Ian Ayre, I Am *VERY* Disappointed In You

October 12, 2011


“I’ve always rather liked Liverpool. Hardly surprising really. In 1980s Essex, as they were in most of the Home Counties, they were the natural affiliation for all 8 year old boys. Indeed, until my dad took me to Roots Hall and turned me to the mediocre side, I had ‘Shankly Gates’ bedcovers. There, I said it. But there’s something about Liverpool that appeals to me even now, much to the amusement of other more cynical souls. I love the history, the ethos, Bill Shankly’s socialist principles, the Kop and their standing ovations for opponents who have pleased them.” In Bed With Maradona

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France 1-1 Bosnia: Bosnia dominate first half, France lucky to get back in the game late on

October 12, 2011

“Bosnia were 15 minutes from topping the group, but Samir Nasri’s late penalty put France into Euro 2012. Laurent Blanc brought in Anthony Reveillere and Eric Abidal at the back, and Jeremy Menez came on down the right in a 4-2-3-1. Safet Susic also went with a 4-2-3-1 – albeit with some important modifications, explained later. Despite the result favouring France, Susic got things right tactically from the outset. Bosnia were much more of a force in the first half and can consider themselves unfortunate to have lost the lead late on – they allowed France few clear chances, though rash tackles meant set-pieces were always likely to be a way back into the game for the home side.” Zonal Marking


The McDonaldization of English Football

October 12, 2011

“Football ‘has always been‘, writes David Conn in The Guardian, ‘riven with contradiction between the amateur sporting principles of the game’s founding fathers and the professional carnival to which they unwittingly gave birth‘. This is undoubtedly true, and such a split is wider now than it has ever been. The chasm between the grassroots and the £100,000 salaries of celebrity players or £100 non-VIP tickets at the Emirates Stadium emanate from the popularity of the 1990 World Cup and the advent of Sky Sports soon after.” In Bed With Maradona


Preparing for yet another white elephant mega-event

October 12, 2011

“‘The whole country is celebrating a gift to all our people,’ Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych brazenly announced at last weekend’s official opening of Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, the 70,000-seat venue that will stage the Euro 2012 final. What a wonderful present indeed for the people of the economically crippled Ukraine! And a gift being something that you receive for free, one must assume that the estimated costs for the stadium of over £500 million did not come from the people’s pocket. Just as Shakira, who sang at the opening ceremony, no doubt waived her fee and showed up for the mere prestige of being there.” WSC


Classic Players: Ronaldo – A year in Catalunya

October 12, 2011

“As part of our ever expanding features this season, we introduce a new section to the website – the classics. As important as the current scheme of Spanish football is, and the future, it would be wrong to neglect its fine history. To overlook this area for us will be Mohamed Moallim, who becomes our chief writer on all things of a historical nature. Here he starts with a ‘phenomenal’ story…” Spanish Football