Cultured Football #121
Football's Return. Shirts. Brighton's Secrets. World in One City. Cross-League Suitability.
Welcome back to Cultured Football where the best football writing of the past seven days is carefully selected, just for you.
Not that it ever went away: there has not been a week this year without competitive football of some form. Yet domestic leagues are kicking off once more which is when I go hunting for in-depth previews. This week there are two worth sharing. The first is this team-by-team preview of the Vanarama National League that this season might be lacking the superstars at Wrexham but will probably be more exciting for it. Then there is the Zweite Bundesliga (previewed by) which kicked off yesterday with a thrilling game between Hamburg and Schalke 04 and which has plenty to look out for (including a 17 year old striker at Schalke who has all the hallmarks of a future star)
By Richard Haugh for the BBC
Football shirts were often perceived as bad fashion choices outside the sporting context due to their bold designs, team logos, and vibrant colors, which clashed with traditional everyday attire. Not any more with an increasing number of football shirts being spotted at summer music festival venues. And it isn’t just the super-fashionable Venezia shirts that are making waves.
Brighton have a remarkable knack for discovering talent in the most obscure places and adeptly turning it into record sales, leaving many wondering over the techniques they employ. If you are among the latter, well, wonder no more.
By Danny Harvey for
The past few weeks have highlighted just how much football has become a plaything for billionaires, Sheikhs and oligarchs. Elite level football is becoming increasingly distant from everyday working-class people. Various movements are rising up to counter this. The World in One City tournament in Liverpool does just that, celebrating the diversity of the city and uniting different communities.
By Nicole Kozlova for Twelve Football
This is a fantastic, geeky read! A look - backed up by data - on the impact on performance when players move between leagues. It proves certain maxims (moving to the Premier League is hard and players need time to get used to it). But also unearths some surprising ones.
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Something Else We Loved This Week: No Thank To Signs About Jerseys
Without wanting to seem like a miserable old git, there’s a lot about modern football fandom that I don’t understand / hate. Like people a games holding a mobile phone for 90 minutes recording themselves. Or adults holding up signs asking players to give them their shirt (kids doing so are understandable, although still irritating). It seems that I’m not alone with the latter as FC Copenhagen are effectively banning such signs. “From this season, FC Copenhagen does not want signs to be carried with requests for a shirt from the players for the home games in the Park or in our away section,” the announcement states.
Last Week’s Most Read: Show me the money: Will Saudi Arabia's football splurge pay-off?
By Bassil Mikdadi for The New Arab
Many feel that they have the answer but why is the Saudi state spending so much money on football? What impact will this have on domestic football? Can the domestic league ever be financially sustainable? All great questions with complex, nuanced answers.