Some of the best of the soccer web with an atrocious piece thrown in now and again.
Elcentrocampista.com picked up on an article written earlier this year by Alan Pattullo and Gavin Jamieson in the Scotsman on a little known player called George Pattullo. Pattullo was arguably Barcelona’s first star player.
A few years back I remember doing something similar to World Soccer’s list of most promising youngsters.
The piece I did was based on four years though rather than just one. This piece from in bed with maradona takes a Spanish list of their top 100 under-23 players from last year and revisits where they are and how they did over the last year.
Is former Glasgow bookie Willie McKay Doncaster Rovers life raft or anchor? An article from David Conn.
Another in a series of profiles of great Dutch players from jouracule. This time it is Arie Haan. Also included is video of Haan’s magnificent long-range effort at World Cup ’78 that flew past Dino Zoff.
An article by Jimmy Vulmer on the Rangers media website about Danish players who have made an impact at the club.
If you are going to do this type of article then how could Kai Johansen who scored the only goal in the 1966 Scottish Cup replay that beat Celtic be overlooked? Johansen was one of a number of Scandinavian players who moved to Scotland in the mid-sixties and made a tremendous impact.
Johansen originally signed for Morton before moving to Rangers. Dundee United, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Hibs, Dunfermline, St. Mirren and Hearts all participated into what was referred to then as the Scandinavian or Viking Invasion.
Liam Kelly goes back 23 years and remembers Ireland’s debut at a major international tournament.
Ian Herbert tells about the picture that hangs in the office of Sir Alex Ferguson and what it represents to him. And it not of Victoria Beckham.
A quarter of a century since he left but Ferguson’s shadow continues to haunt his successors at Aberdeen says Andy Muirhead.
John Beech has been reading the autobiography of former FIFA President Sir Stanley Rous.
The andersredblog runs over Manchester United’s first quarter results.
The Daily Mail catches up with their version of “statistics and Moneyball is changing the game” article.
Soccer by Numbers grabs a look at some goal scoring statistics from last season and puts forward an interesting view of how Wigan managed to survive.
Les Rosbifs has a minute-by-minute account of “Mr. Beckham goes to the MLS Cup Final.” His conclusion – close to mine.
Cross a job with the Financial Times off your bucket list Martin Samuel. He gets much more wrong than he gets right in this article.
Primarily the rules are not Platini’s rules, they are the rules vetted by, and voted, on by the domestic associations.
His “Platini made us spend the money” argument misses the point that it is not a one-off fix but a year-by-year assessment.
There is the concept of amortization involved in respect to transfer fees and salary contracts committed today also have to be funded by earned revenues in the future.
Jonathan Wilson writes about the on-field troubles of John Obi Mikel. In part of the article Wilson refers to Mikel being asked to take on the role of the defensive midfield screen at such a young age – a position more normally occupied by more experienced players.
I think a very good case could be made that playing a young player in that position robs him of the experience he needs to ultimately succeed over the longer term. The role he was required to play, first under Mourinho and then his successors, was so restrictive that there was no opportunity for growth.
A young full back can pop up in attack, a centre back can get forward from time to time, a striker can drop deep or a midfielder can offer defensive cover – all require players to solve different problems.
Instead Mikel was asked to sit in front of the back four and although he was termed a midfield player he had a more defensive role than anyone else in the Chelsea line up bar the goalkeeper.
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