ANALYSIS: Quaresma’s touchline presence fells Team Melli

Alan O’Brien 

Whither the old-fashioned winger, eh? Notable by his much-missed absence, in an era of resolute rearguard actions, the touchline-hugger might finally be undergoing something of a resurgence. Pep Guardiola has just won the English Premier League while employing two of them. And, here, a 34-year-old Ricardo Quaresma was singularly responsible for unlocking Iran’s famously stout defence. Continue reading

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ANALYSIS: Renard left to rue lack of fox in the box

Alan O’Brien 

Hervé Renard’s Morocco look fated to become the best side to ever exit a World Cup on zero points. Eye-catching in the middle-third, constructing fluent passing maneuvers galore, the Atlas Lions have ultimately paid dearly for the lack of a half-decent number-nine.  Continue reading