Tag Archives | Obama

Mandela’s Game: Keane, Vieira & The Cult Of Me

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Those ancient Greeks knew a thing or two. Take the story of Narcissus. A vain boy so full of himself that upon coming across his reflection in a pool of water he falls in love immediately with what he sees. Transpose that a few thousand years and the lad would be posting a ‘selfie’ on Twitter with an added sad face, hashtagging #RIPNELSONMANDELA.

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The 2012/13 Dispatches

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Nine months, forty-one posts, a lot of very happy Evertonians, some very angry West Ham fans, politics, economics, religion, a Black Mirror and a bit of Chas ‘n’ Dave. And there are some out there who think that football is pointless. All this season’s Dispatches in one tidy little post. Don’t ever say, I don’t treat you. Enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. All the best, Greg.

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Gareth Bale: Spurs Legend, Madrid Benchwarmer

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What is a talisman? A quick search of the internet will reveal that it is an object that purports to possess magical properties warding off evil and bestowing good luck upon its owner. We Greeks love a talisman. Many of our children will have a mass-produced evil eye attached to their babygrows as we waft incense around them and spit on the floor should any stranger deign to lavish them with any hint of a compliment. We’re a highly superstitious folk, us Hellenes.

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The Life And Times Of A Swansea City Ball Boy


This is a story for our times. Perhaps even a cautionary tale. It has its hero and it has its villain, its winner and its inevitable loser. Anybody who witnessed the events of the 23rd January 2013 will undoubtedly never forget the moment when an encounter that lasted no more than three seconds, incontrovertibly changed the lives of two young men forever.

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The Audacity of Hope: Obama, Celtic and The Romance of Victory

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He may not have cured all of America’s economic woes. He may not have made good on his promise to shut down the travesty of human injustice that is Guantanamo Bay. Hell, he may not have even walked on water at any point during his first term in office. Nevertheless, with his ultimately resounding victory in Tuesday’s presidential election and his subsequent victory speech, Barack Obama managed to re-ignite the one thing that so many people in the world heaped upon his heavily burdened shoulders for the last four years: hope.

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Tiki Taka? Schmicki Schmacka: The Hollow Soul Of Spanish Football


Ladies and gentleman, the inevitable backlash has begun. Judging by the criticisms and desperate (but ultimately futile) imploring to the footballing gods for Croatia to score on Monday on various forums, social media and sports websites, Spain are no longer Everybody’s Favourite Football Team. It would seem that their brand of football once tagged, ‘death by a thousand passes’ has become just a little bit passé when compared to the organised, fighting spirit of England and Greece or the forward running of the Germans and Portuguese.

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A Conspiracy of Dunces


“Sometimes to me it is disgusting to live in this world and have this football world for a living.” – Jose Mourinho

As the Happy Couple performed their much-anticipated nuptials and the world looked on with a sense of either wonderment, pride or sneering indifference (delete where applicable), much more sinister forces were at work behind the highly guarded barricades of Buckingham Palace. The royal family, you see, are not all that they might seem. According to sometime goalkeeper and now quasi-messianic oddball David Icke, the Windsors are in fact part of a shape-shifting reptilian race that controls and feeds on humanity. The sacrificial rituals required to carry on their domination led to the ‘murder’ of Princess Diana and there are grave concerns now for the future of the recently wed Duchess of Cambridge after her investiture.

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Mind Your Language


Despite being seriously overworked this week and in desperate need of an early night, it was nigh-on impossible to allow myself to settle down under the duvet with a good read on Wednesday night until I’d seen the highlights and post-match reaction to Blackpool’s historic win over a shambolic Liverpool side. This enforced apnoea had nothing to do with how Liverpool’s rapid descent into the footballing twilight zone was to be dissected with yet more non-confrontational and placid pronouncements from ‘King’ Kenny. It had everything to do with one man who has single-handedly transformed the post-match interview and has become more essential in viewing terms than any of his opposite numbers in the media-conscious summit of the Premier League. Take a bow, Ian Holloway.

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Financial Incentives, Filthy Ambitions (Part 1)


In the first of a two-part World Cup bid special, Dispatches looks at the moral code of the game’s governing body.

What a week! On Monday, I found myself marvelling with child-like excitement at the sheer audacity and breathtaking ability displayed by Barcelona in their beautiful demolition of Real Madrid. I was reminded of how football, when played with such technical skill and outrageous joy, has the ability to be a transcendent and life-affirming pursuit. That’s how good Barcelona are. Such noble and let’s face it, somewhat naïve ideals were brought down to earth with a soul-destroying thud just over forty-eight hours later when FIFA’s executive committee served up two of the most transparently craven and cynical decisions, in awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. I’ve been grappling with an overbearing sense of ennui ever since. Because for some reason, despite all the evidence to suggest otherwise, I still foolishly believed that this game, no matter how hidden beneath the layers of high finance and political chicanery, contained a semblance of humanity and heart. So why do I keep continuing to care?

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My Eyes Have Seen The Glory


Sometimes there a moments in life that burn themselves into one’s psyche. They promise numerous re-tellings with the passing of years and serve to capture a small essence of just how glorious human endeavour and capability can be. The night of Tuesday 2nd November 2010 was, without falling into the trap of over-exaggerated hyperbole and believe me that is a distinct possibility, one of those splendidly rare occurrences. It was a night which demonstrated just how a collective will, working in tandem with the singular flair of an individual can triumph so comprehensively over the gargantuan obstacles of history, received wisdom and seemingly superior resources.

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