Best of Football Writing Last Week: Unlikely Jewish Champions, La Liga kick-off and Why Arsenal Don’t Spend
1. HAPOEL BEER SHEVA’S ISRAELI TITLE WIN: SEASON OF DARKNESS, SEASON OF LIGHT
Shaul Adar for The Blizzard
I’ve been a fan of The Blizzard magazine since before the first issue was published when I took up an annual subscription purely on the strength of their promise to write in depth football stories that others weren’t finding the time for. I’ve never been disappointed. This piece on Hapoel Beer Sheva’s, the team from the Negev desert that unexpectedly won the Israeli league title last season, is typical.
Memorable Quote: “Crumbling under debts and poor results, and with the fans increasingly bitter, Beer Sheva were facing disaster.”
2. LOW CROWDS AND CHAOTIC LA LIGA FIXTURES LIST CANNOT DETER FROM GUARANTEE OF DRAMA
Sid Lowe for The Guardian
Given how well Spanish teams do in Europe — and it bears remembering that not only did they win both European competitions last year but also provided three of the four finalists — I don’t think there should be any debate over the claim the La Liga is the world’s strongest football league. The Spanish season kicks off this weekend and if you, like me, feel the need to catch up on the prospect of the different teams then Sid Lowe’s recap is for you.
Memorable Quote: “According to Sporting Intelligence, when it comes to two-legged European ties against non-Spanish clubs, Spain is winning 45–4.”
3. HOW GIROUD TOPS VARDY, AND WHY ARSENAL FAIL TO SPEND
Joel Oberstone for Sporting Intelligence
You know that the Premier League has kicked off when you start hearing people talking about Arsenal’s failure to spend money on new players. For fans the knowledge that there is (or, at least, should be) money available to strengthen the side but this ends up not being used must be extremely frustrating. Yet, difficult though it may be to accept, there are reasons for that which this piece very clearly manages to outline.
Memorable Quote: “Arsenal began the season with a home defeat. Some fans already have their annual revolt against Arsene Wenger underway. It’s business as usual, this growing disquiet that club and manager will make a mess of hiring good new players.”
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