The Childish Adoration of the Number 10

GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN CHILDREN would take to the muddy patch of turf outside their homes for an unceasing summerfest of relenting, unending football.

Many days of many childhoods were littered with the laughter and crocodile tears, gashed knees and hurt egos of playing makeshift football, street football, out of what could be gathered.

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The Difference: Christy Fagan

Sometimes you just don’t notice something until it’s not there anymore.

Television programmes getting cancelled, matches being postponed, celebrities passing away – all of them are greeted by the sudden jerk of “Oh. Right. Hmm. Where to now?” Where once lay a constant, a source of reliability that you could always depend on – maybe to the point of taking for granted – now lays nothing, or better still a replacement.

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A Luis Enrique Barcelona

Time passes by so quickly in football. The name Gerardo Martino has largely vanished from mainstream media despite the fact he is manager of the Argentinian national team. It was at this stage twelve months ago that his FC Barcelona team had limped aimlessly out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter final stage – the first time the Catalans had not reached the competition’s semi-finals in six seasons.

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The Manager: The all-seeing, all doing Everyman

Power is a wonderful thing. It gives a man authority. It gives him a sense of one-upmanship over his compatriot. It instills brewing self-confidence. It sews fatal seeds of non-existent capability. When a person is intrusted with power it creates a figment in their mind that they are greater than they would have even their own minds believe to be. In medieval times, Kings were chosen on the basis that they were divinely selected by God, and hurried down a superstitious path of entitlement and privilege. It is a delusion, power. A game of mirrors, fog and shadow.

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Fairytale Retirement For Gerrard Not An Option In Modern Game of Fleeting Loyalty

“My dear boy, the people who only love once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination. Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect—simply a confession of failures.”

– Oscar Wilde, the Picture of Dorian Gray

The last year has seen the conclusion of countless footballer’s careers. As is the same with every year. Some, amateurs playing in lower divisions. Others may have made it as a mid-ranking professional. These men may retire in an aftermath of overwhelming regret – what could have been; what should have been won; what should have been if not for a lapse of determination or self-belief. But despite this, their retirement is their own. They took the decision to enter the world of football on their own accord and likewise, have decided to end it as they see fit.

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