May 5, 2012

Derby Day Discord

The first fixtures you  look for and the most anticipated games of any football season are of course, your local derbies.

There are a number of causes for a football rivalry, including history, politics, religion etc. but it is usually location which is the main source.

Taking that short trip down the road to gain bragging rights over your closet of enemies is a feeling like none other. These occasions are heavily controlled by police and fuelled by raw passion and emotion, meaning they are definitely out of the ordinary.

Police struggle to control Leeds United fans in Middlesbrough. (Photo by: Andrew Rasmussen)

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April 28, 2012

Video: Boro fanzine may have to fold

The Video of the Week this time is slightly different to previously. Instead of analysing a piece of TV for you or live football action, (taking the mick out of something/someone), I want to share a video that I have shot and edited myself.

It is a news piece focused around the Middlesbrough FC fanzine ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ which may have to fold at the end of the season due to a lack of sales.

The fanzine has been going for almost 24 years now and it would be a real shame to see it go. But in this economic climate and with Boro struggling in the Championship, there are just not enough people buying it.

I spoke to Rob Nichols, editor of fmttm, about the past and future of the fanzine.

The video itself  is part of an article I wrote for my University’s news website and it will also be submitted as part of an exam.

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April 15, 2012

Stand Up and Support your Team

Away games and standing go hand in hand. Visiting supporters hardly ever use the seats they pay for as it’s like an unwritten rule to remain on your feet throughout the ninety minutes.

If you just so happen to be visiting an old ground, where terraces are still in use, then there is no doubt that the experience is much better.

Peterborough United’s London Road is one of those grounds, which contains the only remaining standing area in the Championship. If your team is still yet to play there this season, make the most of the rare opportunity to go and support your side from the terraces.

London Road's away end (Photo by: uplandswolf)

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April 6, 2012

The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game

There is no hiding the fact that even in this modern era, there are some prospective away games that are slightly more daunting than others for away fans. Those sort of places where you are less likely to take your children or to use the train services for transport, due to the threat of potential violence and disorder from some of the home supporters.

When I think of football violence, a number of things spring to mind. The first obviously being the many films that glorify hooligans and portray violence in the wrong light, such as Green Street and The Football Factory. Secondly, teams like Leeds, West Ham, Millwall, Chelsea etc. who are all notorious for carrying a reputation of violent and troublemakers. I wanted to find out, based on actual facts and figures, where the worst and most violent places are for an awayday – not just reputation.

Last season’s statistics for football-related arrests and banning orders, released by the Home Office, reveal some interesting and useful information.

‘Awaydays’ analyse where the best and worst places are to visit in terms of football violence and disorder.

Police offer arrests football thug. (Image by: Mikael Miettinen)

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March 17, 2012

Video: Gallagher/Balotelli

Controversial Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli gave his first major interview to British television last Saturday. The 21-year-old was interviewed on BBC’s Football Focus by none other than Noel Gallagher.

Balotelli told host Dan Walker that it could be his “first and last” TV interview in England whilst former Oasis star Noel joked it was “as big as Frost/Nixon.”

There was a mutual respect between the two, who said they were “honoured” to meet each other, as Balotelli is a big fan of Oasis and life-long City fan Gallagher is an admirer of the young Italian’s persona.

During this rare interview, Balotelli discusses life at Manchester City and dispels some of the more outlandish stories that have circulated about him.

If you haven’t seen this yet then you definitely need to, even if it is almost 14 minutes long.


YouTube video from syden1 or watch it on the BBC website.

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March 13, 2012

Video: The Crying Game

The football fan caught sobbing on camera during Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Swansea has become an internet phenomenon.

John Millington, from Droylsden, revealed on Twitter that he was in fact the ‘Crying City Fan’.

The 26-year-old has since deleted his account (@JPM968) after a barrage of abuse from fans on Sunday night.

During an exclusive interview with the Manchester Evening News, the Royal Mail worker claimed that he was not actually crying, but was simply “frustrated and very tired”.

Manchester City fan John Millington caught crying on TV cameras.

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March 4, 2012

Rant: Twitter twits

Federicho Macheda - charged by the FA (Image by: apasciuto)

Footballers and Twitter is a dangerous combination at the best of times. Something even worse is when the micro-blogging site is used by young footballers.

Four professional players, all under the age of 24, have recently been under investigation from the Football Association due to comments they made on Twitter, which were deemed homophobic.

The four players, two from the Premier League, have now all been charged. As a result they received fines and were given a slap on the wrist from the FA, in the form of a future conduct warning.

Manchester United’s Federico Macheda (on loan at QPR), Newcastle United’s Nile Ranger, West Ham United’s Ravel Morrison and Walsall’s Manny Smith are the players in question. Continue reading

February 28, 2012

Video: Referee Mike Dean is a secret Spurs fan?

Following the weekend’s football action, a video has hit the internet of what looks like referee Mike Dean celebrating Louis Saha’s goal as he put Tottenham 1-0 up against north London rivals Arsenal.

The away side were ahead with less than five minutes on the clock at The Emirates after Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor rolled a pass through to Saha, who saw his shot from 18 yards deflect off  Thomas Vermaelen and loop agonisingly over goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

On the right hand side of the video below, you can see Wirral-born referee Mike Dean seemingly jump for joy as the ball crosses the line.

Video from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IggdCsq_dsc 

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February 23, 2012

“Blackpool is a sh*thole, I want to go home!”

That timeless chant heard from away fans up and down the country, replacing the team name with where you are of course. When I visited Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road at the start of the year, I actually said these words with some genuine feeling behind them, for probably the first time.

Now don’t get me wrong, Blackpool is actually one of my favourite away trips and I don’t come from a town that is known for being particularly nice, so who am I to judge? But I do need to evaluate this fairly and give my honest opinion, which is that the stadium and away fan experience…is rather grim.

Bloomfield Road's away turnstiles.

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February 15, 2012

Poll: Who do you think should be the next England manager?

With Harry Redknapp still the runaway favourite to take the England managerial hot seat, who would you like to see succeed Fabio Capello? 

Harry Redknapp at Wembley (Image by: curiouslypersistent)

Redknapp has always seemed the most likely candidate to take over and the Tottenham Hotspur boss has said many times that if England came calling it would be impossible for an Englishman to turn down.

He could  face the most difficult decision of his career if approached, whether or not to leave the North-London club that  he has transformed from relegation candidates to genuine title contenders. Continue reading