The Reading List – 15 September 2015

This Reading List is rather focused on one thing – Goalden Times’ Word Ball 2015 winning list…

Goalden Times have been really pushing their Word Ball over the last few months and the end result has seen a list compiled that is absolutely fantastic in so many different ways.

There is literally everything a person could want in football reading and it could keep you occupied for hours. There are analytics pieces based on statistics, creative pieces based on imagination, stories so beautifully woven and contemporary pieces that are bang up-to-date with the latest goings on in world football. There’s even a best of the non-winners list that is superb as well.

There’s also a selfish reason for covering this as well – I (Eion Smith) have managed to get on the list as well for a piece I wrote for The Boot Room back in January about Chelsea and their stockpiling of young talent and whether or not it is a footballing or financial move. If you do want to read that then click on the Word Ball image to the right of this. It is a great honour and surprise to be on this list amongst so many much more talented writers than myself and I have to thank Goalden Times and The Boot Room for naming me on the list and giving me the platform respectively.

Anyway, enough selfish babbling, you’re here to see what I’m recommending to you and I have decided to do my three favourite pieces from the Word Ball winners list in no particular order:

Football and Revolution: When Uruguay’s Urban Guerillas Took Over The 1969 Copa Libertadores Final by Martin da Cruz

While Historical Football is a thing on The Long Ball and focuses on historical stories that you may not know, Martin da Cruz tells a wonderful story about revolution, oppression and protest set against the backdrop of the Copa Libertadores final. The title sounds brutal but the Che Guevara inspired guerillas are given an almost rogueish charm by Martin’s writing and it is definitely worth a read.

Capitalising on Player Potential – The Myth of “Moneyball” in Football by Left Wing Soccer

Moneyball has been a beloved concept amongst sports fans since the Brad Pitt movie of the same name. Left Wing Soccer’s incredible detail and analysis of why Moneyball is a myth in football is supreme and introduces you to a new, slightly less marketable concept – FIPG. Excellent stuff.

Legia Warsaw, Ultras & The Lost Polish East by Christopher Lash

I’m a big fan of Christopher’s work on Rightbankwarsaw and have been for a while now and this winning piece is as excellent as all of his other work. Another example of when politics and football meet, he looks at the uproar caused by Polish ultras claiming lost cities as their own at football games, the hypocracy and the reaction of Poland to these banners. Great read.


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