False nines, Fugazi and false idols

TFN editor Greg Johnson reckons there’s something false about how football fans have come to use that very word…

People get very upset about others wanting to try and be clever or more ambitious with their language. It’s not fear. Too often when people whine, complain and criticise it’s put down to some sense of terror or jealousy, but that’s not the case. Instead, there exists a strange desire to manage how other people use the words we know, use and perhaps, in our heads at least, own to some extent. Seeing someone else misuse or mangle our special words, or try to bring in new terms into a semantic field we’ve already decided is settled, can conjure up great feelings of anger and entitled from those who object.

Take the talk of “false nines”. For some, it’s enough to set the old eyes rolling back and trigger dismissive scoffs of derision about people of a certain pretension, or whom are attempting to gain a level of knowledge or insight that their critic believes is above their station. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a “false” No. 9. In fact, once those embittered antagonists get over their own spite and consider the label, it makes sense. Continue reading

The Return of ‘Zemanlandia’

Zdenek-Zeman-AS-Roma-Manager_2786140

The False Nine’s Kyle Hulme takes a look at how Zdeněk Zeman, in his second stint as Roma manager, is captivating the hearts and minds of Italians up and down the country…

Zemanlandia has once again brought itself to the forefront of calcio discussions in the coffee shops and bars up and down lo stivale. Almost twenty years since Zdeněk Zeman first won over the fans in Italy when he transformed Foggia from a club in the depths of the Italian league structure to one fighting for Europe, he’s back with a bang as manager of AS Roma, and almost all football fans are glad to see him back – all except for the Juventini, that is. Continue reading

‘The False Nine’ – A Critical Assessment

The False Nine‘s Michael David looks at a formation that is as beguiling as it is controversial and pays homage to it for our appropriately-named website…

One day, approximately four years ago, this writer popped into a WH Smiths before a long train journey, to pick up the customary form of entertainment for such an occasion; ‘FourFourTwo’ magazine. Continue reading