Letters: 06/01/15

Welcome to our inaugural letters page!

I’m sad to report that, due to a technical error, (small explosion, letters everywhere) if you wrote to us through the form on the contact page, we did not receive your correspondence. We have no idea where your letters went, but we’ll keep looking amid the rubble until nightfall and then we’ll shrug and give up.

Feel free to write to us about anything you like, but you’ll have more chance of publication if you keep it football-related, ideally to our articles. If you’ve written about the same subject, let us know. We’ll link you up.

And remember that we’re on Twitter (@thesetpieces) and if you tweet us there, we may reprint it here.

All the best,

Iain Macintosh



Having read your laudable aims it is good to see somebody willing to stand out from the morass of football sites that are merely content fodder for the masses. It is encouraging that the emphasis is on the quality of writing rather than the quantity, along with a commitment to remuneration for the writers. Really enjoyed the first few articles especially Nick Miller’s brilliant take on the staggered climax to 1971/72 Division 1 season and I also particularly like the clean, uncluttered look of the site, which reinforces the principle that less is more. 

Richard Foster (@rcfoster)


Congratulations on the launch of your site, a welcome addition to my “comfort break” routine. I noticed that your mission statement thing says that people get paid for writing for you and that’s admirable because, in a very real sense, given my current location, I am being paid to read it.

What I must applaud is your decision to have a letters page rather than a comments section. Reasoned debate via letters pages has a long and proud tradition. The nonsense you get in comments sections makes baby Jebus cry. Nothing good ever happens in the bottom half of the internet.

I also applaud your decision to stick to what you think you will be good at, good writers writing about interesting stuff but I ask one thing….

Never let this quest for informative and insightful writing stop you from making a finely crafted knob gag.

Jim Burke (@barcajim)


What happened to the cat? – @black_bile

(EDITOR’S NOTE: General Zod fulfilled her role as temporary avatar with great success, so much so that many followers only followed because they thought this would be a football site written by a cat. However, we felt that the internet had more than enough pictures of cats already and General Zod was stood down last night. She’s furious)


I would like to briefly counter the modern orthodoxy of the ‘hack’ being routinely regarded in footballing circles as an imprudent measure of anti-art. Industrial in nature, sure, but without artistic merit?

For a hack, in the sense of a ‘mistimed’ tackle (although that itself is a contested term), represents power, dominance and intelligence on behalf of the hacker. Equally, a hack is deliberate and cunning. Deliberate like the brush stroke of a Constable, cunning like a Picasso mixing it up and forging his own way with all that cubist stuff. It is a distinctively human approach in contrast to the other worldly actions of a Messi, Ronaldo or John Spencer. Not to mention the visual hard-on guaranteed for the spectator as we see Messi, Ronaldo or, indeed, John Spencer lined up and flattened. Nose in the mud.

A great leveller, the hack. But absolutely artistic. Replicable yes, but so is that reprint of Van Gogh that is on display in your mothers house. And that’s still art right?

For as long as the hack can not be isolated from it being solely a reducer of  ‘art proper’- that of the wizardry of the individual: a Paul Furlong dribble or a Zamora Cruyff-turn- we can not enjoy it for what it is. Whilst it occupies the same realm of that of individual brilliance it is not the same. Perhaps it is a lower level form but that is precisely why it resonates with people. It is a neat encapsulation of reality in contrast to the abstract of the actions of the great footballers on this planet.

Elegant it is not. Cheap? Perhaps. Art? Absolutely.


Matthew Morbin (@Martin_Malt)


Alan Pardew has recently been branded ‘arrogant’ and ‘rude’ by the Dover Athletic chairman. But I have always been told he was ‘handsome’, so what is it?

Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon)

Write to us now on [email protected] and we’ll add you to the page as quickly as we can because we didn’t get many letters and we’re trying to look busy. 

Letters: 06/01/15
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