Author: Edward

Parking The Coach: Helenio Herrera

Everything that Italian football is, was encapsulated in Helenio Herrera. Stylish, cerebral, passionate, pragmatic, cynical, exasperating, inconsistent, unscrupulous, brilliant, corrupt… a smooth and intoxicating mixture of ascetic analysis, self-aggrandisement and suspiciously-too-black hair. In many ways, Herrera gave birth to football in the 21st Century. He is certainly its manager. The first of the mass of contradictions that lay ahead is that Italian football’s avatar was not Italian at all, but a naturalised Frenchman from Argentina. Helenio Herrera was born in Buenos Aires on 10th April 1910. His father, a Spanish immigrant, worked as a carpenter – “like Jesus”, as...

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Brighton & Hove Albion: Twenty From Twenty

Brighton and Hove Albion have just been promoted to the Premier League! Hooray! The Seagulls haven’t been in the top division of English football for 34 years, a statistic which would be remarkable enough without the fact that their promotion came just 20 years, almost to the day, that they almost slipped out of the Football League and, most likely, of existence. Here are twenty people who made the unlikely, the inevitable. STEVE GRITT A Charlton Athletic legend, Gritt had spent twelve years as a player at The Valley and between 1991 and 1995 served as the club’s co-manager...

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The Emirates Stadium Mystery: Eating The Swans?

It has been a tumultuous fortnight for Plumstead Highbury QC, the surprise appointment as the new Arsenal manager. The initial warmth of the post-coital glow that accompanied the Gunners’ comfortable 2-0 opening day win against Stoke City is threatening to turn decidedly luke warm, like an unattended bucket of piss. Still, in the build-up to the team’s second match of the season, Highbury was bullish, even taking time out to dismiss some unfounded transfer chatter and reveal a lot about his tactical approach to the game. Nevertheless, having beaten Stoke using the daring strategy of playing just two at...

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Parking The Coach: Bela Guttmann

  If Bela Guttmann had never existed football would probably have needed to make him up: an individualist who nevertheless created one of the most iconic teams in European football history; a self-confessed mercenary who inspired and cajoled excellence wherever he pitched his wagon. He managed more than twenty club sides, in nine countries and on two continents, and was one of the architects of the rise to prominence of Brazilian football. He discovered, nurtured and unleashed the greatest African footballer of all time into the European game. As a player he insisted his jerseys be made from silk,...

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Bexhill United’s New Year’s Resolutions

The Polegrove, home of Bexhill United Football Club, is an unusual place. For the much of the balance of the year it forms the southwesterly end of Egerton Park, a large public space just to the west of the De La Warr Pavilion. Consequently, the ground is peculiarly accessible throughout the seasons: passers-by can, should they wish to, sit in the dugouts or prat about in the grandstand, scratching obscene words into the glass panes and enjoying their first sexual experiences by the irridescent glow of the alarming piles of pigeon guano. All things considered, it must be said...

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