Archived entries for

Football Writing – More of the not-so-same


Mark Perryman of Philosophy Football reviews 2012’s early crop of new football writing

In early March BBC Radio 4 broadcast Fever Pitched, the first of many, and well-deserved, retrospectives to mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch. This was a book that both sparked a trend in football writing, the fan confessional, while reflecting a whole range of changes in the way the game is consumed in the wake of the huge success of Italia ‘90. Continue reading…

Woody Allen Profile of a Film-maker

Woody Allen’s prolific output continues, with his next two films to be set in Rome and Copenhagen respectively. He still says he is yet to make a ‘Great Film’: a questionable and modest claim, when there is no doubt he is a Great Independent Filmmaker.

The film that kicked off the recent Woody Allen Season at the BFI, Hannah and Her Sisters, was a reminder of a great filmmaker at the peak of his powers: it has brilliant moments of slapstick comedy, a wealth of strong characters, wonderful dialogue, beautiful cinematography, a perfect soundtrack and a story that is captivating throughout. And Allen, the perfectionist, famously doesn’t like it. Continue reading…

European Football Round-up/CL Preview: 13 Mar

Last Wednesday Juventus played their game in hand in Serie A. The Old Lady of Turin went to Bolgna, but in true style this season could only draw. This left them 2 points behind Milan whilst still being unbeaten.

This past weekend proved to be another good one for Milan, the defending champions hosted Lecce and put in a strong performance to run out 2-0 winners. Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up the first goal and scored the second, propelling him to the top of the Capocannoniere charts with 19 goals in the process. That Ibra’s quality is still questioned, especially in England, is beyond baffling. For the past eight years whichever club he has played for has finished top of their respective league (the two with Juventus were revoked after Calciopoli); the man is a born winner and he has a better than 1 in 2 goal to game ratio across his career. Continue reading…

The Short Answer

As Sir Alex Ferguson approached his recent 25th year anniversary in charge at Manchester United, profiles revealed he had team selection for six games in advance in his mind, like a chess player going in for the kill. It was news that wasn’t really a surprise to anyone who has noted his use of squad rotation, particularly in the last fifteen years, where United have often had two games a week in the final third of the season. Every Manager, like a supporter, has an eye on the fixture list, and that is even more true when a Manager is about to accept a job midway through the season.

When Mark Hughes looked at QPR’s fixtures in January, he would have seen a number of winnable games at the start, which he would have no doubt thought would get his new club up the table. He would have also seen that his final game of the season is away to his former club Manchester City, where his treatment at the end, after months of speculation – a sacking ahead of a final game he won while his replacement sat in the stands – was a reminder that for all a club’s wealth, money can’t buy class. With that in mind, it would be totally understandable if Hughes had even the briefest of visions of stopping City win the League. Two months later though, it seems more likely then ever that QPR could be relegated that on that last day, in front of not just a packed stadium, but a worldwide television audience, as matters at both ends of the table come to a climax. Continue reading…

GB Football Team: Stuart Pearce?

The circus that is the England national side came to town last week, led by ringmaster Stuart Pearce, the unfortunate man charged with the thankless task of stopping Wayne Rooney putting his head in a lions mouth, or something like that.

Since the 3-2 defeat by the Netherlands, Pearce has been sidelined somewhat, forced out to manage the coconut shy with most punters paying their money to pelt a handful of wooden balls at his stylish new side-parting.

The gist of that metaphor is that Pearce has been hit by a barrage of criticism since taking charge of England in a caretaker capacity last week. The criticisms levelled at him have, by and large, been accurate and fair. However, this isn’t the last we’ll see of Pearce in the Wembley dug-out as he leads the Team GB men’s side this summer at London 2012. Continue reading…

Jonathan Richman, Bush Hall W12 (29 Feb 2012)

There’s Something About Jonathan

Jonathan’s playing at Bush Hall tonight.
Jonathan’s making a party at Bush Hall tonight.
Jonathan’s bought along Tommy.
Tommy’s bought his funky drums.
Tommy’ll drum up this party at Bush Hall tonight.
Jonathan’s bought his funky guitar.
So let’s party at Bush Hall tonight.

Jonathan Richman is an artist. Like many great artists Jonathan manages to divide opinion. Some would say he creates impossible songs with improbable rhymes about the most mundane and surreal subjects. Whilst some say his music belongs in the playground. I’d say the genius of Jonathan lies in the fact that both of these statements are true. Continue reading…

Tony Fernandes

‘QPR: Four Year Plan’ documented the chaos at the club before Tony Fernandes bought the club. Fan Anthony Hassan fills in the gaps and looks ahead to a new style of Management.

On the 18th August 2011 Tony Fernandes completed his takeover of Queens Park Rangers Football Club, having bought Bernie Ecclestone’s 66% shares of the club to become the majority shareholder. He was also named as the Chairman of QPR Holdings Ltd. Finally, a welcome change after four years of chaos. Continue reading…

European Football Round-up/CL Preview: 6 March

Jurgen Klopp is likely to be a man in demand this summer. He’s being linked with jobs at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur and is also seen as the heir apparent to Joachim Loew as Germany’s national boss. Borussia Dortmund however will be fervently hoping they can keep their inspirational coach. This weekend saw Dortmund take a massive step towards a second successive Bundesliga title as they overcame Mainz 2-1 at Westfalenstadion. With perennial title favourites Bayern Munich falling to a 2-0 loss at Bayer Leverkusen, Dortmund now have a 7 point advantage with 10 rounds to go. Meanwhile former giants of the German game, Hamburg fell even closer to the relegation trap door after being humbled 4-0 at home to Stuttgart. There are probably enough teams worse than Hamburg to ensure they stay up, but fans who in recent times have seen the likes of Rafael van der Vaart, Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong strutting their stuff will demand significant improvement. Continue reading…

Words and Pictures

In an age where media accessibility is such a big part of football, what a Manager says in public is a good indicator of their judgement. In his post-match interview yesterday, Sir Alex Ferguson was honest in his assessment that a Tottenham side, despite being weakened with big absentees, were better than his Manchester United side for the majority of the match and he got his tactics wrong in the first-half. Continue reading…

Ally Clow’s February 2012 Film Round-up

February 2012 was the final countdown to the Oscars held on the 26th at the Hollywood and Highland centre in Los Angeles. The final few Oscar films for our consideration were released in the UK such as The Descendants and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (no Albert Nobbs yet however) and some interesting non-Oscar fodder too.  As was the case with January, the UK Box Office was down considerably against 2011. No releases have matched joint efforts of The King’s Speech, Black Swan, Disney’s Tangled and Gnomeo and Juliet and even Paul and True Grit did respectably well on their run. Indeed War Horse, Woman In Black and The Muppets were the only three films in the second month of 2012 to have grossed over £10M to date in the charts. Continue reading…

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