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Friday, 17 June 2016

Not one for the nines, is it?

'Help me Dave'

Dave from accounts is looking like me like I’ve just chucked his chicken triple in the bin, poured his bottle of Coke down the sink and hidden his Mars bar. And Dave from accounts is well within his rights to look at me like this, as that’s exactly what I’ve done, plonking down a salad and a Lucozade in front of him and telling him to ‘pull his finger out’. You see, I’ve just got Dave from accounts to win the Euros in our office sweepstake, and I’m going to be a hell of a lot nearer the £40 first prize if he gets off his backside and goes for a run before his game against Portugal at the weekend.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Football rentre à la maison

Fabien Barthez, Laurent Blanc and Zinedine Zidane
pose for the cameras in 1998

If England 96 was when football came home, France 98 was when it got a radical new haircut, swaggered into the living room having not been seen for a couple of months, nailed the cat to the TV, threw all the family photos out of a top-floor window and then left straight through the wall, joyfully, ferociously, shrugging as it went. Or so your faulty memory would have you believe. Or would it?

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

When is the FA Cup not the FA Cup?

Apparently much more important than you'd previously thought 

It’s been much maligned over the course of the past few years as an inferior relation to the other, more popular, more rewarding versions on which it’s modelled, and for once we’re not talking about our Tinder accounts. 2016’s never-ending festival of football hoves into view this week with the League Cup semi-finals, which see Liverpool travel to Stoke and Manchester City to Everton.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Is it a Man City? Is it a Man U? No, it’s LEICESTER CITY

"40 points? Hahahahaha."

A situation that takes place during the course of a season always refers you to something else that has happened or is about to happen, and it is this something else that explains why we all keep coming back to football, no matter our distaste. When a certain someone talks of ‘betrayal’ – a word Shakespearean in its intent – we are reminded that this sport is at once ludicrous in the loftiness we attach to it, and absolutely worthy of the attachment.

Thursday, 28 May 2015


"I want one BILLION dollars."

‘A World Cup of fraud’, said Loretta Lynch, the US attorney general. So did the IRS’s criminal investigations unit’s chief investigator, Richard Weber, before adding, ‘today we are issuing FIFA a red card’. ‘AMERICA(N METAPHORS)! F*CK YEAH!’, he didn’t add, unfortunately.

You can say what you like about FIFA, but it certainly doesn’t do things by half. Nine senior FIFA officials arrested for trousering somewhere in the region of $150m over the last 25 years, 25 as yet un-named co-conspirators, investigations into the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, and more racketeering on the go than Roland Garros.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

No One Likes Us, We Don't Care

"Come on lads. Group cry."

To the tune of (We are Sailing) by Rod Stewart: 

“No one likes us. No one likes us. 
 No one likes us. We don’t care. 
 We are Bra-zil. We are Bra-zil.
 We are Bra-zil. From Ri-o.” 

Once the final, elongated vowels of Osório Duque-Estrada’s anthem bellow out at the Estádio Mineirão tonight and hairs on necks return to their normal shape, the reality that Brazil are in a dog fight will sink in. A siege mentality that had already been constructed around the Seleccão after the first wobbly group games has been reinforced to the extent that one would be forgiven for thinking Brazil had been underdogs all along. The injury to Neymar and, to a lesser extent, the suspension of Thiago Silva adds further fuel to this particular fire.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

That Which Has Been Born: Part 2 of 2

Frederic Carver finishes off what he started on the alternative World Cup. Find his brilliant blog here, which he hasn't updated for a year but is still well worth a trawl. 

Last post I started off ranting about Marxism and then started to tell you the story of the delightfully quirky ConIFA World Cup – the World Cup for countries who struggle to obtain. I introduced the cast, now I’m going to tell you how they did.