Archive | 2011-12 Season RSS feed for this section

The 2011/12 Dispatches

Picture 11

Nick Hornby liked one of them. A lot of Scots hated one of them. Scott Parker was Biggles, Martin Jol was Heathcliff, Joey Barton was Che Guevara and John Terry was all manner of things. From roundabouts to haircuts, cows and even a seance with Brian Clough. A bit of politics, a lot of Spurs and a love/hate relationship with Harry Redknapp. And don’t forget the zombies.

Read more on The 2011/12 Dispatches…


We Didn’t Start The Poznan

Picture 5

To round off the season, how about a review of the season set to the tune of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire? Yes, really. There’s a link below if you want to sing along. Enjoy.

Read more on We Didn’t Start The Poznan…

I Hate Tottenham Hotspur: A Confession


When I turned thirty I had what can only be described as the early onset of a post-quarter-life-midlife-crisis. I was consumed by the desire to do something kerr-ay-zee, so I took myself down to the local tattoo parlour on the eve of the 2008/9 season and booked myself in for an hour or so of self-inflicted skin-scratching, pricking, searing pain. On my right shoulder now resides a cockerel balanced on top of a football. It’s there forever. Forever, ever? Forever. And I hate it and love it in equal measure. It’s there now as a permanent reminder with its ink-stained durability, of the despairing futility that being a supporter of a football club brings. It’s a nihilistic pursuit, with little if any reward. Because like Spurs, I cannot ever erase it. It’s part of me now, for better or for worse.

Read more on I Hate Tottenham Hotspur: A Confession…

Hodgson’s Choice: The Inquisition Of Roy


Somewhere within the sprawling narrative of Dostoevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov, you’ll come across a literary oddity entitled Parable of the Grand Inquisitor. A short tangent but an intriguing one nonetheless, it tells the story of Jesus’ return to Earth as the fifteenth century gives way to the sixteenth and sees the second coming occur in Seville with no hint of celestial fanfare. Nevertheless, the unannounced stranger causes quite a stir as he goes about restoring a blind man’s eyesight and resurrecting a recently deceased child of seven years.

Read more on Hodgson’s Choice: The Inquisition Of Roy…

Don’t Believe The Hype


The Media Studies student with a basic knowledge of how audiences consume media texts will tell you all about the famed Hypodermic Needle Model. This was a theory that came into prominence in the 1920s that suggested audiences passively digest information without question. As this era ushered in the use of propaganda by the Soviets and later the Nazis, it was more or less accepted that people could be manipulated into thinking what the ‘powers-that-be’ wanted them to believe.

Read more on Don’t Believe The Hype…

Craven Cottage Heights


Inspired by Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.

The tapping at the window had haunted him for several nights. Despite the gloom that rolled the fog across the field of Craven Cottage and the incessant thunderstorms that had ravaged any hope of a contented sleep, Heathcliff Jol knew that the sounds emanating from without were not of a natural origin. He had seen it some three moonshines ago. An apparition, pallid in complexion, gaunt, transparent but familiar regardless. It was the figure of his great lost love, Catherine Lilywhite. She had returned to him, after so many years but the very essence of her life-force was evaporating before his very eyes.

Jol could not face the spectre for a third night and thus buried his face into the pillow of his bed, wrapping the bedsheets around his hulking frame and wishing for the haunting presence to once again return from whence it came. “Cathy,” he muttered breathlessly, “why do you taunt me so?”

Read more on Craven Cottage Heights…

Alan Davies Is Here All Week


“Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà-vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before” – Steven Wright

It’s probably fair to assume that it hasn’t been the best week in Alan Davies’ career. Listening to the now infamous Tuesday Club podcast, in which the ‘comedian’ managed to alienate most of Liverpool with his misguided comments about Liverpool Football Club’s refusal to play on the fifteenth of April, it comes across as the snide rantings of a pernicious classroom ‘wit’ who elicits cheap laughs from his gang of sycophantic mates at the expense of the kid with a weight problem/spots/lack of sexual experience. It was malicious in its tone and as a consequence, he has been under fire all week with some equally distasteful comments being aimed in his direction from some in the football community.

Read more on Alan Davies Is Here All Week…

His And Her Dark Materials: The Mind Games Of Samantha Brick & Alex Ferguson


It was a very rare public show of emotion from Sir Alex Ferguson last Monday night. With his side having all but sealed the three points against a stubborn Blackburn, the old curmudgeon pumped both fists in a victorious gesture of defiance towards the visiting support. It was in that moment that it became clear that the latest threat to his supremacy at the game’s zenith had been vanquished should the remainder of the season conclude with Manchester United sweeping all before them. Manchester City had blown it. And he didn’t have to break sweat.

Read more on His And Her Dark Materials: The Mind Games Of Samantha Brick & Alex Ferguson…

Our Friends In The North: The Rise And Rise Of Newcastle United

Picture 3

Note: This Dispatch trades in lazy stereotypes. Newcastle fans, read to the end.

On a trip up to Edinburgh on the East Coast Main Line last August, one of the stops en route was Newcastle. As the train approached the city, the Tyne Bridge emerged with industrial majesty from the sunny haze of the train’s window and I inexplicably felt a slight shiver of awe. Almost immediately, as we waited to pull away from the station, we were greeted with the sight of a man in a Newcastle home shirt banging on one of the station platform’s vending machines uttering barely decipherable curses, having lost his money whilst trying to stay steady on his feet.

Read more on Our Friends In The North: The Rise And Rise Of Newcastle United…

Praying For Muamba: An Atheist’s Dilemma


I am an atheist. This is to my grandmother’s eternal disapproval seeing as she has grown increasingly more religious during the final chapters of her life. Seeking solace in the comforting warmth and promises that religion offers is understandable for an eighty-two year old woman. As for her grandson, he could tell you about the time he held a chimpanzee in his arms and could see in that moment the clear, fleeting connection humans shared with primates before our evolutionary paths forked. Or he could spend the best part of a thousand words debunking the myths of religion. But I am no Richard Dawkins. I am neither zealot nor crusader. Believe what you want to believe.

Read more on Praying For Muamba: An Atheist’s Dilemma…