Author: Ian

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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Sheffield Wednesday’s Busy New Year

It’s been a busy ten days or so for Sheffield Wednesday. A mixture of the bizarre and ridiculous have begun to conflate at Hillsborough in a manner that is causing some to reconsider their opinion of the fitness of club owner Dejphon Chansiri for his current position, and that a whole period of turmoil couldn’t be happening at a less conventional time of the year for a club that started the season with lofty ambitions of reclaiming a place in the Premier League after more than a decade and a half away but which now finds itself in a...

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Jose Mourinho: …Never His Fault

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, of course. The coming together of Manchester United and Jose Mourinho always had the feel of a Faustian pact about it. All connected with the club have long made considerable currency of “the United way”, the fundamental belief that this club should not just win but win with style, but the truth of the matter is that this was always likely to be compromised by a manager whose previous history had entirely been built upon the accumulation of results and trophies to the detriment of any other considerations, up to and including...

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