Monthly Archives: October 2012

OF REFEREEING DECISIONS

What am I to do? ***image courtesy of soccerlens***

To whom much is given, much is expected. The referee is one man judge, jury and executioner. His whistle is both sword and shield. Whatever he does, any decision he takes, or doesn’t. Any movement, any gesture is vital. It inadvertedly favours one side, and is adverse to the other. There are no grey areas with him. It’s either black or white. That is why much is expected of him.

But now, we do not merely expect much. We expect the impossible. Read the rest of this entry

MANCINI’S BACK THREE IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Roberto Mancini issuing instructions ***photo courtesy of zimbio***

In Italy, it’s back in fashion. Three at the back is the in thing. And in a country blessed with the fashion sense of Milan and Rome, the in thing usually gets paraded around, adored, envied then ultimately imitated. Almost everyone seems to be doing it now. Antonio Conte is doing it at Juventus. Walter Mazzari has been doing it at Napoli. Francesco Guidolin the same at Udinese. And even the national team manager, Cesare Prandelli used it at the Euros. Against the world champions no less.

Roberto Mancini wants to be next. Read the rest of this entry

A FEW OBSERVATIONS FROM KENYA 1-2 SOUTH AFRICA

Kenya’s Dennis Oliech (R) scores a penalty against South Africa’s goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands (2nd R) during an international friendly football match ***image courtesy of Getty Images***

That is just the thing with statistics. When looked at without context, they make for a deceiving sight.

Midway through the first half of the friendly international between Kenya and South Africa, the possession stats read Kenya-65%, South Africa-35%. But the stat that really mattered at the time read Kenya 0-1 South Africa. Read the rest of this entry

THE BRAZILIAN NUMBER 10: OSCAR AND GANSO

Oscar (left) and Ganso (right) are both Brazilian numer 10’s who’s careers have taken different paths. ***image courtesy of lancenet.com***

Few would disagree. One of the most pleasuring sights in football is witnessing a player in the yellow of Brazil prancing around on the pitch with a ball at his feet. If the green coloured number on his back appears as the number 10, then that sight is even better.

At the Copa America last year, it was Paulo Henrique Ganso. At the London Olympics, it was Oscar. Read the rest of this entry

ZONAL MARKING OR MAN TO MAN FOR ARSENAL?

Image

**image courtesy of chelseadaft.org

Arsenal conceded from a set-piece once again. That is nothing new. First Torres, then Mata. And last week, Lescott. Corner, free kick, (and when you count Stoke City) throw in. The dead ball has become a means of killing off the gunners.

And after the dust settles, and the players look at each other cluelessly. After the ball has been picked up from the back of the net, and the opposition celebrations are over, the old age question arises. Zonal defending – or man to man. Read the rest of this entry

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