Onside Inzaghi: A European Football Journal and periodical - By Adam White
With a characteristic effortless nonchalance, Andrea Pirlo cut out a desperate Steven Gerrard through-ball and swiftly played a snappy one-two with ‘full back’ Cafu, before sliding a pass into the feet of Kaka. The Brazilian, compounding Gerrard’s misery and with little more than vague annoyance, spun past the recovering Liverpool captain and unleashed a pinpoint, defence murdering pass into the path of the onrushing Hernan Crespo. The ball was of such quality that the shaggy haired Argentine barely had to break his stride in applying the cutest of clipped finishes over the shoulder of a no doubt bewildered Jerzy Dudek. 3-0.
Ever since early childhood, my love for football has been all consuming. I vividly remember the joy of sitting watching the vidiprinter tick along on Saturday afternoons as an infant with my Dad, who’s wonderful illustration covers the front page, staying out long past dark (and even longer past my parent’s curfew) for just one more game of World Cup Doubles in my early teens and harbouring an unabashed excitement for the next international tournament as soon as the previous one had finished. This passion remained unerring through to the present day, while the depth and breadth of my desire and thrust for footballing knowledge has only grown and gathered pace over the last twenty years.
This is, in no small part, down to that 2005 AC Milan team and that Crespo goal. While Gerrard’s towering header, Vladimir Smicer’s skimming drive and Dudek’s Grobbelaar-esque antics are etched into European football’s collective consciousness, it was the likes of Pirlo and Reno Gattuso that really caught my attention and accelerated my burgeoning interest in the continental game.
In 2014, my obsession took me to Football Radar where now I’m Ligue 1 Analyst. The last four seasons have been filled with meticulous and exhaustive analysis of Ligue 1, its teams, its managers and its players. French football has become my life. For the latest of those two seasons I have become a regular contributor to Get French Football News and the Guardian, making appearances on CNN and BBC Radio and writer for Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo amongst others, discussing all things French football.
As host and producer of Football Radar’s podcast and editor of FR’s magazine, my interest in wider European (and world) football has also remained intense, leading to the inception of this publication. Following on from this pilot issue, the plan is to release periodically during next season depending it's on success and other commitments, treating each of the five leagues (over time) as equally as possible. Any subsequent issues will remain free as a PDF via twitter and on onsideinzaghi.com where excerpts from this issue can be found as well as my writings on French football which also appeared on GFFN and in the Guardian as well as various regional newspapers and outlets.
Hopefully this first issue will convey the joy in and passion for European football that Crespo’s goal fostered in me.
Thanks for reading, Adam.
Researcher, author, designer and producer of Onside Inzaghi.