Category: Latest

Beautiful Bastards: Hannover 96 Under Mirko Slomka

Nearly four years after taking over as coach of Hannover 96 in January 2010, Mirko Slomka has been fired. Despite their parlous league position Slomka leaves the 96ers in a better place that when he arrived and presided over one of the most successful periods in their history. Under his guidance, this traditionally mid-table club finished as high as fourth place in the Bundesliga, played in two Europa League campaigns and developed a playing style that, at its peak, was fast, powerful and with devastating effect. Slomka took over a squad that was in bits during the 2009/10 season....

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The Cognitive Dissonance Of Cardiff City

It was, considering everything, not the most earth-shattering news of the season that we’ve seen so far, but the decision of the owner of Cardiff City Football Club to relieve Malky Mackay of his position as manager of the club still seems likely to further sour the atmosphere at The Cardiff City Stadium in the near future. A first season back in the Premier League for a little over half a century and the opportunity to resume hostilities against rivals Swansea City should really have been a cause for considerable celebration on the part of the club’s supporters, but it certainly feels as if the experience of Cardiff City of supporters so far this season has been significantly tainted by the autocratic nature of the behaviour of the club’s owner, Vincent Tan. On the surface, though, it’s worth mentioning in the interests of balance that there was an arguable case for changing the manager of the club at this stage of the season. Cardiff have won just two Premier League matches since the end of September and sit just one point above the relegation places at the time of writing. The harsh truth of the matter is that, in the current hire ’em and fire’ em environment of the Premier League at the moment, managers have been sacked for less. And it is also worth pointing out that, with...

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AVB: Too Much, Too Young?

You’ve done too much, much too young, The Specials famously sang on their seminal 1980 hit. That particular ditty was an anthem to a lost youth and the doom of adding another statistic to the population. However, it would also appear to be a maxim that could be applied to Portuguese wonderkid Andre Villas-Boas, who as we all know¬†has now had the button pressed on his Daniel Levy supervised ejector seat. Some people argue it was activated far too soon, and some argue it wasn’t pressed soon enough. Villas-Boas is a difficult one to fathom out, on the one hand coming across like a coaching revolutionary, with his encyclopedia of techno-management speak, and on the other hand, coming across like a complete chancer, who has spent far too much time with his head buried in a dictionary and suffocated under a mountain of statistics. At the time of writing, he still hasn’t managed to shake off the “mini Mourinho” tag, the obvious legacy of working alongside the self-styled Special One. Again. this is a tricky one, because in some despatches, he adopts a clear “I’m my own man” posture, but at the same time, wears at least a percentage of his historical association with Mourinho like a gaudy bracelet of recognition. Sky Sports and other media of their ilk, often wheel out two things when talking about him: firstly,...

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The 200% Christmas Movie: Once In A Lifetime

Christmas is a time for lolling about in front of the television with glazed eyes, desperately trying to stave off the inevitable heartburn that follows eating seven thousand calories in the space of half an hour, so allow us to give you something to take your mind off it all with “Once In A Lifetime – The Extraordinary Story Of The New York Cosmos”, a documentary which tells the story of the rise, the very brief stay at the top, and rapid fall of the most famous of all of the teams that played in the North American Soccer League in the United States of America. And while we’re about it, we’ll take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas, and a prosperous new year. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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Tim Sherwood And Daniel Levy’s Christmas Surprise

Imagine, for a moment, that I have built a time machine. It’s pretty limited – the technology is somewhat limited at the moment – in that it only has a range of four months, but it does at least allow me to go back to the start of the football season and make absurd-sounding predictions on these pages which turn out to come true. At the top of the list of predictions that I could conceivably make, a Nostradamus-like moment that would later see me burned at the stake as a confirmed heretic, would go something like this: “In December 2013, Andre Villa Boas departs as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur following a six-nil loss at Manchester City and a five-nil home defeat at the hands of Liverpool. In a surprise move, chairman Daniel Levy appoints former captain Tim Sherwood as his replacement on an eighteen month contract.” The removal of the previous incumbent probably couldn’t have come at a much worse time in terms of the managerial market. It’s not a time of year when the sort of manager that a club with the profile and – especially, considering the amount of money thrown around I’m the vicinity of the club during the summer and the lingering suspicion that the top end of the Premier League is as open as it has been for many years, which gives...

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