Category: Latest

Five Billion Pounds Can Buy The Premier League Bullishness, But It Can’t Buy Scruples

If ever there was a sign of the times in terms of attitudes towards the Premier League, then the reaction of both the media and a noisy proportion of the general public to the announcement of the league’s new television deal was about as succinct as might have been hoped for. There was a time when the amount of money announced by these deals was treated in much the same way as a fireworks display might be, with oohs and aahs at the very large number that will make some already wealthy men even wealthier, but in 2015 the...

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A Tale Of Two Continents: The African Cup of Nations & The AFC Asian Cup

You suspect that African Cup of Nations  Cote D’Ivoire would win a meaningful match on neutral territory against AFC Asian Cup winners Australia – a match which screams to be organised by whoever gives us internationals such as Argentina v Croatia at the Boleyn Ground. However, no amount of revisionism from British Eurosport’s Stewart Robson, who labelled the AFCON “a fairly good tournament” can mask the superior quality of footballing entertainment served up in the Asian event. African Angst After years of falling below expectations, Cote D’Ivoire finally regained their continental title. The focus should have been more on...

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African Cup Of Nations 2015: A Lack Of Quality In Every Third

The 2015 African Cup of Nations (CAN) in Equatorial Guinea was hyped as wide open and unpredictable. And with holders Nigeria failing to qualify and “bigger” teams such as Cameroon and Cote D’Ivoire in “transition” this was hype you could believe. But talk of “no outstanding teams” was right on two levels. The drama of the final group games was down to mathematics not football. And although no-one was knocked out after two games, that didn’t mean they were any good. And while the quarter-finals produced goals and incident, that didn’t mean they were any good either. There have...

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Celtic In The English Premier League… Well… Sort Of

January 21st already had considerable weirdness potential when I noticed that “Villarreal” was trending on Twitter.  I was – and here’s a sentence I’ve not typed before – off to a match between Celtic and Villarreal under-21s at Dartford FC’s Princes Park ground, in the “Premier League International Cup” (PLIC) – a title you’d normally associate with pre-season games in Asia between Manchester City and Chelsea, not a match between Scottish and Spanish top-flight sides at a Vanarama Conference ground. Somewhere, I had missed several meetings. It transpired, though, that Villarreal was trending due to potential transfer activity with...

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The AFC Asian Cup: An Inter-Nation Poor Relation?

A minor twitter storm kicked up last week when it dawned on many watchers of the AFC Asian Cup on British Eurosport 2 that just as a gradually warming-up tournament was starting to steam up, the channel’s coverage was evaporating. The service British Eurosport have provided over recent years to international football tournament junkies such as myself has been lauded in these pages before. But even before considering the demerits of pundit Mark Bright, I felt let down by their scheduling of this competition. Asia being Asia, the games were never going to tie in with a Western European...

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