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Buick6
27-11-2005, 07:06 AM
SO the original 'rockstar' soccer player dies. Amidst it all I can't get the actual image of Wedding Present's classic 'Geroge Best ' album with the bloke on the cover. Made even more siginificant as it was the most blokey statement made by what could pass as the 'feyest' ('gayest') of indie music the C86 movement! Still George Best was a classic indie C86 album, way rawer tougher and 'rockier' that the other indie kings of the the time the Smiths, and in some way prolly more seminal with there sound still heard in today in acts like the Strokes (though no-one else would admit to it!) and indirectly the whole laddish-nationalist Brit-Pop thing.

It stands (for me) as the Weddoes equal finest 40 minutes up there with Sea Monsters.

But it only took the passing of the real George Best to remind me! :cool:

Diggedy Derek
27-11-2005, 09:12 AM
Yeah, it was weird seeing that image in a record shop at a time when football was profoundly unfashionable for indie-kids to be into. The Wedding Present have lasted prety well I reckon, a sort of low-budget Jonathon Richmond, the kind of thing that always has a certain rockin frisson.

sufi
28-11-2005, 09:27 AM
(or was that John Peel?)

mind_philip
28-11-2005, 10:31 AM
I wrote this little piece at the weekend about George Best (http://verlaine79.blogspot.com/2005/11/whos-best-day-or-so-after-someones.html) which ended up in the Guardian's blog round up today.

I think I got into trouble once in the past for saying that Best might not have measured up in the end to the likes of Maradona, but really, the far more pressing issue is the fact that he's still the high water mark of English League football, some 40 years down the line.

Rambler
29-11-2005, 08:28 AM
That's an excellent post, Philip, and deservedly linked. I absolutely agree about English football's nostalgia habit - it's almost sacrilegious not to agree that England-Germany 66 and England-Brazil 70 aren't the two greatest matches ever played, yet watching them they both seem dull, uninspired affairs (setting aside the historical contexts). With the amount of space the Brazilians got on the ball in 70, no wonder they were able to do some special stuff. And of the England team of 66, from a distance of 40 years none of them look a patch on modern players - apart from, perhaps, Alan Ball, who's rarely exalted into Charlton, Hirst and Moore's company.

luka
29-11-2005, 12:01 PM
a few years back, when i was till a schoolboy, i was onj a train travelling from letchworth to finsbury park when george best got on at stevenage. he was on his own. all the schoolboys went over for autographs but i didn't want to cos i was embaressed and didn't want to bother him.

k-punk
29-11-2005, 12:11 PM
Best was a genuinely tragic figure: a prince brought down by the flaws in his own character. Part of the tragedy was that it's impossible to say how good he was; one night in Lisbon yeh but most of the rest of his career played against the likes of Stoke City. Without an appearance at the World Cup finals, it's impossible to rank him with Pele, Cryuff or the fat cheat.

As for England 66, yr right, a snooze... The 70 match is better but not a patch on Italy-Brazil in 82 or Italy-Germany the same year...

Lichen
29-11-2005, 01:44 PM
For 8 years or so I drank in the same pub as Best. He was alright; a rheumy eyed kind of drunk. He sat on the banquette under the telly with 5 or 6 cronies: career boozers with an air of the complicit about them.

rewch
29-11-2005, 03:17 PM
For 8 years or so I drank in the same pub as Best. He was alright; a rheumy eyed kind of drunk. He sat on the banquette under the telly with 5 or 6 cronies: career boozers with an air of the complicit about them.

aye... the racing department... woe anybody who tried to bother the man though... on a note of 'back in my day' they've turned it into a gastro pub & taken out the banquette

Diggedy Derek
29-11-2005, 05:13 PM
Nice piece that phillip, although I don't agree with your thesis really in many ways. Sure, Ronaldinho beats any player ever in terms of skill qua tricks, but this is the brazilian way, and I'm not so sure teams such as Argentina or Italy are really that much greater than in earlier times. Sure, they are more athletic, but athleticism is an unfair comparison, I think we'd all agree.

Although say English players Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard (the runners up the Balon d'or) perhaps doesn't have better tricks than Stanley Matthews, in terms of technique they're probably better- both can pass and shoot with both feet, and the outside of the foot etc. I don't think English football has failed to produce players with good technique recently.

I think where English football has fallen behind (and why I don't think England will win the World Cup) is not in terms of extravagant skill, but more tactical nous, shape, that sort of thing. Certainly Joe Cole is skilled, he'd be a great 5 a side player, he's just a bit useless on an 11 a side.

jenks
29-11-2005, 06:41 PM
i think one of the things about Best is no-one is allowed to be as good as him. We must all bow down to the past as this place where the best appeared ( and wasn't it a lovely coincidence that the best had that name?)


Too young to see Best play except as a player for Fulham with his great oppo Marsh, my memories are all televisual - lovely they are too but there have been some players in the English League to touch his hem - Hoddle in his prime, Ardiles and maybe Henry will be considered the finest to have played in our league.


Much in the same way the music was always better the football has to be too - i am not denying Moore could tackle but any better than Maldini or even Campbell?

the Best story has a great narrative arc that Fitzgerald would have loved and i think that the conflation of him as both almighty footballer and true tabloid celeb set the pattern for current newspaper practices - we can no longer rationallly tell how good he was as he stands there with his myth swirling about him.

maybe Ferguson is right and Rooney is the new B(b)est but i doubt it because no matter how good he is he is alwyas going to be pug ugly. Beckham has the looks but can't score the same kind of goals - free kicks and occasional forays into the box against the audacious nature of Best's best.

the very best now are too cagey to live the life that Best presented - unguarded enough to allow the tabloids every last insight into his fractured psyche, the warmth of the public's affection built on the back of that night against Benfica. Only Gazza has come close but even the public couldn't quite overlook the wife beating and his long road to redemption has seen him in China and Kidderminster rather than the sun bronzed shores of the states.

in the end Best's myth means there can never be anyone to touch him because no-one can be him. nostalgia has congealed around him and admits no room for comparison, hagiography complete, his position must remain uncontested - anything else is blasphemy.

btw i think we can win the world cup (but now i've said it, we won't)

mind_philip
29-11-2005, 10:18 PM
Sure, Ronaldinho beats any player ever in terms of skill qua tricks, but this is the brazilian way, and I'm not so sure teams such as Argentina or Italy are really that much greater than in earlier times.

Ronaldinho is a special case for me; in contrast to a large number of 'tricky' players (Okocha, various false Maradonas, Joe Cole) Ronaldinho's tricks are always in the service of hurting the opposition. His flicks and backheels aren't done in midfield no-man's land, they are done in attacking positions where they are the best way of creating space and opportunity. He's almost too good, too entertaining, as it's hard to remember that he's absolutely murdering the opposition when he's doing it in such an outrageous and unexpected way.

brotherjames
30-11-2005, 02:57 PM
A Benfica fan talking here...

I loved Best but Eusebio was great too...wasn’t he?

Btw... Manchester will play against Benfica next week in Lisbon...

Any bets?