Outdoor Smartphone binaere Optionen Mytoys Gutscheincode 2013
Last week’s post lamented the dwindling power of Serie A and the sickening trend of Italian clubs being outgunned in the transfer market by their French rivals (‘filled to the brim with bitterness’ as one happy reader described it). This led to some further eulogising on Twitter about the competitiveness of Serie A in its heyday between the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Looking back at results and standings during this period, I was struck by the top scorers in the 1991/92 season, and the hilarious quality of the names featured in it:
25 goals: Marco van Basten (Milan)
18 goals: Roberto Baggio (Juventus)
16 goals Francesco Baiano (Foggia)
15 goals Careca (Napoli)
Gabriel Batistuta (Fiorentina)
Karl-Heinz Riedle (Lazio)
Rubén Sosa (Lazio)
12 goals: Gianfranco Zola (Napoli)
David Platt England (Bari)
Giuseppe Signori (Foggia)
Tomáš Skuhravý (Genoa)
Gianluca Vialli (Sampdoria)
This was a time when getting into double figures was an achievement, which makes van Basten’s haul all the more insane. But, what really caught my attention was the presence of two Foggia players featured on the list, Francesco Baiano and Guiseppe Signori. Continue reading
I have no idea when the rivalry between France and Italy started. I was oblivious to it growing up despite my father’s Italian heritage. He didn’t seem bothered by the French, in fact he seemed to quite like the place – we went on holiday there several times (in hindsight I’m pretty sure this must have got the relatives talking in hushed tones).
It wasn’t until I was older and noticed the frequently derisory remarks aimed at all things French by my Italian friends that I realised such a rivalry existed. Culture, food, wine – Italian was always better. When I was planning to visit Florence a few years ago, one friend felt the need to suggest the model who posed for Michelangelo’s David was French, on account of his small penis, obviously. Knob gags aside, there’s one area that Italians have never felt remotely threatened by the French – football. Sure, the French have had some good players, but there’s only national team in blue with legendary status in the game, and they don’t have a cockerel on their badge. Italy are 4-1 up in World Cups, and to further emphasise their dominance in the sport, Italian clubs are 12-1 up in European Cups. Suck it up, France.
It’s debatable whether Coventry City are the most depressing club in England, but they’ve got to be up there at the moment. Yes, they won the Cup in ’87, but Coventry fans under 30 won’t remember much about that, and since then the Sky Blues have been painting a horrifically bleak landscape. Think ‘The Road‘ but bleaker. This is a Club that has been dying for over a decade.
For a while it was happening so slowly it was easy to ignore and pretend that everything was ok. But, everything is not ok. The Football League has just given consent for Coventry to play their home fixtures at Northampton Town, about 35 miles away. Coventry have been forced to explore such options because they’ve been booted out of their previous home, the Ricoh Arena, due to unpaid rent.
The Ricoh – Coventry’s home since 2005 – started out as Coventry’s brave new world. The logic was that you need a new stadium to make more money, and the bigger the better – former Chairman Bryan Richardson’s initial plan was for a 45,000 seat monster with a sliding roof. But, Richardson’s insane superdome vision was never realised. Coventry were relegated from the top flight in 2001 and without Premier League revenues the plans had to be scaled down. Who’d have thought a team that had been flirting with relegation since the dawn of man would actually get relegated one day.
Jose Mourinho wins things everywhere he goes, so why isn’t he universally hailed as a master? The answer, apparently, is legacy, or Mourinho’s lack of it. His critics allege he is a short-term manager, brought in to achieve instant success but with no thought for tomorrow. He is not a Ferguson or Guardiola, planning for a future several seasons from now. He is destructive, and when he leaves clubs his teams rapidly disintegrate, and so on – you’ve probably heard or seen this argument elsewhere. And, Mourinho himself felt the need to talk about leaving a legacy at Chelsea in his ‘welcome home’ press conference. Why should one of the most successful managers of the past decade feel the need to talk in this way?
Mourinho’s record is ridiculous – a quick reminder of what he has won (deep breath): two Champions Leagues; a UEFA Cup; two Premier League titles; two Serie A titles; two Portuguese Primeira Liga titles; one La Liga title; AND he’s won the main domestic cup competition in each of the four countries he’s worked in, along with a handful of lesser cups. Ok?
But, the beef with Mourinho is that all that silver treasure comes at a cost. I’m not convinced.
I think I had Luis Suarez in mind when I thought of this thread for my blog. Think of a highly skilled footballer who will mostly be remembered for being an utter bastard, and Suarez will be near the top of your list. It was almost too obvious, but seeing as he’s planning to move on from Liverpool this summer, I think the time is right to reflect on his time there. I don’t know if he’s updated his C.V. yet, but it’s going to make an interesting read for the HR department at Real Madrid.
Liverpool, 2011-2013. Key achievements:
- Banned for eight games for racially insulting Patrice Evra.
- Controversial t-shirts featuring my image condemned by anti-racism group.
- Generated enormous media shit storm after refusing to shake hands with Patrice Evra at Old Trafford.
- Manager sacked after spending season tirelessly defending me.
- Banned for ten games for feasting on Branislav Ivanovic.
I know, he’s scored some pretty good goals too, but that’s not what most of us will remember, apart from his beloved fans, for whom this has been a difficult time. True to form, they’ve managed to express their feelings via the medium of hilariously bad poetry (this particular gem is adapted from David Brent’s Princess Di song in The Office): Continue reading