Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Newbie Guide To Football/Soccer

I've noticed i get a lot of viewers from America on my blog. It's great to see football/soccer finally gaining recognition across the Atlantic, and it works both ways: the Superbowl was on TV over here a few months back and that got a lot of people talking about it - a big group of young kids at my school even playing it every break now! Don't really know what the Black Eyed Peas were there for but i guess that's a cultural bridge that we can cross a little later on!

I thought I'd put a few keystrokes into explaining why we love footballsoccer so much over here, and try and convince anyone who thinks otherwise!

Great atmospheres mean great nights. Being with some sets of fans is like being in a medieval army. It may be animalistic and uncivilised, but roaring along with 50,000 accomplices sure makes you feel alive.
Knowing one kick could send hundreds of thousands of fans out onto the street for a party so debauched it would make Vikings look sensible. Knowing one slip could lose everything your team worked for.
Knowing your rivals will sing songs about you for ****ing up and gifting them the win. Knowing 100-250million people are watching world wide (for Champions League Final. Anything between 500-900million have been cited for the World Cup Final - estimates of numbers vary wildly)

Children over here grow up dreaming of being footballers, not soldiers or rockstars or politicians. 'Hero' to them is scoring the winning goal.

This is Liverpool, I have a friend that support them, so I've never really loathed them as much as I should as a United fan. This video is a demonstration of how quickly football can turn around:

They're 3-0 down in the first half of the Champions League final thanks to Kaka - the Brazilian who later went on to be named World Player of the Year; pulling the strings for AC Milan - the second most successful team in European football - a team whose president is and was the Italian Prime Minister himself. This is how Liverpool responded to a game commentators rightly described as 'over' with 45 minutes yet to play.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

England vs Ghana

Recently the English media have been kicking off over Fabio Capello's decision not to play his first team for this friendly match and decided that such a thing was 'scamming everyone who bought tickets to see the game'. Barely half a year ago they'd been complaining about how by using the same players over and over again he wouldn't be prepared for future competitions as these players (lampard, terry, crouchie, defoe etc) creep ever closer to bus-pass age. The man can't win!

Personally I thought seeing 1930's-boy-adventurer throwback Scott Parker, hoofing winger Stewart Downing and on-fire Wolves winger Matt Jarvis in the team is brilliant, this friendly (against world cup quarter finalists dont forget!) was a great chance to show what they could bring to the table.

I thought Capello's 4141 system worked great here. Whilst normally a defensive formation - allowing wingers to cover opposition fullbacks meanwhile a holding midfield player and the defending fullback can double up on the winger; effectively snuffing out attacks down the flanks unless the opposition can switch and stretch play - here it was very fluid through the flanks. The ITV commentators called it a 433 and indeed the wingers breaking inside did produce this effect when England advanced. At a couple of points in the first half Ghana were pushed back deep, Jagielka pushed out of CB into midfield and Johnson flew up wide while Young and Downing made for the byline, 433 became a 2143 with Baines dropping back for a bit of covering speed and Barry starting play from the back with 7(!) attackers ahead of him. Recklessly attacking tactical bravery is not something you would expect from an Italian manager!
Great game!

It's weird seeing an arsenal with a bit of balls after seeing so much of the side we're used to now. From now on if anybody quotes Wenger in saying Arsenal get bullied and kicked around I'm showing them clips of this! Dirty ****s! I wouldn't want it any other way mind.

Commentators can't stop waxing lyrical about Barcelona's pressing game but when you watch old premier league game's - even first division games from 30 years ago - you're quickly reminded of just how intense the pace was before sky's worldwide coverage made us all gasp at the slow skill-obsessed wonders of the spanish la liga. Every man in possession here was charged down by the defending team like a mob of stewards after a streaker. The pace of this game made me wonder if I'd left the fast forward key on, the cameraman must have been absolutely dizzy.

John O'Shea! What A Finish!
Heinze! Couldn't defend for shite!
Keano! Don't we miss him now, what a warrior.


Hi i thought i'd make this blog to talk about my favourite football team, my favourite music and everything else that i think is awesome and think you should too :)

Now it's a bit late so i'm going to go to bed and watch Arsenal 2 United 4 from 2005