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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 20 April, 2019

A get-rich-quick scheme that almost killed Borussia Dortmund and more of the week's best sportswriting

Get the kettle on, it’s that time of the week.

Mark Enright celebrates with the Galway Plate Mark Enright celebrating after his Galway Plate victory earlier this year. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“All of a sudden there were floods of tears dropping into my tea. I just completely broke down. I told him I couldn’t go on. I was in hysterics. Mark was brilliant, only for him I’d be gone. I definitely think Mark Walsh was there that day for a reason. Robbie Mc and Bryan [Cooper] came over to his house the same evening. If Mark Walsh wasn’t there that day we would not be sitting here having this conversation.”

Mark Enright opens up to the Racing Post’s David Jennings about his experience with depression. 

* * *

“My young mind was utterly captivated. I’m from a football family – my grandad and his two brothers played professionally. Dad and most of his brothers played semi-professionally too and I’m about the only member of a large clan not to have received money to play football. But dad was my hero, along with Bryan Robson, Manchester United’s captain fantastic of the 1980s. Dad told me he could kick a ball into space and who was I to question it? Dad took me with him from the age of five to watch him play on the football grounds of northern England. While he played on the pitch, my brother and I played around it. A good day out meant a stadium with a big stand to climb. Northwich Victoria or Hyde United was like the San Siro when you’re eight.”

– Andy Mitten writes for the South China Morning Post  about how the match-going experience brought him closer to his father. 

* * *

After the explosions at the Borussia Dortmund team bus A policeman observes the Borussia Dortmund team bus the morning after the April 2017 explosion. Source: DPA/PA Images

“The three bombs in Dortmund were filled with metal pins and hidden on the side of the driveway, about midway between the hotel and the street. As the bus approached the road, the bombs exploded, sending a cloud of heat, dirt, and metal shooting through the air. One of the bus’s windows was punctured, and glass splinters flew through the interior. A pin shot into a headrest near centre-back Marc Bartra, barely missing his head. Schulz stepped on the gas and stopped a few hundred feet away. It seemed like a miracle: Aside from Bartra, who was put into an ambulance with an injured wrist, nobody was hurt. Most of the pins were scattered across the pavement.”

– Bloomberg’s Thomas Rogers on the get-rich-quick scheme that almost killed the Borussia Dortmund team.

* * *

“Wembley was a strange, echoey kind of place on Monday. The top tiers were almost empty. The stands below were quiet for long periods, interspersed with bouts of moaning and grumbling. Throughout Pochettino strode his touchline all in black, hands in pockets, a funereal figure set against the fading lines of the weekend’s yankee razzmatazz. Afterwards he spoke with a staged urgency about how happy he is, having spoken before the match about having his “worst feeling” in five years at Tottenham. On the same day Julen Lopetegui was sacked as the Real Madrid manager. Pochettino would clearly love to have the job at some point, just as loyalty to Spurs should not obscure his own voracious ambition.”

– Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino may tire of the austerity enforced by the club’s new stadium, writes The Guardian’s Barney Ronay.

* * *

Valencia CF v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Champions League - Group H - Mestalla Stadium Gary Neville during his time as manager of Valencia. Source: EMPICS Sport

“It was a disappointing but inevitable end to this vicious circle. Logical, balanced and refreshing debate is almost always followed soon after by lazy, uninformed nonsense that does not even resemble the initial point. One minute you are shopping in Waitrose, listening to Neville and Carragher air their views calmly and rationally; the next you are searching for scraps on the street, wondering how you got to a stage where Redknapp is telling you he’s “got the raving hump”. How did a point about Tottenham deserving more credit for being such a well-run club morph into a former Liverpool midfielder telling a player with 20 trophies and 85 England caps that he wasn’t even that good?”

– Matt Stead of Football 365 on why the substance to Gary Neville’s punditry shouldn’t be diluted by his failed spell as a manager at Valencia.

* * * 

“I don’t know how Zim’s story ends, but I know how I’d like it to: In some sort of afterlife, at a darkened dinner table with cigar smoke and obscenely overpriced wine and a heady discussion about the sport he loved and/or the hell below and heavens above — and, if all goes well, a moment when he tells a cocky newcomer to shut the hell up, because he hasn’t earned the right to weigh in. If that scene ever were to happen, I’d happily be that newcomer.”

– NFL Network’s Michael Silver reflects on learning from one of the greatest football writers of all-time, the late Paul Zimmerman.

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