Cultured Football #64
In This Issue: Italy's Lost Decade. German 3rd Division. 20 Year-Old GM. Clash of Cultures. West Ham Legend
There was some great football this week and everything is finely poised for the second leg of European competitions. Obviously, UEFA’s response to this is to suggest that semi-finals should be played over one game. Have these guys ever watched football?
The lost decade: Italy in the 1950s
By Ross Kilvington for The Gentleman Ultra
Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup caused a bit of a stir especially coming as it did so close to their success in the European Championship. It also underlined that Italian football is in a moment of crisis from which it is struggling to emerge. This isn’t the first time this has happened although their last low period had an altogether different cause.
5 minute read
Titztastisch II: Promotion Boogaloo
By Tom Weber for Football, Soccer and Everything in Between
FC Magdeburg were once one of the best sides in East Germany but, like many sides from the Oberliga, they didn’t handle re-unification too well. Last year they were at heading towards relegation and semi-professional football before the arrival of coach Christian Titz who first saved them and, then, this season got them promotion. This is their story.
5 minute read
The footballer whose life changed with one header
By Ryan Baldi for The Guardian
Not many 20 year-olds get to be general managers of a football team after having been forced to retire from the game. Then again, it seems that Bobby Copping isn’t like most people. This is a fantastic read about a young man who hasn’t allowed mis-fortune to keep him down or define him.
5 minute read
A Clash of Civilizations in the Champions League Semifinal
By Musa Okwanga for The Ringer
The first clash between Manchester City and Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final fell into the ‘great game for the neutrals’ cliché. It also was a clash of cultures between City’s nouveau riche and Real’s incumbent power. Perhaps that - and the exhilarating football - is what made it even more fascinating.
6 minute read
West Ham legend on Declan Rice and Mark Noble as he shares six youth-development lessons
By Adam Bate for Sky Sports
You might not know much about him but Tony Carr is an absolute legend, not just for West Ham but football in general. He was in charge of their youth system from 1973 to 2014 and during that time built their reputation for one of the finest clubs when it came to youth development. In this article he talks about the players he helped bring through and also lists some key lessons on youth development.
8 minute read
And Another Thing…
Perhaps one of the more enjoyable stories of this season was Real Betis’ success in the Spanish club. Their star remains the same one as the one that led them to their previous cup success seventeen years ago: Joaquin.
His efforts have been immortalised by the brilliant Omar Momani, whose work can be found here.
Last Week’s Most Read
By Franco Ficetola for These Football Times
I have to admit that I love stories like this one; little known nuggets that are lovingly told in a manner that goes beyond the game and delves into the humanity of the individuals. So, even though he wasn’t a world famous footballer, I do urge you to read the story of Erasmo Iacovone. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.