Sad to hear Dave Thomas has died. Ex-Ryder Cup golfer, twice an Open R-Up & co-designer of Belfry's Brabazon course. He was 79.—
Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) August 28, 2013
With its youth system, strong national team, and financial prudence as well as the entertaining style of football employed by both the country's international side and its top clubs, it's not difficult to understand why Germany has been branded a soccer success.
And it is. Just not as much as we perceive it to be. Yet.
While the march of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund to Wembley has been thrilling to watch, it's too early to tick the box marked "Era of German domination." FULL POST
Like “Knock knock” jokes, FIFA’s soccer world rankings have long been a source of amusement but the latest list, putting England above Italy and Denmark above Brazil, is an embarrassment to the world’s most popular sport.
Some aspects of the current top 10 make sense. Spain, the record-breaking European and world champions, have increased their lead in first place ahead of an entertaining Germany team.
After their disappointing displays at Euro 2012, the Netherlands have fallen to 8th while Italy – the surprise success story from the recent tournament in Poland and Ukraine – are back into the top 10 having risen to 6th place. FULL POST
London’s Olympic Games will be the poorer for David Beckham’s absence and his omission from Britain’s football squad highlights the lottery of selections based on subjectivity instead of results.
The fact that so many of the UK’s esteemed football writers - normally highly critical appraisers of sporting talent – have voiced their dismay on social networking sites shows how many experts recognized that Beckham’s place at the Olympics was about more than just his merit as a player.
Henry Winter of Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper wrote “Becks deserved more respect.” Matt Dickinson from The Times tweeted, “shocked by the Beckham news” while The Mirror’s John Cross said he was “Stunned – Beckham deserved it on every level.” FULL POST
You wouldn’t blame Mario Balotelli for digging out his “Why Always Me?” T-shirt after he was compared to King Kong by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
It was an ill-judged cartoon which proves, yet again, how much more attitudes in the football world need to change to stop black footballers being singled out for the color of their skin.
If a respected publication like Gazetta, which has been running for more than a century, can sanction an illustration comparing someone from an ethnic minority with a famous gorilla – even in jest – then is it any wonder that anti-racism campaigners remain dismayed by football’s attempts to eradicate the problem? FULL POST
Even just a few months ago, it would have been sporting heresy. Now, it was just a throwaway comment between colleagues in the office. “I’m bored with Spain.” I nodded in agreement - it was hard to argue.
Can it be true? Are we really getting tired of watching the world and European champions? An international side that echoes the quality of Barcelona; a team of footballing matadors with players who can humiliate their opponents, passing them to death and running them into the ground as they chase the ball in vain. FULL POST
I've never seen so many people make so little noise. For an hour, after Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout to win UEFA's Champions League, a silent throng of 40,000 red-shirted fans stumbled past me, faces fixed with an expression of stunned misery.
They weren't leaving the Allianz Arena, where the final was played, but Munich's Olympic stadium. Bayern's former home had sold out, even though the only football action on display there was on a giant screen.
From outside it sounded like a real match was going on inside and, for long periods, there were thunderous roars of approval as the local team dominated their English opponents. And that explains the shock; the empty stares as the Bayern faithful walked home wondering how on earth their team had lost. FULL POST