Halftime in the England v Sweden game. Observations so far: Sweden dressed in polo gear, Ibrahimovic doing nothing (again) against English opposition, OG scores England’s 2,000th goal, Jones and Rodwell to share a taxi home after two horrendous misses. Bring on the second half…
Updates from Simon Head RSS Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts
It’s taken a while, but our adopted team Melbourne Heart grabbed their first win of the season.
It came this weekend against second-placed Newcastle Jets, with the Pubcast’s favourite player, Fred, scoring the all-important first goal in a resounding 3-0 win at AAMI Park.
Go behind the scenes on matchday with Melbourne Heart FC here…
We’ve looked around the world for a club to adopt on the Football Pubcast this season and, as we announced on last week’s show, our search is now over.
Thanks to our friends at Football Fans Down Under, we’ve decided to adopt a side from one of the most exciting new leagues in the world, the Hyundai A-League in Australia. The team we’ve adopted is Melbourne Heart FC.
The club was only established in 2008 and is the newest team in the A-League, having only joined the competition last year. They’re managed by Dutch Head Coach John van’t Schip and play their home games at AAMI Park, Melbourne, which is better known as Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, and holds up to 30,000 fans.
The Heart wear red and white striped shirts and finished in 8th place in their debut A-League season. They’ll be looking to improve on that finish in the coming campaign and we’ll be following them every step of the way.
Other notable facts about the Heart include their most famous fan, a certain Jon Bon Jovi, who is the club’s “#1 International Season Ticket Holder”.
The rock star bought four premium memberships and donates the tickets for each home game for fans who can’t afford to watch the games live in the stadium.
A brand new team on the other side of the world with a rock star superfan and starting only their second season in existence? That’s our adopted team for this year. Melbourne Heart. Why not join us for the ride…
For clubs at the top of the Premier League, loans are more often than not used to ship out players who aren’t wanted, or to blood young stars with a view to giving them league experience. With the very top clubs, who have the funds available to buy in the players they need, it’s often the case that these young players end up leaving the big clubs and moving to other sides slightly lower down the division, or into the Football League, in order to get regular first team football.
But at the very top of the tree, Sir Alex Ferguson has used the full range of recruitment options in order to build the new generation of stars at Manchester United.
He’s spent big, bringing in the likes of Phil Jones from Blackburn and Ashley Young from Aston Villa.
But he’s also brought through young players from United’s youth setup. He’s done it consistently down the years. The most notable graduates in this season’s first team are striker Danny Welbeck and midfielder Tom Cleverley.
Both came through the youth system and were loaned out to Championship clubs before progressing to loan spells with Premier League sides.
Before impressing everybody at Sunderland, Welbeck had a short stint at Preston North End, while Cleverley had a successful spells with Leicester City and Watford before his Premier League loan stint with Wigan Athletic.
Meanwhile defender Chris Smalling, signed from Fulham, was allowed to remain with the Cottagers for half a season before joining United’s ranks.
The trio of former loanees, along with new boy Jones, form the backbone of a new-look United side this season.
Sure, they’ve spent big, but they’ve also brought players through. When compared with Arsenal (obsessed with bringing young players through, but not signing proven quality) and Man City (signing star names left, right and centre) it’s clear to see Sir Alex has approached this season with a real balance to his team building.
There’s every chance it’ll pay off with title number 20 in May.
It’s been said so often it’s somehow become understood as correct. It’s a term that, in the minds of players, pundits and fans, legitimises a player’s decision to go to ground, for fouls to be given, for penalties to be awarded and for players to be booked and sent off.
It’s the term “contact” and in an awful lot of instances, it’s utter rubbish.
It came up this weekend on ESPN when Robbie Savage was talking about an incident involving Gervinho where the Ivorian went to ground in the Newcastle penalty area under very little pressure.
His argument was that there was contact between Gervinho and the Newcastle defender. The inference being that if there’s contact, that’s a foul.
Contact alone does not a foul make. If a player feels contact and goes to ground, they’re diving, plain and simple. If they’re actually tripped, kicked or struck with any force, then there’s an argument to be had for a foul to be given.
But for mere contact to warrant a player going to ground and for a referee to give a foul – that’s simply not in the rule book.
A quick consultation with The Laws Of The Game shows the law regarding fouls is pretty clear:
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
– kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
– trips or attempts to trip an opponent
– jumps at an opponent
– charges an opponent
– strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
– pushes an opponent
– tackles an opponent
Nothing there about simply making contact with an opponent. If that contact is in the form of a kick, a trip, a charge, a strike a push or a reckless tackle, then the referee has a decision to make. But simply making contact is not enough.
It’s one of those little things that makes my toes curl, just like the fashion for mentioning the need for “daylight” between an attacker and the last defender in order to justify an offside decision. Again that’s tosh. Also on that list is the whole issue of a player being sent off for committing a foul while “being the last man”. There’s no rule regarding that, either.
There’s a fair amount of “contact” in some of the clips below, but are they all fouls? Of course not. They’re almost all examples of some quite shocking play-acting from players.
See how often it’s used in punditry this season. Touching someone isn’t a foul. Kicking, tripping, charging and striking them is, but simply touching them isn’t.
That’s the distinction.
While discussing the topic of cult hero goalkeepers on last week’s show, Dan S introduced a name that, to be completely honest, none of us had heard of before.
St. Etienne goalkeeper Jérémie Janot.
Janot is a respected keeper in the French league and has been a mainstay between the sticks at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for the last few years.
A one-club man, Janot is relatively short for a keeper, listed as being only five feet nine inches tall, but he’s become something of a cult hero to Les Verts, not least for his attire during one match in 2005.
The game in question, a home match against FC Istres, Janot decided to wear a full Spider-Man costume, complete with his name and squad number, as his goalkeeping kit for the match.
He posed for the pre-match team photo with the full attire, including the mask, which he later removed before the match kicked off.
Ahead of a match with Olympique Lyonnais – a club he reportedly despises – Janot considered wearing a full AC Milan kit to celebrate Lyon’s exit from the Champions League at the hands of the Rossineri.
Away from the game, Janot is a big fan of mixed martial arts and is a huge follower of MMA legend Wanderlei Silva, even going so far as having tattoos on his arms and the back of his head to match those of the Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter.
He’s an eccentric keeper, likes a bit of MMA and has a penchant for wearing interesting alternative kit. It’s just a shame he’s not playing in England…
Most awards ceremonies take place in plush surroundings. Posh hotels, swish banqueting suites or swanky venues play host to a collection of (usually) tuxedoed attendees who sip expensive champagne and snack on canapes, before watching as the winners are presented awards chosen by players, journalists or, worse still, sponsors.
Here at the Football Pubcast, we’re not interested in all that.
“The Alpines,” The Football Pubcast’s awards, will be announced during our end-of-season special on Friday June 24th.
The champagne’s gone. Instead we’ll be toasting our winners (and losers) with Ayingerbräu, more commonly known as Alpine Lager. Or “Man in the Box” to regulars.
The canapes are out, too, replaced by bar snacks such as beef and mustard crisps, pork scratchings and dry roasted peanuts.
And, as you’d probably already worked out, the location is rather less well-to-do, too.
Instead of hiring an expensive hall for our awards, we’re taking our celebrations on the road, as we visit seven hostelries in the Soho and Fitzrovia districts of Central London.
It’s not an exclusive event – everyone’s welcome to come along and join us for a post-season pint. The beer is cheap (for London). In fact it’s pretty much the cheapest pint we’ve found in the capital.
We’ll start proceedings at The Yorkshire Grey on Langham Street from 6:00-6:30pm on Friday June 24th, where we’ll announce the first winner, before moving on to the next venue.
We’ll visit seven pubs in all, toasting an award winner in each one with a pint of cold Alpine Lager.
It’s an opportunity to toast the winners and losers of the season, a chance to have a pint with the Pubcasters and, most importantly, an excuse to have a few beers after work on a Friday night.
Fancy it? Here’s the route…
The Alpines 2010-2011: The Route
1. The Yorkshire Grey – 46 Langham Street, W1W 7AX
2. The Cock Tavern – 27 Great Portland Street, W1W 8QE
3. The Red Lion – 14 Kingly Street, W1B 5PR
4. The Glasshouse Stores – 55 Brewer Street, W1F 9UL
5. The Duke of Argyle – 37 Brewer Street, W1F 0RY
6. The John Snow – 39 Broadwick Street, W1F 9QJ
7. The Champion – 12-13 Wells Street, W1T 3PA
View The Alpines 2010-2011 in a larger map
If you need more info, email us via the contact form on this website.
The awards themselves are voted for by the public – if you haven’t voted yet, you can still do so by clicking here.