After 13 years of dismay, relegation, administration and anguish, Bradford City finally tasted success! Six seasons in the bottom division have been painful to take at best, twice finishing 18th in League Two and barely clinging onto Football League status. However, Saturday 18th May 2013 changed all that.
The academic publishing industry was not exactly a place I expected to find much in the way of football writing or sport in general to be perfectly honest. But to my surprise, I recently found that Emerald do publish some sport related content. Sport, Business and Management (SBM) is one of the more interesting journal titles we publish and is particularly interesting for me as football is a regular feature.
The story of Diego Tristán Herrera is an all too common tale, one that has beset numerous players across the ages of football. Aptly nicknamed ‘The Lizard’ for his slippery style of play (especially when dribbling); the Spanish striker was once amongst the hottest property in world football, enjoying his best years with RC Deportivo de La Coruña during the early 2000’s.
The great Johan Cruyff once spoke these words referring to Eriksen, “He’s a player I really like with all my heart. The talent is there, the recognition also; now it is up to the player himself. You can compare him with Brian and Michael Laudrup (previous successful Danish footballers). Only time will tell if Eriksen can reach the same level as them”. Cruyff’s opinion is held by many with high esteem and rightly so; but in this instance it is bordering on unnecessary in determining Eriksen’s talent and capabilities.
Manchester City’s goal scoring problems have not exactly been catastrophic this season, but the distinct lack of goals compared to last year has been something of an ongoing question for Roberto Mancini.
2004 was a memorable and record breaking year for football. It was the season of ‘The Invincibles’ as Arsenal remained unbeaten for an entire league season, Wayne Rooney emerged as England’s future hope at Euro 2004 and the world was introduced to José Mourinho, as he led Porto to European glory in the Champions League. The Portuguese side did the double that season, winning the Primeira Liga as well as Europe’s biggest club prize. Arsenal, Porto and Rooney grabbed the attention of world football and Mourinho quickly went on to announce himself as the Special One as he took the managerial hot seat at Chelsea in June 2004. There was another European story which captured the hearts of football romantics that year.
Leroy Fer is not a name that is synonymous with the fans of English football like that of Neymar, Edinson Cavani or Radamel Falcao but FC Twente’s defensive midfielder was the subject of a failed move to the Premier League during the January transfer window. Everton had agreed an £8.6 million deal with Twente but pulled out of the transfer at the last minute after the player failed a medical. Recent reports suggest The Toffees are still keeping an eye on the Dutchman, but who exactly is Leroy Fer and how would he fare in the Premier League?
Tackling is one of the most difficult skills for a footballer to master. Anticipation, timing, reactions and technique are all key aspects when attempting to execute the perfect challenge. It is essential to break up opposition attacks; nullify the creative midfielder, prevent a tricky winger creating a cross, or my personal favourite blocking a shot on goal with the desperate, last ditch slide. If a player can master this skill then he or she immediately becomes a highly important component of their respective team.
The football boot… a commodity that has seen dramatic changes over the years and is in constant state of development in the modern game. From metatarsal protection to studs versus blades and the myriad of other “technical innovations” incorporated by manufacturers over the years, the variation in the football boot market is astounding.
It has been over a decade since the fans of Bradford City Football Club have had anything positive to cheer about, but that has all changed after arguably, one of the most memorable cup runs in the history of football. Bradford’s journey to the League Cup final has been one of the highlights of the 2012/2013 season as the League Two side knocked out three Premier League outfits in an amazing run of games that saw The Bantams make it all the way to Wembley. The first side from the bottom tier of English football to do so since Rochdale in 1962.