Real Betis manager Quique Setién: how to beat Real Madrid

2 giorni 12 ore ago

One of the coaches to have defeated Zidane’s side this season advises Liverpool to keep the ball and warns of Madrid’s ‘anarchy’

This Champions League final is a game that in theory should finish 4-4. It could be very entertaining for the fans, but perhaps not for the coaches. Real Madrid are a team who are a little anarchic. They don’t have a permanent shape: although they will play with four at the back and with Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the middle, the way they set up from there can change. Cristiano Ronaldo may be through the middle or wider and much depends on his role. If he and Karim Benzema play, it tends to be 4-4-2 but Gareth Bale could start, and/or Isco, Lucas Vázquez or Marco Asensio. All mean different things for the shape.

That anarchic nature is more a general point, though. Madrid’s players are carried along by the football itself, what they feel in each moment; they’re not guided by tactical rigour or a specific structure. What defines Madrid is their individual ability, how they associate with each other intuitively. Look at players like Benzema, who drifts to the wings and combines, or the full-backs, Marcelo and Dani Carvajal: when Carvajal goes up he doesn’t look to see if the other full-back is deep and that open approach often compromises them defensively.

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Quique Setién

The N.F.L. Kneels to Trump

2 giorni 12 ore ago
By deciding to fine teams whose players protest racism during the flag salute, the league has given in to the president’s demagogy.

America’s geriatric prison population is growing

2 giorni 12 ore ago

ISMAEL IGARTUA got his first job, as a counsellor at a homeless shelter, when he was 55 years old. For the previous 29 years he was imprisoned on charges stemming from an incident during which he shot a police officer in the arm. In prison he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in theology.

After his release, Mr Igartua says he had to learn how to order food in a restaurant, and relearn how to cross a busy New York street. At least he had a family to return to. Many older ex-convicts do not: more than 70% of prisoners above the age of 50 released in New York went directly to a homeless shelter.

Between 1993 and 2013 America’s crime rate fell from around 52 crimes per 1,000 people to 23. At the same time, largely because of America’s penchant for handing out long sentences, the number of people over 55 in state prisons rose from 26,300 to 131,500, and their share of the total more than tripled. According to the Osborne Association, a New York-based non-profit, by...Continue reading

Trump demands that those investigating him be investigated

2 giorni 12 ore ago

EVEN from a man as indifferent to political norms as President Donald Trump, the tweet on the afternoon of May 20th was alarming. At the end of a string of messages complaining about a “witch hunt” against him, Mr Trump demanded: “that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled” his campaign at the behest of the previous administration.

It was no mere taunt. Mr Trump was referring to an investigation that eventually turned into a wide-ranging inquiry by Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign. In effect, the president was using the power of his office to demand that those investigating him and his associates be investigated. He did not so much broach as blow up a long-standing norm that presidents do not direct or involve themselves in specific criminal investigations.

Although an American intelligence source met three of Mr Trump’s advisers, there is no...Continue reading



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