Let’s go with a classic scenario. What if you spent the last 12 months fighting for your life on an island after a shipwreck? How would you acclimate back into society? Well, you would probably want to catch up on what you missed. If you’re a fan of football and love reading about the game, then you would want to read the best pieces from 2011. That’s the idea behind “The Best of Football Writing in 2011” list. We were all figuratively shipwrecked for a few weeks this year. Whether it was work, a personal issue, an addition to your family, or a horrible set of final examinations, life left us isolated from football. But not to worry, now you can catch up.
Compiling a list of everything you’ve enjoyed in a year is an arduously joyful experience. If there’s anything to say about joys and woes of independent football writing, it’s that the feelings (as well as the content) come and go. You don’t set a blog post up on your bookshelf when you’re done reading. No, it goes back into the infinite abyss of the internet. But a year is a long time, and we’re proud to share The Best of Football Writing in 2011 from fellow bloggers and writers alongside The Best of AFR in 2011. Intelligence on the web is plentiful, and even though internet writing inherently places a date next to every piece, we hoped to handpick articles that are relatively timeless in their nature. For the sake of simplicity, the Best of Football Writing in 2011 (from outside the confines of AFR) is featured first, followed by AFR’s Best of 2011. Without further ado, let’s review. And here’s to 2012…
Argentine fútbol has been suffering. The country’s national team failed to live up to the hype in Copa America this past summer, while Brazil’s emergence as an economic power has spurred the Brasileiro to new financial and competitive heights. Argentina has been lagging…
Suarez has allegedly said “Negrito” meaning “black person” or “black friend” in Spanish language, a common colloquialism. Liverpool FC have said “Luis himself is of a mixed race background as his grandfather was black” and “he has played with black players … many whom became good friends” as a means to say that, by default, he can’t be racist. Lets get this shit straight: you say something racist, you are racist.
Lets compare it to, say, someone of mixed race who appears white, like Blake Griffin for example. Now if Blake Griffin is amongst his teammates and says to one of them “you can’t beat me, my n****r” in a playful mood while laughing, then it is okay and it isn’t racist, right? But if he said to, say, Kevin Garnett or Dwight Howard during a game “you can’t beat me, you n****r” in an antagonising way then it isn’t okay and it is racist.
This is effectively what Suarez is alleged to have done.
Having topped the goalscoring charts in each of the last three Champions League campaigns, Messi - along with Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez - already leads the way in the competition this season after scoring six goals in just…
The World Motorsports Council meeting this week may have grabbed the headlines by including Austin and Bahrain in the 2012 calendar but there was one bombshell in there that failed to grab the attention it deserved.
In 2012, drivers will not be allowed to move back onto the racing line after having moved off it to defend their position.
The Brisbane Roar’s historic undefeated streak, 36 games being an Australian sports record, ended last week against Sydney FC, and tonight against the youth orientated Melbourne Heart they suffered their first back-to-back loss since the last two games of the 09/10 season. The Victorian squad, in their second season in the A-League, defeated the reigning champs 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium thanks to two first half goals.
For the Mariners, this could be decisive in their challenge for the minor premiership with a tough game against their northern rivals Newcastle Jets to be played tomorrow afternoon. However, the rest of the A-League should not see this as a sign of weakness. Sure, the Roar may have doubled their loss tally of last season, but they are a strong squad with excellent leadership and are still my favourites for at least one title by season’s end.
Why the Manchester demise is good for the Europa League and good for Manchester
Okay, obviously “good for Manchester” is a stretch. These are two of the toughest clubs in the world, and both could make arguments for the coveted third spot behind Madrid and Barça, so anything short of a quarterfinal appearance should be regarded as failing to meet expectation. Manchester City has so many high profile names and so much money invested in the squad, coupled with tremendous domestic form, this has to be a massive disappointment for both players and fanbase; out goes the chance of the coveted treble - or does it?
Manchester City and Manchester United playing in the Europa League is huge for the “other” European cup. Apart from the fact that, considering both teams stature, they’re both destined to meet up en route to the final in what will be as hotly contested of a match-up as the FA Cup match up from last season, it means that overall interest in the Europa League will be increase, as well as prestige. What could be more amazing than Udinese or Ajax or Porto beating the EPL giants in a thrilling final?
England and the world will be standing up to watch the Europa League much closer this year and although obvious disappointment fills both camps at the current, Mancini has already made his intentions clear: “We are going in the Europa League, it’s another trophy, an important trophy. “
Sir Alex, in typical class and style, stated that the Europa League and its Thursday games will be a “penalty” that could hamper their season, being forced to play more Sunday domestic games. Perhaps he should look to his cross town opponent and learn about some class.
Mancini made well to state that it is an “important trophy” because it is what keeps the hope for a Man City treble alive. Domestic success should be guaranteed and if they can continue their current form their season will go down as one of the finest in English football history, and the chance to back it up with a repeat in the FA Cup should be very realistic, and now with only one club of similar stature to battle with in the Europa League, their chances of a treble have actually increased due their loss in Naples and the subsequent elimination, certainly not decreased. The same applies for Manchester United. As it stands, if the Red Devils don’t finish the 11/12 football season without at least one trophy, even at the very least the Carling Cup, there will be a lot of question marks raised about Sir Alex’s job security, because we all know how fickle the British tabloids are.