Forza Futbol

A Better Lens at Spanish Football

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  When you get three teams virtually level at such a late stage of the season, it’s tempting to let your mind wander to what might be and fantasise about an incredible final round where all things are still possible. That rarely happens though, as one or two sides usually fall by the wayside in these situations. The selection might even be made as soon as this Wednesday, because the trio of fixtures the title contenders face are fascinating. Intriguingly, […]

Posted by Mark Griffiths On Mar - 26 - 2014 1 Comment READ FULL POST
Everton's Gerard Deulofeu celebrates

    Gerard Deulofeu’s outstanding equaliser for Everton in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal proved the Barcelona teenager is the real deal and manager Roberto Martinez is right to want to keep him. The 19-year-old made the move from the Nou Camp to Goodison Park on a season-long loan in the summer and upon his arrival Martinez described him as a “diamond of Spanish football”. Following a quiet start to life on Merseyside, the product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia […]

Posted by Forza Futbol On Dec - 12 - 2013 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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  Espanyol gave an object lesson in how to handle Barcelona for the first 68 minutes of this derby, as Javier Aguirre showed there’s more than one way to park a bus.   Obviously Espanyol didn’t come to Camp Nou looking to dominate with attacking verve. But they also showed that the best way to take Barsa on in their own back yard isn’t to sit deep and invite pressure, as that has an inevitable conclusion. Admittedly, Aguirre’s men ultimately […]

Posted by Mark Griffiths On Nov - 4 - 2013 2 Comments READ FULL POST
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    Luis Enrique’s name still has currency. His superb career for the great clubs of Spanish football and La Roja guarantees that he is held in high esteem. But he’d better start getting results as a coach before prospective employers begin to recognise that there’s a whiff of the Emperor’s New Clothes about him when it comes to management. In an alternate universe Enrique became Barcelona’s coach this Summer. In the real world he needs to establish that he […]

Posted by Mark Griffiths On Nov - 2 - 2013 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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        With the arrival of Salvo as president of VCF and project “GloVal” in operation. The focus of which is to create players of Valencian reference in place of making large moves for players of renown. Salvo declared that ” Valencia does not buy stars, we manufacture them.”   This new project aims to train the large base of first team players so that in the current economic state transfer spending will be as low as possible. […]

Posted by Forza Futbol On Sep - 25 - 2013 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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      This match was always going to be played out according to type as perennial fighters Rayo faced technicians Barcelona. To an extent that was the case, but Barcelona’s response to the challenge was an interesting change from what we been used to over recent years. Indeed, it might be seen as confirmation of the death of the Guardiola Principle.   The headline stat is a striking one: for the first time in five years – 317 games […]

Posted by Mark Griffiths On Sep - 23 - 2013 4 Comments READ FULL POST
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  I suppose this game went according to the script: Barcelona dominated possession, Malaga looked to frustrate them, and the outcome was an away win. However, it posed some interesting questions going forward for Bernd Schuster’s side. They set themselves up as an orthodox 4-5-1 and in the opening couple of minutes they probably followed the template their coach had laid out perfectly. They cleared a long ball down the left, recovered it twice by forcing errors by pressing deep […]

Posted by Mark Griffiths On Aug - 27 - 2013 1 Comment READ FULL POST
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      This is intriguingly set up, isn’t it? Gritty Atletico, shrugging off the departure of Radamel Falcao with a hatful of goals in their first two league games, barring Gerardo Martino’s path to an immediate trophy. The entertaining first leg at the Vicente Calderon ended all square, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Barcelona have a clear advantage. Once more, Atletico showed that they are able to compete at the same level as the big two in a one-off […]

Posted by Mark Griffiths On Aug - 27 - 2013 2 Comments READ FULL POST
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      Two wins on the first weekend of the season for these two sides, but they were victories which were certainly contrasting! While Barcelona gave new boss Gerardo Martino a memorable debut by crishing Levante, Atletico had to work hard before snatching a couple of late goals to triumph at Sevilla.   Certainly a more glamorous outcome for the Blaugrana, but don’t assume that means they’ll enter this match feeling they’ve had the better start: you’d expect them […]

Posted by Mark Griffiths On Aug - 21 - 2013 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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      It would have been difficult to conjure with any side challenging Barcelona and Real Madrid anyway; with Atletico, Valencia, Sevilla and Athletic, perhaps the four greatest icons of the Spanish club scene after the big two, all losing their totemic goalscorers, it’s impossible.   The departures of Alvaro Negredo, Roberto Soldado and Fernando Llorente are particularly interesting. With a World Cup looming at the end of the season, all three will be eager to establish their credentials […]

Posted by Mark Griffiths On Aug - 14 - 2013 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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