December 2, 2011 § Leave a Comment
by Maxwell Kuhl
what drunk, hapless waves,
heady in the moving water
waiting for the rocks and sand,
already leaning, lost together « Read the rest of this entry »
November 10, 2011 § 13 Comments
Football is full of vacant concepts, bastard phrases referring to little and signifying less. Sometimes these are straightforward impossibilities: consider “England midfield” or “Portuguese striker”. Other times, they feel like they should be actual things, but are comical in their futility. “Gentlemen’s agreement”, perhaps, or “long-term contract”. But there can be few as depressingly useless as what is now brewing in Newcastle, the “fans’ backlash” against the plans to rename St. James’ Park as “Sports Direct Arena”. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment
When Cesc Fabregas left the club he loved for the club he loved even more, he was quick to point out that he would not have departed the Emirates were it not for his unique relationship with Barcelona. No other club would have done. The siren song of the Camp Nou chimed with that now-notorious DNA, and he was helpless to resist. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 26, 2011 § 8 Comments
A thought struck me while I was watching Manchester United against Tottenham on Monday night, moments after the ball struck a United hand and the beer in the hand of the buffoon behind me struck the back of my neck as he bellowed and flapped in incomprehensible, walrus-like fury. I assume he wanted a free-kick. Now, it wasn’t a free-kick, because it was obviously an unavoidable and accidental contact of ball and hand, but that didn’t stop most of the pub first going up, then chuntering about the injustice of it all. United getting the decisions again. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 16, 2011 § 2 Comments
by Ian King
The scene was Molineux, Wolverhampton, on the 5th of January 2003. The Third Round of the FA Cup was reaching its conclusion, and the television cameras were focussing their unyielding gaze upon the match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United. It was a match that was ripe for an upset of some description. The atmosphere at Molineux – even though, with its open corners and one stand twenty or so yards from the pitch, it is hardly designed for it – can be fearsome for such matches. At the time, it had been getting close to twenty years since Wolves had last played in the top division of English football and every match against higher opposition was an opportunity for the club to prove its credentials, having spent much of the previous decade labouring under the “sleeping giant” label applied to it by the press after Jack Hayward, the “Golden Tit”, first pointed his udders in the direction of a place in the Premier League. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 11, 2011 § Leave a Comment
One of the unintended consequences of the recent civil unrest in London was the opening of a tiny wormhole in Whitechapel High Street, just outside JD Sports, as a result of a teenager attempting to steal a pair of shoes he was already wearing. This tiny rip in the space-time continuum closed almost immediately, but not before one page of a film magazine fell through, apparently from the date December 12, 2039. The only complete review is reproduced below …
Documentary review: The Man Who Killed Football (The Man Who Brought It Back To Life), dir. N. Spooner. Five stars.
In all of the history of football, it is difficult to call to mind a player quite as brilliant, ridiculous, nonsensical, and glorious, as Tiago Manuel Dias Correira, hailed in Portugal as The Hammer of The Gods, lamented in Manchester as The One That Got Away, revered in Barcelona as The Wizard (and feared in Madrid as He Who Must Not Be Named), but known to all the world, and probably the Martians too, as Bébé. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 9, 2011 § 15 Comments
by Mike Counsell
Occasionally in life, something happens that is so alien, so counterintuitive, so brain-jarringly wrong that it makes you question whether there can ever again be such a thing as certainty. It was May the 14th 1988, FA Cup final day, and I was in the pub. Nothing unusual or counterintuitive about that, as anyone who knows me would confirm.
(Incidentally, as a digressing disclaimer, there will be errors of fact and attribution in this piece. Football is a game of passions and opinions, and I prefer the kind of truth that’s refracted through memory and experience rather than the kind that reflects, you know, what actually happened. The date I can vouch for, but I’m afraid that that constitutes the full extent of my research.) « Read the rest of this entry »
July 11, 2011 § 10 Comments
by John McGee
I’m sure many of you reading this will have chosen your favoured clubs as a result of childhood doctrine. My own brother, based in West Cumbria, is an ardent and undying Aston Villa fan as the result of a dogged and determined campaign by his godmother’s then boyfriend (now husband) which saw our shared bedroom littered with claret and blue relics and us using the combined wit of our 12 years in the world to puzzle over what exactly a ‘Mita Copier’ was. For his part my Dad was always fairly sanguine about our footballing allegiances and whilst he looked fairly on my decision to follow his beloved Leeds he hardly batted an eyelid when it became obvious (to him long before me) that Carlisle United had really stolen the portion of my heart reserved for that special type of heartbreak. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 27, 2011 § 5 Comments
by Sam Drew
Down at the bottom of Old Trafford,
Among Nanis and Rooneys,
A little Mexican poacher,
They call the Little Pea!
He’s quick and looks like he wears make-up,
Keep it a secret now please.
He’s scored 20 goals this season,
And that’s the Little Pea,
The Little Pea!
June 24, 2011 § 3 Comments
by Hayden Shaw
As a Manchester United fan I should probably have nothing but hatred and contempt for Jamie Carragher. Certainly not admiration and grudging respect then, in fact in the wrong Manchester pubs such an admission could cause me some serious respiratory problems, and not because I was laughing too hard at a witty put down. The fact that Jamie Carragher is the top English scorer AGAINST Liverpool is brilliant pub ammo, the fact that he has a silly voice and none of the foreign players can understand a word he says is kind of amusing and the fact that he was an Everton fan to the point that he has an Everton tattoo makes it all the more strange that he is a Liverpool legend. « Read the rest of this entry »