Day: July 13, 2011

Doing It For A Good Cause: 13/07/2011

It’s Wednesday evening, so it’s time to take a moment out from the game of football itself in order to give a little time over to good causes that are working within the game of football in order to help those less fortunate than others. We have said this on this page before, but it bears repeating: football can carry a very negative image, and even those of us that really love the game are aware of many of the ills that surround it. However, as a reflection of society itself, it is also capable of a great deal of good. It seems appropriate that we should continue to push those that are trying to use the game for positive reasons. This week, we have a charity group made up of the supporters of one of England’s most financially stricken clubs, an initiative which uses football to help with those that suffer from dementia and a charity walk in aid of Cancer Research. Le Testimonial: The continuing travails of Plymouth Argyle have been well-documented on the pages of this site over the last few months and the club is a subject that we will be returning to very shortly. Perhaps less well-publicised has been the good work carried out by the supporters of the club over recent months. We reported on here before about the fund-raising effort to raise...

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The 2011 Womens World Cup: The Quarter Finals

So often in major international tournaments, the knock-out stages are where the rot starts to set in, even though they are supposed to be where the tournament ‘hots up.’ Thankfully, the 2011 Women’s World Cup quarter-finals were more hot than rot. In truth, although the group stages produced a lot of watchable football, they lacked a bit of bite and intensity at times. But there was bite and intensity about three of the quarters, an almighty shock in the fourth and quite probably the tournament’s ‘signature’ match, the impossibly dramatic USA/Brazil encounter. Sweden will be the freshest legs and faces in the semi-finals, with their 3-1 quarter-final victory bereft of extra-time and… well… bite and intensity. And they are the only semi-finalists yet to be beaten, which can’t have happened that often in sixteen-team tournaments. Pre-match talk from Australia centred on the “Matildas’” tactical and formational flexibility. But lining-up without a right full-back and a discernible central midfield proved a tactical innovation too far, the Swedes refusing to be blinded by science and driving through midfield and crossing from the left at every opportunity. Their first goal was a neat move which met with the sort of round of applause from the Sunday lunchtime crowd in Augsburg that you’d normally associate with England cricket fans appreciating a well-run three by Jonathan Trott. There’s a clue in the words ‘Sunday...

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The 2011 Womens World Cup: A Possible Revolutionary Encounter

Back in 1950, Harry Keough perhaps summarised best the general attitude toward the quality of the American game that might still hold true in some quarters of the international football community. After the postal worker and semi-professional defender considered England’s now legendary 1-0 loss to the US in Belo Horizonte, he quipped, “Boy, I feel sorry for these bastards. How are they ever going to live down the fact we beat them?” The sentiment has remained somewhat applicable historically, as the US failed to qualify for another World Cup for another four decades, seemingly comfortable to allow the world’s game to pass it by while busy playing baseball, basketball, and its own variety of football. Of course, this strictly pertains to the national men’s team, as the women’s program has been one of the most dominant in the history of international women’s football. Currently ranked the top nation by FIFA and with two World Cups on their mantle, we have come to expect the US women to be successful at an international event much as we anticipate the Spanish men’s program to win everything in sight. Considering the Americans have more World Cups than England overall, perhaps those bastards are still sorry they lost back in 1950. For in this 2011 Women’s World Cup, the Lionesses were unable to chance adding to England’s 1966 men’s trophy after they lost...

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