Mike Roberts

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

1950s Month: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (via The Equaliser)

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Very readable article by Rob Doolan. West Germany’s triumph was also immortalised in two films: Sönke Wortmann’s ‘Das Wunder von Bern’ and the very end of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s ‘The Marriage of Maria Braun’.

1950s Month: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Rob Doolan In 1954, football came home. Sort of. The selection of Switzerland as the venue for the fifth World Cup finals had less to do with practicality and more to do with the Swiss-based FIFA's 50th anniversary celebrations. Yet in many ways it was fitting that the land of the cuckoo clock provided the setting for the most barking mad World Cup in history. Switzerland ’54 produced, amid a good deal of fine football, controversy, violence a … Read More

via The Equaliser

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Can Malmo Win The Allsvenskan Again?

In Swedish Allsvenskan on March 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm

The 2011 Allsvenskan could be very competitive this season – any team from the top half of last season’s final table could be in with a chance of winning the title, but Malmö fans expecting their club to repeat their 2010 success might be disappointed.

Last season’s competition turned into a two horse race between Malmö and Helsingborgs, with the Himmelsblått eventually winning the title for the first time since 2004. Djurgården were the last club to win consecutive Allsvenskans almost ten seasons ago, so although another title for reigning champions isn’t out of the question it’s not exactly nailed on either.

So which teams are likely to challenge Malmö in 2011? Well, although Trelleborg, Mjällby, Häcken and Örebro all finished in the top half of the table last season, none of those clubs have ever won the Allsvenskan. Mjällby’s sixth place finish last season was their best ever placing in the championship and given Häcken’s recent history in the Allsvenskan they’ll probably be happy to avoid relegation.

Örebro finished in third place in 2011 and their success was based on a stingy defence – fourteen clean sheets in 30 games – but they struggled to score away from home and only earned one point from the fifteen available against other top six sides in 2010.

If Helsingborg can repeat last season’s form then they could win the title for the first time since 1999 but it’ll be interesting to see how both Elfsborg (winners in 2006) and IFK Göteborg (2007 champions) respond this season. Elfsborg have finished in the top four in the last five seasons but drew too many away games in 2010: the last time IFK Göteborg finished outside the top five they won the title the following season.

The two promoted clubs have taken very different paths to the Allsvenskan: twelve times title winners Norrköping return to the top flight after two seasons in the Superettan but Syrianska FC are making their debut, having been promoted twice in the last three seasons.

Rosenborg’s Record Goes: Stabaek Lose 7-0

In Norwegian Tippeligaen on March 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm

On Friday night Sarpsborg 08 got off to a winning campaign with a 3-0 over the team that may become known as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s Molde FK, but the real shocks came on Sunday.

Stabæk lost 7-0 at home to Lillestrøm, having not lost at home to the Canaries in any competition since September 2009. The visitors – managed by former Blackburn, Manchester United and Rangers defender Henning Berg – were three up at half time and six of their goals came from Nigerian strikers Anthony Ujah and Nosa Emanuel Igiebor. Lillestrøm’s win at Stabæk is their biggest away win since they beat 2. Divisjon Brumunddal 6-1 in the Norwegian Cup last May. Stabæk had won the last two home games last season and had won all four of their pre-season friendlies at the Telenor Stadium before the season started, including a 3-0 win over Spanish second division side FC Cartagena.

If that was an unexpected result, Rosenborg’s first defeat in the league since October 2009 came at Brann, who hadn’t beaten the Trolls since August 2007, the last time the hosts won the Tippeligaen. Goals from Kim Ojo – another Nigerian striker – and Bjørnar Holmvik gave the hosts a 2-0 half time lead, Mushaga Bakenga got a goal back after 68 minutes but that was the end of the scoring and the end of Rosenborg’s winning streak. As Rosenborg defeats don’t happen very often, here’s what could be a very historical piece of film…

With the national side in action against Denmark on Saturday night, the Tippeligaen resumes on April 1st and Week 2 has some interesting matches – two games feature unbeaten sides (Strømsgodset travel to Start on Saturday and Lillestrøm entertain Brann on Monday night) and two feature teams that opened the season with a defeat. Odd Grenland have lost their last four visits to Sogndal but after being battered 7-0 the last team Stabæk will want to face is Rosenborg.

A Blogin Blog Directory

Another Title For Rosenborg?

In Norwegian Tippeligaen on March 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Only another couple of weeks to go before league football in Norway gets underway and the main question is whether Rosenborg can win their 23rd title.

The unbeaten Trolls won the Tippeligaen comfortably in 2010 – by finishing seven points ahead of Valerenga, they claimed a remarkable seventeenth title in 20 seasons and are the bookies favourites to win again in 2011. Reminiscent of FC Porto‘s form in the Portuguese league this season, Rosenborg’s success came as a result of defensive fortitude away from home: they kept five clean sheets on the road in 2010 and haven’t lost an away league game since a defeat at Lillestrom in October 2008…thirty games ago.

It’s not that difficult to see where Rosenborg’s main competition will come from. Despite finishing second, Valerenga actually had a better home record than the champions but were horrible on the road. For example, they lost 3-1 to Honefoss (who were eventually relegated) and ‘only’ beat bottom club Sandefjord 1-0.

Tromso – who finished 11 points behind Valerenga in third place and qualified for next season’s Europa League – had a superb defensive record at the Alfheim Stadium, but struggled to score goals.

Looking beyond last season’s top three, none of the other thirteen teams look capable of mounting much of a challenge. Haugesund only lost once at home, but only won three times on their travels and although Stromsgodset IF are capable of another ten win season at the Marienlyst Stadium, they’re equally as likely to lose ten games on the road.

Of the newly promoted sides, two have had recent experience at this level. Sogndal won the Adeccoligaen last season and will be making their first appearance in the Tippeligaen since 2004; Fredrikstad only spent one season in the second tier after relegation in 2009, but Sarpsborg 08 are universal favourites to go straight back down – they only escaped relegation from the Adeccoligaen in 2007 when Raufoss had their professional license revoked.

Sarpsborg and Molde start the new season off on 18th March at 6:00pm GMT but the second round of games doesn’t start until the beginning of April.

Quick Hash: Chelsea 2, Man United 1

In Premier League on March 2, 2011 at 11:25 am

United took the lead, David Luiz equalised (and he’s a defender, not a striker), he should have been sent off, it wasn’t a penalty, Vidic probably deserved to be sent off etc.

Holding Page

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2011 at 10:24 am

Holding page – redesign imminent!