> at Camp Nou on March 6, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

The Lead

Bradford defeats Arsenal in the League Cup: miracle result, but Arsenal are rubbish. Blackburn defeats Arsenal in the FA Cup: miracle result, but Arsenal are rubbish. Bayern Munich defeat Arsenal in the first leg of the round of 16 tie in the Champions League:

“[Bayern] sees no reason for the [CL] trauma of last season.” —Der Spiegel

“You can’t help but sense, however, that Bayern really may be the most credible — if not the only –antidote to Barcelona’s European hegemony.” —ESPNFC

“”The time of restraint is over: [Bayern] is ready for another entry into the Champions League final” —Süddeutsche Zeitung

Of course you know what they mean; Bayern are currently 15 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. To give you a sense of that in context, that gap is greater than the difference between 2nd and 13th place in the league. They have lost only once in the league, against Bayer Leverkusen in October.

Whether they fare well in the latter stages of the Champions League is yet to be determined, but someone amid the frenzy of yesterday’s game raised this interesting point:

But isn’t that a skill in of itself? There isn’t a huge sample available of clubs nose-diving after the departure of a successful and beloved coach, but it has happened. The post-Rijkaard Barcelona was no more of a sure-thing than the post-Heynckes Bayern will be. Learning to maintain what works whilst making your own mark as a professional, soothing large egos following a successful season—these are unique challenges in their own right. A double or treble-winning Bayern Munich may be as much a curse for Guardiola as a blessing.


Canadian women’s soccer team to host USA in friendly on June 2nd.


Wilshere says players are to blame for the loss and not Wenger.

Fellaini feels referees single him out because of his height and afro.

United’s chief executive David Gill calls it quits.


Hamsik unable to play in Napoli’s Europa League match tomorrow due to illness.

AC Milan eyeing PSG midfielder Marco Verratti.

La Liga

Former Barcelona VP Soriano kept employees on a tight leash, accused of spying.

I don’t rule out becoming the Spain coach, if and when Vicente decides to leave,” -Rafa Benitez expresses his national interest.


DFB reject Lewandowski’s appeal.

Former German international Uli Borowka opens up about his battle with alcohol.

Bit and Bobs

Syrian footballer dies in mortar attack.

Barton says Beckham no longer the threat he used to be.

Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.

Comments (11)

  1. I’d still be more impressed if Pep had taken over Inter or AC or hell even Arsenal. A team that is trying to get back to glory. Bayern would still be a great team next year if Angela Merkel were managing it.

    • He wouldn’t be able to have success at arsenal because he needs a big enough pocketbook to be successful and he knows that, inter would have worked but even ac milan is cutting back. Hes never had to identify talent and I think he is unsure if he can do it. would have liked to have seen him at arsenal though, his style wouldnt be that hard to implement there, plus I really just want wenger gone, but Im happier that hes at bayern, guess Im just selfish as a bayern fan.

  2. Not sure why everyone thinks Pep needs to take on the biggest challenge in the world to appease the global soccer community. Is he supposed to ignore the possibility of coaching a top squad and cashing the presumably massive paycheck that comes along with it? Maybe he should go to Oldham and try to win the Champion’s League within 3 years. Yeah, that would be a challenge…

    Why the supposed need to impose artificial barriers on himself? I suspect most coaches would love to lead Bayern into another sustained era a greatness, and Pep is presumably no different. Anyone that thinks leading BM to a CL title will be easy is somewhat delusional. Barca is still the same team that has dominated club footy. Madrid can never be discounted. And one can’t simply assume that BM would just have their way with any of the top 3 EPL clubs. Bottom line – no matter what team you have under you, winning the CL is still a massive challenge. If Pep can replicate his Barca success with BM, that will be an accomplishment worthy of praise.

    Also, who gives a fuck what Joy Barton says? People should stop giving this guy air time. He is a reasonably talented footballer (though no more so than many, many others) who is primarily known for thuggery. Media outlets should stop quoting this guy and stop validating his narcisism.

    • but aaah, I am importont. I am a great man and a great aaaaa footballeir, and My opinion is vurry importont.

    • I think replicating his barca success will be pretty easy, bayern has been to the cl final in 2012 and 2010, and they look to be on their way again, the way the team looks in the league this year it doesnt look to tough to win that.

      • Even with different football culture, language, players he can’t control and aren’t loyal to him?

        • well, I’m assuming he’s not going to go in and speak spanish to them, and hand each player a barca kit and tell them to play like the name on the back. One would assume he has ample time to come up with a plan, learn and adapt to the club and culture. Like I doubt hes just sitting at home watching cartoons and eating ravioli out of a can, and if he is I hope he busted out the rosetta stone. and as to players he can’t control, I assume you mean ribery, and I don’t have a convoluted generalization for that issue, I guess he’ll just have to take what scarface gives him.

          • Foreign coaches whose native tongues are based on Latin have had a pretty rough go of trying to assimilate in the past.

            Exhibit A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqp64q7kHmw

          • I’d like to point out that pep isnt a crazy old man…and how does anyone on a premiere league roster understand each other? they find a way. also cruyff was pretty succesful at barca despite a latin language not being his mother tongue.

          • You do know that Cruyff played at Barca for 5 years (and another at Levante) before coaching them, right?

          • that’s why I said mother tongue, pep has had plenty of time to learn german or figure out a way to communicate with the locker room, just like cruyff learned spanish, people learn languages all the time, I don’t see how this is even an issue. wenger is still indecipherable and hes won so many of those 4th place trophies…and fa cups but those don’t really matter.

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