I popped over to my friends Tom and Fergal to watch highlights of the Schalke Bilbao match. It was being covered by 3e, a station so boring I assume that is the dosage of pills you’d need to take to endure their halftime talk, where they fling cliches over and back like a tennis match that runs on uninventiveness. Anyways, on to the football. I liked Schalke’s jersey and was just about to say when Thomas said he didn’t like it very much, so I quickly revised my jersey opinion to ‘Yeah, it’s a nice overall design though. Like, as a whole’.
Schalke’s stadium was pretty cool and the fan’s looked like they were on day release and or some type of mood enhancer so the atmosphere was up to scratch. Fergal said he thought the angle of the stands was quite appealing as it made the stadium more like a cauldron. I agreed and said I thought the stadium was the ‘Westfallendon Arena’ (I’d seen this in FIFA the odd time and chanced the name). At halftime the camera basically cut to the stadium exterior and the sign might as well of been ‘Not the Westfallendon Stadium’ because it was some other name and I was wrong.
Raul was up to his old tricks and got a peach of a goal in the second half to really put the shits up Bilbao. The ire of being out of the Spain squad just before they started being a proper team must still be driving him on. Nothing like negative reinforcement eh Raul? Bilbao started playing properly then, as if they had been playing possum all along. Marcelo Bielsa sat in the dugout watching the match. But if that sentence were written by the popular football media it would read something like this: Reclusive football genius Marcelo Bielsa channelled Brando from Apocalypse Now as he sat gloomily on the bench no doubt musing how the petty physical tussles of a football contest fade into the ether when compared to the real philosophical questions that life poses at three a.m. on a sleepless night within earshot of the melancholy rumblings of the Atlantic. Or not.
Bilbao then took the piss a bit and scored enough goals so it was 2-4. They had plundered enough away goals for two teams, the greedy feckers. It took the wind out of the sails of the Schalke fans and that was a bit unfair in my eyes. They had brought flags and everything. It’s probably pretty hard getting a big blue and white flag to wave about, never mind waving the thing for 90 minutes. Even getting it by the turnstiles would be an absolute nightmare. Imagine trying to get it on a flight to America? You could probably massacre an entire plane with a blue and white flag these days. Terrorists are stock piling them as we speak.
Onto the money fest that was Milan Barca. I heard that Milan had made somewhere near 2 million filling their shambles of a stadium for this glamour tie. I don’t care if it has a great reputuation. When I was there for Milan Bari, the atmosphere had forgotten to turn up but the ice cream on the seats had arrived early, eager to annoy my shite. I can imagine Silvio Berlusconi, honeying and lovemaking from on high in his tinted window filth den high above the halfway line, when one of his aides pops in. ‘Mr. Berlusconi, code vanilla! There’s ice cream on the seats!’ to which he replies with a mouth full of foie gras, the blood of some freshly punctured middle eastern princess still to dry across his thighs, ‘I am never to be interrupted when in my Bunga Bunga room! Be gone!’.
The first half was notable for Alexis Sanchez sprinting from the half way line until he reached the box, whereupon he threw his body with all his might. As he hurtled through the air he managed to outstretch a leg which grazed Abiatti. Sanchez had flown with such pace that he didn’t make it back to the stadium until about fifteen minutes later. He was heard to comment that ‘it was a brisk night outside but he enjoyed the walk back’. All the same it was claimed as a ‘stonewall’ penalty by the football world at large which I will take as a sign that resigned cynicism is the new black.
It ended nil all. Ibrahimovich wandered about the pitch. Messi cut inside on his left foot a lot. Ambrosini fouled whoever came near him. Tello was after the glamour of a goal. Messi shouted at him. I liked both jerseys.
It’s been a week where Liverpool have, to put it lightly, not lived up to the expectations of a team that has had squidoodles of money unceremoniously rammed into it over the last while. The clubs travails remind me of a passage in ‘The Hobbit’ where our illustrious heroes find themselves in a dark wood (The Premier League) and they can see the twinkling lights of merrymaking (Entry to the Champions League) in the distance. However, each time they arrive near the party, the lights vanish and they find themselves once again in the dark only for the party to have sprung up at a different point in the forested murk just on the edge of vision. Someone was moving the goalposts on them, ironically something which Liverpool may have benefitted from this season.
For the QPR capitulation I was at a five a side so did not watch, a decision that was vindicated when my chauffeur Fergal informed me of the score and manner of defeat through the partition in his limousine. The disappointment of the match was added to the fact that toward the end of the game I had done that pass where the goalie gives it to you short, you’re so tired that when you attempt to find a pass it clunks off your shin and into the path of some glitzy forward who sticks it in the goals while putting gel in his hair. I did this twice in thirty seconds.
For the Wigan match I was propped up on my bed squinting at my computer screen. I spent the first half convincing myself that it was infact a football match and not some form of blurry tetris (due to pixelation) that was bizarrely accompanied by the voice of a British commentator. My friend Thomas popped over for the second half and opted to sit on the end of my bed to watch the match, which I found a bit odd because I was sitting on the other bit of the bed, but I didn’t say anything, we just sat in silence as Wigan romped to victory like the relegation steamroller they are. I got Thomas a pint of water then, it’s hot weather.
Later on in the week I went to see a one man show about a guy who had gone to great lengths to basically commit fraud in a legal way by cashing a fake cheque for 95 grand in some bank in America. At the intermission my friend Brian asked who he should text to get the score of the Chelsea Benfica match. I said he should text Andre Villas Boas but that he mighn’t actually be watching it. He text his mum because she has Sky.
When I got home I watched the highlights and was pleased to see Torres set up Kalou and then do the most enthusiastic ‘get in’ movement I’ve seen in quite a while. He was a monument of gritted teeth, Iberian highlights and a single hairband as he proceeded to punch a non-existant entity right in it’s invisible guts. I then day dreamed of him playing back at Liverpool with Suarez and the pair of them being great friends.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Alan Gould (@alanjgould) on a logo for his soccer company 'First Touch Soccer'. The whole process was very fun and I am extremely happy with the end result. Alan is a sound man and I hope the business takes off for him.
This artwork traces the progress of Barcelona Football Club over the last few years. An assortment of notable players and personalities associated with the club are rendered painstakingly in black and white to ensure this piece would fit in well in any living room as well as any bedroom or football club house. A high end piece that is art first and football second.
As always, opinions and comments are highly appreciated. For anyone that retweets this I would like to thank you in advance. It really is a massive boost and helps my artwork get to new audiences. Thank you.
I have also used individual pieces I was proud of in more basic posters below. I hope people enjoy them!