Football journalism

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

What do we like?

What do we hate?

What do we expect?

And other such conundrums.

isn't house rubbish and Pete W mental (Pete W), Monday, 4 April 2011 14:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

I expect better.

The other day I read this in the Guardian. It's by Louise Taylor, who isn't a particularly great writer, but it is exactly what I want from football journalism: it's entertaining, it's informative, it's considered and it is considerate.

It isn't shrill, contentious, controversial, predictable, snide or moralistic, which seems to be what most football journalism is about.

isn't house rubbish and Pete W mental (Pete W), Monday, 4 April 2011 14:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

i quite like old distinguished types eulogising in the times, good tactical analyses are always welcome though hard to come by, feverish transfer speculation often works as a quick fix

ILX works, when it's more than just quickfire posting like mine and sam's. There's a lot of people worth reading on varying subjects.

the salmon of procrastination (darraghmac), Monday, 4 April 2011 14:25 (seven years ago) Permalink


I don't expect amazing prose from football journalists and think some of the most lauded writers are massively over-rated (Glanville, McIlvanney), so that's not an issue. It's more one of tone. Of the heavyweight pundits (Barclay, Lawton, Collins, Des Kelly, Williams, Heyward) I think only Martin Samuel is worth reading. The rest write drivel.

Most of the correspondents (Winter, McCarra etc) are by-the-by, although Oliver Kay at The Time is quite decent, and rhwy too often found themselves caught in a trap of having to churn out reactive prose to non-stories (Rooney swearing, Club A winning/losing/drawing a game they weren't expected to win/lose/draw). I don't know what they are supposed to do in these circumstances.

There are some very good specialists like Jonathan Wilson. Ian Hawkey at the ST used to be good, but I haven't read him for yonks. David Conn's articles are IMPORTANT but I rarely read a whole one. I think Rob Smyth has a good feel for the game. There's a guy at the indie who is okay (corcoran?).

Then there's online. I find Run Of Play too overwritten, too lit-crit PPE clever, although I applaud the sentiment; Zonal Marking goes the other way, far too dry, an analysis of football as if it were played and then written about by robots. I'm sure there is better stuff out there on the web: thoughtful and intelligent, but much of it falls down the Football 365/Fiver route of taking cheap, snide, predictable (if occasionally OTM) shots at predictable targets, or are so pathetically club-biased they are almost unreadable. I swear fanzines were never this bad.

So that's what I think.

When I find pieces I like, I will post them here.

isn't house rubbish and Pete W mental (Pete W), Monday, 4 April 2011 14:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

There is some good stuff on ILX and also in the comments in the Guardian, although you have to wade through some proper shit in the latter to find it.

Has anybody else downloaded Wilson's The Blizzard? I'm not as impressed as I'd like to be, but will persevere. Also, should I be reading 4-4-2 regularly?

isn't house rubbish and Pete W mental (Pete W), Monday, 4 April 2011 14:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

442 is good, i think- particularly good feature pieces imo.

the salmon of procrastination (darraghmac), Monday, 4 April 2011 14:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

The Blizzard's good enough, but far too much filler - which only really became apparent when I got to the end and Wilson's own bits overshadowed the rest so thoroughly. The Verona piece was great though.

Ismael Klata, Monday, 4 April 2011 15:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

That Dalglish/Ferguson piece is excellent, yes - I feel I got a piece of the human beings behind all the rubbish for once. I'd like to see similar about Hodgson, in fact lots of managers might make interesting subjects if you caught them not-on-the-job.

The Guardian's strike rate is pretty high I'd say - maybe one-in-three features are worth reading and I enjoy the fiver. I don't really seek out much other stuff, though The Telegraph seems good when I happen upon it.

lol at ILX as a home of good writing - it's true though!

Ismael Klata, Monday, 4 April 2011 15:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'm sure I've said this before but Martin Samuel is a pious prick.

Matt DC, Monday, 4 April 2011 18:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

Generally don't mind broadsheet football journalism unless it's just mindbogglingly wrong, I will admit a sheepish enjoyment of the Graun's football comedy crew. I think David Conn's the only person I'll go out of my way to read though.

Matt DC, Monday, 4 April 2011 18:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

Glanville has written many novels! C+P the list on wiki:

* The Reluctant Dictator - London, Laurie, 1952.
* Henry Sows the Wind - London, Secker and Warburg, 1954.
* Along the Arno - London, Secker and Warburg, 1956; New York, Crowell, 1957.
* The Bankrupts - London, Secker and Warburg, and New York, Doubleday, 1958.
* After Rome, Africa - London, Secker and Warburg, 1959.
* Diamond - London, Secker and Warburg, and New York, FarrarStraus, 1962.
* The Rise of Gerry Logan - London, Secker and Warburg, 1963; NewYork, Delacorte Press, 1965.
* A Second Home - London, Secker and Warburg, 1965; New York, Delacorte Press, 1966.
* A Roman Marriage - London, Joseph, 1966; New York, CowardMcCann, 1967.
* The Artist Type - London, Cape, 1967; New York, Coward McCann, 1968.
* The Olympian - New York, Coward McCann, and London, Secker andWarburg, 1969.
* A Cry of Crickets - London, Secker and Warburg, and New York, Coward McCann, 1970.
* The Financiers - London, Secker and Warburg, 1972; as Money Is Love, New York, Doubleday, 1972.
* The Comic - London, Secker and Warburg, 1974; New York, Stein andDay, 1975.
* The Dying of the Light - London, Secker and Warburg, 1976.
* Never Look Back - London, Joseph, 1980.
* Kissing America - London, Blond, 1985.
* The Catacomb - London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1988.
* Dictators - London, Smaller Sky Books, 2001.

The first and last have the word 'dictator' on the title. I am not going to make a lot of this.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 4 April 2011 19:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

* Goalkeepers Are Different (for children), London, Hamish Hamilton, 1971; New York, Crown, 1972.

"for children" ffs. I picked up a copy recently and it's a decent occasional commuting read.

Ismael Klata, Monday, 4 April 2011 19:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

I find Run Of Play too overwritten, too lit-crit PPE clever, although I applaud the sentiment

― isn't house rubbish and Pete W mental (Pete W), Monday, 4 April 2011 15:36 (5 hours ago)


ur fiver caricaturing still weirdly ott as ever though

r|t|c, Monday, 4 April 2011 19:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

the main football correspondents, or 'chief football writers' as nult would say, neatly parallel their publications' shtick

mccarra - amiable, periphrastic, pathologically inoffensive
lawton - challops challops challops challops challops
kay (?) - lumpen crap
winter - bloviating little englande shite, incessant self regard

The Geirogeirgegege (nakhchivan), Monday, 4 April 2011 19:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

mccarra's general opinionating is more inane than i care to admit, but i (like the pinefox) enjoy pretending his match reports have an anachronistic flaubertian rigour to them

r|t|c, Monday, 4 April 2011 19:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

"there was a staleness about them that invited harm"

this is a mccarra phrase from a long-forgotten match report that has inexplicably forever lodged itself in my mind

r|t|c, Monday, 4 April 2011 19:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

yup, loved the taylor article

vampire weeknd (cozen), Monday, 4 April 2011 19:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

big fan of the bbc's chief football writer, forget his name. paul mcnally or something.

Packie Bonner (Local Garda), Monday, 4 April 2011 23:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

mccarra gets dissed a lot around here so i'm glad i'm not alone in liking him. he does at least try to capture the tenor of match day - what's at stake - in an original way and he sometimes succeeds. r|t|c's remembered phrase is exactly the kind of thing i hope to read when i read him and he very often delivers. then again, i don't read much besides the guardian so i'm interested to see what else pops up in this thread.

40% chill and 100% negative (Tracer Hand), Monday, 4 April 2011 23:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

I enjoy Glenn Gibbons of the Scotsman and Tom English of the Scotsman on Scottish football, they often look deeper than the cliche and the received wisdom that surrounds much of Scottish football, and are all the better for it. Graham Spiers used to be an excellent thorn in the side of the establishment up here, but has turned into a cliche/challop-spouting merchant since going down south. I've all but given up on the Herald. Kevin McKenna and Ewan Murray of the Guardian are nothing outstanding.

Tabloid hacks are uniformly awful here, but Jim Traynor of the Record in particular has gotten increasingly mental over the years, culminating this weekend in a glorious on-air spat with BBC rentagob Chick Young* and perhaps the maddest editorial ever committed to print, complete with at least two factual inaccuracies that I can see (Neil Lennon's touchline ban has not been overturned and Dougie MacDonald [the referee referred to] resigned, he wasn't "binned"), some misplaced innuendo (Hugh Dallas' departure from the SFA was nothing to do with Celtic) and a ton of insane warblings that reads like a drunken idiot rambling on a messageboard rather than an opinion piece by one of the most prominent hacks in the Scottish game.

* highlight was when Young accused Traynor of being a "Rangers puppet" as he tried for over 10 minutes to rubbish Young's reporting of Rangers being in danger of going to administration. Traynor's response was not to refute Young's arguments with fact, to present any journalistic research of his own to counter the claims, to deny any accusation of peddling the pro-Rangers line. His retort was "aw, are you jealous, Chick?".

ailsa, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 09:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

I mourn the days when the useless Ian Ridley of the Observer would predict with utter certainty that Liverpool would win the Premiership, every single year.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 09:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

Oh, I should give an honourable mention to internet journalist Phil Mac Ghiolla Bain who has done some useful research on the institutionalised bias within the SFA, but dripfeeds it from his blog via Twitter with loads of "guess what I've got up my sleeve, huh?" hints and then takes big huffs when a paper takes the cue, does some research, breaks what he thinks should be his story and then doesn't give him credit. IMO he'd be better off freelancing and selling his complete and fully-researched stories to papers to reach a wider audience - the only people I know who are interested enough to read his blog aren't the kind of people whose perspective on Scottish football wouldn't be changed by reading any of his stuff anyway, and hacks who want to take credit for stories they didn't uncover themselves, but he does deserve credit for the sterling work done on the SFA.

The only other internet opinion pieces I tend to read are by Paul Brennan on Celtic Quick News - he isn't a bad writer, he has access to the Celtic Board (was first on the internet to break Strachan resigning, Mowbray's appointment, Mowbray's sacking and probably Lennon's appointment as well), but he's getting kind of insufferably pompous and deserves a kick in the testicles for some of overwrought pish that he writes.

I should really investigate more general football internet journalism, I have Run of Play bookmarked but never get round to reading it unless a piece is linked to from here.

ailsa, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 10:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

No relation of Phil Mac an Ultaigh I trust?

The Geirogeirgegege (nakhchivan), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 10:13 (seven years ago) Permalink


ailsa, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 10:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

Oh, thanks to onimo I'm rather enjoying - again, the internet coming good where actual print journalism is failing.

ailsa, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 10:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

i always liked dion fannings writing but i heard something recently that he had to make a donation to the Hillsborough Family Support Group following inappropriate references in the Sunday Independent about Jamie Carragher.

Michael B, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 14:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

here it is;

"Carragher was vocal again last week. Torres' sale might have been for the best if "he didn't 100 per cent want to be here". Nobody can question Carragher's desire to be at the club but many now have to ask if he should be.

It was "time for a change" he said when Benitez was sacked, even if the change only made things worse. Then, like now, he made some conciliatory public noises, but his private view reportedly was different.

Most, if not all, of those who contributed to the psychodrama at Liverpool have left. Carragher is the issue that needs to be confronted by Dalglish who has the powerbase to do it, a powerbase that may have intimidated those who felt he shouldn't get the job last summer."

Michael B, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 14:51 (seven years ago) Permalink

Don't let that put you off Fanning. Carragher in 'gets a bit touchy when someone has a go' shocker.

territory of the magic wand (Chris), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

It's funny you should mention that by the way, as I've just been talking to someone about that very subject.

territory of the magic wand (Chris), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

I don't think there's anything particularly inappropriate in that. Carragher's just a whiny bitch.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah i think so too. fanning had to shell out 5 grand. ouch!

Michael B, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

Re: FourFourTwo

tbh it's only worth picking up once every six months or so. A huge amount of what they do is already covered elsewhere, rehashing cliches and already outdated by the time it hits stands. Too many of their interviews are just shilling or rehashing what press officers will allow.

Otoh, they occasionally do features that wow - last season they went into all the great derbies across the world, where and why they started, how fans and players and etc. got involved and what that means in the modern day environment. Every one of these articles was terrific to read. And their tactics writing can be tremendous - the Sneijder cover that had articles on the evolution of the #10 was worthy of Wilson.

Nult AGL (a hoy hoy), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

how come when i type stuff it's much shorter than when u type stuff

the salmon of procrastination (darraghmac), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

only 6 characters needed for a darragh post, 7 if you include the space inbetween

Nult AGL (a hoy hoy), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

tbf under ramos it went up to 9

the salmon of procrastination (darraghmac), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'm often put off 4-4-2 by the coverline and tone that makes it look like a teenage version of Match. The derbies thing sounds great - somebody wrote a book on that theme a while ago but it was dreadful, completely wrong tone, sub-Hornby crap about the author rather than the political and social importance of the games. Real wasted opportunity.

I used to work with Kevin McCarra and he's a good writer when he isn't being worked to the bone on these shitty reaction pieces that seem to be the job lot of the correspondent. I feel sorry for them - they have to write so much fluff that use 1,000 words when only 100 are needed. That's part of the problem - a lot of what is in the football pages isn't really needed.

isn't house rubbish and Pete W mental (Pete W), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 19:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

the internet makes a mockery of the lot of them, especially in the guardian where they have to have a reaction or "5 things we learned" ten minutes after any remotely significant match or event...

richard williams is a total joke imo...wouldn't trust him remotely, different sport but he interviewed the irish rugby manager after we won the grand slam in 2009 and in the piece he'd written a completely factually incorrect summary of the game that won us that title, fabricating a last minute try that didn't exist, when it was a last minute drop goal in a massively publicised game.

if that sounds abstract it would be like writing about man u winning the cl against bayern with a beckham free kick or something. just utterly shit. i've read him talk about headed goals that were actually shots too, lots of errors.

can't really be doing with the contrarian side of the guardian guys, rob smyth or the generally just nasty scott murray. those joy of sixes are always so pretentious and omit the thing you want to read about under some spurious pretext, with that ultra annoying disclaimer about "not meant to rank things..."

i quite like tim vickery on bbc....can be tedious but at least he's writing with a specialism and informing you...too much of the writing is just raw opinion, sport should have more than that, there are winners and losers and stats, it's not like art.

Packie Bonner (Local Garda), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 23:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

There is a great story about Richard Williams when he was a music writer writing about Lennon's Weddings album and favourably reviewing the engineer's test recordings of white noise that he was sent by mistake.

I quite like the Joy of Six. I think Smyth is a real feel for the game, unlike many of the other Guardian people. I feel like he is caught in a tug of war between Wilson and Glendenning and hope he chooses right.

Couple of other good recent pieces that stick in the memory.

This excellent profile of John Terry came out in the middle of last year's witchhunt. It's sympathetic and, perhaps, much more damning because of it. No football writer would attempt to write such a thing. They either sneer without bothering to meet somebody, or they churn out a load of dull quotes. But Crampton is very good - his piece on Ruud Gullit was infamously lacerating.

The Guardian's Secret Footballer is running out of steam very quickly, but this was good and is appropriate.

isn't house rubbish and Pete W mental (Pete W), Friday, 8 April 2011 16:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

Bought the new 442 for the article on Berlisconi's influence on Milan. It was very vague unfortunately. "He wanted to run it as a marketable business" = greaaaat, you got really in depth there. Also seemed more interested in Hateley leaving even though it seemingly had little to do with Silvio. All I got was basically he paid off their debts and was heavily involved in the booster tv deal that lead to serie a being dominant in the 90s... which i already knew.

popular gay automobile (a hoy hoy), Friday, 8 April 2011 16:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yes, the Terry piece was great. I've never seen the Gullit one.

I've been having a think about what I want/don't want since you put this thread up. I do want proper humanity in the articles, a look at the person behind the usually-dull image, which you won't get from identaquotes. That Terry piece is dead on. I want a fresh angle if possible, and if not (there's only so much footy can bear after all) I want old angles done well and straightforwardly.

I don't want spurious political angles because the game can rarely bear it (see Wilson's blizzard Red Star piece for how it should be done). I'm surprised you all speak highly of the fourfourtwo derby series, anything I've seen attempting similar has been way off imo.

Ismael Klata, Friday, 8 April 2011 16:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

I know what I want and what I don't want (alas these rules can be broken but rarely are):

Factual data (injuries, form, etc.) that will allow me to make my own decision on a game.
Sober understanding of off the field details (i.e. finances, fanbase size and opinion, etc.)
A basic understanding of tactics. You don't have to be Jonathon Wilson but fucking hell you'd think TOO MANY writers/talking heads etc. have only just been introduced to the game.
Try to avoid bias, especially when it comes to nationalism.
An appreciation of all that happens on the pitch - sometimes a great last gasp tackle is much more important than a goal, a right back can be MOTM over a striker etc.
An interesting perspective about something that is droppin' knowledge (in a normal tone and not a 'oh these kids know nothing these days' one).
An understanding of history or perspective of what made a team what they are. I know it was only a ilx thing but the chanting Where Were You When You Were Shit to Chelsea fans discussion is a good example of how journalists need this.
Genuine enthusiasm for the game.
Genuine enthusiasm to see more to the game than the goalscorer.

Don't want:
Predictions on games like I'm not supposed to think for myself.
Flowery or forced language. I know that if Havand & Waterlooville are playing at Anfield that it is a spectacle, you can only ruin it by telling me what I already know 4000times with stupid language.
Ridiculous loss of perpective: for example - only 5 clubs at most can win the highest level championships in this country (incl. Europa/CL) and it is not the end of the world when 90 teams a season don't win them.
Mispaced idolism (i.e. the Rooney media).
Writers/talking heads not knowing shit about who they talk about. If Utd get a team of plucky part-time plumbers and window washers from Moldova in the Champions League, it is ok to not know but if someone plays in the top 5 leagues and you are professional, I'd hope you'd do more than read a wikipedia article. Or at least know who fucking Ben Arfa or David Silva is.

popular gay automobile (a hoy hoy), Friday, 8 April 2011 16:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

There is a great story about Richard Williams when he was a music writer writing about Lennon's Weddings album and favourably reviewing the engineer's test recordings of white noise that he was sent by mistake.

Now that is what I call 70s music journalism!

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 9 April 2011 08:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

There is a great story about Richard Williams when he was a music writer writing about Lennon's Weddings album and favourably reviewing the engineer's test recordings of white noise that he was sent by mistake.

lolol I thought you were just joking abt it actually being him

1000 Vults Of Nult (DJ Mencap), Saturday, 9 April 2011 11:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh cmon can we not just get music its own board or something?

the salmon of procrastination (darraghmac), Saturday, 9 April 2011 12:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

look at this jawdropping litany of pointless filler. i hadn't actually realised it was this bad til now since it never occurred to me he could possibly be writing three separate identical pieces on each non-subject daily.

r|t|c, Sunday, 10 April 2011 12:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

Carlo Ancelotti on the precipice as Chelsea prepare for Old Trafford
10 Apr 2011

Even Carlo Ancelotti the cool one has been consumed by this age of rage
7 Apr 2011

What Chelsea's Fernando Torres wouldn't give for a goal celebration
7 Apr 2011

Emotional baggage brought home from Moscow still weighs on Chelsea
6 Apr 2011

r|t|c, Sunday, 10 April 2011 12:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

hayward is dire....

not football but check this quote, used as a link in the story on bbc sport about the augusta masters

"To McIlroy's generation, Woods is the icon, the man they watched as kids, the man who changed the sport. They could be about to get their own icon"

if woods is their icon then how could they be about to get their own one? it just defies belief how shit these people are.

Will.Have.Known (Local Garda), Sunday, 10 April 2011 12:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

I understand the need for LOTS of journalism each day but does that sort of stuff really bring in more hits than a well written piece about a club less talked about? Like if you regularly picked a club with lots of fans that aren't necc. written about often, like say, modern Leeds, couldn't you in theory be more interesting AND still get mad website hits?

popular gay automobile (a hoy hoy), Sunday, 10 April 2011 12:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

there's too much opinion on everything

Will.Have.Known (Local Garda), Sunday, 10 April 2011 12:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

really liked sid lowe's interview with Monchi

pandemic, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 11:56 (two years ago) Permalink

"Negotiations come next, where you have to know the market, have an alternative, and be realistic. “The guy selling a Seat Leon will claim it’s a better model,” Monchi says. “Kanouté wasn’t the first option; we were going after Fred, the Brazilian. We wanted [Kevin-Prince] Boateng before Keita. And if a player says: ‘Chelsea want me,’ I say: ‘What are you talking to me for, then?’ But if Swansea or Spurs want you, let’s talk. I sell the city, the club: a serious club that pays as promised, which sounds trivial but isn’t.”"


japanese mage (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 17 May 2016 12:00 (two years ago) Permalink

What Ancelotti lacks in fire, he more than covers with deep, deep sanity.

“bad” mothers, rebel mamas, and other radical/transgressive moms (nakhchivan), Friday, 20 May 2016 17:18 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

He has been to the opera but would rather listen to Sixties pop and soul

the unbearable jimmy smits (jim in glasgow), Tuesday, 7 June 2016 02:47 (two years ago) Permalink

Translating the piece, the 22-year-old said: “Today is the birthday of my princess.

My love I wish you a happy birthday, good health, peace and that God always blesses and protects you.

Thanks for everything you do for me, thank you for making me so happy. I feel so loved.

It is good at the heart of the people when you have someone to share a great love.

Like the breeze of the morning, so you arrived.

A perfect optical love, a bridge on a river of pain, in my life a beautiful dream came true.

A gift sent by my Lord.

Congratulations my great love.”

Coutinho and Aine have been married since 2012 and the pair seem very happy.

ogmor, Monday, 13 June 2016 23:02 (two years ago) Permalink

Kevin McCarra gone missing in Avignon. Worrying.

The Nickelbackean Ethics (jim in glasgow), Friday, 17 June 2016 18:39 (two years ago) Permalink

Confirmed he's been found safe and well.

The Nickelbackean Ethics (jim in glasgow), Friday, 17 June 2016 22:56 (two years ago) Permalink

"A three-times world player of the year, the headline act for Portugal is entering the zone marked high-end functional footballer as with each outing the dazzling performer who wrests contests his way recedes in the distance.

At 31 this is understandable. Unlike England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, a sonnet by Shakespeare or a burgundy grand cru, elite athletes do not age well."


Blandford Forum, Sunday, 19 June 2016 14:35 (two years ago) Permalink

henry winter's book about the england national team really is quite smthg. he goes to great lengths to shoehorn in terrible jokes. eg when describing the 1990 WC s-final he mentions gazza being told to stick close to matthaus except gazza doesn't know who matthaus is. this lack of awe about opponents is summed up by winter as "no fear and lothar"

or when england secure a 0-0 draw in rome to top their group in WC '98 qualififying and thus avoid a playoff in moscow in november which would have meant going "to russia in gloves". the whole book is like this, kinda amazing.

pandemic, Saturday, 25 June 2016 08:53 (two years ago) Permalink

goes out to interview steven gerrard in l.a where it's hot and humid -"california steamin'".

pandemic, Wednesday, 29 June 2016 09:20 (two years ago) Permalink

he is like three drawings on from nult in an "evolution of football man" graph.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Wednesday, 29 June 2016 09:42 (two years ago) Permalink

in his chapter on the supremacy of the premier league over the england national team he goes to a pub/bar in L.A where they show epl games on a saturday morning, or as winter would have it - california streamin'.

also gets in a chapter on 'washbag culture' (which should be the new prem thread title really) where waddle, barnes, mark wright bemoan the youth of today seemingly forgetting that the england teams they played in never won fuck all either and in some cases failed to even qualify for tournaments.

Mark Wright - When I was an apprentice I had to clean boots, make tea. You can't get them to even make tea nowadays - Health and Safety.

pandemic, Wednesday, 6 July 2016 13:42 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Hull’s Robert Snodgrass starts Leicester title defence with shock defeat

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Saturday, 13 August 2016 15:07 (two years ago) Permalink

while on the left Joshua King is a converted striker who made diagonal runs into positions alongside Callum Wilson [...] This lopsided system is reminiscent of the approach popularised by Egil Olsen when managing Norway – it’s probably no coincidence King is Norwegian.

r|t|c, Monday, 15 August 2016 09:26 (two years ago) Permalink

enjoyed this by Daniel Taylor re: Andre Gray's tweets

There are memories of school (“Ma teacher told me a was a piece of shit.. saw her the other day driving a piece of shit”)

aromantic cuck (DJ Mencap), Sunday, 28 August 2016 11:12 (two years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...


r|t|c, Thursday, 29 September 2016 19:29 (two years ago) Permalink

oh hang on which fitba sribe did i think m white was

r|t|c, Thursday, 29 September 2016 19:30 (two years ago) Permalink

Hatoful Journalist

imago, Thursday, 29 September 2016 19:37 (two years ago) Permalink

The Telegraph’s sting worked because Allardyce and his associates wanted to believe he was a keynote speaker worthy of payment in hundreds of thousands. Allardyce was then foolish enough to try to impress them with a lot of big talk about third party ownership, plus the odd indiscretion about people in football. He didn’t have to play that game. He could have been immune and untouchable, happy with his new job and his £3m salary, completely focussed and committed. He didn’t have to be trapped. Anyway, that’s it for a short while. I’m taking a break and leaving you with this. If it isn’t huge by the time I get back, I’ll lose my faith in this country even more than I did over Brexit. Until next time.

then samuel drops loyle carner - no cd

pandemic, Friday, 30 September 2016 14:41 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Roy Keane has the face of a mercenary.Meet him before the walls of 15th Century Florence and one's heart would sink.

pandemic, Saturday, 15 October 2016 10:03 (two years ago) Permalink

re 2006 Euros, England vs Portugal

At the start Ronaldo comes up behind his Manchester United team-mate and nuzzles him, saying something that seems to be kind but almost certainly isn't, as Rooney then swings round to watch him go. It's like an impossibly beautiful Iago goading a simple lumbering Othello, an impression confirmed when , after Othello gets the red card, Ronaldo comes away with a tranquil smile.

pandemic, Saturday, 15 October 2016 10:09 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Contained in the media-activity schedule for England’s match with Scotland is this intriguing detail. ‘Friday, November 11. 11am — Two minutes’ silence during walk at The Grove (not open to media, however imagery available on request).’

Football has now reached peak Remembrance. It is not enough for England’s players to be silent in respect for the dead, they have got to be known to be silent and seen to be silent, too. There must be photographs of the silence, so we can marvel at how silently silent it was. Indeed, it raises that old philosophical question: if silence falls and nobody is there to witness it, does it make a sound?

pandemic, Thursday, 3 November 2016 20:48 (two years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

yeah might wanna work on that sales pitch

Rock Wokeman (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 4 January 2017 10:21 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

this is the most incoherent dreck i've read in some time

ogmor, Thursday, 4 January 2018 12:00 (eleven months ago) Permalink

That is spectacularly bad. ManC is of a different class this season. That leads to 70% or more possession most games. Taking effing Newcastle to prove a moot point.

"it is much harder now than it was even 15 years ago to bully creative players out of the game. The result is an era in which the likes of Xavi, Luka Modric and David Silva have thrived."

Oh noes brilliant players are ruining the game!

This article coming the morning after what was arguably the best game of the season, uhave2laff

♫ very clever with maracas.jpg ♫ (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 4 January 2018 12:17 (eleven months ago) Permalink

man utd have not quite spent enough to ruin the spectacle of the game by forcing teams to be much worse than them, but at the same time it would be arrogant for us to insist upon enjoying the spectacle, after all, managers just have to win games (unless it's through possession football)

ogmor, Thursday, 4 January 2018 12:31 (eleven months ago) Permalink

tbfttl, City-Newcastle was probably the most abject game i saw in 2017 and Pep's style has always been unbelievably boring to watch against anyone but a handful of elite teams. It's an issue with City, not the culture of the league as a whole, though. Spurs, United, Chelsea, etc have been involved in plenty of interesting / competitive games despite having over 70% of the ball.

Wag1 Shree Rajneesh (ShariVari), Thursday, 4 January 2018 13:01 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Otm, it's City not the PL. Which makes stuff like this "The Premier League is walking in the shadow of the uncanny valley." utter nonsense (it's a good one for a new thread title tbf).

♫ very clever with maracas.jpg ♫ (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 4 January 2018 13:22 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I love watching City idg the hate

ogmor, Thursday, 4 January 2018 13:26 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I love watching them too, and don't find them boring at all.

♫ very clever with maracas.jpg ♫ (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 4 January 2018 13:27 (eleven months ago) Permalink

when will pep stop doing it on a wet wednesday night in newcastle?

ogmor, Thursday, 4 January 2018 13:31 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Perhaps i'm being unduly swayed by the Newcastle game but, having scored early, City seemed barely more interested in playing football than a Newcastle side that were in damage limitation mode from the kick-off. They had 73% possession and a single shot on target in the second half. They can demolish teams when they want to - and were great against Spurs - but they're often perversely negative for a team that has outscored everyone else by twenty.

Wag1 Shree Rajneesh (ShariVari), Thursday, 4 January 2018 13:51 (eleven months ago) Permalink

the newcastle game didn't stand out to me for good or ill, mostly lost in the seasonal deluge of games so I might rewatch highlights, but in general I'd say city are as positive a side as I've seen in the league, not a lot of uninspired passing backwards despite their opponents

ogmor, Thursday, 4 January 2018 14:08 (eleven months ago) Permalink

With the U.S. Soccer presidential campaign in full swing ahead of the Feb. 10 election in Orlando, highlighted the issue of campaign funding transparency this week by asking all eight candidates if 1) they have funded the entirety of their campaigns out of their own pocket, and 2) if not, who their top three funders are and 3) whether those funders have any business before U.S. Soccer.

I want to change my display name (dan m), Friday, 5 January 2018 21:11 (eleven months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

While the football of this world cup has reached a dazzling pinnacle which promises yet more greatness to come, for its journalism, the opposite is true. Journalists have looked jaded, bereft of the sparkle that once lit up their prose as they wearily navigated their way through the highs and lows of the tournament with their increasingly rusty-looking apparatus. At times it felt like they might suffocate under the weight of their own bloviation, but whether through tenacity or just a lack of other ideas, they held true and saw it through to what feels like an unedifying end.

How did it come to this? It wasn't so long ago that we crouched over our screens in hushed reverence as we let the likes of Ronay bewitch us with those well-measured sentences that pointed towards the ineffability of the greatest moments of football. Somewhere along the way that hunger for pure feeling and the truth of the gut started to eclipse what happened on the pitch. Narratives had to be constructed and fulfilled. Reputations had to be decisively made and destroyed.

In such an intense, tumultuous and claustrophobic world cup perhaps it is understandable that journalists struggled to find time to contemplate the role of fortune in the events that unfolded. Seeing them frantically try to conjure a sense of self-satisfied awe as they struggled against their deadlines was genuinely moving, and one can only feel sympathy for the utter personal devastation each of them will feel once the fanfare dies down and they are left with the realisation that they have overstated the role of feeling and embarrassed themselves in front of millions.

But perhaps even in the centre of this vortex of ouroboric hubris, a kernel of truth remains. Writing shit about football awakens the depths of the soul, inviting both Bacchanalian and Apollonian lenses to better bring in to focus the forces on the pitch. Let these failings stand as a reminder to all that their steadfast responsibility is to reflect the swirling excitement of this glorious game, and to honour it with hyperbole.

ogmor, Monday, 16 July 2018 15:48 (four months ago) Permalink

podcasts man podcasts

dele alli my bookmarks (darraghmac), Monday, 16 July 2018 16:20 (four months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

just been made aware of this

The cover to my debut novel: COME ON!!! 😎😎😎🚀🚀🚀🤗🤗🤗

— jamie jackson (@JamieJackson___) July 5, 2018

Number None, Saturday, 11 August 2018 11:08 (four months ago) Permalink


( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Sunday, 12 August 2018 04:53 (four months ago) Permalink

i have a long interview with richard williams in my anthology -- not conducted by me -- bcz, for all the flaws arrayed here, he was an important and very often a very good music writer and editor in the 70s, plus when he worked for island records he discovered and signed roxy music (tho jazz is his deep love). reviewing the two sides of engineer's electronic hum was the correct thing to do: it was a john & yoko record, and tbh they erred in not releasing two sides of engineer's electronic hum along with whatever they did release.

mark s, Sunday, 12 August 2018 10:05 (four months ago) Permalink

I daf about motors + f1 and find some of Williams' sports writing easily skip-able + maybe sometimes a bit in the style of a very effortlessly competent local rag correspondent, in the job 4 life days. But I like his music writing just fine, haven't read owt for a bit, but his blog is on hiatus atm.

calzino, Sunday, 12 August 2018 23:54 (four months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Williams going on about how we should cut Micheal Owen some slack because of what a tough career he's had and how touching his self-interested and purely ego driven comments about his injury record were recently, is making me realise he is very very bad sometimes, and much worse than I thought.

calzino, Monday, 27 August 2018 22:08 (three months ago) Permalink

just noticed Pete W's post upthread that calsl Glanville and McIlvanney over-rated, I'm 7 years too late for the FPing

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Monday, 27 August 2018 22:28 (three months ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.