Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mid-Week Reading

I’ve decided to continue my semi-break from the Fan-atic page for a few days longer. One reason is that these Euro qualifiers just don’t interest me at all; I CAN”T WAIT to get back to league football this weekend. Also, frankly, I am little busy in my “real life” job (I am a writer and editor in that life as well, but in that life I get paid to do stuff, so that comes first) so I’ve put football writing on the back-burner until I watch some meaningful games this weekend.

I did, however, want to draw your attention to two very fine articles on ESPN.com. The first is Roberto Gotta’s analysis of the Italian National Team head coaching job, and more specifically, an examination of the culture of Italian football and how difficult it is to make a success of oneself there. If you are like me (Series A is probably my favorite league at this point) this is a solid read.

The second article is a piece by the much-linked-to Phil Ball, who writes about his son’s U-12 league and uses this to explain the Spanish National Team. I stand by my often-made claim that Ball is one of the best writers in the business.

One final point: one of my good friends have suggested that I link to ESPN too much, and probably at the expense of other really good stuff out there. Perhaps he is right; it is true that I don’t often link to sites that I actually like very much, including sites based in England and Italy. I don’t link to ESPN as much as I do because I have the typical American worship of all things ESPN (in fact, I hardly watch the channel excepting Champions League matches) but because they are able to recruit and keep an extraordinary group of international writers. Their coverage of Spain and Italy, most obviously, is quite good, especially as we are an English speaking readership. Their English League coverage is weaker (I tend to go to the English newspapers for that) and, strangely enough, I thing CNNSI.com’s coverage of U.S. soccer knocks ESPN’s out of the park.

Anyway, I link to ESPN’s stuff often because I think it is good. You be the judge:

Phil Ball:


Roberto Gotta:


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