February 17, 2012 § 3 Comments
Yay Herve Renard! Yay fitted cotton shirts! Yay for the grand narrative! « Read the rest of this entry »
February 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
So the Champions League is back. Are you excited? A bit? Yeah, me too. The football’s decent, though there is the ever-present sense that it’s all a charade, played out to line the pockets of men that are already insensitively rich. Plus, Heineken’s shite. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
by William Abbs
In episode 1F18 of The Simpsons, “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song,” Bart’s dog escapes at school during show-and-tell and Principal Skinner is sacked because of the ensuing chaos. Having terrorised his headmaster for such a long time, Bart expects to feel happy at this turn of events. Instead, racked with guilt at the consequences of his actions and missing the competition that his rival offered, Bart tries to get Skinner his job back. With her brother confused by his emotions, Lisa offers him an explanation:
I think you need Skinner, Bart. Everybody needs a nemesis. Sherlock Holmes had his Professor Moriarty, Mountain Dew has its Mellow Yellow, even Maggie has that baby with the one eyebrow.
June 1, 2011 § 8 Comments
This isn’t really a book about football. Football is all around it, providing means, motive and opportunity, but this is a book about a group of very strange people. It is an investigation undertaken with a lot of affection, a dose of hostility, and above all an incessant curiosity into their strangeness. What makes them men apart?
With one notable exception, about which more later, the book comprises short profiles – sketches, really, some more detailed than others – of forty-five footballers, fourteen managers, and six other “football men”, one of whom barely qualifies as such. None exceeds ten pages; the shortest barely fill three. Some come from one-to-one interviews, others from press conferences, others are simply descriptions conjured from Kuper’s contacts, knowledge, and critical eye. They were written across thirteen years, from September 1997 to October 2010, and have mostly appeared, in one form or another, in the Financial Times or other organs, though a few have been written specifically with the book in mind. « Read the rest of this entry »
May 18, 2011 § 4 Comments
by Michael Moruzzi
When I was beginning my life long obsession with football the German national team represented the destroyers of dreams. They were too good at winning to make it fun, and Jürgen Klinsmann was too good at scoring goals.
I couldn’t like Klinsmann because of who he played for, even if he seemed to be very good at his job. Then I learned to hate him, because not only was he very good, but he also cheated. By 1994 Klinsmann already had a reputation, but it was his dive against Milan when playing for Monaco in the 1994 European Cup semi-final that seemed to confirm his status as a cheat. I don’t recall the event, I just know that he wasn’t someone I was supposed to like. « Read the rest of this entry »
May 6, 2011 § 3 Comments
Ideas are funny things, and they come from the oddest of places. Today, for instance, I went shopping. Now, I hate shopping, and I really hate shopping for clothes, and I particularly hate shopping for the kind of clothes that I wouldn’t normally choose to wear on a day-to-day basis. Clothes that, even when bought, don’t feel like mine: in this instance, clothes for a wedding. So the upshot of my day is that tomorrow I will wake up, look in the mirror, and staring back at me will be a man who owns a waistcoat. Do I want to be that man? It doesn’t matter. I am now.
Bear with me. There’s football coming soon.
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