Rog recently discovered a stash of “Football Handbook” magazines which he once collected as a child between 1978-9. The weekly defined many English school kids’ formative understandings of the sport. It’s gritty analysis of English Football was mixed with crude training suggestions (“Tackling… it’s all about determination and wanting the ball”) and breathless coverage of football’s new world — America.
We will post some classic analysis in the coming weeks, starting with this essay from issue one which begins with this bold prediction: “Before long, an American club will suddenly turn up at Chelsea with a fistful of dollars, and simply say—-now let’s have Ray Wilkins… and there won’t be much anyone will be able to do about it.”
World Cup is 365 days away tomorrow…and how do we know? Because our friends at Panini just sent us their “Road to 2014 FIFA World Cup” book. We love the stickers. Slightly worrying though: The England Team are in the book, but there is no USA…
Winter has arrived in England. Everywhere there was football it seemed to be lashing down rain, and perhaps nowhere was the gloom more apparent than in the stands. Chelsea supporters at Stamford Bridge were stirred from silence to proclaim their disapproval of new interim manager Rafa Benitez, while over at White Hart Lane the visiting West Ham supporters’ anti-Semitic chants overshadowed Clint Dempsey’s return to form. Football, bloody hell indeed.
In this week’s Men in Blazers podcast, Michael Davies and Roger Bennett review a soaking-wet Premier League weekend — the good, bad, and the plain old unclassifiable. We mean you, Kolo Touré, who apparently enjoyed a two-year affair while passing himself off as a used-car salesman named Francois.
There’s no place like home. After slumming it on a muddy cricket field in Antigua, the United States returned to the warm, juiced embrace of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, where Jurgen, Clint, and Michael Bradley collectively throttled Guatemala 3-1 to enter “The Hex,” the final stage of World Cup qualifying. To mark the occasion, the Men in Blazers welcomed U.S. legend and ESPN studio analyst Alexi Lalas to the pod. The well-known defender, who played both Stateside and in the celebrated Serie A, offered his thoughts on head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and reminisced about his own experiences with the U.S. team in the dark ages of the 1990s, before closing with a heartfelt message for gingie kids everywhere: Stay the course, and maybe you, too, can support Hootie and the Blowfish on a European tour.
As expected, Michael and Roger also paused to comment on England’s World Cup qualifying blight, analyzing the least-impressive 5-0 blowout in the history of the game. Their opponent? The mighty enclaved micro-state San Marino (pop. 32,140). It got us thinking. If San Marino can field a side to play internationally, why not GFOP Nation? We intend to challenge the Sammarinese on their own turf. To participate in this historic campaign, please send your footballing résumés our way.
Send your telegrams via raven to the Crap Part of SoHo, reach us @MeninBlazers or drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can subscribe to the pod in iTunes or via our RSS feed.