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The Blizzard - The Football Quarterly: Issue…
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The Blizzard - The Football Quarterly: Issue Eighteen

by Jonathan Wilson

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I felt deeply sorry for Naomi Westland. Normally this is the ‘And Finally…’ of The Blizzard, an aperitif to wind the reader down and always following the ‘classic matches’ article. And it’s a fun enough conceit, fairly sly about how world leaders have used and abused the beautiful game for their own ends (and sometimes actually even genuinely love it). But here it follows one of the most majestic articles in The Blizzard’s existence. Rob Smyth’s piece on the Cantona comeback game takes one match as its centrepiece but extends it more widely, using it to reappraise the mid-1990s, Manchester United’s dominance, the Liverpool ‘Spice Boys’ side and musing on how history is often dictated by results and trophies rather than reasoned hindsight. I’d not been a fan of Smyth’s prior to this but this demonstrates how good he is when given the space. It’s essentially exactly the sort of article The Blizzard’s for and worth the entry fee alone.

Elsewhere this is a typically eclectic collection. It’s a particularly good issue for Liverpool fans with Smyth’s articles complemented by a trio reflecting on the forgotten, key role played by Steve Nicol in Liverpool’s most aesthetically pleasing side, Ronny Rosenthal’s late burst that inspired their last title and a salute to Steven Gerrard from a long-distance fan. There are also welcome reflections on the Women’s World Cup and Copa America, an economically literate querying of whether pay TV is healthy for football (and possible alternatives), the philosophy behind Luis Enrique’s Barcelona, football trade unionism and the horror of events in Chile’s El Estadio Nacional during Pinochet’s coup. As ever, required reading for any discerning football reader. ( )
  JonArnold | Nov 18, 2015 |
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