Extra refs could do more
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 29, 12:51 a.m.
Thanks to Michel Platini, we now have two extra officials on the field at Champions League games. This is an experiment, you understand. To get the boasting out of the way, it also happens to be an experiment that I suggested in a SoccerTalk column back in 1977 when, basing my idea on the fact that baseball added extra officials ...
Steve loves Roy ... pity about the goal, though
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 27, 12:07 a.m.
I always had a problem trying to decide whether I admired Steve Bruce as a player or not. On the minus side was the fact that he was almost a caricature of the typical English central defender (OK, a center half, then). Strong, tall, not all that mobile, a hard tackler (to excess, at times) and -- of course, of ...
Soccer's out-of-date word game
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 24, 12:18 a.m.
For a long time now I have been intrigued by the connection between how we talk about the game of soccer, and how we play it. It seems to me that the vocabulary always lags way behind on-the-field developments.
Did MLS Let Henry Off the Hook?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 22, 1:15 a.m.
What on earth is one to make of the Thierry Henry-Kevin Hartman incident? Well, firstly you have to sympathize with Hartman, who didn't do anything wrong -- barely did anything at all, actually -- but ended up with a knee injury that will apparently keep him benched for several weeks.
The ugly truth behind Lionel Messi's injury
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 20, 12:55 a.m.
The sight we did not want to see -- but, alas, one that seemed destined to be set before our eyes -- arrived on Sunday, at the very end of the Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona game ... Lionel Messi, clutching his head, being carried off the field on a stretcher, his right foot, stripped of shoe and sock, showing a ...
Barcelona and Arsenal show how it's done
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 17, 1:07 a.m.
We've been very lucky people lately -- thanks to the marvels of television, the past 10 days have brought us three wonderful games. There was the Argentina 4, Spain 1 friendly, which I have already commented on. This past week we've seen two UEFA Champions League games -- first, there was Barcelona romping to a 5-1 win over Panathinaikos (Greece), ...
Toronto belatedly ends Mo's reign of error
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 15, 12:48 a.m.
The longest, most drawn-out, most difficult to understand mystery in MLS has finally ended. The guys at Maple Leaf Sports up in Toronto have finally had their fill of Mo Johnston, and have given him the old heave-ho.
Wanted: An MLS Cup without rottweilers
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 13, 2:17 a.m.
If MLS adhered, more or less, to what are regarded as the "standard" regulations for playing a soccer season. And if the MLS season were to be finished right now ... then we just had the final this past weekend.
Need a laugh? Try FIFA's World Cup Technical Report
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 11, 6:03 p.m.
I suppose I ought to take the FIFA Technical Study Group seriously. It is, after all an assembly of "18 experts from all around the world who have gained experience as players, national team coaches or football analysts." Their task is to "document developments and trends in international" soccer.
Soccer -- The way it ought to be
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 8, 12:50 a.m.
Argentina 4, Spain 1. An extravagant scoreline -- certainly an emphatic one from the Argentine point of view. But hardly an honest one, for there was plenty of activity from the Spanish -- including three shots that hit the Argentine goalposts.
'Magic' in coaching not to be dismissed
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 6, 12:27 p.m.
Sooner or later, Jose Mourinho -- a man much given to speaking his mind -- was bound to say something interesting, something that wasn't merely yet another way of telling the world that he is "the special one."
What's so special -- or stressful -- about coaching the USA?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 3, 6:47 p.m.
Bruce Arena, I see, has been speaking up in defense of Bob Bradley. That's nice -- coming to the defense of a friend is always an admirable thing to do.
Banality Bob Returns ... And how!
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 1, 1:17 a.m.
Coming up, four more years of Bob Bradley. One thing is fairly certain -- they won't exactly be exciting years. Bradley seems to think they will be -- "I'm very, very excited to continue in the role as the head coach of the United States" is what he has to say about it.