We are told that a new blog is born every second. Great news. The even better news is that not all of them are about the writer’s cat, indeed, some of them are actually about interesting things, such as football. However, the same lot who told us about all those new blogs, Technorati , also informed us that only just over half of all weblogs are active and only 13% of them are updated weekly. And that’s not really good enough for football fans is it? We have grown used to mass media coverage : pages and pages of footballing news in tabloid and broadsheet alike, a myriad of websites and the wonder that is Sky Sports News. We want information NOW, this second, and quite frankly we are not prepared to wait till next week before you update your little weblog.
So then, there are increasingly more and more football weblogs out there, but unfortunately a lot of them are dull, hard on the eye and updated far too infrequently. However, there are some gems to be found in the outer relams of the blogiverse, or whatever it's being called this week, and through the wonders of the interweb, they are only a click away.
Football blogs generally come in two guises, those that focus on a particular club and those that attempt to cover the game in general. The club blogs are only really going to be of interest to supporters of that team, but there are a few who stand out for the quality of their writing and are worth a visit, whether you are a fan of the club or not. The second lot are much more prone to the problems noted above. After all, it is never going to be easy for one or two writers to maintain a steady stream of witty and insightful commentary on the latest transfer news. A week is a long time in football, and most readers would remain distinctly un-moved by a match report on last month’s Buenos Aires derby. But like we said, there ARE some good’uns around……..
General Football Blogs....
Extreme Groundhopping – “A (mainly) pictorial account of one man's obsession with football stadia, floodlight pylon's and Ipswich Town Football Club”
The writer of this blog is apparently a subscriber to ‘Groundtastic’ magazine, which gives you a pretty good idea of where his interests might lie. Accordingly, we are treated to accounts of FC Fleetlands versus Ordnance Survey in Wessex League Division 3 and a focus on Austria’s FC Wacker Innsbruck. But this is by no means an anorak’s diary, instead it is a clear and punchy blog that picks up on the little delights that can make going to watch a football game a meaningful experience.
Football Commentator – “Commentary on football (soccer) players, teams and matches”
Not the most aesthetically pleasing site out there, and some of the writing is a little, how can we say…..quirky (“his performance was a statement to his price tag of 70m euros, a price that makes most clubs look like dogs barking at a flying airplane”), but nontheless, this blog is a HIT. Why? Well, it maintains a consistently international outlook (for instance, the many snippets on up and coming players from around the globe could prove useful for expanding your ‘pub knowledge’) and it is refreshingly free from all sarcasm, irony and pessimism. It is so earnest and full of the joys of football, that you cannot help but love it.
Ole Ole – “The Thinking Fan’s Journal of Global Football"
With that kind of tagline, you’d be expecting this blog to fall flat on its thinking face, however it does deliver. The black background is a bit of a headache-inducer, but the content is interesting, varied and most importantly, updated on a regular basis. Highlights include a regular spotlight on the best footie photos to be found on Flickr , and a philosophical discourse that includes the quote : “Football is also sublime because it sublimates its component parts.” Check it out.
Solsombra – “On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody”
This site has only been going since May of this year, has a rather unfinished look to it and looks like it has been updated only sporadically, so this could well be one of the blogs that soon lapses into deep silence. It is also very strange and rather unsettling though, which means that it might just be worth keeping an eye on. The item that captured our attention was a post entitled ‘Why is Football Like God?’, which is accompanied by a picture of what we think is a young Johan Cruyff having a messianic moment in a Catalan bar…or it might be Jesus….we’re not sure.
Spirit of Football – “Football's Olympic Torch”
The diary of two chaps named Phil and Chris, who went to Battersea Park in early 2002 in order to recreate the first game of football played under Football Association rules, and then travelled overland to Japan and Korea for the World Cup, taking a treasured football along with them the whole way. They are planning to do something similar for the next year’s jamboree in Germany, so this blog is perhaps one to keep tabs on.
Arseblog – “It’s f*ckin excellent”
It is as good as they claim. Passionate, knowledgeable and with a finger firmly on the pulse. The daddy of club blogs.
All Quiet In The East Stand – “The Charlton site that's ‘a load of self-righteous old tosh’".
A beautifully designed blog that has the content to match the style. Clear, concise and not a little bit of venom. What really sets this one apart though, is its sense of place. The author is able to infuse his writing with strong feel for the community that he and his club exist in, and through this we are given a glimpse of the good, bad and ugly characters that surround the modern Premiership football club.
Leeds United Life – “The only daily blog, direct from Leeds, dedicated solely to covering life at Leeds United FC”
There are blogs in the North as well you know. Straightforward, straight-talking and well-maintained.
Chelsea Blog – “links, news, commentary and articles about the world’s greatest football club”Slick. This blog looks like it has received its share of Russian cash, with a sharp design, guest columnists and a no-nonsense approach. If it had existed ten years ago, would it have been the equivalent of a Stamford Bridge with cars parked round the pitch? Quite possibly.
Manchester Buccaneers – “The Official Website of Malcolm Glazer's Manchester Soccer Side”
Worth a giggle.