8 by 8 Magazine
8 by 8 is an award-winning print magazine dedicated to the Beautiful Game. It combines stunning illustration with top-notch journalism. I remain a contributing author, and my articles have focused on such topics as Medieval parallels in modern hooligan culture, linguistic influences in Spain's La Liga, breakdowns of Premier League teams, and what it's like to attend the Stockholm Derby. Here's a selection of recent pieces.
In the morning light, the Friends Arena in Solna, Stockholm, is empty and unassuming. On the pitch, groundskeepers discuss the quality of the turf (hated by everyone), and stewards make standard security checks. Tonight is the AIK-Djurgårdens IF derby. The supporter displays, already tucked neatly between the stands, are silent and anonymous.
Thirty-two pieces on a board, each engaged in a battle for worldwide supremacy, all trying to avoid elimination at the hands of merciless foes: You might think you were watching Game of Thrones or the scene in Bergman’s Seventh Seal in which the knight plays chess with Death. You wouldn’t be far off—the World Cup is as cutthroat as it comes, and this year the Americans find themselves in deadly company.
Like William of Orange, Louis van Gaal's orange takeover of Manchester United has not exactly been at the point of a sword - but no transfer of power, no matter how glorious, is ever completely painless. Rooney, in particular, may be anxious to restamp his brand on the team.