Cultured Football #113
Championship Play-Off Final. Psychologists. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Graeme Sharp. Sevilla.
Welcome to Cultured Football where the best football writing of the past seven days is carefully selected, just for you.
Luton and Coventry face off against each other in this weekend’s Championship Play-off final. Their presence there is a major surprise, especially if you take a look at their finances.
Most football managers, or at least the best one, are constantly looking at different options that could give them an advantage over competition; the mythical fractional gains. Why then is it that most don’t have psychologists among their backroom staff?
By Alex Connor for Football Paradise
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, a 22-year-old Georgian player signed for Napoli for just €10-12 million, has emerged as a revelation for Italian football, helping the club to win their first Serie A title in over three decades. His skillful performances have earned him the admiration of passionate Neapolitan fans, and have drawn comparisons to Napoli's beloved Diego Maradona. With his output declining as the season progressed, will he be as effective next season?
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Graeme Sharp's Everton exile is a sad, sorry tale. He might never go to Goodison again... making the club's greatest living player unwelcome at the place that should be his home is UNFORGIVABLE
By Dominic King for Daily Mail
Graeme Sharp is one of Everton’s greatest ever players He is also part of their board which, in turn, excludes him for being at their crucial game this weekend. That’s because fans have been protesting about how the club is run and Sharp is tainted by association. Which is quite sad.
By Joe Soriano for The Trivela Effect
Despite have a relatively poor season - they were haunted by the prospect of relegation for a good chunk of the season - Sevilla are remarkably in yet another Europa League final. And, in typical Sevilla fashion, they have done so with their usual mix of clever signings and upcoming talent.
Something Else We Loved This Week
The fantastic football photographer Danny Last has issued an 28-page photozine that is a love letter to Italian football. And, it is as awesome as you would expect. Available from Lower Block, you definitely have to get a copy!
Last Week’s Most Read: Under-20 World Cup: a guide to players and coaches to look out for
By Will Unwin for the Guardian
The U20 World Cup kicks off this weekend, a competition interesting largely because it should signal the emergence of some future stars. And, plenty of interesting stories. Like that of the Japanese full-back who grew up in Catalonia and could have represented either Argentina or Spain.