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WSOTP - Blog - Ancelotti Close Up.fw

If I asked a group of fans to name the top active manager in football today, what names would you expect to see picked?

I’d expect we would see an avalanche of responses for José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. And rightly so: both managers have produced incredible results over the last five or so years. I’d hope Atlético’s Diego Simeone would get a few votes. And I’d wager Dortmund’s Jürgen Klopp would get a few too — though given his side’s disastrous form, probably not as many as a year or two ago. Jogi Löw or Vicente Del Bosque? Ok. Manuel Pelligrini or Louis Van Gaal? Maybe. Hell, a few naive Arsenal supporters might even still be willing to throw Arsène Wenger out there, but that number is likely dwindling too. Jürgen Klinsmann? I kid, I kid.

But there’s one name I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he received little to no votes: current Real Madrid supremo, Carlo Ancelotti.

My reasons for believing that aren’t just anecdotal either. I’ve had literally had the hypothetical discussion above several times before. And rarely ever does Ancelotti’s name come up. Which is odd, because the guy’s track record is pretty damn impressive.

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ten words or less #102

Matchday - MLS Cup Final 2014

With a big match on the horizon this weekend in domestic football — you know, the MLS Cup Final — we thought it high time to gather the local readers/supporters together again with another watch party at our favorite local pub, Rhinehaus in Over-the-Rhine. So if you happen to be in Cincinnati this coming Sunday (12/7), be sure to swing by to have a pint with the #Pondcast team and watch as Landon does battle with Jones in the former’s last ever professional soccer match. In fact, if you are going to be in town, let us know you’re attending by RSVPing here.

In the mean time, entertain yourselves by following any of the ten links below that I dug up from around the wide world web over the last week.

TLDR; more trebles because rich teams are getting richer. – espnfc.com

If MLS sides’ shirt sponsors were local(ish) breweries. – backheel.com

Tottenham’s fall can all be blamed on John Terry. – cartilagefreecaptain.com

Interesting look at dollars spent per win/point in MLS. – dtfsoccer.wordpress.com

Classic Sepp: absolving FIFA while blaming others. – foxsports.com

Besides a few owners/league offices, everyone agrees with Robbie. – irishexaminer.com

This backheel assist from Chicharito is the stuff of legend. – gfycat.com

This most valuable clubs in the Americas list is… interesting. – forbes.com.mx

A nice gesture. But Dortmund do this every year. – independent.co.uk

Western Sydney Wanderers are Australia’s BVB. – a-league.com.au

pic of the week 10/27-11/2

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Real Madrid's Pepe spears Sergio Ramos in their match against Granada

This week’s admittedly blurry “Pic of the Week” comes to us from La Liga, where Spanish giants Real Madrid visited minnows Granada at the weekend. The match itself went about how you might expect, with Real securing a 4-0 win and Ronaldo tallying his ridiculous 17th goal in the league despite only having featured in 9 matches. But that goal tally wasn’t the most ridiculous moment of the game, as that honor belongs to his fellow Portuguese teammate Pepe. The defender is a player well known for his rash challenges and quick-to-boil demeanor. We’ve all gotten used to him headbutting, hacking and even assaulting opposing players for years now. But I never expected him to try to murder a player on his own team. Until this weekend, that is.

Captured in the image above and in the video linked here, Pepe nearly impaled teammate and fellow mad man Sergio Ramos in straight Nigel De Jong fashion in the match. Admittedly, both players were attempting to clear a ball rather than challenge one another. But it just goes to show that no matter what team you play for, you need to be wary of stepping on the same field as Pepe… else it might be the last time you ever do.

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 11

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 11

We go around the world in 68 minutes on the latest edition of the podcast, as there was football aplenty to chat about. The Premier League was there to keep us busy as usual — in particular a surprise West Ham side and an unpredictably entertaining Chelsea-Manchester United match. El Clásico also got a run out, as did the Champions League fixtures from last week. Of course we had to make room to talk about the MLS Playoffs and end of season fixtures, too. And we even still had time to fit in our normal ‘Winners & Wankers’, ‘Fulham Watch’ and listener question segments. So buckle up and hang on… there’s a lot to football to digest in this week’s pod.

Also, don’t forget that if YOU have questions or topics you want us to touch on in future recordings, drop us an email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com, tweet us or write it on our Facebook wall using the links at the bottom of the page.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 6

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 6Premier League weekend recap: check. Champions League rundown: check. #MLSNEXT and MLS playoff hunt thoughts: double check. This week’s WSOTP Podcast has football discussion in ample supply. Listen in as D.J. and Jeremy pontificate on Özil’s resurrection, Manchester United’s capitulation, and Leicester City’s adulation. The guys also share their thoughts on the new MLS Logo — which D.J. wrote extensively about — and how things are shaping up in the MLS Cup Playoffs race. There was still time to discuss the first round of Champions League group action at the end, too. And believe it or not, all that and more can be found in a package significantly shorter than last week’s epic pod.

If you happen to have anything you would want us to cover on our next podcast, hit us up at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or tweet us using the links at the bottom of the page.

 

Subscribe to the WSOTP Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or search for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in your favorite podcasting app to listen to us on your mobile device!

pic of the week 5/19-5/25

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Gareth Bale scores the game winner in the Champions League Final

This week’s edition of Pic of the Week comes a day later than normal thanks to a much needed break away from the internet during the Memorial Day holiday here in the US, but picking it couldn’t have been any easier for me. And the reason for selecting a shot of Gareth Bale scoring the game-winning, Champions League-title-clenching goal are many.

For one, despite his sale to Real Madrid last summer, the former Tottenham fullback/winger/attacking menace remains my favorite player. Stomaching his sale — and his seven “replacements” fumbling along at White Hart Lane — has been tough for sure, but my joy in seeing him score such an important goal on such a grand stage couldn’t have been any more intense. I tweeted at the time “I know he doesn’t play for us anymore, but as far as I’m concerned, Bale scored that goal for #Spurs too”… to which a mountain of Arsenal fans latched on to and laughed at. But with Tottenham playing such a vital roll in his development, and me following his career since his days at Southampton, it sure felt that way. Furthermore, I’m also a quiet Real Madrid fan, and was happy to see the club finally clinch their long-awaited 10th European Cup — La Décima. Oh, and the Welshman’s headed finish might possibly be the most perfectly placed upper-90 shot I’ve ever seen — almost exactly the same distance from the post and crossbar.

Anyway, congratulations to Gareth. You might not be at Spurs any longer, but you’ll forever be draped in lillywhite to me.

 

WSOTP pod: episode 38

WSOTP Podcast - Season 1 Episode 38

the look on a dejected scott parker’s face was probably shared by many american fans this past weekend.

While there’s a strong desire to call this latest episode of the podcast the “Cinco de Mayo Special”, Jeremy would probably prefer we call it the “Nose Picking Special” thanks to this hysterical fan shot from this weekend’s action. But there was way more than nose-picking to talk about this week. For instance, an all-Madrid Champions League final has now been set. And over in the Premier League we had time to talk about Fulham’s sad demise, Liverpool “slipping” up once again, City taking the psychological advantage, Manchester United’s managerial plans, and D.J. tries his best to not nod off to sleep as he is forced to talk about a Spurs’ lackluster already-on-the-beach display.  We also take discussed some of the weekend MLS action, including the Crew getting dominated on the road in Kansas City.

And as a written reminder, we’re looking for pod listeners and blog readers to submit their eulogies of their clubs’ seasons to share on next week’s season finale for the WSOTP Podcast. If you feel like summing up your club’s abysmal/amazing campaign, send it across via email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com.

Subscribe to the WSOTP Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or search for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in your favorite podcasting app to listen to us on your mobile device!

this ain’t the death of possession

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola

guardiola has much to lament, but that doesn’t mean his days are numbered.

It’s not been a good week for Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola.

After suffering a humiliating loss at home to Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal — the 4-0 scoreline also being his heaviest ever defeat — and losing close friend and fellow former Barcelona boss Tito Villanova to complications from throat cancer, it’s safe to say that he’s ready to put this week in his past.

But the world’s (now formerly?) most admired manager has received no respite for his troubles, as he’s been run through the ringer by media and fans alike for his tactical approach in both legs of the semifinals.

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WSOTP pod: episode 34

Everton's Ross Barkley vs Arsenal's Mikel Arteta

could everton find themselves in the top four at season’s end at arsenal’s expense? the guys debate that and more on this week’s podcast.

With the Premier League season entering the final stretch, just about every match has taken on some sort of importance, either contributing to the title race, the fight to make the top four and/or the relegation scrap. And this weekend’s matches most definitely checked all of those boxes, meaning Jeremy and I had a lot of games to offer up our opinions on. Of course, there was also MLS “Rivalry Week” to contend with, including a thrilling Cascadia Cup tie between the Timbers and Sounders and a Trillium Cup match up between the conference-leading Crew and big spending Toronto. And let’s not forget about last midweek’s USA-Mexico game and this midweek’s Champions League matches that will also need to be chewed upon. You’ll get all that and more on the latest episode of the WSOTP Pod.

Subscribe to the WSOTP Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or search for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in your favorite podcasting app to listen to us on your mobile device!

WSOTP pod: episode 29

WSOTP Podcast - Season 1 Episode 29

MLS first kick 2014 is just around the corner.

With the MLS 2014 season just days away, D.J. and Jeremy figured it was high time to give the domestic first division a full preview ahead of this weekend’s First Kick festivities. You’ll here the guys’ thoughts on this season’s playoff contenders, what they’re looking forward to the most for the upcoming campaign, and where they think the local-ish side will fare this year. The normal Premier League and Champions League run downs are also still in there, as is a look ahead at some of this week’s international friendlies. Plus, we finally share the “big news” that we had been hinting at for weeks.

Subscribe to the WSOTP Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or search for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in your favorite podcasting app to listen to us on your mobile device!