Welcome

Hello.

If you’re reading this then you have either reached a strange part of the internet and you aren’t too sure how you have ended up here, or alternatively you know me personally and would like to know what goes on in this strange old head of mine.

I am hopeful that this blog will cater to a variety of tastes. As you can see above I have chosen 3 fairly broad categories to discuss and give my (probably biased) opinions on.

I intend to keep this updated as often as possible on the off chance that somebody takes a keen interest in what I have to say, if not then I am just talking to myself.

Let’s see where this goes.

Jordan.

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Featured post

The English national team – 51 Years and counting.

As the dreaded international break has come and gone yet again, it only seems fitting that I write a segment on the enigma that is the England Football Team and why their brand of football has become increasingly stagnant as time has gone on.

“Fed up of hearing about the Glory Days”

If you are under the age of 60 it is highly likely that watching the England national team has seldom been an enjoyable experience over the years. We are forever left wondering why our only saving grace is the success of ’66 which few of us were alive to even witness. That undeniable feeling of hope washing over the nation prior to every major tournament still exists but deep down we all know that barring a “Leicester style” miracle we are going to be set for more and more disappointment from our nations best players.

So I am going to dissect the issues passed down from the players of yesteryear and look at whether the latest crop of “future stars” have what it takes to end the years of despondency amongst the fans. Don’t hold your breath.

“Representing your country doesn’t mean as much as it used to”


When watching the England players of today it seems like representing their country is more of a chore than an honour. This is something that has only occurred within the last 10 years as the game has become far more commercialised. There is now a severe lack of Stuart Pearce and Terry Butcher type players who would leave everything on the pitch and give their all for the country. The iconic images of Gazza’s tears in Turin or Pearce’s battle cries at Euro 96 resonate with fans up and down the country as they show that the players clearly felt like there was a duty bestowed upon them every time they stepped out on to the pitch in the England colours to give their everything, as the hopes of a nation depended on them. It now seems that the modern players are so spoon fed and mollycoddled by their clubs that this type of passion has been sucked out of them entirely, which ultimately is reflected in the results when it matters on the big stage.

“Lack of homegrown talent in the Premier League”


It is no secret that the Premier League is regarded as the greatest league in the world. With this being the case it is obviously a huge lure to players across the globe, to the Premier League big wigs this is significant advantage over other leagues whereas to the homegrown talent which is writhe across the country it isn’t so beneficial. It’s very rare that a young English player solidifies a starting berth within the first team of a top flight side, the more familiar scenario is that they represent the Under 23s until they are no longer deemed an upcoming talent and are shipped off to a lower division side. As with any trend there are also anomalies such as Marcus Rashford bursting onto the scene at Manchester United when they were amidst an injury crisis and he hasn’t looked back since, or Harry Kane not giving up after numerous loan spells away from White Hart Lane and he has now flourished into one of the most lethal strikers in world football. 

In the most part the issue stems from the Premier League and FA’s lack of involvement with the grass roots game as they would rather look overseas than develop their own. As this trend looks set to continue it seems there will be far fewer ‘Class of 92’ style stories until big changes are rolled out by the aforementioned governing bodies.

“The English have many traditions such as, eating a roast on a sunday, dunking biscuits in your tea and bottling major footballing tournaments”


If you could win tournaments based on the names on the team sheet alone then England would be an international powerhouse, unfortunately that is not the case and our national team are somewhat of a laughing stock amongst the “Big Boys”. It is often considered that the failures lie with the numerous big egos that were in amongst the squad and that they are more focused on the headlines for themselves rather than the results for the team. Despite this it is still bewildering how we have had no success at all (winning all 10 qualifiers is NOT classed as success!!) 

In 2006 our squad consisted of Beckham, Gerrard, Ferdinand, Terry, Scholes, Owen all in their prime years and the small matter of an upcoming youngster by the name of Wayne Rooney who had been scoring goals for fun back home. Despite this incredible squad all we could muster was a third successive major tournament quarter final defeat under the guidance of Sven Goran Eriksson, again to the ever so frustrating Portugal side and this time Rooney was stealing the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

In previous years it had always been a case of lack of creativity in the final third or sloppy mistakes against more talented sides where defeat was not an unimaginable concept. In 2016 however this was not the case, arguably one of the most disappointing games in recent English history. Iceland. Myself and I am sure many other England fans must’ve saw the  round of 16 opponent and already had one eye on the potential Quarter Final fixture. Surely even England couldn’t mess this up? 

Ah, the naivety of an English fan. 

We lost 2-1 to a country where if you are male and aged between 20-40 you have a 1 in 2000 chance of playing for the national side. To put it in perspective, Cristiano Ronaldo has 178x more twitter followers than Iceland has people. The worst part about this was that it wasn’t undeserved. Iceland had the passion of a family, and that was the catalyst for their display. Humiliation for the nation that is supposedly the home of beautiful football, try telling that to Eriksson, Capello, McClaren, Hodgson, Allardyce and so on. 

Now with Southgate at the helm and World Cup qualification almost secured could England finally be seeing a the beginning of a new era or will the reluctance of the FA to bring in a proven manager come back to bite them yet again?

Summer of success for the young lions”


A beacon of hope came in the form of England’s youngsters this past summer, perhaps giving an insight into the future or perhaps more likely showing how football can be played at its purest form before the lure of lucrative contracts and the luxury lifestyle come into play. 

I have compiled a list of 3 players that I feel could have a big impact on the England team in the coming years. (My previous footballing predictions have included Connor Coady to become a future Liverpool captain and that Andy Carroll would prove to be a better signing than Luis Suarez when they both joined in 2011. So do not be surprised if all of these fail to live up to the hype) 

JOE GOMEZ –  LIVERPOOL – CB/RB – 20 YEARS OLD


I have watched Gomez keenly since his arrival at Liverpool and was incredibly impressed when he slotted into the starting 11 in his debut season, that was until frequent injuries kept him sidelined until Spring 2017. Recently he has picked up right where he left off, in Liverpool’s 4-0 demolition he did an exemplary job of keeping Alexis Sanchez quiet for 90 minutes as well as putting in a man of the match performance for the Under 21’s vs Latvia, a decent way to celebrate being announced as Under 21’s captain.

He displays superb aerial dominance as well as an impressive tackle completion percentage which are key components for any Premier League quality defender. This doesn’t tell the whole story though, his versatility allows him to play in either full back position to full effect where he shows composure on the ball , an eye for a forward pass and the tactical awareness to position himself in both the correct defensive and offensive positions.

ADEMOLA LOOKMAN – EVERTON – RW/LW/CAM – 19 YEARS OLD


Another Charlton Academy graduate looking set to make his mark on the English game with a bang. Known for his ability to carry the ball with purpose and his direct approach in and around the penalty area makes him a nightmare for defenders. He possesses great versatility across the front line meaning that he can change his approach throughout the game to avoid being shut out entirely by the opposition.

He also demonstrated composure in front of goal during his debut Premier League campaign most notably against Manchester City on his debut coming off the bench to put the game to bed, talk about a baptism of fire for the 19 year old. 

Everton seemingly have a solid core of young English talent within their ranks with the likes of Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate, Jordan Pickford who are all poised to make a big impact in the Premier League alongside Lookman.

DEMARAI GRAY – LEICESTER CITY – RW/LW – 21 YEARS OLD


Perhaps the most established player on the list as he is now on the verge of a starting berth at Leicester and more than likely a big move to a top 6 side in the near future. He has an abundance of raw pace which can spark life into any game and is the perfect player for any team which likes to play with obvious width. 

Of course he has the obvious attributes of any wide player such as pace, flair and direct running style, but what makes Gray that little bit more special is his eye for a wonder goal, in particular his strike at Old Trafford last season which caught the attention of many. It has been mentioned that his decision making needs some work but with a player that obtains so much natural ability with the right nurturing the sky is his limit. He is currently the star of a talented Under 21’s side and I would not be surprised for him to get a call up to the national side in the very near future, and who knows if he has the season that he is capable of then perhaps an outside chance of a call up to the 2018 World Cup side.

“The future is bright, but then again it always has been”

We can sit and hope that we will see silverware lifted in our lifetime but who knows what the future holds. I am certain that I will always watch England with the same optimism as always but hopefully with a different outcome in the future. The talent is certainly there it is just time for the passion and pride to come back. 

Jordan Benford.


My Top 10 all time favourite movies *no spoilers*

Everybody has their favourite films, whether it be a cheesy comedy or an edge of your seat horror. I am no exception. Here is a list of my all time favourites.

10. Step Brothers (2008)

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Some days you just need to laugh until your stomach hurts, look no further than this Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly master class. Two 40+ year old men still living at home with their newly married “parents” constantly trying to be the dominant step sibling and completely oblivious that their endeavours are driving their parents to the edge. This is a must watch for any comedy fan.

9. Good Will Hunting (1997)

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This film has it all. There are so many intricate lessons weaved immaculately into the storyline. From dealing with grief, love and friendships.

“Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself”

8. Prisoners (2013)

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Prisoners shows the true extents that a parent will go to ensure the safety of their child. There are endless twists and turns as Hugh Jackman, assisted by Jake Gyllenhall, do everything in their power to find out the whereabouts of his daughter, Anna, and her friend .

7. Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

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If you haven’t seen Wolf of Wall Street then you need to come out from whatever rock you’ve been living under for the past 4 years. Leo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort perfectly, just an ordinary stock broker who’s stroke of genius lands him in a world of endless riches, but also a whole world of trouble. This slick production is a classic of modern times.

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

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I am yet to meet a person who has watched the Harry Potter franchise and has not thoroughly enjoyed the wizarding wonder which it provides. Deathly Hallows Part 2 perfectly ties together 14 years worth of movie magic at Hogwarts. We know that only 1 can survive out of Harry and Voldemort, but who will be triumphant?

5. End of Watch (2012)

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Another Jake Gyllenhall film makes the list. This time he is an officer in the LAPD on patrol with his best friend. This film shows the daily trials and tribulations of police officers patrolling cartel dominated streets. *warning* this film is a tear jerker.

4. Trainspotting (1996)

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This film is a cult classic set in the Edinburgh drug scene. It follows the exploits of 4 heroin addicts all with their own stories to tell. Danny Boyle directs this classic, which you will either love or hate. The twists and turns set up for the sequel which was released on the 20th anniversary of the initial release.

3. American History X (1998)

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This film gives a poignant insight into the white supremacist movement in the USA. Edward Norton plays a leader who comes to the realisation that he has been brainwashed by his father and that the cause he is fighting for is not worth while. He must convince his brother of the same before it is too late.

2. The silence of the lambs (1991)

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A true horror classic. Anthony Hopkins plays one of the best characters ever played in movie history, Hannibal Lecter. A convicted cannibal, rookie police officer Jodie Foster must persuade him to give all of his insight on the most recent high profile case. Thrilling.

1. The Dark Knight (2008)

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Has there even been an example of better casting than Heath Ledger for the portrayal of the infamous character The Joker? Bruce Wayne is challenged to crack down on the influx of Gang crime within Gotham City. High action and high drama as the crazy life of Bruce Wayne returns for another instalment. Hands down my favourite film of all time. No question.

Liverpool 16/17 season review – “There’s no trophy for finishing 4th”

After seeing Leicester defy all odds in the 15/16 season surely all fans were hopeful of their team producing a miracle, Liverpool were no different. Could it finally be our year?

A 4-0 demolition of Barcelona under the Wembley arches in pre-season may have set our standards fractionally too high to say the least but enjoyable nonetheless.

The summer is always tough for football fans but this was eased slightly with the Euros taking place in France and as always the cash was well and truly being splashed in the transfer window, notably Paul Pogba to Man United broke the transfer record for a huge £90million.

If I was to rate Liverpool’s transfer dealings it would be a distinctly average 6 and I can’t imagine shirt sales soared with the names of our new signings on.

Notable signings included the Premier League proven Sadio Mane but for a questionable fee. Joel Matip was a shrewd acquisition with minimal risk due to him being a free transfer from Schalke. Loris Karius arrived for a small fee on the back of a breakout season between the sticks in the Bundesliga and could finally be the answer to our goalkeeping woes. Finally, Ragnar Klavan raised a few eyebrows as to be honest no one had a clue who he was, although he had won numerous “Estonian Player of the Year” awards which surely means something right?

So the wait was over. The stage was set. Everything looked so promising, no European football to worry about and the new stand was finally completed and there was fresh hope of Anfield returning to the fortress it once was.

Opening day fixtures don’t get much tougher than an away trip to the Emirates, and as always with an Arsenal-Liverpool fixture, it was a classic. The score line 4-3 didn’t reflect Liverpool’s dominance and it was only defensive frailties that prevented this from this being utter domination from The Reds.

In true Liverpool fashion, the very next fixture against Burnley was an absolute Defensive travesty as we suffered a 2-0 defeat on the road at Turf Moor. There is a defensive pattern emerging here. Frustrating.

The games rolled on and Liverpool were becoming some what of a force in the Autumnal months with defining games such as 6-1 thrashing of a weak Hull side, 4-2 thriller against our famous bogey side Crystal Palace and the plucky 1-0 win against Man City at Anfield.

We were top of the tree at Christmas. The likes of Mane and Lallana already early contenders for player of the season, there was pace and energy in our game that hadn’t been seen for a long time.

“All good things must come to an end.”

Mane was away at the African cup of Nations and the energy had been seemingly zapped from the side. The Gegenpress was nonexistent, and we were struggling to get results against the likes of Plymouth and Sunderland. What happened?

January and February were a disaster. Out of all the cup competitions and the Title was slipping away faster than Gerra-

At this point in the season the only solace we could take was our impressive record against the top 6 sides, but what does that achieve when we can’t beat the so called “lesser” teams.

The final straight. Our squad had been plagued by injury and lack of form. Our sole target now was champions league football but there were only two spaces up for grabs and four teams contesting for them.

Liverpool needed to pull out some wins from somewhere, and in true fashion we left it to the final day to secure our place amongst Europes elite.

In conclusion I would not consider a season where we had the title within our sights to be a success, but I assume that Champions League qualification was the main aim and we have achieved just that.

Player of the season – Sadio Mane

Goal of the season – Emre Can vs Watford

Game of the season – 4-3 vs Arsenal (A)

General Election 2017 – Corbyn to stage an upset?

As I write this the polls are open and I have cast my vote. On 9th June 2017 we will have a leader in charge of pushing through the Brexit negotiations and making changes that the British public so desperately crave. So will it be Corbyn or May?

The two front runners have pulled no punches so far in this election campaign and speculation is writhe about who will come out on top.

Corbyn has captured the hearts of the younger voters by declaring that he is aiming to provide a brighter future for Britain’s youth, whilst May is pledging that the Tory party will provide the Strength and Stability that Britain needs.

I personally have voted for Labour. I don’t claim to be an expert nor do I claim that my decision is what everyone should do as everybody should exercise their right to vote. I based my decision on 2 major factors; Corbyn pledging to still allow refugees to seek refuge away from their war torn homelands and have a safe place to stay. The other reason is that Labour are actively against the privatisation of the NHS which is a figurehead for the British public and I fear that without it their would be dire consequences.

For many years I have looked at politics as something that is strictly for middle class adults, and I am sure that I am not alone with this thought. This year however has been eye opening for myself and many others my age, a party has actually reached out to us and for once we actually have a platform upon which our voices can be heard.

I am not trying in anyway to tell you who to vote for, but I do urge you to cast your vote and let your voice be heard and don’t be stuck in the “my vote doesn’t matter” mindset.

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