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Category Archives: Football

A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke

Sometimes the timing of a particular book is simply perfect. When Nietzsche Wept and Βίος και Πολιτεία του Αλέξη Ζορμπά were such books in my life. Now i have added A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke to this list. A book that i can’t recommend highly enough to football and non-football fans alike. It’s about so much more than sport.

“If you could just have my head for half an hour, you’d know why I go mad”

Robert Enke

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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Books, Football

 

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Milan Vs Liverpool 3-3 (aet, 2-3 pens)

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“Football is the most important of the less important things in the world.”

Carlo Ancelotti

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Football

 

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NHL Gamecenter

Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings puts a shot on goaltender Jonathan Bernier #45 of the Toronto Maple Leafs as Todd Bertuzzi #44 of the Detroit Red Wings creates traffic in the first period during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2014 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A week ago I subscribed for 1 year to the NHL Gamecenter. The 1 year subscription gets you access to all the games live or on demand to watch later. You can also watch just the 10mins highlights from each game. When i purchased it, it was USD99 (EUR78) and now it’s only USD49. I’m not sure why there such a big drop. Probably because we are closer to the end of the season.

I’m very impressed so far. You can watch the games either on a PC or a tablet (Google App which is what i do). The quality is excellent and is 99% perfect streaming whether it’s live or not. Yesterday i was watching live the Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto played in Detroit. It was taking place outside in an American football stadium with more than 100,000 fans on the stands in freezing conditions. Once again the streaming was perfect. During live games you also have the option to switch between the broadcaster of the home team or that of the away team.

I compare this with what we get for football, especially in Cyprus. I currently pay EUR52/month to basically watch the Premier League. I’m also getting Cypriot Football, La Liga and Bundesliga and some TV shows and movies. But i don’t need this bundle of channels. I just want to watch the Premiership and i would strip away everything else if that meant getting a reduced price. Not only that but i have to be at home to watch. With the NHL Gamecenter i could be anywhere and i can watch everything on demand on the tablet.

I really hope that we get something like this in football but i doubt it as i think the Premiership gets more money by selling the rights to individual broadcasters in different countries. There is a lot of commercialisation in american sports (more breaks and ads) but they are years ahead on this one.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Football, The Web

 

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Cyprus National Football Team – the team that nobody cares about

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On Tuesday night i went to GSP Stadium to watch the Cyprus National Football Team play it’s final 2014 World Cup Qualifier match against Albania. We drew the game 0-0 and finished bottom of the group with just 5 points. Albania was the team above us with 11 points. It’s one of the lowest points in the Team’s history.

The problem is that nobody cares.

Players

First of all most of the players don’t seem to be really bothered or proud to be playing for the national team. It just seems to be a nuisance to them. It’s remarkable that i thought Dossa Junior, who was born in Portugal but is now a Cypriot national, was the team’s most committed and best player against Albania. In fact, he was also one of the few players who applauded us the fans at the end of the game. It’s clear that we lack the quality to compete and Cypriot clubs use mostly foreign players but it’s not only that. There is an evident lack of pride for this team and shirt.

Fans

That lack of pride is also evident in the stands. There were a couple of hundred people at most on Tuesday. Not once did we cheer on the team. Even during a good 10 mins spell we had in the 2nd half. Most football fans in Cyprus either don’t care for the team or are just happy supporting the Greek National Team. Greece has given me the proudest and happiest moments in sports which will probably never be surpassed. However i wish people gave some of their love to our team as well. It will never reach the highs that Greece offers but that’s missing the point. We are who we are. A small island of less than a million. Support that. Even the Brazilian and Italian national teams get more support from Cypriots.

Media & CFA

Finally the media and CFA. There is absolutely little to zero coverage. I had to click on 2-3 links to dig up articles in the sports newspapers on the day of the match. Even the day after it was almost impossible to find something to read. It’s all about the clubs. The CFA again pays more attention to clubs instead of the National team. The interim manager is atrocious. His substitutions on Tuesday reminded me when i was playing Sensible Soccer and Championship Manager when i was a teenager. The ticket price for the game was EUR10. How can you expect people to show up after all the above when they have to pay EUR10. Especially during times like these. Do the 1+1 offer again. Even free tickets. These have been done before. That’s one way to make it more attractive.

In the end it seems that we will only start paying attention again if by luck and only luck we get a team of good players again and start playing better. Then all these people and institutions will give their attention to the team for a few years.

Planning and vision? Do we even have these words in our vocabulary anymore?

Pride for the National team? Please…..

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Football

 

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Arsenal Vs Aston Villa 1-3

There is a misconception amongst the Arsenal fans. That the club doesn’t spend money on transfers.

In the season 2012/13 Arsenal spent around STG48.7 million on 4 players (Cazorla, Giroud, Podoslki and Monreal) and in the season 2011/12 around STG50,5 million on  8 players (Arteta, Mertesacker, Santos, Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Gervinho, Park, Cambell).

“We are there to spend money,”…….. “People say: ‘Buy players, buy players, buy players … ‘ But who?”

Arsene Wenger

A fan holds a protest banner as Arsène Wenger watches Arsenal's 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Football

 

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Football tactical analysis

Tactics Board 1

When Jonathan Wilson released his history of football tactics, Inverting The Pyramid, he started something. Now, helped by the rise of Twitter and niche writing in general, tactical analysis is a more accessible part of the British football media than ever before. We asked Wilson about the boom…

The Inside Left – read more

 
 

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Football related articles

The first 3 links are related. They are about corruption in football.

‘Fake’ Togo football team at Bahrain match being investigated. This is incredible. The incident took place three years ago. I am quoting from the BBC news story dated 14 September 2010.

Togo’s football authorities are investigating allegations that a fake national team played a match against Bahrain earlier this month.

Bahrain won the friendly match 3-0, but said they were surprised by the poor quality of the Togolese team.

Togo later said it had never sent its national team to play in the game, staged at the national stadium in Riffa on 7 September.

Togo’s sports minister said he would ask Fifa to investigate.

But Fifa says it has not yet received any official complaint and so has not launched its own investigation.

The following two are from The Economist magazine and these are actually what led me to finding out about the above incident. The first is Welcome to the beautiful game while the second is Ref!

The fourth and final link is written by my favourite football analyst/tactician Michael Cox and its heading is Of pace and peaks: Some attackers’ careers on fast forward and it’s about at what age players actually reach their peak and the emphasis that managers put on the pace of young strikers.

Around 15 years ago, there was a strong consensus about when footballers reached their peak. Conventional wisdom suggested it was a fairly standard process, regardless of position — top-class internationals generally produced their best form close to, or shortly before, their 30th birthday

 

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