Category: Latest

Sharp In The Cup… Sheffield United’s Jekyll & Hyde Season

According to the Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough, it was news of the reward that pushed his team over the line in their FA Cup Fifth Round match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon. For reasons – as ever – best kept to themselves, the Football Association held the draw for the quarter-finals of this year’s competition towards the end of the first half of their match, and as serendipity would have it the Blades found out at half-time that winning this match would lead to a Sixth Round match against Sheffield Wednesday, if they could pull a result out of the hat in the forty-five minutes that followed and Wednesday come to beat Charlton Athletic in their now-delayed match. It might, therefore, be argued that this was a little harsh on Nottingham Forest. There doesn’t seem to be any particularly good reason why the draw for the next round of the competition should be held whilst matches are being played, after all – apart, of course, from the purposes of the amelioration of broadcasters, who would rather have the draw made as soon as their live match finishes. And football can’t be upsetting its paymasters now, can it? Hull City supporter who looked mournfully at the scheduling of tonight’s match at Brighton, a venue impossible to get back from by public transport from this evening and would be...

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Bundesliga Round Up: Week 21 – HSV change coach after Braunschweig defeat

Hamburg coach Bert van Marwijk just barely escaped with his job last weekend after the 3-0 defeat to Hertha. This weekend the axe finally came down and after 143 of the longest days of his life the former Dutch national team coach was paid off. The decision was taken shortly after Hamburg lost their relegation six pointer at bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig, 4-2. On loan Hertha BSC striker, Pierre Michel Lassoga took the lead for the away side after 23 minutes. The Hamburg fans set off their pyros in joyous celebration of what they imagined would be a win...

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Tom Finney: The Loss Of One Of Football’s Great Gentlemen

There will be tears at Deepdale this afternoon, of course, and understandably so. After all, the announcement of the death of Tom Finney yesterday at the age of ninety-one has brought the curtain down on one of football’s most enduring love affairs, that of the modest player blessed with abilities beyond the reach of all bar a select few and the club that he represented with such distinction for so many years. But there will also be celebration. Each and every Preston North End player will wear a shirt bearing his name, and there will be as much applause as there will be silence. A life so well lived deserves such treatment. His was a career played out in the years immediately prior to the invasion of television cameras that we take so much for granted these days. As such, perhaps the most appropriate way in which we can assess his impact on the landscape of post-war English football is from the recollections of his contempories. Bill Shankly, who played alongside Finney at Preston, for example, commented on the ability gap between the winger and the rest of his team that, “Tom should claim income tax relief… for his ten dependants,” and that, “Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age… even if he had been wearing an overcoat.” It was...

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John Still, The Knowledge & Luton Town’s Renaissance

There are many aspects of pride to being a football supporters, some of which are laudable whilst others are less so. At the less extreme end of this spectrum is the pride of being the supporter of a club in the Football League. It’s a club that – along, of course, with the Premier League – only ninety-two clubs can be members of, and losing that status can have a damaging effect on one’s self-esteem. The Football League introduced automatic promotion and relegation with the Football Conference more than a quarter of a century ago but, whilst the fourteen...

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Going, Going, Gone – The Bell Tolls For The Boleyn Ground

The “Sold” sign went up at The Boleyn Ground yesterday, a point of no return in West Ham United’s enduringly controversial plans to leave The Boleyn Ground, the club’s home for the last one hundred and ten years, for the newer pastures of the Olympic Stadium in nearby Stratford. Yet whilst this was an announcement that was expected by most, there has been a solemn atmosphere amongst the club’s supporters over the last couple of days or so, and the feeling that, of all the people that are likely to benefit the most as a result of this move,...

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