Football’s international language

August 24, 2009

“A few month’s back on Radio 5’s World Football Phone-In (Friday night/Saturday morning, normally between 2.30 am and 4am if you care to join us), the excellent analyst of European football, Andy Brassell, was talking about the first Champions League game he attended in Italy. He had a shock. An English team was involved, but the match stewards could not speak English. In my wanderings around South America, however, I would get a similar shock if I saw such a thing as a steward.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Africa and the English Premier League: A Love Story

August 24, 2009

“‘Who do you support?’ For your average American that question, particularly without any context, is almost impossible to make sense of. But as I learned on a tour of Uganda and Kenya with a group of American educators in the summer of 2008, for a surprising number of Africans (particularly the teenage students we met) it is among the first questions a Western visitor will be asked. And, to the further confusion of American visitors, the right answer is almost always one of the ‘big four’: Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, or Arsenal.” (Pitch Invasion)

And they are back!

August 24, 2009

“Well, there we are. The Ashes are back in Andrew ‘Blazer’ Strauss’s and England’s hands. An astonishing Test Match which saw England fans chewing their knuckles even if cricketing history, common sense and the evidence of the previous few day’s play suggested that we couldn’t possibly lose.” (Left Back In The Changing Room)

Fan Diary #3: The Delayed Broadcast

August 24, 2009

“When I first started watching English football, I rarely got to watch the league matches live. I worked in a bar with no TVs. My friends George and Noel would bring us VHS tapes of the weekend matches. George taped the Setanta matches and my Noel taped the FSC matches (often tacking on Sopranos episodes from HBO after each match). The matchdays I wasn’t working were days I had to find a place to watch since I had neither football channel at home. The English pub in town would always have the games on but they didn’t open until noon on weekends. So I learned to love Liverpool on a delay. Watching tapes some 12 hours after the match was over or catching the repeat airings at the pub.” (EPL Talk)

Weekend Wrapup: A Very Busy and Amazing Second Week

August 24, 2009

“The past week has certainly given us our fair share of games to watch, ponder, pull our hair out over, or just genuinely enjoy. Just about every English team has played three games in the last nine days, Serie A just kicked off this weekend, and France and Germany are well into their seasons. Next weekend sees the start of the race to the title between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain which should be a very interesting one indeed, though it may cause international interest to the other 18 teams in Spain to dwindle slightly.” (Avoiding the Drop)

SuperCup Postgame aka: 1 down 5 to go

August 24, 2009

“Our lineup of starters came out and proved why they start and the Gamper was just a result of playing the B-team. We dominated from the very first moment and Xavi and Yaya quickly became the lords of the tempo of play. Maxwell and Alves gave the team width and Messi had all the time that he could have hoped for with the ball at his feet. Considering all of this was happening it might seem strange that our first goal didn’t come until the 50th minute.” (The Offside)

Spanish Supercup Result: FC Barcelona wins 3-0 (5-1 AGG)
“Barça are playing the Best Football of the continent (possibly the World) & it’s a spectacle to watch them play & see how the new incorporations of Ibrahimovic & Maxwell have settled in nicely into the scheme of things.” (Spanish Football)

FC Barcelona Wins Spanish Super Cup
(All About FC Barcelona)