Blog Posts by Ryan Bailey

  • Soccer and protest often go hand-in-hand: just look at the “Wenger Out” banner that made an appearance at a recent anti-Trump march in central London.

    However, protests on the field are rarely as farcical as the events of a recent game in the Vietnamese top flight.

    Ho Chi Minh City were hosting V. League 1 rivals Long An on Sunday evening and the score was tied at 2-2 as the final 10 minutes approached approached. Just as it seemed as if the points would be shared, the referee awarded the home side a penalty for what appeared to be an innocuous challenge.

    Long An’s goalkeeper Nguyen Minh Nhut was extremely unhappy with the decision. In fact, he was so unhappy that when the time came to take the spot kick—nearly 10 minutes after the initial decision was made—he turned his back on play as it flew towards the net.

    Goalkeeper Nguyen Minh Nhut refuses to acknowledge a penalty decision by turning his back on it (YouTube)
    Goalkeeper Nguyen Minh Nhut refuses to acknowledge a penalty decision by turning his back on it (YouTube)

    From there, the situation became even more bizarre.

    Taking a lead from

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  • Why are Barcelona struggling so much this season?

    Barcelona is in the last 16 of the Champions League and the final of the Copa Del Rey and sits just one point behind Real Madrid in the La Liga title race. On the surface, there does not seem to be a crisis. These facts, however, disguise the struggle that the Bluagrana have been facing in this campaign.

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    In several matches since the start of the calendar year, Luis Enrique’s side has been made to look frail. The greatest example of this, of course, was Barca’s collapse at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Even when faced with relegation candidates Leganes on Sunday, the Catalans needed a last-minute penalty from Lionel Messi to secure all the points.

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    Barcelona’s struggles are due to a number of factors: an over-reliance on certain individuals, a transition to a more direct style of play that is effectively bypassing the strengths

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