Monday, 9 November 2015

The Militarisation of English Football

Really pleased with the reaction I had to this. Something I wrote for the ever excellent The Football Pink about poppy outrage and the influence of the military in English football

The Militarisation of English Football

Monday, 5 October 2015

Unlikely European Heroes

The always excellent Football Pink were good enough to publish something I wrote about IFK Gothenburg's European glory days of the the 1980s. Want to take a look? - IFK Gothenburg

Monday, 28 September 2015

Arsenal in Crisis?

With Arsenal set to resume their Champions League campaign tomorrow, here's a piece I wrote about their 'crisis' after losing their first match against Dinamo Zagreb.

Where Does Arsenal's Champions League Fate Lie?

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Perils of Taking a Four Year Old to Football

This season I have started to take the boy to football matches. We’ve been to a few local non-league clubs so that he can get a feel of what going to the football is like. I felt it was important that he grew up thinking that football is something you go to rather than just watch on TV. I have already convinced him to be a Forest fan so I also see non-league football of a good way of showing that football isn’t just about the likes of Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo.

Our latest match was a visit to Middle Road – or as it has just been renamed, The Taxi Link Community Sports Ground – home of Shoreham FC aka the Musselmen. This was our second time watching Shoreham but this game had the added glamour of being in the FA Cup. The visitors were Eastbourne Town who had beaten Shoreham earlier in the week in a league cup match so revenge was surely in the minds of the home side.

Another reason why I have chosen to take the boy to non-league matches first is that at four years old it is unlikely that he would want to sit still for 90 minutes, whatever the standard of football on show. One of the many attractions of non-league football is that you can move around the ground. You can also drink beer on the terraces all through the match. These two plus points make both me and my son very happy.

As far as the match was concerned, Shoreham didn’t start very well and an awful goalkeeping error saw Eastbourne take the lead fairly early on before adding another before half time. Apparently it was another defensive mistake that led to the goal but I am unable to confirm that as I was taking the boy to the clubhouse toilet at the time. This wasn’t the last piece of crucial action we would miss.

After a half time break spent watching the latest scores in the bar we emerged for the second half not that confident that Shoreham would be extending their FA Cup journey this season. But the team seemed reinvigorated and soon scored a great goal with an assist from man mountain Melford Simpson who had come on as a sub (apologies to the actual goal scorer whose name I don’t know yet – it’s only my second game!). Shoreham were looking far more threatening with the young – make that VERY young – left winger posing as much problems as anyone for the Eastbourne defence.

With only minutes to go – and after repeated earlier questioning – the boy revealed that he desperately needed the toilet again. Under duress we went back into the clubhouse. While we were there we heard a cheer. Shoreham had scored. “How do you know its Shoreham daddy?” the boy asked as he sat on the toilet. At this level you don’t get many away fans so any kind of cheer meant that Shoreham had scored I explained. My point was doubly proven as we went back onto the terraces. It looked as if Eastbourne had scored again as Shoreham were restarting the match. We had heard no cheer but thanks to a couple of toilet trips we had managed to miss three goals and Shoreham were out of the FA Cup, losing 3-2 in added on time.

We have also been to see Southwick and plan to visit Whitehawk soon but I do have a bit of a soft spot for Shoreham now as the home of the boy’s first football match. Hopefully next time we will plan the toilet breaks better but we will be back soon.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Mourinho Up To Same Old Bullshit

Jose Mourinho has been reported as being in “total shock” that his usual pre-season wind up antics have been received with a collective shrug from the football fans of England.

The Chelsea boss – and notorious winder upper – has taken great pride in getting under the skin of his fellow head coaches and usually really starts to get in his stride about this time of year. But due to everyone being really fucking bored of his usual shit his barbs have not seemed to have had their normal effect.

“In seasons past it used to really get on my tits how Mourinho could wind up everyone associated with this great club” said Dave Shitbird, a Liverpool fan with seemingly no idea of what ‘great’ means.

Even Arsene Wenger, a long time target for Mourinho’s taunts was reported as saying: “Honestly, I don’t give a flying fuck what that jumped up little translator has to say. Playas gonna hate.”

Jose Mourinho was unavailable for comment but was probably crying himself to sleep on a bed of money.

Barcelona Sign George Best

Shock signing at Camp Nou

Sexists Actually Enjoyed Women's World Cup

'News' story for O'Learys Pod

New Stuff

I've been writing some short 'news' stories for the O'Leary's Pod site. Here's a few that have been used as well as some others I just fancied writing...

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Interview

Most of the best films ever made have an exploding helicopter. That's just cinematic fact. I recently watched The Interview starring Seth Rogen, James Franco and an exploding helicopter so I wrote this - The Interview

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Champions League

Here's an article I wrote just before the quarter final stage of the Champions League that got used by a Scottish football site. I actually predicted the four semi finalists correctly!

Who Will Win the Champions League?

Football Writing

I've continued to write for 90Digital who have contracts with a whole host of sites so my work sometimes ends up in the strangest places. Here's a couple of recent ones:

Five Strikers Linked With a Move to the Premier League

Leaving the Bridge?

Healthspan Articles

I sometimes get paid to write about subjects somewhat out of my comfort zone. I've put a few up here before but now Healthspan have collated all my pieces together - and it looks quite good.

Healthspan Articles

Friday, 27 February 2015

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Psycho, Psycho, Psycho

An absolute club legend but Stuart Pearce as head coach at Forest was always a bad decision. That's what I said for MoreSport anyway - Psycho Killer: Al-Hawasi and the Pearce Conspiracy

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Monday, 12 January 2015

Going, Going...Er, Still Going. Honest

The confusion surrounding Frank Lampard’s move to New York City FC seems to have finally abated. The former Chelsea midfielder will now be joining the new MLS club in July at the end of the English Premier League season. The confusion, you will remember, came from Lampard initially saying that he would be going to the States on January 1st after his loan spell at Manchester City finished.

A few months of successful football in the (ahem) most popular league in the world seemed to have changed Frank’s mind about the whole January thing. Not so, said Frank. He only signed a ‘commitment’ to join NYCFC in January apparently. Putting aside the fact that he now seems to have fallen pretty short of that ‘commitment’ anyway, the main problem here seems to be that Major League Soccer – in its stereotypical American tub thumping style – shouted the announcement of Lampard’s joining the league from the rooftops. This was, understandably, also a massive draw for those New Yorkers who spent money on season tickets and merchandise for a club that had yet to kick a ball. When Lampard revealed that he wouldn’t be joining in January after all it is also understandable that those same fans might worry that they had been duped.

Lampard’s panic-calming words about all parties speaking to each other to sort out the situation are all very well until you remember that these ‘parties’ are all basically the same party. The same people that own Manchester City, own New York City (and probably many other cities all around the world). MLS fans are long enough in the tooth now not to be fobbed off by football authorities with the promise of untold riches and good news stories – they deserved to be told what was going on from the beginning. Whether that is from MLS, Man City or Frank Lampard himself.

As much as many American fans want to be regarded as a major force in world football and for their top league to be given its due respect this episode has only proved that money rules everything in football now and signed ‘commitments’ don’t really count for much. Maybe New York fans could look at other clubs in the area already actually playing football matches if they want to get their fix of ‘real’ football rather than be a carbon copy of what is already sadly the norm on the other side of the Atlantic.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

January Blues?

Here's something I wrote just before Christmas about possible Chelsea transfer window targets - January Blues?