When will fans realise football is just an incredibly well-paid job?

IT HAS been interesting to hear the criticism of players who left their club in order to move elsewhere. Some clubs and their fans take it worse than others, but ultimately, in the free market that is football, players are like you and me, they have a choice to earn their income from whom they choose to work for. Football is not a vocation, a … Continue reading When will fans realise football is just an incredibly well-paid job?

Perhaps only technology can unseat City

RIGHT now, Manchester City must feel that the rest of the football world is against them, that the establishment has decided the only way to stop Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering team is to use technology to depose them. And the establishment is London, Tottenham, the FA and the media. Twice VAR has upset City against Spurs and although the result didn’t prove fatal (yet), the ruled-out … Continue reading Perhaps only technology can unseat City

How to save football’s “bible”

THE LATEST edition of the yearbook that has forever been known as the “Rothmans” has reached its 50thanniversary, but how long will the doorstop of football data be around? The last two books have been backed by the tabloid newspaper, The Sun – an unlikely partner but nevertheless a welcome one. In 2018, it was revealed that the publication was in danger of ending, just … Continue reading How to save football’s “bible”

Fool or hero? Maradona movie shows why he was like no other

ANYONE who watched the World Cup 1986 “hand of God” incident will have preconceived views about Diego Armando Maradona. In the space of six minutes in Mexico City, the game against England displayed everything that was good and bad about him. If VAR was in use in 1986, Maradona would have been sent off and Argentina would surely not have beaten England. History would have … Continue reading Fool or hero? Maradona movie shows why he was like no other

Football Read Review: Zonal Marking by Michael Cox

YOU could argue that Jonathan Wilson had the final word on football tactics, but if you want to know how European football got to where it is today, Michael Cox’s stage-by-stage story provides a different angle on whiteboard thinking. Zonal Marking is an excellent read and is thought-provoking in the way the author views the transitional phases of European football. You may not agree with … Continue reading Football Read Review: Zonal Marking by Michael Cox

Football Media Watch: City PR battle may be a sign of change in China

MANCHESTER CITY, the club that turned almost everything they touched to gold last term, may not look back on their pre-season trip to China with too much relish. For some reason, the Chinese state-run news agency, Xinhua, felt moved to accuse the club of showing disrespect to local fans as well as discrimination to the Chinese media. Interestingly, criticism of City comes at a time … Continue reading Football Media Watch: City PR battle may be a sign of change in China

Young lions – overpriced and underused

BY THE time Diego Armando Maradona was 21 years old, he had played around 200 league games for his employers. Likewise, Pelé, at that tender age, had turned-out around 300 times for Santos. More recently, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two totems of the modern age, made more than 100 appearances. George Best, by his 21stbirthday, was heading towards the 150 mark. In short, … Continue reading Young lions – overpriced and underused

Football Media Watch: Neymar’s Lament

DEPENDING on which newspaper or website you read, Neymar looks set to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the coming weeks. Or maybe not. There are rumblings from the French capital that Brazil’s troubled talisman has had enough of life in Ligue 1, that he’s longing for a move back to Barcelona. It has been a fractious few months for Neymar, whom Barney Ronay of the Guardian … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Neymar’s Lament

Tea – best drink of the day, not a diplomatic issue

LOOSEN-up Lioness fans, Alex Morgan was merely poking fun, not hurling an insult to a nation. Football is a game that provokes such gestures of mockery, cricket thrives on “sledging” and players lift t-shirts to reveal messages after they score. It’s a product for the masses, a simple game that has no halfway measures in competitions like World Cups – win or lose. Emotions get … Continue reading Tea – best drink of the day, not a diplomatic issue

Why close season breaks are necessary

HOW often have you heard football fans bemoan the fact that the season has ended and that “I don’t know what I’m going to do for the next few months…perhaps I will watch cricket” ? Football is an addiction, but it is also about expectation, forlorn hopes and thwarted ambition. While there’s a close season, there’s this 10-12 week window where dreams can be formulated … Continue reading Why close season breaks are necessary

Fool or hero? Maradona movie shows why he was like no other

ANYONE who watched the World Cup 1986 “hand of God” incident will have preconceived views about Diego Armando Maradona. In the space of six minutes in Mexico City, the game against England displayed everything that was good and bad about him. If VAR was in use in 1986, Maradona would have been sent off and Argentina would surely not have beaten England. History would have … Continue reading Fool or hero? Maradona movie shows why he was like no other

Football Read Review: The Club – a book that had to be written

THERE’S A LOT of very fine football books in circulation at present, ranging from the fairly disposable “fan lit” to books about some of the trends impacting the game, such as data, tactics, finance and culture. The Club, by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg, explains how the Premier League rose to become the most disruptive sporting business in the world. The league’s origins, which we … Continue reading Football Read Review: The Club – a book that had to be written