This article comes from the July 2006 Observer but it seems like a good time to link to it given the proliferation of match-fixing stories and investigations.
Just to give a wee bit more context to the story Peter Swan was an England international who would have in all likelihood been a starter at the 1966 World Cup Finals and Tony Kay had become England’s most expensive signing when he moved to Everton.
It was an investment that Everton would see disappear after less than two years when the allegations broke.
Sporting Intelligence looks at the impact on this summer’s friendlies involving European sides in North America.
Official sign from Jonathan Wilson of getting old – he has an “it is not like it used to be” column.
Adrian Musolino bemoans the lack of a fan culture in the A-League – something that many MLS clubs have now established. Or to give credit where credit is due – something that fans have established at many MLS clubs.
An article written just before the 2006 World Cup by Spiegel writer Dirk Kurbjuweit that focused on Jurgen Klinsmann and the trials and tribulations of his times with national team.
It was part of a special international edition that focused on different elements of the tournament. I thought at the time the Klinsmann article was one of the best pieces of writing I had ever come across. I held on to the magazine and last weekend I read the piece again. It was as good as I remembered.
Next step was to try and find it on the internet and sure enough it was there. Simply put this article should be considered a “must-read” for anyone interested in the US national team.
A piece penned by Jurgen Klinsmann a year ago for the BBC during the World Cup Finals. It makes extremely interesting reading and over a glimpse into the future for the US national side.
Sam Kelly takes us through a week in which Argentina changed their coach and established a top-tier of 38-teams. Yes 38.
Zonal Marking’s best XI from the Copa America.
John van Laer takes a look at the upcoming Bundesliga season for WSC.
ESPN forecasts the chances of CONCACAF and COMNEBOL countries qualifying for 2014 World Cup Finals using the Soccer Power Index. We are told that the “Soccer Power Index is ESPN’s exclusive algorithm that is designed to forecast international and club soccer events.”
The ESPN Soccer Power Index has registered on the Soccer Report Extra BI – Bullshit Index.
A little bit more research back to December 2009 shows that ESPN describes their SPI as a rating “designed to provide the best possible objective representation of a team’s current overall skill level. In particular, the SPI ratings are intended to be forward-looking: They measure a team’s relative likelihood of victory if a competitive match were to be held tomorrow.
So unless World Cup qualifying is going to get underway and be wrapped in the next week the article is a crock.
Here are the SPI predictions made in December 2009 for group stage qualifying at the 2010 World Cup Finals
The success rate was 10 out of 16 – not much different than we would might expect from a reasonably interested fan.
Fitness tips for some of us who just cannot give up.
The BBC price survey of British football – programs, pies and a ticket.
A Globe and Mail editorial on “silent” youth soccer.
The article is a few weeks old and my apologies for not posting earlier. It is an interview with Dave Wasser – if you are looking for old NASL games Dave is the man.
“The Diary of a Travel Team Soccer Coach” contributes his thoughts on player development.
Research shows that goalkeepers have a propensity to dive to their right on penalty kicks. The research goes into a situation analysis that takes the score into consideration.
At the risk of sounding like a smart arse I always thought it common knowledge that most keepers prefer diving to their right. It was something that was told to me decades ago and one of the reasons I use to put most of my penalty kicks to the keepers left.
The reason I was given for the majority of keepers choosing their right was simply down to most keepers being right-handed and right footed. The right-handed explanation is no brainer. The right footed not so much so.
If you are right footed you generally push-off on your left leg when jumping – hence a keeper more likely to go to his or her right. Also a reason why some keepers will line up just a little bit “off-centre” at penalty kicks because they are confident of covering more of the space on their right side.
Sid Lowe on Chelsea’s new signing Oriol Romeu. I have to admit to having only seen him a couple of times and certainly did not focus on him. Nonetheless his style reminded me of Nigel de Jong.
Quotes“Anyone can win the league; ourselves, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea.”
With this comment Sir Alex Ferguson establishes the baseline. Measurements to be taken as the season progresses.“A similar player to Joao Plata, Avila could settle on the opposite side of a 4-3-3 formation that asks a lot of its outside attackers and allows them to run at isolated wing backs before providing quality service — a role Santos never worked in.”
That was a paragraph from a Toronto Sun article about Toronto FC’s CONCACAF Champions League win. The specifics relate to the acquisition of Eric Avila from FC Dallas.
#1 – I can’t remember Santos being asked to play wide on the right side of an attacking threesome.
#2 – “Isolated wing-backs” – very few teams in MLS play with wing-backs, they may play with full backs but why would full backs be considered isolated?
#3 – I have not watched FC Dallas as much I would have liked this season but it seems to me that I have never seen Avila play as part of an attacking threesome wide on the right – the mirror image of Plata on the left. Avila has usually sat either centrally or has pushed a bit to the right – but always midfield.
Sounds like another Toronto reporter sipping the TFC Kool-Aid.
Infostrada Sports“2014 #FIFA World Cup Final will be played at #Maracanã stadium where in 1950 a record 199854 spectators watched the #WorldCup #final #Brazil – #Uruguay 1-2”
The Maracana will be the same stadium in the way that Hampden Park or Wembley is the same stadium ……or in other words it isn’t. The Maracana went through a redevelopment for the 2007 Pan American Games and is undergoing another in preparation for the 2014 World Cup. It isn’t anything like the stadium that hosted in 1950.
It reminds me of a Shops teacher we used to have. He was always telling us that tools had to be cared for and he would then bring out a hammer that he claimed was 25 years old and it had only needed three new heads and two new shafts.
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