The Standout Inbetweener; Zlatan Ibrahimović | A Legend That Transcends Era’s



In an age where every generation seems to be blessed with its fair share of diversely gifted attacking talents, cut from a different cloth, and playing football with a grace that seems to constantly defy so many other lesser talented players; the most painful thing about hearing someone mention their top 5 best strikers of the last decade, is having to cringe at the constant omission of one name, Zlatan Ibrahimović. Zlatan is a true rebel in an age of conformists, a natural born striker capable of conjuring sheer magic with a football, or a piece of bubblegum.

The Zlatan can be said to have been largely unfortunate to have been doing such wonders at the end of the Raúl, Ronaldo, Alessandro Del Piero , Andriy Shevchenko, Samuel Eto’o, Michael Owen and Thierry Henry years; while his career also spanned into the dawn of another golden age, where the outrageous talents of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie, Sergio Agüero, David Villa, Robert Lewandowski and Luis Suárez have rightfully been the centre of all football related conversations in terms of premier level goalscorers and forwards. Sweden’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 62 goals, Zlatan deserves special mention for remaining true to his unique skill-set, and ensuring that his arrogance rather fuelled his drive, instead of it hampering the realisation of his unlimited potential; a league champion, and lethal marksman, in every country he has played in, all while having rejected the chance to trial for Arsenal with the lure of developing under the wing of legendary youth development expert Arsene Wenger as a teenager, rebuffing the offer with a simple statement, “No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions’, prior to signing for another club steeped in a culture of nurturing young talent, AFC Ajax.

Zlatan Ibrahimović is a man in a class all by himself, one I would never dare to compare to any player in any era, for obvious reasons; not enough will ever be written about one of the greatest strikers ever to play the game of football, which is saying quite a bit, when we consider all that has been writ about him since his teenage years. The legacy of the man can never be truly quantified in words, because “gratefully-enigmatic” and “gracefully-eclectic” do not begin to describe him in his entirety, his impressive career numbers, in various elite level leagues, would quickly be surpassed in the near future, when we look at the career trajectory of the Messi’s, Cristiano’s and Neymar’s of this world; yet a goal getter that became the first man to score for six different clubs in Europe’s most elite competition, the UEFA Champions League, while also having been on a streak of nine straight league title wins in three different countries, with four different clubs of high esteem, has to go down as a genuine legend of the game in both the era’s he thrived in.

The brilliance of Zlatan Ibrahimović, is that he managed to work himself into the history books of football in a time when world-class forwards were playing the beautiful game the way it ought to be played, beautifully; his ability to shine amongst such fierce competition is highly laudable, considering how he could easily have been the premier striker in a different age. Since his arrival at Ajax Amsterdam in 2001, as a promising young player, from Malmö FF in his country of birth, Sweden, Ibracadabra has woven his magic in the elite leagues of Europe terrorising defenders and ‘keepers alike, all while displaying his skills against some of the most lethal goal scorers to ever play the game of football; the cream truly rises to the top, and Zlatan has remained at the top of his game throughout his career. The fact that he netted the bulk of his goals, 148 in all competitions for Juventus, A.C. & Inter Milan, in one of the toughest defensive leagues ever, the Italian Serie A, is a living testament to the deadliness of the man; any striker that can net over 100 goals in Italy deserves to be recognised as a truly great finisher, and a pretty good forward to boot.

Zlatan has mastered his craft, a player who actually got to fully develop his game and truly fall in love with his skills, in the midst of the media frenzy that has surrounded him since his formative years, something we’ve seen countless talented lads continually fail to do; The Zlatan will surely retire from playing professional football sooner rather than later, now that he is at the end of his peak as an elite level striker, and entering the twilight years of his glorious career, although 3 Golden Boot awards in his 4 Ligue 1 seasons shows that he is still an asset upfront for any team. The true legacy of Zlatan Ibrahimović should not be understated, nor should the demeanour of the man be misunderstood or used against him when speaking on his greatness, or his illustrious career.

The arrogance comes from an understanding of one’s true abilities, and a burning desire to make the utmost of those gifts; the outrageous God given abilities aside, the swagger of a Michael Jordan on the court, the nerves of a Roger Federer in a tournament final, the desire to constantly achieve greatness of a Tony Hawk regardless of the conditions & the confidence in self of a Muhammad Ali regardless of the circumstances or the opposition, all point to a man with the makeup of a true champion, and an all round legend of the sport we all love. There may never be another player as talented, confident and enigmatic as The Zlatan has been, and I am honestly happy with those odds; Bob’s your Grandmothers last born son, the world has been blessed enough to have had one Zlatan Ibrahimović, the foremost football inbetweener, living proof that a well balanced mixture of confidence & arrogance can always fuel undoubted ability, when channelled right.

Ball Don’t Lie (The Numbers)

Club Spell/s Appearances Goals Assists Goal Ratio
Malmö FF September 1999 – July 2001 40 16 N/A 0.4
AFC Ajax July 2001 – August 2004 108 47 15 0.4
Juventus F.C. August 2004 – August 2006 92 26 6 0.3
Inter Milan August 2006 – July 2009 117 66 30 0.6
FC Barcelona July 2009 – June 2011 47 22 14 0.5
A.C. Milan August 2010 – May 2011 (Loan) & June 2011 – July 2012 85 56 24 0.7
Paris Saint-Germain F.C. July 2012 – July 2016 180 156 61 0.9
Totals   669 389 150 0.6

Pay Homage Respect; Remembering The 2000 Sydney Olympics u/23 Squad

Windie Windie Windie Windie | The Classic AmaGlug-Glug Ad



The success of a young Bafana Bafana side, in the recently concluded 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia, where they claimed our 4th tournament Gold, has seen interest rise within South African football with regards to the squad selection for the 2016 Rio Olympics; a football battle of 16 nations from 6 confederations that begins on August 4th. National pride will be at stake on a stage we have only been to once prior as a male football association, the commendable feat in qualifying has been lauded in many quarters, but the hard work earnestly begins in the coming weeks for coach Owen Da Gama and the rest of the technical team involved. Player availability will be a key factor in just how far the current generation can realistically go, one hopes that the strongest possible side is made available to the coach as he seeks to emulate Shakes Mashaba, by making his own bit of history in the Olympics with a gifted group of players.

As we all patiently await the announcement of the preliminary squad for the Olympics, while still licking our wounds from the 4-1 humbling we received in Japan recently; we at GSV have decided to Pay Homage Respect and celebrate the 18 men that served the nation well in Sydney 16 years ago. A squad of talented young lads & two overage players that showcased their class in a great generation of players, and even made their own bit of history, by beating a Ronaldinho inspired Brazil 3-1 in Brisbane. Two 2-1 defeats to the other nations in the group, Japan & Slovakia, meant that AmaGlug-Glug finished 3rd, returning home with a great win over one of the tournament favourites, and two lamentable losses, in games they shouldn’t have lost with their talent level.

Our legends will forever be remembered for beating a good Brazil side that included amongst others, Helton, Fábio Aurélio, Edu, Alex, Geovanni & Lúcio; digging into the available archives, we’d like to pay homage to our heroes…

South Africa u/23 2000 Olympics Squad (AmaGlug-Glug)

# Player DoB Position/s Club At Time International Record Domestic Record Clubs
1 Emile Raymond Baron June 17th, 1979 (21) GK Lillestrøm SK, Norway Bafana – 6 Caps

u/23 – 30 Caps

167 Games, 191 Goals Conceded & 55 Clean Sheets Hellenic, Lillestrøm SK, Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United & BidVest Wits
2 Fabian Ansley McCarthy May 13th, 1977 (23) CB/LB Apollon FC Limassol, Cyprus Bafana – 10 Caps

u/23 – 25 Caps

u/20 – 1 Cap

285 Games & 6 Goals Bloemfontein Celtic, Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows, Maritzburg United & Mpumalanga Black Aces
3 David Charles Kannemeyer July 8th, 1977 (23) LB Ajax Cape Town Bafana – 15 Caps

U/23 – 26 Caps

u/20 – 6 Caps

309 Games & 19 Goals Cape Town Spurs, Ajax Cape Town, Lyngby BK, Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United & Mpumalanga Black Aces
4 Nkhiphitheni Matombo January 31st, 1977 (23) CB Manning Rangers u/23 – 26 Caps Dynamos FC, Manning Rangers & Black Leopards
5 Matthew Paul Booth March 14th, 1977 (23) CB Mamelodi Sundowns Bafana – 37 Caps & 1 Goal

u/23 – 35 Caps & 2 Goals

u/20 – 18 Caps

448 Games & 24 Goals Cape Town Spurs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Wimbledon FC, Rostov, Krylia Sovetov, Ajax Cape Town & BidVest Wits
6 Quinton Fortune May 21st, 1977 (23) LB/DM/LW Manchester United Bafana –  47 Caps & 2 Caps 173 Games & 13 Goals Tottenham Hotspur, Mallorca, Atlético Madrid, Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers, Western Province United, Sheffield United, Brescia, Tubize & Doncaster Rovers
7 Stanton Duncan Fredericks June 13th, 1977 (23) RW/AM Wits University (BidVest Wits) Bafana – 14 Caps & 2 Goals

u/23- 16 Caps

343 Games, 39 Goals BidVest Wits, Grasshopper Club Zürich, Kaizer Chiefs, FC Moscow, Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United & Pierikos FC
8 Daniel Matsau January 18th, 1977 (23) RW/AM/CF Kaizer Chiefs Bafana – 1 Cap Hellenic, Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United, Bloemfontein Celtic, Moroka Swallows, Mpumalanga Black Aces & City Pillars
9 Nkosinathi Nhleko July 24th, 1979 (21) CF Jomo Cosmos Bafana – 10 Caps & 1 Goal 241 Games & 73 Goals Jomo Cosmos, SK Brann, FC Dallas, Viking FK, Hammarby, Sandefjord, Thanda Royal Zulu, Kaizer Chiefs & Manzini Sundowns
10 Steve Lekoelea February 5th, 1979 (21) RW/AM Orlando Pirates Bafana – 9 Caps 233 Games & 37 Goals Moroka Swallows, Orlando Pirates, Maritzburg United, Platinum Stars, United FC & Mbabane Highlanders
11 Jabu Jeremiah Pule (Mahlangu) July 11th, 1980 (20) RW/LW/AM Kaizer Chiefs Bafana – 20 Caps & 2 Goals

u/23 – 17 Caps & 1 Goal

185 Games & 33 Goals Kaizer Chiefs, SV Mattersburg, SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates, Östers IF, Platinum Stars & FC Cape Town
12 Vincent Dumisa Ngobe March 5th, 1973 (27) DM/AM MKE Ankaragücü, Turkey Bafana – 32 Caps & 2 Goals Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Gençlerbirliği, Ankaragücü, City Sharks, Akçaabat Sebatspor, Moroka Swallows, Avendale Athletico, Maritzburg United, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai FC, Sabah FA & BidVest Wits
13 Leukie Abram Nteo July 15th, 1977 (23) RW/AM/LW Bloemfontein Celtic u/23 – 21 Caps Bloemfontein Celtic & African Warriors
14 Teboho Aaron Mokoena November 25th, 1980 (19) CB/DM AFC Ajax, Holland Bafana – 107 Caps & 1 Goal

u/23 – 3 Caps

326 Games & 5 Goals Jomo Cosmos, Bayer Leverkusen, AFC Ajax, Germinal Beerschot, RKC Genk, Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth & BidVest Wits
15 Siyabonga Eugene Nomvethe December 2nd, 1977 (22) RW/LW/CF Kaizer Chiefs Bafana – 81 Caps & 16 Goals 389 Games & 126 Goals African Wanderers, Kaizer Chiefs, Udinese, Salernitana, Empoli FC, Djurgårdens IF, Orlando Pirates, Aalborg BK, Moroka Swallows & AmaZulu
16 Delron Sebastian Buckley December 7th, 1977 (22) LW/AM/CF VfL Bocum, Germany Bafana – 73 Caps & 10 Goals

u/23 – 7 Caps & 1 Goal

u/20 – 5 Caps & 1 Goal

454 Games & 55 Goals VfL Bochum, Arminia Bielefeld, Borussia Dortmund, FC Basel, Mainz 05, Anorthosis Famagusta, Karlsruher SC & Maritzburg United
17 Benedict Saul McCarthy November 12th, 1977 (22) CF Celta de Vigo, Spain Bafana – 80 Caps & 32 Goals

u/23 – 13 Caps

418 Games & 161 Goals Seven Stars, AFC Ajax, Celta de Vigo, FC Porto, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United & Orlando Pirates
18 Brian Bafana Baloyi March 16th, 1974 (26) GK Kaizer Chiefs Bafana – 24 Caps

u/23 – 9 Caps

u/20 – 5 Caps

413 Games Alexandra United, Balfour Park, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns


Standby List:

Lebohang Kukame, Bloemfontein Celtic

Mzunani Mgwigwi, Bush Bucks

Patrick Mbuthu, Kaizer Chiefs

Rowen Fernandez, Wits University (BidVest Wits)

GSV Institutions List; A Laudable Legacy, Leeds United

The Finest Footie Club In Yorkshire | Leeds United
The Finest Footie Club In Yorkshire | Leeds United
If Dreams Were Horses, This Lot Would Have Won Some Races | #Banter
If Dreams Were Horses, This Lot Would Have Won Some Races | #Banter

Imagine a world where aspiring young footballers could be taken in as pimple faced teens with a tad bit of bum fluff on their chins and nurtured into complete and successful professional footballers with their airbrushed faces on billboards in countries they have never considered frequenting while they sip cocktails in Ibiza with their significant other, who just happens to be an aspiring supermodel… Well dear friend and reader, such a world does exist in the football realm; although many in our fraternity tend to behave as if young stars pop up at random like a cannabis plant and bring euphoria after being allowed the opportunity to light the scene up. We at GSV have roped in your mate Uncle Bob and asked him to dust off his PhD in Development Football and become the Dean of our newly founded School Of Academies, where we enlighten, inform and entertain you with all the insight he has on development sides across the fraternity. In no particular or meticulous order, for that matter, we present to you The GSV Institutions List.


Leeds United Football Club


Country: England

Location: Elland Road, Beeston, Leeds; West Yorkshire

Founded: 1919

Head of Development & Recruitment: Terry Porter

Youth Academy Director & u/21 Manager: Paul Hart

Notable Graduates: John Lukic (GK), David Harvey (GK), Gray Sprake (GK), David Seaman (GK), Nick Byrne (GK), Paul Robinson (GK), Scott Carson (GK), Byron Stevenson (Def/ Mid), Norman Hunter (CB), Paul Medeley (Def/ Mid), Simon Grayson (Def/ Mid), Neil Aspin (Def), Matthew Kilgallon (CB/ FB), Jack Charlton (CB), John Charles (CB/ CF), Jonathan Woodgate (CB), Peter Hampton (LB), Frank Gray (LB), Terry Cooper (LB), Grenville Hair (LB), Ian Harte (LB), Danny Rose (LB/LW), Paul Reaney (RB), Gary Kelly (RB), Denis Irwin (FB), Terry Yorath (Mid), Terry Hibbit (Mid), Mick Bates (Mid), Billy Bremner (Mid), David Batty (Mid), Gary Speed (Mid), Stephen McPhail (Mid), Alan Smith (Mid/FW), Tommy Knarvik (Mid), James Milner (Mid), Jonny Howson (Mid), Fabian Delph (Mid), Peter Lorimer (AM), Harry Kewell (AM), Eddie Gray (Wing), Scott Sellars (Wing), Aaron Lennon (Wing), Jimmy Greenhoff (FW), Noel Whelan (FW), Andy Gray (FW)

Fresh Out The Oven: Eric Grimes (GK), Bailey Peacock-Farrell (GK), Ross Killock (Def/ Mid), Jake Skelton (Def), Tyler Denton (FB), Luke Garbutt (LB), Charlie Taylor (LB/LW), Sam Byram (RB/ RW), Alex Mowatt (Mid), Lewis Cook (Mid), Kalvin Phillips (Mid), Alex Purver (Mid), Chris Dawson (AM), Tom Lyman (AM), Eoghan Stokes (FW), Frank Mulhern (FW), Luke Parkin (CF), Dominic Poloen (AF), Simon Lenighan (AF)

Report Card

Training facilities: B+

Training methodologies: A

Player development: A-

Opportunities for growth: B

Dean’s Comment:

The true football history of this legendary institution and its success at youth development can be traced back to the Don Revie Era, a time where Yorkshire’s finest football club was built upon a solid foundation of talented young home-grown footballers and the shrewd acquisition of promising youngsters to be developed at United; this grand ideology has lead to the club attaining a level of pedigree and esteem that their financial troubles threatened to, yet ultimately failed to erase or fully tarnish. Despite the fact that The Whites should truly be a major force in global football purely based on their history, ideology and support base, the club has had to reclaim their legacy somewhat after years of under management and financial instability. This gradual rebuilding process has been constantly stalled by the insecurity regarding club ownership & management, yet there seems to be a greater degree of calmness around the club and that harmony will create the atmosphere required to nurture young talents into top class footballers, all while ensuring they secure promotion into the EPL in the coming seasons.

As a football club, Leeds United do not own many assets; the legendary home stadium, Elland Road, was sold to ease financial constraints and is now leased back to the club for their usage, the club’s picturesque training compound, Thorp Arch, was also sold as a result of the financial difficulties and it has been leased back to the club at a tune of £600 000 per annum. There is no denying that the one true asset owned by the club, is the good young talent they have on their books and their potential to develop even more talented youngsters, provided that they invest accordingly into their highly commendable and extremely efficient youth academy.

It may have taken a while for genuine stability to come to Elland Road and The Peacocks, yet methinks that it may only a matter of time before we see United consistently producing the level of talent they have begun to show glimpses of churning out over the past couple of seasons; the re-appointment of Paul Hart as Academy Director, the man who helped nurture Leeds protégés like Alan Smith, Ian Harte, Paul Robinson, Harry Kewell and Jonathan Woodgate, will be a major boost for the club as he will bring great experience and knowhow as a former Leeds united footballer and youth team manager.

While many will remain sceptical over United’s ability to retain the services of their talented footballers long enough to afford all parties an opportunity at genuine and lasting growth, achieved via success through promotion back into the big-time, where the players will be allowed to truly showcase their talent and earn moves to clubs that reward their parent club for the great investment they make towards the development of talented young footballers, while looking after the talent, which would have had more time to fully develop and play regular competitive football at a good level.

The only way a football club like Leeds United can return to their glory days, is through a return to their club ethos and a reestablishment of their modus operandi as a football club; The Whites should count themselves lucky to have such a “system restore point”, as other football clubs were not as fortunate as they have been in many regards, and actually lack an identity that they can return to after years of waywardness. Success requires a push and Ian Harte will need to call upon all his knowledge of youth development and youth player management, as a 2 time FA Youth Cup winner in his first stint at Leeds in the mid 90’s, as Leeds United really need to push past this final frontier and build a young squad ready to earn promotion back into the Premier League off the back of United-esque mouth-watering displays and re-establish Leeds United as a dominant force in world football, on their own free-flowing attacking terms.

GSV Institutions List; A Colloquy Concerning Crewe Alexandra

Fruits Of Labour | Crewe Alexandra Lifting The Johnstone's Paint Trophy In 2013
Fruits Of Labour | Crewe Alexandra Lifting The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy In 2013
Even The Dogs Want To Play At The Alexandra Stadium | #Banter
Even The Dogs Want To Play At The Alexandra Stadium | #Banter

Imagine a world where aspiring young footballers could be taken in as pimple faced teens with a tad bit of bum fluff on their chins and nurtured into complete and successful professional footballers with their airbrushed faces on billboards in countries they have never considered frequenting while they sip cocktails in Ibiza with their significant other, who just happens to be an aspiring supermodel… Well dear friend and reader, such a world does exist in the football realm; although many in our fraternity tend to behave as if young stars pop up at random like a cannabis plant and bring euphoria after being allowed the opportunity to light the scene up. We at GSV have roped in your mate Uncle Bob and asked him to dust off his PhD in Development Football and become the Dean of our newly founded School Of Academies, where we enlighten, inform and entertain you with all the insight he has on development sides across the fraternity. In no particular or meticulous order, for that matter, we present to you The GSV Institutions List.

Crewe Alexandra Football Club


Country: England

Location: Gresty Road, Crewe, Cheshire; England

Founded: 1877

Head of Recruitment: Neil Baker

Technical Director: Dario Gradi MBE

Notable Graduates: Owain Fôn Williams (GK), Rob Jones (RB), Matt Tootie (RB), Billy Jones (RB), Harry Davis (CB), Rob Edwards (CB/ DM), David Wright (Defender/ Midfielder), James Bailey (DM), Lee Bell (DM), Seth Johnson (DM), Gary Roberts (DLP), Steve Walters (CM), Neil Sorvel (CM), Danny Murphy (CM), Michael O’Connor (CM), Kenny Lunt (CM), Luke Murphy (CM), Ashley Westwood (CM), David Vaughn (Winger), Byron Moore (Winger/ Forward), Mark Rivers (Winger/ AM/ Forward), Nick Powell (AM), Dele Adebola (CF), Rob Hulse (CF), Dean Ashton (CF), Shaun Miller (CF), Michael Higdon (CF), AJ Leitch-Smith (CF), Nick Maynard (CF) & Max Clayton (CF)

Fresh Out The Oven: Ben Garratt (GK), George Ray (CB), Jamie Jones (CB), Joe Kearns (CB), Perry Ng (CB), James Baillie (RB), Joe Howell (CM), Toby Mullarkey (CM), Ryan Colclough (AF), Fraser Murdoch (AF), George Cooper (CF), Callum Saunders (CF), Andre Brown (CF) & Liam O’Neill (CF)

Report Card

Training facilities: C-

Training methodologies: B

Coaches: C+

Opportunities for growth: B+

Dean’s Comment: If I told you of a football club that has continually seemed to find a way to exist against the odds and actually be profitable in the Lower Divisions of English football, you would find it hard to believe; yet Crewe Alexandra are such a football club, and The Railwaymen have continued to achieve great off-field success through a youth development academy that seeks to keep the club well fed with good quality young footballers that are home-grown.

The relatively uneventful fortunes of Crewe Alexandra were forever changed on June 1st, 1983 when an Italian born Englishman named Dario Gardi arrived in Crewe after returning from a minor managerial sabbatical which was brought about by his resignation from Crystal Palace in the 1981-82 season, where he departed after failing to meet the clubs’ mandate of promotion; a legendary football man with a relatively continental approach to football, Gradi wasted no time revolutionising the ideology of the then makeweight Fourth Division football club with his developmental philosophy that centred around producing good professional footballers that have the technical dexterity to play his brand of continentally-inspired attacking football, a brand of football that once saw them also attain some eye-catching on-field results which translated into promotions up the Football Leagues.

A football genius with a mind that conceived strategies that were largely before their time; Dario Gradi helped to ensure that The Alex will always be able to develop their own talent using their relatively limited resources while affording themselves the maximum opportunity to benefit off the sales of some of their more promising young players, which is a profitable and purposeful business in an age where good home-grown talent is so scarce that the British Talent Tax has risen astronomically over the past two decades.

The Crewe Alexandra “Centre of Excellence” has produced a staggering number of players for their first-team squad while also providing a fair share of footballers for other clubs in the football leagues, as of today, an approximated 75 former academy lads have graduated from the developmental nest into the first-team squad at Crewe Alexandra over the years, and that number rises with each passing season, at a healthy rate I might add; the level of commitment shown to youth development by the club is the living legacy of a man who dared to do things differently, the thought of Dario Gradi will surely pop into the mind of any football purist that watches a Crewe Alexandra academy graduate blossom into a fully fledged professional footballer.

Judging by the current rosters’ average age of 21.5, something of an unheard of feat in league football across the realm, Crewe Alexandra will continue to stick to their great ideology that holds steadfast in a modus oparendi that promotes the development of good young footballers into good professional footballers that add value to the art of football; one prays that this great determination will be rewarded with even more promotions up the leagues and an addition to their Football League Trophy win in due time. Any modern football club that can start a league game with a full starting XI of academy graduates is more than deserving of its place on the GSV Institutions List and Bob’s your mothers relatively football obsessed brother.