Monday, 21 November 2011

The Future of Football Blogging

Recently there has been a gloom hanging over the football blogging world; a sense of disillusionment that has left some notable bloggers considering their future in the hobby. The reasons for this are, of course, varied, but there is one that seems to reoccur: money. With recession once again closing in it is natural to think of one’s future and security, however, it is not the bloggers that are moving to secure themselves, but the journalistic world tightening ranks and bloggers are losing out because of it.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Our other stuff

You may have noticed that our blog hasn’t been updated for a while. With our recent nominations for the Young Blogger of the Year awards by the NOPA’s we thought, due to the increased traffic, we’d tell you where we’ve been writing recently.

Firstly our main, joint project together; The Blue and White is our fanzine all about Chester FC. We are currently putting together the second issue which should be released soon (late December/January). If you want to buy our first issue you can do so here it’s full of interesting articles from a variety of different authors and we promise that they aren’t all about Chester.

Then we move onto the stuff we do individually. I (Neil) will go first. I am currently the Non-League writer for the Football Project. I aim to write once a week about the most important stories of Non-League. You can read more here . I also am on the internet air for my weekly sports show on Cardiff university radio, From the Sidelines. Follow this link Tuesday’s at 1pm to hear my dulcet tones attempting to make constants jokes about Newcastle and Man U to my fellow presenters .

Richard is also on student radio at Leeds University for LSRFM. Normally on either a Thursday or Friday between 4 and 5. Writing wise he's recently been published online at In Bed With Maradona and When Saturday Comes , but has been swamped with uni work for a good two months. It's starting to clear up now though, so he'll let anyone know about what he's up to on his twitter - @richardtbellis

Monday, 8 August 2011

Crime and Punishment in Non-League

I realize no-one cares. After all no-one at all has written about this (that I’ve found) and it’s been at least three weeks since the decision was announced. All reformed clubs have to now start at step five in the non-league system instead of being relegated a minimum of two divisions. But trust me this is BIG NEWS. You can tell it is because it’s written in capitals.

Monday, 11 July 2011

What we're doing...

You may have noticed that in as the summer holidays have started, a time where students like the writers of this blog can do as they damn well please, our posts have dramatically decreased. You may be wondering what the hell is going on. And you'd be right to think so, especially considering how hard my brother and I are working at the moment. Allow me to explain...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Five Fun Facts About Chester FC.

I recently wrote a short piece for Footy Sphere in their Five Fun Facts series. The link below will take you to it.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Philosophy of Football: What Insects Can Tell Us about Football

Spoiler Alert! This article makes the discussion within Bernard Suit’s book The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia clearly explicit. If you do not wish to learn the contents of the book before reading this, go and buy it before coming back! Or, just read on and then go and buy it.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Calling for the resignation of the Welsh FA's chief executive Jonathan Ford

Jonathan Ford of the Welsh FA did not support the motion tabled by David Bernstein of the English FA to postpone the FIFA presidential election. I feel that this shows that the Welsh FA will sit idle when corruption could be taking place and as a Welshman I feel this is unacceptable and have written to him asking for his resignation. The letter is below. Please read and then re-send the letter (except the last paragraph) so we can put him in an uncomfortable position and hopefully force his hand. Thank you.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Onagawa Cup

We're delighted to announce that Richard and Neil's Football blog have been roped into to playing in the inaurgural Onagawa Cup, where a team of Northern Football Writers will play a team of Northern League Fans.

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Most Important Team in the World - West Bromwich Albion

The debate about who the best team ever will forever rumble on and on in pubs and schools, on internet forums and radio show call-ins. At the moment the best team in the world is certainly Barcelona. But ever? What about Holland with Cruyff? Or perhaps Real Madrid's all conquering teams of the 1950s, Di Stefano and all? Perhaps Sacchi's Milan? Or even a curveball with The Crazy Gang of Wimbledon? All of these teams can stake their claims, list their achievements and pin their colours to the mast (and all that crap). There is only one team however, that can claim to have significantly shaped the last 30 years of world history and probably the next 30 too. That team is West Bromwich Albion.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Conference football - The expensive alternative to the Premiership

Luton and AFC Wimbledon are two teams that have suffered under the incompetence of the football authorities, and this week is no different. In a week where both sets of fans should be relishing a shot at the Football League once again, many fans are having to raid the savings to fund an expensive trip north and a price hike for the biggest show of non-league football.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Women's Football and University

University might not seem the most natural home of a footballer. But for women's football in the UK it is an extremely important institution. Whilst interest and participation in women's football is growing all of the time, it does not have anywhere near the facilities of the men's game, which makes the development of young talent a lot trickier for the women's game. With virtually all of the players in the UK being semi-professionals, the players must have another job in order to have a good standard of living. Naturally many will turn to university as a way of getting a higher paid job, but it does not mean the end of a budding young women's footballing career. University can, in fact, be a stepping stone into the top clubs in the UK and its national teams.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Book Review – Geoff Hurst, The hand of God and the biggest rows in world football by Graham Poll

This book is definitely from Poundland. Not only because my flat mates bought it me for my birthday (they are students after all), but because it was the usual kind of book that you find there: written by someone you’ve sort of heard of (or their ghost writer), which isn’t very offensive and isn’t a particularly stimulating read.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Philosophy of Football: Defining Football- Part 2.

In the first part of our definition of football, I left you on something of a cliff-hanger. Firstly, I would like to apologise for any distress this may have caused you, it was a bit cruel of me; but I had to! Honestly, I needed to do more research; it’s a serious business this is. To recap, we decided that sport has very few unique features and so we must use other areas of philosophy to shed as much light on the nature of football as possible. If you remember I ended by saying that we were going on a journey (hope you’ve packed like I asked you to!). This is because I have had a bit of a novel idea as to how to go about finding out what is part of football.  

Saturday, 2 April 2011

On Sitting Down to Watch Match of the Day Once Again

It has been three months since I last watched Match of the Day. I have been away at university and unable to get to a television in that time. As I came home today for the end of term, I did a few things I hadn't done for a while: played my xbox, ate my dad's cooking, helped with the crossword (got craic, pretty pleased with that) and watched Match of the Day. I realise this isn't earth-shattering news, it's what a lot of people do every Saturday, but as I watched the programme I realised something; I was really enjoying myself.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Doping, football and FIFA

Many people believe that doping in football is not a problem. After all the only high profile players in the last year to be caught out are Kolo Touré and Adrian Mutu (both for self medicated diet pills). These footballers probably did not think that they were doing wrong when they tried to lose a little bit of weight and to be honest I don’t really think, in these two cases, that they meant to. However, there have been recent developments in the scientific field that have led to scientists working on drugs that could give many people advantages over their rivals. Surely then, FIFA would be monitoring the situation closely? Guess again dear reader, guess again.

Monday, 21 March 2011

A Football Poem for World Poetry Day

Today is World Poetry Day and to mark the occasion, I, along with a number of other football bloggers have written a poem. My own effort can be seen below, the other contributors to this blog carnival can be found  on these websites:

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Philosophy of Football: Defining Football. Part 1

We have all grown up playing, watching, supporting, loving, hating and obsessing over football. By now it might seem reasonable to assume that we have a pretty good understanding of what the sport essentially is. But do we? Ask the man in the pub what he thinks it is and he might come up with the following reply; 'it’s that game where a load of blokes kick a ball about.' Is he right?

Monday, 28 February 2011

1966. The Year That Changed Modern Football Forever

Much happened in the year 1966. Eric Cantona was born, the Aberfan disaster occurred in South Wales, the Toyota Corolla was introduced to the world and, of course, England won the World Cup. None of these events, however, changed the modern footballing world forever. In 1966 something which changed the entire landscape of football forever was born; the humble yellow and red card.  

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Football Blogs Worth Looking At

Written For:
Chester vs Durham City 26th February 2011

Blogging has become something of an internet sensation over the last few years. Topics as varied as cooking to music are all discussed by individuals who really have a passion for what they are talking about. Football is one topic that is extremely popular to the blogging community, so much so that the Guardian newspaper published a list of ‘100 blogs to follow in 2011’ towards the end of last year. If you have some spare time The Cestrian advises you to take a look, there are some really wonderful blogs out there, but if you don’t we’ll guide you through the crème-de-la-crème of the football blogging world and give you something to do the next time an away fixture is called off because of frost.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Welsh Premier League Restructuring: A Good Idea?

This article was written for the BackPage Football website which can be found here-

Next Saturday, Haverforwest County, Aberystwyth Town, Llanelli AFC, Carmarthen Town, Newtown AFC and The New Saints will play out the final fixutres of the first part of the Welsh Premier League season. After these games the league will, for the first time ever, split in two. From there the top six of the 'Super 12' will play each other twice more, as will the bottom half. The teams in the bottom half of the table won't be able to finish higher than 7th after the cut off point. Once all of the league's 32 fixtures have been completed, the team in first place qualifies for the Champion's League, with second place and the winners of the Welsh Cup being entered into the Europa League. The teams placed from 3rd to 7th will then play-off for the final Europa League spot and the bottom two teams will be relegated.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Philosophy of Football: Introduction

I imagine if you say the word 'Philosophy' to the average football fan, their mind will conjure up the image of a Greek bloke in a toga, brow furrowed in concentration, with his hand stroking his long white beard whilst working out the problems of the universe. Those 'big' questions such as: do we exist, what is good and evil, does God exist, what is the meaning of life and so on. Whilst in extremely broad terms this has an element of truth about it, it does not really do philosophy justice. This definition leaves too much emphasis on answering the questions of philosophy, whereas in reality the purpose of philosophy is more closely tied to how* you study it.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Are You Blind Referee?

Yesterday I met a referee. This I found extremely surprising, as I didn't know they existed outside of a football field. Furthermore, he was nothing like how I expected him to be. Whilst he had refereed up to Blue Square North standard, been an assisstant referee to Blue Square Premier and fourth official in the Championship (and had the pictures to prove it), he had perfect 20/20 vision (which is apparently a very good comeback to arsey players), and he never carried a portable TV with which he could watch a different game. Also, he did not have cards that he was 'itching' to get out of his pocket and frankly couldn't care less about who was at home. Yes, he was a football fan just like you and me, but, he said, when it came to his job, he wanted to do it to the best of his ability, not to annoy the bald, shouty man in the crowd.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Happy Birthday Owen Hargreaves

Having had a quick look on BBC Sport today I saw that Birmingham's Scott Dann has been ruled out for the rest of the season, and Chelsea's Frank Lampard has suffered a calf injury in training. These two injuries, whilst obviously extremely important to the individuals involved, are afforded nothing more than a few sentences before the articles move onto the players who are going to replace them in the upcoming matches.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The British Home Championships, Gareth Bale and the British Lions FC

It has recently been revealed that the (English) FA are holding talks with the other home nations (Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland) regarding a tournament to be held in Wembely in 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary of the organisation. This would mean the revival of the British Home Championships which ran for exactly 100 years from 1884 to 1984. However, according to the general secretary of the FA Alex Horne this would be a "one-off" and England would not join the Carling Nations Cup which is set to be contested between the Republic of Ireland, Northen Ireland, Wales and Scotland in May this year. Alex Horne did not however, completely rule out the possiblity of it happening in the future, saying "I wouldn't want to commit to a resurgence of a tournament, but as a one-off it has real merit and I think we should take it a step at a time. It's still early days in the conversations at the moment."

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Plans for 2011

I really shouldn't be doing this right now. I'm in my January exam period and should be swotting up on analysing and assessing arguments, psychophysics and David Hume as I write. But instead I'm writing a post on my blog. Why am I doing this, I hear you (one man and his dog) ask? Mostly procrastination, but I've also had an idea which concerns the very question I just asked. Why am I doing this? Writing a blog? Furthermore, why do other people write blogs about football? Why do they support different teams? Why do people even watch football matches? Why do people play?