Empty Stands, Mind Tricks and a Mourinho Myth

Empty Stands, Mind Tricks and a Mourinho Myth

Empty Stands, Mind Tricks and a Mourinho Myth

Empty Stands, Mind Tricks and a Mourinho Myth

Before all that, RB Leipzig faces Borussia Dortmund in a sort of unofficial second-place playoff in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon. A win for Leipzig would guarantee its place in the Champions League next season. Those four games should just about sate your appetite.

Unlike me — who has spent the last few days furiously revising the names of players I have completely forgotten: who or what is an Eric Dier? When did Ross Barkley sign for Chelsea? — Ross Dunning has a memory that is, if anything, too powerful.

“Aren’t you forgetting Hakim Ziyech’s transfer done deal for next season from Ajax to Chelsea,” he wrote, as regards last week’s column on the transfer market. “Unless you don’t feel it was noteworthy?” It was, indeed, noteworthy, and I had, as it happens, remembered it. That was before the pandemic, though, so I had started to regard it as a sort of myth based in fact, like “The Iliad.” My apologies to Chelsea, Ajax, Hakim Ziyech and Hakim Ziyech’s friends and acquaintances.

On the discussion of an apparent lack of self-confidence within M.L.S., Jack White in Atlanta wonders if it suffers because of the competition it faces.

“Large numbers of U.S. fans instantly know the difference between that and any [major] European league,” he wrote. Like most, he agrees M.L.S. has improved, but because it falls short of the world’s most high-profile leagues, perhaps fans find it less appealing. “At some point, the league became watchable: not the Bundesliga, Premier League or Serie A, but interesting enough to compel the attention of most soccer fans.”

That’s all for this week. As ever, all thoughts and ideas, comments and feedback are welcome at askrory@nytimes.com. I’m on Twitter but promise not to take a selfie of me wearing a mask at Goodison Park on Sunday. There will not be one on Instagram, either. We talked Premier League on Set Piece Menu this week: we can’t be original every week. And now that soccer’s back, your friends and neighbors will want to go here even more.




Source link

Check Also

Protests Over Security Bill in France Draw Tens of Thousands

Protests Over Security Bill in France Draw Tens of Thousands

Protests Over Security Bill in France Draw Tens of Thousands Protests Over Security Bill in …