Category: Latest

Football League Review: Rovers Return(ish)

It took them eight games, but they got there in the end. After a disastrous start to the season, Blackburn Rovers finally picked up their first win of the season against Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon, a win that lifted Owen Coyle’s team off the bottom the table whilst providing a little respite to supporters who have doubtless felt besieged from just about all sides, of late. To a point, perhaps Coyle was somewhat fortunate to have his team lining up against the most profligate defence in the top four divisions of English football – Blackburn’s fourth goal was...

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Premier League Review: Mourinho’s Blame Game

We had been led to believe that Jose Mourinho’s appointment at Old Trafford would have some sort of medicinal effect on two distinctly tainted Premier League brands. Mourinho’s partial operating system failure during the first half of last season at Chelsea and Manchester United’s failure to track down a post-Ferguson footballing identity beyond playing stultifying football and not winning as many matches as the club’s supporters have come to expect were, it was widely assumed, expected to vanish into the night with this coming together, and there were early signs that a corner might have been turned for both...

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Podcast 72: The Fetishisation of the Manager

This week’s 200% podcast is on the subject of the fetishisation of the football manager. Following last weekend’s Manchester derby, the players of the two teams could barely get a word in edgeways in comparison with the acres of coverage given to Messrs Guardiola and Mourinho, and it certainly feels as though the biggest signings made by any clubs over the last couple of years or so have been those strange men who stand on the sidelines, getting disproportionately angry over a football match. Has this ever been thus, and are we moving away from the celebrities of the...

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The Return of the Old Firm Match? No Thanks

“Over the past few years some people have said they haven’t missed the Old Firm game. Frankly they’ve been lying through their teeth,” gurned Sky Sports presenter David Tanner at half-time in last April’s Celtic/Rangers Scottish Cup semi-final. “F**k off, f**king calling me a liar. You don’t even f**king know me,” I said. And it was more insulting to fans of other Scottish clubs, who will have missed Celtic/Rangers as much as, say, fans of any London club “missed” the Manchester derby when pre-oil money Manchester City toured England’s second and third tiers. As Dundee United fan Stuart Milne...

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Serie A & The Possible Return of Christmas Football

One of the suggestions in the ongoing “Whole Game Solution” proposed by the Football League is the long-discussed winter break, which seems at odds with the concomitant pledge to reduce the number of league games each season. If such a winter break were to be introduced, many will fear that the traditional Christmas and New Year games might be the fixtures to make way. Every year, perhaps egged on by journalists who would much rather be at home than at press conferences, managers decry the effects of having to play so much football at Christmas. Could it be that,...

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