World Cup 2014

Holland vs Mexico: The Arjen Robben incident 4

First things first: the way Arjen Robben plays the game is frequently deplorable and, time and again throughout his career, we have seen him attempt to gain an artificial advantage via simulation.  He throws himself to the floor, he exaggerates contact, he creates the illusion of foul-play when it hasn’t taken place…basically, the Dutchman ticks(…)

Rise of the Americas - the World Cup so far 0

Michael Foster discusses the strong showing from the American teams at this Summer’s World Cup…. Ah the sea! A natural wonder which has not only inspired poets, explorers and scientists, but has also proved to be the nemesis of the international footballer. Whenever a team is required to travel any distance over a significant stretch(…)

Luis Suarez’s ban looms - and maybe Diego Lugano should be sitting down, too? 0

Diego Lugano was asked yesterday about the incident that took place between Luis Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini during Tuesday’s Italy/Uruguay game, and here’s what he had to say: “What incident? The pictures don’t show anything. They show an approximation.” (BBC) Really?  You know what - ban this guy too, sit him down for Uruguay’s next(…)

Calculating Luis Suarez’s punishment 4

You’re going to hear this a lot over the coming days: “Is biting someone during a football match really worse than a two-footed tackle or a swinging elbow”. How much you hear that is going to depend on how strong a punishment FIFA ultimately assess Luis Suarez and how it compares with other violent conduct(…)

Has Luis Suarez’s Liverpool value really suffered over the last 24 hours?

Has Luis Suarez’s Liverpool value really suffered over the last 24 hours? 1

There’s no introduction necessary, because the whole world saw Luis Suarez doing what he did yesterday and there can be absolutely no debate about any of it. So let’s get straight into it: There’s a school of thought now which suggests that Suarez’s character could have an impact on his transfer value and that his(…)

False contexts & sulky hysteria: Why Roy Hodgson deserves to keep his job

False contexts & sulky hysteria: Why Roy Hodgson deserves to keep his job 0

When something goes wrong with a football team, the default response is for the supporters and the media to demand the manager’s sacking. Why? Because it’s so easy.  If you’re not really sure of what the problem actually is, then removing a coach and and his backroom staff is a fail-safe blanket response.  It’s far(…)

The childish element of the media revert to ‘England mode’

The childish element of the media revert to ‘England mode’ 0

Who isn’t disappointed by what England did last night? Going out of a World Cup always feels like being punched in the stomach, but there’s something about the press reaction which always accentuates the negatives. Yes, big headlines produce big digital revenue - I get that - but at what point do we realise that(…)

Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta: Performance graphics vs Chile

Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta: Performance graphics vs Chile 0

A significant story which has been lost under the weight of the World Cup has been Chelsea’s imminent signing of Felipe Luis.  The Atletico Madrid full-back is clearly being recruited by Jose Mourinho to fill the left-back spot at Stamford Bridge, with the implication of that being that Cesar Azpilicueta will revert to the right-hand(…)

Picking an England side to face Uruguay

Picking an England side to face Uruguay 0

Who had Spain going out of this World Cup before England? Not many - but Roy Hodgson’s side need to avoid defeat this evening against Uruguay if they’re to avoid becoming the next big name to fall. Oh, who are we kidding - we’re not a big name. Anyway, here’s a preferred eleven for this(…)

Of course Americans get football

Of course Americans get football 0

Alex Timperley discusses whether the questions as to whether Americans ‘get’ football are missing the point: Whenever the USA qualify for a World Cup or do well in a friendly against a traditional football power the same question gets asked – Is this what will finally get America hooked on the world’s best, most popular(…)

Watch the celebrations – that’s where the World Cup magic really is

Watch the celebrations - that’s where the World Cup magic really is 0

This World Cup is special for a lot reasons.  The standard of the football has been excellent, goals are flying in from everywhere, and the almost of all the games we’ve seen thus far have been very engaging. But what stands out - as it does with every World Cup - is the way the(…)

Muhamed Besic should be a Manchester United target 4

Prior to last night, I’d never even heard of Muhamed Besic.  In the context of Bosnian football, all conversations revolve around Miralem Pjanic - rightly so - and the Roma star eclipses everyone around him.  Typically, players like Besic are a secondary concern. One-off games in World Cups are not a good judge of how(…)

England’s physical approach to Luis Suarez on Thursday night

England’s physical approach to Luis Suarez on Thursday night 0

There was a very revealing moment during Uruguay’s defeat to Costa Rica, and it was Oscar Tabarez’s decision to leave Luis Suarez on the sidelines even though his side desperately needed a goal.  Uruguay were blunt and predictable, and were crying out for Suarez’s guile in that second-half, but the country’s biggest asset was left(…)

England stir up past traumas and threaten to make a country love again

England stir up past traumas and threaten to make a country love again 0

As I’ve got older, I’ve started to watch England with a sneer; at times, my detachment from the national side has left me almost indifferent to their fortunes - and, sadly, I suspect that a lot of fans feel the same way.  England have had a soulless, trudging quality for a long time which has(…)

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