Playing Politics


 

Welcome to Thailand - Chonburi fans in Ayutthaya

The 2011 Thai Premier League gets underway on February 12th amid unprecedented levels of popularity. The huge wave of interest in the TPL generated by the 2009 relaunch shows little sign of slowing: attendances are high, half a dozen TV channels offer TPL coverage, big-name sponsors have got involved, new stands and stadia are springing up and the game has never been so awash with cash. And the game has never been so awash with cash. That fact is a double-edged sword. Money builds new stadia and buys quality players; money also creates vested interests. The concern is, and with no little justification as we shall see, that the waterfalls of money that have been pouring into the game will influence decision-making by those in power whose impartiality should be unquestionable. And whose decisions should be influenced solely by doing what’s best by Thai football. Doing what’s best, for example, by the national team.

The Elephants have been making headlines recently for the wrong reasons. Rather embarrassingly, they failed to make it out of their group in the AFF Cup in December. This tournament, contested by the eight best footballing nations in Southeast Asia, has been dominated by Thailand over the years. But in the 2010 competition, they didn’t manage to win one of their three group games and needed an injury-time equalizer to avoid what would have been a shocking defeat to Laos. The players complained of fatigue brought on by a hectic domestic league and cup schedule for their early exit. It’s not in my nature to indulge the complaints of the modern player; but this time he should be listened to. -read on>

Umbrellas for Goal Post


This is England

Big Sam is renowned for taking a dogged approach to the game, his style often described as ‘dirty’ or ‘hit and run’. So would it surprise you that I would call Sam Allardyce innovative? Allardyce has had more ideas than Stuart Baggs, remember when the FA decided to change the offside rule so that you have to effect play to be offside….so Sam put two players on the line from a free kick. And what about his training techniques…according to Michael Owen, he had his Newcastle squad on morning bike rides and pilate’s (quite a contrast from the usual football training regime’s).

Despite being sacked from Blackburn in the week, Big Sam didn’t go down without leaving one of his latest ideas with us…’Youth Football should be played in the Summer!’

Well should it? -read on>

Ian Holloway-No longer the managerial class clown


Ian Holloway - sourced from http://i.dailymail.co.uk

Say the name Ian Holloway a year or so ago and conversations of hilarious post match interviews and talk of the class clown would be all you would hear.

How much can change in a year of football.

Say it now and a different man will be discussed. A man of seriousness and passion, positivity and opinions. A man who is greatly admired not laughed at.

Starting his managerial career at his home team of Bristol Rovers (as player manager at first), he was always going o be a hit. He played there for most of his professional career and was a fans favourite. After a successful 5 year stint there, with a win percentage of 36% in 247 games and getting them to the play offs, he thought it was time to move on and another of his old teams came calling. He had spent 5 years playing for Queens Park Rangers, and was challenged, half way through the 00-01 season, with trying to keep the club in the old First Division. He failed to do so but, unlike many modern managers, was kept on for the following year to try and rebuild the club. In doing this I believe he won many of the fans hearts with his never say die attitude and churpy exterior. He eventually got the club promoted again in 2004 and, with even more hard work, finished a very respectable 11th that season. Many people in the game were starting to take note of Holloway. His post match interviews started to draw fans of other clubs to televisions and also to youtube. His most famous surely being the “a win is like a bird” speech after a hard fought messy 1 goal win. Holloway was so much more than just a joker but not many could see past the comical remarks as ,to date, he had no real major managerial honours (or so it seemed to the premier league fans who would watch his interviews). However a few football league clubs in a similar position to Q.P.R’s were starting to take note of Holloway’s hard work and in February of 2006 he was sent on “Gardening leave” by the Queens park rangers board, as he was being increasingly linked with the vacant managerial position at a club he would later manage, Leicester City. Those rumours were never going to help the progression of the club and a difficult season ended in a 21st place finish and a loss of respect for Holloway. -read on>

Does England lack talent?


They are the words that I have learnt to live with over the last few months ‘The England team is rubbish and the young English players lack talent’ and the shortlist for the Ballon d’or seems to reiterate this. The shortlist which was realeased earlier today shows that not one English player has been nominated for the award. For me the most notable nominees are; Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller. The two German youngsters have particularly caught my eye because it was just over a year ago that a German U21 side lined up against an England U21 side including James Milner, Theo Walcott, Adam Johnson in the Euro U21 championships final. So why is it that Ozil and Muller appear to have the world at their feet and the young English players are blasted by the public as useless? And, why have Spain and Germany succeeded where England appear to have failed? -take a peak.>

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