Posts Tagged football

That’s right, we’re back!

I have very big news for all of you! The fourth episode of my university television programme has finally come out for everyone’s enjoyment. The Sweat Room team have been working hard to create this lightly entertaining and not at all informative show. Enjoy, and don’t forget to give it a like!

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More Sport and Banter for your tastebuds

Thats right the third episode of ‘The Sweat Room’ straight from essex uni and SX:TV,¬†is online for your enjoyment.

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The Joy of Spurs

I have seen baseball in San Francisco, basketball in Los Angeles, and foot ball in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Weston super mare and Yeovil. But I had never been to a premiership football match. On Saturday I went to my first one: Tottenham Vs. Wolves at White Hart Lane. I was in the Park Lane stand, equipped with my brand new spurs scarf and a passion for spurs football. Everyone there is friendly and happy to talk about their favourite club and pass time.

Despite the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur the stands filled up in the minutes before the players took the pitch. The crowd took to their feet as the match started and the chants followed suit, along with the occasional ‘wanker’ shouted at the Wolverhampton fans in the corner.

To stay in the favours and to pretend I knew a lot about what I was watching I said the safe things that you can about a football team; ‘never a boring one nil with spurs is it..’ and ‘Robbie Keane just isn’t what he used to be.’ Wolves were the first scorers in the match, and to my surprise, it hurt to see them score, especially when you heard the brummy cheers dominate the stadium.

Of course when we equalised it was much more satisfying, with Van der Vaart slotting the penalty won by Al Hutton. The next chant to arise was ‘YID-O’ to the Dutchman’s achievement, as the spurs fans embraced Tottenham’s roots in Jewish culture.

By the end of the match my voice was hoarse and my spirits were high as we had won 3-1 thanks to Al Hutton fluking one in the back of the net. The newest chant was ‘1-0 and you f*cked it up’ . As I squeezed through hundreds of relieved North Londoners I felt like we had been through it all and I felt part of the collective unit that is premiership football. Coming from that game I can finally understand why people look forward to the weekend and why it means so much. To be a part of this is a privilege and something I would be more than happy to be included in again as it is truly unique and something I highly recommend.

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When Penalties just aren’t enough..

Maybe it’s time we brought in penalty goals, just as they work in rugby, it would have led Ghana through to the semi finals and been the furthest that any African team has reached in any world cup. It would have also happened in their continent. Let’s hope FIFA can fine tune football to be as honest as it can be, and keep the players inside the rules and the right teams going through.

World Cup 2010: Luis Suarez's handball was instinctive, says Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez - Luis Suarez handles the ball.

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Chaos with World Cup Referees

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There is the recurring theme of chaos in the World Cup, and seems to appear every four years and every other match or so. The causes of the chaos seem to range from the huge (Maradona’s hand of God) to the less so (Lampard’s disallowed goal), but they all have great significance, and the officials int he game are there to help shepherd this chaos, and for the most part they do a great job. But every so often they make a mistake and this is what makes it one of the most pressured jobs in the world, especially as the world is watching.

It is so easy to criticise the referee, and sometimes this criticism is deserved, as what is a yellow to one referee is not to another (eg. in the Germany, Serbia match when Alberto Undiano; the referee, gave Miroslav Klose two yellow’s where most other referees would have just given fouls), which gives teams an unfair advantage over other ones simply because of irresponsible decision-making, and the consequences can leave a team crashing out the world cup.

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The referees are handpicked from around the world, and just as the players are the best in the world at their jobs, the officials are at theres. Although it can be said that there are very few referees nowadays who don’t have some controversy or another to their name, as it is in people’s nature to make mistakes. Many people have asked whether we can keep allowing the officials human error to rule the game and, in some cases, pick out the winner with their mistakes, but I feel we have no other choice. I do believe we should bring in goal line technology and the opportunity for referees to view video replays so we can get as close as we can to honest football as possible. But I also believe that no machine could ever replace a referee on the pitch as there is always human judgement involved, like the playing advantage rule and the choice of giving a card and which card to give, no machine could ever say whether a tackle had malice involved in it.

Most of the time, the referees do a great job, but every now and again they slip up just as the rest of us do. Unfortunately this can not only alter the scoreline by disallowing a goal, or allowing one which might be offside (the apparent offside against Uruguay last night, as Van Persie tried to play Robben’s ball before it went in the back of the net), but also the mentality and momentum of the teams, as they lose focus and feel outraged falling out of contest, and unable to scramble back into the match.

Whilst the perfect referee is an ideal, you have to realise that the game of football, as with any sport, is decided by far more than just referring, and ultimately quality will shine through. Germany beat England because they had the pace and the passing precision to beat a faltering defence on the counter. And Uruguay, whilst being a very good team, couldn’t keep up with the Dutch and the likes of Robben and Sneijder. But who knows what the refereeing of the future will be like, lets hope that it’s not too perfect so there is still a little bit of hidden drama that goes beyond the players, besides I have to blame someone other than the players for England losing..

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The Ultimate Test?

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Since the world cup has been going on I have noticed a massive rivalry between any American and English sport, especially by the refusal to give football its proper name. When I turn my attention to the American sports and English sports, I can’t help but think of the similarities between them; rugby and NFL, cricket and baseball, Nascar and Formula 1 etc.. But it leaves me speculating, if England played America at every sport using their best team from the similar sport, then who would come out on top?

This would mean England Rugby vs. NFL all-star team in one game of NFL and one game of rugby, the cricket team play baseball and vice versa, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton races whoever the hell is King Nascar. And basketball could do the same with football as, lets face it, we wouldn’t want to leave the most important ones out.

I’m not saying the standard would be amazing, but it would be great entertainment, not to mention that it is very commercially viable for sponsorship deals. Not to mention the fact that it would settle a few arguments, and perhaps create a few more across the Atlantic. I know the team that is specialised in their sport is likely to triumph, but it is just another chance for competition, another chance for underdogs and another chance for victory.

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Would you call yourself English or British?

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New sport, new tournament. Since England’s world cup hopes are non-existent, I am going to turn my attention to Wimbledon; a tournament deep within the English culture and currently being played in the sunniest of conditions (for once). Whilst all the other British players are out Andy Murray is the last Brit standing, our number 1 by quite some distance.

However this leaves me with a little bit of a problem as I am normally quite nationalistic with my sports. Although England is only a part of the country of Great Britain, I feel that when it comes to international sport England becomes a country by itself. We follow England football, England cricket and England rugby union, so understandably I feel strongly towards the English teams. When it comes to Andy Murray, a proud Scot, someone who even rejects England, I still want to support him in the tennis, but I can never do this 100%. He is still British and the closest we have to an English player that can win the tournament (and I do believe this year is his year) and the most succesful British male tennis player ever to play, but he has been born on the other side of Hadrian’s wall.

The subject gets even more complicated when I say that I support the British Olympic team, and have no frictional feelings when supporting the British hockey team or even the Rugby league side. But I believe that this is because there are no alternatives, I am not just supporting one man and one personality.

Formula 1 is a similar sport in the sense of everyone on the track is racing for themselves and are individual sportsmen. I obviously support Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton for Maclaren as they are the heart of he English pride. Unfortunately I was too young for Formula 1 when David Coultard was racing but I’m sure I would have had the same sort of problem, do I become a British supporter, or stay an England one? Maybe I should just support who I can as it does make a tournament more exciting, but then again the feeling of disloyalty resurfaces.

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