Daily Archives: March 18, 2011

The Importance Of The Northern League

“On March 25th 1889 nineteen clubs from across the north east of England met in the Three Tuns Hotel in Durham City. The meeting had been organised by Charles Craven, a goalkeeper with Darlington FC, who duly took their place as one of the ten founding members of the Northern League. What is now renowned as the world’s second oldest surviving football league got underway on September 7th, Darlington travelling to Newcastle East End in the first round of fixtures. Darlington St Augustine’s won the inaugural title with twenty-six points, edging Newcastle West End on goal difference. A team called Middlesbrough finished sixth that season, just ahead of South Bank.” In Bed With Maradona

A Brief History of Nous

“Did you know that Sir Alex Ferguson still doubts his tactical nous? The headline leaves no room for doubt: “Sir Alex Ferguson: I still doubt my tactical nous”. I find this sad. Sir Alex would seem to have it all: a long record of championships, a range of expensive outerwear, a ruddy Glaswegian complexion, a knighthood—but if you can’t trust in your own nous, what is it all worth, really?” Run of Play

1950s Month: ‘O Rei’ and the Defiance of Understanding

“In September Brian Phillips, founder and editor of the glorious Run of Play, wrote one of the greatest sporting essays I have ever read. Never mind the ‘blogosphere’, this made even some of Brian Glanville and Hugh McIlvanney’s efforts look tame. I really mean that. It was entitled ‘Pelé as a Comedian’ and dealt with the sheer aesthetic poetry of the great Brazilian, the disbelieving laughter his transcendent genius brings to our lips. Pelé, Brian argued, is a comedian, a man who creates chaos out of peace and thrills us by restoring that peace with dizzying ease.” The Equaliser

Champions League draw – as it happened

Jean-Pierre Clatot
“The draw begins at 11am UK time. By which what we mean, of course, is that the video montages, unnecessary musical interludes, and same-old boring lecture we get every year about how wonderful the Champions League is begins at 11am. Then, all of a sudden, the draw will happen very quickly just when you’ve given up waiting and gone to make a cuppa instead. Fear not, though, I shall be here without to make sure you don’t miss a thing.” Guardian

Spartak Moscow – Ajax 3 – 0: A broken formation

“Ajax went into this game, knowing that they needed to turn up the efficiency after their profligacy of the first leg, leading to a 0-1 loss with a goal scoring chances ratio of 17 to 3. But at the half hour mark they saw themselves two goals down and the game was virtually over. Spartak’s initial pressing dislodged Ajax formation and the home team took excellent advantage.” 11 tegen 11

When taunting by fans goes too far

“As anyone who has ever experienced one will know, a soccer match in England is not for the fainthearted. Even in these safer, more sanitary days, you’ll still hear things shouted from the anonymity of the crowd that you might not hear over the dinner table. And that’s a wonderful thing. For who among us did not giggle like schoolboys when the intricacies of David and Victoria Beckham’s love life were openly speculated upon.” SI