Author: Ian

Phil Neville: A Job For The Boys  

The decision hasn’t been formally confirmed yet, but the rumours circling that the Football Association are set to appoint Phil Neville as the new manager of the England women’s team has already angered a considerable number of people, and it’s hardly surprising that this should be the case. Although it has been done occasionally before, international appointments aren’t usually used as testing grounds for largely untested head coaches, so the question for the FA if they are to make this appointment is a simple one: show your workings. It’s more than reasonable to say that 2017 was a pretty...

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Fourteen Days Left To Save Hartlepool United…? Not Quite.  

There has been something distinctly heart-warming about much of the reaction to the growing understanding of the extent of the difficulties faced by National League club Hartlepool United over the last few days or so. In febrile and divisive times it can be difficult to retain the knowledge that, as football supporters, we have considerably more in common than we could ever have between us. We do, though. We are family, ultimately. Some of us remember the offers of help and expressions of sympathy from when our own clubs were teetering on the brink. Some of us merely think,...

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Hartlepool United: Hanging By A Thread

Hartlepool United is a football club that is used to being the butt of other people’s jokes. From the unwanted record of the most appearances in the Football League’s re-election places without ever being voted out – fourteen, to be precise – to likely apocryphal stories about hanging monkeys, for many years this club became known as possibly the quintessential struggling Football League club, living a hand to mouth existence and fighting for the mere right to exist. At the end of last season, however, the wheels finally came off the wagon. Even a win on the last day...

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What Arsene Wenger Did Next Will Amaze You

He may well have addressed the post-match press conference following his team’s humiliating defeat to Nottingham Forest yesterday afternoon by acknowledging that the result “hurts very much”, but for Arsenal supporters looking on as their team crashed out of the FA Cup at the very first hurdle, the question that requires answering once that familiar red mist has lifted yet again is this: was Arsene Wenger’s team selection for this match a matter of arrogance and hubris, or one of oversight and incompetence? It is entirely possible that Wenger saw this match through a very particular prism. A scratch...

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Sent To Coventry: The End Of The Road For Mark Hughes

He’d been standing at the gallows drop for such a long time that yesterday’s result might have been considered something of a formality, but for Mark Hughes yesterday evening’s sacking by Stoke City still most likely stung all the more for the further humiliation heaped upon both his and Stoke’s reputation by their loss at League Two side Coventry City in the Third Round of the FA Cup. This was the day upon which Hughes ran out of excuses. Slumps in the league can sometimes be mitigated by promises of jam tomorrow, but cup football, with the harsh glare...

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