Best in Football Writing Last Week: Greyhounds, AFC Wimbledon, Greatest Ever Football Movie & Ancelotti
1. UNDERDOG EAT UNDERDOG: THE VICTIMS OF FOOTBALL’S GREATEST FAIRYTALE
Oliver Bullough for The Guardian
The story of AFC Wimbledon is one that started with heart-ache — their club being moved to a completely different part of the country — but which has gone on to deliver a lot of joy. Last season, the club achieved a historic promotion to League One which means that they will get to face MK Dons, the club that effectively booted Wimbledon out of league football. Yet the club still hasn’t have found a way home, something that they can only do if they force others to go through the hurt that they themselves suffers.
Memorable Quote: “As AFC’s rise continued, local Labour and Conservative politicians pledged to bring the club home, to provide a new stadium in Merton.”
2. ESCAPE TO VICTORY
Scott Murray for The Bleacher Report
It says a lot about what kind of child I was when I recall that I must have watched Escape to Victory — particularly the match sequence — hundreds of times when I was growing up. We had taped the movie when it was shown on local television and then I would fast-forward it repeatedly to the interesting bits. I loved to see how they fought back to get a draw, how Pele scored with a bicycle kick and even, secretly, I loved the German team’s shirts. Since then, I haven’t come across any other movie that does football as well a that.
Memorable Quote: “The footballers were not left to flounder in a strange environment without support. Their collective confidence was boosted by Caine, who gave an on-set acting masterclass: “Just say the lines.””
3. A LOOK INSIDE THE QUIET GENIUS OF CARLO ANCELOTTI
Brooks Peck for Howler Magazine
It is strange that Carlo Ancelotti, a man who has won so much, doesn’t seem to get the acknowledgement that he deserves. He certainly doesn’t seem to be considered as an equal to the likes of Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, even though he seems to be able to deliver success as much as they are (if not more). Perhaps it is all down to his quiet nature, where he goes about his job with an overly pretentious talk about his achievements or his methods.
Memorable Quote: “This pragmatism is reflected in Ancelotti’s tactics. His teams aren’t boring, but they don’t express an identifiable style.”