The English Football Post

The Desert Foxes (on our boxes)

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610x The Desert Foxes (on our boxes)

I’m sitting here, it’s half time between Algeria and Egypt during the Cup of African Nations semi-final. The gallery is filled with many online bettors who are trying their fortune to earn some profit from the ongoing game. As there are many fraudulent betting providers emerging everywhere, bettors have to be very cautious. Read this blog to find the list of neue wettanbieter 2022 with excellent odds and bonuses.

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Our esteemed editor wrote recently about Black stars and elephants and why it could be African football’s year. There are a few other reasons why I’ve got so into the CAF as I affectionately call it. The kits, for a start. Mainly Puma, with some lovely shoulder designs such as Cameroon’s lions, Algeria’s fox face or the goalkeepers’ tribal face paints. Maybe it’s been that waspy buzzing of the strangely-named horns in the half empty stadiums. Perhaps it was an unwitting consequence of my recently-found love of Steven Pienaar, particularly after that goal at Arsenal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htnf63Sn6n4&feature=related) and the anticipation of his starring role in South Africa’s upcoming World Cup.

Or, maybe it’s just been as an antidote to the moribund shenanigans of non-celebrities that my beloved insists on watching every night.

Anyway, for the last three and a bit weeks I’ve been watching, often not quite believing what I was seeing. By that I don’t just mean the often-rather-mundane Eurosport commentary or the ad nauseum repetition of the half-time advert in which the kid gets sent a ‘jarg’ Coventry shirt in the post and stupidly gets ‘Nigeria 8p / min’ printed on the back of it.

Naturally, I had a special interest in Nigeria’s progress because of the Everton contingent, Yakubu and Yobo, however neither covered themselves in glory as the not-so-Super Eagles stuttered out of the tournament.

However, my fascination with the competition overall was heightened this year because it was the first since I discovered my Negro gums.

figure54 The Desert Foxes (on our boxes)

What? What did you say? I hear you ask, in the style of one of the creepy Lords at the start of The Phantom Menace when talking to Emperor Palpatine.

Well, my dentist explains it better than I.

Eighteen months ago during a routine check-up, that guy whose chin always mesmerised me (I imagined it with eyes stuck on, singing) declared for the first time in twenty years of visits, that my gums were a curious colour, and were akin to those of a negro, a North African, or at the very least, a Mediterranean.

Having Italian and French family, and recently getting engaged to a lovely lady with Greek and Spanish heritage, this could have just been a happy coincidence, however the romantic in me immediately created an elaborate ancestry that centred around my North African roots. I steered clear of the Negro links because, although I wanted a link to Ryan Giggs, I discovered the incredible myth of Mississippi Blue Gums whose bite was deadlier than any snake…

sore gums swollen from gingivitis poor oral hygiene The Desert Foxes (on our boxes)

It just so happened that at school I had learned about the Maghrebin population of Marseilles, of which Zinedine Zidane was perhaps the most famous member. Having been entranced by Douglas Gordon and Mogwai’s ‘21st century Portrait’ of Zizou a few years back, I quickly settled on an Algerian heritage.

Algeria began to infiltrate my thoughts. Only after getting those fortunes told did I discover that Bouazza had signed for Blackpool; then came the World Cup draw, and media interest will increase before June’s match against England. As part of my Uni research I began to plan a trip to Algiers, until I read the BA advice to “not travel to the country unless absolutely necessary”, a decision I reluctantly made that was confirmed when I read FourFourTwo’s recent ‘More than a game’ article on Egypt v Algeria and the violence that accompanied it.

algeria The Desert Foxes (on our boxes)

Which brings us to tonight’s game, and already we have seen a dodgy penalty that should then not have been allowed, and the blue-bandaged keeper with the weird hair nearly headbutt the ref as a result. Meanwhile there are reports that rival journalists are fighting pitchside.

To be honest, Algeria have disappointed me somewhat in this tournament so far, especially in their first game against Malawi, then they were brilliant in knocking out many people’s pre-tournament fav

Oh.

Egypt have just scored a second. And it was put away by Zidan.

So, maybe the third and fourth place play off will be a face-off between Evertonians and my distant relatives, and I’ll have to look forward to the World Cup before I can truly celebrate my oral heritage.

So… I’ll put Celebrity Big Brother on instead.

*Watches Vinny Jones et al for a bit*

First ad break, three nil. Second ad break, it’s four nil, two more sendings off… Bye, gums.

 

Fantasy can’t beat the Reality Star.

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As Christmas for many meant hangovers, left-over turkey and the obligatory tweaking of fantasy football (ff) teams, over-indulgence must now resonate. Early 2010, a time synonymous with resolutions, however, has so far been hijacked by the worst winter snap in decades.
Whilst weather ransacked all but the Britannia, an extended holiday for some must’ve been leaden with a touch of frustration, what with only one solitary game to score (ff) points from. To heap more misery on fantasists, Stoke’s Thomas Sorensen (This season’s ff star performer) was injured prior to Fulham’s trip to the Brit, a match that gave a timely reminder of what good old-fashioned football ought to be about.

SnowFootball 1738933 Fantasy can't beat the Reality Star.

Big Freeze wrecks football calendar in 2010

Tuesday’s match was irrefutably about football in the traditional sense. Incommensurably pleasurable if you’re a Stokie. Less so if you’d made the treacherous journey up from London.

A snow-sodden Britannia again provided the venue for a match reminiscent of great games from time’s past. The charged atmosphere and furore unmatched by any PL game I seem to remember. All that was missing was the red leather casey. When the home crowd get behind Stoke, like they did Tuesday, it’s hard to see them losing.
For Stokies this fixture will not solely be remembered for their team’s finest first half performance since the days of Waddington, but for the birth of a new cult-hero; akin to those that graced the Victoria ground back in those heady seventies. It will, moreover, long be remembered for the moment that the enigmatic Tuncay finally endeared himself to the Stoke faithful, ending a frustrating sojourn since signing.
The indomitable Turk waged an assault on the Fulham defence, a war of pent up aggression, which would’ve had his Ottoman ancestors beaming. This sent a buzz around the Britannia not seen since the giddy days of Sir Stanley. A half-time hamstring strain was all that blighted a near faultless performance, though it has done little to dampen expectations in the Potteries, as the intrigue amongst supporters intensifies.

Stanley+Matthews+Last+Game Fantasy can't beat the Reality Star.

Tuncay fever Sir Stan-esque

Scans today reveal Tuncay’s injury was not as bad as first feared and he would’ve been ready to face managerless Burnley at the weekend had the game gone ahead. It seems that The Clarets have gotten off lightly.
 
Background
 
Scour Wikipedia and you’ll see Tuncay certainly has impressive credentials. His career goal ratio of a goal in every three games is the mark of a true predator; and note, this doesn’t include his credible 22 goals from 72 for his country, which he now captains. These stats are even more impressive when you consider the Turkish superstar can operate anywhere across attack or midfield, and has often been deployed in a wide midfield role by both club and country. That said Tuncay is deadliest when breathing down the necks of weary defenders, where such skill and desire can have more of a devastating impact. Fulham found this out at their own expense on Tuesday.

TuncayTurkey 751345 Fantasy can't beat the Reality Star.

Tuncay is a superstar in Turkey

He is also known in Turkey for becoming the first Turk to score a hat-trick in the Champions League, the 2nd player ever to do so at the time, scoring a treble for Fenerbahçe against Manchester United.
Leaving Turkey for England, he became an instant hit on Teesside, a shining light through the smog that had descended on Middlesbrough’s PL tenure. Such was his impact both Chelsea and Liverpool were rumoured to be tracking the impetuous attacker.
 
The first and only match of 2010
 
As the snow fell from the firmament, Stoke went for the Fulham jugular from the first kick, giving their opponents no time to settle in what were uncompromising conditions. Few teams work as hard as Stoke and they have seldom closed down as hard as they did in that faultless first half. The more the players closed down and harassed the louder the crowd cheered.
There was an ambiance similar to that of a world championship boxing match when the underdog suddenly has his opponent on the back-foot. You sensed something special was about to happen and Stoke did not disappoint.
The excitement was palpable and one that evoked memories of Wayne Rooney’s full debut for England in the Stadium of Light, against none other than Turkey. Tuncay was at the fulcrum of everything that was positive, he embodies everything the Stoke supporters could ever wish for. Stoke fans inhaled a collective breath of optimism.
After a lively start he effortlessly lost his marker and nodded in an Etherington corner. Tuncay, who seemed to be everywhere, then popped up down the right and released Lawrence who was needlessly upended by a bewildered Konchesky: who must’ve thought all his nightmares had come at once. Etherington, now a realistic candidate for South Africa, delivered another delightful ball into the box inviting Faye to slide the ball in at the back post.
Tuncay was in infectious mood and both his teammates and the crowd were responding. A few minutes later and he was at it again, this time down the left, laying off for Etherington who chipped superbly into the box where Delap had made a well timed run. Delap showed awareness he’s not normally renowned for and headed back across goal, where big Mama Sidibe put his poor goal-scoring form behind him to finish things off with aplomb. Who said Stoke don’t play good football.

MatthewEtherington 2373081 Fantasy can't beat the Reality Star.

in-form Matty Etherington, now an England candidate

3-0 up and Stoke looked en-route to giving punch-drunk Fulham a damn good hiding. As it turned out, Stoke stalled in the 2nd period as Tuncay went off injured and the sting seemed to evaporate. The game ended with the home side narrowly holding on for a 3-2 victory. Clint Dempsey’s sweetly struck shot finally giving ff enthusiasts something to cheer about.
 
A new hope…
 
When studying Tuncay’s career his impact is perhaps unsurprising. For Stoke fans, however, it has been an agonising wait. Unlike Kitson, Stoke’s previous pre-billed saviour, Pulis refused to throw his star summer signing straight into the fray, opting to bed him in more gently so not to compromise a settled side, and to allow Tuncay time to settle into life at the Britannia. It is proving to be a judicious masterstroke from a shrewd manager who is growing in confidence.
When you hear the church harp on about the real meaning of Christmas being lost it is easy to see what they are getting at. Similarly, fantasy football can sometimes distract us from the beautiful game.

 

Calendar, goals

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NeilSedaka Calendar, goals
(Apologies to N.Sedaka/H.Greenfield)
I love, I love, I love my calendar game
Yeah, sweet calendar game
I love, I love, I love my calendar game
Each and every day of the year
(January) You start the year off fine
The year started well with a continuing good run in the league and a couple of victories in the FA Cup, however, who would have thought we were on our way to Wembley at that point, especially not when we were drawn against Liverpool away in the fourth round. That coupled with the league game brought two rewarding draws, setting up nicely a replay in
(February) You’re my little valentine
By which, of course, I mean Dan Gosling. I lost my voice completely for two days after that. And, whilst I had a very nice Valentine’s Day, the 15th brought a cracking victory over Villa, but as the match was kicking off, I was involved in a car accident.
Arteta and Anichebe were also felled up at Newcastle, a team whose demise I took no pleasure in whatsoever, in fact I am made up that as I type they are currently on their way back to

(Apologies to N.Sedaka/H.Greenfield)

I love, I love, I love my calendar game

Yeah, sweet calendar game

I love, I love, I love my calendar game

Each and every day of the year

(January) You start the year off fine…

The year started well with a continuing good run in the league and a couple of victories in the FA Cup, however, who would have thought we were on our way to Wembley at that point, especially not when we were drawn against Liverpool away in the fourth round. That coupled with the league game brought two rewarding draws, setting up nicely a replay in

(February) You’re my little valentine…

By which, of course, I mean Dan Gosling. I lost my voice completely for two days after that. And, whilst I had a very nice Valentine’s Day, the 15th brought a cracking victory over Villa, but as the match was kicking off, I was involved in a car accident.

efc 1233837977 gosling 450x302 Calendar, goals

Relive the moment…

Arteta and Anichebe were also felled up at Newcastle, a team whose demise I took no pleasure in whatsoever, in fact I am made up that as I type they are currently on their way back to [email protected]’spark.com

(March) I’m gonna march you down the aisle…

At Wembley, after a quarter final victory over Middlesbrough meant our place was booked at the wonderful new stadium. There was no question I was going to go, despite our facing Manchester United.

(April) You’re the Easter Bunny when you smile…

Except my Easter was ruined, not by the third exhilarating match with Villa but an unusual illness, leading to four days in bed and lots of pain. However, the last day of the holidays more than made up for that –

http://www.englishfootballpost.com/news/2009/04/15/dont-know-why-i-love-you-but-i-love-you-cantona-everton-v-man-utd-fa-cup/

when a dour game against Man Utd reserves led to us winning on pennos. Jagielka’s injury tempered the excitement of z cars after the final whistle somewhat, we are still recovering it would seem. Every silver lining has a cloud where Everton are concerned…
 
Yeah, yeah, my heart’s in a whirl
I love, I love, I love my little calendar game
Every day (every goal), every day (every goal) of the year
(Every day of the year)
 
(May) Maybe if I ask your dad and mom
 
We finished fifth, but endured disappointment at the FA Cup Final. Louis Saha scored after twenty seven seconds and all was perfect in the world, but it just wasn’t to be, and that was that.
What upset me the most was that it just didn’t seem fair, it felt written that we would win, but the head ruled the heart and power, money and strength won the day and romantics everywhere shrugged their shoulders and waited for next year.

image 3 for 2009 fa cup final gallery 105204305 Calendar, goals

Luis just on time…

This was also the month that I decided to give up my season ticket for a while, nothing could really better the season we’d just had for a long while at least, and I had other things to focus on – no longer did I want to miss matches for Uni sessions or family events which ultimately would entertain and enrich me much more than a meaningless fixture, added to the fact that many games in the upcoming season would take place on a Sunday due to ‘Europa’ league commitments, and therefore be devoid of real atmosphere.
So far I have not come to rue that decision, I’ll be honest. Especially as it gives me the chance to watch Barcelona a bit more, who back in May won the historic treble, playing some incredible football along the way.
(June) They’ll let me take you to the Junior Prom?
Talking of kids, several clubs faced allegations of ‘poaching’ young players, with Chelsea initially paying the ultimate price
In June I had a ‘Junior prom’, well a school leavers party where I teach, at a nice bar in town, which took on extra importance as it was the night that Michael Jackson died. It was also the month of the Confederations Cup which offered a fascinating insight into next year’s World Cup, in which the likes of the USA suggested there might be an upset coming up if we’re lucky. However, the excitable fans also offered an insight into what we can expect, particularly that annoying waspish buzzing horn thing and the weird miners’ hats.
(July) Like a firecracker all aglow
 
The only thing that burned bright this wet summer seemed to be the money creating holes in people’s pockets, as Real Madrid and Manchester City in particular spent. Wisely?
(August) When you’re on the beach you steal the showYeah, yeah, my heart’s in a whirl?
Not a great start to the season was it, the furore around Lescott’s admission that he wanted to go almost overshadowing a 6-1 defeat against Arsenal on the first ESPN live game of 2009-10.
I love, I love, I love my little calendar game
Every day (every goal), every day (every goal) of the year
(Every day of the year)(September) Light the candles at your Sweet Sixteen
 
It was my birthday in september, a milestone, and a great time was had by all I hope. Slightly more than sixteen candles, but very enjoyable all the same.
(October) Romeo and Juliet on Halloween
 
A month which brought horror shows against Benfica (apart from the beautiful eagle)and Tottenham (apart from the beautiful purple kit)
(November) I’ll give thanks that you belong to me
 
This month I was grateful to have moved flat, and the French were certainly grateful to an outrageous piece of gamesmanship by Thierry Henry, whilst the month ended with another unjust derby defeat, but like I said, being as I am rather cooler towards my footy these days, it didn’t bother me too much.

henry3 Calendar, goals

Henry gamesmanship?

(December) You’re the present ‘neath my Christmas tree
 
A wonderfully intriguing World Cup draw, a safe passage (to meet Juventus I hope) in the Europa League, then, and so it is we reach Christmas (a yo-ho-ho! Have a mince pie etc) and we will delve into our stockings for football related gifts before embarking, hungover, on a marathon of matches. I’ll be missing that this year as I’ll be elsewhere – but when I come home it’s Carlisle in the FA Cup…
Yeah, yeah, my heart’s in a whirl
I’ll love, I’ll love, I’ll love my little calendar game
Every day (every goal), every day (every goal) of next year.

 

Beware of The Black Stars & The Elephants…

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With the 2010 World Cup draw just made, I thought there was no better time for some bold predictions. It was Pelé who once said – in that conceited manner of his – that an African nation would win the World Cup before Y2K. Then again he once infamously predicted Columbia would win USA ’94, explaining why most of his prophecies ever since have always lacked any sort of credence.

That said, his prediction, albeit some ten years off, now seems a distinct possibility. When Nigeria won the Olympic Gold medal in 1996, and when Cameroon won it 4 years later, many cited it as some sort of signifier. If neither victory prompted a significant shift in power on the International stage, then the sudden influx of Africans playing for Europe’s elite clubs certainly implies they are lingering on the cusp of something monumental.

TJenkins Beware of The Black Stars & The Elephants...

African players now have big match experience

My prediction then is simple. A host nation will win the inaugural World Cup on African soils. Home advantage and climate have always been pivotal factors in deciding World Cups, and altitude will no doubt play its part. Couple this with the undying support of a football hungry continent and it is a tried-and-tested recipe for success. Host nations have nearly always overachieved, and this has invariably triggered euphoric backing from their home supporters. South Africa won’t win it, but as a Nigerian taxi driver has just enlightened me on my way home this evening, there is a campaign happening right now in Africa, basically urging the whole of Africa to unite and get behind any African team left in the competition. I can only imagine the ramifications of this, and I’m certain it could be the catalyst that sees the famous trophy in African hands at long last.

Of course Spain will go in as favourites, and Germany & Brazil will inevitably be there or thereabouts. However, we saw the warning signs when Spain were convincingly beaten by USA, last summer in the Confederations Cup. Brazil & Germany have looked better also. Then, of course, there is England who you cannot write off completely. Spain aside, they have the best team on paper, but I’m sure their biggest opponent will be the climate, particularly the high altitude.

GHANA HEROS.87172520 Beware of The Black Stars & The Elephants...

Ghana will be heavily backed & dark horses

After finally recovering from the injustice France inflicted on the Irish Republic, I’ll be rooting for the African teams to succeed in next year’s main event. With Drogba, the Toure’s, & Kalou all in fine fettle, Ivory Coast strikes me as the obvious contenders. Nevertheless, this evening’s draw has not been kind on Les Éléphants (grouped with Brazil & Portugal – which will undoubtedly have the monopoly on the inevitable ‘group of death’ clichés) and I am subsequently going with Ghana. The Black Stars have players sprinkled all over Europe’s top teams, and the inside scoop in Africa suggests they are strong favourites for the African Nations in Jan, and to go furthest in South Africa this summer.

Ghana tasted success recently when they became the first African Nation to win the Fifa Under 20 World Cup in October 2009 (beating Brazil in the final), which has typically been a sign of great things to come.

It is sure to be a fascinating spectacle, and the prospect of an African home victory is more than just another Péle pie in the sky apparition. The Spanish, the Brazilians, and the Italians et al, had all better be weary. (Sorry I’ve not been around much lately!)

 

The EFP Writing Competition

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After the success of previous writing competitions we have decided to run another for our readers, with the prize of your choice again being generously supplied by SoccerPro. This time SoccerPro have offered a Soccer Jacket or a Soccer Tee-Shirt of the winner’s choice. The post with the most hits and highest rating within the set time-frame will receive this fantastic prize.
Feeling creative? Why not submit a post about your favourite football team?

This competition begins Sunday 8th November 2009 and ends midnight Sunday January 31st 2010.

All EFP members (Join up now) have the opportunity to enter.

SoccerPro

(Please view their wide selection of Soccer Jackets & Soccer Tee-Shirts )

Same rules apply; posts with most views, best ratings and top comments stand most chance of winning. Remember there is no restriction on how many posts each member can submit in the time frame. Remember, directing traffic to your own post is a huge advantage.

You do, however, need to be an EFP Member (Sign up now) to enter.

Good luck to any of you who are thinking of entering!

The English Football Post Admin

In Association with:

SoccerPro

 

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Premiership Bets of the Weekend

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WolvesBadge Premiership Bets of the WeekendWolves v Arsenal arsenal badge Premiership Bets of the Weekend

Arsenal look like the best side in Europe when on their game, which at home, they have been all season. However they have been sloppy on the road this season, guilty of overplaying and taking their foot of the pedal. The recent games at AZ Alkmarr and West Ham were seemingly won, with the Gunners coasting,  until loss of concentration cost them victory (and punters money).  Despite this i think this game looks like tailor made for an emphatic victory.

Wolves have had some  good results of late with 3 creditable draws (Villa, Everton, Stoke) but they will always concede goals in this league and if Arsenal hit top gear they could take a hiding.

Arsenal -1 = 11-10 @ Blue Square

Arsenal -2 = 91-50 @ Bet 365

201ACC4B A068 0CCF 884078EEDDE06879 Premiership Bets of the WeekendMan City v Burnley Burnley badge Premiership Bets of the Weekend

City come into the game on the back of 4 draws (3 away from home), while Burnley are the Jekyll and Hyde side of the league.

Adebayor and Toure return to boost City, who will enjoy playing against against an open footballing team like The Clarets, until they change their style away from home or a side fails to take a gluttony of chances, then the opposition if decent, should be backed on the handicap against them

City -1 = 10-11 @ Blue Square

City -2 = 73-50 @ Bet 365

Double on Arsenal and City -1 = 3-1 @ Blue Square

Double on Arsenal and City -2 = 6-1 @ Bet 365

 

Read All About It

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I was lost for ideas. I hadn’t written for efp for over a month, other things had got in the way, and as well as that, football had been rather underwhelming for me. Everton have improved in that time, Louis Saha has become one of the greatest players in the world (a private joke, sorry), but still there seemed little to whet my whistle.

I turned to a recent issue of FourFourTwo magazine in search of some inspiration. Surely, there would be some article or other to ignite my creative flair, some mention of an interesting focal point, a catalyst for my next literary reaction.
As it turned out, the main emphases within the pages were on Spanish and Italian football, which I’ve already written about. However, the magazine did offer a way out.

I decided to write about writing about football.

I have sent FourFourTwo a link to this article, as part of an ambitious mixed media approach to encourage cross-examination and comments on this debate. Some of the article is also missing, well, it can be found elsewhere, more of which later.

FourFourTwoIssue1 Read All About It

FourFourTwo is a monthly, grown-up magazine that started in 1994, I suppose a great time for a magazine to start, and although its style and content has changed direction somewhat – for example nowadays many of its cover stars seem to be part of a product placement project – I look forward to every new issue’s release and am often pleasantly surprised by what is in it. It can often take me a month to get through it due to my other commitments, but certainly, it is still a part of my life.

And so I decided once again to stroll down memory lane.

Throughout my life I have read and read about football. Match reports, player interviews, ghost-written autobiographies… and it all started with an issue of Shoot! magazine circa July 1986, I distinctly remember Maradona on the front kissing the World Cup amid the beautiful lush green of the Maracana pitch and the West Germany away shirts. But more than that I loved the stylish Shoot! logo, and knew I wanted more.

 Read All About It

I soon arranged (courtesy of my parents, no doubt pleased that I was following in my father’s footsteps as he used to get Charles Buchan’s Monthly) a weekly order – do these still exist, I wonder? – at the local newsagents, where, years later, I was to gain employment sorting and delivering ‘papers on hungover weekend mornings. They wrote our surname on the front cover, and every week I looked forward to the day that Shoot! came out, whilst my sister collected her issue of Big! or Smash Hits.

Who would be on the front? Ratcliffe? Lineker? Gascoigne? Or Rush in an Everton shirt as part of an over elaborate cruel hoax for an April Fools’ day edition? I don’t remember much to read about in Shoot!, Paul Trevillion drawings, Ray Royce cartoons, occasionally an interview, and statistics such as results. How archaic that seems now – more of which later.

Of course, there were posters too. MATCH was the rival magazine, and arguably better for posters, but always seemed a bit more childish – and anyway, Shoot! offered league ladders. And, even at such a tender age, such a little thing, what a difference it made. MATCH did though gain popularity but grown up fans now are divided on its importance: one contributor to a thread on a Man Utd fans forum said “Match is shit these days. It tries to use “cool” language and just sounds gay” which is criticism indeed by someone who does the same.

As I grew up, and flirted with SOCCERSTARS (basically a mag full of posters of the likes of Beardsley, Cottee and Nevin which quickly adorned my bedroom walls whilst others tentatively began putting up Pamela Anderson et al), football developed, so did its media profile, and my own interests, and I moved on to the more adult 9o minutes magazine. Shoot! enjoyed continued success until last year when it finally folded, though the annual (a childhood Christmas Day staple) is said to remain. Apparently now, Match of the Day is also popular, though when I flicked through it in Tesco this morning, it looked rubbish, unless of course you’re an eight year old.

Pamela Anderson bw02 Read All About It

90minutes featured celebrity fans, regular sections such as ‘I was a winner with Welsby’ and ‘very much so’ plus of course the brilliant comic strip. Its name is now used by ‘America’s Premier Soccer Magazine’ but was very much of its time and as part of my Year 8 English project in which we had to examine a publication in detail.

fb30 11 Read All About It

(This article will now continue for six paragraphs on the wsag website, in an attempt to give both cohorts of readers of my verses a chance to see the complete picture that I’m going on about)

As I continue to contribute to both sites every month, I grow in confidence in my writing, and in my voice. I sometimes struggle for inspiration, and try not to overlap the themes I discuss so that there remains a freshness for both parties and audiences. These challenges are generally overcome; the quality of what I write I will allow others to decide, but when I get disillusioned with my day job, I dream of writing more regularly, that’s for sure.
With every newspaper seemingly offering football supplements, a plethora of fascinating books on football and footballers, new sports (and sports news) channels and web services, and those other magazines I have not yet mentioned but occasionally take (World Soccer, Football Italia, Champions etc) and of course the continental offerings like France Football, Gazzetto del Sport, the Spanish dailies and many many more) one would never be able to take in all that is available. Every boy’s (and some girl’s) dreams, surely?
But I also fear that new technologies may one day see the demise of the football magazine and whilst I am sure that fanzines will remain, to what will young lads turn when they first get interested in football and want to learn as much as they can about the beautiful game? I have questionable views for some people, I know, and I am aware that often I am a little too open and perhaps divulge too much, in the style of one of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads maybe, whose streams of consciousness reveal much about their inner personae.

But regardless of the future of the publications I have referenced, personally I simply have to continue to have my say: there is a therapy involved in writing what I do, especially when it is about something I love so much still. I will remain forever grateful to Tim for setting up this site and the opportunities it has given me.

To think I have come to having my ideas read online, fusing extravagant experiments with factual documentation of what it is like being a football fan nowadays, from a starting point of a weekly fix of photos of players in action or relaxing at home, will surprise many, but I honestly don’t think I could explain things half as much as I do if it wasn’t for those initial issues of a now extinct magazine I was keen to grow out of once upon a time.

Now, go out and buy a magazine and rekindle the excitement of turning the page

 

The Future’s bright, it’s black and white.

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It has come to light that there’s a new found confidence at Vale Park this season.  Ok, a 1-0 loss at home to Bury on Saturday – that being the 1st home loss and only the 2nd loss of the season – is a massive improvement on last season already.
With the appointment of Micky Adams as the Valiants’s new head honcho, Vale fans, including myself, are begining to think there may be light at the end of the lower league’s dreary tunnel. With that said, with every new appointment comes – whether you’re stood in the stands or sat in the comfort of that armchair in front of the err radio, auspiciuos expection, heightened more so by a fantastic pre-season and an equally encouraging start.
Unfortunately, as ever, the club’s humbling financial budget has once again helped limit those expectations, once again limited to a reported £1,000,000 allocation for all club expenditure – including both transfer fees and player wages. Limited indeed when when you consider Notts County’s captures of both Sol Campbell’s and Lee Hughes’s and money spent on wages alone.  Please do not think I say this as an attack on the Port Vale board as I think that Bill Brat and co have done well in keeping the club affloat in such hard times; especially as they constantly looked for new investors to help the club survive, and move forward. I merely say this to make the point of what a challenging job Micky Adams has ahead of him.

Looking more positively, Mr Adams, unlike Sinnot and Glover before him, has been able to forgo the money side of things and use his experience and contacts in the game to vastly improve our squad; not only this, but, from what I’ve seen, he’s also been able to improve the confidence anId performances of what were a weary bunch of also rans by the end of last season.
Improvements on the pitch have improved immensely and, more importantly, matches are now a joy to behold.
Our defense is no longer just a rabble of men, who’d incessantly argue about whose job it was to pick up a lone attacker, but who’ve transformed into a well drilled, organised unit; so water-tight, they’ve only conceded two goals on home soil so far this season.  This feat is a personal favorite of mine.  Another is the fact Rob Taylor is back in the starting eleven. His fine performances have seen him emerge as a Vale Park’s new fans’s favourite.  As you may or may not know, Rob Taylor is formally our left back who, to the dismay of many fans, last season found himself frozen out by former boss Dean Glover. But now many, including myself, are sanguine about his triumphant return as an old fashioned left winger. It’s a role he seems to really be enjoying; scoring four goals already this season, putting him just one behind top-scorer, Richards.

With Dodds also playing well, the team seems happy enough with Adams’s new system of a three-pronged attack, and all three look hungary to add to their tallies.  So, as a whole, together with our more organised defence, a new look front line, and a midfield who look capable at both ends of the pitch, so far we are looking fairly tight.
Surely my point has been strengthend by Vale’s more than decent league results thus far and our two fantantic league cup performances – including wins away at Sheffield Utd and then beating the blue half of Sheffield in Round Two.  I doubt if Sheffield will be an overly welcoming city for Port Vale from now on.  Can we do the same to Scunthorpe in Round 3 this evening? By the time you’ve read this, things shall be a little clearer…
The bigest leauge test to date, many forescast, is also just around the corner, with an away trip to the aforementioned Notts County. The original Magpies’ new wealthy status, big name players, and slippery Sven Groran Ericcson pulling the strings behind the scenes, have turned an archaic club into one on the cusp of a team rapidly on the rise in English football – meaning they are now major players in this division.  Will they beat Leeds to the Premiership? I’m really not so sure.
What I am sure of, however, is that under Micky Adams, the Valiants will be up for any challange this season, and will prove many people wrong with our new and improved workrate and never-say-die mentality. I only hope our good start continues and this is a season fans will be anticipating our long awaited return to the Championship, instead of a potentially disasterous drop into Leauge Two, where most in the footballing world feel Port Vale belong.
Believe me: the future’s bright, the future’s black & white !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It has come to light that there’s a new found confidence at Vale Park this season.  Ok, a 1-0 loss at home to Bury last Saturday – that being the 1st home loss and only the 2nd loss of the season – is a massive improvement on last season already.

With the appointment of Micky Adams as the Valiants’s new head honcho, Vale fans, including myself, are begining to think there may be light at the end of a dreary lower league tunnel we’ve been languishing in for the past God knows how long. With that said, with every new appointment – whether you’re stood in the stands or sat in the comfort of that armchair in front of the err radio, comes with it auspicuous expectation, heightened even more so by a fantastic pre-season and an equally encouraging start.

Unfortunately, as ever, the club’s reality-biting financial budget has once again helped limit those expectations; once again limited to a reported £1,000,000 allocation for all club expenditure, including both transfer fees and player wages. Limited indeed when you consider Notts County’s captures of both Sol Campbell and Lee Hughes and money they’ve spent on their wages alone.  Please do not think I say this as an attack on the Port Vale board, as I certainly do not, and think Bill Brat and co have done well in keeping the club affloat in such testing times; especially as they’ve constantly looked for new investors to help the club move forward, and more importantly, survive. I merely say this to make the point of what a difficult job Micky Adams has ahead of him.

Looking more positively, Mr Adams, unlike Sinnot and Glover before him, has been able to forgo the money side of things and use his experience and contacts in the game to vastly improve our squad; not only this, but, from what I’ve seen, he’s also been able to improve the confidence and performances of what looked a weary bunch of also-rans by the end of last season.

Improvements on the pitch have improved immensely and, more importantly, matches are now a joy to behold.

Our defense is no longer just a rabble of men, who’d incessantly argue about whose job it was to pick up a lone attacker, but a group who’ve transformed into a well drilled, organised unit – so water-tight, they’ve only conceded two goals on home soil so far this season.  This feat is a personal favorite of mine.

Another plus is the fact Rob Taylor is back in the starting eleven. His fine performances have seen him emerge as a Vale Park favourite.  As you may or may not know, Rob Taylor formally plied his trade at left back whom last season, to the dismay of many fans, found himself frozen out by former boss Dean Glover. But now many, including myself, are sanguine about his triumphant return as an orthodox left winger. It’s a role he seems to really be enjoying, scoring four goals already this season, putting him just one behind top-scorer, Richards.

With Dodds also playing well, the team seems happy enough with Adams’s new system of a three-pronged attack, and all three look hungry enough to add to their encouraging goal tallies.  So, as a whole, together with our more organised defense, our new look front line, and a midfield who look capable at both ends of the pitch, so far things are looking very promising.

Surely my point has been strengthend by Vale’s more than decent league results thus far and our two fantastic League Cup performances – including wins away at Sheffield Utd and then beating the blue half of Sheffield in Round Two.  I doubt if Sheffield will be an overly welcoming city for Port Vale fans in the near future.  Can we do the same to Scunthorpe in Round 3 this evening? By the time you’ve read this, things shall be a little clearer…

article 1201595 05CD88AA000005DC 18 468x345 The Futures bright, its black and white.

Sven to transform world’s oldest club?

The bigest leauge test to date, many forescast, is also just around the corner, with an away trip to the aforementioned Notts County. The original Magpies’ new wealthy status, big name players, and the enticing Sven Groran Ericcson pulling the strings behind the scenes, have turned an archaic club into one on the cusp of a team rapidly on the rise in English football – meaning they are now major players in this division.  Will they beat Leeds to the Premiership? I’m really not so sure.

What I am sure of, however, is that under Micky Adams, the Valiants will be up for any challange this season, and will prove many people wrong yet again with our new and improved workrate and never-say-die mentality. I only hope our good start continues and this is a season fans will be anticipating our long awaited return to the Championship, instead of a potentially disasterous drop into League Two, where most in the footballing world feel Port Vale belong.

Believe me, the future’s bright, the future’s most certainly black and white.

 

Freewriting, Bonny Scotland, Greece is the word.

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This is another attempt at freewriting, and for the next ten minutes I will just be typing non-stop whilst listening to the Sky Sports Soccer Saturday post-match post-mortems. It’s a really hard thing to explain, you just write whatever comes in to your head regardless of the subject, within a time limit, and normally you don’t show anyone your efforts but in this instance I’m sharing them with all the efp readers out there.

It’s a good thing I learnt about this process today because I’ve been struggling for a theme to focus my next efp epic on for a while now. I’ve also had other things on my mind, but the reason for this writer’s block is partly, I think, down to my apathy towards football in general.

This isn’t bitterness at the state of the game, or even frustration at Everton’s stuttering start, indeed my enjoyment of the European games so far negates my boredom with the Premier League. And Thursday night was no exception, with some good football being played against albeit poor oppoisition, whose fans were originally going to be the centre of attention within my next effort, I decided the other night.

Anyone who didn’t see the AEK Athens fans missed a great performance by them at least, often the most interesting aspect of the second half, by which time they’d chosen to turn their backs on the game and take their shirts off, sing non-stop, and jump up and down incessantly.

It got me thinking about England, for some reason, well, more specifically Scotland.

*5.26pm, stops to check pork chop under the grill*

*5.28pm

I’ve already broken the rule of free writing, as Elbow explained all those years ago, but will carry on. So Scotland then. England are going through an exciting era under Capello, this we know, but Scottish football in general seems to be in the dodlrums. This despite their recent game against someone, can’t remember who right now, providing one of the greatest goals I have ever seen.

I went to meet a friend for a drink that evening and he said it was the sort of goal I would have dreamed of scoring. On viewing, I would have to agree. I actually preferred it to Archie Gemmill’s, forever associated with a sex scene from trainspotting, but a moment of genius all the same.

It also replaces my previous favourite goal by an inconsistent Scotch winger, Pat Nevin, twenty years ago this month, against Manchester United.

Basically McFadden got the ball around the half way line and nutmegged the last defender before dummying the keeper, rounding him and slotting it into an empty net, and for a minute, the Scottish fans in their kilts and ginger wigs no doubt, dreamed of joining the Auld enemy in South Africa.

*5.34pm, phone goes off*

5.48pm

Sorry, had my tea aswell, so have basically broken the rules but I’m nearly finished now so bear with me.

Where was I then – oh yeah, Scotland, so what I’m getting at is that I’d quite like to be Scottish, many of my favourite players over the years have been, and I’ve always liked their kits. Plus, I know a bit of what it’s like to be in the shadow of more successful neighbours when probably, you’ve been overtaken, and were there first.

The Scottish League doesn’t seem the best, but I’ve only ever watched the Rangers v Celtic matches, impartially really, but as i’ve stated before, I like the underdog.

And then there’s the fans, which brings us back to the Athens following, that was one of the few times I’ve ever wanted to support somebody else, as they seemed to be having more fun than us.

I’m sure that as things settle down there’ll be more to write about, and it won’t be quite so rushed maybe, and with the new additions, Everton’s season will slowly improve as it usually does.

It’s still only September.

 

Limited Homeless World Cup Tee-Shirts!

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For those of you didn’t know, the Ukraine have just won the sixth Homeless World Cup 2009 taking place in Milan. To mark this momentous occasion, SoccerPro has brought out a limited edition of Homeless World Cup Tee-Shirts – which can be found at SoccerPro Homeless World Cup Tee-Shirt and seen below – with all

 

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