Jurgen Klopp has been the subject of much speculation this weekend.
back when Jurgen Klopp used to smile a bit more
Though football isn’t renowned for its measured analysis of difficult times, it has been confusing and disappointing to see the amount of angst and headscratching involved in assessing the hard times suffered by Dortmund these past few weeks.
Manager Brendan Rodgers was allowed leeway to argue that the departure of a single player, Luis Suarez, had set back his project — leaving his team underperforming in both league and Champions League.
Pound for pound, the troubles which Klopp has had to cope with in the past two seasons dwarf that.
This season, Dortmund are without one of the top strikers in the world in Lewandowski. That follows the loss — also to Bayern — of World Cup Final-winning scorer Mario Gotze.
Now let’s ladle on top of that the many months spent without a handful of Dortmund’s other key players: Ilkay Gundogan, Reus, Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels and Jakub Błaszczykowski. It would be the equivalent of Barcelona being stripped of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba.
Where the uninitiated have shown least comprehension is in failing to understand that because Hummels and Subotic have returned, it doesn’t suggest that they are even close to their best form — which is partially why Dortmund, who have rarely dominated in their poor domestic run, keep losing very soft goals.here
Tale of the tape re: Dortmund
Sir Ian McKellon: "Roy Hodgson not living in the real world"
A few days before our interview, the England manager, Roy Hodgson, said in a speech at the Cambridge University Union and in an accompanying interview in the student newspaper that he did not know what "LGBT" meant. He also admitted to being "naive on the subject" as it is "not my world".
He further claimed never to have met a gay player, but maintained that football had made "great strides" against homophobic discrimination.
"That man is not living in the real world," says McKellen, now sitting upstairs in a private room, with only public relations people lurking ominously. "He's too absorbed in his own world, and clearly it's a world in which to be gay is not an easy thing. Five hundred professional soccer players in this country and not one of them out?" McKellen spits the words, a throat-grabbing soliloquy only just beginning.read more here
Fifa confirms 2022 World Cup in Qatar is likely to be held in winter
The Fifa secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, said on Monday: “We are getting closer to narrowing the dates for the World Cup to two options – January-February 2022 or November-December 2022 – but Fifa has also been asked to consider May 2022. rest of story here
Chelsea Fans Angry At Mourinho
Chelsea fans have hit back at Blues boss, Jose Mourinho, after the Portuguese claimed that playing at Stamford Bridge was like ‘playing in an empty stadium’.
Mourinho criticized the noise level of his side’s fans, but Tim Rolls, a Blues Fans’ representative, has explained the complaints are a consequence of younger fans being priced out.
“I think the manager's criticisms were slightly ill-advised because the fans pay good money to watch highly-paid footballers,” Rolls said.
“I don’t think criticising the fans when the team is top of the league helps.
“Maybe the team didn’t play particularly well and he was seeking to deflect attention. Mourinho will have alienated some people. Others will have agreed with him.
"We've got a situation at Chelsea and at other grounds where the atmosphere probably isn't as good as it used to be.
"But there are clear reasons for that around the age of the supporter base. It's £50-plus to go, and young people - who are the most likely to sing and make noise - have been priced out of the game.
"Until the clubs recognise that and do something about affordable pricing for young people and creating sections of the ground where they can sing and make some noise then the situation is unlikely to improve." read the story here
Emirates airline pulls out of backing Fifa and could be followed by Sony
Emirates airline has become the first of Fifa’s major sponsors to end its relationship with world football’s governing body since corruption allegations engulfed the organisation in the summer.
As a Fifa taskforce met in Zurich to discuss the timing of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, likely to start in either January or November of that year, the airline said it would end its sponsorship at the end of 2014.
Another of Fifa’s six partners, Sony, is also understood to be reviewing its position as the four year World Cup cycle draws to a close at the end of 2014.
Those campaigning for Fifa reform amid endless allegations of cronyism and corruption have long hoped pressure from sponsors would lead to change. It is understood replacements for Emirates and Sony have been lined up in the shape of Qatar Air, the national carrier of the country that will host the 2022 World Cup, and Samsung. read more here.
Arsene Wenger has a new coat by PUMA
OP here: I'll try and do posts about UEFA Champions League teams tomorrow with gossip and such around the players and their teams tomorrow, yes? The posts seem to be appreciated, so will try and do more