The Top 10 Moments of Football ‘Blunditry’

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David Ahluwalia takes a look at the worst moments of football punditry…

For many of us, being a football pundit looks like the easiest job in the world. Relaxing on comfortable sofas, often with a cup of tea, and stating the things that are blatantly obvious with as many clichés as humanly possible seems like a job any fan could do.

Sometimes however, being a pundit isn’t quite so simple. Every so often we find our pundits, whether they be players, managers, referees or presenters, being a little too relaxed with their vocabulary, or making terrible analogies to describe a game. These often have the fans in fits of laughter or in a state of sheer shock at their stupidity and complete lack of self-awareness. Gillette Soccer Saturday regularly comes up with some moments of magic, but the team at Sky Sports are not the only ones who have had a blunder or two. Continue reading

Andy van der Meyde: Zlatan’s partner in crime

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TFN regular Elko Born remembers the infamous Andy van der Meyde…

Most of the boys in the Ajax academy are from Amsterdam or the area surrounding the Dutch capital. Boys from other parts of the country usually get picked up by other clubs. PSV Eindhoven, for example, rules the South of the country. Clubs like Heerenveen and FC Groningen rule the North.

Andy van der Meyde was born and bred in Arnhem, a medium sized town in the centre of the Netherlands. Yet it wasn’t Vitesse, his home town side, or any of the other clubs in the Arnhem area who spotted his talent when he was a boy. By some twist of faith, it was an Ajax scout.  Continue reading

The False Nine claim consolation prize in Currys FIFA Cup

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Last week, The False Nine were invited to the Greenlight offices in Kings Cross to take part in the Currys FIFA Cup. This was a knockout FIFA tournament, played out on Greenlight’s giant flatscreen TV.

TFN, represented by James Dutton, were drawn against Boro Guide in the quarter-finals, in a tie that pit Germany against Spain. Unused to the next-gen gameplay of FIFA 14 on the PS4, TFN struggled in the early stages falling 1-0 behind before pulling it back in the second-half and claiming a deserved equaliser. The game fizzled out in extra-time and, after a few dodgy penalties – another result of the unfamiliar gameplay – Germany lost their first penalty shoot-out in living memory and TFN exited the tournament at the first hurdle.

Alongside the FIFA tournament was a table football event, in which TFN fared rather better. Hugo Greenhalgh saw off Alex of Charlton Live and the Sporting Formation boys before taking on Pete of Boro Guide in the Final. Conceding three goals in quick succession, it did not look good for TFN’s man in red. However, he pulled it back to claim the prize of an England shirt.

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It was a great evening and a good opportunity to meet some other football bloggers. Many thanks to Greenlight and Currys for putting it on!

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@The_False_Nine

Gazprom Announced As New Official Sponsor of Crimea

TFN’s Dave Wild with some breaking news from the East…

Following lengthy discussions between Vladimir Putin and Sepp Blatter today, it has been annouced that Gazprom are to become the new official sponsors of Crimea, ushering in an ‘unprecedented era of content, nostalgic prosperity’ in ‘The Champions Peninsula’

Of course, Gazprom was the first to approach us with a proposal,” said Crimea’s first deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev, his eyes fixated on the peaceful landscape projected onto his telescreen every morning at 08:15. Continue reading

The mental health taboo: the unhealthy side of football

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Josh Jackman looks into mental health, one of the remaining taboo subjects in football…

“I was branded a disgrace for revealing I was suffering from depression. People just couldn’t understand it when outwardly they thought I had everything – to them I was living the dream.”

Stan Collymore’s comments this week were shocking but unsurprising. Despite progress being made over the last few years – particularly with the Professional Footballers’ Association’s establishment of a support service in 2013 – mental health is still a taboo subject in the sport.

In the year since the PFA set up the National Counsellors Support Network for Professional Footballers, it has helped 136 players who have diseases from depression to addiction. The number of footballers who suffer in silence, however, is anyone’s guess.

One in four people will suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives, while 10 per cent contract depression. Statistically speaking, that means there are hundreds of professional footballers in the UK who have not yet sought help. Continue reading

Why Danny Welbeck holds the key for England at the World Cup

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Pete Sharland reveals how he has been won over by Danny Welbeck, and believes he can play a big part in England’s World Cup summer…

Right, let’s get one thing clear from the outset; my dislike for Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley had nothing to do with the fact that they play for Manchester United. The reason was that I couldn’t fathom why either were such key parts of a club like United and of the England team. Both had fairly decent loans at Sunderland and Wigan respectively but neither deserved to be where they were.

This season though that’s changed. Well Cleverley hasn’t, he’s horribly out of his depth but that doesn’t excuse some half-wits creating a horrible petition to get him out of the England team. The man who has won me over however is Danny Welbeck, and it is quite hard to pinpoint why. Perhaps it is his cheeky grin when he scores, although you can be certain it isn’t his infuriating dance. Continue reading

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gunning for World Cup place

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After an impressive individual display in Munich, Nathan Carr considers Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s role in the England team ahead of the World Cup…

Arsenal left the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night empty-handed after fighting back from a goal down to clinch a draw. But it wasn’t enough as the aggregate score of 3-1 sent Bayern through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

As the Arsenal players trudged off the pitch at the final whistle, one individual could hold his head high: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He was outstanding on the night, acting as the only real attacking threat for Arsenal throughout.

The midfielder has only recently returned from a lengthy period of time out on the side-lines which makes his performance even more impressive. With Roy Hodgson carefully monitoring players in varying competitions right up until he announces England’s World Cup squad, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s exploits against Bayern will certainly do him no harm at all. That game may well have just cemented his place in England’s squad to travel to Brazil. Continue reading