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Month: December 2012

The Murphs: The Most Important End Of Year Awards… Of That Name

The “even if Lionel Messi wasn’t the best player of 2012 as a whole, Andres Iniesta didn’t quite do enough and we’re not giving an award to that preening prick Cristiano bloody Ronaldo” player-of-the-year award: LIONEL MESSI. If Cristiano Ronaldo feels hard done to by missing out on the World Player of the Year award again this year, it will, of course, partly be because he feels that hard done by EVERY year. And he’s even admitted he’d vote for himself. I’m reminded of a When Saturday Comes cover, when Ronaldo made his first impact for Manchester United, with an impressive cameo role hyped to the hills. The speech bubble attached to Ronaldo’s cover picture read “Blimey, all I did was trap the ball.” Yet one suspects such humility was beyond him even then. In 2012, however, Ronaldo starred as Real Madrid convincingly beat Barcelona to the La Liga title. On at least one occasion he dragged his colleagues to vital results as Barca began to close the early season gap. And he starred in the Nou Camp victory which finally crushed said Catalan revival. Ronaldo also had a fine Euro 2012 tournament, something Messi has yet to replicate in World Cups and Copa Americas. Messi is beginning to lay waste to his reputation as an international under-achiever, with three recent international hat-tricks – including a stunning treble against...

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Non-League Videos Of The Week: A Boxing Day Special

The inclement weather did for a sizable proportion of the non-league schedule over the last week or so, but we’ve managed to bring together no less than eight matches from last week’s Boxing Day fixtures this evening, including three from the Blue Square Bet South. First up is the match from the Blue Square Bet Premier between Nuneaton Town and Tamworth, and we follow this with the match from the Blue Square Bet North between Worcester City and Gloucester City. We then have three matches from the Blue Square Bet South, between Hayes & Yeading United & Maidenhead United, AFC Hornchurch & Welling United, and Farnborough & Basingstoke Town. Dropping down a level, we then have a match each from the Premier Divisions of the Northern Premier and Southern Leagues, between Buxton & Stocksbridge Park Steels, and Cambridge City & Arlesey, before we finish off with a match from Division One South of the Ryman League, between Ramsgate and Maidstone United. Our thanks, as ever, go to those who take the time and effort to record, edit and upload these matches. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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The Ongoing Stagnation Of Aston Villa Football Club

The crowd started to drift out of Villa Park with more than thirty minutes left to play, yesterday afternoon. This has been a wretched, dismal Christmas for the supporters of Aston Villa Football Club, who have, in the course of just three matches, seen a quiet sense of unease at the progress – or lack thereof – that their team had been making this season turn to something approaching outright alarm. First up came an eight goal thrashing at the hands of Chelsea in a match as one-sided as anything that we have seen in the Premier League in the last ten years or so. This was followed up by a home defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur which ended in a four-nil defeat, but which could have been considerably worse. And then came Wigan Athletic at Villa Park. This, the previous two matches had confirmed, was now something of a litmus test for manager Paul Lambert, a simultaneous litmus test and half-term report for a team that has continued to stall since the departure of Alex McLeish during the summer. It was a test that Lambert’s team comprehensively failed. A goal down within three minutes, two further Wigan goals at the start of the second half from Arouna Koné killed this match stone dead as a contest and left Villa sitting a single, solitary point above the...

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Sunderland, Seating, Persistent Standing & Safe Standing

One debate within football which has started to pick up pace over the last few months or so has been that concerning the return of safe standing to top level matches in England. Several clubs have already expressed an interest in trialling safe standing areas in grounds, and this week has, perhaps, seen a story emerge from Sunderland which demonstrates why it would be beneficial for such a trial to begin as soon as possible. This week, Sunderland AFC deactivated the season tickets of thirty-eight supporters for “persistent standing” at the Stadium of Light, and have followed this low-tolerance approach by taping up the vacant seats of those that will no longer be attending matches there with a warning which stated, “This season card has been deactivated due to persistent standing.” If this threat were any more thinly veiled, it would be naked. The big question for Sunderland supporters is that of what happens next. It’s widely recognised that a large proportion of the club’s support does stand throughout matches, and this in itself is not against the law. As the Football Supporters Federation confirms on its guide to standing at matches, “It is widely believed that this practice is illegal. This is not the case, even within Premier League and Championship grounds. The law only provides that these clubs should provide seats for all supporters, not that supporters...

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Match Of The Past: Crawley Town

We continue our series of archive matches off the clubs of Football League One this evening with Crawley Town. For obvious reasons, finding videos of Crawley Town matches which go back a long way can be a little bit of a challenge, but we do have six videos featuring the second Football League club in Sussex. First up is a compilation of goals which features thirty different Crawley goalscorers from down the years. Next up are two matches from the club’s run to the Third Round of the FA Cup during the 1991/92 season. First we have a goal from their 2-0 win at Hayes in the Second Round of the competition, and this is followed by their short trip to Brighton & Hove Albion for their Third Round match. We then skip forward to the 2004/05 season for a home match in the Football Conference against Stevenage Borough, and to finish off we have two cup matches – an FA Trophy match away to Chesham United from December 2008 and their FA Cup match against Swindon Town from December 2010. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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