Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taking a break from blogger

Hello all,

I'm taking a break from blogging on this platform for a while. I'm looking to expand my idea and bring a fresh perspective to my love of football. By no means is this the end of Football Saves All, but after a year I think this is a great chance for me to sit back and look at where I can take this blog next.

I never started out with a plan, or a set thing within the game I wanted to speak about. I just wanted to talk about whatever I wanted to chat about. However I'm ready to build a lasting project and that will take time.

Thank you for your support and look out for a new and improved FSA in the near future.

Cheers as always,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


On the last post, I realized I spelt Edinson Cavani's name incorrectly. I apologize for that. Also I realized after watching the third goal again and again, he actually put it in with his heel! Which actually makes it even more incredible.

Sorry for the errors.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to be a goal poacher Feat Edison Cavani

Edison Cavani- Showing you how it's done!

Aside from the F.A Cup this weekend we had the return of Serie A in Italy and we had ourselves a match between Napoli and Juventus. The final was a resounding 3-0 for Napoli which put them into second place in  Serie A. All three Napoli goals were scored by Uruguayan international Edison Cavani who became a bit more of a house hold name thanks to a solid World Cup last summer.

What I want to show was not just the three goals he scored, but the class of which he scored them. All three were headers and all were wonderfully set up, and Cavani's movement was excellent on all three.

For the first goal, watch Cavani's movement. He holds his run before the ball is crossed into the box, doing an excellent job creating space between himself and the defender. When he finally heads the ball he does two things which a critically important, 1) He heads the ball downwards which makes it difficult for both the keeper and the defender on the line to stop the ball. 2) Instead of powering the ball into the goal he uses the momentum of the cross to pass it into the goal. This gave him maximum control in order to place it where he wanted.

For the second goal a lot of credit has to go to former Liverpool left back Andrea Dossena and his excellent cross. However like the first goal Cavani staggers his run for half a second which when running full tilt creates enough space for Dossena to place the cross and for Cavani to jump for the header. This was difficult one as the defender was right on him, but he does an excellent job of heading downwards and directing back into the direction it was coming from. He also puts a bit more power on this one which helps it past the diving keeper.

The third goal is a magic team goal with a beautiful pass from Lavezzi to Hamsik for the first part of the move. Lavezzi could have played the ball straight to Cavani, but instead did the right thing by slipping the onside Hamsik through. The second part of the move was the excellent cross by Hamsik to feed Cavani for the brave diving header. Through it looks like Hamsik sells the cross short he actually plays to perfectly as if he tries to loop it higher it either gets picked off by a defender or the keeper. Cavani's run is excellent looping just outside of the far post the cutting in to head the ball. One of the best team goals so far this season.

Hope you enjoyed that, scoring a goal is much harder the Edison Cavani makes it look. A big thanks to for the video!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Josip Ilicic and the insane pass!

Ok so this didn't end up in a fact the game ended in a 0-0 draw between Chevio and Palermo but the pass Josip Illicic of Palermo makes to try and set up Javier Pastore is in a few words...fucking ridiculous! No I don't swear often to make a point but it's that good! It takes a while to get there, the magic happens at 2:30 seconds into the video.

Please...please enjoy.


Crawley Town is why you watch the F.A Cup

I'll be the first to admit I don't know that much about non league club Crawley Town. In fact though my travels through England I've never been anywhere close to Crawley, but I do know they just beat Derby County to progress to the 4th round of the F.A Cup. I know I probably have some disappointed and slightly embarrassed cousins in the midlands right now, but even they will admit the thrill of a possible upset in this knockout cup is enthralling.

Craig McAllister opened the scoring for CrawleyWith their 2-1 win over the Championship side, Crawley Town is the lowest ranked team left in the tournament. Many have written of the F.A Cup as a tournament with a glorious past but has lost some of its lustre in the last decade. When looking at the past 10 years it's hard to argue with a lot of the big clubs fielding weaken squads in the 3rd and 4th rounds. Plus over the last decade as money becomes more prevalent in the game it has become increasingly harder for smaller clubs to compete and move further into the later rounds. Millwall in 04 and Cardiff City four years later were the only clubs outside the Premier League to make the final.

However you cannot say those runs were not exciting not just for the clubs supporters, but for the neutrals as well. Reality dictates that the big clubs with deep squads will make the final, but the tradition of the 3rd round where the top sides enter the bracket and having "their day out" is magical. It's something we lack here in Canada. I know we're currently trying to build up the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, but with only a hand full of clubs involved it makes it hard to embrace it as a serious cup competition.

The Cup represents a hope that your club could beat a giant in the game, like a Newcastle, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal etc... The victory by Crawley Town is not by any means the biggest upset of all time but it is what this tournament is all about, dreams...hope and the unpredictability of football.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A new Era at Toronto FC

Hello all! Welcome to 2011! I hope you had a great holidays. As for TFC supporters they are about to get a welcome post Christmas gift with the official announcement of the new football management team. Tomorrow's press conference at the Air Canada Centre will confirm the news that has pretty much been known since Monday, Former Dutch international Aron Winter will be the clubs new technical director and Head Coach. Paul Mariner will join as GM or a higher management role, and Bob de Klerk will be first team assistant to Winter.

New TFC head coach Aron Winter (Middle)

Winter is a former Ajax, Lazio and Inter Milan midfielder with an extremely high pedigree. On the sidelines he has been an assistant at Ajax for the past 5 years along with Bob de Klerk. When Jugren Klinsman had his press conference in November he spoke about the club identifying a method of play, a philosophy which would define the way the club developed players. Clearly the hierarchy at TFC have chosen the Dutch style of "Total Football". I could go into what exactly total football means and how it looks tactically, but tactics are not my strong suit. Ben Rycroft executive editor of has broken down the system terrifically in his article It's The Tactics Stupid - Total Football Club (Part 1).

What Winter and de Klerk can bring is the intimate knowledge of this system that is an attractive style of play to watch. The system also calls for development of youth specifically focusing on developing on the ball skills, positional play and positional awareness. As players can play in a multitude places on the pitch in a match, those skills are extremely important for a young player to know. The two new first team coaches also bring a fresh approach to how TFC operate.

For the first 4 years of TFC 's existence the club has been run into the ground by former Director of Football Operations Mo Johnston. The club aside from a few players signed the wrong footballers on the wrong wages, it was clear there was no idea on how the club were going to play or develop its youth. It may be too early to tell if the new policy will be a success, but it's already a step further then the club has been in four years.

Paul Mariner the new GM

The other important piece of the new management team is Paul Mariner who is no stranger to the MLS. In his expected role as GM he has the experience to find and select players to fit Winter's style of play. He knows the league and its talent, Mariner is also experienced with the ultra confusing MLS salary cap and the rules around it. He also can be the link between Winter and the league. There will be many...many things Winter will have to learn about the MLS, it is very different than Europe on how the leagues work there. Mariner's excellent track record with the New England Revolution (4 MLS cup finals in a row) can act as the administrative head while Winter and de Klerk can focus on the first team.

It'll be interesting what they all will have to say tomorrow. Whatever the case may be it's an exciting time for the club ahead of the MLS Superdraft next Thursday.