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Month: May 2009

Match Of The Week Live: Chelsea 2-1 Everton

So, I thought we’d cover this match live this afternoon. Everton haven’t played in a major cup final since the 1995 FA Cup Final when they beat Manchester United 1-0 thanks to a goal from Paul Rideout, of all people. Chelsea won the FA Cup in 2007, also beating Manchester United 1-0 in a match so boring that I fell asleep ten minutes in. It’s a bit weird already, truth be told. Kofi Annan will be presenting the trophy, and the national anthem is being sung by a finalist from last year’s “Britain’s Got Talent”. ITV, of course, have got time for an advert break. Back in three minutes. The teams, by the way, are as follows: Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Ballack, Kalou, Belletti, Mancienne. Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Pienaar, Cahill, Fellaini, Saha. Subs: Nash, Castillo, Vaughan, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Gosling, Baxter. 15.00: GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Everton – It’s the fastest goal in FA Cup final history! A cross isn’t particularly well dealt with and Louis Saha drives the ball past Petr Cech. Twenty-five seconds on the clock. Unbelievable start. 15.05: Magnificent goal from Saha, and it has caught everyone on the hop. No team, Clive Tyldesley reminds us, has come from behind to win the FA Cup since 1991, when Spurs...

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Happy Birthday To Us!

Just a quick message this morning to say thank you to everybody that reads this site, because we are three years old today. Surprisingly, the traffic to this site has doubled since the new year alone and hopefully we will be able to continue to bring you the stories that don’t seem to be covered elsewhere amongst all the other tat and nonsense. There will be some sort of big redesign when it’s quiet during the summer, and don’t forget that should you fancy writing something for us or have any other suggestions, you can always email us. The link is at the top of the...

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Nathan Dyer: Southampton & The Politics Of The Fire Sale

A couple of months ago, Southampton Leisure Holdings, the holding company which owns Southampton Football Club went into administration. There was a brief and ineffectual protest from Southampton FC based upon the argument that this particular holding company wasn’t the same as the football club, and that they shouldn’t, therefore, face any sanctions from the Football League. The League, to their credit, decided that they would be the ones to make this decision and, after an independent audit, they confirmed that the two organisations were “inextricably linked”. Their relegation from the Championship was managed of their own accord, meaning that they will start next season ten points behind everyone else in League One. Any last vestiges of their being no link between the two organisations was confirmed today, when the company’s administrator confirmed that neither the players nor the staff had been paid for the month of May. With the administrators already having confirmed – morally correctly, at least – that no season tickets are to be sold until a resolution to their period in administration has been agreed, it’s starting to look difficult to see how Southampton FC will even be able to start next season unless new buyers for the club can be found. There will be a further meeting on the 5th of June, but we can expect to see redundancies and players leaving the club...

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Shit Shot Mungo: Episode 17 – The Season Finale!

The tension is unbearable. It’s the last day of the season in the Scottish Premier League and Heart of Clackmannannshire need a win in their final match in order to avoid relegation. Unsurprisingly, nothing goes quite according to plan (though, ironically, it does all go according to the script – make of that what you wish). This week’s edition of “Shit Shot Mungo”, by the way, is the last in the present series, but don’t despair, because over the summer we will be running weekly excerpts from the (made-up) magazine “SUBSTITUTE!”, which will feature interviews, profiles and pictures of...

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Match Of The Week: FC Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United

Sometimes, you have to wonder. Levels of fitness and skill have no doubt improved in football over the last couple of decades, but perhaps today was the day during which we started to lose grip with reality. Every British newspaper had a pull-out section, many choosing to lavish extravagant praise on a match that hadn’t even been played yet. But anyone that knows anything about football knows that the sums on the pitch don’t necessarily equal the parts. You can, on any weekend, turn up at a park pitch and there is a chance that you will see a more entertaining match played out between two sweaty teams of forty year-olds with beer guts than you might see on a Saturday afternoon in the Premier League. It’s part of the intrinsic beauty of football. For all of that, I can understand why the press got so excited. For all of the cynicism brought about by three decades of watching the game, Manchester United against Barcelona in the Champions League final was always going to release our inner eight year old and make most of us go, “Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Foooootball!”. I suspect that it’s part of the reason why we still watch it when we’re old enough to know better. Tonight, though, Alex Ferguson – who has ridden his luck in all three of his previous European Cup finals – finally...

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