Author: Edward

Parking The Coach: Cesar Luis Menotti & Carlos Bilardo

For all of their heritage, there is a very real sense in which Argentina’s World Cup victories in 1978 and 1986 represent an important validation of their style, their method and their passion for the game. But these two victories, won just eight years apart, could not have come about in more different ways. One was the result of a socialist revolutionary, a free-thinker who changed the way that Argentina approached the international game. The other, a triumph for rigorous, systematic preparation. The story of the two coaches who brought about these victories exemplify the two diametrically opposed schools...

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Parking The Coach: Liverpool & The Anfield Boot Room

For more than a quarter of the Twentieth Century, English football was dominated by a new way of thinking. A Socialist revolution that inspired dedication, simplicity and some of the most breathtakingly brilliant, instinctive and organic football that Europe had ever seen. This side were not halted by changes in playing staff, nor managerial switches. On four occasions the reins would change hands without so much as a blip or interruption to their accumulation of titles, accolades and awards. It was a system so holistic, so deceptively simple and enduring, that every rival club studiously ignored it with flying...

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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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