Author Archives: santapelota

Tabula Rasa for Irish Football

An unusual dally into the world of Irish football, of which I write with scant credential. Having borne no sentimental attachment to the national game, though like many people I cannot have been unaware of its presence growing up in … Continue reading

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Protecting Pirlo

  The great regista is a revered figure and would be warmly applauded were he to culminate his stellar career with a third European crown. But does his inclusion make his team more vulnerable?   It appears a sleight, such … Continue reading

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How do you solve a problem like Rakitic?

Summer came, then went and Luis Enrique hit the ground running. To the strains all throughout of excited titter among Barça-watchers as to what new idea would be birthed. One or two pre-season training sessions were enough to give the the … Continue reading

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Reflections on Spain’s Elimination

    In the end, everybody with a million-and-one darts to aim at Spain, at Vicente Del Bosque and at a particular footballing-philosophy could feel smug. But it is too easy to damn someone ‘a toro pasado’, as the Spanish say … Continue reading

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Barcelona oscillate between verticality and ball-retention in a post-Xavi world

The Club World Cup has come to represent a watermark for Barcelona teams in different phases of their sporting shelf-lives. In 2006, Ronaldinho was anonymous, as he had been since the team’s Champions’ League-and-Liga winning heights a few months previously, … Continue reading

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Pellegrini’s Málaga continues to surprise

Málaga’s midfield diamond one of the tactical surprises of 2012-13 Rebirth of Joaquin in a forward role A deeper role and increased responsibility for Lucas Piazon Pellegrini disproves the notion that a narrow midfield is necessarily vulnerable to width. We’re … Continue reading

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Corinthians: brilliance in solidity

Corinthians truly are the sum of their parts but they will need to buy themselves time inside Chelsea’s half to do justice to the nature of their football Incision, precision and an ability to maintain shape both when attacking and … Continue reading

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