International Football

Hope & Despair, Or, Why Stuart Pearce Cannot Succeed As The England Manager

By on Mar 1, 2012 in International Football, Latest | 6 comments

Amid all the bluster about Englands match against the Netherlands last night (a match already being described by some as “That Thing That Happened At Wembley”), Mark Critchley thinks that he may have spotted the real reason why Stuart Pearce cannot succeed as the England manager. To be English is to be afflicted. History’s ever-unravelling twine simply...

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Scott Parker Versus The World

By on Feb 29, 2012 in International Football, Latest | 1 comment

We live in polarised times. Rather than opening people up to new worlds and new experiences, the internet has allowed us to retreat into tiny enclaves of people who feel the same as we do and draw up the barricades. There is little room for subtlety or nuance in our debates any more, since the only voices to get themselves lifted above the background hum of noise...

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European Championship Stories: 1984 – Le Veritable Roi Michel

By on Feb 28, 2012 in History, International Football, Latest | 1 comment

They’ve been playing for one hundred and nineteen minutes on this balmy Mediterranean evening at le Stade Velodrome in Marseille and nothing, so far, has been able to separate the two teams. France, who sailed through the group stages of the 1984 European Championships, have surprisingly met their match in Portugal, who, prior to this summer, have not reached...

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European Championship Stories: 1980 – The Decline & Fall Of English Football

By on Feb 20, 2012 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

On the twelfth of June 1980, England played Belgium in the finals of the European Championships – their first match in the finals of a major tournament for ten years. It turned out to be a match that acted as a barometer for the state of the game in England in several different respects, and none of them were particularly positive. On the pitch, Ron...

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The 2012 African Cup Of Nations: The Morning After The Night Before

By on Feb 17, 2012 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

I’m a fan of international football tournaments on the whole, regardless of quality (regular readers may have spotted this long ago). And the 2012 “edition” of the African Cup of Nations certainly put that philosophy to the test. Take out an extraordinary second round of group games and the uplifting climax and you were left with a series of not very good football...

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European Championship Stories: 1976 – The Birth Of The Penalty Shoot-Out

By on Feb 16, 2012 in History, International Football, Latest | 1 comment

It has been suggested more than once that the inner beauty of football is to be found in its mixture of simplicity and complexity. For the game to get under your skin in the first place isn’t difficult but, for all the analysis of tactics and formations which seems occasionally to dominate all other discussion of matches in themselves, football remains...

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The 2012 African Cup Of Nations: The Final

By on Feb 14, 2012 in International Football, Latest | 1 comment

Cote D’Ivoire never had a chance. Whatever the multi-talents of their squad, the Elephants were going to struggle in this African Cup of Nations final…up against two teams. As if the Zambian side at this competition wasn’t good enough, there was the memory of their 1993 predecessors with which to contend, and the current squad’s hugely admirable...

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Falling Out Of Love With England

By on Feb 11, 2012 in International Football, Latest | 12 comments

The last week or so has said a lot about England, the state of the country, its sporting culture and the team that is supposed to represent it on the stage of international football. Apathy levels with the national team, however, are growing to the point at which it may become pertinent to ask the question of what the England national football team is actually for....

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