All signs point to a defensive tournament in France


There was a time when international tournaments, or even international friendlies, served as the great meeting of minds – a conglomeration of different cultures and traditions, a chance to pit your wits against the unknown, to exchange ideas and to be exposed to a completely new style of playing. Uruguay’s completely unexpected defeat of Brazil at the…

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The Forgotten Tale of Ernö Erbstein


Ernö Erbstein was a coach who created the magnificent and imperious Il Grande Torino, the great Italian side who won five successive Serie A titles in the 1940s. He was tragically killed, along with the rest of the squad, in a plane crash at Superga in 1949. If you look up his name anywhere on…

Defending the Magnificence of Lionel Messi


“Vintage Messi” How many angels Can dance on the head of a pin? How magnificent Is Messi? There is no answer It’s like counting the bubbles In a bottle of Champagne “An explosion of the exceptional!” shouted Peter Drury into his microphone as Lionel Messi ghosted between 3 Bosnian defenders and caressed the ball past…

Remembering Freddie Ljungberg


When you mention the name Freddie Ljungberg to Arsenal supporters, the conversation inevitably turns to that wonderful curling effort at Wembley against Chelsea in the FA Cup final or to the delightful lob against Juventus which is remembered more for Bergkamp’s merry dance with the ball around the Juventus defence.Even though Arsenal had scouted Ljungberg…

Thank You for the Memories, Robert Pirès


'To me, before his knee injury, Pirès was the best left attacking midfielder in the world. With us he was just flying.' -  Arsène Wenger shortly after Robert Pirès moved to Aston Villa. No arguments there, Monsieur. When he was still a kid harboring dreams of making it as a professional, Pirès could always be…

Marat Safin – The Misunderstood Genius


The first image that comes to mind when someone speaks of Marat Safin is that famous fiery temper, racquet smashing antics and out-of-the-blue emotional outbursts on the court when things went awry. It is not surprising given that he broke 87 racquets in a year, a record that still stands (a grand total of 1155…

Time to Give Bundesliga it’s Due


There is a tendency in today's football world to think of the top leagues in Europe as the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and everyone else (whoever that may be). There is no mention of Bundesliga when one thinks of top teams (Bayern Munich may be the exception) - simply a mention of it…