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

Posted by on 8:52 pm 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 enchantingly out of reach. What we can say, however, is that the most celebrated moments in the history of game have involved extraordinary luck, brilliant skill, intuitiveness,...

read more

Pompey’s Blame Game

Posted by on 8:35 pm in Finance, Latest | 5 comments

We have been waiting for this since November – but that doesn’t make it any better. The new manager, the younger team, and games like the awayday at Blackpool notwithstanding, no one has been able to fully enjoy the simplicity of Championship survival. That is because, when the first shoe hit the floor in November, we learned that ‘self-sustaining’ really meant ‘injection of a £10.5m loan from the new owner with more needed to keep the club running for the rest of the season.’ It soon became clear to those...

read more

The 2012 African Cup Of Nations: The Final

Posted by on 7:33 am 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 determination to do justice to that memory. Arguably Zambia’s most-talented, all-but-one of the 1993 squad lost their lives in a plane crash off the Gabonese coast near capital...

read more

McCarthy Out At Wolves

Posted by on 6:04 pm in English League Football, Latest | 0 comments

By all accounts he’s a decent guy, is Mick McCarthy. Unfortunately for him, such personality traits are seldom considered to be of great importance when deciding whether to keep the manager of a football club in his position, and his departure from Molineux after one of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ most embarrasssing results of recent years comes as little surprise.  Time has been up for McCarthy since the club’s owner, Steve Morgan, came into the dressing room after their recent home defeat by Liverpool and gave the players a...

read more

Time To Draw A Line Under The Suarez Incidents

Posted by on 8:48 am in English League Football, Latest | 7 comments

The football was always going to be overshadowed on Saturday lunchtime. It has been that sort of a season. At least, though, another gut-wrenching weekend of tribalism and mud-slinging, some good finally seems to have come from the poisonous atmosphere between Liverpool and Manchester United, and perhaps now we can get back to focussing on what continues to be a fascinating season in the Premier League. It is, of course, partly the fault of the Premier League and the FA that Saturdays match found itself being the source of so much controversy...

read more

Falling Out Of Love With England

Posted by on 10:32 am 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. Here’s Mike Bayly, on how he felt out of love with the England team. Logan Mountstuart, the chief protagonist in William Boyd’s Any Human Heart, offered the view that human...

read more