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The 2015 Women’s World Cup: Second Round History

The 2015 Women’s World Cup: Second Round History

France must wonder why they bothered winning their Women’s World Cup group. Had France finished second, they would have faced a quarter-final against the hosts and a semi-final against the reigning champions. But at this tournament, Canada and Japan are the “weaker...
The 2015 Under-20 World Cup: Serbia’s Success

The 2015 Under-20 World Cup: Serbia’s Success

Serbia were one of the first two teams I saw live on telly in this ultimately satisfying World Under-20s Cup Finals. And, decent though they were, they didn’t scream “potential world champions” at me. Nemanja Maksimovic’s slide-rule finish on one hundred and eighteen...
The 2015 Women’s World Cup – The Group Stages

The 2015 Women’s World Cup – The Group Stages

If a song called Friday on My Mind soon appears in the charts, the BBC’s extensive and impressive coverage of the Women’s World Cup in Canada will be largely to blame. When commentator Dave Woods said that Cote D’Ivoire were “supposed to be here to be the easybeats”...
Lies, Damned Lies & Brand Value

Lies, Damned Lies & Brand Value

In 1984, I was discussing European club football with a work colleague. As fans of Kingstonian and pre-Simod Cup Reading, we were not best-placed technically for such a discussion. But we quickly agreed that combining “English” workrate with “continental” skill would...