Read of the Day: The Beautiful and the Damned (United)

British football used to be mud, blood, studs and a genetic propensity to kick any ball as far as it could be booted. But even today, most British analysts of beautiful stylists such as Barcelona and Arsenal — however admiring — come to wish these teams would give it up and break out the brass knuckles. It’s an expression of the “vexed identity of British football,” a murmuring nostalgia for masculinity that comes through in “sudden unwarranted military metaphors or exaggerated depictions of violence.” (Brian Phillips/The Run of Play)

(Image credit: Ruler Dogbert/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.)

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