Archive | August, 2011

The ‘Conquest’ Of Happiness


I felt sorry for Arsene Wenger as his Arsenal side went down to a revitalised Liverpool last Saturday.

There. I said it. A Spurs fan admitting to an empathetic feeling towards an individual and a team he is meant to hate unquestionably and without reason. Some might take issue to such a ‘radical’ concept (and believe me they have) but there was something of the tragic seeing the rain-soaked Wenger, head in hands, looking down at the ground as the Emirates Stadium erupted into a chorus of blood-curdling boos. Immediately after the game, the social media networks went into overdrive with an assortment of rational and irrational sub-debates about whether his presence at the forefront of Arsenal’s regeneration as a footballing force to be reckoned with, had finally run its course.

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When Dispatches Met 90 Minutes


Ah, the nineties – New Labour, Britpop and Euro ’96. Everything seemed possible, right? And in the midst of all that euphoria, there was 90 Minutes magazine. Having graduated from the innocent charms of Match but finding the grown-up seriousness of When Saturday Comes a little too highbrow, this magazine with its irreverent charm came at just the right time and inadvertently inspired me into putting together my own badly photocopied fanzine which traded under the name ‘Injury Time’. I sold three copies in the school canteen.

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Reflections Of A Revolutionary – The Diaries Of Comrade Barton

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Footballer, thinker, revolutionary. Comrade Josef Barton’s thoughts and philosophies have been the subject of much speculation and scrutiny. What follows are excerpts from his iconic ‘Newcastle Diaries’ written in the summer of 2011.

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Craig Bull, QPR fan, Shepherd’s Bush


Home Is Where The Hate Is


Part two of Dispatches From A Football Sofa’s season opener looks at the connections between football and the geography of the London riots.

The darkest dystopian fictions of Anthony Burgess and Stanley Kubrick came shockingly to life across towns and cities in England last week but instead of the bowler hat, fake eyelashes and white overalls of A Clockwork Orange’s gang of droogs dispensing their nihilistic brand of ultraviolence on a terrorised public, the uniform of choice came in the form of an upturned hood, a pair of designer trainers and a masked, scarved face. This is England, 2011. As Blur put it in their homage to Burgess’ masterpiece, it really, really, really has happened.

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A Brand Apart


Dispatches From A Football Sofa kicks off the new season with a double-bill of posts over the next two days. First up, the nature of the brand. Have a great season, whoever you support.

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Greg and Bonnie Theoharis, 1 and a 1/2 Spurs fans, Sevenoaks