June 2009

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The Confederations Cup: Spain 1-0 Iraq

It took Spain 40 years to rebuild their national team into a championship-winning force, so 55 minutes was never going to be too long to wait.  Still, that’s how long they were kept at bay by Bora Milutinovic’s limited but very well-organised Asian champions. With ten men behind the ball throughout, Iraq stifled the Spanish…

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June 17, 2009
Ted

Michael Owen – This Space Available To Rent

At the 1983 British General Election, Labour were almost wiped from the electoral map by a Conservative Party high on the fumes of their peculiar war with Argentina in the South Atlantic. Afterwards, their election manifesto was famously described by the Shadow Home Secretary Gerald Kaufman as “the longest suicide note in history”. For some…

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June 16, 2009
Ian

The Confederations Cup: Italy 3-1 USA

It starts off as a low whining sound. You turn the sound down on the television wondering whether the washing machine is playing up or whether the cat is ill, but the sound goes away as you mute it. Are the speakers playing up? Is there a problem with the reception? It can’t be. In…

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June 15, 2009
Ian

Tony Kempster

We had been warned that his illness was terminal, but this didn’t make his passing much less of a shock. The death of football statistician Tony Kempster, reported this morning, brings to a close the story of a man that arguably has brought more than anyone else to non-league football over the last ten years…

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June 15, 2009
Ian

The Confederations Cup: Brazil 4-3 Egypt

There is a reason why matches like this one are rare.  More, perhaps, is the pity.  But it is not just bull-headed, brass-necked conservative imperialism which sees 50 percent of the ten South American teams qualifying for the World Cup Finals, whilst just six of CAF’s 55 members will represent Africa next summer.  The relative…

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June 15, 2009
Ted

The Confederations Cup: New Zealand 0 – 5 Spain

Iker Casillas is a one club man. He first signed for Real Madrid Juniors at the age of ten, and has been at the Bernebau ever since. He has played almost three hundred and fifty matches for Real and, at the age of twenty-eight, has also made ninety-three matches for Spain as well. Considering that…

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June 14, 2009
Ian
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