Great Article Analyzing FC Barcelona’s Game

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge fan of FC Barcelona’s style of play. If you’ve seen them play before but never understood how they obtained the successes they have on the field, here’s a great article about how they’ve found that success through manager Pep Guardiola. (via Kottke)

Barcelona/Manchester United Passing Graph

Now here’s something interesting to look at. It’s a passing and touches graph for the Barcelona/Manchester United game on Saturday.

If you’re curious to what this is… The bigger the circle, the more times the individual touched the ball. The bigger the arrow, the more passes made from the origin of the arrow to the direction of the arrow. Note that the two people that touched the ball the most in the game are Iniesta and Xavi and the passing circle between Xavi, Iniesta and Messi.

As for the most passes made by Manchester United, it’s a close call between Van Der Sar and Rooney (long balls anyone?) and Rio Ferdinand and Vidic. Little passing made between the Man United midfielders, which shows the dominance of Barcelona pressing plus their midfield dominance.

Arsenal’s Woes

As I was working on my second step for my sociolinguistics paper about UK English, I thought I would take a break and write about something else that’s along the lines of the U.K.: Arsenal. If you’re an Arsenal fan, you probably know the ups and downs that comes with being one. This season was definitely one of the more unusual seasons though in that we actually were in it for all four competitions that we were eligible for: League Cup, FA Cup, Premier League, and UEFA Champions League. Yet in a matter of weeks, it’s pretty promising that we’ll go away without silverware yet again. So what went wrong this season? A few things come to mind: Continue reading Arsenal’s Woes

What A Game…

I’ve been a Steelers fan since I first started following football. I didn’t have any team I could really follow since I was in Portland at the time, so I went with a team that had some relation to my past or of someone I knew. My family started their lives in the U.S. in Western Pennsylvania, thus I chose the Steelers. They had a rich history, a lot of prestige, great stability, and played great football. So you can imagine what life was like for me when I moved up to Seattle and both Pittsburgh and Seattle clashed in the Super Bowl four years back: Total wrath, harassment, and hell from fans and even friends (of all people) that were from the Seattle. I was unfazed though. My team had won.

Fast forward a few years later. Steelers are making a run in the playoffs again. They get a bye in the first week because of their finish in the regular season. Then they beat up on the Chargers pretty handily, leading to third matchup with their biggest rival: The Baltimore Ravens. I had to watch this game. Two physical, defensive-minded teams battling it out for a spot in the Super Bowl.

And I definitely was glad to see it… and glad to see the Steelers come through and get a chance at another SB ring. Continue reading What A Game…