Archive for January, 2009

Top 50 Worst Things About Modern Soccer

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Football is one of the greatest things in the world but it’s not perfect. It used to be perfect. Before money and television and the Bosman ruling and Baby Bentleys and roastings and tattoos and takeovers and no standing and agents and prawn sandwiches and rotation.

English newspaper The Times takes a stab at the “50 Worst Things about Modern Football”, or soccer as they call it North America. They also add “it could have been 500″.


Why Beckham Should stay in Milan, and Why the Galaxy Should Let Him

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

David Beckham, age 33, AC Milan

I’m going to break from my usual match previews and football betting tips for this week’s article.  I feel it is a good time to talk about why David Beckham should stay in Milan and indeed why LA Galaxy should grant him his move to the Northern Italy capital.

As a player Beckham is a great work-horse type player and despite his obvious ability he continues to work as hard as anyone for his team.  On countless occasions I’ve watched Beckham pull on an England shirt and be the only player putting in any kind of effort at all.  His career has taken him from Manchester United to Real Madrid and after spending some time in America I feel it is a perfect time for him to move back to Europe.


10-Men Inter Reclaim Their +6 Serie A Lead as Juve & Milan Stumble (Serie A Matchday 21)

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

As a Bianconero, big disappointment lingers in my mind after Wednesday’s Serie A action. Not only did an unrecognizable (and Del Piero-less) Juve lose away to Udinese, but Inter Milan‘s concurrent win over Catania (and AC Milan‘s draw to Genoa) restores the Nerazzurri’s +6/+8 lead, leaving us to wonder if the current order of the top three Serie A teams will ever change again.

Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic, but I’ve been following the soccer scene for quite some time now and I’ve got this hunch: usually during a title race, when the top team loses some ground only to regain it the following week, they are keeping their lead till the end. I’ve got no scientific or tactical evidence to support this theory, it is what it is: a hunch. But based on my previous years of Serie-A watching experience, it is somewhat reminiscent of the Juve vs. Parma and Juve vs. Inter title races of the late 90′s.

Secretly of course, I want to believe otherwise…


Italian Players Around the World (26/01)

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Our weekly Italian Players Around the World segment is back!!

Inspired by Gazzetta dello Sport, here are the performances of all Italian soccer players operating in foreign European leagues (top divisions only). There are currently 32 Italians playing in first divisions abroad, and 12 of them stepped on the field this week-end.

The table below includes the team of the player, their opponents for this week, the time in minutes they played, their match contribution in goal(s) or assist(s), and the final score of the game.


Inter 1-0 Sampdoria: Tyson Adriano Conserving Nerazzurri’s +3 Lead (Serie A Matchday 20)

Monday, January 26th, 2009

In two days where (once again) the spotlight was focalized on bad officiating, Serie A’s evening match Inter vs. Samdporia was the final cherry on a week-end gone wrong for Italian referees. Those who thought that Roberto Rosetti’s “Best Referee” award (bestowed by the IFFHS last month) was an indication for optimism, now have to come back to the sad reality of things: there is still plenty of improvement required. Sunday’s 8:30 game between Nerazzurri and Blucerchiati only served as further evidence of that fact, as exemplified by Adriano’s showcase of boxing skills on Gastaldello, and a suspicious Cordoba challenge on Pazzini, right inside the Inter penalty box.

As for the match itself, it was a very tight & battled affair. Inter prevailed, and it was a very welcome victory for Jose Mourinho (who even earned the first Serie A red card of his career) & friends, especially given the unrelenting pressure of Juventus in the standings and the team’s shaky pyschological state following last week’s 3-1 loss to Atalanta. As for Sampdoria, Mazzarri’s boys fought hard and can find themselves unlucky for a variety of episodes, among which the aforementioned non-penalty call and a beautiful shot by Dessena in the dying minutes (well saved by Julio Cesar). The status quo is maintained at the top of Serie A, with Inter conserving their +3 lead on rivals Juventus.