Full title: Stamping Grounds: Exploring Liechtenstein and Its World Cup Dream. It’s Connelly’s account of following the Liechtenstein national soccer team during their qualification matches for the 2002 World Cup. After my previous book from Liechtenstein for the Read The World challenge turned out not to be from Liechtenstein at all, this one is at least about […]
Posts tagged with ‘football’
It’s rather refreshing to approach the Champion’s League final, or any game, with Manchester United as distinct underdogs. I started supporting United in the first place because I was pulled in by the glamour of the big European nights, when English clubs were still feeling their way back into the competition after the Heysel ban. […]
Apparently Eduardo Galeano’s book sales spiked in the US last year when Hugo Chávez gave Barack Obama a copy of Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. Which probably gives you a fairly accurate impression of the kind of writer Galeano is: a left wing journalist/historian with a particular anti-imperialist, anti-American emphasis. […]
England are suffering from the world’s biggest collective case of the yips.* It seems like the only explanation for how much worse these players become when they pull on an England shirt. Sigh. * Well, not quite the biggest: that must be the one that afflicts the All Blacks every four years at the Rugby […]
My overall feeling was that there just wasn’t a critical mass of players in that team whose game lends itself to composed possession football. Gerrard and Lampard can’t do it on their own. So for example, I’m a big fan of Aaron Lennon, and I think he could be an important player for England at […]
Well, that was a bit depressing: not so much because of the result, but the tendency to revert to long balls hoofed up the front, the lack of involvement of England’s wingers, the lack of controlled possession in midfield… all the usual England failings, in fact. Not to mention the further undermining of confidence in […]
As all the sportswear manufacturers unveil their big ad campaigns in the run-up to the World Cup, the one which has been the biggest hit is Nike’s epic Write the Future. And don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly impressive, if only for the sheer amount of money thrown at the screen. And while it’s conceptually […]
So, the World Cup is almost upon us, and inevitably our attention has been narrowed in on the nervy minutiae of squad selections and injury worries and tactical arguments. So before the action starts, can I just take a moment to say how fucking marvellous it is to see the World Cup being hosted in […]
My cunning plan to make the UEFA Cup interesting and increase the significance of the FA Cup.
Forget the elections about to be held in the Canada/Mexico area, forget the way the Dow Jones and the FTSE are chasing each other up and down like a pair of territorial squirrels who both want the same tree trunk, something really newsworthy is happening. Argentina have apparently picked a new manager for their national […]
I was thinking about whether Michael Phelps is the ‘greatest Olympian of all time’, and the relative value of medals in different events. For example, the fact that it’s even possible to enter eight events at the same Games means that Phelps has a medal-collecting advantage over, say, a boxer. And the 52 gold medals […]
A much deserved win. Which, incidentally, means that there are now 10 countries who have won a major international football tournament since England last did it. Germany, Italy and Brazil have won 10 between them in that period. » Winners Spain, uploaded to Flickr by mwboeckmann and used under a CC by-nc-sa licence.
I’ve just bought Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 for the Wii, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it, but it does take you into a weird parallel world. Not just because of the licensing restrictions that mean the English league is full of clubs called things like ‘Man Red’ and ‘Lancashire Athletic’, and Germany has players called ‘Fnich’ […]
… and Paul Scholes scores. It’s just like the old days. Really, though, I know we’re all supposed to get terribly excited by the prospect of all-English semifinals and finals, but I don’t watch the Champion’s League for the chance to see Chelsea play Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. I watch to see games like today’s: […]
I’ve been wondering: what proportion of Premiership football matches this season have featured the players wearing black armbands? It seems like they never take the field without them. And far as I know Britain isn’t currently experiencing a surge of extra deaths due to, say, an outbreak of the Black Death. I know, it’s a […]
Watching Chelsea get knocked out of the FA Cup by Barnsley, followed by a big plate of ribs, greens and Hoppin’ John. My version of soul food wouldn’t pass the Southern Grandmother Authenticity Test, btw, but it was pretty tasty though I do say so myself.
Well, today the Capello era really gets started. After two months of blissfully fact-free speculation, conjecture, analysis and day-dreaming, we have to get down to the sordid reality of playing actual football. Even after the match, it’ll be too soon to tell much really. Not that that’ll stop the pundits. Obviously they have to offer […]
I had a bad feeling before the match, but I wasn’t expecting it to go quite the way it did. I was worried that playing a 4-5-1 and only needing a draw, England would defend deeper and deeper, as they so often have recently, only to be caught out by a goal too late to […]
One of the real magicians: