Tag Archives: Inter Milan

The awakening of an American soccer giant – Remember the Cosmos

cosmosThe New York Cosmos put U.S. soccer on the world stage in the 1970s. For those who are old enough to remember, soccer exploded in the United States when Pele, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia and many other international superstars joined the Cosmos in New York City, stunning an American audience and the American sports world.

Since then, soccer grew into a sport played by millions of kids across the country, and U.S. teams became serious contenders in international competition in all age groups and for men and women alike, but Cosmos hasn’t had a team since 1985. The New York Cosmos is now making a comeback and on its way to becoming an expansion team in the MLS. Still infused with flair, fabulousness and the promise of greatness, the club has lost none of its international name recognition or the ability to rally masses around the world, more than any other sports team in the United States. The Cosmos Continue reading

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Bayern Munich and the difference – Or why Louis van Gaal fell over his own feet

The German record champ is one of the first addresses in world soccer. Ranked number 5 in the“world ranking for revenue”, the club is interesting for top players as well as for the top coaches in the world.

Last week, Louis van Gaal, a commonly considered top coach in soccer, lost his job in Munich. The press and soccer experts around the world are wondering about the reasons. Louis van Gaal made many mistakes, not only in managing the team, but also in managing the club and its grown structures. It is all his fault, clearly!

Lets look at a few details. Last year the Bayern made it into Champions League Final and lost against Inter Milan. At that time already clear, they need to shore up the defense. Both central defenders and the left full back position should have been reinforced. Van Gaal let it go, despite the fact that the Bayern were willing to spend money. After the World Cup, the real trouble started: The entire team was at the World Cup, for Germany, France and the Dutch. A real good preparation for the season was not possible. Van Gaal laid that out, and he was right. Until the team was getting back in some kind of normal form, the half of the season was over. Most important for the club, Bayern was not in the top five and had to struggle to keep up and put themselves  into Champions League qualifying position. At that time, while completely underestimating and disregarding competition and valuable resources, van Gaal got the glorious idea to shape the team for the next season. Butt out of goal and Kraft in. Sold Demichelis, the better of the two central defenders, and let van Bommel go to AC Milan. All  these actions, as expected, went straight into the pants, as the Germans say. Butt, who was mandatory for Bayern’s and van Gaal’s strategy, had to watch from the sideline how the young Kraft was overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. Many mistakes in the traditional goalie game, and hopelessly “under equipped” to support the Bayern strategy of keeping the ball and use the goalie to do so. Letting van Bommel go, with his experience and leadership abilities, comes close to a beginner mistake. If one wants to put numbers to just those two mistakes, those cost the Bayern five to six points at least, since the winter break. Add those to the current points, and van Gaal would still be in charge. You can go on and consider the dynamics that are created by such actions, and you have another 3 or 4 points.

Much more ridiculous, van Gaal managed to p… off the entire management “high society” at Bayern. Unlike other top clubs, were management has no clue about the game and just throws money out to buy players, at Bayern, everyone in charge knows everything about the game on the field and off the field. If, as a coach, you don’t take advantage of such resources, you are either stupid or you lost the ground under your feet. Van Gaal is not stupid.

One can charge management for not putting an end to this earlier, but you can also give them credit for letting the coach do his thing. Considering everything on the table, I find this worth to give them credit. As a coach, where do you find that kind of opportunity? A big club, money to buy players and incredible resources in management that help you do the job.  All you need to do is manage a “rose garden”. Van Gaal failed to do so.

UEFA Champions League – Draw creates excitement for supporters!

The draw of the champions league quarterfinal created some excitement for soccer fans around the world. The premier league clubs Chelsea and Manchester United face off for a battle of England. Alone this set-up is promising soccer at its finest. No less excitement for the third English club in the competition: Spurs are facing Real Madrid! And, they were lucky, the first game is in Madrid. Spurs have a great chance to advance into the semis. While Real is a great team and getting better every month, they are still everything else than solid in defense. Of all the attractive opponents, this is the best Spurs could get. A great name and no further motivation needed and a chance to win. Paradise for every coach and player. Good luck, Spurs!

Barca drew the, on paper, least attractive opponent for the quarter-final. Donetsk is not necessarily a cracker in European soccer. However, they are dangerous and can give Barca lots of trouble. The outcome of this duel is not as clear as it looks like. The first game is played in Barcelona and that is an advantage for the Russians. Barca needs to be ready for a “hot dance”.

While Bayern Munich is probably in tears at this moment, Inter Milan is smiling all over their face. They clearly, if that can be said of a quarter-final, drew the easiest team in the pott. Schalke at this stage, is not a team that can create fear. With all the troubles from the past week and the way things in Schalke go after such events, they will still be trying to force themselves out of the “chicken stable” they put themselves in to. There chance is the goalie Neuer and a goal from Raul. Without those two doing magic, they have no chance.

Inter Milan will make the semi-final and most likely Barca. The two other games are completely open. Awesome!