Graham's Blog

Emile Heskey: Silencing the Critics

The title of Emile Heskey’s autobiography is ‘Even Heskey Scored’, a sardonic nod to the misperception that he was anything other than a highly talented player, a prolific goal scorer and, most of all, a winner. In part one, Emile describes his ‘strange’ personality – painfully shy in the dressing room, super-confident on the field of play. He explains how he helped his beloved Leicester City escape financial meltdown and paints us a vivid behind-the-scenes picture of life at the Foxes training ground under Martin O’Neill, when being forced to wear the dreaded, smelly, yellow jersey was every player’s worst nightmare.
Enjoy
Graham

Classic Big Interview: Ramon Calderon Part Two

Here’s another chance to hear part two of my interview with Ramon Calderon from season two.
Ramon tells the story of how he became Real president, and how promoting Zinedine Zidane from the position of reserve team coach to the biggest role in club football management was a risk that paid off. Ramon also tells how David Beckham was the ultimate professional, giving everything to help Real win the 2007 La Liga in dramatic style before he left for LA, how crucial Ruud van Nistelrooy and Sergio Ramos were to Los Blancos, and how signing the latter cheesed off Manchester United no end.
Enjoy.

Classic Big Interview: Ramon Calderon Part One

Here’s another chance to hear part one of my interview with Ramon Calderon from season two.
As president, Ramon helped usher in a new golden era for Real Madrid, not long after the club had flirted with bankruptcy. We delve back in time to hear about how Santiago Bernabeu made Real into the world’s premier football club after the trauma of the Spanish Civil War. Ramon relates how he chatted with the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano about his kidnapping, and how Paco Gento – the only man with six European Cup medals – was a winger who flew so fast that his team-mates couldn’t keep up with him. You’ll also hear how the underrated Vicente del Bosque was sheer class in midfield, and could change a match in a single moment.
Enjoy.

Eni Aluko: They Don’t Teach This

Hola!
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Turin to speak with Eni Aluko, an elite player with Juventus and an elite analyst who spent the World Cup summer covering the tournament for Fox Sports. We talked about adjusting to life at one of the world’s biggest clubs; what it was like watching the women’s game crack mainstream football culture from a distance and how she feels now about the fight she took on against a culture of bullying inside the England camp – a fight that cost her a place at the finals in France.
Eni’s autobiography, They Don’t Teach This, is out now – it’s a football story like no other.
Enjoy
Graham

Matt Jansen: To Hell and Back

Hola! I recently spent an hour or so in the excellent company of Matt Jansen, a man who knows more than most about tribulation.
Matt was a superb striker whose rapid rise to footballing stardom peaked with scoring the first goal and then setting up the winner in the League Cup final for Blackburn. But his career was then wrecked by an accident which nearly claimed his life. You’ll hear about how Matt came back from that nadir with the help of a world-renowned sports psychologist, about how he was so cruelly denied a place in England’s 2002 World Cup squad, about the ordeal of having to knock back Sir Alex Ferguson, and about what it was like to play alongside the wonderful Andy Cole. What a life story Matt has. What a privilege it was to speak with him.
Graham