Category: Latest

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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The Under-17 World Cup: The Second Round

The FIFA Under-17 World Cup has just completed its second round, so here’s Mark Murphy with a round-up of all the shenanigans in India. Colombia 0 Germany 4. A bad evening for South America (part one). I’d filed this match under “too close to call.” Ultimately all that was “too close to call” was whether Colombia were awful or dreadful. German striker Jann-Fiete Arp’s surname may sound like the noise you make if you cough and burp simultaneously. That may accurately summarise his contribution in general play. But, boy, the boy can finish. He didn’t look over-displeased to be...

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Soft Spots: The Polygamous Football Supporter

The predominant narrative of the modern football supporter paints us all as one club obsessives, but for many of us that all-encompassing obsession can be complemented with a number of “soft spots” for other clubs as well. Here’s Mike Bayly to explain his wandering eye.  When the subject of allegiance came up in my formative football education, I chose to read from a very outdated syllabus. Unlike my 1980s school peers, I shunned the ‘big five’ to follow sides from England’s lower divisions. On a given day, I could arrive in the playground wearing a Kidderminster Harriers cap or...

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Football In The Regions: London – The Big Match

With a plethora of television channels just a click of the remote control away, it can feel difficult to be able to remember a time when, in media terms, we didn’t get what we want, when we want it. Anybody over the age of forty, however, will readily be able to remember a time when there were three television channels on the United Kingdom, none of which began showing programmes until half past nine in the morning and all of which closed down for the day not long after midnight. Football has mirrored the world of media in this...

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Worthing FC, Me, My Boy & The Future

Imagine, if you can, a world without football. You’re aware of such a thing as *a* football, a round thing full of air that’s fun to throw, kick or chase around, although you don’t completely know it by name. Beyond that, though, nothing. No Manchester United, no Tottenham Hotspur. No Real Madrid, no Barcelona. No FA Cup, no World Cup. No pitch markings, no corner kicks, no laws of the game. No Richard Scudamore, Garth Crooks, or Jamie Carragher. No Hope Powell or Caroline Barker. No Carlos Alberto or Ferenc Puskas. There’s just you and a round thing that...

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