Category: The Ball

In Defence Of The Play-offs 3

In Defence Of The Play-offs

On Saturday I watched Alloa play Cowdenbeath in the second leg of their play-off semi-final, both clubs seeking promotion to the SFL Division One. Cowdenbeth were, in a sense, a little lucky to be there at all – a year ago they lost in the play-offs a division lower, and only three days before the start of this seson were they moved into Division Two as a result of Livingston’s enforced relegation. Having prepared for life in the lower division, many expected them to struggle (including me), but they confounded those expectations by being in the title race for most of the season and finishing in a play-off spot.

Memories Of The UEFA Cup 1

Memories Of The UEFA Cup

When I was growing up in the 1970s, it was always the UEFA Cup, of the three European club competitions, which caught my imagination. This was mainly, but not exclusively, because my team at...

The Bradford Fire Revisited 1

The Bradford Fire Revisited

Today is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Bradford Fire. In view of this, we are this morning republishing an article that first appeared on this site in May 2007. Perhaps it’s the extremely close...

The Monday Morning Link Emporium 0

The Monday Morning Link Emporium

Well, good morning. First of all, apologies to anybody that follows the site on Twitter and found that they received a whole shedload of new tweets from us through the night on Saturday night....

World Cup Tales: The Shame Of Gijon, 1982 12

World Cup Tales: The Shame Of Gijon, 1982

Algeria make their first appearance in the World Cup finals since 1986 this year, and if they are looking for any more encouragement to perform than the prospect of playing on the world’s biggest...

Planning For Future, The Palace & Wednesday Way 4

Planning For Future, The Palace & Wednesday Way

Of the two teams involved in the unreasonably tense relegation “showdown” at Hillsborough last weekend, Sheffield Wednesday look the best, and possibly the only club capable of dealing with life in League One next...

The Case Against The Play-Offs 14

The Case Against The Play-Offs

Depending on which levels of football you follow, you may not have noticed that we’re in the middle of play-off season. The Championship Play-Offs begin tomorrow as Nottingham Forest travel to Bloomfield Road, and the make up of the League One and Two Play-Offs this season will be decided tomorrow afternoon. As far as non-league is concerned, Oxford United and York City are selling tickets for their Wembley final a week on Sunday, and this Sunday, Fleetwood Town, and Bath City host Alfreton Town and Woking respectively for the right to play in the Blue Square Premier next season. Below the Blue Square the Play-Offs are already over, and the winners are already planning next season’s campaign at a new level. But while the Play-Offs produce money for the club and excitement for television and the neutrals – are the Play-Offs all they are cracked up to be? Are the Play-Offs even fair?

World Cup Preview: Group D 5

World Cup Preview: Group D

The 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in five weeks today, close enough to feel the disappointment. Today we continue our preview of this summer’s tournament with a look at the prospects for the teams in Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia and Ghana. No doubt drawing numerous questionable conclusions along the way will be your regular guide, the increasingly excitable Dotmund.

Shit Shot Mungo: S02E39 1

Shit Shot Mungo: S02E39

This week’s Shit Shot Mungo has been described by the author as a “general election special”, in which it becomes apparent that Mungo McCrackas, the out of favour Heart of Clackmannanshire striker is standing...

Chester Football Club Gets The Deva Stadium 27

Chester Football Club Gets The Deva Stadium

The email arrived this morning  – a press release issued by City Fans United, the supporters organisation that brought the supporters of the fractured club together, mobilised them, organised them against the cancer that...

Manchester City v Spurs: Does It Matter? 9

Manchester City v Spurs: Does It Matter?

Tonight at Eastlands, Manchester City take on Tottenham in what may well be the decisive game in the race for fourth place and the final Champions League spot. The media have worked themselves up into a proper frenzy, but does it much matter?