Interview with former Ipswich and England striker, Paul Mariner

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Paul Mariner is one of the finest strikers to ever play for Ipswich Town, scoring 96 goals in 260 appearances, winning the FA Cup and UEFA Cup in the process. Paul also played for the England national team 35 times, scoring 13 goals. In his professional career spanning for over 20 years, Paul made 555 appearances for Plymouth, Ipswich, Arsenal, Portsmouth and various teams in America and Australia, scoring 179 career goals. He was part of the greatest era under Sir Bobby Robson and brought major success to the Suffolk side before moving to the capital to play for Arsenal. He later went into management with Plymouth and MLS side Toronto FC. Dictate the Game were fortunate enough to interview Paul. we asked him about his time in Ipswich, his managerial career and if he had any regrets in his career.
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That’s So Metro

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Dax McCarty lifting the 2015 Supporters Shield – one of only two trophies in franchise history.

The New York Red Bulls have spent twenty-two seasons as an MLS franchise – with only two trophies to show for it, both Supporters Shield in 2013 and 2015 – but haven’t won the MLS Cup yet – being one of the very few original teams that haven’t won the ultimate prize. Can 2017 be the year?

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Premier League Preview – Each Fans Opinion

It’s that wonderful time of the year again, the Premier League starts. It’s been a very long summer without football, we are lucky that every other year we have a manager International tournament, but unfortunately this year we have had to wait.

I wanted to create an article gathering the views of each sets of fans on how they think their club will do in the 2017/18 campaign. I was very impressed with the responses and the varied detail levels by each fans. Take a look below on what each fan thought.


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Interview with Tom Smith, Swindon Town Player

We have the honour of interviewing Swindon Town midfielder, Tom Smith, not once, but twice, in this one of article. The 19 year old has had a promising start to his footballing career, with first team debuts at Swindon and a successful loan spell at Waterford, Ireland First Division.

This is a very special article, we have never had an interview with a player (or anyone for that matter) twice in the same article. A lot changes in football and this is the same with footballers. The first time we spoke to Tom, he was slowly breaking in to the first team, now in part two, we get an update on his career, his loan spell and his style of play.

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Mega Project #14 – Mason’s Off-Season Adventures

Welcome back to Mega Project – we all know how much managers and players enjoy their time off after a hard and long season – and Mason Bradshaw is no different – we hear from a news report regarding travelling back to London – then Mason himself.

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Mason Bradshaw heads for England.

Mason Bradshaw was spotted at Belfast Airport travelling back to London, where we suspect he will be staying with his immediate family. Our sources confirm the reason for the trip isn’t transfer related, however Mason looks set for a busy pre-season when he finally returns to Ireland.

Mason Bradshaw is a football manager who has had spells at Stirling and most recently Ards, in Ireland. Many pundits have wrote Mason off after his spell at Stirling, but he has completely turned his career down. He has took himself over to Northern Ireland to try and rebuild his short career. Mason’s reputation took a heavy beating after the media was massively behind him in a successful first management attempt and he ultimately failed, the blame has to be on his first couple of months where he couldn’t find the right 11 and attempted to play youth players who were showing “more spirit.”

It is rumoured that Mason will also be going to America before pre-season starts, for what reason, we don’t know, however it’s unlikely a management job. We hope to see Mason back in Ards for the coming season and to really make a push for it.


Now, let’s hear from Mason himself about his off season.

18th May 2017

The season is over, I really have enjoyed my first season as a manager but I am now looking forward to a rest, and better still, a holiday. The off-season started a few days, after which I took a flight back to England where I was spending the start of the off-season I have gone back to Brighton to catch up with my friends and family around the area, which has been great fun. But the real event is hapening in July, the long-awaited trip to New York City!

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It was my first trip to The Big Apple in over 10 years, and I couldn’t wait. My whole immediate family (My mum, dad and brother) were coming, and we were going to catch up with our Uncle Andy, Aunt Sandra and our cousins Meg and James. I can’t wait!

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The house in New Jersey, where my family live.

I fly out at 5am on the 31st May, from Heathrow Airport. I am really excited, I have a lot of plans, including obviously catching up with my family there. I also plan on going to watch some American football and some MLS over there. I am also looking forward to visiting some landmarks, such as the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, Times Square and taking a stroll through Central Park. I also have a friend who lives in New York, and we are planning to try to do a bit of Route 66, but we shall see. We are going for a fortnight, so I have a lot to fit in!

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The countdown is on!

16th June 2017

The off-season is nearly over, as I return to Ireland on the 21st June. I have had a great post season though, including my awesome trip to New York.

I left my parents’ house with the rest of the family at roughly 1am in the morning to drive down to London where we were catching the Tube to Heathrow. I remember getting onto the bustling train where crowd had started to fill to get to their daily job. As the train moved underground, and the lights flickered on and off, and then the squeeze of the breaks as the Tube rolled in Heathrow Airport – Terminal 4, it was time.

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Around 10 hours later – and seven hours on a plane – I arrived in the Big Apple. At 7:15am local time in fact, as the plane landed at JFK Airport, as we walked out, heading to border control, I was ready to have my best experience in life so far.

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JFK Airport from the plane. What a view!

After around an hour getting through border control and collecting our bags, we walked out looking for the family, when we saw them, we realised that Uncle Andy was holding a sign with ‘BRADSHAWS’ then in really small writing ‘Mason Bradshaw – Pro Manager’. I never felt so proud in my life.

As we drove back to New Jersey, I saw the Manhattan skyline, and I was taken back, it was amazing during the day, but I could only imagine what it would look like at the night so I knew I had to come back to see the skyline at night.

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I had two weeks to go and do everything that I wanted to do – and I needed to make the most of this experience as not many get to stay in New York for two weeks.

I had a great catch up with my family over there – including a lovely burger at Wendy’s – a few beers at Anticipation as well as some great chats about their footballing experiences.

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If you ever go to America, make sure you go to Wendy’s!!!

Next on my agenda was to finally watch some NFL – I was desperate to see the New York Jets at the MetLife and I got to watch two games against the Giants and New England Patriots, and the moment that the commentator shouted ‘TOUCHDOWN!!!!’ will stick with me forever.

NFL: New York Jets at New York Giants

I got up early on the 4th June, at around 9am local time in fact, to catch the PATH train from Harrison to the World Trade Center – I had decided that today was the day to get started on looking at some of the world-famous landmarks that the City of New York had to offer, and where better to start than the Empire State Building? I can’t even do it justice, it was amazing to see in person.

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The Empire State Building

Then I took the short walk to Times Square, and even though, you see it in photos, it is much better when you see it in better, as I walked through the hustle and bustle of the crowd who were all in awe of wonderful spectacle we were all enjoying, seeing all the advertisements flash on and off the screens, it is a moment I shall never forgot – that is for sure.

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It had been a very long day, but before I caught the PATH train back to Harrison, there was one thing I defintley wanted to do, go and see the Skyline at night and try to get some good photos of it, and you can see the photo I took below – but boy, what a view. If you get the chance to see it, go and see it!

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The wonderful skyline!

I had to be back by the 14th June to watch a MLS game, therefore I knew I needed to start on completing at least a good distance of Route 66, so I sent a text to my mate, Ryan, and we got started on Route 66 on the 5th June, travelling about half way before heading home, it was an amazing experience though, and I’d definitely recommend it for people looking to go travelling.

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A cool picture I took on Route 66 whilst we were having a break.

Then it was time to watch a MLS game, I decided to go and see a game at Red Bull Arena. I am so glad I did. The atmosphere was magic. The South Ward was electric all night long and especially when Daniel Royer scored the winner over the their rivals, NYCFC. I’m going to put it out there right now, the Red Bulls are a club I’d like to manage in the future.

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I only had a few days left until it was time to head back to Ireland, but I made sure I made the most of it, as I went to see more amazing landmarks including the marvelous Central Park, which is a dream, but it did take a long time to walk to the other side! I took a boat tour to see the Statue of Liberty which was amazing to. I also went to Ground Zero to pay my respects.

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New York was an amazing experience, and something that I’ll never forgot – I really enjoyed the New York lifestyle, hopefully one day, I might be managing out in America, hopefully sooner rather than later.


Mega Project is a unique Football Manager experience. Mega Project features Mason Bradshaw, a rookie manager who never played professionally, who attempts to climb the football leader from the first job to becoming a world class manager. Mega Project is something that’s never been done before as we look from all angles, from Mason himself, the clubs, his family and friends, colleagues, the world of football and more. Mega Project is released weekly here at DictateTheGame.com.


Incase you have missed any previous Mega Projects, you can read them all here:


Want to keep up to date on every movement of Mason Bradshaw? Mason has a Twitter account where he tweets about jobs, training, his personal life and more. You can follow Mason on Twitter – @MasonBradshawFM

Interview with Claude from ArsenalFanTV

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(L-R) Troopz, DT, Robbie Lyle, Claude, Ty.

ArsenalFanTV is one of the fastest growing fans YouTube channel with over 450k subscribers. Founded by Robbie Lyle, the channel gives real fans a voice on post games and issues with the club, most notably, the situation surrounding the future of manager, Arsene Wenger. Robbie has even interviewed famous Arsenal fans including Piers Morgan and Houses of Commons Speaker, John Bercow. Regulars seen on the channel include Claude, Ty, DT, Troopz and Chris. We were lucky enough to interview Claude, we talk Alexis Sanchez, the beginning of AFTV and much more

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Leeds United; A reason to be excited?

 

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Andrea?

As a Leeds fan, it’s hard to believe that things are going quite as well as they are. You see, this isn’t normal behaviour up here. We’re used to an erratic Italian sacking coaches for the fun of it & making some rather strange decisions. however, that has changed recently & I will explain why.

Andrea Radrizzani, the founder and Group Chairman of Aser, a global investment company that focuses on the media and sport sectors and founding co-owner of MP & Silva, a company who deal with TV rights around the world. These are companys that we’re built from the ground up and that are now worth an absolute fortune. The Italian, who unlike the previous owner, has well and truly won the trust of the Leeds fans. He has a plan & he’s made some incredible decisions which to be honest, everyone can’t help but love.

Let me point out that, in January 2017, Aser purchased 50% of the club with the option to purchase the remaining 50% at the end of the year. Due to the shambolic operation that Massimo Cellino was running, every single Leeds fan around the world was praying for this to be completed & by May 23rd 2017.

Just the start.

From the off, Andrea had made it clear that he wanted Garry Monk to stay on as Manager of Leeds United FC. Sadly, Garry didn’t see it this way and resigned meaning Leeds had lost a manager the fans loved. Victor Orta, the ex-Middlesborough Director Of Football entered the club, as did Angus Kinnear, the ex-West Ham Managing Director has played a key part in several of the things I’m about to say below.

This is solely my opinion, but sinces Andrea’s arrival the club have gone from strength to strength, he no only signed his intent but has built a solid structure at Leeds United. From the gound up, this is no longer a shambles. This is a proper football club, one that is loved and adored worldwide & that Leeds badge is getting that little bit shinier by the day.

What do you mean we’re signing players?!

This is somewhat of an unfamiliar feeling, we were signing players for actual money. Not strange loan deals like before. The first signing made was a massive one, a player that the fans have truly fell in love with. The one and only, Pontus Jansson. Originally signed on a loan deal from Torino, a £3.5M fee was agreed as part of the terms, but ONLY if he played 22 games. He did with ease & over time, he formed a very convincing partnership with loanee Kyle Bartley.

Unless its a loan, it’s unusual for Leeds to be so active. 9 players have signed & all but one have signed for a fee. I’ll break down the 3 transfers I like below;

Samu Saiz (Huesca) – A product of the Real Madrid Academy, he never really had his chance. After spending time floating around, he ended up at Atletico Madrid where he was sent on loan to Huesca. It appeared that Huesca were keen to sign him & that is exactly what they did. After a standout season last year, Leeds came calling. A fee of £3M was enough to prize him away.

Ezgjan Alioski (Lugano) – I can’t say I know too much about this guy, but from what I have seen, he’s a very hard working player who isn’t afraid to scrap when needed. In the pre-season friendly vs Eibar, he ended up with a goal after some good work from Eunan O’Kane.

Felix Weidwald (Werder Bremen) – Now, this is one that took me by surprise. A player that was the on & off starter for Werder Bremen, signing for only £425K, It sounds like a bargin to me, but I will wait until I see more of him. Either way, with Rob Green being 37 now, a new keeper was a must but it makes me wonder what’ll happen with Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

 

Who’s this guy?

Yes, a familiar sound across Leeds over the past few years. With Cellino bringing in his broken Italians such as Tomasso Bianchi and Bellusci, it was manic. Like then, not much was known about most of our signings but this time, we have a difference! We actually trust the owner and the backroom staff to get things right. One thing that can be said was ‘Who’s that guy?’ was heard several times when Leeds appointed ex APOEL Nicosia manager, Thomas Christansen as Manager.

Well, let me tell you a little bit about him. He was born in Denmark, played for Barcelona and was capped for Spain. ENOUGH SAID. No, but seriously, I think most of the Leeds fans thought it was a bizzare out of the blue appointment but Andrea had clearly done his homework. Yes, he was managing in the Cypriot league with the best team but you cant forget his achivements at Larnaca, who he lead to second place. The first time in the clubs history.

One of the biggest achivements was leading APOEL to the last 16 of the Europa League beating teams like Olympiakos & Atletic Bilbao, which is a massive feat considering the size of APOEL. It’s safe to say that he’s used to a 60 game season which can be played in England.

Christiansen said himself, hes flexible and can use a wide variety of formations which will come in handy as Garry Monk never ever had a plan B. This time, I think it’ll be very different come the first game of the season.

Expectations are high

After the solid start made by Leeds under Garry Monk, before they bottled it and ended up finishing outside the playoffs. It was something you couldn’t make up, I mean we spent nearly the full season in the playoffs, only for us to bottle it at the back end of the season. Things will be different this year…..

By that, I mean the fact that money has been spent. The players that have came in seem to be of some quality, even if they aren’t well know, household names. Players such as Mateusz Klich, who spent time with Twente in the Eredevisie, are the step up that was required. Depth had always been an issue, but will the 9 signings made we aren’t short….. well, in midfield anyway.

Defense is still the part that worries me the most. No defensive signings have been made, on a permenant deal at least. Losing Charlie Taylor was a massive blow, arguably the best left back in the league but after refusing to play in the last game against Wigan, the love that Leeds fans had for him had diminished.

One good thing is, we do have players that can play in a variety of positions. Berardi is by trade a right back, but he filled in at left back when needed and overall, did a solid job. The same could be said for Luke Ayling, another player that could fill in as a centre back when needed, and again, he did a good job of it.

More signings?

Leeds continue to be linked with players, as always during the transfer window. However, some incredible links are being made….. Alvaro Negredo anyone?

Everyone knows that Victor Orta had a huge part to play in Negredo being at Middlesborough. But, he never exactly set the Premier League alight did he? Chris Wood continues to be linked with a move away & for an incredible price of £20M. Yes, £20M for a striker who has had a single good season.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Chris Wood. But, he’s easily replaceable even if he did score 30 last year. Quality can often come from the lower leagues, Jamie Vardy anyone?