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Aston Villa & The Pursuit Of Mediocrity

Posted by on 12:57 pm in Latest, Opinion | 5 comments

Aston Villa & The Pursuit Of Mediocrity

Upon the tootling of the full time whistle at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon, a somewhat familiar chorus of booing rang around one of the few remaining historical homes of English football. A home defeat at the hands of a Sheffield United team that is currently struggling to keep its head above water two divisions below them isn’t a result that it’s possible to put a positive spin upon especially when the manager of your club has chucked his eggs into the basket of stating boldly that the FA Cup doesn’t matter any more,...

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Eusebio & The 1968 European Cup Final

Posted by on 7:02 pm in History, Latest | 1 comment

Eusebio & The 1968 European Cup Final

There was a time when it was a sport rather than a merely a business. The scene was Wembley Stadium, on the twenty-ninth of May 1968. In Czechoslovakia, the Prague Spring was in full effect. Just a few weeks previously, Dr Martin Luther King Jr had been assassinated in Memphis, whilst both Paris and London groaned under the weight of student protest against the establishment and the Vietnam war. A global summer of political tumult lay ahead. Professional football, meanwhile, trundled on, but serendipity had ensured that this year’s...

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“Person”(s) Of The Year 2013… “Charlotte Fakeovers”

Posted by on 10:51 pm in Latest, Politics, Scottish Football | 0 comments

“Person”(s) Of The Year 2013… “Charlotte Fakeovers”

As 2013 was such a rubbish year for football governance and finance, who better to be football’s “man” of it than someone called Charlotte, who told a tale of financial skullduggery and subterfuge and whose real identity, or possibly identities, remain concealed? Mark Murphy thinks “no-one.” The phrase “internet phenomenon” is, granted, clichéd journalese. And I would hesitate to use it about a Twitter account whose origin and veracity remained shrouded in mystery (especially outside Scotland), for its seven months in and out of cyberspace....

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Of Snow, Wind, Rain, Ice & Men

Posted by on 10:35 pm in Latest, Opinion | 0 comments

Of Snow, Wind, Rain, Ice & Men

We’re well past the initial point at which the weather has started to play merry havoc with the football season, and it was most likely this – a rash of cancellations following the latest round of storms and high winds – combined with New Year’s Day hangovers which combined to give BT Sport a record high television audience for its live match last week between Luton Town and Barnet at Kenilworth Road. An audience of almost 350,000 people tuned into watch the Conference Premier match, a figure that represents a plenty...

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

Posted by on 2:49 pm in Latest | 3 comments

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...

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Beautiful Bastards: Hannover 96 Under Mirko Slomka

Posted by on 6:15 pm in Bundesliga, Latest | 0 comments

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...

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