Author: Edward

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Crystal Palace: An Impartial Preview

This evening at The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton & Hove Albion play Crystal Palace in one of the most eagerly awaited ties of this this year’s FA Cup Third Round. Not only is this a critical match for two clubs who haven’t won the FA Cup between them over a combined history of two hundred and thirty years, but this is also a (not) local derby match at which passions are likely to be running high and the Bantz™ is likely to be both spicy and fertile. With both clubs in the Premier League, though, even some more seasoned...

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Parking The Coach: Graham Taylor

The date is Friday, 17th June 1994. Two major events are unfolding in the United States of America and neither of them involved the England football team. The first, given English soccer players’ propensity for shenanigans once the summer break rolls around, was a blessing: A white Ford Bronco driven by A.C. Cowlings and with the fugitive O.J. Simpson in the passenger seat, drove around the Los Angeles freeways, transfixing a divided nation. The second, meanwhile, was of a rather more pressing concern for the Three Lions: In Chicago, the fifteenth FIFA World Cup Finals kicked off following a...

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Parking The Coach: Rinus Michels

Very few figures from the history of association football are better remembered for something they created than for something they won. Rarer yet are people like Rinus Michels: remembered for their philosophical and aesthetic contribution despite what they won. Michels won leagues in two countries, cups in three, two European trophies and at the 1988 UEFA European Championship finals, the only major title in the history of the Dutch national side. They were a whisker away from winning the World Cup, too, only to fall flat at the final hurdle. For all this, Rinus Michels’ legacy will forever be...

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Parking The Coach: Brian Clough

It is the late summer of 1975 and at Nottingham railway station, a cub sports reporter for Radio Trent called Clive Tyldesley has arrived in good time to make the journey to London to cover Nottingham Forest’s match with Chelsea. Tyldesley, freshly graduated from university and in his first job in journalism, is smartly attired in a crisp shirt, blazer and grey slacks. But nothing gets past the keen eye of Forest’s new manager: “Young man, good morning. You’re very welcome to be with the Nottingham Forest party, but when you travel with Nottingham Forest you always wear a...

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Parking The Coach: Arrigo Sacchi

In the rarefied atmosphere of twenty-first century soccer, job applications from people with no previous managerial experience tend not to be welcome. In some quarters, they are actively discouraged or even specifically prohibited, as though all those tens of thousands of hours playing Football Manager were just a colossal waste of time. Fortunately, in the late 1980s there were no such restrictions to the way that the game thought about recruitment: The last manager to guide their team to the successful defence of the European Cup had never played a single minute of competitive football in his life. Four...

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