Holistic Manchester City

Shortly after the sacking of Roberto Martinez, and before the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini, representatives from Manchester City started talking about ‘holistic management’. They got a decent amount of mockery about this, from fans and the mainstream media.

They must be a bunch of hippies in this place
They must be a bunch of hippies in this place

Writing for Bornoffside, in a piece published yesterday, I took a look at what the term means, and why the club think it’s important.

Click here to read Let Go of Your Doubts, and Embrace Holistic Management



Despite being a highly acclaimed director, with two Oscar wins and two more nominations, Pedro Almodovar doesn’t seem to have that much mainstream appeal in the English speaking world.

This is indicated to an extent by how slowly his films move around the world. In the era of simulatenous worldwide releases for blockbusters, his latest film, I’m So Excited! was released in Spain back in March and in the UK in May, but is only just being released in the USA this week.

A black and white photo of a director with a notably colourful visual palette. Pretty sure there's some irony in there.
A black and white photo of a director with a notably colourful visual palette. That’s pretty ironic, right?

Writing for the Ann Arbor Review, I’ve looked back at some of Almodovar’s older films – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown; Time Me Up! Tie Me Down!; Bad Education and The Skin I Live In.

If nothing else, you’ve got to admit he’s got a flair for naming his films.

Click here to read Marathon Man: Pedro Almodovar


The Premier League is Up in The Air

A little earlier in the week, an article I’d written was published by BornOffside.

Following the abdication of Alex Ferguson, not just from the manager’s office at Manchester United, but as the working figure with the greatest influence over the English game, that role is now up for grabs.

Will Moyes, who’s never won a trophy, rise to the extra pressure? Will Mourinho recreate his earlier success at Chelsea? How will Andre Vilas-Boas and Brendan Rogers build on impressive but mixed first years at their clubs?

For years, the idea of Alex Ferguson and Manchester United being on top seemed to be the default status quo – if they didn’t win the title one year, the feeling was that they would next year.

But now, there is the possibility of real change. The landscape of English football could look very different this time next year.

Who will claim this trophy next year?
Who will claim this trophy next year?

This was before the fixture list revealed that Manchester United would play Chelsea on the opening day, and Arsenal made an ambitious move to sign Gonzalo Higuain – if anything, the points I made have been underlined since.

Click here to read Who Will Set the Standards for the Premier League?


Studying for Monsters University

Pixar is one of the great creative companies of 21st century cinema, impressively prolific and entertaining to a wide audience. This wekeend sees the release of Monsters University, the not particularly anticipated (as far as I can tell) follow up to Monsters Inc.

Of all the ‘what would cartoon characters if they were real’ memes, this has to be the least terrifying.

But I’ve taken a look at some of the less celebrated Pixar films – Monsters Inc., Cars, Ratatouille and Brave,  and I’ve been impressed… at least by the films that didn’t feature characters with combustion engines.

Click here to read Marathon Man: The Lesser Pixar Films


Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

This weekend sees the opening, on both sides of the Atlantic, of the new Superman film, Man of Steel. Writing for the Ann Arbor Review, I’ve looked back on the previous five live action films.

Christopher Reeve pictured, if I've understood the Wikimedia description correctly, shortly before his marriage to Figaro.
Christopher Reeve pictured, if I’ve understood the Wikimedia description correctly, shortly before his marriage to Figaro.

That’s the four films in the seventies and eighties starring Christopher Reeve, and the noughties sequel with Brandon Routh in the title role.

Click here to read Marathon Man: Superman


Squawka: Lukas Podolski & Nani’s 12-13 Seasons

Over at Squawka, I’ve just written two articles, both of which went up on Thursday.

With Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski a year into his career at the Emirates, a year in which he’s scored a pretty respectable 11 goals, bids have come in, from Borrussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.

I took a statistical look at Podolski’s season, his strengths and weaknesses, as well as his style.

Click here to read Podolski Rubbishes Transfer Speculation But Should Arsenal Consider A Bid?

The Two Subjects, Coming Together
The Two Subjects I Wrote About, Coming Together

Also, with Manchester United’s Nani being linked with bids from Monaco and Galatasary, I took a look at how he’s performed this past season. I was surprised how often he was available but not selected in the big matches, and how long he’d been out injured.

Click here to read Should Moyes Consider Bid For Perennially Promising Manchester United Winger?


Last Week of the Season

This is a late link yet again, with the final, double-sized edition of the Lower League Week going up on during the week.

born_offside_greenSome of the bigger stories were Coventry’s stadium apparently being on fire; the playoff finals; new managers for Doncaster and Hartlepool; Wolves and Sheffield United still searching for bosses (at the time of writing); the effects and to an extent the morality of  parachute payments; early summer transfers; Bury’s financial troubles, and Billy Sharp being playful. Probably.

Click here to read The Lower League Fortnight – Preparations for Next Season