My first game of the season and I got a real treat, as Phoenix put in a professional yet entertaining performance against a good Hastings side.
Charles Reep has a lot to answer for. Excuse me a brief and rather shaky history of the long ball game. Retired RAF Wing Commander Reep was an amateur statistician, who from studying football in the 1950s came up with a number of concepts. There was the “3-pass optimisation rule” – that a higher percentage of goals come from three passes in the build-up, as opposed to more passes prior to a shot taking place. He also came up with the concept of “9 shots per goal”, that on average there is goal for every nine shots on goal. Read the rest of this entry »
Thank goodness for Proper Football. Cup finals and international tournaments are all well and good as spectacles but they aren’t real football. My ideal match doesn’t take place in a gigantic stadium, it isn’t soundtracked by piped-in hi-energy crowd-directing tunes, isn’t played by players cynical and skillful enough to squeeze the joy and unpredictability out of the game. My ideal match takes place in the sort of ground I can wander around, can enjoy a pint in, where I can queue for a burger and watch the match simultaneously, where the smell of the onions is coupled with the spray of Deep Heat, where the soundtrack is a panicked cry at a dawdling centre-half, a grumble from the touchline, a kid kicking his own ball against a fence, oblivious. Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday I headed to see Phoenix Sports play AFC Hornchurch in the FA Cup second qualifying round. Both sides are in the Ryman League Division North and the game was very open and competitive, ending 5-3 to the visitors. I am not sure I’m the best person to put together a match report, as I’m pretty sure I lost count of the score at one point. Read the rest of this entry »