The Morning Kick: Footballing Links

By Ronnie Macdonald (Flickr: Andrey Arshavin 3) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

- Deloitte football money league: how much do the world’s top teams make? - Deloitte’s football money league 2013 is out and it reveals that Real Madrid has not only topped the list once again but that the Spanish club has become the first sports club to surpass the €500m revenue threshold in a single year… (The Guardian)

- A statistical look at Europe’s top teens - While the Premier League was out of action this weekend our statistical attention switched to the rest of Europe, and while Lionel Messi’s four-goal haul caught the eye, a compatriot of his was matching that feat elsewhere… (ESPN - Tactics & Analysis)

- Props to AVB, patience for David De Gea, Barca’s blip and more - We keep hearing how “it’s all about results”. If you buy that argument, then Tottenham are going backward. They have eight fewer points than they had at the same stage last season under Harry Redknapp… (ESPN – Monday Musings)

- The magic returns with weekend of upsets - The FA Cup always works best when it is not a battle of equals and the odds are stretched – and so it proved on a weekend when the great old competition answered back to its detractors… (BBC)

- Deadline day: 10 deals to watch - In no other sport and in no other country, does the business of strengthening a team become such a frenzied affair. But in England, the final week of the transfer window appears to induce panic and desperation as carefully conceived transfer strategies, quietly discussed over previous months, are turned upside-down… (BBC)

- The real story of the Eden Hazard Affair - From the harrumphing of the newspapers and the wails of indignation on the Internet, it seems that the Eden Hazard Affair was either the most shocking incident in modern-day football, or an entirely justified act of vigilantism. In truth, it was neither. It was silly, it was stupid and, if we’re being honest, it was also very funny… (ESPN – The Boot Room)

- Wilfried Zaha signs with Manchester United - Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha pending a medical. The 20-year-old prospect, who recently made his senior England debut, has been chased by a number of teams, including Arsenal and Liverpool, and reports suggest that he’ll cost the Red Devils something on the order of £15 million… (SB Nation)

- MLS, USL Pro announce player development partnership - The long-rumored MLS partnership with the USL Pro has finally become official with a few extra details being revealed. The over-arching agreement will allow MLS Reserve teams compete against USL Pro teams in official competition. Beyond that, several MLS teams have agreed to create full-blown affiliations and will send at least four players to those teams on long-term loans… (SB Nation)

- Americans Abroad – Weekend Rewind - If the U.S. Men’s National Team forwards play against Honduras on Feb. 6 as well as they did this weekend, Los Catrachos are in trouble… (Soccer by Ives)

- Gareth Bale goes in goal during training, makes incredible penalty save - The EPL answer to Messi’s La Liga training save… (Dirty Tackle)

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