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Zonal Marking Interview

Zonal Marking was nominated for the Best New Football Site and Best Football Niche awards, while Zonal Marking author Michael was nominated for the Best Football Blogger award. We asked Michael to talk about the awards, how 2010 had turned out for Zonal Marking, future plans and of course, who he would vote for in the awards. Here’s the interview:

1) You’ve been nominated for Best New Football Site, Best Football Niche Site and Best Football Blogger, chosen by both fans and industry experts, how does it feel?

Very nice, it’s a privilege.

2) What kind of year has 2010 been for The Zonal Marking?

Very busy but also very rewarding. I set it up in the first week of 2010 and it gained popularity quicker than I expected.

The final stages of the Champions League and obviously the World Cup gained lots of visitors and they’ve continued to come back for this season, so it’s been great.

3) What do you think has been the key factor in your success?

Focusing on a small area of the game was key, an area where the degree of fan interest was not reflected in the degree of coverage in the mainstream media.

I don’t explicitly give personal opinion in the pieces which maybe makes it a bit different to a lot of blogs which are “I think…”. I was also fortunate in that a few journalists picked up on me and starting retweeting my stuff and followfridaying me on twitter, and the first time it really took off was when it was featured on the Guardian website, so I’m hugely grateful to the Guardian.

4) If you were casting a vote for your any of your fellow nominees, who would it be?

There’s lots of them that deserve an award, but Swiss Ramble is a cut above, and European Football Weekends is fantastic. Guardian Football Weekly too, although I’m biased there…

5) What’s next for The Zonal Marking?

More of the same; I don’t think expanding or changing the content is a particularly wise idea. The only difference may be the summer, when I might do some “classic” matches to plug that horrible gap of no football.

6) Have you seen the Castrol Football Rankings? What do you think about them, and who do you think is the best footballer in the world at the moment?

I have, it’s a good idea. I know the data all comes from OPTA who are terrific, their twitter feeds are superb and they also power the Guardian chalkboards that I use on the site. It’s interesting, the top two are who you’d expect, then there’s a few surprise names up there – but I suppose that’s the point. The best player in the world, in my opinion, is Lionel Messi.

You can vote for Zonal Marking and Michael Cox in the following award categories:

Best New Football Website
Best Football Niche Site
Best Football Blogger

Back to the main 2010 Soccerlens Awards nominee interviews page.

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