Whatever happens over the next few weeks and months, FC Barcelona seems to believe that it will always be able to choose which league it plays in. Even if Catalans opted to leave Spain, Barça believes that Spain will never want to stop watching El Clásico. … [Read more...] about Where would FC Barcelona be in an independent Catalonia?
Hazard a real madrid
How to beat a team which had won 30 of its previous 31 league matches How to score against a defence which hadn’t conceded in six games How to achieve this with a team second best in every position - and without key individuals How to defend against specific threats and offer counter-attacking potential How to prevent Trent Alexander-Arnold's creative influence and stop Andy Robertson causing overloads United took a point from their last match against Liverpool by setting up in a 3-4-1-2, deploying two wing-backs to push high on opposition full-backs and limit their creative capacity, absorb pressure and hit them on the break. That same plan couldn't be relied upon to work again, especially considering the tactical changes Jurgen Klopp enacted after that 1-1 draw, having his players regularly rotate positions to avoid being marked out of the game as United did. … [Read more...] about What Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried to do against Liverpool, why it worked and what else he could have done
Soon after, Charlton drifted down the left again, standing one up at the far stick this time. Bell planted his header wide from close range. On the hour, Charlton’s blocked shot from the edge of the D fell to Lorimer, who sent a low heatseeker twanging off Netzer’s post. Then with 70 minutes on the clock, a satisfyingly all-star cast were involved in the clincher. Giles, Emlyn Hughes and Charlton combined to win a corner out on the right. Lorimer hit the set piece deep. Bell looped it back in from the left. Ball headed down, teeing up Colin Stein to sweep home from close range. … [Read more...] about Charlton v Netzer: when stars faced off to celebrate the UK joining Europe
When I was a member of the Pennsylvania State University Quiz Bowl Club, we would pool our money to rent a car, drive across two or three states and stay in a cheap motel near another university that was hosting a tournament. We would lug along “the Judge” – a buzzer set built into a briefcase, with protruding red and green lights, looking for all the world like a B-movie bomb. (If you brought along your own buzzer, you got $5 or $10 knocked off your registration fee.) All weekend, our squad of four played half-hour University Challenge-style games against other teams, buzzing individually on 10-point questions and conferring on 30-point bonuses. The scorelines often ran tight, but the real drama was private, internal: the mortification at buzzing wrongly on a question your teammate surely knew; the glee at encountering a question your team had come across in practice only the previous week. Nominally, the tournament produced a champion: the team that had won the most … [Read more...] about Question time: my life as a quiz obsessive
Peter ConradAcademic, author and Observer critic In Moments That Made the Movies (Thames & Hudson), David Thomson, with his all-seeing eyes, analyses details in favourite films that the rest of us, no matter how well we know them, have overlooked. Richard Havers' and Herbie Hancock's Verve: The Sound of America (Thames & Hudson) turns the story of a record label into a gloriously lively history of jazz; the book's design almost makes you hear the music as you read. Julie Maxwell's novel These Are Our Children (Quercus) is an obstetric tragicomedy, both harrowing and hilarious, about the traumas we experience and the pain we cause as we struggle to get into the world. … [Read more...] about The Observer’s books of the year