Tuesday, 29 April 2008

***EXCLUSIVE*** Reaction to Breaking News


The big breaking news across the media world in sport today isn't previews of the Barca/United game tonight, but how City manager Sven Goran Eriksson has already been informed by Thaksin Shinawatra that he will be dismissed at the end of the current season.

City fans are absolutely speechless- and rightly so. It is an absolute DISGRACE that Shinawatra should even be contemplating sacking Sven after only his first season in charge. He has two years remaining on his contract and has already secured City their highest-ever points tally in the Premier League. We have enjoyed home and away victories over our neighbourly rivals Manchester United and the best start to a season EVER.

Yes we have had a huge slump post Christmas, and the defeat on Saturday against Fulham was completely gut-wrenching, but as I keep saying Rome wasn't built in a day. Sven has built the foundations there to build on next season; if he makes a couple of signings in the summer, say a right-sided midfielder, creative midfielder and a striker, and managed to fend off the advances of the Premier League big boys for Richards, Johnson and Sturridge, then I truly believe we would be competing for Europe in season 2008/09.

Sven has remained as dignified as ever, saying he refuses to resign and will not be pushed out of a job that he was happy in and enjoying hugely. Why is he not good enough? City fans on the whole have reacted angrily to the current situation and rightly so. A few fans who jumped on the bandwagon at the beginning of the season due to our impromptu success are saying he deserves to go, but the vast majority of loyal, devout blues are gutted about the situation and do not want him to leave whatsoever. A 'Sven day' has been planned for the Middlesboro away game, with fans buying Swedish flags, making Sven masks and investing in big blow-up bananas to show their support for the Swede.

I am fully aware that without Shinawatra's funds the team wouldn't be what it is now. We wouldn't have the Elanos, the Petrovs, the Corlukas. But, like the majority of foreign ownerships, it seems that Shinawatra is only interested in making money for himself without thinking or caring what is best for the club and what the fans want. Don't get me wrong, he got Sven involved in the first place, but he should have advisors telling him how unhappy the fans are with his outspoken comments and with him contemplating axing Sven. If Sven left the club would be thrown into chaos, and many players would be following Sven throught the door. The rumour mill has already started churning out names for replacements, like Scolari and Mourinho.

But I have an unhappy feeling that Sven will be gone by the weekend. Think back to the days of the Ball/ Hartford/ Clark/ Coppell/ Royle days. The City managerial merry-go-round of the 1990's. The dark days. If you are a City fan try and show your support for Sven in any way that you can. Remember- in Sven We Trust.

Keep the blue faith,


Friday, 25 April 2008

Gabby Logan interview feedback

My recent interview with Gabby Logan for a university assignment has been causing quite a stir. My narrative article about the day has not only appeared on http://www.footballfancast.com/ but has recently appeared on http://www.ukjournalism.org/ after one of my university lecturers recommended me. The entire interview can be viewed at http://www.elbrobyn.blogspot.com/ which is a blog that I have had to make for an assessment as part of my university course.
My main passion is writing, and if I can obtain exclusive interviews as a reaction to any of my articles I will certainly continue to do so.
Can I have a word?
Apologies once again for not updating in a while, but university has been somewhat chaotic. As the end of my second year rapidly approaches, so do my deadlines and final assignment submissions. I have been a very busy blue getting these finished in preparation for revision for my exams.
On the blue front, it has been back-to-back victories for City. A 2-1 away win at the Stadium of Light, beating Roy Keane's Sunderland was superbly followed by an important 3-1 victory against Portsmouth at home. Goals from Vassell, Petrov and Benjani sealed the result, and I was particularly impressed with Benjani's performance against his own club. His decision not to celebrate was a poignant one and I am sure his performance spoke for itself.
I have to say that I was particular upset with the reception that former City captain Sylvain Distin received. The Frenchman was making his first return to Eastlands since his summer move to Pompey and he was on the receiving ends of many boos and nasty chants. Distin was a superb defender at City and fans were very quick to boo him on his return. I accept that he was tangled up in transfer and contract negotiations at the club, but overall he was a great player for City and blues should have respected that. How disappointing.
I am also very disturbed about the chairman Thaksin Shinawatra's outspoken ways towards Sven. Every City fan worth their weight in gold knows how important Sven has been to City this season, and that he is laying the foundations for the future of the club. Rome certainly wasn't built in a day and Shinawatra should be a lot more patient with Sven. I hear that the final game of the season, Boro away, will be a 'Sven day', with the travelling fans wearing Sven masks to make a point to our Thai chairman. Let's hope he acknowledges the point being made.
This weekend we take on Fulham at home. Although they are fighting for their Premier League lives they will no doubt come to Eastlands knowing that a win is their only option in their fight against relegation. We must continue our form and nothing less than three points is acceptable. It's the last home game of the season so we should finish it off with a home win.
Just a quick mention to the Youth boys who have successfully won the F.A. Youth Cup. Congratulations to them after beating Chelsea 3-1, it is a superb feat and a nod to the work of Jim Cassell and all the quality young prospects from City's academy.
It is also great to see Elano playing better recently. He was the star for City at the beginning of the season and has disappeared from the radar after his injury, but is slowly finding form again.
Don't forget about the Sven day at Boro away, so get making Sven masks and buy Swedish flags, anything you can to show your support for the Maine man.
Keep the blue faith,

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Can I have a word?
Another day, another defeat. It seems like I am only ever writing negative things about City at the moment. The performance against Chelsea on Saturday was one of a team that was completely out-played by a superior team. Sounds simple? It was. We had a 10 minute period in the first half where City was on top and came close a couple of times, but we never really had any shot at the three points.
I do hope that Chelsea can go on to win the title though- not just because of the obvious (not wanting the Stretford lot to win it), but because Avram Grant has been up against it at Stamford Bridge from day one. Jose Mourinho's boots were always going to be big to fill, and it seems the fans have never really had their hearts mended after his departure. He was seen as the 'messiah', the be all and end all of Chelsea and I am pleased that Grant has quietly got on with his day job despite the controversy.
Sven has spoken out at the weekend about his hopes for City getting into Europe via the Fair Play League. Obviously this has happened before, and I was lucky enough to watch City in Belgium when we played Lokeren. To be honest, I think City fans will take a UEFA spot any which way we can at the moment.
Next up for City is a trip to the Stadium of Light, to play Sunderland. For City it's a chance to come up against old foe Roy Keane and I think it will be difficult. The stadium itself is fantastic and always a great away trip, and we have got to go into the game positive and optimistic despite our current form. Fernandes, Johnson and Petrov did impress against Chelsea, but I am very disappointed with Elano. He is certainly living on his reputation alone and is a shade of the player we saw back in September.
Get behind the boys and stay loyal, keep the blue faith!

FootballFanCast.com- Gabby Logan article


Football FanCast columnist Emily Brobyn meets the women that is the beacon of light which budding female football journalists look to follow.

When you are young, you have aspirations of what you would like to be when you are older. What occupation you would like to choose. Boys run around the playground at primary school pretending to be soldiers or pilots, whilst girls improvise being nurses or hairdressers. As you grow you change and mature: the boys turn into lads dreaming of being the next David Beckham, joining the school football team and hoping to be scouted. Girls grow into adolescent teenagers hoping to be the next Paris Hilton or, if they are more realistic, a school teacher or air hostess.

I always wanted to be a conservationist. I once had to do a primary school presentation on tigers and their plight touched me so much I joined the WWF and arranged fund-raising events. However, all that changed the day I went to my first football match. Manchester City played Everton at Goodison Park, we drew 1-1 and I was 13. It was my brother, Simon, who introduced me to football and I haven't looked back since.

I always excelled at English when I was at school, so one day I sat down and thought to myself what I could do that combines writing and football. Of course, sport journalism was the common denominator, and from that day on I wanted to be a sport journalist.

At the time I was 13. I started writing reports based on Match of the Day highlights. I made my own fanzine and sent all my work off to radio stations, television stations and newspapers. I started to write for Manchester City's King of the Kippax fanzine, and I kept doing this until I was 18, then I gave up. I didn't fancy university, so I got myself a job in retail, and hung up my proverbial pen.

Fast forward seven years and I am now reaching the end of my second year at university. I go to the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, studying a degree in sport journalism. Believe it or not, I am classed as a mature student as I am 25, but choosing to go to university later in my life has been the best decision I have ever made.

Being at university certainly opens more doors for you. When I realised that retail was a dead-end career, and my true love and passion for being a sport journalist refused to die, I tried everything to get into the industry. I applied for jobs, I sent out letters, I never gave up despite getting nowhere.

In my first year at university I interviewed then-Manchester City defender Sylvain Distin. This year I have interviewed BBC Manchester's Ian Cheeseman and ex City player-turned radio presenter Gary Owen. But I am always striving for more. For better.

In life we all have role models. People who we can look up to in admiration, who we can only hope that one day we might be able to channel our inspiration for them into our careers or everyday life. Mine is Gabby Logan. She was the original Sky Sports News anchorwoman and paved the way for females in the world of sport journalism. Since her radio debut on Metro FM, she has been a presenter for Sky Sports and for ITV Sport. Since her transfer to the BBC, she became the first woman to present Match of the Day. Gabby has her own television show, Inside Sport, her own radio show on Radio Five and writes a column for the Times. She also found the time to be a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. All this and she is happily married with children. She is the perfect role model for aspiring sport journalists like me.

So, after writing the article for Football FanCast on women in football, I sent an opportune e-mail to her PA, Bernie, asking if I could interview her. I thought I was imagining things when her answer was yes. Even more so when I was informed that the interview would be taking place at BBC Television Centre, in London.

When I told the girls at university, they were overwhelmed. I invited Frankie (who also does my course) and Caz (who is doing a journalism degree). I set about researching Gabby's life and career; I looked at interviews she had previously done and tried to avoid common questions, although my interview was based around women in football which is bound to bring up questions Gabby had previously been asked. But I wanted her personality to come out during the interview and to obtain a couple of memorable quotes.

Right before the interview, I was unequivocally nervous. We had enjoyed the daytime in London sightseeing, then, as the interview was at 6pm, we headed to Television Centre all suited and booted with our camera equipment. I suppose I was also trying to make a point by having an all-female ‘crew' with me. Who needs the boys when you have women?

On arrival, we signed in at reception and a member of the Inside Sport crew, Nicola, came down to escort us to the interview. I had no idea whereabouts the interview would take place, but it was so surreal walking through the corridors of the landmark building, past various studios and dressing rooms. It was a long walk that seemed to go on forever and one that just added to the nerves.

Nicola took us into the Match of the Day production office and we were introduced to the producer, Paul. He informed us that we would conduct the interview in this room and then asked if we would like a tour of the studio. The Inside Sport studio is the same studio they use for Match of the Day- we all jumped at the chance. Match of the Day for me, as it is for most people, is an institution. I couldn't believe just how lucky we was.

Paul took us into the studio, the gallery and the production room. We met various crew members and I was impressed at the set up- it seemed quite a lot bigger than Sky. As I stood in the studio, I thought back to those days I had spent as a teenager, taping Match of the Day and creating match reports in my room. From the days of City getting painfully relegated from the Premiership in 1995 to this, being stood in the legendary studio. I had to pinch myself. For me, this was living the dream. After our tour, we returned to the office to set up our equipment- and to prepare for the interview.

The office itself was quite big. It had a wall covered in televisions and the room was adorned with framed pictures of sports personalities and pundits like Gary Lineker and Ian Wright. All thoughts of nervousness and apprehension were increased when a famous face appeared from around the door. It was Gabby. She had barely any make up on and was stunning: really slim with golden hair and was quite taller than I expected. We introduced ourselves then got on with the interview.

As the interview was conducted for a university assignment, I am keeping it under wraps. But I will say that Gabby spoke with a refreshing honesty and warmth. She has achieved so much in her career and lived up to her role model billing: yes she is the daughter of a footballer but she has forged a successful career in her own right. She has never let her gender stand in the way of what is a male-dominated industry and always thrives to do her best. It is hard work and perseverance that has got her to where she is now- and she seems happier than she has ever been.

I will, however, reveal a piece of advice for all budding female sports journalists out there that I will never forget. Gabby said: "Never let a man use your gender as an excuse. Always produce the very best you can because nobody can argue with that. Then if their best argument is that you are a woman, then they are the ones that look really stupid."

After the interview we had a casual chat then it was off to make up for Gabby before she filmed the latest episode of Inside Sport. It was over far too quickly. I had interviewed my role model- and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I wanted more. We all have dreams and aspirations for a reason. Many people believe that dreams cannot be achieved. Now, I am a believer. I nearly gave up on my dream because I thought that I would never succeed. Now I am going to try twice as hard to make it. Because you never know, do you? I have experienced a small taster of what life could be like for me- and I am hungry for more.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Can I have a word?
I have somewhat been neglecting my blog as of late but it's because I have had literally no time and access to computers recently. I have been in London at the BBC Television Centre interviewing Gabby Logan for a university assignment. It was really well and I am more than happy with the resulting interview and how well we were respected by the BBC. It's good at the moment, although I do have a lot of work on. But it keeps me on my toes!
As for City, well, their performance at St Andrews was more than disappointing. I thought that we were lucky to get the penalty awarded to us. Why is it that our seasons always seem to fade out towards the end? We need players who will perform with passion and pride, who will fight for the points. Europe was still a real possibility but I feel that the way we are going is just not good enough. The start of the season surprised everybody, and I think it was bad in a way because it got everybody's hopes up. The expection of Europe was high and the bad form at the moment, particularly after the double derby day success, is painful.
But we have got Chelsea this weekend and we have to look towards it with optimism. They have just got beat in the Champions League, they may be lethargic with playing midweek and we must be on top of our game and ready to fight for the three points. Sven came out in the press this week saying that players are playing for their future at the club- let's hope that they pull their fingers out and try to get a result, a much-needed result.
Keep the blue faith,
Emily xx