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The Hiatus Explained

March 22, 2011

This is not a article  on how Tesla’s work on electromagnetism is subsumed within the football of Eastern Europe in the late 1970s. I wish it was, but it isn’t. No, it’s a post explaining the scarcity in posts recently.

Truth is, I’m engaged in work that has had me away from football since the turn of the year. To my knowledge, Roy Hodgson is still in charge at Liverpool, Gareth Bale is the best player in the world and Andy Gray & Richard Keys are respectable members of the Sky Sports team. I know no different.

I’ll be gracing the internet with my #newseriousness tag at the start of the summer.

“Bavarians? Conservative? Never!” The 1987 European Cup Final

February 9, 2011

For all Bayern München’s dominance in Germany in the 1980s, they made a pigs-ear out of things in Europe. It was a common sight to see the Barvarian side being disposed of by British clubs throughout the decade. In 1981, Liverpool beat Pál Csernai’s Munich side on away goals in the semi-final. Throughout that decade, they further lost to Alex Fergusons’s Aberdeen side, as well as Tottenham and Everton in various European championships.

However, none of these defeats would come close to the defeat handed to them in 1987 by FC Porto in the now titled Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna. Die Bayern were seen as odds-on favourites and the entire club were assured that victory would assumingly come. Bayern München’s then president, Fritz Scherer, had sanguinely prepared his victory speech in anticipation of a triumphant conquest against the Portuguese side. Recently departed striker Uli Hoeneß, on the eve of the match, proclaimed that this match will spark the “dawning of a new, great era.”

Read more…

The McDonaldization of English Football

January 20, 2011

I’ve unfortunately been a bit busy recently, rendering me incapable of finding the time to get my teeth into various teams or games that might provide some entertainment.

However, I managed to produce a lengthy piece for the always interesting ‘In Bed With Maradona’  about the modernisation of the English game.  You can find it here, I hope it is of interest.

Opponents of FC Barcelona, here is your New Year’s Resolution

January 4, 2011

Barcelona have shuffled their pack in 2010, starting to prefer to Messi to play centrally rather than in the inside right role. Not formed in the archetypal central forward role, his pee-wee frame would perhaps lead some central defenders preferring to battle against the Lilliputian Argentinian.

Defenders may not be straining their Achilles whilst leaping against a monolithic striker but they have to deal with a completely different threat and recently played teams are yet sufficiently dampen Barcelona’s attacking prowess.

Read more…

A Brief Introduction to FC. København

December 22, 2010

Who would have thought it? A one-time player for Wimbledon goes to show tactical discernment and shrewdness. To give Ståle Solbakken his dues, he did fallout with the mullet-wielded Joe Kinnear, so he has got to have something about him, hasn’t he?

Read more…

The Dissection of Dortmund

November 25, 2010

Jurgen Klopp, sitting on the proverbial throne placed on the zenith of Die Südtribüne, has earned his position of Dortmund royalty this season.

His tenderfoot squad has exceeded expectations, and after thirteen games lead the ‘World’s Best League™’ by seven points.  The path to seniority in the Bundesliga has not been through attritional, grinding football, but with an expansive and unrepressed style.

The numbers are impressive, they’ve scored the most (31), five more than any other team in the division and have conceded the least (8), six less than their competitors.  But we don’t do things by numbers here (apart from painting, naturally), and this startling improvement surely needs to be legitimised through analysis.

Read more…

Villarreal’s transposable system – the return of the Brazilian 4-2-2-2

November 5, 2010

The re-birth of Villarreal has come with the fruition of several events.  Firstly, the partnership that Brazilian Nilmar and the Italian-American Giuseppe Rossi has cultivated week-on-week will continue to be one of the most dangerous in La Liga.  The two have scored eleven of Villarreal’s nineteen goals and Rossi has shown ruthless finishing that was once missing; Nilmar, as well as scoring five goals, is joint third in the assist rankings up to this point.

There has been a significant structural change to the Villarreal side too this season.  Under Juan Carlos Garrido, who was the Villarreal B manager for eight years before his promotion to the first-team, they have returned to the tactical structure employed during Manuel Pellegrini’s stint at the Valencian club.

Click here to carry on reading about the re-birth of Villarreal

The difference between two derbies – illustrating the change from Benitez to Hodgson.

October 22, 2010



It was no surprise that Liverpool lost the 214th Merseyside derby given their woeful start to the season. No Liverpool fan, not even the most pessimistic of follower, would have fathomed such baffling results and such perturbing performances on the field given the strength of their squad at the start of the season.

With some trading-up and trading-down from both Rafael Benitez and Roy Hodgson over the past couple of seasons, the majority of the Liverpool team still remain from the title challenging season of 2008-09. Crippled by the Hick’s and Gillett’s unwillingness to service the promises they provided when they took over the club, Liverpool stumbled around the Premier League last season, like a common drunk who is just about on their last legs before slumping face first into the bar.

What’s happened at Liverpool? Continue reading…

Loïc Rémy saves Blanc’s Blushes

October 16, 2010


Amidst an aura of optimism and calls of ‘reincarnation’, Romania were close to ruining Laurent Blanc’s quietly-impressive start to his reign as Les Bleus’ national coach this week.

Instead of opting for the 4-3-3 that got the French a formidable win against a Bosnia side, M. Blanc preferred the 4-2-3-1 system with the fleet-footed Samir Nasri picked for the role behind Karim Benzema, leaving Yoann Gourcuff, who, it has to be said, is lacking form of any definition at the moment, on the bench. France won this game two to nothing, which at first glance, is an adequate and expected result, but it was only through late goals and some much-needed changes late in the day.

For a match report and a look at the introduction of Loic Remy, carry on!

Removing the Romanticism from an Unexpected Victory: Denmark – Euro ’92.

October 9, 2010


Denmark’s victory in the Euro Championships in 1992 had all the ingredients of a unforgetful footballing fairytale. It is the story of a team who didn’t qualify for the finals who went onto win the thing, beating the World Champions, the French and the Dutch; surely this would be a story that was woven into the tapestry of footballing folklore?

To discover the true ugliness of the Denmark side, click here!