Archive | November, 2013

An Anatomy Of Football’s Greatest Antihero

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During one of those team-building days many of us are routinely required to endure, the assembled group I was in was asked to name somebody who they considered embodied the qualities of a hero. Inevitably, there were many calls for Mandela, Churchill and Gandhi – those secular saints of our modern age. When it came to me, I let the words “Roy Keane” pass my lips which prompted an audible gasp amongst my colleagues. “But isn’t he the one who admitted to ending another player’s career? How can you say you admire somebody like that?” came one response to my flagrant disregard for the conventional perception of what makes a hero a hero.

This, after all, is a man who is admittedly brutal, thuggish and difficult to like. He has and always will be prone to horrendous acts of physical and verbal violence. The man who makes Adrian Chiles repeatedly shift nervously in his seat during punditry duties with that furrowed brow and glaring eyes. A triumph as a player but one capable of self-destruction and whose managerial career has failed to deliver on the promise of his initial success at Sunderland. “Bad cop and even badder cop,” Martin O’ Neill semi-jokingly put it after he was asked about the style of management he and Keane would bring to the Republic of Ireland job.

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Jose Mourinho Is “Down & Out In Kensington & Chelsea”

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There’s an imposter on the loose in SW6. To the casual football watcher he may seem innocuously familiar but he’s not fooling me. The scowls, shrugs and suits are still on show but they’re beginning to resemble the exaggerations of a seasonal pantomimic dame rather than that of a performer with the visceral abilities to embody a thought or emotion.

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I Heart Arsenal: A Spurs Fan’s Confession

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The following should be read with the understanding that it has been written within the grip of a serious case of sleep deprivation brought on by a three week old’s refusal to conform to a recognisable sleeping routine. Therefore, much of it can be discounted and dismissed as the ramblings of a man who needs a full eight hours’ unbroken shuteye…

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What The Hell Is Right With Southampton?

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(Or The Loneliness Of The Inveterate Football Blogger)

Hindsight, so the saying goes, is a wonderful thing. I find that too kind a sentiment. I liken it more to being the last refuge of the smugly-inclined*. The erstwhile dispenser of opinion cannot predict the future and armed only with the facts can only make a judgment call within the parameters of the here and now. It’s much easier to pick holes in a theory after the event, once time has passed and matters have irrevocably proved you wrong. It is then and then only, that the commentator must exercise humility and acknowledge one’s short-sightedness, free of the braying of those who declined to put their proverbial money where their mouth is in the first place.

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