By way of introduction, which I will try and keep brief: I'm new to all of this. Based largely on an unpleasant season of eight year-old soccer (was the game not fun because I was horrendous at it, or was I horrendous at it because I wasn't having fun?) I had been virulently anti-soccer for a long time. Obviously I wouldn't be here if that tide hadn't turned. Getting hooked on FIFA 10 for the PS3 was the first step. The second was Fox Sports Midwest airing the Premier League Review Show - I came for the British accents and incomprehensible manager interviews, I stayed for the realization that the game wasn't all bad haircuts and egregious flopping that would make Manu Ginobili blush. The third was picking up Fox Soccer Channel on my local cable. It didn't take long for me to become an avid fan - I even ducked out on work an hour early today to watch the Stoke game.
I came to follow Liverpool for a lot of reasons, prime among them being my best friend (a soccer player through his high school days) rooting for Manchester United and my desire to pick their biggest rival - whoever that was - so we could battle it out on the PS3 and call each other unprintable names during the Premier League season. Beyond that, I came to appreciate the history of the club, the wizardry of Gerrard, and the goal-scoring touch of... well, you know who, thanks both to the video game and to a few dozen hours spent perusing YouTube. Winning consecutive Trebles with the Reds on FIFA 10's manager mode didn't hurt, either. Besides, though I may admire other clubs and other players (mostly strikers as of yet as I'm still not to the point where I feel I can fully appreciate true quality midfield or defensive play), I'd like to cast my lot with a team that has the wherewithal, historically and financially, to compete for a championship.
So, long story short, I'm a new soccer fan and I'm hoping to broaden that experience in a lot of different ways - I came to find this blog today and followed along with the game thread, and while I don't expect I'll have too much in the way of analysis to share on here, you can bet I'll be a regular reader.
Anyway, the crux of this post: since I'm just starting to get into the game, I'd like to be able to learn more about it - from both a historical and tactical perspective. I thought I would ask you folks if there's anything I should absolutely seek out and read - books, blogs, anything. (I've already read Fever Pitch, so that's one already covered.) I'm not necessarily looking for the most remedial stuff, either - I'd like to jump headlong and put the pieces together on my own so that by the time Liverpool again hoist silverware, I really understand the game.
Thanks in advance, and I'm looking forward to reading your insights over here for a long time to come.