Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Over the Moon

Try to catch 'Moon' on Sky Premier on Friday at 10.10pm. It's an intelligent, enjoyable and thoughtful  film directed by Duncan Jones. Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an employee contracted by  Lunar Industries to extract helium from the moon. He is just about to finish his three year stint when strange events start to challenge his understanding of his work.  Probaby the best film I have seen this year and the soundrack includes a Chesney Hawkes hit. What more do you want?


Monday, 28 June 2010

Soccer Sequence No.26

Does a larger number improve the chances of success? The answer is clearly  'No'. Can you identify the link between the following numbers?

27.2, 28.4, 24.8, 25.6, 26.5, 27.2, dnq, dnq, 28.0, 26.2, 27.8, dnq, 27.5, 26.6, 25.3, 28.7

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Pastore-al Colours

I enjoyed the brief performance of Palermo's Javier Pastore for Argentina last week. He looks like a very good player. Excellent touch and awareness. I'm not too sure about the editing of the video below. He could be a player who has an impact in the next few rounds and be a surprise star, if given a chance. 

Friday, 25 June 2010

World Cup Wonderful

Can you believe that 40 games have already been played? Doesn't time fly when you are having fun?

I have really enjoyed Tshabalala's opening goal, the fantastic crowds, the precision of Robinho's pass for Elano's goal against  North Korea, Forlan's performances, the attitude of the USA team, the team performance of Mexico, the Cameroon v Denmark game, Villa's first goal, the skill of Mesut Ozil, listening to Marcel Desailly and Lucas Radebe, reading some top quality football writing in the British media and the brief performance of Javier Pastore.

And the progress on my wallchart, 'World Cup Wonderful', is going very well.   I will finish the design on the night of the final and a limited edition gilcee print will be available for sale. If you are interested in buying a copy or want to ask any questions about the print, please contact me at yanni.prints[at]sky[dot]com

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Soccer Sequence No.25

Are the numbers below any guide to who will win the World Cup in South Africa. No, I don't think so either. Can you guess the football link between thefollowing numbers as at May 2010:-

34970,  29420,  23995,  17588,  2,769

For some more number puzzles, click on Soccer Sequences.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

After the Wire No.5 Update - Aiden Gillen

Aiden Gillen, who played Tommy Carcetti in the Wire is soon to appear in 'Identity' in a new ITV drama about an elite police unit set up to combat identity crime. Also starring is the excellent Keeley Hawes, who starred in 'Ashes to Ashes'. My quest for Gillen to play the lead in my new film, ' José Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho's Quiet Years' continues. Would anyone like to invest a few billion into my film?

Monday, 21 June 2010

In the Picture with a Perm

Everyone who loves football, loves a good sticker collection.  You can add you face to the collection with the help of World Cup Stickup. Your face can feaure with a Bobby Charlton comb over, a Waddle mullet or a Keegan Perm. Good fun.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Zidane Returns

But I am afraid not for France in this World Cup. 'Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait' is been shown at 12.50am tonight on BBC2. The excellent documentary follows Zidane throughout one game in 2005. The camerawork - as if I know anything about the art of the film maker - is mesmerising. It was filmed when Zidane played for Real Madrid.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Soccer Sequence No.24

Today's Soccer Sequence is one of my favourites. Can you guess the football link in the calculation below and it's significance:-
70 +74 + 77 = 8
For some more number puzzles, click on Soccer Sequences. Or find our what ex-Wire stars have to been up-to in the rest of the blog.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Spirit of 82 required by Les Bleus

I am looking forward to France's big game v Mexico tonight. I fancy them to win 3-1.

If you remember the French team of the 1980's, you will enjoy "Refait",a meticulous remake of France v Germany in Seville (1982). The last 15 minutes have been very carefully reconstructed in an urban environment. It was produced by Pied La Biche.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

More than A Game

With the 2010 World Cup off and running,  a documentary focusing on the more serious side of football is been released.   Baff Akoto's documentary  Football Fables  questions what it takes for an African player to make the transition to a top European club. The film focuses  on a talented Ghanian teenager named Francis and investigates  the relationships between young players, agents, managers and bureaucrats.  The website has dates and venues.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Kick Off

The game tonight will kick-off the World Cup in terms of excitement. I fancy Brazil to win 4-0 with Robinho showing that he is (sometimes) a quality player. 
June 15, 2010 - 06037856 date 14 06 2010 Copyright imago Fotoarena Robinho Conclusion of training the Brazilian national team X 134 xrodolfoxbuhrerx xLaxImagemx PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRA 804 there Brasil Johannesburg men Football World Cup Training Conclusion of training National team BRA Single premiumd Vdig xmk 2010 horizontal.

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing

Interesting interview with Socrates in the Observer. Socrates was the captain of the 1982 Brazilian team that really should have won the world cup. They played some great football and had a fantastic midfield. Socrates identifies Paulo Henrique as the best player in the country and is shocked  that Dunga did not include him in the squad.

Play for Brazil

If you want to play for the Green and Yellows, you need a Brazilian name. The BrazilName website allows you to convert your name so that you can join the greats. Great fun.

Monday, 14 June 2010

The World Cup Buzz

After eight games, the sound of the Vuvuzela has been engrained into my brain. I am trying to pace myself and choosing one game per day to watch on the box. I  enjoyed Siphiwe Tshabalala's goal against Mexico, Ji-Sung Park's  nifty footwork and goal against Greece and the fluency in the play of the Germans.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Soccer Sequence No.23

Now I know that you are  excited about the next few weeks., but while you are waiting for the next game, why not try this week's Soccer Sequence. Can you guess the football link between the following 18 numbers :-

8, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 4 (five), 9, 10, 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 (two), 6, 8, 5

For some more number puzzles, click on Soccer Sequences. Or find our what ex-Wire stars have to been up-to in the rest of the blog.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

World Cup Web Guide

The Washington Post website has a very clever World Cup Interactive Map (7/10). It also has a  useful World Cup database where you can search World Cup results from 1930 through to 2006. It is  searchable by year, country and round. A great way to spend a few quiet hours. 

Friday, 11 June 2010

Uncertainty Predicted

With only a few hours to go, I have used the lovely World Cup Predictor on the Brazilian website Lancenet, to try to guess who will win the World Cup. It turns out Spain will beat France in the Final. Ok, I may have to think again. Stop laughing. No, Lloris, Evra and Gourcuff are good players. I think Robinho will have a good World Cup and Messi will prove he is top class. The top scorer will be Villa. I hope one of the  African teams surprises me and that commentators and punters do not over analysis silly little incidents. It will be a great month. Enjoy.

Ready and Reading

There has been some great writing on footballers over the last week. I would highly recommend the articles on Eusebio by Paul Hayward, Samuel Eto'o by Donald McRae, Andres Iniesta by  James Lawton and  Maradona by Jimmy Burns.

And here's a collection of some top World Cup goals, just in case you cannot wait another 7 hours.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Soccer Sequence No.22

Soccer Sequence is back. I know that you have missed your weekly dose of mental press-ups.  Well, you could pretend. Can you guess the link between these six numbers:-

3rd and 10th (same season), 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd

Your answer has to be precise. For some more number puzzles, click on Soccer Sequences. Or find our what ex-Wire stars have to been upto in the rest of the blog.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Just a Moment, Please

Let us hope that the World Cup gives us a few moments to remember.  My favourite moment of all-time is  from the brilliance of  Pele in 1970. Sublime. 

Friday, 4 June 2010

Work-in-Progress 1 Marca 4

I love a good wall chart. Over the next few days, newspapers will be printing their free guides and charts. I will probably buy them all. I also really like David McCandless's work. His book, Information  is Beautiful, is fantastic. In the book, he shows how complex information can be shown in a more exciting and readable way. His website is worth a weekly visit.

In fact, I have been inspired to try my hand at producing my own World Cup wall chart. So since early May, I've tried to learn Illustrator (a painful exercise) to help design some of my ideas. My work-in- progess can be seen below. It will be finished by the start of the Finals. I'm posting it because this morning I saw the Spanish newspaper Marca's excellent chart. It's brilliant (9/10). It's a professionally designed version of my little old idea! Oh well, I need to get back to the old drawing board.


David Simon's new drama, Treme,  uses the music of New Orleans as an important element of the story. Someone has kindly set up a site with music from the series and has sensibly called the site, Very atmospheric,  even when played in my office!
Livin' A Treme Life

Thursday, 3 June 2010

After the Wire No. 10 Ernest Dickerson

Ernest Dickerson directed six episodes of the Wire and has recently worked on Treme. He has also directed  TV classics such as ER (definitely ) and  Heroes (well, not quite a classic).  He has also been the Cinematographer of  Mo' Better Blues, She's Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever (a film that I wish I could forget). If only I understood the role of a Cinematographer, I would be really impressed with thi sbody of work. Dickerson will also be directing a new horror film called Minion that will be screened next year.

Going, Going, Gone?

The Guardian has identified Europe's top 50 transfer targets. Of all the possible transfers, Cesc Fábregas  would be the greatest coup. He is a fantastic player with vision, an excellent range of passes and the ability to dominate a game. No player is bigger than any club, but he will be a major loss to Arsenal.  Will he leave Arsenal? Do you have any inside transfer news?

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Free World Cup Guides

No World Cup preparation is fully complete without a free guide and wall chart. I  purchased the Sunday Telegraph and the Sunday Times solely because of their free World Cup Guides. The Sunday Times booklet is impressive (7/10), while the Sunday Telegraph guide is reasonable (5/10). The conundrum in the Sunday Times on page 35 has now been resolved after Capello's shock announcement that Theo Walcott will not be in England's squad.

David Watson - no, not this one -  has designed a typographic poster (8.5/10) of the entire World Cup schedule. Profits from the sale of the poster go to Soccer Aid, a charity that raises money for UNICEF. 
Sports News - May 30, 2010

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I Prefer 1,000 times over to make the Pass

The above title is a great quote from Gérson, the Brazilian who scored in the 1970 World Cup final against Italy. He could play a bit and values the pass as much as the goal. I agree.