Category: Latest

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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Ireland’s World Cup Car Crash 

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph” is a polite, religious Irish version of a phrase which rhymes with “clucking bell;” the reaction, surely, of many Ireland fans watching their team’s humiliating World Cup exit on Tuesday. And probably a better bet in Ireland’s midfield diamond than the one Denmark ran lanes through at will. When the end came, it was as difficult to watch as much of the football Ireland have played under Martin O’Neill’s management, although some of Denmark’s football was at the opposite end of the quality scale. Christian Eriksen and his manager Aage Hareide had reason to say...

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Italy: The Arrival Of The Apocalypse

There are two sides to most people who watch football on a regular basis. On the one hand, we have to be ruthless pragmatists, in order to preserve our sanity if nothing else. We know that some players are better than others, that some teams are better than others, and that some teams can be either greater than or equal to the sum of their parts. It’s mechanical, in a sense. All footballers – and all football teams – are not created equal. On the other hand, though, we are fabulously flamboyant romantics. We love the idea of David...

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FIFA: The Repugnant Jack Warner – Justice At Last?

“Inside World Football” website editor Paul Nicholson recently wrote that repugnant former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner was “believed to be one of the kingpins at the centre of the corruption within Fifa and his own regional confederation.” That “belief” is strong among Fifa corruption observers. The only problem with proving it in court is getting him to court, as Warner has fought a two-year Trinidad and Tobago High Court campaign against extradition to the United States, where he has been sought since the famous 20th May 2015 US Department of Justice indictments against Fifa officials. However, he recently lost...

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Televised Football In The Regions: The Midlands – In Colour

If, at the point that Associated Television (ATV) began their contract to broadcast seven days a week to the Midlands in 1968, one had asked a sample of football experts which parts of the country would come to dominate football in England over the duration of this contract, it’s entirely possible that the vast, sprawling band across the middle of the country wouldn’t have figured in that many people’s calculations. Such is the size of the Midlands that of course it had representation in the First Division, but this was largely concentrated in the bottom of the half of...

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