What I’ve learnt from supporting Wellington Phoenix in the A-League

What I’ve learnt from supporting Wellington Phoenix in the A-League

As a huge football fan myself, I’m really mad at football. Aside from supporting Arsenal, I happen to follow other clubs like Barcelona and Dortmund. Call me an “addict” if you like. And I don’t care.

Recently, I started to follow Wellington Phoenix, like what Dan, Zach and Oliver does. While I’m still new to the A-League, here are a few things that I’ve observed as a Nix fan outside New Zealand.


“Wellington is wonderful.”

I’m talking about the atmosphere at the Westpac Stadium during matchdays and the “Yellow Fever” fanbase. To be honest, the Nix has one of the most loyal fanbases in the A-League and this deserves a round of applause.

For me, what makes Wellington Phoenix stand out as a football club isn’t just the fact that they’re the “only professional football club in New Zealand”, as their Twitter profile mentioned. It’s their fan culture.

The sense of community of the Nix fans is strong. Even though the club is the creation of 11 years ago, but they’re really supportive of their club. Real supporters who support the team through thick and thin in their hearts.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t live in Wellington, this was why I was envy of the FootyFans crew members living in NZ, who had a chance to watch the “Distance Derby” against Perth Glory live.


The “tradition” of the supporters taking off their kits when they’re winning (like Zac mentioned) amazed me.

You don’t get to see this in Hong Kong, the place where I live. Most teams here do have a supporter’s club (and their official songs), but most of them don’t have their distinctive cultures.

(You know that it’s a problem when a German third-tier side can have a better matchday experience than our so-called “Premier League”. A huge one. Just saying. No one cares, anyway.)

While it can be the by-product of the social environment in Hong Kong, to put it simply, both the clubs and the supporters fail to devote effort and time in creating a supportive environment to attract new fans.

Not even Kitchee, the reigning champions and biggest club in the “Hong Kong Premier League”, who are dubbed as the “Barça of Hong Kong” for their cooperation with FC Barcelona in the past (like 2007).

Most people in Hong Kong are too focused on football overseas (like the English Premier League) and what my experience with Wellington Phoenix reminds me is that the local football culture in Hong Kong isn’t good enough.

We did have some magical moments in the past, but it’s hard to replicate them without the support of the people of the city. How difficult is it? Well, almost impossible as there’s no local brand of football! And you get the idea.


Being a Wellington Phoenix supporter isn’t easy. They’re far from being the best team in the A-League. But honestly, as Jock Stein once said, “football is nothing without fans”.

Wait for me, Wellington and the Westpac Stadium. You’re really wonderful.

#ComeOnYouNix!

Top 5 reasons why we, as football fans, should follow the Bundesliga

Top 5 reasons why we, as football fans, should follow the Bundesliga

What is the first thing which comes to your mind when it comes to Germany? Oktoberfest? Angela Merkel? Or Die Mannschaft‘s disappointing performance in the World Cup this year?

For me, it reminds me of how underrated the Bundesliga is. For football fans who truly see the sport as an art, it’s not something they should miss every week. Why? Let’s check it out!


Reason 1: It’s not just Bayern and Dortmund.

Despite teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia have a higher chance of winning the league (and playing in Europe), there are a number of underrated clubs in the Bundesliga.

For example, Eintracht Frankfurt, who are on fire in the Europa League this season under Adi Hütter. Also, Hertha Berlin, Möchengladbach, Hoffenheim, Leverkusen and Nürenberg are also some of the sides worth following.

Not to mention the 2. Bundesliga, where Hamburger SV, FC Cologne and Union Berlin are competing. You can watch that too if you’re interested and let’s see who’ll be promoted to the first division in May next season!

You may ask, “how about Leipzig?” Well, I personally don’t have hard feelings about them, but I’m not a fan of them either. Just saying. But the truth is, the Bundesliga can be fun to watch even if you’re a fan of the mid-table clubs.


Reason 2: Match highlights almost guaranteed.

It can be frustrating to know that clubs charge people for watching the matchday clips (especially if you’re outside Europe). Worry not! There are, indeed, highlights from Germany in English from YouTube, just like this one.

Sadly, it’s not available everywhere (like New Zealand, as Zac told me before). But when in doubt, YouTube is your friend. Try Fox Sport or the official Bundesliga channel for those moments, especially during the derby days.


Reason 3: Bloopers? They get you covered too! 

This is a scene which happens once in a blue moon in Germany and was caught on camera:

If it didn’t amuse you, then this may:

How about this one, if I didn’t impress you by the first two?

Well, even if the clips didn’t make you smile, you should get what I mean. Bundesliga isn’t just a football league, it reflects a part, if not all, of the culture in Germany. And it, somehow, reminds us that Germans can be humorous too.


Reason 4: You get to know the underrated stars.

Aside from Alfred Finnbogason, the Icelandic striker who’s playing for FC Augsburg in the “featured image”, there are some names that I would like to mention in this section.

Players like Jonathan Tah, Kevin Volland, Sébastien Haller and Luka Jović are the talents to keep an eye on.

Not to mention that a number of Germans stars like Mesut Özil, Leroy Sané, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger played in the Bundesliga too!

You’ll miss out the chance to spot the future celebrities in football if you don’t follow Bundesliga. Simple as that.


Reason 5: It’s more than just a game, after all!

It’s quite interesting to know that some of the words in the football vocabularies in German has its own meanings.

The word for “penalty kick” in German is “Elfmeter”, meaning “a kick from eleven metres” whereas in the word “gegenpressing”, “gegen” means “against” while the word “pressing” is self-explanatory to English speakers.

For me, the Bundesliga isn’t just a thing for entertainment. As a Dortmund lover who’s learning German, football can be a useful tool to aid me in learning the language, especially in both my listening and reading skills.


You may hate Bayern Munich for dominating the league and bullying the small teams. You may despise RB Leipzig for being the “Manchester City in Germany”. You may laugh at VfB Stuttgart for their poor performance.

There can be many reasons to dislike the Bundesliga. Yet, the thing is, being competitive is in the Germans’ DNA. This is what makes Bundesliga an interesting league to watch and makes it more than a game of 90 minutes.

Premier League – Round 17 predictions

Premier League – Round 17 predictions

Oh my god! It’s been a few days since the last matchday and here we are again! I’m doing the predictions this round because Dan’s experiencing yet another technical difficulty. Zac is going to fill in his place.

So here it is, our predictions of the Round 17 of the 2018/19 Premier League season! By the way, Oliver is taking the lead with 94 points and I’m second with 92 with Dan hits rock bottom like Fulham (72).


Manchester City vs Everton 

“Well, it’s an away game for Everton. They just drew with Watford and their next opponent is Manchester City. If Everton wins this, it’ll be, possibly, one of the biggest upsets this season. I really wish they can make history at the Etihad. 3-1 City” (Alf)

Everton has been OK this season under Marco Silva, but Man City are Man City. Easy beans. 2-0 City” (Zac)

“I’d be surprised if City don’t respond to their loss against Chelsea with a win against an Everton side lacking consistency. Everton should have no problem nipping one goal, but it’s a clear City win. 3-1 City” (Oliver)

Crystal Palace vs Leicester City 

“Goddamit, Schlupp! Your goal crushed my hope to leapfrog Oliver in the leaderboard! Last time out, it was 5-0 for the home side. This time, no more thrashing but with Zaha’s suspension, Leicester can dream of winning. 1-0 Leicester” (Alf)

Both these teams are very average, but Leicester are the slightly better team. Expect a snore fest. 1-0 Leicester” (Zac)

“Both sides are coming off losses, and while Leicester City would surely win this match on a neutral ground, Palace’s home advantage should get them to hold out for a draw. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Wolves vs Bournemouth 

“Winner winner Magpie dinner! The Wolves are back again! On the other hand, Bournemouth lost against Liverpool. A draw is feasible but I believe that Wolves will remind themselves that they’ve beaten Chelsea before. 2-1 Wolves” (Alf)

“In-form Wolves come up against a Bournemouth side that just got destroyed by Liverpool 4-0. But both are decent teams and I think will play each other off the park here. 1-1 draw” (Zac)

“Wolves have won their last two matches and have started looking like a much better side. Bournemouth went down hard to Liverpool, which was expected, but not by a 4-0 scoreline. Wolves should have no trouble taking the three points. 2-0 Wolves”

Huddersfield vs Newcastle United

“One of the trickiest fixtures to predict this week. Newcastle will be able to stay up if they win this one. However, at the bottom three, David Wagner will be hoping that he won’t get the sack as the Christmas present from the club. 2-1 Newcastle” (Alf)

Two bad teams, playing bad football, in what will be a bad match. If you want a good match, this ain’t it. 0-0 draw” (Zac)

“Newcastle lost their last match thanks to a 94th-minute winner and they’ll have that fight on them now. Huddersfield are on a three-game losing run, and it’s about to become four. 2-1 Newcastle” (Oliver)

Tottenham vs Burnley 

“Pochettino will remind himself that Burnley is no Barcelona. It’s not going to be easy for Burnley supporters to endure the 90 minutes at Wembley. I’ll expect at least 2 goals above but sometimes, it’s better to be conservative. 1-0 Tottenham” (Alf)

Tottenham have just come off an amazing performance against Barcelona to save their Champions League campaign, whereas Burnley just beat Brighton 1-0. Says it all really. 3-0 Tottenham” (Zac)

“Spurs are winning it and they’re winning it big. Burnley are all the way down in 17th and they’ve really not been good at all this season. That defensive stability they had last season is gone, and it’s showing. 3-0 Tottenham” (Oliver)

Watford vs Cardiff City 

“Digne saved Everton from losing by that free-kick. Cardiff caused an upset for Hasenhüttl and his men. Callum Paterson will remain a threat for Watford but the hosts will show that they have a better defence than Cardiff. 2-0 Watford” (Alf)

Watford have been impressive this season but are coming off a 6 game winless streak. They are facing a much improved Cardiff team who, after beating Southampton last week, could nick a draw here. 1-1 draw” (Zac)

“Cardiff are on a roll, aren’t they? They’ve gone from the relegation zone to fourteenth pretty damn quickly. Watford on the other hand are dropping like a stone. And I still don’t like them. 3-1 Cardiff” (Oliver)

Fulham vs West Ham 

“West Ham are on fire and in the last game against Palace, they scored 3 goals but conceded once. Fulham conceded 4 goals against Manchester United but scored once. This is partly why I don’t expect a clean sheet for either side. 1-1 draw” (Alf)

Although Fulham have looked slightly better under Ranieri they are facing a resurgent West Ham with three wins on the bounce, so will come away disappointed. 2-0 West Ham” (Zac)

“I don’t need to know Fulham’s opponent to know the Cottagers will concede at least two. It’s just how they are. I’d pick West Ham to add another in a fairly convincing win. 3-0 West Jam” (Oliver)

Southampton vs Arsenal

“Against an injury-struck Arsenal side, Hasenhüttl will be hoping that his men will get the points for his first home game. With Sokratis and Mustafi serving the suspension in this game, the unbeaten run may end at St Mary’s. 1-0 Southampton” (Alf)

Since when have Arsenal been good? This season that’s when. They will easily roll over a Southampton team under new management, and good management at that, although I think it will take a while for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s brand of football to take full effect. 3-0 Arsenal” (Zac)

“Southampton aren’t in a good way at the moment. Arsenal haven’t lost in what feels like forever and I’d pick them to win away from home, albeit perhaps less convincingly than one might expect. 2-0 Arsenal” (Oliver)

Brighton vs Chelsea 

“A good season so far for Chelsea fans as their team ended Manchester City’s unbeaten run. Brighton, on the other hand, lost to a Burnley side fighting for the survival in Premier League. It’s going to be a goal fest from the visitors. 2-1 Chelsea” (Alf)

Pretty easy one for Chelsea this one really. The loss of Alvaro Morata will hurt them but they will still pull through quite easily. 2-0 Chelsea” (Zac) 

“Here’s my upset. Chelsea have just beaten City, sure. And Brighton just went down to Burnley. But neither team is exactly… consistent, and I can see the Seagulls taking a shock win. 2-1 Brighton” (Oliver)

Liverpool vs Manchester United

“Manchester United did draw against Arsenal but against a strong Liverpool side at Anfield, they’ll definitely struggle. Not a big problem for Klopp but for Mourinho, who knows the importance of this game. It’s more than a rivalry. 2-1 Liverpool” (Alf)

With defence meeting attack in this one, the main matchup of the weekend, it will be a boring game full of Liverpool throwing attack after attack at the United backline, grabbing a late winner in a dull affair. 1-0 Liverpool” (Zac)

“Would such a hyped game ever be dull? Is there any possible scenario in which we could walk away from this match without being entertained? Yes, definitely. 0-0 draw” (Oliver)

Premier League: Our round 16 predictions

In 8 days, this is the third(!) time I’ve written this post. The fixtures just keep on coming, and we here at FootyFans will be (badly) predicting it the whole way. Well, not all of us – Oliver couldn’t get his predictions in this week.

Oliver is knocking on the door as he leads the pack on 94 points, Alf continues to narrow the gap as he’s on 86, and I’m also starting to pick up more points as I sit on 71.

On with the tipping!

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Dan

Liverpool’s unbeaten streak has to end. It has too. And what better team to end it than one of the most criminally underrated in the league? I’m backing Bournemouth to win here. 2-1 Bournemouth

Alf

Bournemouth may have lost the last few games but they all hit the back of the net successfully as a consolation. Liverpool just won against the Clarets, although Salah’s not scoring, Firmino and Shaqiri will be there to take the points back home. 3-1 Liverpool

Image result for liverpool

Burnley vs Brighton

Dan

Brighton struggle on the road, while Burnley aren’t too bad at home. Sean Dyche & Co should be able to eek out a 1-0 here. 1-0 Burnley

Alf

Yes, Burnley may have lost against a quality Liverpool travelling party but finally, they’ve scored a goal. Hopefully, this will help to gain the confidence of the forwards. Brighton, though, would not want to leave Turf Moor with nothing. It’s going to be a draw. 2-2 draw

Manchester United vs Fulham

Dan

United continue to just draw with sides, both good and bad. I can see that sort of mediocrity continuing, when you look Mourinho’s struggles and Ranieri’s quality. 1-1 draw

Alf

The Fulham players must be jotting notes when they were watching Arsenal playing against their opponents next game. Honestly, Mourinho should go when if the home side get nothing after the 90 minutes. It should be an easy win, on paper. 4-1 United

Image result for jose mourinho

Arsenal vs Huddersfield

Dan

Undefeated in 20 games in all competitions now, Arsenal continue to show just how much they have improved under Emery, and Huddersfield should be brushed aside fairly easily. 3-0 Arsenal

Alf

I’m a bit disappointed that my team slipped the lead twice when they faced Manchester United to force a draw. To be honest, in the “Herbert Chapman derby”, Arsenal should be able to get the points, but they won’t win big like last season, where they humiliated the visitors 5-0. 2-0 Arsenal

Cardiff vs Southampton

Dan

Southampton have a new manager, so this could potentially go anyway. However, Cardiff have won 3 out of their last home games and are proving a tough challenge, and a challenge that Southampton will not be able to overcome. 2-1 Cardiff

Alf

It’s Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first game in charge as the Saints manager. It’s also his first 90 minutes in England and is not going to be a smooth sailing for the former RB Leipzig boss. Cardiff will be working hard to get the win and force the Saints to make mistakes. But that’s okay, who doesn’t? 1-1 draw

West Ham vs Crystal Palace

Dan

With six goals and two wins in their last two matches, I think we are finally seeing the West Ham we thought we’d see at the start of the season. If they can keep that sort of form up against Palace, then it’ll be another easy win. 2-0 West Ham

Alf

Palace lost the M23 derby away against Brighton. West Ham won against Cardiff. The scores for both fixtures were 3-1. Is history going to repeat itself? I think so. 3-1 West Ham

Image result for west ham

Chelsea vs Manchester City

Dan

God damn it Chelsea. Two weeks ago, I was confident that this match was going to be City’s first defeat. But, then you had to go and fall out of form. I hate myself for doing so, but I’ll tip City to win here. 2-1 City

Alf

Chelsea were beaten 2-1 away by the Wolves while City won 1-2 away against Watford. Sarri will demand his men to put up a good fight to against the table toppers. Not going to lie but I really like the away kit of the visitors this season (you won’t see me later, I guess). 3-1 City

Leicester vs Tottenham

Dan

Leicester are another criminally underrated side, and beating them is no easy task. They’ll be able to frustrate Tottenham a lot in this game, and come out with a point. 1-1 draw

Alf

Well, it’s Tottenham and they’re visiting Leicester. Unless the Foxes are planning to stage a comeback like what Arsenal did in the North London derby, I can see the Lillywhites to grab all 3 points back to north London. 3-0 Tottenham

Newcastle vs Wolves

Dan

I have to pinch myself to remind myself that yes, Wolves did actually Chelsea. Considering the inconsistent form, and goal scoring issues of both teams, I can see this being a goalless draw, although I don’t think it’ll be boring. 0-0 draw

Alf

Did anyone really expect the Wolves to win against Chelsea? Even I myself was surprised! Newcastle will be an uphill climb for the wolves but they’re hungry enough to catch the magpies off guard for a tasty “chicken dinner”. 3-1 Wolves

Image result for wolves fc

Everton vs Watford

Dan

When you compare the two teams, Everton have proven that slow and steady wins the race, as they sit in the top six while Watford, despite their electric start are in 11th. With their superior quality, Everton will show Watford who’s boss. 2-0 Everton

Alf

The “Marco Silva derby” is finally here. But the Premier League is no place for sentiment. Everton do have an advantage in getting the points but Silva, as the former Toffees coach, knows how they’ll do it. If it’s not a draw, I don’t know what it is.2-2 draw

 

 

Football’s golden oldies – the oldest football players around the world

Earlier this week, the Wellington Phoenix announced their signing of Australian goalkeeper Ante Covic as an injury cover for Filip Kurto. Covic isn’t a bad goalkeeper – he’s represented his country and he’s played in three European countries as well as Australia. However, he’s also forty-three years old, two months older than his own manager Mark Rudan. That puts him at the older end of active players, but he’s not the oldest. Let’s look at who is.

Across Europe

Before we can go up, we have to go down. The Premier League doesn’t currently have any players as old as Covic, but it does have 16 players over the age of 35. Twelve of these players are goalkeepers, with the exceptions being Glenn Murray, Jermain Defoe, Phil Jagielka and Bruno Saltor, the oldest outfield Premier League player at the age of 38. Only one player crosses the line into 39 – Crystal Palace keeper Julian Speroni.

Image result for julian speroni

La Liga’s oldest is 38-year-old Juanjo Camacho at Huesca, while Serie A has Stefano Sorrentino, 39. The Bundesliga goes up to 40 with Claudio Pizarro of Werder Bremen. Ligue 1 has two more 40+ players, Gianluigi Buffon, 40, and Montpellier captain Hilton, 41.

But we can go higher.

Across the World

Let’s look at international players. It’s increasingly common for footballers to retire early from international service, for a number of reasons – for young players to come through, to focus on club commitments, etc. And this isn’t so bad if you play for, say, Germany, where there’s a talent pool big enough to bring someone into your shoes.

That’s not really applicable, however, for a smaller country, somewhere without the population or facilities to excel in football – or much else, for that matter – but still loves the game. Somewhere like Andorra, the nation of one of the three active international players over the age of 40.

Juli Sanchez was born in 1978. He’s had a decent career by Andorran standards, playing in his home country as well as Spain and Portugal. He made his debut in Andorra’s first FIFA-recognised match, and he managed to get on the scoresheet in their win over Belarus in 2000, their first-ever. He’s played 70 games now for the tiny Pyrenees nation. In many ways, his career is the story of football in Andorra. And he’s still kicking – he played in Andorra’s most recent match, against Latvia, as a substitute.

Image result for andorra

For our other two international players over 40, we’re going to leave Europe in favour of the Caribbean.

I can’t find much information on Benny Labadie – perhaps it’s a side effect of playing for the U.S. Virgin Islands. In any case, he was born in 1977 and is forty-one years of age. He spent seven years at Skills F.C. in the Saint Croix Soccer League – there are two separate leagues in the Virgin Islands for mainly geographic reasons. He now plays for Rovers in the same league, he’s a goalkeeper, and that’s about all there is to know. Oh, and he started the Virgin Islands’ most recent match, a 3-0 loss to Barbados in November.

But there is one current international player that is older, and we don’t have to go far to find him.

400km southeast of Saint-Croix, we find the nation of Dominica. There’s only seventy thousand people on the island, and as such, quality footballers are had to come by. This explains the case of Euclid Bertrand, who was born in 1974 and is 44 years of age. Bertrand isn’t a bad footballer, having played in sixteen matches for Dominica, including just a month ago against Sint-Maarten. He’s also got five years’ experience up in Canada – not bad for a Dominican given the rest of their squad either play at home or elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Image result for dominica

But we can go higher.

At Club Level

Remember Essam El-Hadary? Of course you do. The Egyptian shot-stopper became the oldest ever player at a FIFA World Cup earlier this year when he played against Saudi Arabia – and saved a penalty – at the age of 45. He’s been left off the internationals part of this article simply because he retired from international football after the World Cup. However, he’s still playing club football, having left Saudi club Al-Taawoun in favour of former club Ismaily back in Egypt. His 46th birthday is in January, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

He’s by no means the only one still kicking at 45 – there’s also Oscar Perez, currently at Pachuca. Also a goalkeeper, Perez has 57 Mexico caps and went to two World Cups – 2002 and 2010. He’s not still playing international football, unfortunately, but he’ll be 46 in March and one can assume he won’t stop playing club football.

Image result for oscar perez

We can go older than both El-Hadary and Perez, though, and we’re going back to Andorra to do it.

Leonel Gancedo’s a pretty experienced footballer. He’s played for River Plate and Osasuna among other clubs. He’s got a Copa Libertadores in his trophy cabinet, along with six other competition wins. He retired at the start of 2009, at the age of 37, and one would assume that that was the end of Leonel Gancedo.

It was not. Encamp in Andorra hired him as player-manager in September this year, and Gancedo’s played fifty-one minutes over the course of three matches. He’s not done well at all, as Encamp are sitting in last place with one point and five goals scored in ten games, but he does get the distinction of being the world’s oldest footballer.

Well, no he actually doesn’t. We’re going across Europe, and across Asia, all the way to Japan.

The story of Kazuyoshi Miura

File:Kazu Miura, Roberto Baggio and Tsuyoshi Kitazawa.jpg

We’ve all heard of Stanley Matthews, haven’t we? The Englishman was one of the greats of the first half of the 20th century in footballing terms. He played a very long career, 1932 to 1965, and played for England for twenty-four years. He spent nineteen years at Stoke City and fourteen at Blackpool. He’s a true legend of the early game.

Kazuyoshi Miura’s not had that same loyalty – he’s played for thirteen clubs in his career, only two of which he’s been at for more than five years – but he has broken Matthews’ record as the oldest-ever professional footballer, which he achieved in March 2017. He’s played in a few countries – Brazil, Japan, Italy, Croatia and Australia – and he picked up almost ninety Japan caps in his ten years of international football before he retired in 2000 aged 33.

Since 2005 he’s been playing for Yokohama FC (no, not F. Marinos) in the Japanese second-tier. He’s seen twelve managers in that time, and even though his role has been somewhat diminished under new boss Edson Tavares, he’s still going at it at the age of 51. And I, for one, don’t see him stopping.

Why fan pages of football clubs on Instagram are overrated

Why fan pages of football clubs on Instagram are overrated

I follow a lot of football clubs as a lover of “the beautiful game”. And as a social media addict, I also happen to use Instagram to take a look at the latest football news and chat with my fellow football fans.

However, if you follow my personal account, you’ll know that I follow no fan pages of my favourite clubs with one exception – a BVB fan page which provides English translations for their posts (I do so to help me to learn German).

Unlike one of my friends, who is a Barcelona fan and follows the fan accounts of all kinds, I’ll never pay attention to the fan pages like what I used to do. Or I’d say, I have a critical view towards them.

The cause of this mindset? The fan pages can be biased and the news they share to us can be wrong. 


I’ll use Barcelona as an example for your easier understanding. We know that Barcelona is one of the most decorated clubs in the world and have a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid. For those who follow football, this shouldn’t be hard to explain, right?

I’m not going to generalise the whole situation on Instagram and not going to lie, a few fan pages did really a good job of being neutral in the middle of the friction. But at the same time, I have observed that a number of them are one-sided. It doesn’t matter if they’re Culés or Madridistas, bragging right is what they’re fighting for.

What some of the Culés do is that they troll Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid (with a “once in a blue moon” chance, Juventus) all day long. Even if Real are playing well, they always happen to get a reason to do it. In return, some Madridistas do the reverse to Messi and Barcelona, calling them “Uefalona” (which isn’t true nowadays).

The lack of respect towards their eternal rivals disgusts me.

I’m not saying that they should love their enemies as they love their own club, like what the Bible said (with reference to Matthew 5:44). I also respect their right to speak out on Instagram. However, when I see this kind of stuff, I tend to ignore them or laugh them off. Occasionally, I’ll leave them a “like”. Then I continue to read the other posts.

As football fans, we’re entitled to our own beliefs. In this case, you don’t have to be impartial or neutral. Yet, it’ll be better if we read more from different kinds of sources to know about the whole picture of the sport.

To be fair, somehow Mourinho is right about the “respect” issue in football. In reality, it is hard for supporters of one club not to be subjective towards their eternal rivals. Despite that, football should forever be a playing field with elements of fair-play, whether it’s on or off the pitch.

Only if we know it the footballing community can be a better place. Just like what we wrote on Instagram:


Speaking of which, as you’ve noticed, we do have our own Instagram account. So why don’t you drop by, take a look at our contents and give them a “like”? A “follow” will be much appreciated!

I swear that this isn’t a post to advertise our presence on Instagram, but oh well…

Premier League: Our round 15 predictions

Midweek fixtures are here, everybody! And with it is your favourite post – how we think they’ll all end up. Last round actually saw Oliver’s lead at top shrink a bit, with Oliver leading on 88 points, Alf following on 79, and myself in last on 64.

On with the tipping!

AFC Bournemouth vs Huddersfield 

Dan

Last week, I thought we might be seeing a revival from the terriers, but the loss to Brighton has re-established the idea in my mind that Huddersfield is doomed. Bournemouth may have lost to City, but they gave a good fight, and it is Manchester City. 2-0 Bournemouth 

Oliver 

Huddersfield have just come off a home loss to Brighton and are without forward Steve Mounie. Bournemouth may have also lost but they were playing against league leaders Manchester City and should still win this. 2-1 Bournemouth

Alf

Both sides haven’t been great in the last few games. But in this fixture, let’s expect goals to fly in. Not for David Wagner’s men because they have yet to find the way to hit the back of the net consistently. 2-2 draw

West Ham United vs Cardiff City

Dan

While Cardiff has been improving, they are away against a West Ham side that stopped Newcastle’s winning streak pretty darn convincingly, with a 3-0 win. In fact, I can see them picking up a win by the same scoreline over the bluebirds. 3-0 West Ham 

Oliver

West Ham took a convincing 3-0 win against Newcastle and I’m picking them to do the exact same thing again today. Cardiff won, sure, but they’re still Cardiff. 3-0 West Ham

Alf

The Bluebirds just won against the Wolves at home. Bear in mind, though, that it’s an away game for them. West Ham are improving under Pellegrini, the thing is, they dropped points against opponents like Huddersfield and Leicester. It’ll be a close call. 1-1 draw

Brighton vs Crystal Palace

Dan

Both teams come into the game having the exact same results from their last two matches; a win and a draw. Very difficult to predict, and I can see this going either way, but with the home advantage, I think the seagulls will just edge it. 1-0 Brighton 

Oliver

We’ve got two fairly evenly matched sides who both won their last matches. Brighton sit slightly above in the table and have home advantage but Crystal Palace will get a point here, given they took one against United. 1-1 draw

Alf

Ah, the M23 derby is here this week. Palace won against Burnley while Brighton beat Huddersfield. It’s far from the trickiest PL fixture to predict this week but don’t forget that it’s a derby and anything can happen. 2-2 draw

Watford vs Manchester City

Dan

I want to predict Watford to win so, so, much. But I can’t. City just has too much quality. But hey, maybe me not predicting them to slip up will cause them to. 2-1 City

Oliver 

This is gonna be a beatdown. Watford lost 2-0 to Leicester City last time out, and they’re missing Etienne Capoue. Manchester City, meanwhile, are… well… Manchester City. 4-1 Manchester City

Alf

City is on fire and have yet to lose a match to date. Watford are struggling these days. The home side just need one goal to stop the leaders from winning but a thrashing can be on the cards, if not a high-scoring result. 3-0 City

Fulham vs Leicester City

Dan

Leicester is on a five-game unbeaten streak in the prem, but I think Raineri and Fulham, with the home advantage, will have the fire in their bellies to beat the team that Ranieri was sacked by. Still, a tough game to call. 2-1 Fulham 

Oliver

Despite the home advantage that Fulham have, I don’t think they’ll take a point from this match. Leicester City are a class side sitting up in eighth and could use this match as a springboard. Fulham have been unexpectedly bad and I don’t see Ranieri getting them a point. 2-0 Leicester

Alf

There will be emotional scenes when Ranieri meet his former employers this Wednesday. The sad thing is that there will be no mercy in the 90 minutes of football. With the Italian’s knowledge and Puel’s strategies, I can foresee a draw. 1-1 draw

Wolves vs Chelsea 

Dan 

Wolves’ winless run stretched to six with the loss against Cardiff the other day, and they are up against Sarri’s Chelsea who has time and time again proved that they are a true force to be reckoned with. Expect Wolves’ winless run to stretch to seven. 2-0 Chelsea

Oliver

One would think that Chelsea would win this big. After all, they’ve just won a derby and they’re playing a side that lost to Cardiff. But this is a Chelsea side playing away against a Wolves side who are pretty good defensively. It’ll be tight. 1-0 Chelsea

Alf

– Since when did the Wolves become Siberian huskies in the PL, where they didn’t win their last 6 games? I don’t know, but Sarri and his men will take the advantage of the home side’s poor run to solidify their position in the table. 4-0 Chelsea

Burnley vs Liverpool 

Dan

2nd bottom plays second top, and I can’t see the upset here. With Burnley’s form, it’s possible to see Liverpool really running riot in this game, but, a more conservative score is likely. 2-0 Liverpool 

Oliver

Burnley just lost to Palace meanwhile Liverpool are cruising after their win over Everton. As there are in so many matches this weekend, Burnley have home advantage but that’s not gonna be enough to get a point. 3-1 Liverpool

Alf

Last season, Burnley were one of the best teams in defense with Sean Dyche being the mastermind. This year, Burnley are in the drop zone, also under Sean Dyche. With an improved offense and defense, Liverpool should be able to grab 3 points on the road. 3-0 Liverpool

Everton vs Newcastle 

Dan

Had Newcastle’s winning run not ended in ugly fashion with that 3-0 loss to West Ham, I could have seen them getting something from this game. But it didn’t, so they won’t. 2-1 Everton 

Oliver

Finally, a game where the favourite is at home! Newcastle just got beaten 3-0 at home by West Ham, and despite Everton’s loss in the derby, I think that’ll help them push on to a big win in this match. 3-0 Everton

Alf

I don’t really have much to say about it, except the fact that both sides lost their games before meeting each other. Period. 1-1 draw

Manchester United vs Arsenal

Dan

Emery’s side keeps reminding us just how far they’ve advanced in such little time, while Jose Mourinho’s side reminds just how little they’ve advanced in so much time. Seriously, if United can’t beat both Crystal Palace and Southampton, there’s no way they’ll get anything against the Gunners. 3-2 Arsenal 

Oliver 

The pressure is growing on Jose Mourinho. Subsequent draws to Crystal Palace and Southampton will be followed by a loss against an Arsenal side who just beat Spurs fairly convincingly. 4-1 Arsenal

Alf 

Good riddance, Alexis Sánchez won’t be facing his former teammates. Arsenal may have won against Tottenham but away comebacks are always harder. Realistically, the visitors’ record at Old Trafford has been awful in the past years. Dan’s going to laugh at my club after full-time. 3-2 United

Tottenham vs Southampton

Dan

Despite their loss in the North London Derby, this is Tottenham we are talking about. A managerless Southampton shouldn’t prove difficult. 2-0 Tottenham

Oliver

Yep, I’m picking nil-all. Southampton just drew with United but they don’t have a manager any more. Spurs lost to Arsenal, they’re doing pretty well but won’t win here. 0-0 draw

Alf

Mark Hughes is gone. Pochettino lost a three-pointer in the North London derby. The Saints will get nothing in return when they walk out of Wembley for the team bus. Perhaps a goal as a consolation? 3-0 Tottenham

Why I started to watch the women’s team of Arsenal play

Why I started to watch the women’s team of Arsenal play

We all love watching men’s football and without a doubt, most of our posts are about 20 men running and fighting for the possession of the ball.

However, in recent days, women’s football started to grab my attention and eventually, I became a fan of the women’s team of Arsenal, just like what I did to their men’s counterpart.

Of course, I’m not supporting Arsenal just because of Vivianne Miedema (and her smile), my favourite player of the squad. The reasons why I’m a fan of the female Gunners? Here you go!

  1. The connection with the men’s team. I love Arsenal as a club. Despite women’s football doesn’t get much attention compared to the men’s counterpart, the Gooners family is quite supportive of their young ladies.
  2. The history. As the most-decorated club in English women’s football, they also won the Women’s Champions League in 2006/07 as the first English club to do so. Ironically, the men’s team failed to do the same – sad!
  3. The quality of the squad. Of course, Arsenal Women aren’t just about Vivianne Miedema, but also other good international players like Jordan Nobbs, Daniëlle van de Donk, Sari van Veenendaal and Lia Wältl.
  4. The fighting mentality. The female Gunners aren’t just models off the pitch. They’re warriors when they don their jerseys, doesn’t matter which colour it is. Just like the boys these days who’ll do everything for the points.
  5. The style of the football they deliver. Joe Montemurro does a great job in managing the team, who reminded me of Emery of the men’s team – ruthless in making changes and a proven motivator in the dressing room.

If you really want to watch regular women’s football, the FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL) can be a good start.

Yet, Arsenal aren’t the only side with a decent team. Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are also eager to become the table toppers despite the fact that luck wasn’t on their side. And this is what makes the FAWSL interesting.

In fact, women’s football is underrated these days. A number of international clubs like Bayern Munich, Juventus and most recently, Manchester United have their own women’s team, nonetheless, they’re in the shadows of their men’s counterpart.

Football should be a sport for everyone, regardless of their gender. Let’s promote women’s football and have them gain the recognition it deserves! Come on you Gunners!