Asked if he has a “mystical power” over his players when he is preparing them for a match, Wenger replied: “Religiously, it is said that God created man. I am only a guide. I allow others to express what they have in them. I have not created anything. I am a facilitator of what is beautiful in man. (Arsène Wenger details philosophy)
Yet what happens in our experience of football is that time accelerates and decelerates – when you’re watching football you experience these kind of shifts in the intensity of time. And that’s very interesting, because that’s a very good illustration of the way time is actually experienced. We don’t experience it as a continuum; it’s a series of intensities that morph in shape and develop, and there can be periods of intense boredom and then periods of instant acceleration. The odd thing about football is that it reveals something really important about the malleable quality of time, I think. (Simon Critchley)
To cries of WHAT? NO! around the globe, James Richardson has left The Guardian Football Weekly. The end of an era. A sad day. Football weekly was simply the best. As Richard Whittall put it so well:
When I finally capitulated and gave the Guardian podcast a listen, I remember feeling as if I’d stumbled on the sort of conversation I’d always wanted to have about football… Hosted by Italophile pun-spinner James Richardson and side-kicked by Irish buzz-kill Barry Glendenning, featuring a rotating cast of international scribes like Rafa Honigstein and Fernando Duarte, the show regarded football both as a matter of life and death and a mere trifle, in other words, as it is. And, contrary to my expectations, everyone was as funny as hell—I would be often caught sniggering like a schoolboy while listening to the pod on the streetcar in my Toronto neighbourhood.
Lucas Leiva is leaving Liverpool. Time to remember his finest hour… the fairground challenge vs. Jordan Henderson:
Unlucký, unlucký, unlucký.
Alex Manninger has retired. Usually when a player retires I think “how time flies,” but this time it was more “golly, he really played a long time.” In my youth he was the only Austrian in the Premier League.
Then again, Crouch is essentially a humorous player, a 6ft 7in centre forward made of elastic bands and old deckchair parts who resembles less a real-life Premier League all-star than a satirical cartoon of an English footballer produced by some particularly acerbic French caricaturist. (Barney Ronay)
The latest England squad features the return of Defoe, but no place for Andy Carroll. I would love to see England play 4-4-2 again with a front two of Defoe and Carroll. Ah well.
We have two problems. Conceding goals, and not scoring.
The latest Guardian Fottball Weekly lacks Jimbo, but Jimbo’s foil, Barry (“buzz-kill“) Glendenning had one of his best lines. Sachin Nkrani was talking about how miserable it must be for Sunderland fans to be always losing, and asks Barry if it wouldn’t actually be preferable to be relegated, and spend next season actually winning some games in the Championship:
Nakrani: If you keep losing every week… it must be bloody miserable
Glendenning: It is kind of entertaining, to be honest.
Classic Barry— the football fan who enjoys seeing his own team lose.
And no matter who you are, you’ll almost always have a poor spell; Barcelona even had one near the end of last season’s title hunt, when they suddenly couldn’t do anything right. They totally lost the plot for a few games. That’s Messi, Suarez, Iniesta, Neymar, et al. Real Madrid recently broke a club record by going 40 games unbeaten, and then won only one of their next five games, losing twice. Iago Aspas put them to the sword. Liverpool’s current bad run is longer than Barcelona or Real Madrid experienced, but they are obviously much better teams. (Paul Tomkins; emphasis in original)