Because I Support Spurs, I Must Hate Every Club

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(or The Damaging Effects of Football Tribalism)

Here’s a thing. I actually feel sorry for Arsene Wenger for the incessant criticism he has received from sections of Arsenal’s support. I also admire Jose Mourinho’s ability to usually outthink his managerial counterparts. As for Liverpool, they’ve been thrilling to watch and Steven Gerrard thoroughly deserves to be holding the Premier League trophy aloft in a few weeks time.

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The Levy Extraction

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I had my wisdom tooth taken out last week. I had a conversation with it. A football one.

You’ve been with me for as long as I care to remember. After yet another night of twisted dreams and unconscious gum chewing, you’re there when my eyes blearily unstick. As the sunlight hits my retinas, a rush of pain shoots down my spine and swings back up again, pounding my brain. I know that it’ll be there for the rest of the day unless I numb it immediately with narcotics. You do this to me. My wisdom tooth. The wisdom tooth I call Levy.

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Manchester United A-B-C, Chelsea 1-2-3

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It’s because of football that I know what the capital of Cameroon is. Football has also taught me to make quick mental calculations when working out the possible permutations for final group standings in World Cups. I also understand how football can be hijacked to serve the purposes of totalitarian propaganda, how it can assimilate all manner of scientific breakthroughs to enrich it as a spectacle and how it can rival any form of dance when it is executed with exquisite precision. In short, football has educated me in ways that transcend the narrow parameters of the pitch or the screen. It’s because of football that my understanding of the world is a little better.

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What The Hell Is Wrong With Manchester United? – Part Two

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It’s come to this then, has it? A few berks charter a plane to fly a banner over Old Trafford voicing their displeasure with a man who’s barely had enough time to chisel his name onto his office door, and it makes the national news. Still, such a juvenile gesture succeeded in giving a few people a story to tell. It really sent out a message to David Moyes, didn’t it? If only he could have seen it. Thankfully, the media scenting blood used a lovely zoom on their cameras to save us all the bother of squinting our eyes to register their irrelevance before we all got on with the business of watching United emphatically defeat Villa.

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In Praise Of Liverpool Football Club: Through Gritted Teeth

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It happened without me even noticing on Friday afternoon. Gerry and the Pacemakers’, You’ll Never Walk Alone came on the car stereo and before I had time to adjust the dial, I was belting it out at the top of my lungs and with the knobs turned up to eleven. Maybe I’d been deluding myself all season but I couldn’t do it any longer. My subconscious was telling me in no uncertain terms that it was time to give Liverpool their dues. What follows is by no means a love-in but it is an acknowledgement of sorts. And to all those Evertonians whose club I have celebrated many times in these posts, I am truly sorry. However, my sense of fairness dictates that I do this. Some might call it an affliction.

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Requiem For A Spurs Bennite

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Echoes and ghosts followed me last week. Fragments of the past flitted their unsummoned way into my mind and carried me down streams of consciousness. They flickered with images that will forever be beyond my tangible grasp.

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Are Manchester United Corporate Bullies?

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I’m very worried this week. I’m having recurring nightmares involving Daniel Levy decked out in a blood-spattered butcher’s apron wielding a razor sharp meat cleaver and he’s coming for me. Specifically for my right shoulder blade. He’s angry. Very angry. And he wants to hack it off with little care for the subsequent difficulty it will cause me in future years when I want to bust out some of my Thriller moves.

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The Black And White World Of England Captain Sol Campbell

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Perhaps I’m not the best person to write this post because I clearly have a subjective stance with regard to Sol Campbell. After all, as a Spurs supporter, even after all these years, his defection to Arsenal remains one of the most odious acts of skullduggery committed during this era in football we like to describe as Modern.

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Arsenal Are Specialists In Success, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

THE JUNGLE BOOK

Unpredictable Predictability, Vol.4

Arsene Wenger, and thus by association Arsenal, is a specialist in failure. I know this because Jose said so. This truth does not of course consider the fact that Wenger is the Premier League’s most enduring manager. Nor does it take into account Wenger’s haul of trophies during this period in Arsenal’s history.  And as for the reality that the club had to make repayments on a new stadium whilst Chelsea and Manchester City were financially and cosmetically transformed into Godzilla-like mutations during this time, is something that should be conveniently filed away in the recesses of memory.

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Manchester City Didn’t Ruin Football, Heat Maps Did

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(or This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours)

Last week was bookended by the passings of two notable figures in the worlds of academia and football. Any attempt to eulogise the influences on popular consciousness of both Stuart Hall and Sir Tom Finney would do very little to provide an adequate summation of their two lives and therefore, I won’t.

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