Day: October 11, 2010

Video Of The Week: Match Of The Eighties: 1982/83

We’ve got something a little different for you tonight, with the launch of our very own Tumblr page. We’ll be putting videos, MP3s and links up on this site, hopefully on a very regular basis. This is starting off with this week’s Video Of The Week, which is the third in the BBC’s “Match Of The Eighties” series. This week’s episode looks at the 1982/83 season. It was the oddest of seasons. Liverpool ran away with the First Division championship, but Watford, in their first ever season in the First Division, finished in second. Their local rivals Luton Town managed to survive relegation on the last day of the season, relegating Manchester City instead Brighton & Hove Albion came within one kick of winning the FA Cup Final, against Manchester United. This video comes in four parts, and our thanks go to the original...

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League Two And The Blue Square Premier: The Blurring Of The Lines

In 1979, when the Alliance Premier League was founded between clubs from the Northern Premier League and the Southern Football League, there was a fairly clear line in the stand. There was no automatic promotion and relegation between it and what was then known as Division Four. Clubs in the bottom four of the Football League stood for re-election against the most ambitious of the non-league clubs, but very few actually went up or down. The Football League remained a closed shop until the 1987 when, faced with decimated league attendances, the APL rebranded itself as the GM Vauxhall Conference, the Football League introduced automatic promotion and relegation, and the lines of demarcation between “league” and “non-league” have been slowly blurring more and more ever since. In the early days of this automatic promotion and relegation, with the GMVC still largely made up of part-time clubs, those that suffered the indignity of relegation from the Football League didn’t, on the whole, find life too tough. The first team relegated, Lincoln City, won their way back at the first attempt, and Darlington and Colchester United had similar success. Since the early 1990s, however, as more and more Conference clubs have turned professional, relegated clubs began to find it more and more difficult to get promoted back and this is a situation that hasn’t improved a great deal in recent years,...

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Wrap Wilshere In Cotton Wool, But Don’t Give Him A Make-Over

William Abbs takes a look at Jack Wilshere – The original can be found here. Imagine, if you will, that England are a goal down to Montenegro with thirty minutes to play on Tuesday night. It’s not such a far-fetched proposition. The team from the tiny nation that borders the Adriatic have so far gained three straight single-goal victories and currently top Group G. Fabio Capello’s side might have enjoyed two comfortable wins themselves too at the beginning of their qualification campaign for Euro 2012, but a win at Wembley this week should not be taken for granted. If England do find themselves trailing on Tuesday, the introduction of Jack Wilshere as a substitute will become a distinct possibility – if he does not start the game, that is. He might have only made his senior international debut in August, and still be short of 40 games at club level, but Wilshere’s coronation as the country’s brightest young talent will be complete should he emerge against Montenegro and help England to a positive result. Seeing as the player was asked to report for international duty with the senior squad even though the U21s have an important fixture of their own this week – they travel to Romania defending a 2-1 lead that Wilshere helped them achieve in Friday’s first leg of a European Championship play-off – it seems clear...

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