On the seventh day of Christmas….The best blog

“On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me…..three blogs that are simply just funny”

Love them or hate them, blogs are here to stay.  What is the difference between a “blog” and a “website”?  Well, we think that the former is a site put together for the love of writing rather than for profit.  We could have put together a list of at least twenty high quality sites that we read on a daily basis.  So please do not be offended if you are not on the list.

Last year’s winners included European Football Weekends, The Real FA Cup and Two Hundred Percent and many may have accused me of a bit of biased with Danny Last, Damon Threadgold and Ian King on speed-dial on my phone so I excluded them from my thoughts this year.

The sites below are in our opinions “game changers”.  They have set the bar as high as possible in their respective fields, and continue to be an inspiration to all of us writers.  So I give you our top three for 2011:-

3rd – Swiss Ramble
Voted Blogger of the Year by the Football Supporters Federation, a group of chaps who really know their football onions and we cannot disagree. I am privileged to have spent time with Kieron this year, travelling around Switzerland talking football, life, music and strange tactical formations.

There is no writer who can analyse the finances of football better than Kieron and his insight into the workings of a club have gained fans across the game including a certain John W Henry, owner of Liverpool FC no less! 

2nd – In Bed With Maradona
Now where do we start with In Bed With Maradona?  A site that caters for everyone, everything, everytime.  It is slick, sexy (in a masculine football way of course), smooth and sensational.

I’m lucky enough to have been a regular contributor on the site – whether it has been my passion for Lego Stadiums, the Civil Service team taking on Real Madrid and my photo gallery on the extra-ordinary fate of the Tehelne Pole Stadion in Bratislava.  That is the beauty of the site – you never know what you will find there, but whatever it is, it will be groundbreaking.  Winner of the NOPA Best Blog (bastards!), as well as When Saturday Comes Gold award this year.  Fully deserved.

1st – 500 Reasons to love football
OK I admit – I am biased, I admit it.  When Dave Hartrick from In Bed With Maradona gave me a call and suggested a site to put the “beautiful” back in the game who was I to refuse?  Along with Danny Last, Kenny Legg and Damon Threadgold we formed the dream team to put a smile back on everyones face with an irrelevant look back at things that have made us smile about football in the past.  Donny the Doncaster Dog mascot having a pee?  Too right!  A young Nigel Clough sitting on Brian Moore’s knee?  Too right.  A Bayern Munich Christmas plastic duck?  Of course.  Nothing is sacred.  And before anyone asks, we have no idea what will happen when we reach 500.

Still not yet in the grave

As an author myself I know the pain that you go through when starting on a new project, trying to wrestle with that internal voice that questions whether it is good enough, and will people buy the end product (FYI – Passport to Football is still available to buy here).  Football books are even more of a challenge with few publications actually worth a first read, let alone a second or third.  However, we strive here at the Ball is Round to bring you what we consider to be the best books written on the Beautiful Game.  In our “must read” list is probably the finest book written about what it is like to be a professional footballer on a day by day basis.  Not content with just one book, he followed it up with a second a few years later detailing his transition from player to manager and finally to a life away from the pitch.  Ladies and Gentlemen I give you TWICE nominated author for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, Garry Nelson. Continue reading