There is no doubt about it, Fabio Capello is one of the world’s footballing greats when it comes to management- just look at his track record with Milan and Madrid. Yet if there is one faut found in the man who rues with an iron fist, it must be his team selection. On paper, England are amongst the favourites to win this competition; our squad can match the likes of Spain and Germany, and in Rooney, we have a player who can be mentioned in the same breath as Argentina’s Messi, and Portugal’s Ronaldo. But for all of Rooney’s magic on the pitch, it’s easy to forget that there are 10 other players on the pitch- this is where I find Capello goes wrong. If you’re going to win the World Cup, you need to squeeze the best out of your top players, first and foremost. Take Rooney, who has managed an impressive goal scoring record for his country, despite a whole plethora of strikers partnering him: Owen. Defoe, Crouch, Bent, Gerrard and Hesky. The worlds most prolific partnerships succeed due to consistency, something which Rooney has been severely deprived of. The simple solution? Play Rooney on his own. Whether this is in a 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1 formation, the striker would only require support from midfield to score goals. After all, he comfortably knocked in over 30 goals last season as a lone striker. Sir Alex Ferguson chose to sacrifice record signing and natural strike partner to Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, a decision which undoubtedly paid off- Capello needs to do the same. So with the strikers sorted, next comes midfield. In Aaron Lennon and Gareth Barry, the right wing and holding midfield positions choose themselves. Whilst the left wing is described as England’s most problematic position, we are in the healthy position of having a number of players in Milner, Joe Cole and Wright- Phillips, that are more than capable of fulfilling this role. However, the centre of midfield is what really concerns me. The reason as to why Capello persists with the Lampard- Gerrard partnership is what really baffles me; it is clear that one cannot reproduce their club form whilst the other is on the pitch. At club level, neither Lampard or Gerrard play alongside a fellow attacking midfielder, so why does international football wrong this right? During the 08-09 campaign, Gerrard blossomed for Liverpool, knowing his defence was shielded my Lucas and Mascherano, and Alonso was supplying him with plenty of ammunition. Meanwhile, Lampard’s striker-esque goal scoring and assist record is not under threat from a fellow midfielder looking to steal his thunder. Instead, it is aided by the experience of Ballack, the skill of Malouda, and the protection of Essien. If Capello is serious about winning the World Cup, he needs to make more big decisions, similar to that of England’s captaincy, but this time, to not hesitate in leaving big names and egos on the bench. European champions and World Cup favourites Spain are a key example of this, as coach Del Bosque is happy to leave Arsenal star Fabregas on the bench, to avoid interfering with the flourishing Iniesta- Busquets- Xavi midfield. The ever prolific Torres finds himself in a similar position to Fabregas, as fellow forward, David Villa performs better as like Rooney, he plays better as a lone striker. It is clear, that if Capello wants England to live up to their full potential, he needs to consider the chemistry of the team, and not fall into the same trap as predecessors Erikson and McClaren, of playing all of the best players.
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Katy Perry- California Gurls
A lot can change in a year, just ask Katy Perry. This time last year the native Californian was releasing the final singles from platinum album One of the Boys. Now she’s firmly established her place on the A-list thanks to successful cameos with 3OH!3 and Timbaland, as well as an engagement to the ever controversial Russel Brand. However, from serial girl-kisser to red carpet darling, it is not just the 25 year olds celebrity status that has been overhauled; new single California Gurls proves Perry, as an artist and musical talent has undergone a drastic transformation.
Yet whether this is a good change is highly debatable. For all it’s sugary pop goodness, California Gurls begs the question- Has Perry sold herself out?
The obvious answer would be no, surely an artist who sings about overly metro-sexual boyfriends and kissing girls could have been described as ‘selling herself out’ a long time ago. But many forget, or purposely turn a blind eye, to Perry’s powerful, almost gospel style voice, the fact she writes or helps to write all of her music and is a talented guitarist. Unfortunately, her latest offering lacks all of the above. Compared to previous hits Hot and Cold and Thinking of You, California Gurls is commercialised, sounding too much like this years most relevant and successful female artists, Lady Gaga and Ke$ha. Of course, One of the Boys echoed familiar pop-rock sounds of Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne and could be described as jumping on another bandwagon. But Perry’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics and quirkiness were consistently present in her songs. Thankfully, this is one quality that remains with the new single.
Described as a response to Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind, California Gurls successfully represents the Golden State’s case as America’s number one state. Lines such as ‘sun kissed skin so hot we’ll melt your popsicle’ and ‘Daisy-dukes, bikini’s on top’ challenge any listener not to sing. The beat and tune of the song, despite resembling Calvin Harris’ I’m Not Alone and Ke$ha’s Tik Tok, not only makes this a pleasant listen, this chart topper which will have thousands humming along to it, instead of 3 Lions On the Shirt. Perhaps the most suitable home for California Gurls will be on the nation’s dance floors, commanding even the poopiest of party poopers to shake what’s inside those infamous daisy dukes.
In this case, it’s easy to criticise Katy Perry as an artist, if she is guilty of ‘selling herself out’, but it’s hardly her fault. After all, who’s to say record management did not force the singer to adopt a more relevant sound in a bid to survive in an industry ridden with piracy, and where last years star is easily replaced by new talent, a la Rihanna. California Gurls needs to be judged by face value. It’s a catchy little pop number destined to be this summer’s ‘anthem’- even those less moved with Perry’s latest exploits will fall prey to the song which has guilty pleasure written all over it. I know I’ll be less inclined to change radio sensation upon hearing Snoop Dogg announce ‘Greetings loved ones’, that’s for sure….
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Take a piano that bursts into flames, a giant fame monster, and a stage assembled to mirror downtown New York. Now combine this with a whole lotta blood, glitter and crotch thrusting- this may sound like a standard night in Soho, but fear not, it could only be Ms Gaga in all her glory .Quite frankly, to describe the Fame Monster tour as a concert would be quite the insult.
Thousands of fans clad in outrageous amounts of Lycra and face-paint would argue it was a fashion show. The story line accompanying the music, the audience followed Gaga’s quest to the coveted Fame Ball, transformed the evening into a musical. The two hour long set, littered with heartfelt messages from the Princess of Pop herself “I want you to forget all your insecurities”, “I left all the freaks outside, and locked the f****** doors” added a personal feel to such a spectacle and reached the hearts of each individual in the 30,000 strong crowd. It is impossible to label the Fame Monster as a concert, and put her into the same kettle of fish as rivals Beyonce and Cheryl Cole. It was everything expected from an international pop sensation, and more.
There were no surprises with the song choices. Well knows hits Paparazzi, Poker Face and Bad Romance, were the pick of the bunch, uniting the die hard fans with those who less familiar with the hype surrounding Gaga. The singer threw in a collection of un released album tracks, oddly choosing to open the show with Dance in the Dark, yet not failing to kick off the night long party from the start. To mix up the show even more, piano renditions of Brown Eyes and Stand By Me, slowed the pace of the frantic and in-your-face show, highlighting the multiplicity of Gaga’s talents; from precise choreography to delicate piano playing and a strong voice, which can sometimes failed to be recognised on your ipod.
The variety of songs commanded the respect of those who dared to doubt the singer’s talents, and carelessly brand her as just another pop star. Gaga did the impossible, and added more depth and meaning to songs which cry “I want to take a ride on your disco stick” and “Bluffin” with my muffin”. Yet if there was one let down of the night, it must be the venue. Although it offers a wide variety of entertainment and spectacular views of the stage from all angles, the o2 lacks the loud acoustics and intimacy that smaller venues can provide. At times, songs such as Love Game was missing the “oomph” that would have further uplifted the crowd and turn the o2 into the melting pot that it claims to be. Despite reaching out to the crowd at any opportunity, including an elevating platform to communicate with those seated in the heavens, the over the top costumes, set and props concealed the pint-sized star even more, creating a more distant feeling of “them and us” between the performers and the crowd.
The 24 year old’s insistence on stating how every lyric was her own, how she hates money, how her “little monsters” mean the world to her, and how she would “rather die on stage than under a palm tree” created the impression that her success in the music industry and preaching messages through her songs really are a matter of life and death- and that’s not due to the copious amounts of blood. Now I know the awe stricken feeling millions felt almost 30 years ago, at the dawn of the success of a fellow Italian-American…
Upon finishing an A-level in photography (yes, this qualification actually exists!) I found it was easier to analyse pictures rather than appreciate them.
“Who is your favourite photographer?”. I was unable to answer.
Whilst casually procrastinating one afternoon, I stumbled across Tyler Sheilds. Truth be told, it was more of a case of Twitter-stalking The Veronicas. Jess’ background, the first image, by the said photograpger, was a combination of vile and erotic. I was intruiged.
The collection is a few weeks old, but it is sure to remain memorable and relevant for the forseable future. Photographers such as Edmund Teske have been layering negatives and experimenting with exposure for decades, but Shields’ ability to create messages through scenes that apparently do not rely on photoshop or negative manipulation are what appeal to me most.
“What you are looking at is one image taken with one camera… I CAN NOT STRESS TO YOU ENOUGH THIS IS ALL DONE IN CAMERA NO PHOTOSHOP!!!!!!!!” Pleads the photographer.
The subtle way in which the second picture, entitled “Love”, questions the validity of love, puts it amongst my favourites. “Love” is writen in blood, emphasising this motif. Through layering a mirror with this image, Sheilds perhaps portays the message that love is not always as it seems, often being confused for lust, hinting at the superficial nature of relationships.
“Collisions” challenges appearence, as if to tell viewers to question what they see, and to consider the truth behind it, whether this be in reality, or in a photo.
A somewhat ironic message for a photographer to advertise…
I always feel under pressure to impress with ‘first’ things, like tweets and blog posts.
FUCK THAT. This post is simply a page filler, to inform you that this blog will simply be about cool stuff and entertainment. I’m not into writing about my life, can’t risk being accusesd of emo blogging now can we!
Enjoy and all that stuff.
p.s. there’s nothing wrong with being an emo. just saying y’all!