Looking for resources on UK/European fútbol.
August 4, 2009 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Looking for resources on UK/European fútbol.

Recently began to appreciate the sport of soccer. Looking to learn more about the English Premiere League and Champions league, and UK & European soccer in general.

Looking for resources which cover everything from the basics ("everything you need to know about ___") to daily sources (fan blogs, websites) to more unique and historical (how different clubs/fan are perceived/reputations).
posted by bamassippi to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Footballfilter, by MeFi's own swisspotter, is a great aggregator of various soccer related internet things. Wikipedia is also quite good on soccer history, tactics and other topics.
posted by Kattullus at 8:50 PM on August 4, 2009

The BBC has some stuff on it.
posted by kldickson at 9:53 PM on August 4, 2009

The Guardian's Football Weekly is pretty much the best podcast on the Premier League and European football on the net.
posted by starzero at 10:31 PM on August 4, 2009

football365.com is a good site with news info opinion and fun.
posted by xla76 at 1:09 AM on August 5, 2009

For context this book might be useful, especially with regard to the Premier League.
posted by freya_lamb at 2:20 AM on August 5, 2009

Seconding Football365, though a lot of their stuff is full of inside jokes (e.g., a current headline is "Oh Lordy, JFK Offered A Two-Year Deal At Toon..." - 'Toon' being slang for Newcastle, and JFK in this case meaning Joe "F**king" Kinnear, so-called because he swears a lot). So the learning curve can be hard. There's a discussion forum which could be worth looking at.

Also seconding the Guardian, they also have some decent columnists, a regular roundup of classic videos ('The Joy of Six'). Both the Guardian and the Times (timesonline.co.uk) have some interesting interactive graphics showing tactics and so on.

Soccernet.com is a slightly dull but comprehensive site, produced by ESPN.

Fan sites: http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/ or http://www.m-u-f-c.co.uk/mufc.php or redissue.co.uk for Manchester United (including blogs, fan forums, chant archives, news, etc. Expect lots of abuse in the forums). For Liverpool, you could try http://www.anfieldroad.com/.

[At the risk of being pedantic: no-one in the UK uses "Futbol", and very few use "soccer" to describe the sport...you're definitely going to need to use "football" as your term].
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:34 AM on August 5, 2009

A few of my favorite sites:

The Run of Play beautifully waxes poetic (or is it prose-etic?) and philisophical about the game and the current stories/matches. This one will probably be way too cryptic at first, but as you start following the stories and learn the teams' characters and histories, it comes alive. This is the site that tries to capture those intangibles beyond the scoreline that make us love this game. Ignore all the posts about his fucking Football Manager team.

Pitch Invasion is also rarely news-cycle driven, looks at histories, trends, culture, the bigger picture stuff. Recently brought back a weekly link roundup, though, so now you can use it to follow current stuff a bit more.

The Offside is a massive soccer blog with sub-blogs for tons of teams. You'll find mostly headline-driven news-cycle-y posts here, though few actual scores.

Du Nord is Bruce, king of all soccer news. Each day's stories, scores, and all else. Day after day, this man is a saint. even though he roots for the minnesota thunder :)

The Offside Rules and This is American Soccer are US-soccer-
focused blogs that have slightly different styles. TOR is more ephemera, roundups, and WTFs, and TIAS is long form essays and interviews about the behind-the-scenes and in-the-alleys of the game here in the States. I know you say you're interested in UK/Europe, but we have a pretty interesting, weird, and emerging culture over here, too.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 7:31 AM on August 5, 2009

Nthing the Guardian - Football Weekly is all you'll need at first, it's a good mix of excellent soccer knowledge and we're-smart-but-we-don't-really-give-a-shit-about-all-this commentary, which is hilarious and educational at the same time. The Guardian's football website is probably the best coverage in the UK, as well.

And here's a few tips from someone who's been following the game in the US for 20ish years:

1. Don't call it fútbol. You just sound pompous. Call it soccer, call it football, whatever - but don't bother with fútbol. Unless you're Brazilian or Spanish, in which case go ahead.

2. Along those lines, don't get drawn into the stupid debate over what the game here should be called. The English invented the game, and they also invented the terms "football" and "soccer" - so it doesn't matter which one you use. Pick one, and stick with it.

3. When referring to the top league in England, please don't call it "The EPL". Call it the Premiership, call it the English Premier League, but not "The EPL".

4. Pick a team and start to follow it. This will allow you to get a little deeper into that team's history, rivalries, whatever, which will help you on your learning curve. Do this with a few teams at first, but eventually as you start to learn and know more, pick one team as your favorite.

5. I see by your profile you're in Seattle. This is excellent. One of these weekends once the season starts (Aug 15 is the first weekend of the English season), go to the George & Dragon to watch games. Spend the morning there, and soak it all in - this is the best way to get into the game, in a community atmosphere with a lot of partisans shouting for their team.
posted by pdb at 8:14 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Guardian is the best in my opinion. And subscribe to "The Fiver" while you're there.


BBC Sport Football is another good site. And so is The Times (London, not NY). I suggest watching Sky Sports News on Fox Soccer Channel. It will totally immerse you. Sky Sports' website is excellent, too.

I read La Gazzetta dello Sport for Serie A. They have a website in English.
posted by Zambrano at 9:13 AM on August 5, 2009

Gonna have to say www.footballfilter.com too I think :-). But I would say that wouldnt I. Cheers Kattullus for the mention.

As for other sites I also think a good entry is the Guardian but these days they are becoming more and more small minded and the introduction of blogging has heavily influenced their content and lowered the standard of "feature" writing. For a world wide view, goal.com is quite good. Blog wise The Offside is very very good with an incredible amount of content. But you would also be surprised at how good Fifa and UEFAs websites are. They offer some great articles, great video and podcast content too. Sky Sports is also very good as is their live Score Centre .

I could go on and on really. Podcast wise I think the Guardians is good but I highly recommend the Football Ramble which will help you appreciate the banter and general passion that people have for the sport.

As for more historical stuff......hmmm, I really cant think. BUt for stats etc I recommend Statto. You may also want to check out flickr for quality football photos (for free). Take a look at our profile and see all the groups we belong to.... you can see that there are alot of people passionate about football, from soccer moms to random teams in the lower leagues in Germany. Theres a group for everything:

posted by swisspotter at 1:23 PM on August 5, 2009

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