24 December 2010

Footileaks

By Dr3




Tis the season for sharing. So here I am sharing links that are ‘confidential—but not top secret’, for all sorts of football media. How some of these sites stand while youtube videos get removed will forever bewilder me. Of course, how can I not partake in some self-indulgence in this season? So I will give my little synopsis of every link. Enjoy!


Blogs

A More Splendid Life

My favorite blog. Updated infrequently because he writes on other websites about other football things that rarely interest me, but nonetheless very very very good writer.AMSL


Futfanatico

An American blogger, who knows some Spanish, or something. Definitely an acquired taste. Very knowledgeable. Very insightful. A bit weird. Definitely shatters any misconceptions with Americans and ‘soccer’. But that sense of humor….

Must Read Soccer

A website cataloging articles that, well, you must read. I liked it, until I started getting the impression, that it’s really more a network of well connected writers caught up in nepotism. Nonetheless, those writers are actually pretty good, so some of the articles are definitely must read soccer.

Treasons, Stratergems & Spoils

Every single post reeks of PHD-ness. Really intelligent. Very insightful, but wayyyy too infrequently updated; and coming from me, that’s saying something. Nonetheless, SHE, is a must read whenever she does write football. Get your thesaurus/dictionary ready though.Here

Dirty Tackle

I am convinced that he is convinced, that he is the funniest person ever. Very interesting blog; not because it’s great new insight, but more so because of how wide ranging and random and ‘humorous’ it is. From random segments about Boruc writing a weekly rage list, to the ‘f#$king disgrace’ Drogba segment (which I really wanted to do myself), it is all very entertaining. Sarcasm. Wit. Different like Kid Cudi. Updated almost every day. Put this in your Google Reader. Now.

Sid Lowe

Best damn writer on Guardian. Nuff said.

**EDIT***: more Sid Lowe

Zonal Marking

Not a huge fan of this critically acclaimed website. He once said that because Juve were in such a slump that not shellacking them, in the Derby D’Italia nonetheless, meant that Inter were pretty much shit, and lucky. For one obvious reason I was irked. Beyond repair. It felt like Warren Barton. But anyway, I am not big on tactical analysis since once we start going into details, then “moments” dictate games a lot more than tactics. So, sometimes, I do find it to be overanalyzing games which were pretty much decided by something like a beachball, or a Burdisso through ball to an opponent. I obviously am not understating the role tactics play in football matches. Nonetheless it’s in my Google Reader.


News

Goal.com

Sadly, Goal.com is the most frequently updated news site, beyond a newspaper site like say Tuttosport (seriously, avoid Tuttosport and the like from your feed like grim death). I hate one of their writers, whose name (Carlo Garganese), probably is Italian for f@#king disgrace, and has appeared on this blog during many of my rants. I don’t like him because he talks about footballers he clearly wasn’t alive to see play, and is both fickle and brash, like say that guy who just talked about Messi.

Football Italia

If you are not a Serie A fan, but want Serie A news; this is your site. No premature headlines. No assumed posts. No ten days later, or misleading (Garganese) reports and summations about the Naples trials..etc etc.

Soccernet.com

Good source of everything. But much like the other news sites that I don’t go to; it is much too Anglocentric.

Soccerway

New find for me. Very Very impressive. It’s more about data than news; so that the news stories are late. But livescores, lineups, player info, leagues from Poland to Trinidad etc etc. Exceptionally comprehensive. Best site I’ve found this year. Go to it. Now.

Livescore

Whether it’s .net or .com, as a friend once put it; Nothing is liveER than livescore. Period.

Please note the snubbing of all other English sites or writers. Even though AMSL writes about a pending change in tide in English punditry and media in general, I will await at the beach, that full change.

Highlights

Footytube

If you like long highlights and don’t mind waiting 12 hrs for it, this site is for you. Kind of anglocentric in that Stoke vs Wigan will have a 20 minute video while Barca vs Valencia has a 6. But very good in general.

Tvgolo

If you like less-long highlights from all around the world, and can’t wait that long, this site is for you. Goals of the week segment and all.

101greatgoals

If you just like highlights with the most important thing being the waiting time, this site is for you. If you like football this site is for you. If you like football gaffs, Messi’s every touch, Xavi off-the-ball antics etc. This. Is. Your. Site.

StreamLeaks

Myp2p.eu

Sort of a tvguide for all games streaming. Some of it requires downloading programs etc. But every game that has a stream on any day, is pretty much here. If you like football; at work, at school, because-you-don’t-have-the-right-cable-channels, this needs to be bookmarked. Sopcast works best for me btw.

ATDHE

Great facking site. Less comprehensive than myp2p, but most of these are streamed on links as opposed to needing to download a program.

Veetle

Oh Veetle. This used to be the best site, because even if your internet felt like dial-up, somehow this would still give you a good quality stream. Then like Moratti hiring Rafa, somebody changed something, and well now it’s seventh and only scored 20 goals not so good. If you have exceptional internet speeds, this is your site, although it really depends on what games people are streaming.

Espn3

If you didn’t know about this, you are a ‘_______ disgrace’

Pictures

I do have a new picture site, now that oleole followed in the footsteps of soccer-art, but I’ll be a Grinch on that one. I kinda, really am, obsessed with having pictures no one else really has. I'm sorry?


Seasons Greetings

Massimo Moratti had braced himself, fearing the wrath of "thousands of fanatics from the ‘KOP’ who had been watching footy for 25+ years and had been brought up on good football, and the knowledge of what a great manager was, when they saw one in action despite whatever faults he may have had". He had a surprise telegram though; a Christmas card. He smiled, vindicated.




On Christmas morning, as with every other day this year, I will start off by thanking God that Gareth Bale isn’t English. I will then smile with all Inter Fans everywhere, and watch ‘It’s a wonderful life’ starring Rafa. Merry Christmas




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21 December 2010

The Myth of the 'Bandwagonist'

By Dr3


I’ve become an internet stan of this genius, who I’m convinced should either write more about football, or selfishly write here with me. During the Rooney saga he harped on something simple yet significant: telling the truth doesn’t constitute being honest. Being able to separate the truth of what a bandwagonist is, from what is honestly a morality tirade built on sand reveals the anomaly; we are all bandwagonists.

A bandwagonist (or bandwagoner) is supposedly a person who is either a fair-weather supporter, and/or a new-money supporter; a person of no real character, who is as fickle as he/she is ignorant of the true meaning of ‘our’ sport. The opinion of a bandwagonist is void in that it holds no real understanding of context and history. A bandwagonist usually supports a team that is easy to support; who wouldn’t support them? A bandwagonist is dismissed as hackneyed and manly men (as in sexists), would count their thoughts as those of a woman; a pseudo-man, pseudo-fan. Exactly.

At the other end of the spectrum we have the real fan; a fan of the team, and not the players. A fan whose allegiance never alters. A fan whose allegiance is based on the identity of the group, the colors, the history, the culture. A real fan in pseudo-tribalism. But how was I inducted?

Some truths

1. In a sweeping but accurate generalization, men as a group are more avid and religious followers of football than women.

2. Fickle fans, with 5 favorite teams, who would say things like Cr7 somehow introducing the use of ‘speed’ to our game exist; yes, they do.

3. ManCity fans, Chelsea fans, and new Barcelona fans, are all more than likely the casual football fan whose increased enthusiasm coincidently coincided with either unprecedented growth, and/or success.

In being honest though, unless you’re some type of Real Oviedo-loving type of person, how were you inducted?

In what is not really a new trend in any realm of life, being a coherent contrarian is supposedly the measure of a real understanding of whatever the subject is. So while the people who are too ‘mainstream’ accept that global warming exists, that earthquakes and holes in the ozone are real, some of us postulate about weather machines. While most people accept Messi as the second coming of the prophet for the Iglesia Maradoniana, some of us purport that it’s the quiet subtle wizard known as Xavi. In an attempt to separate ourselves from the rest in establishing our footballing acumen, we identify the bandwagonists amongst ourselves. Anyone can see that Messi and Cr7 are great, but it takes a real footballing connoisseur to realize that it’s Xavi.


Let me just stop here to say that Xavi is not the best center midfielder of all time (Oh Garganese). He is not the best player in the world. Most importantly, there is not a chance in any football world that he is either more pivotal or more of a genius than Messi is. To borrow from Sid Lowe, people writing about Xavi and defining and listing these traits where he’s so superior, might as well add the criteria of Xavi-ness. In specifying all these qualities for your ‘center midfielder’ you’re effectively saying that Xavi is the best at the Xavi-position, therefore he’s the best of all time?????

Let me just list some center midfielders without fleeting era-defined roles;

Zidane, Pirlo, Veron, Riquelme, Redundo, Gaurdiola, Scholes, Rivaldo, Totti, Matthäus, Cruyff, Platini, Baggio, Simeone, Laudrup, Rui Costa, Maradona, Rijkaard, Gullit, Claude, Deco, Vieira, Hagi, Deschamps, Edgar Davids, Ballack, Albertini, Litmanen, ………

Please tell me you got the facking picture?

But back to the Bandwagonism. So by differentiating the real football brain from the fake, the googly-eyed fickle fans from the football aficionados, we defined the bandwagonist. But whether your allegiance is with Manchester United or Bayern Munich with one question the anomaly is revealed; how did you start supporting them? What is the root of your now undying support? Was it not fickle? Was it not flashing lights and glamour? Superstar players? Historical success? The strength of a brand? Most TrinBagonians supporting Manchester United, started because of Dwight Yorke. Are you all Bandwagonists? Yorke is gone, but you remain faithful, does that legitimize your beginnings? In 10-15 years won’t the same City/Chelsea/New-Barca fans be in your same boat? Unless you are in fact born into a team, such as being born into the blue half of Merseyside, how do you verify any claim that your allegiance was founded on anything that is real? People try to defend themselves citing a certain style of play, while bashing another team with the same philosophy as theirs. Why Arsenal and not Barcelona? Why not Blackpool, or Napoli, or Palermo, or Dortmund, who all play expansive, ‘sexy’ football? Why Inter? Why AC Milan? The answers to these questions are admittedly multi-facetted, from TV rights, to your country of origin etc etc..but it highlights an irony; how fickle we are in accusing a fan of being fickle. Why can’t a ‘new’ team be born today? Why can’t a future historical team be born today? While we stand on our moral high grounds, weren’t our teams once a team with a dream and an injection of funds? Aren’t the successes of our teams tied to investment in some way in its history?

Of course if we add a membership clause to the moral contract of being a football fan, then the real amongst us are vindicated. After being on the bandwagon for long enough, you become a member. My support wasn’t fleeting, and I didn’t follow Ibrahimovic when he left; I am a real fan. My team is good, not based on the current strength of their purse, but through an excellent Cantera. It doesn’t matter that it’s actually the historical success, and name brand that lures the talented youth like the Neverland Valley Ranch; my team is honorable. Your team spends dirty money.

In reading and writing more about football I have realized it’s an extension of other aspects of life. People want to be able to identify themselves as part of something special if not superior to the norm. From making football a science of completion rates and pie charts, to finding meaning to Mourinho-esque psycho babble, people keep introducing new ways to look at football; intricacies that would be missed by Bandwagonists and women alike. The truth is that ManCity fans are bandwagonists. So are the Chelsea new-money fans. It’s true that fickle fans erode our football utopia; from hailing Bale as the best, to Neymar somehow being more talented than Ronaldinho was. The truth is that I also identify myself as a real fan; a fan that won’t argue on a forum about Fletcher or Carrick being better than Cambiasso. In all honesty though, until we sign a fan contract with that time membership clause, I would be kidding myself if I thought I didn’t jump on a bandwagon.

SN: I do think Xavi is the best right now. But 3 years ago Pirlo was better than him.Easily.Could it be because your team wins, you become the best?

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06 December 2010

On FIFA

By Dr3




So why exactly did Ronaldo win the Ballon D’or for 2002? Just when I thought I figured them out, I was reminded of just how oblivious I was to everything. I had forgotten that their only criterion was that there are no criteria. Maybe as the narcissist in me points out, it’s their shameless attempt to get my love for the World Cup back. Maybe as the Inter-conspiracy theorist in me points out, it’s the whole I hate Inter, “Inter Merda” movement. Maybe Jack Warner votes for the Ballon D’or as well. Maybe as the Barca-Hater in me points out, it’s FIFA lauding the effervescent greatness that is Barca. Whatever it is, I accept the tyranny.

In all fairness to Messi, prior to the World Cup, minus a couple Inter games, he was unplayable and exceedingly the best player in Europe, which through some algorithm equals the world. However history had taught us that on World Cup years the equation was altered and suddenly the work of nine months was rendered void and somewhat trite. Things seemed to be following the beaten path with the contemptible snubbing of Milito, Maicon etc. from the shortlist. The sideshow of the World Cup bidding and the subsequent uproar about an unjust, shall-we-say opaque FIFA was next, until the latest snub of Sneijder. In as much as we shouldn’t just take it like a cuckold, until there is some greater reform of FIFA, unfortunately we are left to mull over what should and shouldn’t be. We are also left to rue what could have been. And of course we are forced to be thankful for whatever petty mercies the game gives to us on face value. Just like arguments for/against the introduction of new technology, the highbrows present the ever-powerful, thought provoking and moving arguments which while raising awareness of a folly, do literally nothing towards removing it. As it turns out the people in the right circles couldn’t give one shit about any sort of reform.

Football needs a Martin Luther King.

I will say though, that I am happy that Russia and Qatar won the bids. Whether through bribery or whatever else, the reality is that the entire point of a voting/bidding process was to eliminate a clear bias to the countries that should, based on resources and transportation logistics etc etc, from monopolizing hosting the World Cup. That somehow through your bid being strong, a loss represents some form of fraud is as delusional as it is narcissistic and arrogant. That you intrinsically deserve something on the basis that you are you is profoundly and scarily grandiose. No matter how outlandish the bid of the Qataris, the decision still lies with the federations. Of course a huge part of the selection is about unchartered waters, and “the road less traveled”. Why should it have been in England and not the US? How do I make a selection between two equally viable options? The questions about the decision making process while sometimes valid are infinite, such that the type of uproar that I’m seeing only points to the supercilious nature of both the English and Americans. To draw a tangent, do I write the editor about a Grad school snub? Didn’t I pay ‘so much’ for an application? Didn’t I meet the criteria? Am I not a qualified and exceptional candidate? How then can they be so audacious as to snub me?

Yo, Qatar, I'm really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but I just got to say England’s bid is one of the best bids of all time.


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