Melting pot

‘Could England play “the German way”? Of course not … It is never going to be’

* By Tim Rich 21 July 2014 Before I was married, I used to go to weddings and sit at the back as the bride and groom danced to the first song – usually something utterly inappropriate like Careless Whisper or the Police’s creepy Every Breath you Take. I would wonder why it wasn’t me up there in the middle of all the flashbulbs, grinning like the star of a commercial for Colgate. Why not me? A lot of English footballers, particularly those who returned from the World Cup to be greeted by crowds of zero, would have similar feelings watching the Germans parade...


A doping conundrum: just $6m a year on developing new tests, $350m on testing

* By Roger Pielke Jr 21 July 2014 Speaking last week in Australia, the winner of the 2011 Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans, claimed that professional cycling today is cleaner than at any time in his experience. The 37-year-old Aussie rider said: "It's in the best shape – maybe not economically – but the best shape ethically and sporting-wise that the sport has ever been in, certainly since I've been involved in the sport." Yet on that same day Team Sky, who employ the past two Tour winners in Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, announced that they had parted ways with one of their...


Upsets, giant-killings, adios, bye-bye: FIFA rankings STILL ahead in predicting results

* At the completion of the Italy-Costa Rica match in Group D in Recife, half of the 2014 World Cup group games (24 of 48) had been played.  There have been expected victories for some nations, big upsets for others - Adios Spain! Bye-bye England! - and more goals than most fans would have expected. So who could have forecast this? Actually, a huge variety of ‘experts’, forecasters, theorists, modelers and systems have tried to predict the outcome of this tournament, from Goldman Sachs to boffin statistical organisations. In his second post for Sportingintelligence, and as part of an ongoing evaluation of rates...