There’s just twenty more days until the biggest competitions in football begins in Russia this summer, and after England’s squad announcement – five writers from Dictate the Game have got together and we have put together our squads that we would have taken to Russia…
For years people stood at football matches, some terraces could hold up to 30,000 extra people! The atmosphere at times in places was incredible. However due to extremely sad circumstances with the Hillsborough disaster, the Taylor report was published, banning terracing in the top divisions in the UK. Because of the ageing terraces, a lot of clubs found it easier and cheaper to build new stadiums instead of converting the terracing. It’s one of the main reasons why teams like Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Millwall, Reading and Stoke for example all built stadiums in the mid 90’s.
When I watched that first game against Shrewsbury in 1995, the true importance of the match was lost on me. To me, I had just watched a game of football and watched my home town team convincingly beat their opposition. As first games go, based on that alone it was an amazing experience. When I realised how close the club had come to what would have ultimately ended the club and just how important the win was, it hit me just how great my first game was.
Ah the good old ‘support your local team’ saying is sometimes drummed into us by our parents, or we just happen to stumble across our local team and fall in love. However, we all have our reasons for supporting our team.
My story? Well, I’m a Swindon Town fan which I’m fully aware isn’t anything amazing! However, in my time I have created memories with my family, and have truly seen some wonderful times. I remember beating Stoke away in the cup 4-3- James Collins goal in the last minute of extra-time to win it, having Paolo Di Canio manage my club and never fail to amuse Town fans, playing out a thrilling 5-5 draw in the play-off semi-finals against Sheffield United and seeing Preston North End humiliate us 4-0 at Wembley. Point is, you don’t get these experiences watching a team miles away on TV.
Youth progression and investment is often overlooked in peoples football manager saves. In this article I will discuss the importance of having a structure which can help save money, and really get the best out of your products.
I often overlooked youth and the importance that they could potentially have on your team, however this years football manager has really taught me to trust my youth and give them opportunities. There are so many methods in which youth can be beneficial for you as a player and as a club, I will go in to detail about how youth has helped me and turned my struggling youth club to a team that finishes their season unbeaten.
Every fan remembers their first game, it’s the one that sets you on your path to following your chosen team. Whether you support your local club or are influenced by a family member, you become invested in them, and follow their every exploit almost religiously. For me, my first game was 2nd May 1995, when AFC Bournemouth took on Shrewsbury Town in the final game of the season. With Bournemouth having had a fairly terrible season, an upturn in form saw them just one win away from securing their Division 2 status going into the final game.
Soccer is known as the beautiful game, but beyond the field it can get quite ugly. Soccer is rife with horrors: corruption, drugs, gangs, Nazism/racism, hooliganism, doping, match-fixing, and even money laundering. Soccer is a worldwide sport, spanning every single country and territory. Accounting and auditing for public multinational corporations is routine, but tough to navigate. Now imagine thousands of entities: a few public but most private, some large, many small, spanning every single country, including ones with no respect for international law and standards such as Iran and North Korea. Now imagine how accounting must vastly be different in this industry, and that is before we discuss how transactions being recorded in bizarre ways is the norm for soccer.
You look back to the 2016/17 season and you would be easily forgiven for thinking that Antonio Conte was to become THE dominant manager in the Premier League and essentially usurp managers such as Jose Mourinho and even Josep Guardiola in becoming the one to watch as such. They had turned their fortunes around following a 3-4-3 tactical shift whilst reinventing Victor Moses as a RWB rather than the traditional RW position he was used to. This proved to be a masterstroke and with new signing N’golo Kante in the middle, Chelsea looked set for European dominance. Yet this didn’t happen as I will be telling you why.
In my first two articles I have focused on some of the more popular attacking players to have graced the Premier League, going in-depth on their careers and how their “Legend” status has carved a place for them in the hearts of many a fan across the globe. But it is important to remember that a football team has 11 players on the pitch, and as such this time I will be looking at one of the most iconic defenders that was produced on these shores. He is a former 2 time England Captain, a one club man, and the last player to score a goal at the old Wembley Stadium before it was rebuilt. I am of course talking about former Arsenal club captain, and “Famous Four” member, Tony Adams. Continue reading
It’s almost considered blasphemy to even think about speaking ill of Guardiola and his Man City team, but perhaps the praise has gone too far. Now, I’m not suggesting that they aren’t a fantastic team, but to compare them to teams like the Invincibles or United’s treble winning team after 8 months of dominance is, quite frankly, absurd.