Tag Archives | Zidane

¡Vamos Argentina! ¡Vamos South America!


It’s always been Argentina. The thoughts that run through my head may undoubtedly be tinged with an English hue and the blood that courses through my veins is unquestionably Hellenic, but my football heart has always belonged to a country shimmering in silver.

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Inside Football’s ‘Black Mirror’


Lambs To The Slaughter

(Inspired by Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror)

The message pinged onto his screen. He could barely suppress the yelp of excitement that left his mouth from the anonymous isolation of his workstation. Having been registered on a waiting list from birth, Eric Blair had finally been selected by the random generator to become a Manager. He was thirty-five years old.

All he now had to do was ensure that he picked the right team every Saturday and Wednesday whilst executing the inevitable victories with sufficient technical flourish in order to maintain or add to his Supporter Ratio. A life of celebrity stardom would hopefully follow as a consequence.

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Our Lives With Gazza

Soccer – World Cup Italia 1990 – Semi Final – West Germany v England – Stadio Delle Alpi

Of all the pieces I’ve written, only two have left me so emotionally drained that I still find it difficult to revisit them. One of them was my October 2010 post on the tragedy of my childhood hero Paul Gascoigne’s continued battle with alcoholism and the fear that haunts me that one day I may wake up to the news that he is no longer with us. Nearly two and half years after Schoolboy’s Own Stuff, the fact remains that this recurring nightmare sadly draws ever closer to becoming a reality if what we read in our daily newspapers is to be believed.

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A Very Messi Nativity


It’s time to don your Christmas jumpers, sit back on the Val Doonican rocking chair and enjoy the third Christmas Special from the Football Sofa. This year, we’re going to Catalonia.

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Wenger Out: A Spurs Fan’s Perspective

Bradford City v Arsenal – Capital One Cup Quarter Final

Our little family has a tradition at this time of year of watching the Frank Capra classic It’s A Wonderful Life. For those of you unfamiliar with it (what’s wrong with you?), it follows the story of James Stewart’s inherently good but suicidal George Bailey being shown by his guardian angel how dreadful life would be for those his life has touched if he had never existed. The finale, I am not ashamed to admit, has me churning out the tried and trusted ‘there’s something in my eye’ excuse, year after year.

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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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Three Sleeping Lions And A Ukrainian Pensioner


I’d been going through the motions with regard to the opening matches of Euro 2012. I’m ashamed to admit I’d been forcing myself to feign enthusiasm for the games. I even fell asleep during the first half of Spain vs Italy, awakening only after a muscle spasm to find a pool of saliva collected on the sofa. And then during the England match yesterday, it finally dawned on me what the problem was. Whereas in past years, I have either been passionately supportive of the team or sneeringly dismissive (as documented here), this time around I felt an overbearing sense of hollowness towards them.

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Attack of the Clones


Hero: noun (person) –  a person who is admired for having done something very brave or having achieved something great. Cambridge English Dictionary.

Fernando Torres was tellingly substituted in the 58th minute of tonight’s local derby between Portugal and Spain after failing once again to re-capture the goal-scoring brilliance that makes him such a prized asset for his club side whilst Cristiano Ronaldo, rightfully and sadly in equal measure, is on his way home. He will be joining a litany of heralded casualties that have failed to live up to the hype that has been heavily bestowed upon them prior to the first kick of a ball in South Africa. The question that comes foremost to the mind is, why have the game’s supposed ‘big names’ so miserably failed to produce the mesmeric magic that so many had hoped they would?

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The Revolution Will Be Televised


Cameroon may have suffered the pain of being the first country to be eliminated today but the first to board the plane with ignominy was Nicolas Anelka for his expletive-ridden tirade aimed at the hapless French coach, Raymond Domenech, after being substituted in his country’s miserable defeat against the entertaining Mexicans on Thursday night.

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El Presidente


The true star of World Cup 2010 was unveiled yesterday. Gifted and precocious as ever; prowling his territory like a supreme predator in his pomp. At ease in his natural environment. Steely. Romantic. Iconic. And his name is not Rooney. Or Messi. And definitely not Green. Yesterday belonged as if there was ever any doubt, to the magnetic charms of the incomparable Diego Armando Maradona. And he lived up to his billing with gusto.

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