About Joe Bookbinder

Having realized from an early age he would never make it as a footballer, Joe Bookbinder tried his hand at management (Football Manager 2010) with mixed results - having restored Watford to Premier League status, Bayern Munich came calling, however the move was a step too far, too quick and he parted company after just 6 months. Joe has now taken up Sports Journalism, born and bred in London he naturally supports Manchester United, although in his attempt to support a 'local team' has developed a soft spot for Watford.

Is Michael Laudrup a potential replacement for David Moyes?


Manchester United fan Joe Bookbinder makes the case for a quick return to management for Michael Laudrup…

Before I start, I should state that I believe David Moyes should be given more time before proper judgement can be passed. As a United fan I have far from enjoyed the majority of this season, and have largely tried to avoid thinking about the worrying situation.

Despite a considerable list of things that have gone wrong this season, despite the wry smiles, I firmly believe Moyes knows how to turn it around.  After all, if he’s good enough for Sir Alex and Sir Bobby, that’s more than enough for me.

Barring an unbelievable end to the season, 4th looks to be a bridge too far as does the impossibility of United winning the Champions League. Dumped out of the domestic competitions by bottom half sides, United’s season is effectively over in mid-February. In terms of Moyes’ future I’d like to see Woodward and the Glazers properly back their man. Moyes is a much better operator in the transfer market than is currently being portrayed – Fellaini could still come good (think of all the United players that had slow starts to life at Old Trafford) and in Mata he signed one of the most gifted players in the league. His record at Everton was impressive – Cahill, Arteta, Baines, Jagielka, Coleman to name a few. Just don’t mention Darron Gibson, in any context. Continue reading

MUFC: Five more years of War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength & Nani is Useful


Joe Bookbinder returns to the TFN fold with a savage assessment of Nani’s contract renewal at Manchester United…

The year is 2007. Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha is a very exciting winger with great pace and skill; a potentially world-class player in the making. Sir Alex Ferguson certainly thinks so and is prepared to spend €25 million on the 19 year old. Ferguson knows that da Cunha, more commonly known as “Nani”, is nowhere near the finished player but is confident that he can fulfil his potential and develop, like his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, into one of the greatest flair players around.

Skip ahead to 2013 and Nani has just been awarded a 5 year contract. In this time he has played over 200 games, scoring 40 times as well as winning eight trophies at Old Trafford and the individual honour of being named in the 2010-11 PFA team of the Year. Yet even with the silverware taken into account, the majority of football fans see the player’s staying power at the Theatre of Dreams as a point from which to mock United fans. United fans seem to be divided on the matter. By the very fact that his signature hasn’t merited sighs of relief nor scenes of celebration demonstrate Nani’s unfulfilled potential. A mixture of resigned apathy and disbelief hangs over his presence in the Premier League due in part to the sheer inconsistency of Nani’s performances these past few years. How the last 6 years have possibly justified another 5 seems beyond most.

The Portuguese obviously has talent. In fact, it’s a genuine shame that his default mode is to channel that ability towards individual showboating rather than the collective efforts of the team. There are several ways of looking at the situation surrounding Nani’s contract extension. Continue reading

Hypothetical XI #8 – Spain in the Premier League


Joe Bookbinder brings us a Hypothetical XI comprised of Premier League Spaniards…

There is nothing new in the fact that this generation of Spanish footballers represents a decent bunch of players. In fact, some may go as far as to argue they are a “Golden generation”. Best in Europe? Yes. Best in the World? Probably. The general rule, tried, tested and accepted is that if you do not play for Barcelona or Real Madrid you have very little chance of representing your country. If you play outside of Spain altogether your chances are further diminished.

So spare a thought for the just-above-average motley crew of Spanish players who lighten up the Premier League every weekend. Playing the in vogue 4-2-3-1 this team would a force to be reckoned with come every other June/July.  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

TFN Looks Back at 2012: Part 2


Here’s the second part of our 2012 Q and A. Happy New Year!

1. Favourite moment
2. Favourite player
3. Favourite Euro 2012 moment
4. Favourite goal
5. Favourite match
6. Young player
7. Breakthrough team
8. Joey Barton moment
9. Favourite album
10. Favourite gig

Continue reading

Why The False Nine is Backing Euro 2020


Michel Platini courts controversy with every whimsical decision he makes.

In the wake of the controversy that surrounded UEFA’s decision to hold the European Championships of 2020 across the continent, The False Nine’s Joe Bookbinder, Hugo Greenhalgh and James Dutton discuss why it’s not such a bad idea after all…

Could anyone imagine the final of the European Championships taking place along the coast of the Caspian Sea, directly north of Iraq and north-east of Iran and Syria, in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku? As far-fetched, phantasmagorical and downright ludicrous as it may sound it could so easily have been reality – until the intervention of one man. A Frenchman. Continue reading

Beckham Looking to Bow Out in Style


The False Nine’s Joe Bookbinder attempts to second-guess David Beckham’s next, and most likely final, career move in football…

Ever since David Beckham announced that he was going to leave LA Galaxy at the end of the MLS season to pursue a new challenge in the twilight of his career, the football world hasn’t stopped trying to second-guess where ‘Golden Balls’ may end up. Continue reading