Cultured Football #106
Dying art of shooting from free kicks. And more.
By Tom Hancock for The Analyst
To shoot or not to shoot. That is the question free-kick takers have to answer every time they have a set piece in a 'dangerous position'. And, increasingly often, it seems that they're opting against shooting. Is that truly the case? And why, if so?
By Adam Bate for Sky Sports
"Guys, what is that?" Those were the words of Pep Guardiola when he began doing the analysis for Bayern Munich's Champions League quarter-final tie against Benfica in 2016. He had just witnessed Ederson's kicking ability for the first time." This quote highlights the first impression of Pep Guardiola on Ederson's kicking ability, which led to him joining Manchester City.
By Lauren Brock for The Gaffer Mag
If you haven’ yet heard of Will Still, you probably will soon. Earlier this season, the 30 year old was appointed manager at Reims, despite never having played professionally, and he has taken them from a relegation fight to the edges of European qualification. With football shifting towards education and the use of data more pathways to management are opening up for people like Still, who started his journey as a video analyst and scout before becoming an assistant manager. Hope, at last, for those of us who were never any good at playing the game.
By Alex Bysouth for BBC Sport
A couple of recent stutters have put many a superstitious Neapolitan on edge, fearing that those celebrating too early might bring about the unthinkable. Those remain in the minority however, as the city seems to be gearing up for a mighty big party.
By Sam McGuire for The Analyst
Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini has compared Rasmus Hojlund with Erling Haaland, praising his technical quality, spirit, energy, intensity, and quickness, considering his height. Initially, that seemed to be quite excessive but as the season has gone on, Hojlund has begun to justify the comparison.
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Nicky Iqbal tells the story of their experience as a volunteer for Mossley AFC, a non-league football club in the town of Mossley, through some powerful words (and touching photography by Ed Stanley).
Last Week’s Most Read: From KFC to Serie A
By Mark Doyle for Goal
Beto is a player you probably don't know much about at the moment, but will hear a lot of come the summer. The physically imposing striker has been shredding defences in the Serie A despite not playing for a top team. That is temporary, however: by the summer he will probably have his choice of big teams to join. Not bad for someone who had to go work at KFC when he football dream seemed to be petering out.