British footballer Robin Shroot making strides in Norway


This interview was originally published in April 2015 for Moresport

Robin Shroot’s career in England was stalling, and he knew it. In any profession, it’s important to keep testing yourself and improving your skills, even if that means a change in direction. Shroot was earning a comfortable salary at Stevenage but internal politics and managerial changes left him out of the side and in search of a new challenge. He found it in the most unlikely of locations: western Norway.

“I was deemed surplus to requirements at Stevenage. I think I just obviously wasn’t the manager’s cup of tea which was fair enough”, Shroot reflects. “I trained with the kids for six months”. At 26 years-old, he felt he’d reached a crossroads in his career and was desperate to play for a club with a more technical approach to the game.

Faced with several unappealing loan moves, Shroot decided instead to cancel his contract and go it alone. Having made one brave decision, he took another and cast his eye further afield in an attempt to fulfil a lifelong ambition of playing abroad. “The opportunity came up to go to Sarpsborg, Brian Deane’s club. I went there for a week and it was great”, he recalls of his first experience in Norway. Deane and his assistant Ian Burchnall, who is now at Viking Stavanger, were a huge help and he took to his new environment immediately. “It was really refreshing to experience a new football culture and I really enjoyed it.” Continue reading

Leeds United: “One step forward and two steps back. Nobody gets too far like that”

With behind-the-scenes shenanigans once again dominating the agenda at Leeds United, Kyle Hulme attempts to make sense of it all…

Recognise those lyrics? I do. I was about 12 years old and my mum actually let me take my Playstation 2 with me when we went to the coast with a family friend for a weekend. Safe to say I drilled the game over that week, being the sociable pre-teen that I was, completing it to the soundtrack of the Country and Western radio station K-Rose, where I heard and sung along to that song more times than I care to admit.

Since then, the phrase has been a constant feature in my life; a few years later it started to describe how I’d make my way home from town; absolutely hammered, when staggering in any direction felt like some sort of progress. Today though? Well, I associate it with my beloved Leeds United. Continue reading

The Top 50 Football League Players: 10-1


TFN’s Chris Francis completes his run down of the top 50 players outside the Premier League…

10. Troy Deeney (Watford)

As with many of the Hornets this season, the big centre forward has failed to match last season’s level, but he still remains a remarkably complete package. At his best he can be a snarling, in-your-face threat from inside or outside the box. Needs motivating to keep his workrate honest, but on his day he causes problems.


9. Sam Byram (Leeds)

Cardiff were reportedly quoted £8m for the Leeds youngster in the summer. Byram is a right back who is seen as much in the final third as the first. He is capable of lung-busting runs for a full game, and is a thoroughly modern, adventurous and physical player. Overlaps well, is strong in the tackle and is capable of playing further forward and more centrally. He took a clean sweep of the individual awards at Leeds’ end of season bash. A serious prospect. Continue reading

The Top 50 Football League Players: 20-11


TFN’s Chris Francis continues his run down of the top 50 players outside the Premier League…

20. Ikechi Anya (Watford)

Right back is not usually the most exciting position (as Jamie Carragher put it, ‘no one grows up wanting to be Gary Neville’), but Anya is a rampaging, marauding, and high energy wing back with tricks, and would certainly add to the attacking threat of a number of Premier League teams.

19. Kieran Trippier (Burnley)

The best right back in league? Trippier is a defender first and foremost in a role that has become more and more an attacking weapon. He has developed his game this season to be more of a threat in the opposition half. A vital cog in an excellent Burnley side. Continue reading

Champions League Memories: 2000-1

Real Madrid v Leeds Utd

Tom Victor looks back with fondness at the 2000-1 Champions League season…

Over the last few years the Champions League has – in amongst the tired predictability of shit-on-a-stick derbies and Messi and Ronaldo hat-tricks – had moments of bona fide craziness so ridiculous you wonder whether they actually happened.

Classic examples include Monaco’s 8-3 win over Deportivo La Coruña in 2003 and Lyon getting the win by five clear goals to qualify from their group in 2011, but nothing matches the 2000-01 competition for moments that make you look back and think “what, really”? Continue reading

Football’s Iron Throne: Game of Thrones meets the Premier League


As the third series of Game of Thrones draws to a close, James Dutton and David Wild imagine the parallels between the worlds of Westeros and the Premier League…

As the Premier League continues to enthral millions across the world, so HBO’s serialisation of George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ has captivated a loyal, steadfast and ever-growing audience. Here, The False Nine draws analogies between the two worlds; from the intimidating Britannia Stadium to the formidable Iron Islands, no stone is left unturned. Who will win in the Premier League Game of Thrones?

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Ten Years of the January Transfer Window


2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the January Transfer Window, Freddie Mickshik looks at some of the transfers that have become part of football folklore…

It’s the start of 2013, which aside from futile resolutions and intense hangovers means the opening of the January transfer window, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. This mid-season shopping window gives managers the chance to add to their squad and potentially find those extra few goals or tighten a shaky back four enough to secure a title or beat the drop. The shortness and timing of it, however, means the new year sees many a panic buy  (Savio anyone? Thought not.)

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