What I Have Been Reading Wk 2

The latest instalment of stuff that has kept me from earning an honest crust. Masquerading as my effort at doing the whole Follow Friday twitter thing. This week, we design a football, we lay in to Match of the Day, we defend Match of the Day, and we learn how ever-more myopic the global football beast is becoming.

The Shame Of A Big Four Fan 

"Hate Cameron, hate Coldplay, hate Cowell. I dwell somewhere on the far left field, looking on with disdain at the big, the successful, the popular. I'm also a football fan."



"Terrorist bullets shattered his spine, football’s indifference shattered his faith."



"There are times when I am legitimately unable (rather than unwilling) to watch, and when I see the outcome I am affected emotionally to nearly as great an extent as I would have been had I watched the full 90."


"Of course there’s also all the usual stuff you have to put up with like someone cutting up your brand new Armani suit and putting shit in your shoes. But sometimes the wind-ups aren’t always so obvious."



"St Pauli are one of football’s most wonderful peculiarities. During the 1980’s the club went through a cultural transformation, which saw them regenerate from an ordinary lower division side, going about their business, toiling in obscurity, into that of counter-cultural icon."

via David Hartrick 

"In short, Alan Shearer doesn’t love football any more than or less than a casual fan does."
 

Soccer Ball Design
via Passport Soccer Blog

"some of my friends have expressed interest in designing a soccer ball themselves."

Commercialisation of Football
via Sabotage Times

"Exactly when did we all become 3D-loving, replica shirt-wearing, insurance selling, dodgy owner accepting soccer sheep? How old school football fans lost their identity and became consumers."

Premier League to face taxman in court
via FC Business

"The Premier League look set to do battle with HMRC in the courts at the beginning of 2010 over the ‘football creditor’ rule"

Left Back In The Changing Room: No one really knows much about him
via Left Back In The Changing Room

"I don’t know what’s worse; the fact that a well-paid ex-professional working as a pundit on public coin couldn’t name a current French internationalist or the fact that the player actually plays for Shearer’s self-professed love, Newcastle United."

Scarborough Athletic Players Now Own Their Club
via Scarborough Athletic FC

"The majority of Scarborough Athletic's first team squad are now fully signed-up members of the Society - formerly the Seadog Trust."

Does Jeff Stelling shave cats?
via In Bed With Maradonna

"‘I don’t go to a game any more because I prefer to watch it all on Soccer Saturday – £31 to go the game or 6 hours of coverage? It’s a no brainer for me’"







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That Much Heralded Liverpool Sit-In

Messrs Hicks and Gillette must be crapping themselves at this show of unity.



And any smart who wants to point out it is more of a stand-in than a sit-in, well, you know where the comments section is.
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Self-Subbing

Last week, a certain Morrocan goalkeeper had a well-publicised 'mare when saving a penalty. This week, he's had such a shocker that he has decided enough is enough.

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Like Ricky Villa. Only Better.

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The Arse Of God

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There's Showboating. And then.....

Was there ever a time when Hearts could take the piss out of Rangers? Really? Wow. Not sure the custodian of the (begrudgingly) excellent 66 POW blog would even contend such an era existed.





Cheeky back heel to retrombm
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Northampton dump Liverpool out of the cup - reaction

It's unlikely to become the next Two Girls, One Cup, but even so....


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What I Have Been Reading Wk1

In which I tell you to read some posts on other, better, And you can't be arsed.

The whole "Follow Friday" thing on Twitter confuses me. There are loads of people I like, who write some cracking stuff. But if you don't happen to be reading my feed at the time, you'll miss my recommendations. Added to this the fact that some crazy-minded people don't Tweet at all, and frankly it is a recipe for disaster. So here, in what starts out with goo intentions, but will doubtless become some sort of resented chore, are some the things that have passed by my window these week. Please, really, point me in the direction of anything you think might interest me. It's either that or a Michael McIntyre DVD


  • "Match of the day and ignorant/lazy punditry."


Mocking Shearer makes hamsters of us all : Surreal Football


  • "Destroying pundits – either with a fluent deconstruction or a vitriolic diatribe – has become the favourite pastime of football bloggers and journalists – my good self included. Recently though, ridiculing the clinically mundane has lost its appeal for me. It all started with Alan Shearer…"





  • “I’ve done lots of interviews with overseas players and managers and invariably they were always smarter and brighter and more analytical than their English peers.”





  • "There is a fairly famous Argentine proverb 'You can change your wife but your club and your mother, never!' "





  • "There is the fan’s way of watching, in which entertaining fare on the pitch is the overriding concern, and the coach’s way of watching, when the method and motives behind the teams’ actions on the pitch are analysed."





The increasingly irrational world of football club owners : Football Management



  • "My blood boils far too easily these days.  Perhaps it’s an age thing.  Or perhaps the wacky world of football finance really is going insane. " 
 
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    Premier League gaffers talk sex, death and bizarre FIFA rules!

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    Physio's will turn their hand to anything

    Yes Nigel Adkins has shown that physios know more than leg rubs. And Sir Les Parry is doing his best to make a silk purse from the pig's ear that is Tranmere Rovers. But neither of them have ever rolled up their sleeves and got involved like this....

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    Footballers who can kick a ball so hard it explodes only exist in comic books, right?

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    Goatkeeper



    (c) Adrian Petrisor
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    Vendredi Volley (it's French for Friday)

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    Rangers fan tells BBC North West Tonight something

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    Because All Goalkeepers Are Idiots



    Cheeky backheel to Narrow The Angle and Tim Hill
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    What I Did When England Were Playing Switzerland

    Teversal 1 Askern Villa 2

    NCEL Wilkinson Sword Trophy First Round

    Standing Room Only
    I had a really good post written for this. God knows where I saved it though. Instead, here are the bare facts, followed by some wanky shots featuring Pete, The First Man. And a plastic chair. Amongst others. And not once will I make mention of the glory of Askern Villa's name (I'll leave that to Two Footed Tackle, if he fancies it)

    Ronree, I'm So Ronree...
    Tevie scored in the first couple of minutes having broken through the Villa back four. Askern Villa's number 5 dislocated his thumb, but neither side had a physio. Villa then proceded to try to play football, without any end product, while Tevie showed a lot of endeavour, and a will to do better, but simply lacked the guile.

    Best Seat In The House
    Second half, the home keeper came under ever more pressure, but stood firm. Until he didn't. The equaliser came mid way through the half. And the winner came courtesy of a flap direct from a corner.  It left him casting quite a forlorn figure pacing his goalmouth.

    So there you go, it's shit, I know. Which is a shame, cos the game wasn't. Sorry.


    Recycling

    Sermon From The Mount

    Pete Looks On In Awe

    As The Mists Roll In
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    The Unwitting Victim Of It All

    In light of the back-slapping going on in the aftermath of Non League day, it is perhaps worth remembering that the current big news story in sport, namely the Pakistani cricket betting scandal, has had far-reaching effects right here on "our" non-league doorstep.

    Some may be aware that the gentleman, and I use the term advisedly, at the centre of it all, one Mr Mazhar Majeed, is also chairman of Croydon Athletic FC. Not a club that come onto my North Notts radar too often, true. But still, one of our own.

    So, it is a great sadness to read the following posted at NonLeague.Com

    Croydon Athletic have requested permission to withdraw from The FA Cup. This request has been accepted by the FA.

    This follows the approval of the Isthmian League to allow Croydon Athletic to postpone their next two League games to ascertain whether they can meet their commitments for the remainder of the season.


    Kingstonian have been awarded a walkover to the Second Round Qualifying.


    More on the whole sorry saga can be found courtesy of The Guardian, amongst others.
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    From The Hands Of Babes

    Ankle-biter obviously knows that's the hand the sainted Stevie G uses to shake hands with Wayne, John and Ashley

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    Of Non-League Day And Men

    Curzon Ashton 2 Witton Albion 0

    Evostik Division One North


    How Quickly We Forget
    To the untrained eye, the Eastern outskirts of Manchester are a maze of stereotypical Northern mill towns, languishing in a romantic memory of yesteryear. To the shit football connoisseur however they provide a hotbed of opportunity. A visit to Mike Smith's excellent Six Tame Sides is indication enough of this. So what better place to celebrate Non League Day?

    And so it was that this blog's one-man mission to seek out teams that might possibly be worse than Prescot Cables continued apace with a trip to Curzon Ashton. Please note at this juncture that Google Maps lies.

    As I pulled in to the car park, I could have sworn Non League Day had been an unexpected success. The place was rammed. Turns out there was a kids competition on the neighbouring artificial pitches. So much for spreading the word.

    Non League Day In Full Effect
    Alas, it appeared to this blogger at least the Curzon had completely refused to acknowledge the existence of Non League Day. Certainly no-one I spoke with was aware of any sort of promotion to entice "big" fans to the match. No mention of it was made over the PA (how hard would it have been to welcome new visitors?). And all in all it just seemed like another day at the office for all concerned. Very disappointing.

    Imagine my joy as the teams came out that every single one of the Curzon Youth who were being used as mascots appeared to be sporting Fancy Dan Boots. And then imagine my disappointment at being on the far side of the pitch and not being able to snap any of them.

    And so to the game. The first half was a shocker. Both teams seemed adamant that their creative lynch-pins were their full backs, so all play had to go through them, before the ball got slung round the back of the opposing full back, or lumped hopefully towards a centre forward who was a good five inches shorter than the centre half stood behind him. Insipid and unimaginative, and it made me think that maybe Curzon had done everyone a favour by not getting behind Non League Day.

    Another Aimless Ball
    Thankfully the second half proved marginally more entertaining fayre, helped no end by the fact that Curzon scored  early on, and Witton therefore had to at least put up the pretence of trying to score. That they failed, is more testament to their ineptitude than any praiseworthy efforts by the home defence. In desperation, Witton moved their left back, the one decent player on display from both sides, upfront. A fact which wasn't lost on an old boy in the crowd 15 minutes later as he urged the home bench to adjust their formation accordingly to "attack down the right" That they had been doing this to little or no effect had seemingly passed him by. Of course, no sooner had he piped up than one more surge down that flank was rewarded with a goal, allowing the gentleman in question to loudly proclaim that the management were clueless. 2-0 winners and you're getting slated!

    video

    Oh, one last point, should any of the Curzon officials find themselves reading this.... turn the bloody PA down. The music selection is bad enough, but playing it all at ear-bleeding volumes is surely in contravention of the Geneva Convention?

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    Remember When Jesper Blomqvist Was Better Than Pele?



    Backheel to @ObscureFootball
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    Boar draw

    A German fifth division match has had to be called off after a pitch invasion by a group of wild boars left the surface in an unplayable condition.

    Local officials said on Friday that wild boar had entered Dresden Borea's Jaegerpark (Hunter Park) stadium overnight, derailing Saturday's kickoff against Lokomotive Leipzig.

    The boars left such big holes in the playing surface as they scavenged for food that there is no way the match in German's fifth tier could be played.

    This is the second time Liepzig, who lost the 1987 European Cup Winners Cup to Ajax, have had to call off a league game after last month's match against FC Sachsen was washed out due to flooding the night before the game.

    "We're accustomed to problems in the cold months - ice, sudden onset of winter and so on," said Lokomotive chairman Steffen Kubald on the club's website.

    "But this is the second time something unusual has happened and the schedule leaves us with no room."

    Coach Achim Steffens added: "We are in the middle of game preparation.

    "Everything is designed around Saturday, you tinker with the details, the last training sessions went well and then you meet this new blow in the face."

    Of the four scheduled league games so far in their league, Lokomotive have had to call off two and face league leaders Zwickau next Friday.

    Wild boar, a species of pig and the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, are native across much of northern and central Europe.



    Boar draw - four-legged fans run amok on German pitch - World Soccer - Yahoo! Sports
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    More Showboating

    When it works, you look like a God

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    Thursday Thwack

    Picked up on Twitter courtesy of @thecoldend

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    Crazy Crazy Crazy Night. In Dallas

    How better to advertise that Kiss are playing a gig in Dallas?
    Guess Who??
    Westlife played Mansfield the other week. I didn't see Alan Marriott sitting on a stool in The Chad....



    Apparently, $40 gets you access to both the gig AND FC Dallas v Red Bull New York in the evening. Purely for the sake of comparion, a ticket to Mansfield Town alone now costs £16. So who's got their pricing structures right?
    Press Coverage – Greatest MLS Promotion Ever? Shout it Out Loud!
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