Category: Latest

The Friday Cartoon, Early: DO THESE MEN HATE ENGLAND?

In a departure from the norm on 200% this evening, we have handed over this week’s cartoon slot to Ed Liddle of The Football Spectator, who has some very strident opinions on the subject of… well… we’re not entirely sure, as it goes. Mr Liddle (whose nickname is “Supersonic” – one for the older folks amongst us, there) was talking to Dotmund, who assures us that these opinions in no way represent his own. Well, not while anybody’s listening to him, anyway. You can goosestep behind Dotmund on Twitter by clicking here. You can send them back to where...

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The Season Is Young, But Time Is Not On David Moyes’ Side

We are only six matches into the Premier League season, but the remaining thirty-two matches must feel like a mountain to climb for the already beleagured Manchester United manager David Moyes as he surveys the wreckage of last Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion. Over the course of the last week and a half or so, the wheels on his wagon have started to look extremely rickety indeed and the faint but distinctive smell of panic is already starting to settle over the more skittish element of the club’s support. How long might it be, we might reasonably wonder, before the “David Moyes is incompetent” trope becomes The Thing About David Moyes? Time, it is already starting to feel, may be beginning to run out. It is worth reminding ourselves of the reasons why Moyes was appointed into the managerial position at Old Trafford in the first place. His record at Everton was not perfect, but Alex Ferguson saw traits in him that clearly indicated to him that he was the right man to succeed him in this potentially thorny role. The problem with the managerial succession at Manchester United, however, is that expectations have been inflated to such an extent by more than twenty years of almost uninterrupted success that there is no room for a transitional period, as we are seeing now. Three...

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Melancholy In Derby Over The Departure Of Nigel Clough

It’s likely that there will be a sense of melancholy hanging over the city of Derby this afternoon. Its relationship with the Clough family is a long at somehwhat complex one which stretches back to the late 1960s, when an upstart manager arrived at The Baseball Ground from Hartlepool United and started about one of the more dramatic transformations of a football club that has ever been seen. Five years on from Brian Clough’s arrival at a Derby County Football Club that was, at that time, at the wrong end of the Second Division, they were the champions of England, and such events have a tendency to cement a bond even though, within eighteen months of lifting the Football League Championship, Clough senior had left the club amid acrimony after a very public falling out with the club’s then-chairman Sam Longson. It was a bond that even survived the even greater success that he managed at their biggest rivals, Nottingham Forest. We are two and a half weeks away from the fortieth anniversary from the departure of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor from The Baseball Ground, and professional football has changed almost beyond recognition in those intervening four decades. Quite asides from anything else, the club no longer calls its home The Baseball Ground, but this is a mere trifle in comparison with the mere fact that the likelihood...

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The World Cup With Blood On Its Hands

There comes a point at which the rotten core at the heart of football will become too much for most to take. We have come to accept the greed and the avarice as a part of life, as if there is no other way in which these people behave, and we are pacified only, it seems, by the collection of three points on a Saturday afternoon. Perhaps, though, for the corrupt culture that has burrowed its way into FIFA over as many decades as you choose to select from, some sort of day of reckoning is fast approaching. We all took the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar as being utterly and hopelessly corrupt to the core, a decision made for dozens of reasons that had little to do with anything but the greasing of palms, and the endless quest to accommodate the tournament up to the point of holding it in the middle of the winter for the first time has done little to satisfy those who have who have already arrived at this conclusion. On the whole, though, the arguments in favour of moving the 2022 World Cup finals have been dismissed with a sneer by FIFA, Perhaps, though, that situation is about to change. When misgivings about awarding the 2022 World Cup finals to a micro-state with no discernable football culture to speak of...

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A Loose Cannon Firing In The Wrong Direction: Di Canio Out At Sunderland

In the current hire ’em and fire ’em culture of football management, it is not uncommon to hear statements of sympathy for managers who have fallen foul of the whims of their club’s owners and found themselves out of work. We will have to play a game of wait and see to establish whether this will happen with Paolo Di Canio, whose short spell in charge of Sunderland AFC came to end earlier today, the first Premier League manager of the new season to lose his job. Perhaps more than any other manager in the Premier League, Di Canio was one who had to deliver results. His previous political utterances meant that there were a good many who were deeply uncomfortable with his appointment, and this had the effect of meaning the the knives have, for some, been sharpened from the very day that he first arrived at The Stadium of Light. His honeymoon period in charge of the club could barely have started any more positively, beginning with a three-nil win at Newcastle United and a one-nil win at home against Everton, but since then his results have taken a distinctly downward turn. Sunderland held onto their Premier League place at the end of last season, but they club has only won one of its eleven matches since then, and that was against a team from two divisions...

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