Cultured Football #146
Klopp's Goodbye. Dreaming of Nauru Glory. Agnelli Lacks Guilt. An Englishman in Reggiana. The True Spanish Miracle.
By Jonathan Liew for The Guardian
The big story of the week, and one that will resonate for quite some time is that of Jurgen Klopp’s decision to step down from his role as Liverpool manager. It was a move that caught everyone unawares but, once it was out, it opened the floodgates to dozens of articles. This, however, is the best one of them all. “Liverpool are not my club and Klopp has never been my manager, but perhaps the greatest tribute you could pay him is that sometimes I wished he was.”
By Nathan Edwards for Arriving at the Back Post
There are many (MANY) who talk about football management without really knowing what it is all about. Some, out of these, actually have some qualifications to back up their opinions. Only a tiny fraction, however, are so interested in doing the work that they're willing to travel across the world in search of a job. Charlie Pomroy is one of this select group. The Stevenage-raised coach has been working in Cambodia for the past decade - a job that helped him helped him rediscover his love for the game - and has recently been appointed manager to Nauru Soccer Federation, the team from the world's smallest island nation.
By Murad Ahmed for Financial Times
This is an interview where much is said but very little of substance. Even so, it is hard not to end up viewing Agnelli as a man who grew up surrounded by incredible wealth and as a result never really had to admit any mistakes. Which, probably, is just what he is.
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By Calcio England
Growing up, when highlights of games were all you would get to see, I used to love Franz Carr. In hindsight, that’s probably because Carr was a player who when on form used to drive defenders crazy and light up the highlights as a result. The problem was that Carr wasn’t on form consistently enough. It is why he barely ever got more than 10 appearances in a season once he left Nottingham Forest. That clubs kept picking him up, however, is proof of his talent. Especially when the clubs doing the picking came from the Serie A when it was still a truly top league.
By Phil Kitromilides for Optus Sport
Impressive though their season has been, I fail to be enthused by Girona’s La Liga title charge (is a success that further validates the multi-club ownership model really in football’s best interest?). Much more enjoyable is Las Palmas’ story. Promoted to the top flight last summer, they are enjoying the season that dreams are made of. Seeing them get into Europe would truly be a wonderful football miracle.
Every Saturday, Cultured Football brings you five great football articles you should be reading.
Last Week’s Most Read: From Arteta to Alonso: Why so many top managers are Basque
By Sid Lowe for ESPN
When Rafa Benitez signed Xabi Alonso for Liverpool, he was asked whether the midfielder would be able to handle to rough and tumble of English football. It was a question that clearly surprised Benitez, who promptly replied that being Basque Alonso came from a region know for its people’s toughness. Benitez was right, of course, and Alonso proved to be an exceptional player who had little difficulty settling into English football. Of late, however, being Basque does not only signify tough players but also great managers with some of the current greats coming from that region. And, perhaps, being great because they come from that region.