[When I moved this blog across to WordPress, I effectively copied and pasted the links section straight from the old Blogspot version. It was always meant to be a temporary measure and the intention was to get around to updating it at some stage. This is now long overdue. This post will be, from this day forth, (until it’s out of date again) what every visitor finds when they go to my links page.]
Blogs are in the process of replacing newspapers and magazines as the first port of call for football journalism and it’s easy to see why. There is so much variety out there. You are no longer doomed to read solely about clubs that are the most popular and hence sell best at the newsagents. Now you can choose to read only about Manchester United or AC Milan. Or you can read in depth about literally any club you like, right down to non-league clubs, almost anywhere in the world. Needless to say, a comprehensive list of all the blogs out there that are worth reading doesn’t exist – there are far too many of them.
What type of links should be included in a links section is something I’m not sure many bloggers put a great deal of thought into. Some blogs seem to shovel in anything and everything remotely relevant to their topic. Some seem to take a reciprocal approach: ‘if you link to me, I’ll link to you’. Instead, I want to provide you with what I hope to find when I click through to other blogs’ links pages. That is, to be presented with a selection of tangents for me to go off on. Pathways to undiscovered treasures that lead off into the wilderness. I want to click, see something interesting, find more links, click again and journey away into a new and different world.
The blogs I read regularly are a somewhat eclectic mix. Not all of them are about football. But there is, I think, a common theme – good writing. Good writing must be treasured – because there’s not that much of it out there. In my opinion, the perfect blog post should be like a museum piece. Something people would pay to go along and see placed on a pedestal, alone in the middle of a stark white room. Perfectly crafted, perfectly presented. Each word chosen carefully and fitting well with those around it, providing the reader with a smooth flow. Capturing the imagination with the first sentence and holding it through to the last.
I don’t pretend for a minute that I reach this standard myself, or that all those listed below do so consistently either. But it is a standard I aspire to and one that many of those below do too in one way or another, be it consciously or subconsciously.
I hope you enjoy reading them…
At the end of the day……. – A real treat for lovers of lower league football. A blog about the trials and tribulations of a wee club called Wainuiomata AFC. An authentic insight into the romantic yet unglamorous world of New Zealand club football.
Blogistuta – Very well written A.S. Roma blog. A must read for Romanisti.
Chiesa di Totti – For mine, the gold standard in football blogging. Funny, intelligent, pretty and a Roma fan. What more could a man want?
Forza Italian Football – These guys let me write for them sometimes. So they must be awesome.
Guardian 100 football blogs – This is where I discovered a lot of the blogs on this list. So much great reading. So few hours in the day…
Jazz Local 32 – This is where I go off on a wee bit of a tangent. Ok. A HUGE tangent. But this guy can really write. He makes the local New Zealand Jazz scene sound so intriguing that anyone reading in New Orleans will want to jump on a plane to Auckland.
Lega Pro 1 Campionati – Keep up with all the results and standings in Italy’s third and fourth divisions.
Milan Obsession – I’m not no fan of AC Milan. No Sir. Not one bit. But I really like this blog. A lot. Which says a great deal about how good it is.
Misera e stupenda città, Rome the Second Time and Rome Photo Blog – These three blogs have nothing to do with football, but are blogs about contemporary Rome. I have always said you need to understand a place before you can understand its football. These blogs are great places to start if you want to understand Roma – Warts and all.
Rinaldi’s Blog – Giancarlo Rinaldi is a beautiful writer who blogs mostly about Fiorentina. Probably my favourite non-Roma blogger.
Roma Journal – A new AS Roma group blog by an impressive lineup of talented writers. Its by-line promises to be “your new favourite Roma site”. I will be watching with interest. You should too.
The Ball is Round – A broad range of quality writers focusing on the English game, ranging from the Premier League to amateur football. It has a Nick Hornby kind of atmosphere, which I love. I particularly recommend the ‘My first game’ section. Beautiful.
The Football Express – An excellent blog focusing on Italian football, my favourite thing being its regular quality analysis of Lega Pro which is, in English at least, something I have not been able to find anywhere else.
The Football Project – A brand new blog with a heap of promise. Football from all over the world from a team of esteemed, knowledgeable football lovers. Another one well worth keeping an eye on.
The Secret Footballer – The difinitive inside word from a current English Premier League player whose identity remains secret. A fascinatingly honest account of life as a professional footballer.
The Seventy Two – In depth analysis of all seventy two clubs in the English Football League. If, like me, you love lower league football – you can’t go wrong here.
The Two Unfortunates – Another blog focused on the lower tiers of English football. To paraphrase their ‘about’ page, it’s written by those unfortunates who are counting the days until it’s their team’s turn to get stuffed at Stamford Bridge. How can that not be a great read?
The Real F.A. Cup – Mostly following the early rounds of the English FA Cup, this blog provides a welcome alternative spin on lower league action.
This Day in Football History – If you are bored at work or at home and feeling in need of a pick-me-up – here it is. Every day, like clockwork, something interesting and informative to read for a few minutes of brilliant escapism.
Two Hundred Percent – An eclectic team of fine authors on diverse English Football themes.
Zonal Marking – The original quintessential football tactics blog. I wish I could say with all honesty that I understand all of it. Or even most of it. But what I can make sense of, I love.
A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: http://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/