Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Archive for August, 2011

Conclusions from United 3 Spurs 0

Posted by hakanrylander on August 24, 2011

1. Phil Jones was supposed to be one for the future, but only two weeks into the new season he is already an Old Trafford hero. On his first PL start for United, at only 19 years of age, he already looked the de facto captain. Reminds me of a young John Terry, with the added bonus that Jones can play a bit. My MotM.

2. When Danny Welbeck scored the first goal he was transformed into a different player. For 60 minutes he hadn’t made much of an impression, but after the goal he was full of confidence, trying scissor-kicks and back-heels and wanting the ball all the time. Let’s hope he can carry that confidence with him for the rest of the season.

3. Ashley Young has taken to Manchester United like a duck to water.

4. Several more United players deserve individual praise, but more important was the movement and fluency of the passing game. This was better than I can remember from almost any game last season.

5. Amid all the praise for United, please remember that Spurs were below par. Especially in central midfield where they lacked both steel and creativity.



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92 Grounds, 92 Pies, 1 Masterpiece

Posted by hakanrylander on August 19, 2011

It is a simple idea. During the 2008/2009 season Tom Dickinson watched a match at each of the 92 League grounds. This meant he travelled 3,000 miles and put “his relationship, health and sanity on the line”.  Even though the idea is simple it is not easy to turn it into a good read, but Mr Dickinson has managed this brilliantly.

Each chapter follows more or less the same template. The author wakes up (often hung-over), travels to the ground, finds a parking space, gets a ticket (often at a ridiculous price), has a quick look in the club shop, watches the game, chats with some fans and eats a pie. This is repeated 92 times. It sounds boring, but actually Mr Dickinson has written a highly entertaining book. He is witty, has a fine eye for detail and often manages to convey the atmosphere at different stadiums.

Obviously this is a book best enjoyed in small doses. I read a few chapters each day during my summer holiday and it certainly increased my longing for League One and League Two football (which hasn’t been particularly strong until now).

Highly recommended.

Tom Dickinson: 92 Pies (Blackline Press)

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