Category: Latest

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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World Cup Magic: 1978 – Ticker-Tape & Tartan Travesty

Although I watched the 1974 World Cup finals as an eight-year-old recently converted to football, 1978 is the earliest tournament I properly remember. And I was the only one among the football fans at our rugby-playing school who tipped hosts Argentina to win. For the second World Cup finals in succession, the Anglophile British media had to pretend to support Scotland. While Scotland indulged in English-style hype that they could actually win the competition – despite warnings from a dismal Home International Championships immediately before manager Ally MacLeod’s side travelled to Argentina. Although Scotland beat European champions Czechoslovakia to qualify, European victory in South America was still a fanciful notion. However, International football analysis was still taught at the Corporal Jones school of foreigners not liking “it up them.” So the idea persisted that gap-toothed striker Joe Jordan could terrify opposition defences by little more than smiling at them. International football TV coverage in 1978 was blighted by poor sound and pictures. But many of my generation thought the fuzzy images and commentaries added to the atmosphere, making “foreign” crowds sound louder and more volatile. And Argentina 1978 added… ticker-tape. If we’d seen ticker-tape at all it was from footage of triumphal parades through American city streets by military or sporting heroes, showers of the stuff emerging from the skyscrapers which flanked them.  Yes, it was American. And a...

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On Coventry City, Cardiff City & Hull City’s Winter Of Discontent

There are three football clubs at which the Christmas period may well prove to be a period of reflection. The circumstances that have engulfed these three clubs over the last few weeks and months have come to act as something of a barometer for the state of professional football in this country at the moment. None of them are sufficiently insignificant as clubs to be easy to sweep under the carpet – two of them, for goodness’ sake, are in the Premier League – and the behaviour of their owners have heaped shame on what used to be a game, as well as causing thousands to start reconsidering whether this “game” is even worth bothering with any more. It used to occasionally be said that, over the course of your lifetime, you were statistically less likely to change your bank than you were to change your husband and wife. I’m not entirely sure whether this situation is still the same but I’d say with a degree of certainty that, even in the footloose and fancy-free twenty-century, when we’re all encouraged to treat every interaction in our personal lives as consumers, that we’re still less likely to change our football team over the course of our lifetimes than just about any other aspect of our lives. It’s only through this prism of attachment and self-identification can the decisions of those...

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