Tag Archives: Football

Bournemouth in the Premier League

Me and my brother with Alex Ferguson at Dean Court, circa 1996.Strictly speaking, I’m not an AFC Bournemouth fan. I’ve been a supporter of Manchester United since I was a kid and always will be. But I am a lifelong Bournemouth resident – no United fans actually live in Manchester, remember – and I remember going to Bournemouth games with my dad and uncle. I remember watching on TV as they literally passed a bucket around in the Winter Gardens to collect donations to stave off bankruptcy, and that’s not the only time I’ve seen it minutes from the end.

I met Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham in the tunnel at Dean Court when United came down for a pre-season friendly and my dad sponsored the match ball, circa 1996. A close family friend has the dual claims to fame of being a former Bournemouth player and an answer to a question on A Question of Sport. (It was on sports people named after body parts, incidentally.) My dad has a framed photo from the Daily Express on the wall showing the Bournemouth goalkeeper making a save as the Cherries beat Stoke City 4-0, his company’s logo on the hoarding below him.

It’s a club I have numerous connections with, in other words, and therefore also a lot of fondness. That’s what’s left me so chuffed over what’s happened today. Bournemouth in the Premier League is surreal and wonderful to see. It’s still odd to type, like it’s something that happens to other, better resourced clubs: Bournemouth in the Premier League. How on earth did that happen? Officially it hasn’t yet, admittedly. I hope I’m not looking back on this post with embarrassment after Charlton’s prediction comes true.

Good luck to them. They’ve played great football this season and are about to become very rich indeed – a far cry from shaking buckets for pennies. Becoming a Premier League fixture is perhaps too much to hope for, but you never know. Other clubs have come up and impressed, even if they don’t stick around for long. Invest it wisely and be a Swansea rather than a Portsmouth.

But that said, when Bournemouth visit Old Trafford, I’ll be sitting in the home end.

You Can’t Spell Ignorant Without IGN

IGN UK’s Football Manager 2009 review:

“FM09 is still easily the most in-depth, enjoyable and addictive way to pretend you manage a football team. When you have a formula as compulsively successful as this, one that guarantees you top the PC best-sellers list year on year, it’s churlish to suggest reckless tinkering for the sake of it.”

9.1 – Outstanding

IGN US’s Worldwide Soccer Manager 2009 review:

“I couldn’t imagine why anybody would prefer Worldwide Soccer Manager to FIFA 09 or Pro Evolution Soccer 2009.”

“Yes, the depth of management in this game is impressive. But, it’s not impressive enough to make up for the fact that you aren’t actually playing soccer.”

2.0 – Terrible

[For those who don’t know, Worldwide Soccer Manager is the name of the Football Manager series in the US.]

The above almost doesn’t require any comment, such is its ridiculousness. I admit to being no particularly big fan of the Football Manager series, even as a football fan, but I can still recognise that it’s a great game that fans get a massive amount of enjoyment from. Given my perspective on the series I certainly wouldn’t volunteer myself as a reviewer since it would be impossible for me to give a decent appraisal, but if I found myself forced into it my first task would be to understand the massive popularity of the series and try to review it on that basis.

That US review is just unbelievable, though. You’d think the guy would have twigged during one of the numerous references to how it was for hardcore “soccer” fans that it’s for hardcore “soccer” fans, and yet he still not only reviewed it but went on to give it an incredibly bad score, usually reserved for games that are downright broken. Why would anyone play it over FIFA or PES? Why would anyone play Command & Conquer over Ghost Recon, then? I’m almost tempted to start a campaign for the same guy to review Halo Wars, just to see if he shits out a page of nonsense asking why you’d play it when Halo 3 was on the market.

Seriously, this is reason #264,996 why games ‘journalism’ isn’t taken seriously by anyone except games ‘journalists’. Fuck me…

World Cup 2006

FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

Hooray! The biggest sporting event in the world is underway and I now have at least 96 hours of football (the real one; not armoured rugby) to watch over the next month. I’m one of the 1.8 billion people watching Germany play Costa Rica at the moment (2-1 to Germany with 35 minutes played at the moment) and I’ll be switching over to Poland/Ecuador in a couple of hours. The real moment of truth for me will be tomorrow when England play Paraguay.

Either way don’t expect me to talk about too much else in the meantime. It’s not like there’s much to play at the moment, and even so I’d be dropping everything for this. Maybe I can hold a controller as I watch and pretend that it’s next-gen Pro Evo.

Anyway, in my experience it seems that even in countries where football is the meaning of life, gamers are generally one of the more apathetic groups towards it. So is anyone else out there planning on watching all that they can, just watching their team, or avoiding it like the plague? Being American is no excuse.