Category: Latest

AFCON 2017: A Preview

Complaints have been less frequent this year, as the English Premier League (EPL) “loses” players to the biggest international football tournament to take place during its season.It has at last sunk in that many foreign players are more honoured by international call-ups than English ones. Thus 23 EPL and 13 Football League players will spend up to five weeks in Gabon for 2017’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Indeed, Sunderland fans might want more than four of their squad on West Africa’s coast. AFCON’s 31st edition begins on Saturday, with Cote D’Ivoire as holders, after years of star-strewn under-achievement....

Read More

Coming Next On “2017”

“Nothing changes on New Year’s Day,” Bono sang in 1981 (I forget which song). For those who had good 2016s and deserved them, I hope that’s true. For those who didn’t have good 2016s but deserved them… well, Bono’s a pretentious prick, eh? On New Year’s Eve, two years later, the then-Greater London Council leader Ken Livingstone was asked what the actual, looming 1984 of George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel would be like. “Pretty much like 1983, really,” he whined, a less dystopian answer than required, but more accurate. Bono and Ken were right about football, too (aren’t they...

Read More

Hull City: Missing The Point, Again

In the high octane, fast moving world of football manager replacement, it can often feel as though there isn’t a great deal of sympathy for those that have been cast aside. This doesn’t seem to have been the situation in the case of Mike Phelan and Hull City, though. Phelan, according to the majority consensus, walked into an impossible job at The KCom Stadium. Hull City were promoted into the Premier League via the play-offs in May of last year, an end of season denouement totally at odds with the level of discord behind the scenes at the club...

Read More

Football League Review: Brighton’s Happy Christmas

With around twenty minutes to play in the New Year’s Day round of Football League Championship matches, an unusual sequence of events occurred across three matches that may just turn out to have a significant psychological effect on the second half of the season in that particular division. At Ewood Park, the division’s leader Newcastle United were tied goalless by struggling Blackburn Rovers. Elsewhere, at Craven Cottage the divisional leaders, Brighton & Hove Albion, were defying their recent white-hot form by having fallen a goal down at the hands of Fulham. And finally, third-placed Reading, who have been keeping...

Read More

Bexhill United’s New Year’s Resolutions

The Polegrove, home of Bexhill United Football Club, is an unusual place. For the much of the balance of the year it forms the southwesterly end of Egerton Park, a large public space just to the west of the De La Warr Pavilion. Consequently, the ground is peculiarly accessible throughout the seasons: passers-by can, should they wish to, sit in the dugouts or prat about in the grandstand, scratching obscene words into the glass panes and enjoying their first sexual experiences by the irridescent glow of the alarming piles of pigeon guano. All things considered, it must be said...

Read More