The World’s Greatest Striker is Available for Transfer

boots made for walking

It is unusual to have the world’s greatest striker openly available for transfer, but that will be the situation this summer. No, I’m not talking about the extraordinary Cristiano Ronaldo rumours to City, or Carlos Tevez whining his way to Spain; but the news that Nicklas Bendtner’s Dad said he might be about to do one. Now I realize my facetiousness perhaps mislead you with that tempting article title, but young Nicklas has gained a certain amount of notoriety for his bullish confidence in his abilities. As such, I feel it only fair to describe him as he would like to be described, upon the news of his imminent availability.

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That Difficult First Phone Call to Fernando Torres (Since He Left)

Hello, Fernando? Yeah, it’s me. How are you? I’m fine. Hey, look I just wanted to get in touch, because I know that the last time we saw it each other it was, er, well, a bit awkward. Right? So, I just wanted to kind of clear the air; maybe get some things off my chest? Well, actually I think it would help us both. My therapist thinks it will help me, at least.

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The Yin and Yang of El Clásico

Football is a game of balance. The pitch is divided in equal halves; teams of equal number attack and defend in a positional tug of war, which returns to the centre after every goal. At the end of a match one team wins, one loses (or if not, then they share the points). In order to play there is a basic physical requirement to keep upright (or as Ray Wilkins succinctly puts it: ‘Stay on Your Feet!’), without which the game becomes meaningless. Last night’s Champion’s League semi-final between Barcelona and Real Madrid was a game that reminds us of balance; that ‘for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction’. For every scintillating match that can be played, there is always an abomination waiting around the corner.

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Ray Hudson Spots a Butterfly Over There

A lot of people expect me to be extremely high-energy when they meet me in person, but I’m just like anyone else, really. I enjoy spending time outside and on a day like today, what can be better than sitting here, enjoying the park. Birds, flowers, trees; nature in unison.

Wait a minute… DID YOU SEE THAT? ABSOLUTELY MAGISTERIAL MONARCH BUTTERFLY! It’s flapped its wings like Icarus trying to reach THE SUN and done a landing Apollo 13 can be proud of! His MEDUSA TONGUE has shot out LIKE COLOSSUS’ FIST and hammered the stamen! Fantasy stuff! You cannae buy that kind of skill, he’s popped up like a mythological bull with a SHARK’S HEAD and bit the flower head right off! Aaaaaaaaaaargh! It’s Wordsworth through the tulips here, man. He’s literally got ten thousand AVATAR EYES and they’re all WINKING IN THE SUNLIGHT! Watch OUT! He’s drinking nectar like it’s a four minute mile! And look at that! MAGIC! You think you have him cornered, but no, he lives on a DIFFERENT PLANE OF EXISTENCE. A HURRICANE flap of his wings and he’s gone past three, leaving them for dead. You canny catch him! He’s an electric eel wrapped up in a MICHELANGELO!

The Best Laid Schemes of Mice and Men Go Often Askew

Inevitably, in the aftermath of Arsenal’s utterly preposterous draw-snatched-from-the-jaws-of-victory against Liverpool (not to be confused with the utterly preposterous draw against Newcastle in February), the teeth-gnashing, finger-pointing and post-mortems have begun. Despite still being mathematically able to win the Premier League, a déjà vu depression has settled across blogs and fan forums, as it has the last few years. Yet Arsenal fans should steel their jaws and try to enjoy the comedy of errors for what it is – pure sports entertainment. Watching Arsenal the last two months may not be conducive to holding a full pint, reducing swear-box contributions, or keeping your TV screen clear of embedded debris; but these trials and tribulations will make the inevitable moment of triumph that much sweeter.

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Stoke City: Substance Over Style?

Does the style of a football team matter? Stoke City get short shrift in media coverage for their direct approach to football. They utilize a well-drilled defensive line, which aims to break-up opposition possession and get the ball forward for tall target men to hold up and bring in other players. Many of their goals come from Rory Delap’s famous long throw-ins and set piece conversions. Player/ coach Salif Diao recently described manager Tony Pulis’ thinking: “The coach (Pulis) is using a simple statistic: more than 60% of goals are scored from inside the box. So why 15 passes in the midfield if you can reach it in just one pass?”

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Southern Drawl: NASL Kicks Off with Focus on Southeastern US

Atlanta Silverbacks captain Lucas Paulini (left)

Atlanta Silverbacks captain Lucas Paulini (left)

Saturday night marked the opening of the new North American Soccer League, re-launched, re-branded and re-positioned as the second tier of professional soccer for the US. The league features eight teams, half of which are based in the southeastern states (Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay & Carolina), offering the area a chance of repairing its, perhaps unfair, poor reputation for soccer-supporting.

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