Ciao Mario


As Mario Balotelli departs English football, James Dutton bids a fond arrivederci…

And so with barely a whimper he was gone. Mario Balotelli has departed these shores, seemingly, for the final time. He returns to the fashion capital Milan, this time to parade around in the red and black, not the black and blue, where his flamboyant hats will be accepted.

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Obscure Footballer of the Week #4: Willem Korsten


False Nine editor, Andrew Belt, remembers Willem Korsen – a player from his youth whose career was sadly curtailed before he could make a greater impression in the game…

When Manchester United visited Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League recently, Sky commentator, Martin Tyler, made reference to Willem Korsten’s winning contribution for Spurs the last time they overcame the Red Devils at White Hart Lane. Continue reading

The growth of MLS: a myth or a legacy?


In his first article for The False Nine, Joshua Jalal looks at the development of Major League Soccer…

Back in 1988 FIFA awarded the fifteenth edition of the World Cup to the United States on the condition the USA established a new league following the collapse of the NASL. In 1996 the MLS was established. Despite its eighteen year existence, it was only in 2006 that the league was globally recognized by fans and other football organisations. Continue reading

The CIS League: Political Football in the Soviet Union


Think Russia has given up on all to do with the USSR? Think again. False Nine Russian correspondent, Andy Shenk, assesses the aims and implications of a proposed CIS league gaining popular support from leading Russian clubs and courting controversy with the RFS, most of Ukraine and a certain Sepp Blatter…

FIFA President Sepp Blatter dealt potential breakaway Russian clubs and their plans for a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) football league a harsh blow on January 20: “FIFA is not interested at all in this competition… Competitions between them [clubs] take place within the framework and under the control of the national associations, within the borders of their country and association. That is the fundamental principle.” Continue reading

Bantams Set for Swansong at Wembley


The False Nine’s Scott Jenkins praises the remarkable stories of this year’s Capital One Cup finalists: Bradford City and Swansea City…

It’s 24th January 2000 and the Manic Street Preachers are Number 1 in the music charts in the UK. The world is rejoicing as the Millennium Bug hasn’t surfaced and robots have not taken over the land. Carlos Roa has just retired from goalkeeping duties at Real Mallorca due to his Adventist beliefs however. Continue reading

Wesley Sneijder and the Problem of 10


Following Wesley Sneijder’s move to Turkey, The False Nine’s Simon Smith looks at the multidimensional position of the ‘number 10’…

As Wesley Sneijder completes his move to Galatasaray, Internazionale – and perhaps world football in general – need to take stock and ask why a player once revered as a magician of his generation has been allowed to leave for a paltry fee rumoured to be as little as £8 million. Continue reading

Pozzo Family Methods Benefiting Zola’s Watford


The False Nine’s Joe Bookbinder is being won over by the Pozzos’s running of Watford and believes, under Gianfranco Zola, the Golden Boys are in safe hands…

When the Pozzo family bought Watford last summer there was an air of excited anticipation, twined with slight trepidation. The Udinese and Granada owners brought financial security, at least in the short term, to a club who have had to make do with a very tight budget. And make do they have. Continue reading