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Year: 2013

There Are No Prizes: The 200% End Of 2013 Awards

It’s the time of year when handing out awards for things that have happened to people and organisations over the previous twelve months or so comes into vogue, and even though the football season somewhat inconveniently doesn’t pay too much attention to the machinations of the Gregorian calendar, we’re going to give it a go anyway. (For those of you that are interested in such things, my review of 2013 can be found here – it was written a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t think that an enormous amount has changed since then, apart from Manchester United starting to win matches) But anyway, I’m usually pretty uncomfortable in a tuxedo and tie, all the more so when I’m dressed like this in a room on my own with my cat staring at me as if I’m on the precipice of a nervous breakdown, so… on with the show! Team Of The Year: Leyton Orient – To build a winning team is one thing. To build a winning team on a shoestring budget is another. To transform a team that looked likely to struggle against relegation into challengers for promotion is a mighty achievement indeed. At the end of October last year, Leyton Orient FC was in twentieth place in League One, just one spot above the relegation places in that division, but just six defeats in the...

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Beautiful Bastards: Hannover 96 Under Mirko Slomka

Nearly four years after taking over as coach of Hannover 96 in January 2010, Mirko Slomka has been fired. Despite their parlous league position Slomka leaves the 96ers in a better place that when he arrived and presided over one of the most successful periods in their history. Under his guidance, this traditionally mid-table club finished as high as fourth place in the Bundesliga, played in two Europa League campaigns and developed a playing style that, at its peak, was fast, powerful and with devastating effect. Slomka took over a squad that was in bits during the 2009/10 season....

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The Cognitive Dissonance Of Cardiff City

It was, considering everything, not the most earth-shattering news of the season that we’ve seen so far, but the decision of the owner of Cardiff City Football Club to relieve Malky Mackay of his position as manager of the club still seems likely to further sour the atmosphere at The Cardiff City Stadium in the near future. A first season back in the Premier League for a little over half a century and the opportunity to resume hostilities against rivals Swansea City should really have been a cause for considerable celebration on the part of the club’s supporters, but it certainly feels as if the experience of Cardiff City of supporters so far this season has been significantly tainted by the autocratic nature of the behaviour of the club’s owner, Vincent Tan. On the surface, though, it’s worth mentioning in the interests of balance that there was an arguable case for changing the manager of the club at this stage of the season. Cardiff have won just two Premier League matches since the end of September and sit just one point above the relegation places at the time of writing. The harsh truth of the matter is that, in the current hire ’em and fire’ em environment of the Premier League at the moment, managers have been sacked for less. And it is also worth pointing out that, with...

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AVB: Too Much, Too Young?

You’ve done too much, much too young, The Specials famously sang on their seminal 1980 hit. That particular ditty was an anthem to a lost youth and the doom of adding another statistic to the population. However, it would also appear to be a maxim that could be applied to Portuguese wonderkid Andre Villas-Boas, who as we all know¬†has now had the button pressed on his Daniel Levy supervised ejector seat. Some people argue it was activated far too soon, and some argue it wasn’t pressed soon enough. Villas-Boas is a difficult one to fathom out, on the one hand coming across like a coaching revolutionary, with his encyclopedia of techno-management speak, and on the other hand, coming across like a complete chancer, who has spent far too much time with his head buried in a dictionary and suffocated under a mountain of statistics. At the time of writing, he still hasn’t managed to shake off the “mini Mourinho” tag, the obvious legacy of working alongside the self-styled Special One. Again. this is a tricky one, because in some despatches, he adopts a clear “I’m my own man” posture, but at the same time, wears at least a percentage of his historical association with Mourinho like a gaudy bracelet of recognition. Sky Sports and other media of their ilk, often wheel out two things when talking about him: firstly,...

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The 200% Christmas Movie: Once In A Lifetime

Christmas is a time for lolling about in front of the television with glazed eyes, desperately trying to stave off the inevitable heartburn that follows eating seven thousand calories in the space of half an hour, so allow us to give you something to take your mind off it all with “Once In A Lifetime – The Extraordinary Story Of The New York Cosmos”, a documentary which tells the story of the rise, the very brief stay at the top, and rapid fall of the most famous of all of the teams that played in the North American Soccer League in the United States of America. And while we’re about it, we’ll take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas, and a prosperous new year. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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