Onwards and Upwards!

Before you realize it, the new year is already one week old! Happy New Year dear readers! This year has a lot in store and here is a preview of what is to expect.

The year 2016 in Pre-view

This year is going to be interesting. Not only will there be another European Championship to be watched, analyzed and written about; more importantly, this year is all about anniversaries. England will remember a sunny day 50 years ago when Bobby Moore lifted the Trophée de Jules Rimet after the World Cup Final against West Germany. It was England’s greatest success to date. Of course this will be celebrated in England and there will be posts about the event on here. Since this fixture was the focus of my Phd thesis expect the coverage to be long and extensive.

The World Cup Final was not the only game between these two rivals in 1966. As early as February 1966 both met in a friendly which England luckily won 1–0. It was a game that saw a German goal disallowed for offside and an England team not convincing, leading commentators expressing their doubts about Sir Alf Ramsey’s team and his selection method.

Not only 1966 will feature at An Old International, this year. Exactly ten years before the World Cup Final 1966, England travelled to West Germany to play a friendly in Berlin. It was the first time since 1938 that England played on German soil, though under very different circumstances. The contrast will be interesting to highlight. Also impressions from the press in 1956 will feature as Berlin had the character of a frontier city with the scars of the recent conflict very visible while the division of the city became palpable.

And a fourth game will be added to the fold: The semi-final of the EURO 1996 at Wembley which England lost on penalties but where they came agonisingly close to beat Germany in a major game for the first time in 30 years. These 30 years of hurt that preceded the match were thus prolonged to infinity. The game was a meeting on a par between England and Germany. This cannot be said about the press which engaged in ‘war of words’ with their German colleagues and reached new lows in terms of quality and standards.

Of course, 2016 is not all about looking back. There is a UEFA tournament taking place in France on my doorstep. It will be the first European Championship where 24 teams take part. Moreover, it will be a tournament that is heavily influenced by the atrocious events in Paris last year. Security in and around the stadia will be tight and the the queues to get long. What could have been one last hooray for football fans in Europe before the World Cup departs to Russia and Qatar respectively and the EURO embarks on continental tour for 2020, will now be a tournament haunted by anxieties of terrorist attacks. It will be interesting to observe the consequences of tightened security on the behaviour of fans and officials alike.

Support An Old International

Likewise, the year ahead will be exciting (hopefully) from a financial point of view. By posting native advertising posts in 2015 I have earned almost €600 through this channel. Additionally, there were some articles placed elsewhere as well as a writing project in January of last year. This is a very welcome development as the revenue from writing has increased ever since 2013 continually. This trend is hopefully continuing. I have however, stopped native advertising as many of these are unsound and I have had problems with the payment in the past. To maintain the income levels without these posts i have implemented a pop-up window which poses the question if you like what you have read. If this is so, you can leave a tip or set up a recurring payment via paypal. The amount is entirely up to you.

While paypal is a rather unattached method of support I have joined Patreon to allow a personalized relationship with my readers. This is a crowdfunding platform where creative people can obtain funding on a regular basis. Regular in this case means funding per post. The amount is at a modest $1 per post and there is also a monthly limit for payments made in order to prevent excesses. This would not apply to An Old International anyway.

If this is all too much for you there is a flattr button underneath each post, which is likewise free for you to use. There is of course always the possibility that any direct financial support is not what you intend to do. In that case, please do get in touch with me via email or twitter and we can discuss this matter.

There are options available if you are keen on supporting an independent football writer. Who knows maybe this leads one day to possibilities to turn the writing into a living.


Originally published at www.anoldinternational.co.uk on January 8, 2016.

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