Category: Latest

The Ongoing Travails of Altrincham FC

There can be little doubt that Altrincham Football Club is one of the great names of non-league football. Twice winners of the FA Trophy, Twice winners of what we now know as the National League, holders of the record for the most FA Cup wins over Football League opposition for any club that has never played in the Football League, Altrincham is a name that will cause people of a certain age’s eyes to briefly mist over. Yet Altrincham have fallen on fallow times, and the club’s rapid rate of descent over the last couple of years or so...

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Pet Peeves: The Premier League Plinth

It is a fair enough criticism to suggest that we here at Twohundredpercent can have a tendency to eulogise the past a little. It wasn’t all great, of course. The facilities were in a state of collapse, hooliganism stalked the game like a dark shadow, and the football was, as often as not, terrible. It’s difficult, however, not to be seduced by the images of the past, of the shots of huge terraces, seething masses of humanity that swayed with the motion of the match. That human element to football, however, seems to be on the wane, and it...

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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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Mark Sampson, The FA & A Tale of Two Media

On 19th September, I watched England’s women players descending en masse towards their then-manager Mark Sampson after their opening goal in a World Cup qualifying victory over Russia. “**** off,” I cried. Harsh. But I can explain. The neatly-worked goal was neither hugely special against a hapless defence, nor vital to England’s qualification hopes…five more followed before the night was through. So, the dugout invasion was less a goal celebration than a show of solidarity with the under-pressure Sampson. BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce revealed what was happening (seconds before it happened…which we’ll leave for now). And he proclaimed, correctly (though...

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The Perverse Joy of Small Attendances

Perhaps this marks me out as the worst sort of rubber-necker, but there is something that I find strangely enjoyable about looking out for low attendances at football matches. Coming across one can invoke very strange feelings of surprise, concern, and very occasionally a smile dripping with schadenfreude. In modern times, this usually means looking to evening matches in the lower divisions. If you’re a non-league club who ground-shares and has an inconsequential cup match against a team with a small support on a Champions League night, you may well pass across my radar. It’s usually only fleeting, but...

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