Day: May 14, 2012

Non-League Videos Of The Week: 14/05/2012

Well, this is the final edition of Non-League Videos Of The Week for this season, but we do at least have a round-up games that are well worth an hour of your time. We kick-off with a double-bill from Wembley, with highlights of Saturday’s FA Trophy final between York City and Newport County, followed by Sunday’s FA Vase final between Dunston UTS and West Auckland. Then we have extended highlights from the Blue Square South play-off final between Dartford and Welling United and the only goal of the match from the Blue Square North play-off final – complete with the musical accompaniment of the Electric Light Orchestra – between Gainsborough Trinity and Nuneaton Town. And finally, we have the final of the Surrey Senior Cup, played at Kingsmeadow between Woking and Sutton United. Our thanks go to all those that have taken the time to record, edit and upload these videos. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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Bye ‘Eck – McLeish Out At Aston Villa

There is something rather appropriate about the fact that the first post-season managerial casualty in the Premier League should have turned out to be Aston Villa’s Alex McLeish. It was, after all, McLeish’s arrival at Villa Park last summer that was one of the most perplexing seen anywhere in recent times, and has been one of the most bitterly opposed by supporters of the club at which the appointment was made. But what was decried by many – including some in the media – as mindless tribalism turned out to be a case of the supporters of a football club understanding perfectly well how badly thus appointment might play out. Those supporters may well be raising a glass this evening, but they may also have pause to reflect upon what might yet come to be known as “Aston Villa’s lost year.” The decision to hire him in the first place was perplexing, to say the least. Under Gerard Houllier the previous season Villa had begun to give off a distinct whiff of decay, and with Houllier’s departure at the end of the season came a golden opportunity for rebirth, to engage players and supporters and to arrest the decline that the club had found itself drifting into since Martin O’Neill resigned a few days before the start of the 2010/11 season. Bringing in Alex McLeish, however, seemed to give...

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Euro 2012: The Runners & Riders – Russia

The Russian national team could be forgiven for treating all matches up to the 2018 World Cup finals as a warm up for that competition. After all, the amount of money being spent on the first tournament to be held in the country will be vast and expectations amongst the Russian public will be accordingly high. Russia, however, have spent most of the last two decades or so since the break-up of the Soviet Union singularly failing to set the world of international football alight and there is little to suggest that this summer will see a significant improvement from them. The History: They may have consistently failed to live up to billing in the World Cup, but the Russian (or, rather, Soviet) record in the European Championships since it began is as good as anybody else’s. The Soviet Union won the first tournament in 1960, and since then they have been the tournament runners-up on three occasions, in 1964, 1972 and 1988, although of course the Soviet Union teams of the time were bolstered by the involvement of other areas which are now independent countries, including this year’s co-hosts, Ukraine. Russia’s World Cup record, however, is worth examining and it is considerably poorer than their record in European competition. They have failed to qualify for the last two consecutive tournaments and haven’t got past the group stages of the competition since  reaching...

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