For months I’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen that there’s a genuinely elite Twitter account for football out there.
It’s an anonymous account. He hints at working inside the game as a scout. His knowledge and lingo suggest he’s worked across Europe and possibly with some of the world’s top clubs.
It’s also possible that he’s just a student of the game masquerading as something else. Someone who goes by the same call sign was commenting on a FIFA 17 forum as recently as November 2016. His profile picture is a Manchester City badge.
But for me, it doesn’t matter. He’s got amazing knowledge and doesn’t suffer fools.
What’s the best soccer formation? Patience, young Padawan, for you have much to learn. If there were one single best soccer formation, the world would surely stop turning. We wouldn’t see so many variations and experimentations, births, deaths and re-births. In short, evolution itself would end.
Robin Van Persie is in the jacuzzi. He’s finished training for the day at Arsenal and is enjoying a relaxing soak. The gym and recovery facilities at Arsenal’s training ground were designed by Arsène Wenger for maximum light. There’s lots of glass and windows. From the hot tub, Van Persie is looking out onto the training pitch and watching Dennis Bergkamp. The Dutchman is on his way back from injury, practicing with two youth team players and the fitness coach. It’s a complicated exercise involving shooting and giving and receiving passes at speed. Van Persie tells himself that he’ll get changed when Bergkamp makes a mistake. 45 minutes later, he’s still in the jacuzzi and his hands are wrinkly.
We’ve all been there. Rolling the ankle the day before a big game. It’s the biggest pain in the arse. You go home, you google ‘how to fix a swollen ankle’, you follow the R.I.C.E. protocol and you cross your fingers. You wake up the next day and the swelling’s gone down but not enough for you to play. You’re out of the game. Gutted.