Through Ryu’s Lens: Blues in Black

It was a bright and sunny day in London. A rarity for Chelsea faithful. Matchday was made even better when Mourinho’s men stole 3 points in the dying minutes of the match against Everton. Nevertheless, Ryu brought out his camera and turned the lights down low at Stamford Bridge.

Read More

Rosell Resigns - AFR Voice Ep.25

In this week’s pod we’ll be taking a look at the rather strange goings on in Barcelona - they may now have one of the world’s brightest young players on their books, but their President has paid for it with his job. Listen to us squirm as we get lost in a pool of hidden payments, sign-on fees and third party ownership deals that we still think nobody (including Neymar himself) really understands.

Away from the mess of Catalan invoices and contract law, it’s nearly the end of January which can only mean one thing – the transfer window is about to SLAM SHUT. We’ll be taking a look at the big transfer news in Europe, Diego Forlan’s rather unexpected move from Brazil to the Far East, as well as indulging in some transfer window cliché bingo.

With Europe’s top leagues now back in full swing after the winter break we’ll also be discussing Dortmund’s latest woes as Bayern pick up where they left off in the Bundesliga, and take a peek at the top of Ligue 1 where a team actually bought a French player from Newcastle (which makes a nice change).

Read More

Through Ryu’s Lens: The North London Derby

Read More

Through Ryu’s Lens: Dortmund comes to London

Read More

And in 1951, there was light on Arsenal’s pitch
The match finished Arsenal 3-2 Glasgow Rangers. There were 62,000 in attendance, and the date was October 17, 1951. If it looks both surreal and completely normal, that’s because there are two senses of novelty at play, for the crowd and for a fan in 2013. At the time, this was only the second match at Highbury that Arsenal played under floodlights. The scene is complete film noir, which - after a little digging - revealed that there’s a film from a 1939 called The Arsenal Stadium Mystery. This match also confirmed a long-standing friendly relationship between Rangers and Arsenal. No camera crews. No advertisements. Just fans and football. [Click for high-res. via Reddit]

And in 1951, there was light on Arsenal’s pitch

The match finished Arsenal 3-2 Glasgow Rangers. There were 62,000 in attendance, and the date was October 17, 1951. If it looks both surreal and completely normal, that’s because there are two senses of novelty at play, for the crowd and for a fan in 2013. At the time, this was only the second match at Highbury that Arsenal played under floodlights. The scene is complete film noir, which - after a little digging - revealed that there’s a film from a 1939 called The Arsenal Stadium Mystery. This match also confirmed a long-standing friendly relationship between Rangers and Arsenal. No camera crews. No advertisements. Just fans and football. [Click for high-res. via Reddit]

London calling. It’s time for the Champions League final.

The whole world is watching Germany in London. There are a thousand plotlines, and 100 reasons to love Jurgen Klopp, but we’ve done the dirty work to find the best reads ahead of the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Read More

Business Time - AFR Voice, Ep 18.

It’s early May, which in footballing terms generally means one thing: it’s business time. And AFR Voice is punching in for this week’s audio shift with plenty to talk about. Whether it be a 33-man match in Norway, horror challenges on reporters in Denmark, or the hottest thing out of the Madrid branch of IKEA since someone burnt the meatballs, we’ve got it covered.

The Premier League title may be all wrapped up and tucked away safely in Manchester, but there’s still plenty to play for. We’ll be taking a look at the cross-London melee for the final Champions League places, whilst at the other end, any team not in the top half of the table will be nervously looking over their shoulders as Wigan make their customary late push for survival (if they’re not too busy winning the FA Cup).

Then we hop down into the lower leagues where there was a crazy final day in the Championship, and Paddy waxes lyrical about the play-offs as the league pyramid continues to shuffle itself for a couple more weeks yet.

Read More

"Glory is coming"

The Fifth Pitch decided against an April Fools prank and opted to celebrate the return of Game of Thrones into our screens instead by allocating clubs to their GoT House counterparts. London has 3 empires that looks set on tearing it to shreds, so it might be good to keep an eye on that… 

Check the explanations below the drop…

Read More

(via theworldsgame)

The Strain of Loyalty

image

The drumming noises have been those of betrayal and mercenarism. Once heroes, even captains, these men have been crucified in the memories of long-suffering Arsenal fans as Adams, lured by rival teams, their equivalent of the forbidden fruit. They see it as unfair competition, those with a monetary largesse abusing their ability to offer some degree of wage multiplication. Whether the Manchester sides and Barcelona can be considered present-day rivals to Arsenal is highly debatable for the simple fact that the Londoners are no longer the force they once were. Those traitors moved to ascend the footballing hierarchy. They moved to attain success, amongst other intangibles.

They were replaced, to the best of the Arsenal powers of seduction. Germans and Spaniards came in to replace the Dutch- and Frenchmen. Even Thierry Henry, however ageing, returned once and is about to do so again. The Arsenalisms of fiscal austerity would do Merkel proud, but represent a 21st century footballing failure of insight. For all of Wenger’s nous, this seems a painful misstep. Despite this, his team has replicated top-four finishes. The Holy Grail, however unlikely, is every season a possibility.

The Germans and Spaniards employed are no slouches. They are internationals of rude pedigree playing in a system to which they should suit. The midfield is on paper a colossus and if early performances are any indication, Jack Wilshere is worth every drop of hype. If these performances are any indication, he will be the next departing mercenary in the eyes of the fans forever loyal. He will seek pastures anew. Football is so often a tale of potential unfulfilled, which pains the heart to witness. Somehow, there must be a reincarnation of the fully powered Arsenal of the early-Wenger era, or the red of North London will linger a breeding ground for the Big Teams.

An objurgation ofttimes aimed at Arsenal is one of excessive on-field dalliance, of pretty sashaying culminating in nothingness. The intricacy is initially pleasing, then tedious, complex, unnecessary, and then it dies. The Arsenal way is Bollywood-esque flirtation, a kiss away from something, anything. It is not a sign of altruism; rather it exemplifies one thing – an inexistence of plerophory. Instilling belief is the domain of the manager, and perhaps the time has come for fresh innovativeness.

The suggestion is not fickle. It has grown over eight years; it is more than pyrophoric. The greying man in the Arsenal tracksuit is running out of ideas. He has proven himself over sixteen years to be an entrepreneur of beautiful football, of this there is no doubt. Arsenal, though, need change. Arsene too looks like he could use it. The eurozone turmoil is a stellar example of how drawn-out inaction spawns innumerable costs. Arsenal will linger as it stands, as their new rivals embrace change in the name of progress, and they will crumble. Departures are neither a tale of dollars nor a tale of perfidiousness. It is the impecuniosity of success that drives them on, and the current batch will never forget Bradford City 2012.

Read More

Bet on premier league matches at William Hill today!

Disclaimer
A Football Report © 2009-2013