Sunday, 19 June 2011

Change from Blogger to Wordpress

After some thought, I decided to change from Blogger to Wordpress. I think Wordpress is a better host, with a lot more options 'under the bonnet' so I created the new site over the course of the day, and here it is:

So from now on, all my content will be posted there, as opposed to here. Do let me know what you think of the new site! The next 'My Perfect Player' will be up on the Wordpress site later tonight. 

Thanks all.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

My Perfect Player #2

The second 'My Perfect Player' is brought to you by the excellent Daniel Feliciano. He writes at DMF's Football World, a blog you should really be taking a look at.

Brain - Manuel Rui Costa 

A magnificent footballer, he was truly steps ahead of the game. Always had an image in his mind of what would happen in the game and had a superb eye for a pass and often chipped in with the odd spectacular goal - England in Euro 2004 pops up in my mind.

Head - Hernan Crespo

He could head the ball with power, precision and incredible accuracy. Always in the right place at the right time too, meant he was a clinical striker and one that in his prime was near unstoppable.

Eyes - Paul Scholes

Scholes' vision made him one of the best midfielders of his generation. The nickname 'Sat Nav' didn't come from anywhere, as he was see things others couldn't and then pick the perfect pass. No wonder he had so many players sing his praises in his final season.

Mouth - Roy Keane

He was a leader on and off the field, for club and country and was an excellent example to youngsters. Born for success, he knew when something had to be said, and what needed to be said. Could run a game by himself and took each game by the scruff of the neck.

Lungs - Cafu

Legendary Brazilian full back just didn't know how to stop running. Even at the age of 34 while at AC Milan, he could be seen charging up the touchline looking for the pass in stoppage time. A real engine and a model for fitness. Great player too.

Left foot - Lionel Messi

Closely run by Raul Gonzalez, Messi's left foot scrapes it due to the moments of magic he can produce. A truly magnificent player, the ball sticks to his foot when dribbling and it's almost impossible to stop him when he's in full flow. 

Right foot - Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane, for me, is the greatest player in the modern era of football. He had everything in his right foot. Control, accuracy, shooting power and more. The perfect right foot.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

My Perfect Player #1

As promised, here's Ben Leeder's Perfect Player. You can follow him on Twitter here, and check out his excellent blog 'You've Got Acres Of Time' here.

Brain - Dennis Bergkamp 

Always three steps ahead of everybody. A true genius who made football seem so easy. A true legend but more importantly a true gentleman. Everything a footballer should be.

Head - Alan Shearer

He could head the ball with so much power. He had amazing accuracy, he could put the ball across the keeper with so much ease and find the net.

Eyes - Zinedine Zidane 

Zizou had an aura, he seemed to glide around the pitch (my favourite player of all time). He could see things no one else could even dream of. He always had an end product; either a great finish or a perfect sliding pass. The perfect midfielder.

Mouth - Patrick Vieira

Everyone wanted to follow him, he could completely control a game on his own. Go on lung busting runs, slide tackles and scored some great goals. The complete midfielder who would take the game by the scruff of the neck and always give 100 per cent every week. A great leader.

Lungs - Wayne Rooney

Wayne chases, chases and chases again and he loves every minute of it. He plays with his heart on his sleeve, which is an amazing attribute to have. He gives everything for his team every week and will fight until the final whistle blows.

Left foot - Lionel Messi

The ball just seems to stick to his foot. He can do whatever he wants.. Once he gets going it is impossible to stop him. Seems pointless trying to sum him up, he is just so good! The best player of all time? Hell yes!

Right foot - Ronaldo (Brazilian)

Pace, power and precision - he had it all. In his day the best player in the world.. untouchable. He had tricks that would leave to defenders for dead. The greatest goalscorer in world cup history, what more can I say. The phenomenon is a fully deserved nickname.

My Perfect Player

Seeing as this summer seems to be yet another tedious one full of transfer nonsense, I thought I might brighten up your boredom with a new series.

I was scouring my Match! annuals for inspiration on another project I had in mind (keep your eyes peeled) and stumbled across a feature called "The Ultimate Player" and was inspired by it. It picked out different body parts of players to form the perfect "wonderkid", so I thought I'd incorporate something similar.

Starting off with Ben Leeder's contribution, I'll be looking for others to also get involved, so if you're interested, send me an email at and I'll let you know what's required.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Football is becoming a rich man's game

Here's my article on Freestyle Football World about money in football, hope you enjoy.

There are a few problems in football. The corruption surrounding the game’s governing body, FIFA, for example. But another that has come to the fore lately has been inflation.

And not just transfer fees like Jordan Henderson’s – as the world goes through inflation, football as a whole does. That means shirt prices, food prices and, most importantly, ticket prices.

A key example of this would be Arsenal. Despite a sixth successive season without a trophy, the club made the decision that, in keeping with the global and footballing price rises, they would increase season ticket prices by 6.5%.

Considering the club’s recent failure on the pitch, the fans didn’t take kindly to these increases. There was a walk engineered by supporters group “Black Scarf Movement”, who have asked the question: “Where has our Arsenal gone?”

We can, in the same way, ask: “Where has our football gone?” Without even getting started on the corruption in the game, if you take a look at the absurd transfer fees and wages being paid these days, it’s little wonder that some are feeling a little out of love with what was once known as the beautiful game.

Of course, on the field football is probably as enjoyable as ever. But those who used to be able to go to many games are now being priced out of it. “Club Levels” are being introduced to stadiums, where rich people can wine and dine, whilst occasionally glancing towards the game.

And the players that fans used to become attached to are jumping ship as soon as a better offer arises. Not just because it’s good for their careers – for the money too. Ashley Cole is a prime example. While Chelsea may have been on the up, when he left Arsenal, the Gunners had just reached the final of the Champions League.

He had claimed to be a lifelong Arsenal fan, having come up through the youth ranks, and the fans could themselves relate to that. One of the best things of being a football fan is those players who spend their entire career at their childhood club, and show the same passion as them.

But no. Cole went to rivals Chelsea, for a few extra thousand pounds. He said he “nearly crashed his car” in anger when he found out that Arsenal were offering him £5,000 less than he wanted. The fact that he was on his mobile in the car is an entirely different matter.

The point is that footballers and those involved are becoming increasingly greedy as the inflation hits football. When players see the insane amounts of money players like Yaya Toure are being paid, they feel that they deserve a similar amount.

A recent example would be Samir Nasri. After a fairly decent few years at Arsenal, without exactly setting the world on fire, he had a terrific half-season, before fading away for the remainder of the year. However, this seemed to give him reason to believe that he deserved to be on wage parity with the captain of the club, Cesc Fabregas.

Even worse was the way that he seemed to use the perceived interest from Manchester United to engineer him that wage parity. While it may have been agent influence (another source of money-grabbing) or paper talk, there’s never smoke without fire.

Gone is the day when a player would say something and actually mean it. Contracts mean nothing these days – Felipe Melo left just days after signing a new contract with Fiorentina. If anything, they’re just to ensure that the clubs get the maximum amount of money for their players.

In the end, it all comes back to that word which has polluted football. Money.