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Day: September 16, 2010

The Way We Were: Aston Villa vs Everton, November 1989

Watching repeats of old football matches can be an unsettling experience at times. Watch any match over around thirty years old and everything looks and feels different. The levels of technical expertise and fitness may be lower than they used to be, and the look and feel of the spectacle of the match is strangely other-worldly. At what point, however, did this change? When did what we could describe as the modernisation of football begin? I was reminded of this the other evening whilst watching the semi-final match in the 1984 European Championship between France & Portugal. It is an extraordinary match – one of the greatest ever played – but what is noticeable about it is how modern it feels. The shape of the teams and the individual brilliance of some of the players feel ahead of their time. It’s only the close-up of that guy who looks exactly like the president of UEFA and Portugal goalkeeper Manuel Bento’s prodigious moustache which gives the game that we are actually in 1984. What, though, of the game in England? The First Division remained relatively unreformed until well into the 1990s and the revolution, when it came, was fuelled by television. The transformation of the Premier League in 1992 has come to be treated as football’s Year Zero. The peculiar concept of “Premier League History” stretching back only to this...

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Mungo S03E07

Time for our weekly visit to Heart of Clachmaninshire FC, wherever the hell that is.  And it is pleasing to note that, visits of the Pontiff and unexpected displays of match-winning form from previously marginal squad members not withstanding, there are some things which remain as unchanging as the seasons, as if hewn into rock by prehistoric man as a universal truth for the ages to consider.  And that thing, dear reader, is Mungo McCrackas’ composure in front of goal. Mungo is brought to us as ever by Dotmund, the idiot. Click the image for...

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