When The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly

June 6, 2013

“VERONA, Italy — Right up until he started quoting Hitler and dropping N-bombs, my new friend was a great dude. I’ll call him The Hooligan. A more generous host would be hard to find. Soon after we met, he made sure we stopped at the one place in town that served Campari correctly. He speaks eight languages, and seemed nothing like the Hellas Verona fans I’d read about, the neo-fascist, neo-Nazi, racist thugs. The Hooligan insisted the Veronese just have a dark sense of humor and refuse to wear the yoke of modern political correctness. Now we are headed toward the terraces of the stadium. Soon I’ll be packed in with the hard-core fans, three people for every seat, chest to back, eyes burning from smoke bombs. Near the entrance to the stands, I ask The Hooligan to translate any chants hurled down at the players.” ESPN

Why are so many black ex-pros unable to land managerial jobs?
“What’s worse than being an unemployed black coach? Being an unemployed black coach who employers believe has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to race. The above became pretty obvious to me when I reached out to black ex-pros who have since gone — or tried to go — into coaching. If I wanted honesty, I couldn’t get on-the-record quotes. If you seek the answer to an age-old question — Why are black coaches so underrepresented in the English game? — and want straightforward views from certain people, you need to go on background.” ESPN (Video)

ESPN – Press Pass Extra: Italy hands out racism punishment (Video)

Fabio Capello’s Russia show Portugal the benefits of a strict regime

June 6, 2013

“Managers react to leaving the England job in a number of ways. Glenn Hoddle resumed a club career. Kevin Keegan seemed to give up on football management altogether. Sven-Goran Eriksson became a preposterous playboy, linked with such increasingly outré schemes that it always comes as something of a start to remember he once made IFK Gothenburg one of the leading forces in Europe. Steve McClaren took himself off inter-railing round medium-sized clubs in the Netherlands and Germany. And Fabio Capello set his not inconsiderable jaw at the world, put a not inconsiderate pay cheque in his pocket and set about making Russia at last live up to its potential.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson (Video)