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FIFA, The FA and The British Press: No-one Really Wins The Moral Debate

“Please accept my resignation. I wouldn’t belong to a club that would accept me as a member”, said the telegram that Groucho Marx in his famous telegram to the Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills, and the Football Association must be inwardly feeling the same as Marx with their admission that recent press revelations into the…

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November 4, 2010

Match Of The Midweek: England 0-0 Montenegro

In all honesty, the excitement that surrounding England’s two opening wins against Bulgaria and Switzerland passed very quickly indeed. The post-South Africa combination of jitters and lethargy seems to be lingering over the national team like an unwanted smell and even the press build-up to this match – Look! Rio’s Back! – doesn’t seem to…

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October 12, 2010

Match Of The Midweek: Switzerland 1-3 England

Two games, six points and seven goals. On the pitch, at least, it is starting to feel worryingly as if this summer’s meltdown in South Africa never happened for England. Off it, meanwhile, it has been a busy week in very different ways for England’s players and their PR people, and the suspicion remains that…

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September 8, 2010

Fabio Capello & The Tabloid Pack Mentality: Fatuous Expectation And Poisonous Condemnation

So it is that the love affair between the British press and the Italian comes to an end. England’s friendly match against Hungary last week was what it was – a team in transition playing a mediocre team in a pre-season friendly match – but there was no way that Capello could “win” this match,…

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August 16, 2010

The England Obituary, Part Five: A View From North of the Border

In the last of our responses to England’s World Cup campaign, Gavin Saxton presents a view of the campaign as seen from Scotland, and is less than impressed by the manner in which the nation reacts to its team.

It’s not really an obituary, this. For a start our lot lost 4-0 to Norway in qualifying so I’m in no position to start flinging mud. I’d be only too delighted if many of your underappreciated players were allowed to declare themselves Scottish instead. I’d even take Heskey. So it’s not about the team – mostly I just wanted to have a bit of a rant about the English press, first and foremost because they’ve been annoying the hell out of me over the past few weeks and I wanted to get some of it off my chest, but also because there’s a more serious point involved. For all the many and various reasons that have been suggested for the (perceived) malaise in the English game over the past few days, the impact of the media itself, and the responses and reactions of the nation and the supporters in general, is itself, I would submit, a more active impediment to the success of the national team than any other single factor.

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July 2, 2010

The England Obituary, Part Four: Where Do We Go From Here?

In the fourth part of our look at England’s elimination, Rob Freeman suggests that perhaps we don’t need a post mortem of this team’s so-called failure, and suggests that England don’t need small changes here and there, they need a revolution beginning at the lowest level there is. I’m not overly sure we even need…

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July 1, 2010

The England Obituary, Part 3: “Ha Ha Ha!”, Or “Bloody Hell!”?

In the third part of our brief series on England at the 2010 World Cup, Mark Murphy reports on his four-yearly bout of schadenfreude and how England at least managed to give some people a degree of pleasure this summer. The most virulent Scottish nationalists may want 27th June declared a public holiday after England’s…

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July 1, 2010
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