Living with an addiction to Football Manager and the rest of the week's best sportswriting

Stick the kettle on.

Image: Mats Silvan

1.  “I’d been watching this TV show, I think it was Brookside, and they were going through the same situation. I saw my mum on the steps crying and I went up to her and said: ‘It’s OK, I’ve got a plan. I’ve seen a TV show and I know how to get rid of my dad.’ I just didn’t know where we were going to bury him, because in the programme they had a back garden. We had a garden but it was paved with cement. I said to my mum I didn’t know where we’d get rid of the body and that was when she said: ‘No, I need to change. We need to move.’”

Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams speaks to Donald McRae of The Guardian about the violence she experienced growing up and how boxing helped her overcome adversity.

sporting-flashback-a-look-at-when-nicola-adams-made-history-with-london-2012-gold-medal Nicola Adams after winning a gold medal at the Rio Olympics. Source: PA

2. Soon we were firing up the game before the AM became the PM, just to dip in. Within days, we just weren’t turning it off, leaving it humming behind a spreadsheet all afternoon.

We were emboldened because no one could see our screens. We sat on a bank of desks and the only thing behind us was the toilet door. It was a good job working for good people but, for want of a better term, we took the piss.

And then one day the owner literally did that… and we didn’t notice him leave the bathroom. We didn’t notice him standing behind us. He stood there for a really long time before finally breaking the silence with a dignified, “Is this what I pay you for, gentlemen?”

I have never felt so ashamed.

Writing for The Athletic, Iain Macintosh offers a hilarious insight into how people can become obsessed with the video game, Football Manager. 

3. When I speak to Sheriff’s players, one thing becomes clear to me: The contrast between the Moldovan league and the UEFA Champions League is huge, but the one between Sheriff’s shady ownership and its thoroughly likable players may be even bigger. These guys uprooted their lives and their families to come to “the end of the world,” as Gustavo Dulanto says. They have pulled off astonishing Champions League upsets and put themselves in a position to be bought by richer teams in more established soccer countries that can offer a better standard of living. You can’t help but root for them.

Keston Julien left Trinidad and Tobago at age 19, spent three years with a club in Slovakia and came to Tiraspol with dreams of playing in the English Premier League. He checks the Transfermarkt website and sees the value of Sheriff players increasing by the month. “A lot of clubs are interested in our players,” he says. “I have a friend, [midfielder Edmund] Addo, the number 21. He’s from Ghana. I think before the Champions League his value was maybe $300,000. Now his value is $1.2 million.”

Gavin Cooney
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American sportswriter Grant Wahl writes about his experience after visiting FC Sheriff.


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