The Perfect Defensive System # 1

In this new series called The Perfect Defensive System,we invite you the reader to contribute posts on what you think is the best defensive...

Latest Posts

The Power of Football in Politics and Society

Football, and footballers, have long been stuck with a bad reputation. Hooliganism colours many people’s opinions of the sport just as much as the...

Mourinho’s return to form makes Spurs Premier League contenders

When any club hires Jose Mourinho, they do it to win trophies. Daniel Levy had the same expectation when he appointed the Special One...

A look at Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics at Leeds United

Leeds achieved the perfect start in their comeback season to the Premier League. Leeds’ amazing beginning of the season has been mostly because of...

PSG 1: 2 Man Utd- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be looking at the tactics of Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Thomas Tuchel in PSG and Man United's most recent...

Man United’s possible lineup against Chelsea based on the new and exciting back 3 formation used in the PSG victory

Manchester United's victory against PSG came after a tumultuous start to the season with questions already being raised over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's eligibility to...

Serie A’s Last Outsiders Part 1: Hellas Verona, 1984/1985

With the 2020–2021 Serie A underway, there is a general sense of uncertainty about a league that has fallen from the heights of its...

Have Opponents Got Used To Liverpool’s 4-3-3 Formation This Season

Liverpool are conceding goals at an alarming rate when you consider that they only conceded 33 Premier League goals throughout last season’s title-winning campaign....

Football Books

Foul- The Beautiful Game, An Ugly Truth [Book Excerpt]

The clip-clop of football boot studs on concrete echoed through the tunnel over the hum of distant crowd noise. A drenched team of players...

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

5 Books every Soccer fan needs to read before the FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and it's the perfect time to brush up your history and facts about the World...

The Man of Ten Thousand Voices

A young man graciously welcomes me into a room radiated with TV screens, computers, control panels, and flashing LEDs.  A small group of men are concentrating intently on their allotted displays, making life or death adjustments to the controls every few seconds.  Everything is drowned in bright artificial light and the hum of insufficient fans.

We are deep within the Etihad, the home of Manchester City Football Club, and their first match to take place whilst social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic rages on has just kicked off.  I’m here to meet Paul Abdullah, the so-called man of ten thousand voices, who is responsible for adding the artificial crowd sounds to football matches now that fans cannot attend the games.

How does it work?

“It’s easy, here I’ve got the feed that goes out on live TV” 
Paul nods towards a monitor, still shrouded in its protective film. “only it’s not live.. there’s a delay.  The delay is for safety – streakers, bad injuries, Mourinho smiling.. that kind of thing.  I watch the match, then use the control panel to add the artificial crowd sounds to the feed.”

So what kind of sounds can you add?

“Well here is the main control” Paul points to a large slider running the full length of the control panel, with a small knob at the bottom.  “This slider controls the crowd volume, so throughout the match, I sit with my hand on this and slide it up or down based on whether I think the action is good or not.  I take into account the importance of the game, rivalries, things like that.”

So what do these buttons do?

“Careful mate!  You nearly pushed that, it would go straight out on the live feed!  Each one of these buttons has a different crowd sound programmed into it.  These on the left side are the standard buttons that apply to all games – I see the action on the screen, I press the button for it.  Sorted.”

OK, so what actions do they cover?

“We’ve got all your standard stuff.. this is the kick-off whistle and roar button; these are for goals; this is the V.A.R. chant button, a fan favorite around the world now; this button is for the despair at a goal they’ve cheered for six minutes being ruled out; this is the Luiz button, it’s for the groan as a player they know is going to cost them the game is subbed on.  All your regular stuff that’s in most games.”

And the right-hand buttons?  They’re match specific?

“Oh yeah, of course.. you can’t have something like I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles ringing out somewhere inappropriate like Neverland.  We’ve got recordings of games from all the teams over the last few seasons, and things that are unique to each are then made available on these right buttons.”

So how do you know which button does what for each game?

“I’ve got this manual here, let’s pick one.. Villa – this button is for when Grealish scores; this button is for when Grealish gets an assist; this button is for when someone has the option to pass to Grealish ; this button is for when Grealish gets tackled really hard.. they’ve captured it well, you can really hear the fear of relegation.

Do you want to see another?”

Please, that would be great.

“Right, let’s see… Spurs – this button is for when Harry Kane either comes on or has the ball.. usual chant.. he’s one of our own, Harry Kane, please we beg you don’t leave us;this one is for when Mourinho high-fives a ball boy.  All your Spurs classics basically.”

So who decides what sounds to include for each team?

“I dunno, that comes right from the top.. definitely one of the big players: Bet247, Fun69, BetYay – someone like that.  I was told that authenticity was a key focus, they didn’t want it to be repetitive and unrelated to the action like FIFA, they say they need the audience to buy into the drama of the game to keep the money coming in.”

After a firm and a heartfelt handshake from Paul, I left the buzzing control room, back into the familiar and refreshing silence of the Etihad.

Related

The Power of Football in Politics and Society

Football, and footballers, have long been stuck with a bad reputation. Hooliganism colours many people’s opinions of the sport just as much as the...

Mourinho’s return to form makes Spurs Premier League contenders

When any club hires Jose Mourinho, they do it to win trophies. Daniel Levy had the same expectation when he appointed the Special One...

How the signing of Osimhen changed Gattuso’s approach

Napoli has started this season in an incredible manner. Unfortunately, Napoli didn’t show up to the Juventus game, which meant they would receive a...

A look at Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics at Leeds United

Leeds achieved the perfect start in their comeback season to the Premier League. Leeds’ amazing beginning of the season has been mostly because of...

PSG 1: 2 Man Utd- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be looking at the tactics of Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Thomas Tuchel in PSG and Man United's most recent...

Man United’s possible lineup against Chelsea based on the new and exciting back 3 formation used in the PSG victory

Manchester United's victory against PSG came after a tumultuous start to the season with questions already being raised over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's eligibility to...

Serie A’s Last Outsiders Part 1: Hellas Verona, 1984/1985

With the 2020–2021 Serie A underway, there is a general sense of uncertainty about a league that has fallen from the heights of its...

Have Opponents Got Used To Liverpool’s 4-3-3 Formation This Season

Liverpool are conceding goals at an alarming rate when you consider that they only conceded 33 Premier League goals throughout last season’s title-winning campaign....

A brief history of the footballing aesthetic (and its gradual death)

The death of football at its most beautiful peak, is nigh ‘Football is the beautiful game.’ A statement we have heard since childhood. Words which...

Latest Posts

The Power of Football in Politics and Society

Football, and footballers, have long been stuck with a bad reputation. Hooliganism colours many people’s opinions of the sport just as much as the...

Mourinho’s return to form makes Spurs Premier League contenders

When any club hires Jose Mourinho, they do it to win trophies. Daniel Levy had the same expectation when he appointed the Special One...

Barcelona plot final bid to bring Premier League star to Camp Nou in January

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:'SW9InB3wQvFgzlegD2mLlQ',sig:'KGb3mzJds9Dl0oHdVay70nKo-0sGTXn0i9QWapQLbMM=',w:'594px',h:'420px',items:'1184273934',caption: true ,tld:'com',is360: false })}); According to the English outlet, Mirror, Barcelona are ready to make one last offer in order to...

How the signing of Osimhen changed Gattuso’s approach

Napoli has started this season in an incredible manner. Unfortunately, Napoli didn’t show up to the Juventus game, which meant they would receive a...

Don't Miss

Dimples, Kangaroos and Bohemians

One of the main tram routes in Prague is the 22. This goes all the way from Bíla Hora, the site of one of...

The Evolution and Political Dynamism of Football in Mussolini’s Italy

On a November night in 1934, the English national football team faced their Italian counterparts, Nazionale di calcio dell'Italia. The match was held at...

Football And Alcohol

“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”Football and booze go a long long way back, in...

Dr. Carneiro or: How I should learn not to stop the game and love the boss

Hundreds of journalists this week have condemned Jose Mourinho for his treatment of Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn after they wrongly ran onto the...

English Football and its “Get Stuck-In” Mentality

It was a glum group of players and supporters who filed out of Matlock Town’s Causeway Lane ground in 1982. Hyde United had lost...

Football History

Cruyffism through Spain

Spain has developed a unique commitment to technical football which has put them in good stead to make the past decade a period of Spanish dominance. The story to this dominance begin decades before hand when Cruyff decided that Barcelona would be the club he would next manage after his time at Ajax was over. He would create a cohesive identity for the club which kept the vision while finding success. This vision began with a number of manager who came before Cruyff but after Cruyff left, there would be many managers in Spain who would use his methods to discovery their own success.

Serie A’s Last Outsiders Part 1: Hellas Verona, 1984/1985

With the 2020–2021 Serie A underway, there is a general sense of uncertainty about a league that has fallen from the heights of its...

The Original Invincibles- Preston North End 1888/89

In the wake of Manchester City’s record-breaking claim to the Premier League, The False 9 will look back at some of the greatest club...

Súper Dépor! The rise and fall of Deportivo La Coruña

At the StartWith the exception of a 2nd place finish to Helenio Herrera’s Atlético Madrid in 1948/49, Deportivo La Coruña have historically plied their...

Descent into darkness: Osvaldo Zubeldia and the era of antifutbol

EVEN if Billy McNeill was really nicknamed Cesar rather than Caesar, there was no denying that the scene on May 25, 1967, was one...