“Mourinho? Pfft, he’s no Bielsa…”

Marcelo BielsaBack in 2010, a band called The Grand Spectacular released a song titled “Being a Dickhead’s Cool” which essentially took the piss out of the recent hipster trend. You know the sort at this stage; you’ve seen them around with their skinny jeans, thick rimmed glasses, and floppy haircuts.

Over the past few years, the football equivalent has come to fore. Blame Twitter, blame people who provide dodgy streams, blame blogs like ourselves for giving them a platform.

For our part in it all, we’re sorry.

Anyway, here’s just a few of the football movement’s favourite things:

Borussia Dortmund

The Bundesliga in general provides serious circle jerk material for those “against modern football”. The fans are allowed to stand on terraces, the tickets are cheap as chips, and it’s not the Premier League. Happy days.

While St. Pauli have become a bit too mainstream, Borussia Dortmund have attracted a rather large fan base in recent years with people who couldn’t tell you who Lars Ricken is now harbouring dreams of standing shoulder to shoulder with their yellow-clad comrades in the Westfalenstadion.

Did I mention that it’s only €187 for a terrace season ticket?


What have Belgium actually done to warrant this new found attention? People tipping them to win the next World Cup (yep, they’re out there) have clearly been playing a bit too much Football Manager.

Sure, they’re currently joint top of their World Cup qualifying group and have a few players doing well in the Premier League but just 18 months ago they failed to make it to the European Championships having finished behind Germany and Turkey in the qualifiers.

Even if Kompany, Hazard, Fellaini and the rest do make it to Brazil the suggestion that they could actually go all the way is based on nothing other than an attempt to be different.

Come back to me when they achieve something…anything.

Marcelo Bielsa

The quintessential hipster manager, Bielsa even had a day dedicated to him earlier this month by his loyal following. March 3rd, 2013 became ‘Bielsa Day’ after some clever clogs noticed that “3-3-13” bore a striking resemblance to his preferred 3-3-1-3 formation. Well spotted lads.

The fascination with Bielsa goes back to his days as Chile boss when he took Alexis Sanchez et al to the last World Cup where they took on Spain, a day that posed a horrible conflict of interest for many. However the dream ended rather abruptly when Brazil then put them firmly in their place in the first knockout stage.

Bielsa’s current side, Athletic Bilbao, provided some justification for the adulation with their Europa League run in the manager’s first campaign in charge but second season syndrome has kicked dramatically with the club now languishing in 14th spot in La Liga.

As a result, I remain unconvinced of his managerial prowess.

The League Cup

This is a weird one because for years no one gave a shit about the Carling/Coca-Cola/Worthington Cup, especially the top clubs in England who saw it as a match practice opportunity for their kids.

However, now titled Capital One Cup, the competition found itself appealing to a whole new audience this season thanks to Bradford City’s giant killing run to the final where they faced the slick passing Swansea City who feature hipster icons Michael Laudrup and Michu.  No doubt Kleenex did great business in the run up to that one.

The fact that the showpiece game was as dull as dishwater and complete one way traffic, over as a contest by half time, matters little, the League Cup is back baby!

Real Oviedo

Relax folks, Oviedo are now safe so you can breathe a sigh of relief. It might be just me but the idea of people donating to a club they probably knew nothing about before Sid Lowe mentioned them on Football Weekly doesn’t sit well.

The Oviedo bandwagon was a roaring success late last year with people from all over the world chipping in to save them from extinction. A nice story you could say. Sadly though a lot of these very same people wouldn’t piss on their local club if it was on fire, so to speak.

Keep an eye out for the next Oviedo, no doubt coming soon to your Twitter timeline.

Are you part of the hipster movement? Disagree with the article? Comment below and feel free to add your own examples!

The Author

Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of BackPageFootball.com. Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

6 thoughts on ““Mourinho? Pfft, he’s no Bielsa…”

  1. Sure Neil aren’t you a fan of buying loads of different jerseys from various different clubs around the world?

    Could that not be considered a trait of a football hipster?

  2. It could if it were an interest I only developed recently. I’m an old school shirt collector though, much like the bloke who actually watched Lars Ricken at the time.

  3. “The Blizzard Crowd” as football weekly put it.
    Still it makes a nice change to Premier League obsessed Oz media, who would not know a Shakhtar if it bit them on the ar$e.

  4. Neil! Did you know… it’s only €187 for a terrace season ticket at Dortmund?! German football is, like, soo fan-friendly

  5. “Unconvinced of his managerial prowess”?

    Are you new to football or something? Even Pep directly copied Bielsas 4 second rule. He also called Bielsa the best coach in the world.

    Need I say more?

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