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Transfer deadline extravaganza!!! September 2, 2013

Posted by michaeltomlinson in Dutch soccer, English soccer, European soccer, French soccer, German soccer, Italian soccer, Spanish soccer, Transfer news.
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The unofficial FIFA Transfer deadline day thread, unofficially endorsed by Sepp Blatter’s jowls!

– Mesut Ozil just needs to pass a physical in Munich and he is set for a $42 million dollar move to Arsenal. It is said the he is set to make 6 million a year under the terms of his new contract with the North London club.                                                                                                         —          UPDATE 1: Check out Real Madrid fan’s chanting “Don’t sell Ozil as Perez announces Bale. What is his reaction you ask? To “Shhhhh” them of course. This is a must watch!


 

– Everton head man, Roberto Martinez isn’t ruling out keeping Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini amidst multiple reports Manchester United are keen on signing him. If this is true there reports this could free up $15 million necessary for the Toffees to bring Porto man, Fernando to the Merseyside.

– UNIMPRESSIVE MANCHESTER CITY NEWS!
Manchester City’s 20-year-old striker Harry Bunn joins Sheffield United on a month’s loan, according to the Premier League club’s Twitter feed. (external) In addition, 21-year-old midfielder Mohammed Abu joins Denmark’s Aarhus until the end of December.

– Liverpool has seemingly lost out to Atletico Madrid for the services of Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld. The talented 24 year old Belgian centerback spurned offers from many English sides to join Atletico for an undisclosed fee.

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Even Ottoman geography doesn’t make sense of Capello’s five-Turk claim December 30, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer, German soccer, The World Cup.
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Fabio Capello’s recent tirade about “player threft” is so surreally bizarre it’s difficult to know where even to begin with it.

Capello apparently said regarding the last World Cup, “Germany had five of Turkish origin who opted to represent them and we all know what happened.”

That’s not true. Germany had only two, Serdar Tasci and Mesut Ozil, at the last World Cup. The Soccernet article quoting Capello makes the very gentle assumption that, when Capello said “Germany,” what he meant was “Germany and Switzerland,” meaning that the three Swiss players of Turkish origin could be counted as well.

It’s bizarre enough that Capello can’t keep the distinction between Central European countries clear in his head. Did he even know what players Germany was fielding against him in the World Cup round of 16? Which five did he think were Turkish, or did he assume he was facing the combined national team of Germany and Switzerland? Is he using a bizarre, outdated definition of “Turkish”? If we define Turkey as “the former Ottoman Empire,” we can squeeze in only two more “players of Turkish origin” (Sami Khedira and Marko Marin).

Podolski Sucks November 25, 2011

Posted by michaeltomlinson in European soccer, German soccer.
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ehhhh

Oh Hey

In case you missed it Koln was dismantled 3-0 today by Gladbach. If anyone questioned if Lucas Podolski’s heart was still in it, i’m not sure he even has a kidney involved in the equation at this point. Not too sure how that statement makes sense but I enjoy the way it sounds. Just like the word Endoplasmic Reticulum.

Olympiakos-Dortmund makes it to NPR. October 20, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Champions League, German soccer.
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Here’s a quote from this National Public Radio segment about debates regarding what the European Union will do about Greek debt:

Here in Athens, the Greeks did have one small consolation: their soccer team Olympiakos had a big win against the German Borussia Dortmund team, and sports headlines today called this “the revenge on the Germans.”

Not being European, I hadn’t thought about it in that context, but maybe that’s a more cogent answer to the question “What in the Dickens is happening to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League?” than “What indeed?” which is basically the answer given in point five of Amy Lawrence’s list of five lessons from the midweek Champions League games in today’s Guardian. A football-as-catharsis moment, a one-off caused by outside factors like Helleno-German tension. On the other hand, what the Dickens is happening to Borussia Dortmund?

Why is the German league messing around with the offside rule? October 20, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in German soccer, International soccer.
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ESPN’s Uli Hesse wrote Tuesday about recent problems interpreting the offside rule in the Bundesliga.

“The German FA’s referees had visited the clubs before the season to inform players and coaches that passive offside would be penalised much more often in the future,” Hesse wrote. “This new directive was the result of a seminar held in May, known as the FIFA Referee Assistance Program, meant to make this particular refereeing decision less of a judgment call.”

Why?

The modern offside rule, Jonathan Wilson has written, is a “work of genius.” All of a sudden, passing, possession, technique and, in short, all the things considered beautiful in the sport, have replaced physicality as the dominant mode of modern soccer. Soccer is better now because of the liberalization of the offside law. That is to say, this has pretty much been the only thing FIFA has gotten right this century. And now FIFA is trying to undermine it. Insane.

Three things that went through my head during Bayern Munich v. Bayer Leverkusen September 24, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in German soccer.
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The big man up front.

1. I thought Anatoly Tymoshchuk was supposed to be a bad passer. Does anyone else remember this? When Bayern dropped Tymoshchuk and then later converted him to a center back, I thought that was because he was too slow to release the ball. Against Leverkusen, he definitely got all the time he liked to pick out a ball, but I could find no fault with his vision, timing or technique. The pass of the night was his long diagonal to find Thomas Muller on the right flank. Did I remember wrong, were his critics wrong, or has he just completely changed his game since he left Shakhtar Donestsk?

2. Bayern was so dominant it was boring. Is this what it’s like to watch Barcelona if you’re not a fan? I found the wit of Toni Kroos’ deliveries, Bastian Schweinsteiger’s dynamism and the aforementioned Tymoshchuk passes satisfying, but by and large there wasn’t much to hold on to. I went and did something else during the second half.

3. Mario Gomez, near-dinosaur. The ESPN commentator claimed it would take 200 million Euros to pry the striker from Bayern’s clutches, but that’s surely delusional. Gomez lives just on the cusp of top-level obsolescence. Though he is clever and aware, he is not a creator, and he lacks the searing pace of many top big-man forwards. He only gets away with this because he is both a flawless goal-poacher and a perfect target man; that is, a composite of both the traditional roles of a number nine. But there’s a reason those two roles are both near-anachronisms. Bayern uses Gomez correctly — it takes iron discipline to avoid lumping the ball at such a willing target when the ideas dry up — but he limits the team. You get the sense that crossing the ball for Gomez is the only way they’ll score from open play. He can only stretch a defense horizontally, across its box, rather than vertically, either by forcing it to turn or by tempting defenders upfield by dropping deep. They know dropping deep would be a waste of Gomez’s time. I don’t think any nine-figure offers are going to be coming in for him.

Am I falling in love with German soccer? August 27, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in German soccer.
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Is this the future?

I just had an almost religious experience, my first German league game in three or four years. It may have been a scoreless draw, but there was something uniquely compelling about Bayer Leverkusen v. Borussia Dortmund. I’m used to the rancor and staleness of English soccer or the foregone conclusions of Spanish soccer, but this was different. There is something positive about German soccer that goes beyond the field, an atmospheric feelgood factor.

It could have been that this was an exciting game between two very aggressive teams. Dortmund is, on that evidence, certainly one of the top four teams in the world. Leverkusen also has a lot of zip and promise about it, and Andre Schuerrle is especially exciting.

I think I may be converted. I had so much fun watching that game and I want more … although it wouldn’t surprise me if Augsburg v. Kaiserslautern, for example, was a good deal less exciting.

Bayer Leverkusen v. Borussia Dortmund halftime thoughts August 27, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in German soccer.
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  • Michal Kadlec is having a decent game against Mario Goetze, but his yellow card was a reminder that defenders are only really allowed one mistake.
  • Sometimes, it seems, Mats Hummels tries too many Hollywood passes.
  • I haven’t watched a German soccer game in years and this is the first time I’ve seen this Borussia Dortmund team. I’m floored by their quality. In particular I am impressed with Ilkay Gundogan, Goetze, Hummels and Neven Subotic.
  • Stefan Kiessling would be perfect for the Premiership.
  • The game’s restarting, so I’m going to return to it.

Tae Se on Bochum bus game consoles: “Great! Too Great!!” August 27, 2010

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Asian soccer, German soccer.
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Our favorite North Korean covert operative in Germany takes his first ride on VfL Bochum’s bus and is ecstatic to discover built in PlayStation controllers on it. Expect a similar feature in North Korea’s secret drill.

Jong scores! August 24, 2010

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Asian soccer, German soccer.
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Deviously charming tears

North Korea’s sneakiest bid to conquer the world: 1. do not give a picture of the Bergbaumuseum Bochum, in the German town of Bochum, as close a look as necessary; 2. Mistake it for the world’s largest subterranean drill; 3. Dispatch a crack engineer-cum-spy to steal the blueprints; 4. Build a giant drill that will allow socialism to burrow deep into South Korea.

That spy is, of course, Jong Tae Se, and he has three levels of cover. First, he has found the most unassuming of cover jobs: crack striker for VfL Bochum. Second, he maintains a charming blog that will doubtless convince everyone he’s a sweet guy. Third, he pretends to love Hummers so much nobody will suspect him of being a hardcore commie.

Today, he burnished his cover by blasting two headers past 1860 Munich to lead Bochum to a 3-2 win. Typically, he added extra polish to the cover with an exuberant little blog post, excerpted below in all its pluck:

13分 ボーフム (Minute 13: Bochum)

23分 1860ミュンヘン (Minute 23: 1860 Munich)

38分 テセ! (Minute 38: Tae Se!)

46分 テセ!! (Minute 46: Tae Se!!)

59分 1860ミュンヘン (Minute 59: 1860 Munich)
テセは4-5-1の1トップでスタメンフル出場! (Tae Se played alone up front in a 4-5-1!)

シュート3本での2ゴール!! (He shot three times for two goals!!)

Something must be done, before the blueprints fall into the wrong hands. South Koreans: if you hear any rumbling under the ground, know that it is already too late and also extremely improbable.