Euro 2016: Qualifiers for the tournament in France

October 14, 2015

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“The group stage of qualification for Euro 2016 is over and the make-up of next summer’s tournament is taking shape. There will be 24 teams competing in the finals. France were assured of a place as hosts, and a further 19 countries have qualified automatically – 18 by finishing either first or second in their group and one more as the highest third-placed finisher. There will also be four play-off ties to determine the final four teams competing in France – and we now know who will be competing in those ties.” BBC

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Talent Radar Young Defender Rankings: Jordan Amavi, John Stones & Samuel Umtiti impress

September 27, 2015

“Judging the calibre of a young player is often a tricky task. Perceived potential has an important bearing in any consideration and is just one of the many parameters to consider when trying to quantify the ability of football’s young stars. To add a basis to what may be a leap of faith, it is useful to look back and trace the growth, or indeed lack thereof, in young players. Our Talent Radar Player Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Weekdocuments the progress of youngsters across Europe, with those featuring in these regular pieces, eventually being recognised in our end of season Talent Radar Young Player Awards and 100 Best Young Players to Watch list. Read this document for all your queries on Talent Radar and explanation of the features under it.” Outside of the Boot


Homage to Murcia – A Season of Football Anarchy

September 18, 2015

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“Whilst the book is principally about travelling around Murcia ,with the fans CAP Ciudad de Murcia, I mixed with the ultras and hinchas of Cadiz, Athletic Club, Seville and SD Eibar as well meeting many British and Irish fans who get their kicks from following the Spanish games not so glamourous clubs. I went to over 50 matches in the 2013-14 and travelled to places as diverse as Bilbao, Gibraltar, Soria, Madrid and every nook and cranny of Murcia, searching for what makes the football sub-culture of Spain tick. I also discovered some of the lesser known football pioneers that brought football to Murcia and Spain in general including the Spanish Geordie Manny Pelegin who brought football to Lorca in the 1890s.” Homage to Murcia

Book review: Homage to Murcia – A Season of Football Anarchy by Tony Higgins
“Tony Higgins, long time friend of The Football Pink, has just released his first self-published e-book, Homage to Murcia: A Season of Football Anarchy, the title largely borrowed from George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia and chronicles Tony’s experiences of following Spanish lower league club Ciudad de Murcia, home and away, through the 2013/14 season. Immediately apparent in this book is his sense of disillusionment with modern football, something an ever-growing number of weary devotees are experiencing as corporate avarice continue its rampage across the values of the supposed game of the people.” Football Pink


On-field meddling, off-field brilliance form Pérez’s double-edged sword

June 4, 2015

“Florentino Pérez might be an idiot, at least it when comes to matters on the field, but off of the pitch, he could be a genius. Therein lies the double-edged sword that defines the Real Madrid president in his time at the helm of the world’s biggest club. In the past week ‘Uncle Flo’ has been universally panned for his impulsive firing of Carlo Ancelotti, who’s been replaced today by a far less desired Rafa Benítez. The former Valencia and Liverpool coach now has the dubious honor of being the 90th coach to serve under Pérez during the embattled president’s 12-year reign.” Fusion


Netherlands and Spain’s recent World Cup meetings have grown a rivalry

March 31, 2015

“Most football rivalries originate from geographic or political concerns, but the most intriguing are often those based purely upon football. In this respect, the 2010 and 2014 World Cup matches between the Netherlands and Spain, who meet again in Amsterdam on Tuesday night, have been significant enough to form a brand-new rivalry on the international stage. Before the 2010 final, these two countries had never previously met at a major tournament. They’d faced one another in friendlies, in qualifiers and in the Olympic Games of 1920, but there were no previous encounters to set the scene, to provide a backdrop for a chance of competitive revenge.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Watch the 8 Best Goals Scored by Premier League Managers

March 13, 2015

“Sam Allardyce | Bolton Wanderers vs. Ipswich Town. 21 April 1979. Big Sam gets accused of being many things: long ball merchant, unambitious, over indulgent at the buffet. But I can only accuse him of abandoning an excellent mustache. While playing for Bolton Wanderers, Allardyce scored this thunderbolt of a header against Ipswich Town. In the early 2000s, Allardyce’s returned to Bolton as manager and would take them back into the Premier League and the Europa League. Sadly, the mustache did not come with him.” 8 by 8 (Video)


Euro 2012: Croatia 0-1 Spain | Epitome of the Control of the Game

February 15, 2015

“At first glance, this may appear a strange game to select as representative of what is arguably the greatest international side of all time. Spain, capable at times of the most gloriously intricate football, produced a cautious and tentative display in their final group game of Euro 2012, and were only sure of qualifying at Croatia’s expense when substitute Jesus Navas netted in the 88th minute. Yet this match best epitomises what this Spanish team stood for: control of the game via possession of the ball.” Outside of the Boot