Hanoch Piven
Football (Soccer)
Google Football World Map
posted: May 27, 2009
Today is The Champions League Football Final (its Soccer for you dear Americans)

Interesting to see how Google throughout the world is reacting to it...
GOOGLE UK
GOOGLE RUSSIA
GOOGLE ISRAEL
GOOGLE EGYPT
GOOGLE SPAIN
GOOGLE ITALY
GOOGLE USA   mnnnnnn...
GOOGLE CANADA ?
GOOGLE CANADA IN FRENCH!!
GOOGLE FIJI
GOOGLE CONGO!
and last GOOGLE MICRONESIA.
WAIT!!... WHAT WITH ARGENTINA?
BRASIL!!
Football!
posted: May 1, 2008
Avram Grant is the nom du jour in European Football today. Being criticized the whole season as being no more than the puppet of Chelsea's Boss, Roman Abramovitch, he managed nonetheless to bring Chelsea to the Champion's League Final and having a real shot at winning the Premier League as well.
Grant who is Israeli is the subject of my column in Maariv tomorrow.
I have asked Allan Manham who took me last year to Stamford Bridge to write about Grant from his perspective as a Chelsea fan.
Here's Allan's text. (written before last night's game)
This text wasn't published since the editors managed in the last minute to get Grant himself to write.

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So there we were, having won back to back league championships, reaching two European cup semi finals and excitedly looking forward to the coming season under our charismatic Portuguese manager and heavily bankrolled by our Russian oligarch owner who had transformed our prospects with his bottomless pockets. But that sort of spending power does also bring the possibility of acting on a whim.
 
Pity this sad supporter having watched Chelsea for the last 42 years, logging in daily to every possible news source for the latest on his club. “Mourinho leaves Chelsea and is replaced by Avram Grant!” How could that be possible? We had all heard about the personal friendship that allegedly exists between Grant, Roman Abramovich and his football fixer, super agent Pini Zahavi. But… How could a club with aspirations to be the world’s leader, replace the most charismatic manager it has ever had, with a complete nobody? A manager without a record. A man with no identity. A man with no discernible personality. But we are told, a nice man. A son who loves his father. Since when though, does that add up to the job description for one of the most coveted (and highly paid) jobs in football?
 
I can’t but help but think of that marvellous Hal Ashby movie Being There, based on the Jerzy Kosinski novel and starring Peter Sellers as Chance the gardener who lives his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. After a run in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of a woman and her husband Ben, an influential and wealthy but sickly businessman. Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes friend and confidante to Ben, and an unlikely political insider. His raison d’etre is that he actually is very simple minded and has nothing of import to say, but this is interpreted by those around him as deep insight. "In the garden, growth has it seasons," Chance explains. "First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again."
 
Is Grant the modern day Chauncey Gardner, with his simplistic utterances and inability to communicate being interpreted as coming from someone with real vision and insight?
 
Die hard Chelsea supporters like me, even though devastated at the loss of our previous idol are like supporters everywhere. We are prepared to forgive all, provided it brings the success that we crave. And when Mourinho was so unceremoniously (and expensively) given the chop a mere few games into the season, we were forced, somewhat reluctantly, to give the taciturn Grant the benefit of the doubt, provided he delivered the crown jewels that Abramovich and the whole club craved, the European Championship? His mission statement- if that is not putting the mumbled words at his early incoherent press conferences too strongly- was that he was going to do it with attacking football! OK he has been hampered by a succession of injuries to key players, but still now there is no evidence of some sort of master plan. I have lost count of the times halfway through a game when he has made a seemingly inexplicable substitution and the crowd have chanted in unison, “you don’t know what you’re doing”
 
And yet and yet. On Saturday we played Manchester United with just  the outside chance of winning the league championship, provided we beat them and win the following last two games of the season. But it should not have come to this. The feeling is that games have been wasted and we have lost just when everything was assured. Incredibly we scored in extra time in the first half, having played some of the most attractive football that we had seen during the season. The frustration of giving away that lead to a soft goal by the usually peerless Carvalho was, offset by the award of a penalty late in the second half and the legendary luck that alledgedly follows Grant around, worked this time in our favour. We have had no luck this season, demonstrated by a string of bad injuries to key players, but true football fans will happily welcome anyone who can change that sequence.
Is that to be Grant’s true gift?

 And by some miraculous chance we play Liverpool at home next Wednesday 1-1 with home advantage and therefore as favourites for the first time to go all the way through to the final in Moscow in May. All will be revealed. Is Chauncey Grant the man, despite all the reservations? Does he have some special insight that only the privileged few are able to discern? As a supporter you can only go on hoping. And if we do are we then to be saddled with one of the most unpopular managers we have ever had?

 
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Allan Manham
Football (Soccer) is global
posted: December 1, 2007
Im in Israel watching live on TV the Barcelona 'derbi'. The two Barcelona City teams playing each other. In this picture we see an Argentinian, a Mexican, an Islandian, a French, and a guy from the Ivory Coast among others shown on Israeli TV, photographed by a guy born in Uruguay and posted on a website which a guy from North Carolina created, so that a Colombian living in Boston will see it. As of 00:33 AM, Barça and Español are tied at 1.
Ronaldinho !
posted: February 26, 2007
A lazy monday morning, grey jobs to deal with, still with a slight hang-over from a visit to Camp Nou to watch a good Barça game last night (3-0 against Athletic) So if J.D does the music clip thingy, I might as well do the football clip thingy. here's Ronnie + Samba.
Football with..
posted: January 23, 2007
Manham and Piven with Drogba and Schevchenko (they're the tiny guys in blue)
Allan Manham
Allan had been an illustrator for 20 years when in the early eighties he established The Artworks agency in London first representing colleague friends and later dedicating all his time to representing illustrators for another 20 years until he retired 2 years ago. During these 40 years Allan has also found the time to attend almost all home games of his beloved team Chelsea. In the last 2 years Allan has gone back to art school doing printmaking and life drawing.
Allan was very generous to invite me to join him tonight at Stamford Bridge Stadium for the game against Wycombe.
Chelsea won 4-0 and it was a wonderful (yet freezing) London evening with a mixture of illustration and football stories.
But is it art?
posted: January 2, 2007
see the gazes of the jumping players as they realize they were fooled..
OK here's a soccer one..I know..it is not about illustration..but just look at this free kick by Ronaldinho.
For the likes of O'Brian and Goldin who probably don't know sh__ about soccer, most of the freekicks in soccer are shot hight. (see bend it like Beckham) The 'barrier' of German players was made of the tallest ones who anticipated the kick by jumping high to be able to block better (they're Germans you know) ..but this time Ronaldinho surprised them and shot it low and scored an 'easy' goal.
So perhaps Ronaldinho is a graceful artist whose lesson says sometimes it is important to surprise the crowds and to keep them guessing at what is coming next.
piven.buglogic.com