Are Liverpool FC getting their swagger back?

Since the return of Kenny Dalglish to the manager’s seat there has been a turn around in the belief of Liverpool fans.  Yet the last two pre-season friendlies finished in 3-0 defeats for the Reds.  Kenny said afterwards that he thinks the games will have been a valuable learning experience for his team.  It is…

The best thing on the internet?

The Guardian football website today posted this ‘Joy of Six’ – that totally ruined any chance I may have had at productivity.  But it was so enjoyable.  What are your six favourite football clips on YouTube.  There was so much good stuff. Watching the clips, old and new, reminded me just how much I love this game,…

Football & the Statistical Revolution

As Bill Shankly told us, ‘Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple.’  I have been wondering what the great man would make of the number-led revolution that is sweeping through football.  Instead…

Realism, Idealism and Arsene Wenger

This is the fourth in a series of posts attempting to explain football through international relations theory; or international relations theory through football; or drawing tenuous links between both. The differences between Realist and Idealist international relations theory is rather misleadingly known as the first ‘Great Debate’.  No actual ‘debate’ took place, and the Idealists…

Football in Mexico: Welcome to (Club) Tijuana

This post first appeared on inbedwithmaradona.com & then worldsoccer.com When people in San Diego talk about heading south of the border, there are a few common reactions.  Some will express horror of the lawless land down there where the drug gangs are running wild.  Others will turn misty-eyed and tell you about the bawdy fun to be…

Against modern football? Blame liberal economics.

This is the third in a series of posts attempting to explain football through international relations theory; or international relations theory through football; or drawing tenuous links between both. Antonio Gramsci once wrote that football is the model of individualistic society.  Within a game or a team there is a place for individual expression or…

Thucydides & the transfer window

This is the second in a series of posts attempting to explain football through international relations theory; or international relations theory through football; or drawing tenuous links between both. Why Arsenal will sell Fabregas, and why Manchester United signed Phil Jones. Thinking about Thucydides and the Melian Dialogue, the most (in)famous passage in his most…

Machiavelli & Mourinho

This is the first in a series of posts attempting to explain football through international relations theory; or international relations theory through football; or drawing tenuous links between both. Jorge Valdano may have left Real Madrid but Jose Mourinho will continue to provoke his employers and opponents, and succeed. I am not so convinced that…

Babel: a Moneyball departure…?

There has been a lot of analysis and speculation as to which kind of players Liverpool will now attempt to sign as they come to the end of the first transfer window under the ownership of the Fenway Sports Group.  Luis Suarez and Charlie Adam seem to be prime candidates, although both Ajax and Blackpool…

Head and shoulders above the rest of the dross…

John W Henry, Linda Pizzuti and Damien Comolli were there, apparently scouts from Manchester United were there, me and my uncle were there too.  Our presence is about the only thing we have in common.  But we all saw a first class, 45 minute performance from Steven Gerrard.  The captain showed again last night that…