Football writing: Who you need to be reading this season

The False Nine and friends recommend the football writers and blogs you should be reading this season…

Football writing has exploded of late. In amongst all the pre-season  hype, it can be hard to know where to turn and who to read as the noise level increases and the click bait spam swamps social media.

This isn’t some “top 10 football websites” list, or a rundown of the 25 people you have to follow on Twitter. This is an attempt at some digital word of mouth to promote and elevate those writers that deserve it above the deafening distortion of listicles, reaction blogs and what not. If you’re a Twitter person, think of this as a grand, season-long #ff shout out that has broken the 140 character limit and gone wild.

Scroll down, have a look at who we think are worth your time and tell us who you’ll be reading this season in the comments box below. Continue reading

Did he shake his tactics at me? A word of caution on a threat to football’s magic

Tactics Pubs

Guest blogger George Roberts offers up a full and frank discussion on the dangers of football tactics writing. Pull up a seat and grab yourself a pint…

Ah, football! Ah, the joy of the Thursday night argument (‘chat’ would be far too unserious a term) with Roger – ‘bitter please, and a bag of pork scratchings’ – down at the Dog and Duck. Should they sack him? Give him time! Should they play him? No room for a lightweight like him in the side, even on the wing. Board aren’t releasing the funds we need. Where are the goals going to come from? Should they have sacked him? Should have given him time… How unending, these debates! How timeless!

Ah, the internet! Ah, the twenty-first century! Roger’s still there down at the Dog and Duck. No-one listened to him back then, but now no-one is listening to him, really. They aren’t there. They can’t afford a pint nowadays. Fear not, though, the football debate rumbles on. Tip-tapping away in the catacombs of cyberspace are a new brigade of Rogers – and they mean business. They write blogs, much like this one. They are able to spread their voice throughout the world, via the web. Hence they are seriously intelligent. They lock their e-horns beneath online newspaper side-columns. Unlike Roger, they can’t see you – and aren’t afraid to let you know how unsophisticated, how uneducated you are. How very wrong you are, QED.

These angry young web-snipers have grown up in an age where football writing has turned a welcome corner. Starting with the fanzines of the eighties, via Nick Hornby’s groundbreaking Fever Pitch and Simon Kuper’s sport-as-politics work Football Aginst the Enemy, over the last two decades football has acquired a literature more befitting of its presence in English society. At the same time, the internet has offered a platform for those seeking to explore the game through alternative angles. Continue reading