Monday, 6 June 2011

Englands Problems within International Football

The England international football team is experiencing some bad times. Some comment that the team is in a period of transition, but transition requires change, belief and a resolute spirit – a spirit that understands that, for now, the future is more important than the present. I feel this is lost on Fabio Capello, but equally this point is a hard one to face up to and follow through on, as it requires a manager to forgo personal glory in favour of responsibility towards the future of a nation’s international football.

But international football is an odd beast, very different from that of club football. Managers get around two weeks of training with their players every couple of months. While every player is a professional, it means forging a strong team spirit and understanding between players becomes harder. Essentially, this means that only picking the ‘best’ players based on club form is not the best way to pick an international team.

Sure, you need people with individual skill so that one-on-one battles are not consistently lost; however, having players who are adaptable and positive when asked to play unfamiliar tactics with unfamiliar people against the best players in the world is essential. You can’t have players who are too set in their club’s style (unless is matches well), who don’t believe in what you’re doing or won’t be a positive influence on team morale.
This means making hard choices and going against common wisdom. It’s hard to exclude a player who is mercurial for their club but doesn’t have the essential attributes to be successful in an international squad. There’s always the doubt that they may start to ‘get it’ and become great for his country; however, there are only a small number of international games each year and a manager cannot afford to spend his time waiting for a player to integrate with the team.

So who should be the starting eleven for England and who are some bright young stars that need to get more international experience? Under a forward thinking manager, I believe our main squad would look something like this:
Joe Hart
Micah Richards - Joleon Lescott - Phil Jagielka - Leighton Baines
     Jack Rodwell - Jack WIlshere
Adam Johnson --------------------------------------- Ashely Young
Wayne Rooney
Darren Bent

Rotating some of the U21 talent and testing out some proper defensive midfielders (Huddlestone and Cattermole need to be given a chance) and we could have a strong and experienced team to challenge for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. OF course, ability to adapt to life as an international footballer is the most key attribute and selection of another individual over these would be preferred on this basis.

Friday, 3 June 2011

In Defence of Privicy

After much twitter-based fervour and an outspoken MP  the super-injunction covering Ryan Gigg's extra-marital affair with Imogen Thomas has been completely compromised.

While in effect, the super-injunction didn't stop Ryan Gigg's wife, Stacey Cooke, knowing about the affair and it didn't spare Ryan the consequences other men would suffer if they were in his position. All it was meant to achieve was some temporary privacy for Ryan, his family and Imogen to sort out their issues before it could be reported by media outlets.

However, events have taken this 'privilege' away from those involved and now they face the demeaning prospect of sorting out their private lives in public. Not a second of Ryan Gigg's (alleged) affair is of public interest, as knowing such information does not help anyone make a better decision and does not improve the lives of anyone.

Make this comparison: If a normal man, say a guy who works at your local Tescos or Asda, cheats on his wife is this information important to you? I doubt its even interesting to most people; however, when its someone famous it becomes more interesting, but still the information is of no use past the initial entertainment value. Knowing it doesn't help you prepare for anything and it doesn't reveal shady activity from people in a position of trust. If you think entertainment value alone makes the private lives of anyone fair game for the relativity limitless resources of the media industry then you subscribe to a kind of social sadism similar to that of a psychotic.

Yes, it is important for journalists to investigate incidences in some people's private lives as they may be in a position of power and those decisions may prove them to be people of unfit character for such a responsibility, but extra marital affairs never come into this, especially when its a footballer and especially as that information would only be temporarily embargoed. However, when someone unearths the extra-marital affair of a footballer and uses it as a victory against liars and cheats who hope to swindle the public you're only weakening the power for privacy laws to be used properly, which will end up hurting the public when information that should be obtainable will be kept secret.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Best of the Web #1

Every once in while I find a crop of funny videos or blogs showing sick moves, interesting tales or something downright hilarious. This is where I put them.

A Normal Day -
A houseshare of German jugglers and tricksters show us what life is like when you have the skills to pull off amazing feats of skill and ability - every time.

Fresh comedy produced by the Chicago-based duo DeGaetano and Fronk. Expect Bros, Pimps and hardcore action comedy. Also, expect hugely awkward moments if your family watches these with you.

DW Remixes your Childhood -
This guy puts some bumpin' baselines and fresh beats onto your favourite cartoon shows. Check out his remixes for TransformersHe-Man and Inspector Gadget.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Choose Your 2011/2012 EPL Team

Being new to the English Premier League can be hard. With all the history, rivalries and recent changes it's a challenge to even select who to support. If you just can't make your mind up then this (unofficial) flow chart will help you cut through the crap and find the right team for you - guaranteed.

Click the image for the full size version.

If you have any complaints then please report them in the comments below. Thank you.