Category: Premier League

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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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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Football Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas 

When call me negative, I simply say “no, I’m not” and wait for the laughter…and wait… But the just-finished festive football fun showcased much of the negative in the modern game. Some other negatives are on-going. In 2017, Rangers were confirmed as cheats when the UK Supreme Court ruled that their scheme to wilfully avoid tax on player salaries was illegally funded. Rangers failed to meet legal obligations to tax AND football authorities, admitting to doing so to sign players they, ahem, “perhaps” could not otherwise afford. Yet Scotland’s football authorities want them to keep the titles they cheated...

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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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Mark Clattenburg: Referee & Idiot

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment at which it started to come to this. Perhaps it was the formation of the Premier League, when the new league, drunk on dreams of the celebrity status that would end up coming to pass in most respects, stripped referees of the schoolmasterly all-black kits they’d worn for more than half a century and replacing them with green shirts, as though they needed a coloured uniform of their own. Perhaps it came as an unintended consequence of referees becoming professional in 2001 or with the growth in the influence of PGMOL, the...

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