Category: Latest

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More