Chasing the dream and the inevitable end: It’s the week’s best sportswriting

1. “Many people would tell me that I have changed a lot over the years. When I first left for England I was very happy and confident and loved interaction with people. Since the disappointment with England I find myself going into my shell, lacking confidence and not wanting to be around big crowds.”

Shane O’Connor writes about his experience of the professional football ladder for

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Source: Disney

2. “It completed the aura of invincibility; here was an athlete whose supremacy was so unshakable that he could afford to act unconcerned about it. Kobe could never be unconcerned, because unlike Jordan (or LeBron, or Shaq, or Kevin Durant, or Allen Iverson), he didn’t inhabit his talent so much as angrily oversee it. His smile had a way of making moments feel more tense, of ratcheting the stakes to a level at which only he could cope with them. It wasn’t in him to be generous. If you’re Superman, you can have fun flying; if you’re the CEO of Exxon, oil is never a joke.”

Brian Phillips writes The Wolf on the Rock about the inevitable decline of the great Kobe Bryant on

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3. Any player putting themselves in the firing line needs to readjust their mentality from that of the gambler at the craps table, shooting dice for a win, to that of an insurance man or an accountant trying to limit any damage or loss. We win our bonuses by not risking the mortgage. You’re David Seaman now, not Rene Higuita.”

David Preece gives a step-by-step guide of what outfield players need to know once they go between the sticks on