This is not José Mourinho
By Nicol Hay
Picture José Mourinho. Now let me guess what’s in your head.
I think the José in your mind is raising his fists, celebrating another crushing of a weaker opponent. He is wearing a luxurious winter coat over a suit so finely tailored it would be impossible for any other man to wear it. Yes, his ego shines through – but it is backed up by the imperious display of towering athletes so devoted to his guidance that they perform unbelievable feats in roles they would otherwise consider beneath their skill. You love him, you hate him, he is indifferent. The José in your mind is in total control of a team and a club that expresses his personality completely.
Now look at the Stamford Bridge touchline. You see that man in the crumpled sportswear, peripheral to the game in front of him? The man with all of the rage, but none of the fire?
This is not José Mourinho.
AFR Voice ep.4 - Mesut’s Manic Monday
As the fax machines power down, the covers get put back on the helipads, and the transfer window slams shut (for another 119 days at least), this week’s AFR Voice is here to sift through all of the contracts, loan deals and botched bids, and somehow try to make sense of what is becoming quite possibly one of the strangest days in the modern game. Just be sure to watch out for any deal-scuppering imposters in the Manchester area.
This week we’ll also be talking to journalist and Bundesliga expert Archie Rhind-Tutt about Mesut Özil’s big money move to Arsenal, what fans at The Emirates can expect to see from their record signing, and how the first few weeks of the Bundesliga have panned out.
Then we’ll be taking a look at a surprisingly competitive European Super Cup, as the Pep vs. Jose saga begins a new chapter, as well as discussing why the future looks bright for Phillip Cocu’s PSV side, and maybe not so bright for Man City’s expansion projects down under.
Top effort from @nikhak who took our favourite #whereisfootball photo of the week at Columbus Crew Stadium, meaning it now adorns the pod’s cover art for the next seven days.
Don’t forget to get in touch – tweet us at @AFRvoice or fire some electronic mail our way at email@example.com. You can also find us on iTunes here.
The Long Road to Premier League Relapse
Have you ever taken a break with your girlfriend only to get back together? The process begins with a conversation, generally in a neutral location; let’s say a coffee shop
, maybe Kayak’s Coffeeshop in Saint Louis, MO. You discuss all the things wrong with your relationship and why you should see other people. One party pleads, begs, and cries to let it go on a little longer, “one more week…this can work,” but there’s no hope. You’re both released back into the sea from whence you came like baby sea turtles: to return home if fate commands it.
Now you’re back on the open market dating Brazilians and Russians, hitting on 19 and 21 year olds, and having some “friendly” hook-ups. These encounters are alright, but something feels a bit off. The chemistry isn’t there, there’s no attachment, and the thrill is gone. A rebound sounded nice, but it just made you realize how much you missed your girlfriend and the familiarity that comes with knowledge of the intricacies of each other’s lives.
Right, that’s kind of what my summer was like. And how I missed you Premier League. It’s like old times again: Wayne Rooney wants out, Real Madrid are tapping someone up, and Arsenal have been linked to big name players that they are almost certainly not going to sign (David Moyes, feeling jealous, is doing his best impersonation). But not everything is the same. There’s some new furniture your apartment, your wine cellars been emptied, and everything seems a bit more Welsh.
New York City and the Rebirth of Supporter Culture: Changing Lives
Over the last few days, we’ve moved from the early struggles facing supporters in New York City to the figures responsible for developing safe havens for fans. Today, we focus on the impact that supporter groups can have on an individual’s life outside of the turnstiles. Here’s Jonathan Williamson.
Mike Neat is one of the founders of the New York Blues, London-based Chelsea’s official New York City supporters club. Neat moved from London to Long Island with his family in December 1978 when he was 15. Neat’s transatlantic love affair with Chelsea didn’t dissipate, despite the challenges created by American media’s lack of soccer coverage in the late 70s and 80s.
“It was horrendous, following the newspapers, trying to get the scores,” said Neat. “I’d always buy the Sunday New York Times on a Saturday night just to get the results.”
The return is sweet, but Chelsea’s identity must transcend Mourinho
By Isi Lewis
Can’t live with him and can’t live without him, Jose Mourinho is the loveable rogue who gave Chelsea fans some of the greatest nights of their lives and then left them in a heap with a hangover; the ex they tried to get over. And now he’s coming back.
Man City is scattered around New York City
For the club’s trip to the States (and the announcement of NYC FC), 85 Man City-themed posters designed by Luke Barclay were just put up across Manhattan and Brooklyn. A few have already been found, but the real kicker in this is that tweeting posters that are found to @KICKTV is the ticket to two seats at Yankee Stadium for Man City-Chelsea this Saturday.
The Final Countdown - AFR Voice. Ep 19
The pod wraps up all of the last day action of the Premier League with a focus on the North London scrabble for a Champions League place and we wave off Sir Alex Ferguson, Jamie Carragher, Paul Scholes and Michael Owen to name a few. We even highlight the chance to own Sir Alex’s final piece of gum chewed as the Manchester United manager.
With the final day in the English top tier proving relatively sedate, we headed to Europe for some end of season drama: AC Milan and Schalke stealing a last gasp Champions League spots, Atletico Madrid grabbing the Copa del Rey, and a tearful farwell in Paris to one man; one beautiful, moisturised man. Across the pond meanwhile, there’s all the breaking developments with NYC FC, and AFR chief Eric Beard’s not so subtle ways of potentially recruiting players for the new franchise.
The European love-in continued at great pace courtesy of pod member and Chelsea fan Alex who regaled his experience of watching the Europa League final live in the Amsterdam Arena. Armed with the trusty AFR dictaphone, he provided an entertaining and pulsating account of another glorious night on the continent for The Blues.