Tag Archives: Pep Guardiola

Ray Hudson talks el Clasico, Pep Guardiola, and Jose Mourinho

Ray Hudson is widely known for his amazing color commentary on GolTV, but he first made an impression on American soccer as a player for NASL side Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in the '70's and '80's. (Courtesy Ray Hudson courtesy nasljerseys.com)

 By Kevin Koczwara

Ray Hudson is a legend in the broadcast booth. His passion for soccer is unmeasured. On a scale, his passion rises above Mt. Everest. And right now, his passion runs at it’s peak when Real Madrid and Barcelona face off. Tomorrow (today, depending on when you read this), those two epic clubs in Spain will face-off in round two of their combative Copa del Rey clash, and Ray Hudson will be doing back-flips in the GolTV studio while Phil Scheon tries to wrangle him in (or really let him loose) and provide the play-by-play. I got to talk with ‘Rockin’ Ray Hudson today on the phone about the game, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guidola, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.

[For context, Barcelona leads the two game series, 2-1, and hosts Real Madrid in the second leg tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25, 2012.]

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Jack Wilshere proving his worth for Arsenal

Jack Wilshere may not have gotten the respect he deserves from Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, but he certainly proved his worth on Tuesday for Arsenal when the two teams faced played.

By Michael King

As Arsenal manager Arsene Wegner sorts through the aftermath of Tuesday’s Champion’s League loss at Barcelona, there are of course few positive takeaways. Yet one, involving his young English midfielder, remains promising. Though his team was thoroughly outmatched Tuesday, Jack Wilshere continued to prove his versatility and quality as a midfielder for a top club.

It’s unclear if Wilshere himself felt he had something to prove entering the return leg at the Camp Nou, but he certainly played like he did, even if his teammates did not.

Barcelona headman Pep Guardiola now infamously singled-out the Englishman earlier in the week, claiming Wilshere lacked the ability to play for the Catalans and was only fit for the reserve team. Even more disparagingly, Guardiola suggested that Barca had many players of Wilshere’s ability.

There seemed to little motive behind the manager’s verbal attack, and even less factual support for his claims. In actuality, Wilshere has rapidly developed into an excellent midfielder, one whose importance is increasingly critical to his team.

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Barcelona Thrash Real Madrid to Take Top Spot in La Liga

The Catalonians weren't disappointed at the Camp Nou with Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid. (Courtesy Aldas Kirvaitis)

By Kevin Koczwara

El Clasico was billed as the Messi and Ronaldo show, but we (the media) should have known games aren’t decided by two players on opposite sides. Nope. Games are decided by teams and the individuals on those teams. Barcelona’s 11 men were superior, far better, than Real Madrid’s. The 5-0 win for the Catalans was as easy as that.

Madrid couldn’t handle Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the middle of the Barcelona midfield, and most teams can’t. The two World Cup winners control tempo, don’t give up the ball and eliminate opposing teams attacking players by not allowing them to ever touch the ball. Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil were lucky to touch the ball in the first half. The only chances for Madrid came when Angel di Maria smashed a shot directly at Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and at the end of the half when Ronaldo took one of his two free kicks and missed just wide of Valdes’ post. Other than that, it was a forgettable night for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Mourinho and company came into the Camp Nou with a one point lead over Barcelona in the table, and now, they leave with a two-point deficit and a big time humbling.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – September 3, 2010

Steven Gerrard (left) is expected to lead England on Saturday in its first qualifying match for the 2012 European Championship. (Photo Courtesy Lionartois)

The Guardian – Gerrard needs to find rightful place with England – Richard Williams

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been productive with England, but his contributions at the club level come with more than goals. In the World Cup, Gerrard played well but failed to have the impact he does with Liverpool. Despite a goal against the United States in the fourth minute of the match, Gerrard provided very little to the Three Lions who failed to advance past the Round of 16. Against Bulgaria on Saturday, Gerrard scored will likely see time behind the principal striker – the same position he scored twice from against Hungary.

ESPN Soccernet – Spurs reject large transfer bid for Bale

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale has been one of the club’s most important players through its three matches in the English Premier League and the early stages of the Champions League. The 21-year-old Welshman joined the club in 2007 and may have been close to leaving during the recently closed transfer window. While no club was named, ESPN has reported that the North London club, which many believe has an outside chance at winning the Premiership this season, turned down a substantial offer for the winger.
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