The Best Football Writing of 2014

2014 saw some awful football writing. I mean, truly awful. The sort of stuff that brings shame to the already lowly art of clickbait, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

But this year has also seen some fantastic work by a number of writers, both professional and amateur, serious and satirical, and here are some of the best:


Why Football is Too Tolerant of Anti-Semitism by Darren Richman (@DarrenRichman) for FourFourTwo

How to Make Football Better by Ally Moncrieff (@AllOrNothingMag) for BetsOfMates

Are Football Clubs Thinking Enough About Social Media? by Alex Stewart (@AFHStewart) for Huffington Post

Football, Globalization, and the Dutchman from Japan by Elko Born (@Elko_B) for The False Nine

How to Enjoy the Premier League Without Being a Dick by Callum Hamilton (@Callum_TH) for VICE Sports

Scotland Unites in Support of Divisive Figure Fernando Ricksen by Peter McVitie (@PeterMcVitie) for BeNeFoot


Why David Moyes Cannot Save Himself at Manchester United by Rob Brown (@robbro7)

Martin Demichelis is Pellegrini’s Bad Lieutenant by Oscar Rickett (@oscarrickettnow) for VICE Sports

Wayne Rooney – The Lost Boy Wonder by Callum Hamilton for SBNation

The Changing Language of Football by Rob Brown

Anelka Suspension: 5 Games Feels Far too Few by Andi Thomas (@andi_thomas) for SBNation


Reading Deadspin? Allow a Former MLS Player to Convince You Otherwise by Bobby Warshaw (@bwarshaw14) for Deadspin

A Curious Website Launch by Caroline Hatwell (@hatwell) for Typical City

A Monument to Losing: The Importance of World Cup Heartbreak by Zack Goldman (@thatdamnyank) for A Football Report


Steve Evans: Football Manager. Convicted Criminal by Ian King (@twoht) for Two Hundred Percent

Lewis Emanuel: Talent, Torment and Armed Robbery by Jamie Allen (@plymkrprss) for In Bed With Maradona

World Cup: 25 Stunning Moments…Number 10 by Rob Smyth (@robsmyth76) for The Guardian

‘Your Fight is Our Strength’ a Fitting Legacy to Tito Vilanova by Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) for The Guardian

#Weareallmonkeys: Can a Picture of a Banana Fight Racism by Jude Wanga (@judeinlondon) for Independent Voices

Piermario Morosini – 2012 by Alex Stewart for Football’s Fallen

Your Heroes are Human: On FIFPro’s Mental Illness Study by Zito Madu (@Phaetonv2) for SBNation


The True Story of Steve Snow, USMNT World Cup Hero Who Never Was by Nick Firchau (@nickfirchau) for

Helena Costa to Clermont – A New Era? by Philippa Booth (@Philby1976) for French Football Weekly

Luis Suarez’s Redemption? Sport Needs a Political Conscience by Shane Thomas (@tokenbg) for Media Diversified

Golden Opportunities by Callum Hamilton and Andi Thomas for SBNation

Bari in their Hearts by Dominic Bliss (@theinsidelefty) for The Inside Left


Diamonds in the Rough by Brian Phillips (@runofplay) for Grantland

World Cup 2014: We’ve Got to Start Somewhere by Max Grieve (@maxjgri) for Vertigo

Brazil 2014 is the World Cup We’ve Been Waiting For by Greg Johnson (@gregianjohnson) for VICE Sports

This is Not the Bosnia You Were Looking For by Kirsten Schlewitz (@KDS_Football) for SBNation

World Cup 2014: ITV Preview Belgium v Algeria by James Dutton (@jrgdutton) and Greg Johnson for The False Nine


Hunting White Elephants in Manaus by Andi Thomas for SBNation

The Moving, Tragic and Very Brazilian Story of the Late Jorge Selaron by Reda Maher (@Reda_Maher_LDN) for Eurosport

1982: Why Brazil v Italy Was One of Football’s Greatest Ever Matches by Tim Lewis for Esquire

The Day Football Saved Lives by Michael Calvin (@calvinbook) for The Independent

Ze Carlos: From Selling Watermelons to World Cup Semi-Final by Charlie Pulling (@clonmacart) for WorldSoccer


FIFA? PES? Against Modern Football Games by Ally Moncrieff for The False Nine

Letting the Monsters In by Ruud Gullit Sitting on a Shed (@RGSOAS)

This is Football’s Tipping Point by Michael Calvin for The Independent


Transfer Window Should Know Its Place by Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) for ESPNFC

Brian Clough Was Charming, Disarming and Had His Own Set of Rules by Daniel Taylor (@DTGuardian) for The Guardian)

A Club Transformed: Supporting Reading FC by Rob Langham (@thetwounfortunates) for The Inside Left

Atletico Madrid: Thank You For Bringing the Aggro Back by Rob Smyth for Eurosport

Clarity of Vision by Alex Stewart for The Upright

Red Bull and RB Leipzig: Money Gives You Wings by Daniel Storey (@DanielStorey85) for Football365

Partizan Belgrade Banner Highlights a Problem That is Not Going Away by Igor Mladenovic (@Mladenovic) for The Guardian

The FourFourTwo Preview: Newcastle vs Hull by Huw Davies (@thehuwdavies) for FourFourTwo


No Good Reason Not to Try the Rooney Rule by Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) for Football365

False Memories and Football Opinions by Billy MacFarlane (@BillyMacfarlane) for The False Nine

The Problem with Ched Evans Returning to Football by Jude Wanga for Football Fanzone

Mario Balotelli and the Lessons of Liverpool Past by James Dutton for The False Nine


The Brilliant Youth Football Idea That UEFA Took On and Killed by Ian Herbert (@ianherbs) for The Independent

Yaya Toure, Loss, and Treating Players Like Robots by Daniel Storey for Football365

Yaya Toure and the Stereotyping of African Players by Seb Stafford-Bloor (@premleagueowl) for The Premier League Owl

Football: More than a Man’s Sport by Alex Stewart for The False Nine

The Malky Mackay Texts, Dave Whelan, the FA and How Football is Losing the Fight Against Discrimination by Jonathan Fadugba for JustFootball

How Football Unlocked the Heart of a Boy with Autism by James Masters (@masters_jamesD) for CNN

Ched Evans Should Not Be Allowed to Return to the Sheffield United Football Pitch by Mollie Goodfellow (@mollie_writes) for Indy Voices



Golden Goal – Fabio Grosso for Italy v Germany by Nick Miller for The Guardian

The Velvet Revolution by Elko Born for The Blizzard

Almost Mute: Why Angel Correa Deserves His Wings by Rob Brown for In Bed With Maradona

So You’ve Been Nutmegged… by Zito Madu for SBNation