The death of possession football

November 18, 2016

“Former Bayern Munich manager and current Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, speaking after Bavarian side’s 5-1 triumph over Arsenal last season, was famously said: What I want, my desire, is to have one hundred percent possession. Bayern Munich had enjoyed sixty nine percent of possession in that game as goals from Robert Lewandowki, Thomas Muller, David Alaba and Arjen Robben gave Arsenal nightmares that probably suggested the extent of damage that possession football can usually do.” backpagefootball


Ante Ćorić – Between the Dream and the Reality

October 27, 2016

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Ante Coric of Croatia shoots past Liam Moore of England during the UEFA U21 Championship Playoff First Leg match between England and Croatia at Molineux on October 10, 2014 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
“The scoreboard at the Maksimir stadium indicated 94:45 minutes during the mid-September Champions League game between Dinamo Zagreb and Arsenal. In the fifth minute of extra-time, Arsenal urgently searched for late equalizer but the match ended with a historic 2-1 Dinamo victory. But the score could have been even more decisive for Dinamo.” Futbolgrad (Video)

Andriy Boryachuk – A key to Shakhtar’s tactical evolution

October 27, 2016

“Andriy Boryachuk is only 20-years old, but the young Ukrainian striker from Shakhtar Donetsk has turned heads in recent weeks. The young forward debuted for Shakhtar on matchday 9 against Volyn Lutsk, and he capped off his 16-minute debut by scoring the final goal for Shakhtar in the 78th minute.” Futbolgrad (Video)

Desert fire: the world cup rebels of Kurdistan

October 16, 2016

“Football’s world cup for unrecognised territories is viewed through the eyes of the manager and players of one of the most fascinating teams, Iraqi Kurdistan. In summer 2016, an extraordinary tournament took place: football’s ‘rebel’ world cup for stateless nations, minority ethnic groups and unrecognised territories. This surreal and vibrant spectacle is viewed through the eyes of the Kurdistan players and coach.” Football Pink (Video)

Russian Football: Stadiums

October 13, 2016

“(1) LUZHNIKI STADIUM – MOSCOW. History: Luzhniki officially opened on July 31, 1956, intended for use as the Soviet Union’s central stadium. In 57 years, the facility has undergone two major renovations – prior to the 1980 Summer Olympics and in 1996-1997, when a roof was added to comply with UEFA standards. The stadium has hosted the Summer Olympics, UEFA Cup and Champions League finals, and numerous Russian national team matches. It has also served as the home pitch for Spartak, CSKA, Torpedo, Rubin and Anzhi over the years. Luzhniki also has a dark chapter, as 66 people died here in the worst stadium catastrophe in Russia’s history during an UEFA Cup match between Spartak Moscow and Dutch side Harlem on the 20th of October 1982. …” Russian Football News

Far-Flung Adventures: Ross Jenkins on playing in Romania

October 13, 2016

“Ross Jenkins is a 25-year-old midfielder who spent last season at Romanian top-flight club Poli Timișoara. He broke into the Watford first team under Brendan Rodgers in 2008, and has also played for Plymouth, Barnet and Crawley Town, as well as the England Under-20s. Here he talks to Will Unwin about his adventures in Romania and the challenges of finding a club overseas…” the set pieces

A Soviet Story in an Alternative Football Manager Universe

September 15, 2016

“Eastern European football fans have long pondered what a Soviet national team (Sbornaya) would have looked like, had the Socialist camp not collapsed in the early 1990s. A 1990s team consisting of a young and bright Andrey Arshavin supporting Ukrainian figurehead Andriy Shevchenko would surely be a team that would live long in the hearts of football hipsters everywhere.” futbolgrad