Summer’s End

Man_Ray_Departure_of_SummerThe European season starts tomorrow when Reims host Paris Saint-Germain in the kick-off of the Ligue 1 season.  In fact, if you’re inclined to include such things as the Trophee des Champions (the French Community Shield Cup), it’s already started.  I actually caught a bit of this on television, though I thought it was just a re-run hyping the upcoming season.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who thought a boring PSG victory over En Avaunt de Guingcamp in a Coupe de France game (where else would they have met?) seemed like an alluring teaser.

So the summer of Brazil 2014 is at an end.  I’ve still got some thoughts about the World Cup I’d like to get out–top goals, assists, saves, and defensive plays–perhaps before the start of the Premier League in another weekend, but we’ll see how it goes.  In the meantime, here are three good bits from others to whet your appetite.

Nostalgia

eric-cantona-boot-crowdCallum Hamilton wrote this clever but thoughtful piece on whether English football was really better in the Nineties.  It strikes me as balanced, and touches on a lot of the points that make me think a lot of viewers wear rose-tinted glasses when answering this question.

Numbers

WCgoalsThe Economist put out this neat little interactive infographic logging every World Cup goal by minute (from 1930 to this summer).  The only trend that immediately jumps out at me is that a lot of them are scored between the 75′ and 90′ minutes (injury and extra time would need to be regularized against the total number of games that have them, but it still looks to be a psychological bar to scoring).  If I wasn’t banging this thing out before going to work, I think it would be interesting to see if there are any changes in scoring trends over time, say by doing a rolling 4-World-Cups-at-a-time average (probably  just using the three as an independent event and then starting up again in 1950).  Unfortunately, the filters on this info graphic only let you filter by a single World Cup, though they do also allow for filtering by country and by stage.  They also tell you which game each goal came from and draw a line across the other goals in the game.  Though it’s not quite perfect, it is a slick little number that’s fun to play with.

Narcissism

Hasta-La-Victoria-Siempre-AlgersDo people not writing a football blog of their own care about whether or not football blogging is dying?  In any case, I was struck by Michael Cox’s announcement, post-World Cup, that Zonal Marking will be shifting gears in terms of its content, and Jonathan F wrote this reflective piece on what he views as the end of an era for the medium on his Just-Football.com blog.  If you’re interested in the changing media landscape for football–especially the digital landscape–it’s worth a bit of your time.

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