Well, this is the start of something I have been meaning to do for a while. My very own chance to wax lyrical about the topics of the day, and in fact, whichever football subject I choose. I have created this blog for all those football fans out there who are just as interested in football debate, obscure statistics, comment and opinion as they are content to wile away a Saturday afternoon sitting in front of Jeff Stelling. To kick off with a cliché, its for those fans who think of that old Shankly line about life and death, and don’t understand what the big deal is- of course it’s more important!
Anyway, now I should say something about myself, although I’ll keep the non-footballing comment short and sweet. I am a 21 year old student, officially studying politics but 99% of the time discussing football. I have a deep, long-standing, passion for the sport at all levels. The Premier League is my bread and butter, but I am keenly interested in, and willing to discuss everything from League 2 to Serie A, and have a long love-affair with Brazilian and Argentinean football. Although I often find myself cursing the often mundane and pedestrian international break, I will be fully taken over by World Cup fever come the minute that last Premiership ball is kicked on Sunday 9th May.
I have only one or two dogmatically held footballing beliefs, and apart from these I am pretty flexible and will try not to overtly sing the praises of my chosen teams. However, lets get these out the way early: My first non-negotiable opinion is that I think it is impossible to comprehensively understand the game without seeing it live. Not necessarily every week, not exclusively live- and any serious fan will not need me to tell them this- but there is no substitute in the game for going to the ground and soaking in the atmosphere, and there is nothing Andy Gray can explain that anyone with an enquiring and analytical mind couldn‘t point out in a second. Anyone who knows football will tell you that you cannot judge a player without watching how he runs off the ball, how he holds himself on the pitch and how he interacts with his teammates. Secondly, I believe that defending is just as beautiful an art form as attacking, and that this is often overlooked by so called “purists”. (Mark Hughes, playing 3 strikers at White Hart Lane might make you feel like a latter-day Carlos Bilardo, but you go and lose 3-0 and its off to the job centre). My final belief, and I hold this most enthusiastically, is that the likes of The Sun and the News of the World have nothing more to offer to the football community than uninteresting, unfounded and unimaginative speculation. If you believe what you read in these wastes of paper, you’re no wiser than Stan Collymore, and that realisation is what led me to write this today.
I hope you all enjoy this, and that you participate when you can be bothered. I would love to receive emails and thoughts, as I am obviously new to this game and will get nowhere without feedback from the public. All the best.