Part-time Pundit » Part-time Pundit | Part-time Pundit Football Purist. Pundit. Predictionist Fri, 26 Dec 2014 17:56:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Red Knights Unveil New Home And Away Kit Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:07:11 +0000 3-Al Ahli's Nawaf Mubarak and Jimenez sign autograph at the unveiling of the team's new Nike Home and Away kits at Dubai Mall on Thursday Night

Not only will Al Ahli Dubai be the team to beat this season, they’ll also be among the most stylish with this slick Home and Away kit, carefully crafted by the heads over at Nike.

“Our strong partnership with Nike is a testament to Al Ahli F.C.’s leadership and its commitment to innovation. I am confident that our team will remain to lead with the new kits and that our fans will continue to find pride in them,” – H.E. Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, Chairman of the board of directors of Al Ahli F.C.

Modern elements of the kit, such as the polo neck collar and two covered buttons with white high cuffs, give the kit a classic look. What I like best though, is that because they kicked everyone’s ass last season, they get a newly revamped crest logo to show-off as well… take that rest-of-the-league!

And with a host of new signings made this off-season to an already strong lineup, expect those stylish lads at Al Ahli to dominate again, possibly even go back-to-back. Bring on the new season!

3-Al Ahli's Nawaf Mubarak and Jimenez sign autograph at the unveiling of the team's new Nike Home and Away kits at Dubai Mall on Thursday Night 4-Al Ahli's Nawaf Mubarak and Jimenez greet a young fan at the unveiling of the team's new Nike Home and Away kits at Dubai Mall on Thursday Night 5-Fans gather at Dubai Mall on Thursday night to see Al Ahli and Nike reveal the UAE Champion's new Home and Away Kits Al-Ahli-club-Away-2014-15-original Al-Ahli-Club-Away-kit-2014-15-Arabic-original Al-Ahli-club-Home-2014-15-original Al-Ahli-Club-Home-kit-2014-15-Arabic-original Al-Ahli-club-Home-kit-original ]]> 0
How to Pick a World Cup Winner Fri, 13 Jun 2014 06:37:42 +0000 brazil_8

Growing up on the other side of the known world – Australia for those of you wondering – I spent a great deal of effort in the late 80’s and early 90’s meticulously selecting a team to support in the absence of my own national team. I clocked countless hours converting match times and schedules to my geographical location and many a day reading whatever limited information was available to me about the teams participating in that year’s event.

All those years of planning, those years of committing to late night watching and to tricking my brain that it was normal to be up at 4am for a football match thankfully haven’t gone astray. In fact they made me a battle-hardened General, an Agamemnon of sleep deprivation if you must, someone who has lived through the pitfalls of watching a football tournament at ridiculous hours of the day, all while my national football team hadn’t even qualified.

It is why, this year, while I take up my abode in the desert sands of the UAE, I’m perfectly positioned to talk you through the trials and tribulations of a World Cup played on the other side of the world, while your national team isn’t even involved.

The Strategy -
Like a well-drilled Italian back line, your commitment to the tournament will need to be organised, disciplined and facilitate a clever approach that allows you to support “the right” team.

If your nation didn’t make the cut *cough* suck it Zlatan *cough* and you’re left with no choice but to select one, your tactics are going to be vital and will influence your sleeping patterns for the next 30 days.

Here are a few quick tips to help you overcome the late nights, early starts and power naps under your desk:

Selective selection: Pull up a match schedule and find a team that plays the predominantly “early” matches; here’s a short-list to set you on your way – Brazil, Spain, France, Uruguay, Germany and Belgium. This decision in itself will put you in good stead to keep you going the entire month.

Neutral nights: These are gold dust, and are where strategy really comes into play. Use them wisely to catch up on sleep and prepare yourself for the following night’s action. Note: once the quarterfinals kick off, you may need another strategy.

Creature comforts: Not to be undermined in the slightest, comfort is going to be your best friend for the next 30 days. Be it sleeping on your sofa, eating copious amounts of junk food at odd hours of the night or simply donning a onesie for the next month, get comfortable enough to enjoy the matches, but not too comfortable that you sleep through them all.

Choosing the one!
There are hyped-up favourites, unknown dark horses and the odd underdog at every World Cup tournament, and this year is no different. Here are some quick fire tips that might sway you to fancy one team over another.

The Big-boys -
These are the teams expected to lift the Jules Rimet trophy at every World Cup tournament and bring joy to millions of fans around the globe.

Brazil – Hosts of the tournament and a safe bet to make the finals; anything less will be deemed a failure, and may even result in riots around the country… oh, wait.

Spain - Current World Champions looking to tiki-taka their way back-to-back with a very experienced squad. Their style may be their undoing this year although they will probably navigate a semi-final appearance.

Argentina – The weight of the nation is riding on one man’s shoulders… and things could get Messi if he and his team don’t perform on enemy soil. Potential finalists.

Germany – The ever-efficient Mannschaft is as potent as ever with 70million midfielders and only one striker. Expect them to make the semi-finals at the very least.

The Perpetual Under-performers -
Teams that promise so much every four years, yet deliver so very little.

England - Haven’t won the darn thing in 48years and won’t get close this year either. They’ll inevitably be kicked out in the quarter-finals on penalties and a player will be made the scapegoat for stupidly being sent off or partying too hard the night before.

Portugal - Too dependent on one extremely handsome man whose charm usually fades in tournaments where teams are required and not individuals; Nani, I’m pointing the finger at you pal!

France - This mob’s been cashing cheques since their World Cup ’98 & Euro ’00 victories. Problem is their bank is wearing thin on cash right now so they might just have to pull themselves together this year to try and win something again.

Italy - Like most diesel engines Italy are slow starters and once warmed up are hard to stop. I get the impression though that this year they’ve been kick-started with unleaded petrol and not only will they seize up, they’ll be spitting cogs and gears all over the place too. They’ll be lucky to escape their group.

The Dark Horses -
They’ve been knocking on city gates for some time and have only just been rolled into town. They lay patiently waiting to spring their attack.

Chile - Spurred on by the fearless miners who once cheated death, the Chileans will be looking to emerge victorious from a “Group of Death’ which includes the Netherlands and Spain.

Belgium - Have recently steamrolled every team that has stood in their way with 21-year-old Romelu Lukaku leading the charge. They could surprise a few and make the semi-finals, but may also be derailed by a team that can match their intensity and exploit their lack of experience on the world stage.

Uruguay – Will be sweating on the fitness of world-biter Suarez, although they have a gritty defense and plenty of firepower in reserve to make good of a tough group.

Cote D’Ivoire – A team of physically superior cyborgs, ripped to shreds beneath their skintight orange war paint. They should dominate their group and could land themselves in the quarterfinals.
And there you have it – you’re now an expert – well, almost – and your decision to back a favourite has set you up for a month of enjoyment and gloating.

If by any chance you haven’t been swayed to pick a winner, I’m not sure there’s hope for you. On the other hand, if my sound advice has helped, feel free to get in touch and boast about how you fared… I promise I won’t take any of the credit for it.

Best of luck to you all.

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Ronaldo’s Originals Take On The Clones Mon, 09 Jun 2014 16:39:00 +0000

Nike have just released the third installment of their #RiskEverything campaign, a five-minute animated short film that puts superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franck Ribery, Andres Iniesta, David Luiz and a chunky Wayne Rooney (aka ‘The Originals’) up against a suave-scientist and a bunch of super efficient football clone kill-bots (aka ‘The Clones’).

“The idea behind ‘The Last Game’ is to show the world that Nike, like any true lover of football, believes that the game should be brilliant, daring and bold. Having the confidence to take risks is absolutely vital in football. Imagine a world without the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo, the acrobatics of Zlatan or the wizardry of Neymar.” said Nike’s Chief Marketing Officer, Davide Grasso.

So two of my favourite things in this world – animation and football have been put together into this amazing Pixar-esque short film and I absolutely love it! It’s as though ‘The Swoosh’ can do no wrong at the moment – bring on the World Cup, bring on all the fanfare and hyperbole, bring on the ridiculously late nights of watching matches from the UAE. Thanks Nike, I’m now pumped for what is set to be an amazing tournament!

See the action in pictures here:











Nike-The-Last-Game-10-The-Originals Nike-The-Last-Game-09-The-Clones Nike-The-Last-Game-08-The-Originals Nike-The-Last-Game-07 Nike-The-Last-Game-06-The-Originals-Poster Nike-The-Last-Game-05-The-Originals-Brazil Nike-The-Last-Game-04-Magista-Superfly Nike-The-Last-Game-03 Nike-The-Last-Game-02-Ronaldo-The-Originals Nike-The-Last-Game-01-Cristiano-Ronaldo ]]> 0
Beckham and Zidane smash up a house Sat, 07 Jun 2014 11:58:45 +0000

If you were to play in a 2 v 2 against anyone in the world, you’d probably want an opponent that you might have a chance of beating… well, in adidas’ new “House Smash Match” advert, things haven’t worked out so fortunately for Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura, who literally stand around while two legends of the game, David ‘Golden Balls’ Beckham and Zinedine ‘Golden Head’ Zidane smash up a classy modern-Victorian house filled with expensive chandeliers and a trophy cabinet worthy of any world-beater.

Just putting it out there, it would be an honour to have my house smashed up by this lot… you’re welcome round my place anytime gents!

Check out some of the behind the scenes shots below:

Adidas-House-Match-Behind-Scenes-02-Gareth-Bale Adidas-House-Match-Behind-Scenes-02 Adidas-House-Match-Behind-Scenes-03-David-Beckham-Lucas-Moura Adidas-House-Match-Behind-Scenes-04-Gareth-Bale-Lucas-Moura Adidas-House-Match-Behind-Scenes-05-Gareth-Bale-Lucas-Moura Adidas-House-Match-Behind-Scenes-06-David-Beckham Adidas-House-Match-Behind-Scenes-07-Lucas-Moura Adidas-House-Match-Behind-Scenes-08-Gareth-Bale ]]> 0
The greatest football song and video ever produced! Tue, 03 Jun 2014 04:40:19 +0000

While the world prepares to have it’s eardrums bled out by Mr.Worldwide and f*cking Jenny From The Block for the next month, could it be that these humble lads from my home town Melbourne, Australia have produced the greatest football song in the history of World Cup songs, ever?! Well I sure as hell haven’t been able to get the tune out of my head for days and I can’t stop watching the video either; I especially love the part at 3:09 min.

Not only does this tune and video blow my mind, it also features the vocals and lyrical prowess of none other than legendary broadcaster, football analyst and all round nice guy Les Murray! A stroke of f*cking genius lads!

Check out their YouTube channel and website for all their awesome tracks and in the meantime, Zinedine Zidaaaaaaaaane… super star!

Bring on the World Cup!

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Winner Stays DXB Fri, 23 May 2014 07:33:41 +0000 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-22-Maysaloon-02

When Nike put on a show, they go all out – they leave no stone unturned, no detail is too small and no national icon is out of reach. So when I received the invite to experience all that ‘#WinnerStaysDXB’ had to offer, on the footsteps of the UAE’s most iconic landmark, ‘The Burj Khalifa’, I jumped at the chance to see what Nike Middle East had in store.

Upon arrival I was greeted by a beastly looking Ford Mustang, cleverly branded with the ‘Risk Everything’ proposition and the first indication that they hadn’t spared any expense in this setup.


Next up was a review of the latest National Team kits to be worn at next month’s World Cup, the latest Nike FC campaign collateral and the brand’s newest piece de resistance the Magista and Mercurial Superfly boots respectively.




Best of all, we would be taking the knitted bad-boys for a spin under the expert guidance of a former FC Barcelona coach. An achievement all unto itself.

I was sceptic though. Sceptic about the boots and the fact my wide foot wouldn’t fit into these fabled beauties; I mean I’ve always been a Tiempo kind of player rather than anything the likes of a Mercurial or God-forbid a “knitted sock-boot”. Thankfully though, my meagre mind allowed me to proceed with the testing and from the moment my heel slid into the back of it, I felt a little tingle in my nethers, my heart skipped a beat and I was in love.

The fit was snug and held my foot firm within it’s grasp. At times I almost forgot I was wearing football boots, let alone dallying past 15 other blokes while we all tried to impress as though we were on trial for FCB. But it wasn’t to last forever and we’d soon have to send the boots back to whence they came.


How would the rest of the night top this experience?

Well it came very close; there were some amazing teams in the knockout tournament to be played shortly after our shenanigans on the pitch and I was backing the local boys from Ahdaaf to go the distance. It wasn’t to be however and the lads of Maysaloon brought home the goods, won themselves a pair of Magista’s each (lucky bastards!) which were presented to them by none other than Fabio ‘El Capitano’ Cannavaro, all while the steps of the Burj Khalifa were sprayed with celebratory fireworks.

A fitting end to a fantastic night and one that will be remembered for some time.
I definitely look forward to seeing what Nike Middle East have planned for the impending World Cup.

In the meantime, check out more images from behind the scenes of Winner Stays DXB:

Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-01 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-02 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-05-Mustang Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-07-National-Team-Kits Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-08 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-09-England-Kit Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-03-Mercurial-Superfly Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-04-Magista Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-10-Magista Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-11-Mercurial-Superfly Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-24-Magista-Testing-02 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-12-Nike-FC Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-13-Magista Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-14 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-16 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-18 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-19 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-21 Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-22-Maysaloon Nike-Winner-Stays-DXB-Dubai-23-Maysaloon-Fabio-Canavaro ]]> 0
Winner Stays – Nike Are The World Cup Advert Masters Fri, 25 Apr 2014 19:29:20 +0000 Nike-Winner-Stays-07-Cristiano-Ronaldo

The Swoosh have launched the second part of their ‘Risk Everything’ campaign with an awesomely epic film called “Winner Stays”. Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Wayne Rooney are back, but this time they’re joined by a host of other football superstars and a few special guests.

Are you watching Three Stripes? This is how you make a TV advert… all 4 minutes of it!




















Nike-Winner-Stays-01 Nike-Winner-Stays-02-Cristiano-Ronaldo Nike-Winner-Stays-03-Neymar Nike-Winner-Stays-04-Wayne-Rooney Nike-Winner-Stays-05-Zlatan-Ibrahimovic Nike-Winner-Stays-06-Irina-Shayk Nike-Winner-Stays-08-Magista Nike-Winner-Stays-09-Mercurial-Superfly Nike-Winner-Stays-10-David-Luiz Nike-Winner-Stays-11-Iniesto Nike-Winner-Stays-12-Andres-Iniesta Nike-Winner-Stays-13-Zlatan-Ibrahimovic Nike-Winner-Stays-14-Andrea-Pirlo Nike-Winner-Stays-14-Kobe-Bryant-Andrea-Pirlo Nike-Winner-Stays-15-The-Hulk Nike-Winner-Stays-16-Tim-Howeard Nike-Winner-Stays-17-Panenka Nike-Winner-Stays-18-Risk-Everything Nike-Winner-Stays-19-Risk-Everything ]]> 0
Promoting The Arabian Gulf Cup Final Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:39:02 +0000 AGC FINAL (16)

Over the last couple of weeks I had the pleasure of working with the Arabian Gulf League to produce a campaign to promote the Arabian Gulf Cup Final, which was held at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on the 19th April.

The premise of the campaign was based around the idea that two of the UAE’s best and most supported teams, Al Ahli Dubai and Al Jazira Club, would line up to do battle in the Arabian Gulf Cup Final.

The Challenge:
How could we, as the league entity, activate the clubs fans and get them to passionately support their teams and players?

Both play attacking football.
Both have great coaches.
Both have a mutual respect for the beautiful game.
Both are steeped in rich history and have a loyal legion of fans.
Both are equally worthy of victory.

The Solution:
We would create an online presence that plays on the strengths of both teams and one that could be experienced offline as well. Through this we would hype the coming together of these two teams and let the fans argue over who would win.

Official hashtags and key visuals were created that pitted the teams best players against each other with stat comparisons and emotion-jerking copy…
نحن_الجزيرة# #WEAREJZR
نحن_الأهلي# #WEAREAHL




Throughout the week of promotion, we would track the conversations taking place around the hashtags and use them to showcase which team was essentially “winning” the conversation online by projection mapping the teams patterns and crests onto monuments and infamous architecture around the UAE.

Rendition of the Burj Al Arab lit-up.

Rendition of the YAS Viceroy hotel lit-up.

The Hazza bin Zayed Stadium has thousands of panels that can be lit up in any colour – being the venue of the final, this was an obvious choice to light up the conversation also.

NOTE: unfortunately budget restrictions didn’t allow for the offline activation to take place, although image if it did! I still am…

Congratulations Al Ahli Dubai, Arabian Gulf Cup Champions 2013/2014


Al Ahli’s second half was an all out assault on Al Jazira’s goal… watch the goal highlights here:

And catch some of the match action in pics here:

We Are… WTF? Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:00:43 +0000 Pitbull-J-Lo-we-are-one-fifa-world-cup-2014-official-video-01

What do you get what you put FIFA, a couple of Latino wordsmiths and the World Cup in one music video, other than a couple of popped ear drums?

This shit! We Are One (Ole Ola) [The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Song]

And here I was excited by the fact the World Cup is only a couple months away… screw you FIFA!

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Nike Step Up Their World Cup Charge Sat, 05 Apr 2014 19:47:44 +0000 Nike-RiskEveryThing-Rooney-Ronaldo-Neymar

A few days ago, Nike’s World Cup charge stepped up a gear and from the outset it looks as though this will be a campaign of epic proportions! The 74 sec film, directed by legendary ad director Jonthan Glazer, depicts Ronaldo, Neymar and Rooney putting national pressure aside to focus on doing what they do best… making money playing football.

The expectations – from a nation’s hopes to the historic power of a shirt – are massive, but these are players who thrive on that responsibility… These players play on the edge because they know great moments usually spring from attempts to try something out of the ordinary. Think about Zlatan’s overhead kick last year, or Rooney’s goal last weekend. Those moments do not occur without fearless risk-taking.” – Davide Grasso, Nike’s Chief Marketing Officer

But don’t just take my word for it, check out the video for yourself below; I’m already looking forward to the follow ups films and campaign creative. Find out more about the entire campaign here: Nike #RiskEverything

As well as launching a TV ad, Nike commissioned these sweet illustrations, inspired by the culture and heritage of Nike’s lead World Cup nations. I love me some gradient colours and this gritty illustration style. What are your thoughts on these?






Nike-RiskEveryThing-Rooney-Ronaldo-Neymar Nike-FC-Risk-Everything-Illustration-Raphael-Varane-02 Nike-FC-Risk-Everything-Illustration-Neymar-01 Nike-FC-Risk-Everything-Illustration-Gregory-van-der-Wiel-04 Nike-FC-Risk-Everything-Illustration-Cristiano-Ronaldo-05 Nike-FC-Risk-Everything-Illustration-Clint-Dempsey-03 ]]> 0