The end of season holiday special

You know a sitcom has run out of steam, and the writers out of ideas, when they send all the characters on holiday.

What once was fresh and original has now become cliched and dull. It’s all your favourite characters in shorts, drinking cocktails, and getting into scrapes involving swarthy foreigners.

Now this might seem stretched and tenuous, but at Huddersfield Town what was fresh and new, is now becoming dull and predictable, and it’s seemingly leading to us all ending up on the beach well before the season reaches it’s climax.

Mark Robins started this season with a team that was going to play exciting football, and finally transform the ethos at a club that lacked a clear footballing direction.

It was going to be exciting passing football, that would move us away from being relegation candidates.

It started well enough, with defenders attempting to pass from the back, and a fresh determination to play though the middle was adopted.

It was all fairly successful to begin with, as the Terriers picked up some good results, but the football lacked tempo and pace.

Teams who play that style well make three passes in the time it takes Peter Clarke to position his foot to clumsily sidefoot the ball near to Keith Southern.

The football hasn’t really improved since the beginning of the season, and although there have been fine performances, or good halves, but it’s all still a bit transitional.

Injuries haven’t helped matters, with the team looking infinitely better with the frequently absent James Vaughan, but for the last few months it’s all looked very tired and dull.

So that’s why we find ourselves stuck on the beach. We’re still trying, but not very hard anymore. The players look as if they’ve eaten too much of the continental breakfast, and are distracted by the slot machines.

The rest of the season looks destined to end with all the players in flip flops carrying a straw donkey around the midfield.

Whether the programme will be renewed for next season remains to be seen, but at the moment we look destined to add some long lost cousin to the whole thing and ruining it completely.

Football & celebrity: it’s going in One Direction

Louis Tomlinson, whose name means very little to me, played twenty minutes or so for Doncaster Rovers yesterday. So far, so what ?

Well according to some furious people, who get really angry about the music that teenage girls like, he’s a popstar and it makes a mockery of the game.

“He’s not a footballer” screams an adolescent male, who seems to think that football is an exclusive club to which, only people he approves of are invited.

Personally I think it’s an absolutely cracking thing for all involved. Tomlinson gets a chance to play for the team he supports. He raises the profile of said team, and a lot of money goes to charity. It’s an absolute win win, and nobody gets hurt in the process.

Football and celebrity now go hand in hand, and to get upset about a pop star, who comes across as a pleasant enough sort of chap, being involved in the game just confuses me.

The men shaking their heads, and muttering their fury about the music that teenage girls enjoy just befuddles me further.

If you don’t like proper music, then you’re an idiot seems to be the message they’re peddling. How dare these young girls have any excitement in their lives seems to be the other.

If there’s one thing worse than a small minded football fan, it’s a music snob. This story brings out the very worst in both.

In the future many smaller clubs are likely to be hugely reliant on stunts like this, as young fans gravitate towards supporting the giant forces in the game, so I’d suggest that we got used to this sort of thing.

I personally cannot wait for Darius to get 15 minutes late on in the Merseyside derby.

A day in the life of a football manager

During breakfast (shredded wheat) the phone rings at the home of recently appointed Slipshod City manager Ron Glish.

“Hello Ron, it’s Hugh Jass here, I represent the oligarch who’s just bought Ridiculously rich United”

“Hello Hugh, you old slag, how’s that fat wife of yours?”

“She left me Ron”

“Oh I’m very sorry, I must think before asking an offensive question”

“Never mind, anyway I know you were only appointed to the slipshod job yesterday, but my boss was wondering if you’d like to take charge at United, he’ll pay you big money”

“I’ll do it”

“Great, I’ll fax over the contract and inform the media”

“Hooray, oh hang on I don’t own a fax machine”

“Ah now there we have an issue, as we can’t get the contract to you, and we’ve already announced that you’ll be taking over to the media”

“I don’t follow, Hugh”

“Well the owner doesn’t want a manager who doesn’t have a fax machine”

“It’s the 21st century, Hugh”

“It’s off Ron, we’ve announced your sacking, and already appointed your successor at Slipshod”

“Ah, fair fucks, bye Hugh”

For the rest of the day Ron attempts to find some batteries for his big torch.

An idiots guide to football.

Greetings idiot, and welcome to football.

You’ll soon find that many here share your foolish open mouthed expression, and your love of Lynx Africa.

To understand football, you should read this handy guide, or like anybody who has taken psychology: read the first page and claim you are a certain expert on the topic.

So what do you need to know? Well I’ll tell you, although you might wish to start breathing through your nose first.

1. Money is key: support a team with lots of it. If your team has lots of money make sure you praise your billionaire chairman at every opportunity.

Hail his absurd decisions, let him change your clubs name, maybe offer to feed him grapes. Keep him happy, at all costs.

2. Get angry: if you can’t overreact to a contentious refereeing decision then football doesn’t want you.

If you aren’t furious when you hear who is the referee on Saturday, then quite frankly you’re wrong and you need to start kicking people as soon as possible to remedy this.

Throw coins at injured players too, as you want them to really suffer.

3. Listen to the experts: watch Soccer Am, as it’s full of classic bants. Be sure to follow Piers Morgan on twitter. He knows more about football than anyone. Maybe dress up as Tubes to impress your new football friends. Steal tweets from experts and claim them as your own.

4. Try and upset sensitive people: it is not enough to just see your wealthy team win, in an ideal world you also want to make someone weaker than you cry.

If a young fan has written a blog post that you slightly disagree with then be sure to swiftly contact him to call him a “fucking idiotic shit stain” and at least question whether his parents wanted him.
Maybe scream at families who go to the game too, as making people around you feel uncomfortable is your job.

5. Get involved: go and stand outside your clubs training ground. Not just on transfer deadline day, but everyday.

Pretty sure eventually you’ll get a chance to play and be discovered. Also wear your full kit to every game; just in case.

Well done, if you didn’t choke on your man crisps whilst reading that you now know all that you need to about the game of football.

Sexism: hidden away, but still alive and well

Gabby Logan presented Match of the Day last night. This is not a remarkable piece of news; she presents football shows and has done for a number of years.

However to twitter’s army of “lads” this was a horrendous, gut wrenching, putrid development, that left them choking on their “man crisps”

For whatever reason they couldn’t accept that a woman could present a football show, and decided to take to twitter to attempt to banish Logan to the kitchen. “Where she belongs”

Now these were nearly all young men, clearly deeply insecure and espousing views they’d probably picked up over time from their own male influences. Friends, fathers, tv shows & zoo magazine.

It’s sad, but much like racism, homophobia, and general pig headedness, sexism is alive and well. It thrives on the internet, where angry young men take out their rage on most issues.

Take a look on any YouTube comments section and you’ll see that these views are still prevalent.

Much as we’d like this not to be the case; the evidence is just too clear for us to ignore.

A greater stand should be taken, but it won’t be as admitting there’s a problem is just too hard for many to do. Sadly, the lads who sent those tweets probably think that’s normal, and perfectly acceptable.

The Top 25 writers on twitter.

Now, I might be leaving twitter behind, but I will still write.

Now, I believe that there are many great writers who need a push, and hopefully my final act on twitter can be a kind one.

This was originally going to be titled “Top 25 bloggers” but I felt that writers was a better term, and as many are qualified journalists I thought it better to use “writer” rather than “blogger”

Top 25 criteria: it seems a little unfair, but I’ve excluded anybody with more than 10,000 followers. I suspect they already have the readership, and we probably already know they’re either good or some form of parody account.

I’ve not excluded journalists, or people who only write for other sites. Having your own blog is not essential at all. I have however excluded the sort of journalist who’d appear on Sunday Supplement.

I’ve tried to include something for everybody, but ultimately this was my choice and these are writers that I really like and constantly go back to.
If you don’t agree then rather than being a cock about it feel free to add your own list below or just take the idea and do your own.

Also this is in no order and is only numbered so I didn’t end up doing 23 or 36 unwittingly.

Ok here goes:

1. @Marco4J
Marco Jackson writes mostly about Huddersfield Town, and does so brilliantly. He’s reasoned, intelligent, funny, and uses statistics in creative and genuinely interesting ways.

2. @Sofalife
I’ve always said it, and I do believe this: Greg is twitter’s finest writer. Dispatches from a football sofa is a weekly must. Ingenuity, creativity, warmth, humour, and a style most writers should aspire to but will not get close to. If you don’t already read it then dedicate an afternoon to his site whilst sitting on your own football sofa.

3. @yicetor
Have you ever met a Sheffield Wednesday fan? Often great people but many don’t seem to have grasped what’s happened to their club in the last 15 years or so.
Then there’s Laura Jones. An exciting writer who is realistic about her once big club. A creative thinker, who offers something different every time.

4. @unitedite
When I asked for suggestions for who to include in this list, this name came up more than any other. It’s easy when reading his site to see why. An articulate, thoughtful Sheffield United fan, who is the only man you need to talk to when you need to find anything out about the Blades.

5. @DolphinHotel
I always enjoy reading anything that Michael produces.
It’s football writing with pure style, from a man who understands the game.
He has experienced an enormous amount of football and it comes across when you read his stuff.

6. @putnielsingoal
Alex Stewart is the sort of football writer I wanted to be.
Unfortunately I couldn’t be, because I could never be as good as he is.
Give yourself a few hours to look over this site, and enjoy some high quality football writing.

7. @annalouiseadams
There will always be those people who you envy, because they’re far better than you despite being a lot younger. Anna-Louise Adams is one of those people. Only 17, and already a far better writer than I’ll ever be. She’ll have a very bright future in football writing.
She’s thoughtful, intelligent, and not afraid to take on big issues.

8. @MarrsioFootball
Rob Marrs runs left back in the changing rooms, which is a superb site with a great range of scope and original material.
Add to the fact that Rob is a superb writer, an entertaining tweeter, and a true gent, and you realise there’s an awful lot to like here.

9. @JongsmaJongsma
When I first found Michiel on twitter he was an obscure writer, with an audience of 16. Now he’s a megastar, and rightly so.
This is actually just part of a long running joke between us about who was the more obscure, under valued writer.
He’s a superb writer, with a superb depth of football knowledge. Specialises in Dutch and Belgian football.

10. @elhaydo
Hayden Shaw is not a prolific writer, but when he does put pen to paper I want to read it.
Constantly hilarious, always original, and never taking himself too seriously.

11. @AllorNothingMag
All or nothing magazine is the brainchild of Ally Moncrieff, who certainly has an enviable surname.
Ally is a bit of a genius, and can turn the ridiculous into the sublime.
His piece for my site on his dog was a work of absolute beauty, and still gets readers now.

12. @LesRosbifs
Now, about 3 years ago I went through a phase of saying that English football would improve greatly if more players and coaches went abroad.
Turns out they do, in great numbers, and their stories are told brilliantly on this website.
Took a break, but now is back and is as good as ever.

13. @Debaser92
I’m by no means a Spurs fan, but I enjoy reading what Jack Howes has to say about them. This is because he can really write.
He has an entertaining style, and attempts to see things from a different angle, which I like.
His was another name that repeatedly came up when I asked for suggestions, and one that I certainly couldn’t ignore.

14. @JohnnyDobbo
John Dobson is another who might not be prolific, but is a writer I want to read.
We share a similar view of the world, and football, only he can put it into words perfectly; whereas I am still doing primitive cave drawings or expressing myself through a language of shrugs.
Funny, different and with strong opinions that he’ll never shirk from.

15. @TheFootballPink
Now the football pink is a collection of writers, but as they’re all excellent I’ve included them on the list.
I couldn’t not include them as I enjoy their output that much. Follow, read, enjoy.

16. @Ben_McAleer1
Ben is a proper journalist, and an exceptional writer. I enjoy what he has to say about football, and love the fact that he’s never short of a Simpsons quote.

17. @TurnDeCruyff
Another youngster who has a style of writing that belies his age.
Is absolutely prolific and can only improve.
Not just a typical young football fan, as he can see the bigger picture, unlike so many.

18. @caribbeanftbl
The joy of twitter is it gives you an opportunity to learn about aspects of football you would’ve never considered.
Caribbean Football does just that, and I genuinely love reading their output. It’s fascinating and has certainly changed my view of the Caribbean.

19. @fiveinmidfield
Joe Sharratt is one of the most undervalued writers on twitter.
He’s great, and intelligent, and writes wonderfully about football. When he writes, I always want to read it.

20. @robbro7
A man of strong opinions, who certainly isn’t afraid to upset the mainstream view.
Rob Brown is a fiercely entertaining writer, and the sort of man desperately needed to write about football.

21. @epouvantail
John McGee is a Carlisle fan who writes exquisitely about football. Another who is seriously undervalued, and one deserving of serious levels of respect.

22. @sdrewfootball
Sam is a young writer. However he’s already achieved so much and will continue to do so, as he’s just very good indeed.
He writes about Arsenal, but unlike so many Gunners, he’s not likely to throw the baby out with the bath water every time they lose a match.

23. @thefootballattic
I love the football attic and I’ve often lost hours gazing at all the wonderful nostalgia within their loft space.
It’s pure joy, and well worth your time.

24. @Gibney_A
The man who brought French football to the masses, and the absolute go to guy for all things Ligue 1.
Add to this the fact that he’s generous with his time, promotes others work, and totally gets his audience and there’s no way this list would be complete without him.

25. @giles_metcalfe
Another incredibly popular writer, with many suggesting I needed to add him to this list. Even without those suggestions Giles would be in this list.
He’s absolutely everywhere and writes for so many sites.
A must follow, and a writer you’re certain to enjoy.

So that’s that, and I’ll be honest I could’ve included so many more. However, it’s not designed to exclude, and hopefully will inspire others to do lists of their own.

These are writers I love, and I hope you’ll spread the word and follow all of them.