Cultured Football #124
Bundesliga Preview. RB Leipzig's Winning Strategy. Serie A Preview. Valencia's (Doomed?) Youth. Chelsea's Splurge.
This is Cultured Football, where the best football writing of the past seven days is carefully selected, just for you.
By Philipp Ertl for The Analyst
Having provided a taster with opening rounds of the DFB Pokal, the Bundesliga is back again this season. Sadly, with Borussia Dortmund managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory last season, it doesn’t look as if there will be any surprises this time round. Club predicted to finish in second, however, might not be the one most imagine.
Bonus links:has written about each club’s unique storyline for the 2023/24 season, has prepared a cheat sheet about every club, Matthew Burt identified eight teenagers ready for a Bundesliga breakout season whilst ESPN have prepared a club-by-club preview.
By Adam Bate for Sky Sports
Remaining in Germany, RB Leipzig have once again lost some key players yet their approach to the game often makes light of such departures. They are still despised across Germany (and beyond) for how the club came into being, yet it is impossible to deny that their football strategy works.
By Michel Sakr for Cult of Calcio
It might not be as glamorous as it once was but, with four different winners over the past four seasons, the Serie A is arguably the most competitive of the top leagues. Napoli surprised everyone to win the scudetto last season but are they even among the favourites this time round?
By Phil Kitromilides for Optus Sports
Over in Spain, the once great Valencia continues to struggle because of financial mismanagement over past years. This is forcing them to rely on youth which, despite a good start, might not be great for the long term.
Bonus link: Graham Hunter feels that Atletico Madrid can win La Liga this season.
By Ryan O'Hanlon for ESPN
It might seem a bit rich when La Liga clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid complain about the financial might of the Premier League yet given that Chelsea have spent £1 billion (or nearly) over the course of a year - or more than the whole of La Liga during that same period - they do have a point. Their splurge in unprecedented and raises plenty of questions ranging from FFP implications to whether it will lead to success on the pitch.
Bonus link: QPR once saw themselves among Chelsea’s closest rival. Perhaps they still do. Yet derbies between the two seem a long way off as they struggle with financial issues and threat of relegation to League 1.
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Something Else We Loved This Week
How fantastic is this photo of Sam Kerr’s goal against England in the Women’s World Cup semi-final? This is not the first time that Cameron Spencer captures an iconic sporting image, either
Last Week’s Most Read: Brilliant Brighton: The Seagulls' Recruitment Strategy Explained
By Ninad Barbadikar for Analytics FC
Some clubs seem to spot talent much better than others. Few, however, are doing as well as Brighton. And, as key elements of the brilliant team that got them into Europe get sold, others slot into their place. Thanks to a well planned recruitment pathway.