrava – Crusaders Turning Exploiters

March 16, 2015

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“As I read Christopher Gaffney’s Temples of the Earthbound Gods, one issue that particularly struck me was the excessive nature of the barrabrava, the fierce fan group that exists in most of the Argentine and South American football clubs. In the book, Gaffney suggests the unclear, shady relationships between the clubs and their barrabravas, or barras in short, and some of the borderline illegal actions that the barras take that is veiled under the name of passion and footballing identity. For instance, the level of physical violence that the barras have reached a point where the barras of each club have their signature means of violence – rubber mallets in San Lorenzo or umbrellas in Independiente, for example – and yet their clubs have remained reluctant, even sympathetic towards such acts.” Soccer Politics (Video)


German Nationalism Courtesy of Football

December 7, 2013

“The 20th century was a wicked roller coaster ride for Germany. Two World Wars, each spawned by high levels of nationalism, both resulted in German defeat. In the course of less than fifty years, Germany’s territory, economy, and politics were reduced to rubble, rebuilt, and then subsequently destroyed multiple times. Post World War II, the Allied Powers split Germany into two countries to separate East from West during the Cold War, with the very visible divide in the form of the Berlin Wall. Only with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 did East and West Germany begin the process of reunification. So, where has that left German citizens?” Soccer Politics


The Danish Fairy Tale

December 3, 2013

“A friend of mine is a fan of F.C. København, the most successful Danish league side of the last 10 years. København have won 7 of the last 10 Danish Superliga titles, but are more famous for being a Cinderella team that beat Manchester United and drew Barcelona and Manchester City in the Champions League. Remarkably, however, København is not the most successful Cinderella that Denmark has produced. That honor belongs to the Danish team that won Euro 1992 against all odds, which wrote a fairy tale that can rival any work by Hans Christian Andersen.” Soccer Politics