Archived entries for Football Column

Brickbat

When Liverpool overcame Manchester United at Saturday lunchtime, completing a week in which they knocked both of the top two placed teams out of the domestic cups in a week, it highlighted the momentum cup competitions can bring. Just a week earlier Liverpool were abject against Bolton, which led their manager Kenny Dalglish to be unusually critical of his players in his post-match interviews.

On most occasions interviewing Dalglish seems to be a task that is on the same list as getting blood out of a stone and asking Jose Mourinho to accept defeat with grace. But Dalglish has not always been unfriendly with the media; in his heyday as a player he made several appearances on Question of Sport, when the requisite for being a football guest was to have an international cap rather than having once appeared on a panel show, as well as making a cameo appearance as himself in the Channel 4 Drama, Scully. Continue reading…

The Seldom Seen Kick

Vinnie Jones, currently appearing as the face of hands-only resuscitation, made a living in various ways, including as a hod carrier, a professional footballer, and an actor. Once in the public eye he cultivated an image as a ‘hard man’, a loose term which the British Heart Foundation are currently trying to use to their advantage, as Guy Ritchie previously did. Whether players whose own livelihoods were affected by Jones’ on-field butchery, such as the former England international Gary Stevens, are laughing along with the CPR ad, is doubtful. Continue reading…

Changing of the Guard

Last night the Milan derby was broadcast in the UK on ESPN. It is one of the great fixtures of any domestic calendar, and one of the analysts, Paul Ince, was perfectly correct when talking about the stunning atmosphere – the fireworks, the overcrowding in the stands, the lighting as the teams come out, and the intensity both on and off the pitch, live long in the memory of anyone who has ever attended that local derby in northern Italy. Continue reading…

Never Say Never Again

The news yesterday that Paul Scholes is coming out of retirement for Manchester United, as if he were Clark Kent regaining his powers in Superman II in order to save Earth from his arch enemies, is surprising and yet typically bizarre in week where Sol Campbell was considered a suitable cultural commentator on Channel 4 News and Alan Green discussed football on Women’s Hour. Continue reading…

(Walk on) Gilded Splinters

Every so often BBC2 make a few business programmes in one-off strands, broadcast in primetime slots; sometimes they are Money Programme Specials, occasionally features up on successful start-ups while others quite often look at past disasters of phenomenons. In the summer of 2011 they had an episode of one such programme, titled ‘Marketing Mess-ups’, presented by the bloke from the ‘Today Programme’ who has a worrying favourable bias towards monetarists and bankers.

Had that programme been commissioned just six months later from the date it was broadcast, the whole one-hour episode could have been devoted to Liverpool Football Club, whose PR strategy since Luiz Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra on the field of play on 15 October 2011, appears to have been hijacked by Alan Partridge.

Continue reading…



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