What the World Cup Looks Like to a Refugee Child
July 11, 2014
"Germany are playing with a lot of self-confidence." Sounds right to us.
Algeria's Chance for Revenge
June 27, 2014
Thirty-two years after Algeria were thrown out of the World Cup by West German-Austrian collusion, Les Fennecs have a chance for revenge
Just How Good Would France Be if Every French-Born Arab Player Opted to Play for Les Bleus?
June 23, 2014
And another puzzle: How is Laurent Blanc still coaching—anywhere?
The day my final bit of football naïveté died.
Please Help Me Find a World Cup Team to Hate
June 11, 2014
Now accepting nominations for a side that deserves my scorn
Karl Ove Knausgaard, Aleksandar Hemon, Joseph O'Neill, and eight other soccer-loving writers plumb the tournaments most compelling characters.
June 27, 2012
I miss Paul the Octopus. Who can I now challenge to a predict-off? I was right on all quarterfinal predictions, but unfortunately, that wasn’t much of an accomplishment. Paul the Octopus and Paul McCartney would have easily predicted the same winners. The level of teams was too disparate. England could have won the shootout, but, luckily, the Ashleys had other plans, and we were spared watching an England Germany semi where Merkel shakes her booty at least half a dozen times. By the way, did anyone else think that she shouldn’t have celebrated so gleefully when the Greeks got scored upon?
What, Me Sad?
June 26, 2012
In 1975 I left the burning city of Beirut for the quiet insanity of England. To say that short, frail and wispy, 15-year-old me didn’t fit in would be such an understatement as to be a joke. I stuck out more in an English public school than I would have had I marched in a May Day parade with the Red Army in Moscow, or sashayed the Yves St Laurent catwalk with supermodels, or hunted seals with the Inuit, or—well, you get the idea. I spent most of the time pretending that I wasn’t worried about my family back in a war zone, desperately feigning nonchalance.
June 21, 2012
Now that the first round has ended, let’s talk about a topic that’s dear to my heart. Of course, by the term “let’s” I mean “let me,” as in let me unload this off my chest. You, my dear delightful readers, can add your input, but first, allow me. Does it seem to you that with every tournament, the number of footballers who are unlikeable—or as my grandmother would say “slightly disagreeable”—seems to increase? Oh, why am I putting this in the form of a question? I’m venting here. I dislike quite a few players in this tournament.
June 20, 2012
Czech Republic vs. Portugal I think Portugal wins. When your chances of winning are drastically reduced because Rosicky won’t be playing, you’re not that good of a team. No offense to Tomas. I’m an Arsenal fan and he’s been wonderful this season, almost as good as he was before the spate of injuries that befell him. But he’s nowhere near the main man. Portugal has been playing well. Second game: Germany vs. Greece Germany wins, but my heart is with the Greeks.