The magic of the rolling ball: pre Copa Mondiale
1. This is why England will never win; not when Brazillians are thinking, talking and playing like the Dutch:
Then he [Ronaldinho] explains: 'When I train, one of the things I concentrate on is creating a mental picture of how best to deliver that abll to a team-mate, preferably leaving him alone in front of the rival goalkeeper. So what I do, always before a game, always, every night and every day, is try and think up things, imagine plays, which no one else will have thought of, and to do so bearing in mind the particular strengths of each team-mate to whom I am passing the ball...
That is my job. That is what I do.
I imagine the game.
John Carlin, 'The Boy Done Godd', Observer Sports Monthly, June 2006; and also at the New York Times (registration required).
2. Review of John and Matt Simmons' excellent new book about Arsenal, 'Winning Together' here, or indeed, below:
John and Matt Simmons have crafted a great tribute to a club that they clearly love. But it is in no way inaccessible to those who aren't Arsenal fans. There is much here that will be useful to those who work with brands: reminders of the power of stories, behaviour and people in building relationships. And there are some great insights into the business strategies that football clubs must adopt if they are to move to a more secure and stable future. The book is lovingly designed as well: some of the photos burst with vitality, and the one of Frank McLintock jumping over chairs is worth the price of admission alone.