Cultured Football #37
Does fans' suffering give them right to ignore real suffering of others?
It isn’t often that there are such emotions during an international break as there were in this one. Yet, the takeover at Newcastle certainly fired up this one. As a fan myself, I can understand Newcastle supporters’ glee. Having seen the club so badly managed for so long, I get why they’re delighted at the prospect of having an incredibly rich owner willing to put in an insane amount of money into the club. And they are right when they point at other owners who have either distorted football with their money or with shady personal backgrounds.
Yet the prospect of having a football club owned by those running a country that has such a poor track record of human rights – including scheming to have journalist was lured into a trap, killed and then butchered – should surely disgust.
What are Expected Goals (xG)?
The phrase ‘expected goals’ is everywhere these days but how many people truly know what it means? For those who are still unclear of what this is all about – and even those who know what it means but want to learn more – this piece explains it all, from how expected goals are calculated to how they can be used.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Next Generation 2021: 60 of the best young talents in world football
For some reason there is something thrilling in seeing a young player truly emerge and being one of those who already knew of them. I’d imagine it is what those who know of bands befor they go big feel. Anyway, each year The Guardian draw up a list of 60 talents who have just turned 17 and, whilst most fall by the wayside, a few eventually become world recognised stars. And, when they do, you can tell everyone that you already knew all about them.
Reading Time: 30 minutes
The tragic story of José Germano de Sales
When Jose’ Germano de Sales joined AC Milan in 1962, the focus wasn’t on his footballing ability but the colour of his skin. Newspapers debated whether it was right to let black players in the Serie A, whilst even the legendary Milan manager Nereo Rocco allegedly affectionately referred to him as bongo, bongo. Still, he had the talent to make a success of his time in Europe. And probably would have done if it hadn’t been for a scandal that cut short his Italian experience.
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Mahatma Gandhi’s experiments with football – resistance vs racism in South Africa
I don’t claim to know more about Mahatma Gandi than your average man. Still, I’m not sure many are aware that during his time in South Africa he saw football as a great way to bring people together and set up clubs wherever he went. Delightfully, they were all called Passive Resisters Soccer Club.
Reading Time: 10 minutes
Newcastle fans speak of suffering but what about actual suffering in Saudi Arabia?
Inevitably, a lot has been written over the past couple of days about the Newcastle takeover. Some lapsed into faux morality whilst others gleefully went over the list of players the club could buy once the transfer window opens again. None that I read got the balance as right as this one.
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Last week’s most read
There have been plenty of memorable moments during Jordan Henderson’s time at Liverpool but one of the most iconic – and probably the moment when people started to appreciate him – was a stare down of Chelsea’s Diego Costa. In hindsight, it was indicative of his strong character that has seen him overcome criticism to become one of the club’s best captains.
Reading Time: 4 minutes