It’s a Steven Gerrard themed 5 things from Joe Devine’s much celebrated weekly TFN column…
1. Gerrard Ups Anti
In a desperate attempt to be noticed, Steven Gerrard languidly trod on the leg of Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera during Sunday’s game between Liverpool and Manchester United. Gerrard had reportedly threatened to defecate on the touchline if Brendan Rogers refused to put him in the team at half time, so given no choice, the Liverpool manager conceded. After being sent off, Gerrard watched the remainder of the game in the dressing room, screaming “look at me!” at the television, before ignoring his team mates and going immediately to give a post-match interview with the nice TV people, his only real friends.
2. This Does Not Stomp.
Joined by his wife Alex, Steven visited the Ambassadors theatre in London’s West End last weekend to watch the fabulous performance of Stomp. The couple enjoyed themselves marvellously, though recent reports suggest that the Liverpool midfielder may have both entirely misunderstood the performance, and taken the wrong message. Continue reading →
TFN’s latest signing Alastair Nasmyth marvels at the career of Michael Owen…
Recently you may have had the opportunity to have seen a rarely broadcast piece of footage amidst the modest pre-tournament build-up of a young England player leaving an Argentinian defence for dead and scoring a goal that was to bring this little known (outside of England) youngster to the attention of the world. That man – boy – was Michael Owen. Now I don’t want to brag but as an experienced manager (3 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 Champions League – Championship Manager 95/96) I’d been calling for his inclusion from the start of the tournament. Even as a 13 year old I’d seen how well he’d dovetail with Alan Shearer in my fictitious all-conquering Liverpool team. The goal itself was great; the deft touch with the outside of his foot to set himself up and then pace and strength, something not always associated with his game, to get past Jose Chamot. Then the cut grass (as the French say), drifting away from goal to get away from Roberto Ayala he thrakes the ball into the top corner on the far side of the goal.
After the dust had settled from David Beckham’s red card and loss on penalties, the one shinning light was this lad from Chester. If he could do this when he was only 18 think what he could achieve over the next 10 years, his first shave perhaps. Liverpool and England fans alike were salivating over the potential this boy (man) possessed and for the next 5 years he was to fulfil it as much as could be expected. The next season he went on to win a second Premiership Golden Boot (I wonder if they gave him a left and right?) including hat-tricks against Newcastle and Forest carrying Liverpool as best he could before injuring his hamstring towards the end of the season, an injury that would re-occur throughout his career. Continue reading →
Making his TFN debut, Alastair Nasmyth explores the paradox of expectations ahead of the 2014 World Cup…
As we approach the World Cup (sorry Sepp, The FIFA World Cup™) the world’s media is unwittingly (or perhaps not) doing its part as FIFA’s marketing mercenaries, ratcheting up the anticipation.
Articles such as: “Best World Cup Goals Ever” by Emile Heskey (to clarify it would be him picking them not a collection of his own), “How to win a penalty shootout” by Terry Venables, “My favorite World Cup socks” by Calvin Klein and “How to get the perfect Pitch” by Alan Titchmarsh clog up server space and squat in newspaper columns.
If we lived in a sane world this level of build up would only be seen for one off events like the Second Coming and I’m talking son of god, deity-type events not disappointing second albums or Robbie Fowler. The only thing that comes close to the disproportionate media hysteria is the hysteria over how disproportionate the media is being only adding fuel to the fire by giving the publicity publicity. Continue reading →
After his exploration of the role of the utility man, David Wildlooks to establish the difference between utility and versatility…
What makes a utility man and what makes a versatile player? At first glance it is easy to confuse the two. If we look at a utility man he is capable of playing in several different positions. So he must be versatile.
To borrow a philosophical thought experiment, let’s look at the two terms in a syllogism. Is a utility player always versatile? Yes. Can we infer therefore that all versatile players are utility men? This doesn’t seem to work as well. Continue reading →
Making his debut for The False Nine, Greg Johnson casts his eye over the country’s antiquated outlook on football, and bemoans the cult of the individual hero…
Phil Jones’ second season at Manchester United began muted by injury. The sight of him initially struggling to find form felt strangely and shamefully satisfying, and yet as he limped off on Monday night against Reading the only thoughts that one could conjure were those of loss and interruption.
A series of gut-busting displays last year flicked the switch on the Phil Jones hype machine, which quickly spiralled out of control. In no time at all, the versatile young defender was being touted as the nation’s latest elemental wonderkid and a future saviour and captain of England. It appeared amorphous potential and purely physical gifts had once again seduced pundits into holding faith in one of English football’s most dangerous and enduring myths: the cult of the individual hero. Continue reading →
The False Nine editor, James Dutton, looks into Theo Walcott’s claim that this is the best England squad in his time with the national side…
So Theo Walcott has claimed this is the best England squad he’s been part of.
It certainly is a bold claim from the Arsenal forward. After all, this is the same Walcott who was plucked from Arsenal’s reserves by Sven Goran Eriksson at the age of 16 and invited to experience, first hand, England’s 2006 World Cup debacle. WAGs, metatarsals and prima donnas dominated the headlines, whilst poor little Theo was forced to watch on helpless. Continue reading →
False Nine editor James Dutton assesses Brendan Rodgers’ start to life at Anfield…
“You train dogs, i like to educate players.”
Brendan Rodgers will likely look back at 2012 as the year that changed his life. Having built on the phenomenal success of his project at Swansea, he has become a household name across the country upon taking the reins of the hottest job on Merseyside. He also became the unwitting star attraction of a US television programme.
Described as a ‘fly-on-the-wall documentary/ reality show’, Being Liverpool came across as more of a shamelessly dreary and crass US sports promotional video for the increasingly Americanized brand of Liverpool FC. Aside from the franchise, the show provided the platform for new manager Brendan Rodgers to espouse both footballing and life virtues.