Back in 2010 football blogging really took off thanks to the ascendancy of social media, gifting writers from all over the world with a new-found audience eager to educate themselves on an array of topics surrounding the game. James Dart of The Guardian was compelled to list his top 100 blogs to follow in 2011 which symbolised not only the growth, but the importance of football writing in this new era. Since then, however, a lot of the fantastic writers on that list have been snapped up by media outlets and have therefore created the ‘blue-tick brigade’ on Twitter, of journalists who no longer have the time to maintain their blogs.
Because of this I thought it necessary to celebrate the current rebirth of writers who are making a name for themselves on social media for the sheer quality, intelligence and brilliance of their blogs. The challenge I encountered was a tipping scale of writers who, instead of creating their own enterprise, are looking to develop their profile by writing for popular websites. So many football websites now exist to seemingly regurgitate a conveyor of white-noise-writing. I therefore dedicated several weeks filtering through what is out there with a fine tooth comb to ensure that only the cream of football writing appears on this list. Apologies in advance if your blog is not on here, please don’t consider it a personal snub, I have probably overlooked it by accident. This list is in no means definitive, it does however have a strong criteria: blogs must not be dedicated to a domestic club, they mustn’t appear to be a financial venture, they cannot be part of the mainstream, they must not feature tedious writing and probably most importantly, they must have been updated in the last four months and appear to have an intention of updating throughout the year.
The thing I am most proud of about this list is that it is not a popularity contest – some of these writers are almost unknown on Twitter. The blogs are in no particular order (it would have been far too difficult to put them into any form of an order). Thanks to the writers of these blogs who donate their natural intelligence and precious time towards educating us about our beautiful game. To the community of football readers, I hope you find a new favourite blog.
Key: tactical - coaching - finance - European - nostalgic - niche - statistics - society - domestic writing.
Luca is a truly superb writer who regularly blesses us with insight into the socio-political issues of the global game.
Must read: the winds of change: is Cuban football on the brink of a revolution (click here to read).
Those radars. Those beautiful, mesmerizing radars. And those articles, my sweet lord, I love those articles. I love Stats Bomb. I may sound like Brick Tamland declaring a zest for lamp, but I assure you this is not the case. Read Stats Bomb and all will become clear.
Must read: Borrusia Dortmund – what’s gone wrong? (click here to read).
By the talented Rich Nelson, this is the only place to go for the latest Finnish football news (no, really…I know, right?)
Must read: an interview with SJK defender Richie Dorman (click here to read).
This seasoned blog looks back at almost everything that has gone before. So much knowledge and variety makes this a must follow.
Must read: the violent death of a Groningen hero (click here to read).
Ok, I’ll admit it. I love futbolgrad and I think it is one of the best, most intelligent football websites around. You’re going to have to read it to find out why.
Must read: Shakhtar Donetsk and the role of third party ownership (click here to read).
Only the best sites are able to bring out quarterly magazines with The Football Pink able to boast such a claim. Not only a brilliant site, but so stylish, too, with its ‘la Gazzetta’ feel.
Must read: the 39th game and the unsinkable ship (click here to read).
A big thank you to Darren for bringing Venezuelan football to an English speaking audience. Watch this space in the run up to the 2015 Copa America.
Must read: Andrés Túñez, Venezuela’s Thai champion (click here to read).
Football in Portugal is a glimpse of the future, where players showcase their talents before a mega-money move comes along. This delightful blog allows us to gain an insight into these players before they become world famous.
Must read: will Jonathan Rodriguez be a revelation for Benfica? (click here to read).
Definitely a ‘Galactico’ of the blogging circles. This powerhouse of a site welcomes talented writers who cover, well, almost everything!
Must read: The story of Udo Lattek at FC Barcelona (click here to read).
I’m not too sure what it says, but I know what it means. Spielverlagerung means ‘the most unbelievable football tactics blog around’ which is no disrespect to any other tactics blog (as I’m pretty sure they would agree). For a long time this was a German only website, but thanks to the genius of (the bilingual) Rene Maric, Adin Osmanbasic, Martin Lewis and Tom Payne – among others – an English alternative was forced through.
These lads will undoubtedly be swallowed up by the football industry soon, as incredibly they are all under 25 years of age. A part of me hopes they aren’t, though, so they can continue to write and teach us all.
Must read: Juego de posicion – A short explanation (click here to read).
Michael Caley ‘s site does exactly what it says on the tin: brings baseball stat nerdiness to football. Although he contributes to a variety of sites, this is where you will find all of Michael’s work in one place.
Must read: how to scout the stats and find a bargain (click here to read).
Despite it probably being very easy to confuse the reader when writing about statistics, Omar is able to portray his findings in an understandable way, which is certainly no mean feat. A masterly blog to keep an eye on throughout 2015!
Must read: the last four years in football analytics (click here to read).
This is a nice simplistic blog by all appearances, however, there is a strong voice behind Midfield Veteran; provided by a man with big opinions on the off-field politics of contemporary football.
Must read: what Scottish football really needs (click here to read).
A tremendous idea, to found a site that covers both Dutch and Belgian football. Benefoot really should be your first port of call for either league, featuring superb insight from extremely talented writers about players who will go on to conquer Europe’s top leagues.
Must read: in the shadow of PSV – Eindhoven’s other club (click here to read).
This really is the era of quantifiable data. Goalimpact measures the extent that a player contributes to the goal difference of a team (hence their ‘goal impact’ or their GI value). You should definitely check this out!
Must read: the best and worst Champions League finalists of all time (click here to read).
Ten writers combine to provide us with the best insight into the Russian game.
Must read: what happened to Russia’s successful 2008 squad? (click here to read).
Not a lot has been written on his blog so far this year, nevertheless Giancarlo is still undoubtedly one of the brightest calcio penmen around and will surely gift us more Viola knowledge throughout 2015.
Must read: Graeme Souness, Trevor Francis and I: tales of pre-season in Italy (click here to read).
British football and its finances, politics, reinvention and modern symbolism is pretty much boxed off by Ian King and his fantastic team of writers. This ole site, founded back in 2006 (the year Pascal Chimbonda of Wigan made the PFA team of the year – yes, that old) 200% has been there, seen it, done it and won it, and I’m delighted to say they are still going strong.
Must read: when England welcomed Romanians – USA 94 (click here to read).
Some superb twenty minute reads that cover a whole range of topics. Neil has standards of how he likes football to be played and transfers this into his writing.
Must read: the malaise in Milan (click here to read).
Rinus Philosophy by @rinusphilosophy (Lee Fletcher)
A growing site with a quartet of features – analysis, interviews, articles and tactics – makes this one to watch in 2015.
Must read: inventive football coaches (click here to read).
“I won’t watch Leicester…I wouldn’t learn anything about the beautiful game”. The Football Neutral is written by comedian Jim Smallman about his visits to football grounds all over Europe. They make for nice lighthearted reading.
Must read: match 40 – Borrusia Dortmund vs FC Ausburg (click here to read).
Jamie is a young tactician with a big future. Let’s hope he can continue to post throughout 2015, before the football industry snaps him up.
Must read: In defense of the ‘half-spaces’ and ‘counter-pressing’ terms (click here to read).
I’m not sure anybody does more on Football Manager tactics than Cleon, and if you’re a fan of the game (let’s face it, you probably are) then you definitely need to follow this site.
Must read: the long term approach to squad building (click here to read).
The New Libero by @forgottenlibero (Ian Walker).
A superbly versatile blog which touches on tactical strategies and South American football.
Must read: Bielsa’s concept of verticalidad (click here to read).
Football Economy by @footballeconomy (Wyn Grant)
Yeah, this site is pretty in-depth. You’ll find thousands of articles here based around the financial aspect of football, from legal, television, and marketing to stadia, attendances and statistics.
Must read: Barcelona in best economic position in history (click here to read).
Whilst blueprint for football offers readers a weekly digest via email, the site has a blog that Paul perfectly maintains. I strongly recommend that all coaches sign up for BpfF and read the amazing content provided.
Must read: what goes in to developing a coaching philosophy? Interview with Tim Lees (click here to read).
Offering previews of upcoming fixtures in the Swiss league. If you’re a betting fan, these are the sort of blogs you need to keep checking for form guides in leagues below Europe’s top 5.
Must read: favourite moments of 2014 in Swiss football (click here to read).
Sam is a talented football writer who’s interests cover a whole range of topics. His tactical pieces make for great reading and I can’t recommend this blog enough.
Must read: the rise of inside forwards (click here to read).
Simon is a great guy with a deep rooted passion for football, or more apt, voetbal. He is able to bring the finer issues of Dutch football to an English reading audience by explaining the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of a result. However, his blog is not limited to statistics (or the Eredevisie) alone and you can find a fascinating array of articles here surrounding all elements of the game.
Must read: the aging game – for Infostradalive (click here to read).
Jed has a reputation for being involved in quality. The Inspire events are fantastic, his book is superb and his blog has some excellent content on it, too.
Must read: Bielsa’s tactical influence on Pochettino (click here to read).
Mirko Bolesan was a Genoan who played one game whilst on trial at Cardiff in 1995, before falling back in to the shadows of obscurity. That is, however, until a blog was created in his name. This blog promised to write about topics that were as equally obscure as old Mirko, and in doing so made the original Guardian ‘top 100′ back in 2010.
Must read: The World Cup B tournament in theory (click here to read).
Alex is a cool guy and his site – named after Danish physicist Niels Bohr – is pretty cool, too! Check out his sub-site booksaboutsport.com while you’re at it.
Must read: Football Manager meets the X-Men (click here to read).
differentgame by @footballfactman (Paul Riley)
Paul’s fascination with statistics makes for great reading as he analysis his beloved Everton. However this is not solely a club blog. Paul has built an ExpG model which he explains in the below link, and his research into goalkeeping is phenomenal.
Must read: A shooting model – Exp(G)lanation and Application (click here to read).
Rightbankwarsaw by @rightbankwarsaw (Christopher Lash)
It always warms the cockles of my heart to read something totally unique to what you find elsewhere on the net. Christopher’s blog is beautifully written and offers the kind of insight into Polish football that you just won’t find anywhere else.
Must read: Legia Warsaw, Ultras and the lost Polish East (click here to read).
Coaching Advanced Players (tag Stevie Grieve) by @Steviegrieve
It’s hard to label Stevie as just a tactician due to his sheer versatility. He’s a coach and a TV pundit, too, yet manages to combine this triangular relationship to produce some outstanding football writing. Stevie has a bright future, as you’ll soon become aware of upon reading his work.
Must read: adjusting a system to different personnel (click here to read).
The most stylish club in European football have gone through a depressing patch these past few years due to an amalgamation of reasons. You get the feeling that the clouds will part soon and things will click for Milan once more, however in the mean time I suggest we follow Meytar’s blog to keep us up to date with the Rossoneri.
Must read: Van Bommel – a short yet wonderful adventure (click here to read).
Everything that could be said about Internazionale would come from the same breath as the above Milan comment. Sempreinter do brilliantly to keep us abreast of the second most stylish club in Europe (sorry Interisti).
Must read: when Milito saved Inter (click here to read).
This is a huge library with an awful lot of content. It didn’t take me long to stumble upon their ‘history’ section, where I spent a carefree hour reading about Dynamo Dresden, George Pattullo and president Sunyol
Must read: Deportivo la Coruna 1999/2000 (click here to read).
Another huge website that has amazingly managed to cover so much of what is out there, whilst impressively remaining unconventional throughout. Their writing is certainly original and I will definitely follow them this year.
Must read: an analytical study of the FIFA World Coach 2014 award (click here to read).
“Hello there” flirted tactical readers nationwide as this new-kid-on-the-block walked past late last year. And believe me, it’s not easy to impress that crowd.
Must read: Simeone’s Atletico corner analysis (click here to read).
The rationale for this site is that there is no other Hungarian football website for an English reading audience. Shocking, really, considering the historic football relationship between Britain and Hungary. I suppose now is a good time for me to admit that Győr are my secret hipster team.
Must read: the most ferocious derby you’ve never heard of – Újpest vs Ferencváros (click here to read).
I’m a sucker for a blog with a clever name, so kudos to Matt Whitehouse for his attempt. Matt is an ambitious and passionate football coach who is unbelievably consistent with his blogging.
Must read: the risks of academy football (click here to read).
India head coach Stephen Constantine founded this association for British coaches working abroad to provide tales of their experiences. The site brings us some amazing real-life stories from gentlemen who are doing the country proud.
Must read: Roy Hodgson interview, discussing his move to Sweden after being a teacher in England (click here to read).
Aiming to convince readers that there is more to the Caribbean than reggae music and Usain Bolt, this one man blog brings us interviews and insight about a developing region.
Must read: Caribbean countries and the diaspora in a football context (click here to read).
Ed is a finance manager for a large bank and runs this site to clarify aspects of Financial Fair Play. He believes that although FFP rules and regulations are not perfect, they are a significant improvement on the laissez-faire model previously in place.
Must read: was FFP the reason for high profile loans in 2014? (Click here to read).
Much respected, highly rated tactical analysis blog covering (mainly) Dutch top flight football. 11Tegen11 incorporates graphs and stats into his pieces impressively to back up his writing. You really need invest a day soaking up his brilliance.
Must read: quantifying gegenpressing (click here to read).
A couple of mates at university got together and decided to make a football website. It’s got a lot of smashing content, so check it out.
Must read: The Croatia Australia rivalry (click here to read).
Before being snapped up by Spielverlagerung.com, the Flying Wingback produced one of the most astounding articles I have ever read on the most tactically creative team in modern football history – click below.
Must read: FC Bayern Munich 2014/15, a full tactical profile (click here to read).
A cracking resource of coaching sessions and theory. Bookmark this site!
Must read: central midfield rotations (click here to read).
This is a wonderful site that produces a monthly magazine in Denmark. SportExecutive investigate the sociology of football on a global scale.
Must read: the earth shakes under Spanish football (click here to read).
A beautiful new (well, 2014) website that brings us football nostalgia via stories and images aimed at educating the reader.
Must read: a forgotten titan, the story of Didi (click here to read).
A terrific site updated several times a day to offer readers the latest bits and pieces of football news.
Must read: league of Ireland what’s the plan? (Click here to read).
An extremely informative website set up by football scout Radu Baicu (previously of Leverkusen and Hannover 96) to bring us the latest information from the Romanian first and second division. Another brilliant resource for gamblers.
Must read: a look at Hagi’s struggles with the best Romanian football academy (click here to read).
A lovely idea for a site, which I am surprised has not came sooner, that reviews the latest football books on the market.
Must read: books to read in 2015 (click here to read).
You’ve gotta’ love their bio: proudly bringing you none of the latest news, gossip and scores. I like to think that LeftWingSoccer matches that description. The Inside Left is a kindred spirit that is so full to the top with quality writing, some of it managed to spill out and onto the pages of a book! Erbstein, by Dominic Bliss.
Must read: searching for Erbstein (click here to read).
This really is a golden age for football writing. Never before has there been this much quality to consume, let us raise a glass to the brilliant Tomos for his contribution.
Must read: punk football: FC St Pauli (click here to read)
England have the Neville’s, the Dutch have the De Boer’s, now Australia have the Stratmann brothers providing tactical insight for us all.
Must read: why Ever Banega’s attacking power is so important (click here to read).
With online media becoming impressively entertaining in its football news reporting, and with a widening market of, well, sameish football sites, it is recommendable for blogs to be a little bit different. The Set Pieces is different in the respect that it is absolutely top quality, offering only the very best features and interviews.
Must read: football and the Gaddafi family (click here to read).
Gentleman Ultra by @Gentleman_Ultra (Richard Hall)
Richard is part of a generation of young men raised by James Richardson outside sunny Italian cafe’s. Whilst nostalgic about the glorious 90′s, he is also realistic regarding the current issues plaguing the Italian game. The site plays host to some incredible writing so be sure to have a look.
Must read: arrivederci Siena, ciao Siena (click here to read).
Premier League Owl by @premierleagueowl (Seb Stafford-Bloor)
Everybody wants to write about the Premier League, nobody does it better than Seb.
Must read: the benefits of a foreign move for Danny Ings and English players (click here to read).
In a globalised era scouting has become much more difficult as every club has access to the same footage you do. Negotiating dealings are central to success, as more often than not you are competing with ten rivals for the one player. Nevertheless the principles of scouting remain… find that one gem before everybody else does. I’m a scout at a much lower level than the players who ScoutedFootball are profiling, however I appreciate the quality of their reports and it’s a truly fantastic initiative.
Must read: Jack Harper (click here to read).
Haugstad Football by @Haugstad1006 (Thore Haugstad)
Thore’s blog is beautifully simplistic in appearance yet features superb writing, covering a host of European topics. At present he is living in Madrid so we can expect some great insight into football’s most vogue city throughout 2015. Also, be sure to subscribe to Thore’s @TwentyMinReads site, inviting us to immerse ourselves in 5000+ word articles.
Must read: the importance of Isco (click here to read).
Coaching is in a huge transition as we look to evolve from the ‘old school’ methods that gripped the game for so long. Jose is another example of the new, a positive force trying to reeducate people on how we should act and be as teachers.
Must read: winning versus development, why not both? (click here to read).
Jon has been a whirlwind these past 12 months! Obviously so knowledgeable about coaching, as equally talented as a writer, whatever Jon touches seems to turn to gold at present. The MLS and American soccer in general should look to snap him up and harness his intelligence.
Must read: the culture wars of American soccer (click here to read).
I love it when T2U get stuck in to a subject. Right now they’re dissecting issues surrounding gender and football and it makes for very informative reading. Also, you simply must delve in to their ‘great and hopeless’ football league teams series.
Must read: unexpected rivalries – Sheffield United and West Ham (click here to read).
There is no praise high enough for These Football Times. Their work is heavenly. Omar and his team of writers genuinely get me through the day. Please, go and spend the next ten hours reading through their quality work.
Must read: FC Midtylland, a small club with big ambition (click here to read).
The sister site to TFT aims to investigate football’s mechanics with articles on fitness, psychology, tactics and societal issues. Again, I can’t stress enough how much you need to immerse yourself in this site.
Must read: the evolution of wide players (click here to read).
Another one of my favourite sites, the absolute quality and the sheer variety of the work on TTR needs to be seen to be believed.
Must read: Valencia’s intense style under Nuno is carrying Los Che to success (click here to read).
The damp depression of non-league football is not for most. Harry has an ability to romanticise the experience and aptly justifies that Dickens, Orwell and Zola were more interested in the lower divisions of society than the elite. If you – like me – agree, this is the blog for you.
Must read: the agony and the alcohol – Bobby Murdoch (click here to read).
A wonderfully regular website covering the issues of Europe’s most recent superpower.
Must read: Ancelotti and Leonardo’s three aces of 2012 (click here to read).
A fairly new blog but a very good one nonetheless, one with a bright future.
Must read: the traditional scout in a digital age (click here to read).
One of the best blogs to refer to for regular Brazilian football news and opinion (with some closer attention afforded to the Rio de Janeiro club).
Must read: previewing Brazilian clubs in the 2015 Copa Libertadores (click here to read).
For years Swiss Ramble has been the very best football finance blog on the internet. 2014 was a blip, but now he’s back and better than ever! I can’t really add to that, except to say thank you for providing us all with an insight common fans aren’t privy to.
Must read: the new Premier League TV deal analysed (click here to read).
A brilliantly versatile site that gifts us with tactical analysis, scouting reports, team blogs and the in-depth talent radar series.
Must read: the 100 best young players of 2015 (click here to read).
This is a blog by a man who writes his opinions on football issues. Nothing fancy, but some great writing, especially his trips down memory lane.
Must read: a moment in time: 1997, when Nottingham Forest won the league (click here to read).
You will probably have heard of FBB already as the charity endorsed by Guillem Balague that provides opportunities for young people through the power of football. You probably won’t have heard of their Tumblr blog despite it containing a lot of very informative socio-political investigations into football.
Must read: what the Premier League’s free-market fundamentalism means for employees (click here to read).
A heartwarming trip down memory lane is provided by The Football Attic who remind us of Subbueto, Admiral kits, Panini and a happy childhood.
Must read: the Panini World Cup’s nearly men (click here to read).
This is not just a site bringing the latest Bayern news, it also provides insightful opinions on the most tactically exciting club in Europe, and on the Bundesliga, too.
Must read: television deals, panic and the Bundesliga (click here to read).
The Soccer Translator by @worldfootballcm (Steve Amoia)
We are privileged to have such an intelligent man dedicate his spare time towards this blog. Steve Amoia translates unique content from Spain and Italy that we would usually not see in Anglophone media. I’ve put this as a coaching blog as a lot of the content translated surrounds coach education, particularly thesis’ written by elite coaches.
Must read: Filipo Inzaghi, the mentality of a winner (click here to read).
North Yard Analytics by @NYAsoccer (Dan Altman)
As a venture; “NYA mixes ideas from economics, mathematics, physics, and statistics to create unique ways of assessing players, devising tactics, predicting results, and managing finances“. It also hosts Dan Altman’s terrific stats blog.
Must read: did referees want Liverpool to win the league? (Click here to read).
A versatile coaching blog that covers the modern requisites of understanding for success; psychology, tactics, analysis.
Must read: moving the defense out of position as shown by Atletico (click here to read).
Stylish appearance? Check. Interesting reads? Check. Updated regularly? Check. An all round top drawer site.
Must read: a Q&A with Graham Hunter (click here to read).
The blog was founded by professor Dubois in an attempt to offer his students a platform to dialogue their opinions on the history and politics of soccer. Extremely intelligent, creative, thorough, passionate and compelling writing.
Must read: exploring politics and the beautiful game in the middle easy (click here to read).
Despite being in a Dubai-league-esque state of semi-retirement, 1FITG are still drip feeding posts and we must keep them in our thoughts!
Must read: football and Scottish independence (click here to read).
Founded in 2010 to cover the World Cup in South Africa, this blogging veteran still gifts us with sublime writing and was part of the Guardian’s original top 100.
Must read: Chelsea and the racists, who’s really to blame? (Click here to read).
A blog let’s people share their experiences of football spectatorship abroad. I love it.
Must read: when you’re in hell only the devil can save you (click here to read).
Now to the most exciting league in Europe, both tactically and technically, with the best model of business and fan involvement, a pioneering investment in young players, the best goalkeepers, infrastructure and national team; all of which is covered perfectly by the Bundesliga Fanatic.
Must read: Bayern’s molecular gastronomist (click here to read).
Contemporary tactics are extremely complex and somewhat overwhelming, however I’d recommend any novice read their ‘football tactics for beginners’ articles to fill in the blanks.
Must read: football tactics and national identity – part 1 (click here to read).
Once up on a time there was two football blogs vying to bring the best updates from Chile, until one day the writers met in the middle of a damp muddy battlefield and decided to combine their knowledge for the good of the people – hence the birth of Lone Star Chile.
Must read: from tragedy to triumph, the story of O’Higgins (click here to read).
One of the nicest guys on Twitter, Lee writes the most fascinating articles on tactics and how they can be implemented in Football Manager.
*the site is currently under reconstruction*
Despite being only two years old this blog has already managed to live up to its name. As they put it themselves, they have successfully avoided conjecture and rumour to provide thought-provoking articles covering Europe’s top 5 leagues.
Must read: Failures? Russia’s 2008 golden generation (click here to read).
Tim currently works for ProZone Sports and has been able to form a partnership between the company and his website that enables him to offer cutting edge analysis on football down under.
Must read: how do you beat Brisbane Roar? (Click here to read).
This site covers the progress of the Pharaohs in their international fixtures and also the development of their star players abroad.
Must read: the Egypt-Bob Bradley adventure part 1 (click here to read).
Some more beautiful writing on the politics associated with our game.
Must read: Rachid Mekhloufi and the fight for Algerian independence (click here to read).
Formed by a group of students in 2012, S4G provides readers with a wealth of knowledge about African and Asian football.
Must read: the sixty greatest African players (click here to read).
A wonderfully suarve looking site, FC offers some of the best football writers in the country the opportunity to scribe about their favorite clubs.
Must read: MLS is growing, but has Europe caught on? (Click here to read).
Ben does an astounding job at providing statistics and visualizations on Football League clubs that would generally be reserved for elite European leagues usually.
Must read: an early look at attacking and defensive performances (click here to read).
A really nice blog with some interesting articles, particularly the one below.
Must read: a look at the Croatian talent factory (click here to read).
A truly stupendous blog with the most genuinely interesting articles on history, politics and culture.
Must read: Bosnia – a troubled path to football acceptance (click here to read).
Apologies for the shameless plug but the Guardian did so with the previous 100, so we can too! Writings cover a multitude of interests but mostly surround fan culture and football business. The name stems from a belief that clubs should be more left-wing, that they should prioritise fans as their most important investors and should also adopt a creative transfer strategy.
Must read: financial investment in potential growth – the myth of moneyball (click here to read).