Author: Ian

Chesterfield, So Far: The Precipitous Fall of the Spireites

It’s not quite all over yet, for Chesterfield Football Club. With three games of their season left to play, they are nine points behind Morecambe, who sit in the third from bottom place in the current League Two table. If they can somehow win their last three games and overturn a goal difference currently nineteen goals worse than their rivals (and presuming that second from bottom Barnet take no more than three points from their final two matches of the season), they’ll be safe. It should be unsurprising to learn that supporters of the club have already largely given...

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Arsene, Arsenal, The Apathy, The Agony & The Ecstasy

If it’s possible for something as complex as a football club to find that its future can be spun on its head through one short passage of time, then for Arsenal that short passage came over the course of five minutes during the evening of the 17th May 2006. The 2005/06 Premier League season had been an underwhelming one for a club that had become accustomed to regular success. Prior to that season, the club hadn’t finished below the Premier League’s top two in the previous eight seasons, lifting the title on three occasions, once – just two seasons...

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Sunderland’s Fall From Grace Continues

When the full-time whistle blew at the Stadium of Light yesterday afternoon, the only limiting factor on the cacophony of boos that greeted the players as they slunk from the pitch was that so many of the 25,000 strong crowd seemed already to have left the ground. It had been supposed that relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season might, at least by way of compensation, provide some sort of relief from the perpetual cycle of ever-diminishing hope and ever-expanding ennui that being a Sunderland supporter had become. Perhaps, it was reckoned, Sunderland needed to...

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ConIFA 2018: The World of The Unaffilated Nations

It is, nowadays, a well-known fact that FIFA is bigger than the United Nations. With 211 men’s national teams and a further twelve who have membership of one of FIFA’s affiliated continental confederations, but are not members in and of themselves (in comparison with the 193 member of the UN), the reach of the game’s governing body is truly global. The very nature of nationhood, however, can be complex and fraught. Some parts of the world are seeking self-determination and some are recognised by some countries but not by others, but where do these go when the main condition for...

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The Saturday Movie Club: QPR & QED – With A Goal In Mind

By the very tail end of the 1970s, a discussion was starting to take place on the subject of how professional football might look in the future when the present was a time of crisis within the game. Attendances for matches were falling and there seemed to be no end in sight for this decline. Something, it was starting to become clear, would need to be done. The Football Men, of course, defined Crystal Palace as “The Team of the 80s.” Defined by the youth of the team, Palace were touted as an exciting team for an exciting era,...

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