Browsing Archives of Author »Phil Dodds«

The Secret Diary of André Villas-Boas Pt. V

March 2, 2012

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Darling Joana was expertly preparing a jazzy mezze platter (we have the same every Friday after I return from training, although we do tend to rotate olive nationality). She danced, as she chopped, to ethereal Balearic pop. I looked her sternly in the face and professed my undying love for her, before turning my attentions […]

Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Barcelona

February 14, 2012

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First Half For a home side in a last-sixteen Champions League tie, Bayer Leverkusen were incredibly defensive. They employed a rigid, hard-working 4-1-4-1, trying to compress the space in the middle of the pitch. The defensive line started off 30 yards away from goal (with the midfield line a further 10-15 yards in front) and […]

TrawlerMeets: The Soccernomist

February 12, 2012

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Simon Kuper is the award-winning author of a string of influential football books, including Football Against the Enemy; The Dutch, The War: Football in Europe During the Second World War; and, perhaps most famously, 2009’s Why England Lose: And Other Curious Phenomena Explained (released in the USA under the title of Soccernomics). He has examined the […]

The Secret Diary of André Villas-Boas Pt. IV

January 30, 2012

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The smooth, cool January sun caressed my face like a feather as I sat contented on my patio, serenely sipping a rich, nourishing espresso. The Independent‘s latest Olympics exposé sat unopened in front of me, dutifully awaiting my attention. But my thoughts were already divided ‘twixt twin sources of comfort. On the lawn, my radiant […]

Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United: Carroll is Key

January 28, 2012

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A tense, frenetic, and occasionally ugly game was settled ultimately by Liverpool’s aerial superiority. Both teams started with a lone striker, and neither made a particularly assertive attempt to attack the other in the first half, although Manchester United comfortably dominated the possession. This was partly because Jamie Carragher featured as the holding player in […]

Paying Homage to Catalonia

January 27, 2012

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The fawning Phil Dodds is full of praise for FC Barcelona. They’re always positive, idealistic, yet ruthless and never naive. They’re incredibly effective, but the opposite of “functional.” Their play is never aimless, but their passing is an end in itself. They’re champions, high achievers, perennial winners. While the 5-0 victory in last season’s Clasico […]

Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona – Copa Del Rey QF First Leg

January 18, 2012

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These games are a real highlight in the footballing, nay, cultural calendar. The speed and intensity of the drama, coupled with the exceptional technical and mental prowess exhibited by the competitors, make even cup quarter final first-legs between Real Madrid and Barcelona, the best two teams in the world, unmissable. First half: Tactical line-ups: The […]