About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Question Time

Paid my first visit to the rebuilt Wembley on Thursday night courtesy of The Blizzard, a fantastic quarterly journal celebrating its first birthday. As a subscriber I received a free invitation to a question time style event held in the Club Wembley suite. After some trouble locating the main entrance, I ascended three escalators, and assisted along the way by several security personnel found my way into the venue. Greeted by a welcome sight of a complimentary beer and pie, I sat down to listen to the views of some of the most articulate commentators around. They were Blizzard founder Jonathan Wilson, French journalist Philippe Auclair and familiar pundit Gabriele Marcotti. The conversation was led by ESPN's Dave Farrar who opened the evening by asking for memories of Wembley. As a Reading fan, Farrar's were predictably the Royal's two enthralling Play Off Final defeats in 1995 and 2011 and after this light opener, conversation moved onto more weighty matters such as the strength of the England national team, the viability of trans national leagues and the prevalence of tactical analysis in the English media. The latter prompted a perceptive comment from Wilson (the godfather of the subject) about the importance of tactics in general, with in his opinion the best managers having to be equal parts man manager to tactical genius. Towards the end of the discussion I got in on the act with a question about Marcotti's faith in UEFA's Financial Fair Play initiative which allowed him to show why he is one of the few non footballers allowed on TV and radio as a pundit by giving a fiery response.
The evening ended with a quick tour of the Wembley dressing rooms and tunnel and it is clear to see this is a fantastic stadium for specatators as well as players now, unlike old version with its dreadful sightlines and facilities. I wasn't surprised to hear that the architecture shared much in common with the new Arsenal ground, certainly the impression inside and out was of "Emirates plus" so I'll look forward to my first visit to a match here whenever that may be.
All in all a great midweek evening out, hopefully the first of many that this welcome edition to football publishing will be hosting.

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