For most people life is full of little moments that make everything worthwhile. It could be a homemade Sunday dinner with the family. Maybe it’s a cold pint after long day at work but for me its going to watch live football on a sunny Saturday afternoon, you just can’t be beat.

The main goal of Yorkshire Football Weekends was always to visit as many of the different grounds around the Yorkshire area as possible. During the week I was offered the chance to visit Hillsborough again to watch Sheffield Wednesday v Stoke City in the comforts of the press box. It would just be rude to say no wouldn’t it?

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I think in my mind the decision was made quite a while ago, however it’s one thing to think about something and another thing to actually take action. Ah ok, I suppose I better let you know what I’m talking about.

The  GFS podcast is no more!!

*deep breathe*

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A new season is upon us and that means an endless amount of largely uncompetitive pre-season friendlies. Not today. A Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough you say, press box you say. Yes please! Leeds United making the short journey south to take on Sheffield Wednesday in what was billed as a pre-season “friendly”. High hopes that niceties would be thrown out the window on the M1.

To bring everyone up to speed, gibfootballshow towers moved location two weeks ago and is now based in Sheffield. A number of reasons for the move but the main thing is GFS has a new base camp and there could be more stories emanating from South Yorkshire this season.

Sheffield has two big teams who are going through a bad patch, with both teams in League One it could be a great season for a neutral to enjoy some football. However telling Mrs GFS, a life-long Blade (Sheffield United fan), that I would be going to Hillsborough did raise an eyebrow.

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In the start of a new series Richard Aisthorpe – long-time Sheffield United fan (and my Father-In-Law) brings us his views on a club he has followed since the 80′s. A club that has now gone full circle. I’ll let Richard take up the story…

Ok let’s start with some history. In 1987 I moved to Sheffield and wanted to watch some football ASAP. I went to see Sheffield United play an early season game at home to Northampton in the Third Division (Now League 1). When I got home my wife asked “How was it?” I said “They certainly know where the fucking goals are!” “No need to swear!” she said.

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Tattoos are a big deal in sports and it has been a staple in football culture among players and fans. Its rise in popularity can be credited to footballers showing off some skin on the pitch and displaying numerous body ink markings. It is indeed rare to find athletes without tattoos. It can be painful but it displays a statement of machismo or of something significant for the player. Clubs have allowed players to have tattoos. As long as it does not harm them, they can have as many as they desire.

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Brent Atema stands in as host along with guests Euan Marshall and Ed Malyon to discuss the action in the Copa America Group Stages.

Best moments, players, goals etc are all up for discussion. And they also look forward to the Knock-out stages.

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At the beginning of the summer, the plan seemed incredibly ambitious. Mexico’s national teams at various age levels playing in practically every available tournament. The full senior national squad? Playing in the Gold Cup. An under-23 squad? Going to the Copa America. The U-20s? In the World Cup in Colombia. The U-17s? Hosting their World Cup. Other junior players played at the Toulon Tournament in France. Even the women’s national team got in on the action, as they played in their second ever Women’s World Cup.

With so many tournaments going on for the men, this summer represents an opportunity for the Mexican National Team set-up overall. Dozens of players are getting experience in international tournaments. The objective in each tournament is different, and not all of the tournaments have been played yet. But there has been considerable success so far for Mexico, and leads to a great deal of optimism moving into the next World Cup cycle and beyond.

At the Gold Cup, Mexico entered as favorites, pegged slightly ahead of the United States. Mexico has flattered to deceive in the past, so although it seemed their talents like Chicharito and Andres Guardado would take El Tri to easy victories, it was not a certainty. But this squad got the job done, winning their group games easily, then going down to Guatemala in the quarterfinals, going to extra time against Honduras in the semifinals, and going down by two to the United States in the final. In all three knockout games, Mexico kept their composure and battled back to comfortable victories. Chicharito finished the tournament as the top scorer, and player of the tournament, and capped off a remarkable 12 months for club and country. This team was not even derailed by losing five players to a failed drug test early in the tournament, who have since been cleared and evidently will not face any suspensions. While Mexico, along with the United States, may be the class of a weak region, they were still able to focus and get the title.

The Copa America, still underway, has been very different. The under-23 squad featured no players from the Gold Cup except for the mercurial Giovani dos Santos, who was allowed to play in both tournaments presumably because Tottenham Hotspur was hoping he would raise his transfer value. The squad featured another setback when eight players, including several projected starters, were kicked off the team after cavorting with prostitutes. As a result, the squad is very different, and they have had tough sledding so far in Argentina, losing their first two matches to Chile and Peru. The press and fans of Mexico, who are truly football-crazy, have been wringing their hands over the poor showing at the Copa America. Given that Mexico was restricted from fielding a full senior team, they deserve some slack, and the tournament is providing, if nothing else, experience for many players who haven’t played very much at the international level.

The bad taste left in the mouth from the Copa America has been alleviated almost immediately by the U-17 World Cup as Mexico emerged champion, at home no less. Mexico also won the U-17 World Cup in 2005, and several players from that squad are playing in the tournaments this summer, including Gio dos Santos and Efrain Juarez in the Gold Cup. The excitement of this year’s U-17 World Cup came from a combination of three factors: Mexico’s general obsession with the sport, Mexico being the hosts of the tournament, and Mexico fielding a talented team. The fact that they were at home obviously provided a boost to the players, but in defeating the likes of Uruguay and Germany, no slouches themselves, the team demonstrated they could also thrive under the pressure. There were several notable games in the tournament, but the semifinal between Mexico and Germany was one for the ages. Germany scored shortly into extra time to go ahead 2-1, and then Mexico scored on an Olimpico, or a direct corner kick. On that play, Julio Gomez collided with a German player and needed medical attention after being knocked woozy and bleeding. But after getting his head wrapped up, Gomez jumped right into the action, and ended up scoring the winning goal on an overhead kick with time winding down. As a result, the 16-year old became a national hero, and Mexico moved on to win the title.

Mexico still has the U-20 World Cup coming up, and believe it or not some players have been held out of other tournaments in order to play in it. While nobody is necessarily projecting a title for them, a good showing will continue the optimism surrounding the national team for the next decade. Obviously, in the youth ranks, players will rise and fall over time, but if even a few players from each of the youth squads end up in the senior team, Mexico may have the talent to go with their ambitions on the international stage. It is too soon to tell if this was simply a good summer for Mexico or if this is the start of a new era, but it will undoubtedly make for irresistible viewing.

Written by Alicia Ratterree, gibfootballshow’s Mexican  corresspondent. Follow her on twitter


The transfer merry-go-round is in full swing. With Samir Nasri the latest player to be linked with a move away from Arsenal top blogger Andrew Winn looks at the idea of Samir Nasri staying at the Emirates for another season.

Much like new kits and pre-season tours, the summer would not be the same without an annual transfer debacle. With increasing reliability, players will announce intentions to leave or join a club, listing numerous explanations, the majority of which will irritate the more suspicious supporters of his once beloved current employers.

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Now then you may have heard mentioning something about Northern Leagues United on twitter or from time to time over the last few months, it’s finally here, tomorrow is the big day! For the uninitiated, let me fill you in on the details.

Northern Leagues United is a charity event tomorrow at Birtley Sports Ground, kicking off around 11.30am, and you get to watch 3 games for 3 quid. Can’t argue with them prices in today’s world of modern football, and it’s all for charity, if you needed more convincing.

We’re doing this in aid of Onagawa, a small town in Japan wiped out by the recent tsunami. Like, pretty much completely wiped out. In the restoration efforts, those in the town have rallied around the local football team – Cobaltore Onagawa – you can read more about the inspiring story over on this very fine little website - – so go and do it.

Ok, so get yourself there around 11.30am. The Birtley Sports Ground is one of the oldest grounds in the world, so you get to see a little bit of football history while you take in three fine matches.

Getting things underway will be Birtley will be a friendly between Birtley’s U17 and U18 sides. Some of the finest young footballers in the area. Chelsea’s Carl Magnay & Hartlepool’s Michael Mackay are both products of the Birtley youth team in the past.

At 1pm, a team of Northern League Fans will take on a team of Football Writers. Yours truly will be donning some shiny umbro boots and lining up for the Football Writers team alongside such luminaries as Nick Loughlin, Richard Mason & Paul Fraser from the Northern Echo. Iain Macintosh from The New Paper & Sports Illustrated. Simon Bird from The Mirror, Mark Douglas from The Journal & Simon Pryde off of the radio. Not to mention a host of your favourite bloggers such as Andy Hudson from Gannin Away, Simon Walsh from Roker Report, plus Jeff Livingstone & David Hartrick – The brains behind In Bed With Maradona and my good friends from Scotland: Scott Johnston (footyblog,net), Tom Hall (@ScotFootBlog) and Grant Russell from STV.

You’ll get to witness why we merely talk about football as opposed to play it to any level, as we no doubt get skinned by a fans team which includes Whitley Bay’s Wembley goalscorer and all-round Northern League legend, Paul Chow.

We’ll be doing battle over 90 minutes, and possibly penalties for the first ever Onagawa Cup.

Following that will be a friendly between two much more proper teams – Birtley’s first team will take on Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.

As for yourself, there’ll be a bar open all day, and no doubt you’ll see me propping that up for an extended period after the games, and there’ll also be a raffle with some truly grade A prizes.

Sounds pretty damn good eh? Remember all this, ALL THIS will set you back a mere £3. What else you got planned? Not even the birth of your first child will be as memorable or as entertaining as this game. Get yourself along, and support the North East football scene, as they help out the North East of Japan.

For further reading on who’s playing in the Fans v Writers game head HERE.

And those topper raffle prizes come HERE.

And for more details on the day in general, and the story behind Onagawa, head HERE.

It’s a bit like Live Aid, but with football. No Phil Collins, and no Bob Geldof being a complete penis. The sentiment stands though – Give us your f***ing money! – Oh, and enjoy the game!



Our Italian correspondent Steve Mitchell looks at how the different Serie A team will be spending their summers

It’s only just over six weeks since Milan were crowned champions of Italy but thoughts are already turning to the new campaign as the peninsula’s premier clubs prepare for pre-season training. Over the past month or so, the Italian sports dailies have been dominated by transfer speculation and pictures of Serie A’s superstar players relaxing on exotic beaches with their gorgeous wives and girlfriends.

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