Joe Devine returns to discuss five things that may or may not have happened in the FA Cup this weekend…
1. Bradford’s Pitch Has More Craters Than Moon
According to reports, the Valley Parade pitch has more craters in it than the surface of the moon. Reading manager and amateur astronomer Steve Clarke told reporters on Saturday morning “I’ve had a look at the pitch, and, I’m not a moon ‘expert’, but I’m probably a moon ‘specialist’, and I think there’s more craters here.” Concerned for his players, Steve Clarke requested the assistance of fellow moon fan Nigel Pearson. After a short examination of the pitch, Nigel told reporters “I can look after myself”, before donning his NASA cap and sprinting off into a nearby growth of bushes.
2. Brendan Rogers Officially Bad Again
After a lengthy spell of being good, and a brief spell of being “Jesus” good, Brendan Rogers has reportedly become bad once again. Initial speculation came during Liverpool’s match up with Blackburn on Sunday, and the first confirmation came upon the final whistle. Our reporter spoke to some Liverpool fans outside Anfield after the game, here’s what they had to say: “I don’t know why he’s gone bad again. He was good for a while, then he was really good and we were thinking ‘oh wow, he’s Jesus good’, you know? But now he just seems to have gone bad again and I’m worried about when he might be getting good again, you know?”Continue reading →
Joe Devine returns to look at 5 things that may or may not have happened over the recent Premier League game week…
1. Liverpool Regain Identity
In the midsts of the celebrations after Liverpool’s jubilant 0-2 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, Brendan Rogers revealed that the club have finally “regained” their identity”. Liverpool fans will be pleased to hear that control of the club has returned to the right hands, though some might be confused as to why they knew nothing of the fraud in the first place. Few details have been revealed as to who may have stolen the Merseyside club’s identity, though early reports are suggesting that North Korea might be involved. Life-long Steven Gerrard fan Kim Jong-Un was rumoured to have offered the Liverpool captain a lucrative offer to coach Pyongyang F.C. The offer was declined and some tabloid journalists have speculated that the recent identity theft might be an act of furious revenge. The broadsheets pooh-pooh this theory, however, and according to The Guardian “£117m worth of average players collected over the summer clearly suggests that this identity theft might well have been going on for longer than most initially imagined”.
2. Wenger Disgusted With Lack of Possession
Despite leaving the Etihad on Sunday with 3 points after their 0-2 victory over Champions Manchester City, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger privately bemoaned his players’ lack of possession and attacking flair. In a dressing room speech in which the Frenchman told his players he’d rather “be a dead donkey than kick a dead donkey”, Arsene Wenger allegedly beat Santi Carzorla furiously around the back of the head before storming out chanting Kant’s Principles of Aesthetic Excellence. The False Nine newsroom is reliably informed that “heads will roll” should Arsenal defy their aesthetic responsibilities in the name of winning ever again. Continue reading →
Alex Stewart continues his look into language and football, and what the sport as a whole can learn from the USMNT…
The World Cup was a humdinger, wasn’t it? The James turn and volley, the beautifully unexpected performances of teams like Costa Rica and Algeria, that five one shellacking of the indolent Spanish, the heroics of hirsute Tim Howard. That last performance, which inflamed the hearts of American fans neutrals and alike, as he almost single-handedly kept the considerably-less-marauding-than-they-ought-to-have-been Belgians at bay (ok, as a keeper he used both hands and, indeed, his feet, but you know what I mean), similarly scorched Twitter: memes were born and heroics celebrated.
And many with the following appended: #USMNT — the United States Men’s National Team. A touch cumbersome, as social signposting goes, though, for the blood-and-thunder sports fans of the US, comfortingly pugnacious, even bellicose, more Special Forces unit designation than handy football acronym. And the abbreviation is a lot more interesting (and important) than simply be an easy way to navigate oneself towards another Howard stopping a meteorite Photoshop job. Continue reading →
Jonny Singerponders the rights and wrongs of FIFA’s latest controversy, the Russia and Qatar World Cup bids…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, you’ll probably know that there have been a few allegations of corruption against FIFA.
Since Qatar was announced as the 2022 World Cup host, to an air of general surprise and disappointment, football’s governing body has rarely been far from the headlines.
And, if the headlines you see most are written in English, and in particular if they’re written by Englishmen, you’re likely to have a pretty strong view about the issue.
As the news broke on Thursday that FIFA’s corruption report not only absolved Qatar of any wrong-doing, but also made accusations of corruption about the Football Association, the English press were almost falling over themselves to criticize, and mock, Sepp Blatter and his organization.
The response of almost everyone I’ve spoken to in this country is the same – FIFA are so corrupt that they’re attacking the only people to call out their corruption.
Alex Stewartponders the true meaning of the international break…
Break, n. among other things:
6. An interruption or a disruption in continuity or regularity: television programming without commercial breaks.
7. A pause or interval, as from work: a coffee break.
8. A sudden or marked change: a break in the weather.
(From the free dictionary on the internet)
The international break, as a thing, provokes a variety of responses. A quick and in no way scientific survey conducted on social media earlier by yours truly revealed an array of responses which ran from the wholly positive to the suicidally inclined (injuries, etc etc). A quick trawl of internet-based relevant content shows a predisposition for mordant articles on the impact of said break, the opportunities it creates for club/country schism, luxated joints, and general fatigue (With football itself, even? Is there too much of a good thing?).
Actual fans, not thrallish hacks, seem to run contra-narrative and quite enjoy the change, though some express a genuine and understandable lack of interest based on: aforementioned ‘too much of a good thing’; partisan loyalty to club outweighing country; England not being as good to watch as [insert team of your choice here]. Without doubt, though, the ‘international break’ provokes a myriad of responses and a range of conflicting emotions/thoughts (is emotion too strong a word for this? Not if you’re Brendan Rodgers).
The origins of the phrase ‘international break’ are themselves murky. Wikipedia merely states that it is a “period of time set aside by FIFA for scheduled international matches per their International Match Calendar. Continue reading →
Ally Moncrieff slams down his controller to tell the world what’s gone wrong with football games on his TFN debut…
In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes. If Benjamin Franklin had been around today he could have added ‘an annual update to the FIFA and PES series of football games’ to his most famous phrase. Not quite as profound maybe, but no less accurate.
The nature of certainty means that this year is no different, there will of course be a FIFA 15 and a PES 15. A quick glance through the early press releases and it is clear both franchises are offering variations on the same theme, that theme of course being increased realism. And herein lies the problem with modern football games.
The best games sell themselves as a form of escapism, that is the very essence of their appeal. It’s why the release of Grand Theft Auto has people queuing outside Game in the middle of the night and the release of Truck Simulator does not. The finest video game series of all is Nintendo’s Mario Bros, Mario and his brother Luigi are plumbers by trade, if instead of rescuing Princesses and warping down pipes in the Mushroom Kingdom the game concentrated on two overweight lads installing a combi boiler and piping the odd radiator, it’s hard to imagine it would have enjoyed quite the same level of success. Continue reading →
TFN’s Alastair Nasmyth returns with an alternative method for football transfers…
The World Cup is over and the Brazilians are sweeping up the ticker tape (and sweeping away the tiki-taki) whilst trying to overcome one hell of a hangover. After valiantly fighting off her attentions for a year with protests and riots, a few misplaced Caipirinhas and they’ve woken up next to the FIFA fat girl. Giving in to their better instincts they took the rotund Mrs. Blatter back to their place and just as the passion mounted the mood was killed when it was suggested their German friend got involved. As the haze lifts, one can only imagine what the mixed emotions of self-loathing at their elimination and pride at actually hosting the event will feel like. Continue reading →