Friday, 29 July 2011

Tell me what you've been doing, busy little bee

I've not posted for a couple of weeks, but here are links to a couple of articles I've written for other websites. With the new season around the corner, I've been doing a couple of previews:

Read my Premier League preview of Fulham for Back Page Football here

And one for Bundesliga Fanatic previewing Borussia Mönchengladbach here

See also:

Back Page Football

Bundesliga Fanatic

Friday, 15 July 2011

Some thoughts on Energie Cottbus vs Dynamo Dresden (Bundesliga II)

Just 53 days after winning promotion to the second tier of German football, eastern club Dynamo Dresden kicked off the new season in the Bundesliga II with a 2-1 away defeat against Energie Cottbus. But Dynamo will have every reason to be encouraged with their performance.

Tipped by many to struggle at the bottom of the table this season, the first match against fellow eastern outfit Cottbus, sixth last season, was always going to be tough. In particular, having lost three of the key-players in their promotion charge, with top-scorer from last term Alexander Esswein signing for Bundesliga side FC Nürnberg, Dani Schahin, who scored eight in twelve in the league during his loan spell, returning to parent club Greuther Fürth, and influential midfielder Timo Röttger signing for RB Leipzig; “Die SG”, not one of German football’s richer outfits, are expected to face a tough season. 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Is Federer finished?

After the six-time champion’s second quarter-final defeat in a row at Wimbledon, many are now claiming that Roger Federer’s time at the top is almost up. But the truth is the Swiss maestro has been a level below the sport’s best for the last 18 months. 

Roger Federer is still one of the best players in the game. Although he turns 30 next month, the 16-time grand slam champion and family man still lives for tennis. He appears more relaxed than he used to, perhaps down to his family life, which attitude played a big part in his remarkable run of form at the French Open this year, and, admirably, his love for the game and appetite for success has not waned. While his age and desire are not factors in speculation over his decline, it’s on the court where Federer has lost something.

Typically so ruthless when in a winning position, as possibly the greatest front-runner the game has ever seen, his loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Wimbedon was the Swiss’ first ever defeat from leading two sets to love. His record prior to that was an astonishing 178-0. One the one hand, that record surely had to end at some stage. On the other hand, it was a moment highly symbolic of Federer's past year and a half. 

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The resurgence of the Davis Cup?

The competition is still important, just ask Novak Djokovic

The Davis Cup returns this Friday with two of the world’s top four players back in action, in a competition often shunned by tennis' biggest names. Both Roger Federer and Andy Murray, whose participation in the tournament has been something of a rarity over the past few years, will compete again for their respective countries.

With the men’s game so strong currently, winning a major singles title is now harder than ever. The Davis Cup has become increasingly sidelined, with calls to revamp the competition resurfacing each year. But given that new world number one Novak Djokovic has drawn so much confidence from, and attributed much of his astounding success in 2011 to winning the Davis Cup with Serbia last December, could it be that Federer and Murray’s return to action might represent a shifting trend in attitude towards the Davis Cup? Or is it merely a case of the two continuing their flippant, pick-and-choose attitude towards the competition, but just for the same matchday this time?