Category: Latest

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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A Fog Of Alcohol, Kebabs And Cheap Hotels

When composing one’s thoughts about any news story, it can act as a degree of consolation to try and take the best of said story and hope that, at the very least, lessons have been learnt from it. When reviewing the recent story regarding Oldham Athletic’s attempts to sign Ched Evans, however, there is little positivity to be seen anywhere. From the very outset – a Premier Inn in Rhyl, a kebab shop in the middle of the night, either the infidelity of a man or the rape of a barely conscious young woman – there’s a grubbiness underpinning...

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Blyth Spartans & The FA Cup Third Round

It’s the Third Round of the FA Cup this weekend and, while the lowest-ranked team left in the competition has a home draw against Championship opposition, they won’t be appearing live on the television this time around. Here’s Tom Snee with the lowdown on Blyth Spartans, of the Northern Premier League. You can picture exactly how it would have gone; city slickers trudging off a swish coach in a makeshift car park, finding their way to a cramped Croft Park changing room and generally not looking at all up for the game. Cut to a shot of kids in...

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