Category: Latest

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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Football League Review: Songs of Fire & Ice

An ominous sound was heard across the Football League Championship on Saturday night. Newcastle United’s fourth win in succession, a comfortable win at Derby County, was another fine performance against a team that had been widely predicted to challenge near the top of the table before the start of the season but instead find themselves floundering near the wrong end of the league. This win kept them breathing ominously down the neck of leaders Huddersfield Town, whose one-nil win at Leeds United was one to be filed away under “workmanlike”, but did carry the added bonus of being a...

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Democracy, UEFA Style

Anything Fifa can do, Uefa can do almost as shamelessly. Including, it seems, presidential elections. Uefa elect their replacement for the banned/disgraced/French Michel Platini in Athens on Wednesday. Ex-Uefa secretary-general Gianni Infantino might have been a candidate to replace Platini had he not already replaced Blatter. As it is, Infantino, whose nascent Fifa presidency has teetered towards controversy, has been accused of improper interference in the election. As I type, the election favourite is Infantino’s alleged favourite Aleksander Ceferin, a low-profile international football political figure when the election timetable was announced on May 18th, not least because even now...

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