Don’t Worry France, It’s Not Your Fault (Blame These Guys)


As the post mortem begins for France after their 0-1 extra-time defeat to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final, it’s worth pointing out that France started the game at a serious disadvantage.

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With Rooney, Mourinho Is Going To First Principles


It was some good old-fashioned Greek logic.

When José Mourinho sat down at his first press conference as Manchester United manager, he summoned some reasoning that dates back to 384 BC and the northern periphery of classical Greece. More recently, it’s a mental model that’s been applied by Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, Tesla and Solar City.

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Brexit & Cods Wallop


In most traumatic situations, it’s helpful to zoom out. In a week, for example, when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union and England lost to Iceland, I recall a conversation I had with my father-in-law late last year when Vladimir Putin was advancing on Ukraine. As a committed historian, I asked him how long he estimated it would take humanity to zoom out and focus on, well, humanity.

“Oh, another 4,000 years.”

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How To Avoid Counter-Attacks, by Johan Cruyff (And How To Defend Them)


A German referee asked an interesting thing the other day. Our Berlin ‘freizeit’ team SFC Friedrichshain Internazionale had just battled to a 2-4 away victory, defending bravely in the second half after a 3-0 lead was pegged back to 3-2. When our fourth goal came in the last minute it was a moment of joy and relief. Afterwards, the referee asked our coach what we needed to improve on next season.

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