10 things I read this month that you should too
bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.
Looking for some interesting, thought provoking and entertaining reading? Today on the blog Andrew delivers his 10 best reads for the month of March. Get your bookmarks ready.
Great read here from Giancarlo Rinaldi as he reflects upon his own once youthful dreams of claiming a World Cup crown for Italy or an unlikely Scudetto for Fiorentina and whether such dreams and similarly youthful ambitions will be shared by his young son.
"How can I saddle him with the love of a team which, so obviously, will only cause him heartache? Even though he has just turned six, he still has the sense to come into the living room with trepidation on a Sunday afternoon when the Viola are in action. “Don’t tell me dad,” he says, “Fiorentina are losing.” And I curse under my breath and wish he wasn’t, more often than not, correct in that assertion."
Ian King from TwoHundredPercent loads both barrells and takes aim directly at the ineptitude of the F.A and their seemingly dutiful compliance in undermining the foundations of English football. It'll get you fired up.
"They were supposed to be the bulwark against the asset strippers, the venture capitalists, the property developers and those that otherwise don’t give a toss about anything that doesn’t involve the Premier League."
If you're up for some heavy duty inter-league statistical analysis and chart-work, Soccer Statistically has delivered here in truck-loads. In this part 1 of a promised 2 part analysis, Ford Bohrmann employs the Euro Club Index to determine the strength and imbalance of the elite leagues in 10 European nations.
"Which country has a stronger top flight, England or Spain? Which country has a more balanced top flight, Italy or Germany? How does the imbalance and strength of the EPL change across the different divisions? These questions are not easily answered."
Writing from Cairo, Moustafa El-Chiati and A Football Report takes a moving and empassioned view of the tragic and shocking events that took place on the 1st of February this year at Portsaid Stadium. Another poignant reminder of the ability for a sport loved by millions across the world, to become entangled in politics and provoke such frightening violence.
"Can this be rivalry? Is this football hooliganism? The answer is NO; it was the game of politics ruining the game of football."
Great work here from Nick Harris and Sporting Intelligence as he breaks down each of Lionel Messi's 234 Barcelona goals. Which club has he scored most often against? What has been his most common 'method' of scoring? How many of his goals were scored from penalties or free kicks?
"His most common ‘method’ of scoring is to take possession within the 18-yard box, either by running onto a through ball, or by finding space to collect another type of pass or pounce onto a rebound. Of the 234 goals, 145 were scored this way, or 61.97 per cent. These 145 goals include all his 12 headed goals."
In a challenging season for one of the Premier League's giants, Kane Prior and HoldingMidfield considers the economic foundations for long term success in the modern football climate and whether Arsenal employ a model that other clubs would do well to take note of.
"Arsenal may not get the results fans crave, but their consistency gives them steady revenue that can give them foundations for long term planning."
"Smaller leagues (outside the elite nations) seem to be more competitive ones. But perhaps the bigger question is whether fans welcome playing opponents more than twice in the league."
Dispatches from a Football Sofa take a look at the events and changeroom politics behind the sacking of Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas after a mere 9 months in the job. In a sporting landscape where more and more often we are seeing the tail wagging the dog, DFAFS asks the question : If players are allowed to play such an influential role in the hiring and firing of a manager, what is the point of appointing a manager at all?
"How distant those days seem when managers like Don Revie, Bill Shankly and Brian Clough epitomised the clubs they managed."
Tom Williams from Football Further takes a look at the commonalities and differences in the lineups and formations for each of the Quarter Finalists for this year's Champions League. Complete with diagrams, well worth a look before the Quarter Finals kickoff this week.
"All eight sides deployed four-man defences in their last-16 ties, while the majority of the teams preferred single-striker formations. Benfica and Milan were the only two teams to play with no wide midfielders."
BackPageFootball contributor Jack Devlin considers the debate over goal-line-technology, the Norwegian football association plans to ban players from speaking to referees during matches and considers retrospective penalties for diving players.
"Football fans are often strongly opposed to rule changes, believing that the game is sacred and should remain untouched. In truth, the game is constantly changing, usually for the better."
You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewBexpert
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I know you did. I am pretty sure you directed my attention toward it :)
Thanks Thomas. Yes, enjoyed that article too. The Two Unfortunates will no doubt feature in future lists. Quality work always.
Thanks for a great list, Andrew. I missed a lot of them. I really enjoyed this one too: Football – the last bastion of Social Democracy? http://thetwounfortunates.com/football-the-last-bastion-of-social-democracy/