Some of the best of the soccer web with an atrocious piece thrown in now and again.
The FA Cup third round is drawing closer. Damon Threadgold on the trail of the founding father of one of England’s great giant-killer sides Blyth Spartans.
This piece was in the LA Times and I think it is about David Beckham. Nonetheless, it is so poorly written article that I am not really sure what it is about. Do you think someone hacked the LA Times or does this person actually get paid for such gibberish?
Football memories – this is a terrific idea.
Patrick Barclay with something close to my heart – Dundee memories.
I’m sorry to have to correct Mr. Barclay but Alan Gilzean was still at Dundee when they reached the 1964 Scottish Cup Final.
I remember him playing in the final and saw him score a couple against Kilmarnock in a 4-0 semi-final win. Prove of the pudding is on this Pathe News video.
Six rules of naming stadiums – forward to NUFC.
On the eve of Remembrance Day Jon Carter wrote this article on football in war-time.
And a piece from Richard Whittall on how WW1 impacted the growth of the game in Canada.
Magic Spongers looks at how the Everton side of the 80s might have fared if it had not been for the European ban.
Here is part 2 of Chris Weatherspoon’s great piece on the late great Jim Baxter.
Here are my lasting memories of Baxter.
1. Wembley 1963 when he scored two the lead 10-man Scotland to a 2-1 win over England. I stand to be corrected but I believe the penalty was the first he had ever taken in professional football.
2. Dundee beating Rangers 4-1 with Doug Houston who would later go on to play for Rangers doing a very effective man-marking job on Baxter. That was in September of 1964.
3. Baxter returning from Vienna with a broken leg a few months after that.
4. Hampden 1965 – Scotland led Italy 1-0 in a must win World Cup qualifier at Hampden with the game in added time. Scotland got a free kick within striking range of Italy’s goal.
As some Scottish players milled around trying to decide who would shoot Baxter ambled forward and intentionally blasted the ball as high and as far as he could over the Italy crossbar.
His logic was simple.
The crowd was howling for the final whistle and a ball into the Hampden crowd was worth more than a crack on goal that might lead to a Italy counter attack.
5. Wembley 1967 – no more needs to be said.
6. Although his return to Rangers in the fall of 1969 lasted only a few months there was time for one inspired win.
Rangers beat Celtic 2-1 in a Scottish League Cup group match with Baxter front and centre.
The Financial Times sit on as the creator of Moneyball, Billy Beane, and the book’s writer Michael Lewis get together again.
Richard Farley hits the nail that so many members of the US media and fans avoided throughout the-who-should-coach debate – at some point it comes down to the types and quality of players you have at your disposal.
Brek Shea – the American Gareth Bale or is it Fernando Torres or does he just have an interesting haircut?
DNA swab can predict the right sport for a youngster.
Whoscored.com on the players who have made the most of their goal scoring chances this season.
In the late 50s and late 60s a number of British players moved to Italy to play after big money moves. John Charles was a terrific success but the same cannot be said for Denis Law, Joe Baker and Jimmy Greaves. Adam Bate looks at the players who could not settle.
Deutsche Welle has a very interesting piece on tactics in this season’s Bundesliga
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