I Am the Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game
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Who is the Secret Footballer? His identity, jealously guarded by just one person at The Guardian, is the subject of many feverish blog posts and forums. Whoever he is -- and whoever he plays for -- he is always honest, always fearless and always opinionated.
The Secret Footballer reveals everything you need to know about the beautiful (and not so beautiful) game, from racism to relegation and from team talks to the slow decline of the goalkeeper.
and take a huge signing-on fee, as well as a large basic wage. This also happens in the lower leagues, where managers tend to be a lot more hands-on with the finances. There is a very well-known story about a manager at one club who was trying to get rid of his captain. He called him into the office and asked him point-blank how much it would take to pay him off. The player replied, “25k”, at which point the manager produced a cheque from his desk drawer made out to the captain for this exact
see his son played as a right-back for an hour and then at left wing for 15 minutes. In fairness, scouting for kids at the top hasn’t improved that much. At the very top of the game, the trawler net has never been bigger and it has never been easier to land a prize catch. A friend of mine who has been a scout for a leading club for more than 10 years told me that if he were lazy, he’d never even have to leave his office because clubs further down the footballing pyramid regularly call him up to
speak until eventually I’d have to give up, or trying to get me to remove my hat when we had lunch, claiming it breached club rules. Then there was the time they stole my phone and texted the manager, thanking him for “last night”. I remember one day sitting in the changing room before training, when some of the senior pros were talking about a “third man run”. Having never heard this term, I innocently asked if they could explain it to me. They just looked at me in utter disgust. The silence
turning to the staff behind the desk, she continued: “And this bastards say we make the smash ourselves.” The man responsible is far more famous than me, far wealthier than me, and, to the best of my knowledge, has at least one more international triumph under his belt than me. But I’m not a total arsehole. I have promised myself that if I ever do decide to open Luna-tic in Barcelona, I will make sure those ladies get the contract for the interior design. Air stewardesses have been a regular
spat with manager 1 tabloids 1 tabloids, SF avoids buying 1 and transfer window 1 and WAGs 1 see also BBC; Channel 1; journalists; Sky TV Messi, Lionel 1, 2, 3, 4 Milgram, Stanley 1 Millwall FC 1 Moneyball 1 mother 1, 2, 3, 4 Mourinho, José 1, 2 Muamba, Fabrice 1 Nasri, Samir 1 Neville, Gary 1, 2 Newcastle United FC 1 newspapers, see journalists; media Nike 1 Nottingham Forest FC 1 Oakland A’s 1 Obi, Mikel John 1, 2 Old Trafford 1, 2 101 Great Goals 1 Paddy