Cultured Football #05
Apologies. I know that Cultured Football should have reached your inbox yesterday. But it was a tough week and I just couldn’t make it. Still, there’s a bumper edition of great reads here for you. Better (24 hours) late than never, eh?
Bayern Munich are world champions and, frankly, they deserve to be. The way that they shredded teams on their way to winning the Champions League earlier this year was mesmerizing and enthralling despite the morose surroundings in which the finals of the competition were played. So I hope I’m not doing them a disservice by pointing out this two year old article about Bayern’s link with Qatar and the poor conditions workers there have to suffer but I feel that it is something that deserves to be highlighted (as Bayern’s own fans repeatedly and vociferously have).
“This story should close with the home team employing their not-so-secret weapon, the galáctico sent on to score the winner. Instead, it ends with him leaning against an advertising board for a local butcher and a nearby metalworks, looking across a plastic pitch with multiple markings where the game goes on without him. It’s 0-0, non-league, but the call still doesn’t come.”
Do you really need anything more to want to read this interview the one-time prodigy Royston Drenthe?
I am not a big fan of referees. Not many fans are. They are, frankly, necessary evils that the game simply cannot do without. So I understand anger and frustration with refereeing decisions. What is less understandable is when people go beyond as with the threats that Mike Dean has had to endure. And, whilst I still think that there is a lot that referees could do to help their cause, there are a lot of valid arguments to this piece on the refereeing crisis and why it matters.
Although it was not really felt during the January transfer window, the new Brexit inspired regulations will result in significant changes to the make up of transfers by English clubs in the future. For one thing, they will no longer be able to sign foreign players who are younger than 18. Yet, whilst there have been plenty of grumbling about this, it is not as impactful as most seem to believe as this piece about Liverpool explains. Full disclosure: I am the author of this piece.
Ten years ago this week, Zambia won the African Cup of Nations for the first (and, so far, only) time in their history. It was a huge upset; a win for the underdog that arguably outstrips those of Denmark and Greece in the European version of the competition. Here is how they did it.
Last Week’s Most Read…
The story of how Jamie Lawrence went from being in jail to a Premier league footballer, and his continued success after his playing career came to an end, was the most read from last week’s issue of Cultured Football. You might want to check it out if you missed it…