Select Page

Day: June 14, 2012

Euro 2012: Croatia 1-1 Italy

A good result, this for Croatia. Italy’s midfield trio of Pirlo, Purlo and Pairlo, combined with the rugged centre-back pairing of Chiellini and Collini, would have presented a challenge to Spain at their best. But Croatia overcame the odds – themselves helped by defensive duo Caluka and Corluka – and, after being second best for much of the first half, were worth their point in what was yet another quite entertaining encounter in a quite enjoyable tournament. Of course, Italy’s greater numbers were entirely a product of the BBC commentary team’s David Pleat-like pronunciation skills. Both Simon Brotherton and Mark Bright had difficult afternoons. But it didn’t detract from an excellent exposition of the “game of two halves” theory. In the first 45 minutes, Italy were every bit as good as they were in their sumptuous opening draw with Spain. After the break, Croatia did enough to justify studio pundit Alan Pardew’s view that “a very good side will go missing from this group.” He was thought not to be referring to Ireland. Whilst never quite being on the sort of “same wavelength” as football’s best strike partnerships, Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano have been a joy to watch. Balotelli has got his head down for the right reasons and has worked hard for the team. Cassano has shown the sort of form he’s threatened for years with a...

Read More

Last Rolls Of The Dice? The FA Charge Kettering’s “Saviour”

Quietly and without comment from the club concerned, a message appeared on the Football Associations website earlier today which confirmed a most curious piece of news. George Rolls, the acting chairman of Kettering Town FC – and the phrase “acting chairman” is one that we use with caution – has been charged by the Football Association with regard to their rules regarding Misconduct and Betting. The FAs statement on the subject is as terse as such messages come, but the devil may be in the detail of the statement released on the FAs website. The FA has charged Mr George Rolls in relation to alleged breaches of its rules governing Misconduct and Betting. Mr Rolls has been charged with the following offences: Three breaches of FA Rule E3 – Misconduct relating to his conduct during the investigation of the alleged breaches of the Betting rules 974 breaches of FA Rule E8(a) – Betting – during the 2007/8 season 1,707 breaches of FA Rule E8(a) – Betting – during the 2008/9 season 392 breaches of FA Rule E8(a) – Betting – during the 2009/10 season Mr Rolls has denied the charges which will be dealt with by an independent Regulatory Commission on 4 July. It is, of course, hardly our place to comment upon whether these charges are something that George Rolls is actually guilty of, although is acceptable to...

Read More

Stop The Clocks: Spurs, Harry Redknapp, The Media & The Fans

Candles may have been lit, and there may even have been hushed talk of a silent vigil outside of White Hart Lane. Meanwhile, on social media platforms such as Twitter men – grown men – threw around comments which indicated that many of them had jumped straight to the second stage of the Kübler-Ross Model five stages of grief – anger – having scarcely had the opportunity to feel the transient and illusory feeling of denial. Yes, the confirmation that Harry Redknapp is leaving Tottenham Hotspur hit some sections of the British press hard. Just a few short weeks ago, Redknapp was in line for the England job, and all was right with the world. Perhaps they’d all fly out to Poland together, laughing and joking about the size of each others’ duty free bills. Once there, the only thing that would flow more readily than the nice bottles of red would be the media-friendly quotations. The air of bonhomie would mean that a scapegoat might have to be found after the inevitable disappointment but hey, there would be two dozen players to choose from and if no-one stood out for this task then the whole thing could be marked down as a transitional period and forgotten about. But then they stepped in. The bloody FA, with their suits and their blazers, their ties and their badges. Their meetings and press conferences. Their damned criteria for selecting a new...

Read More

Euro 2012: Denmark 2-3 Portugal

What a strange game of football this was. Jamie Carragher in the ITV studio called it the tournament’s best to date. But Clyde Tyldesley in the ITV commentary box was struggling for euphemisms for dull in the third quarter. And vast swathes of the first half weren’t much cop either. AND Cristiano Ronaldo got away with a stinker. Not only did his misses not matter in the end (unless goal difference comes into play, which it might if they lose to Holland on Sunday) but Andy Townsend thought he had quite a good game really. Lucky boys, the Portuguese, getting away with this win having dozily let a two-goal lead slip. They didn’t start playing against Germany until they went 1-0 down. And they didn’t really click into gear in this one until they’d let Nicklas Bendtner score twice against them – enough to stir the doziest of teams into action when you think about it. For those few moments between Bendtner making it 2-2 and substitute Silvestre Varela winning the match with a stunning half-volley, Portugal were as impressive as anyone in the tournament to date. Pity it was such a long wait. Jools Holland’s team (the “boogie-woogie piano master” masquerading as Portugal manager Paulo Bento until his next tour) sauntered their way into a two-goal lead, merrily pinging in ideal crosses for 14-foot strikers until Joao Moutinho’s...

Read More