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Day: March 31, 2011

Liverpools Sponsors And The Asian Issue

This year has been quite kind to Liverpool Football Club so far. They may have been knocked out of the two trophies that they began 2011 with a chance of winning, but it’s likely that only the Europa League can be considered a genuine disappointment. The odds that they faced at Old Trafford were insurmountable, and the visible improvement in the cohesion of the team in even this match was the first sign of life stirring after a 2010 that most people connected with the club would sooner forget. Reservations concerning the appointment of Kenny Dalglish have proved thus far to be overblown (to say the least), and the club’s climb to sixth place in the Premier League puts them more or less where we might have expected to be at the start of the season. The issue of the future of the club, however, remains tantalisingly out of reach. Luis Suarez has turned out the be an outstanding signing, but the jury must remain out on Andy Carroll until he gets a sustained run in the first team. Liverpool, to this extent, remain a work in progress. Dalglish turned sixty earlier this month and, while he will be staying on beyond the end of this season, whether he will still be the manager in a couple of years’ time is not certain. Wins against Chelsea and Manchester United...

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They’re Not Brazil, They’re Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland have had a mixed start to their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign and remain one of Europe’s more enigmatic teams. Kevin Leonard has been keeping up to date with their progess. In the act of expressing joy for one’s team, many a song sang from the stands can be an exaggeration. Liverpool fans, for example, have taken to re-writing Depeche Mode’s “I Just Can’t Get Enough” by replacing the lyrics with “You Just Can’t Stop Suarez”. As good as Luis Suarez is, it’s not yet quite an actual physical impossibility to stop him. Similarly, Barcelona occasionally remind people that they are “Més que un club”, a statement that the more literal amongst us may call into question. After all, team of players kicking a ball, following the directions of a manager, who are collectively viewed on a weekly basis by a crowd that enjoys watching the kicking of said ball sounds an awful lot like a football club to me. On the other hand, however, “We’re not Brazil we’re Northern Ireland” is possibly the most truthful melody to be heard around in world football today. Brazilian supporters may consider their current FIFA ranking of fifth place to be a cause of some unhappiness. Northern Ireland, on the other hand comfortably in the in fortieth place in FIFA’s (some might say flawed) ranking system. It’s a defiant song of...

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Business, Ethics And Abusive Owners

We are blessed to have been contacted by some terrific writers over the last few weeks, and here’s another of them. Please give a warm welcome to S J Maskell, who can only liken the relationship between football clubs and supporters these days as being akin to an abusive relationship. It has long been my feeling that it is odd how football fans pay to be part of an experience that they are largely responsible for creating for themselves. A unique, communal experience that keeps them returning for more, no matter how much it costs; financially, socially, physically or even psychologically. It is created in the relationship between the fans and what happens on the pitch. It is visceral and reliant on a multiplicity of variables of action and reaction in both directions. As a Portsmouth fan (let’s get that confession out of the way quickly), part of that tremendous Wembley crowd twice last season, I know the addiction and the effect it can have on you in your desire to recreate that collective high. I am a Pompey fan and can’t walk away, no matter how abusive the relationship, because the good times are impossible to give up. Believe me, though, the relationship has become abusive. How has that happened? How has it come to the point where many of my fellow fans are considering walking away from...

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Mungo S03E33

Mungo time. There’s only one way any team struggling like Heart of Clachmaninshire are can get themselves out of the mess they’re in, and that’s getting their head down and playing good football. That or bribery. It’s not quite come to the latter yet, as Mungo McCrackas fires – briefly – on all cylinders. Dotmund will be stopped. Click for full-size Follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter here. Dotmund is also on Twitter, if you want to tell him exactly what you...

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