Category: Latest

48 Crash: FIFA “Reinvents” The World Cup

The EU referendum campaign polarised opinion sufficiently to forget that two people of similar political faith could easily vote differently on the complex economic issues involved. One close friend, who became so partly due to politics, voted “Leave” and remains a close friend. So I hope not to lose friends by suggesting that Fifa president Gianni Infantino’s idea of 48-team World Cup finals from 2026 onwards, is, on balance, taking everything into consideration, overall, not entirely preposterous. Still reading? Good. I’m not out-and-out backing the idea. But some opposition has been a knee-jerk reaction to it BEING a Fifa...

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Graham Taylor: A Life Well-Lived 

They say that you can judge a man by the company that he keeps. In a similar spirit, when somebody dies, you can judge their character as a human being by the warmth and generosity of the tributes that they receive. If we accept this as a given, we have learnt a lot about Graham Taylor today, following the news of his death at the age of seventy-two. These tributes have been widespread, heartfelt, and sincere, and have come from all four corners of English football’s vast and diverse community, from former players and pundits, from the supporters of...

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AFCON 2017: A Preview

Complaints have been less frequent this year, as the English Premier League (EPL) “loses” players to the biggest international football tournament to take place during its season.It has at last sunk in that many foreign players are more honoured by international call-ups than English ones. Thus 23 EPL and 13 Football League players will spend up to five weeks in Gabon for 2017’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Indeed, Sunderland fans might want more than four of their squad on West Africa’s coast. AFCON’s 31st edition begins on Saturday, with Cote D’Ivoire as holders, after years of star-strewn under-achievement....

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Coming Next On “2017”

“Nothing changes on New Year’s Day,” Bono sang in 1981 (I forget which song). For those who had good 2016s and deserved them, I hope that’s true. For those who didn’t have good 2016s but deserved them… well, Bono’s a pretentious prick, eh? On New Year’s Eve, two years later, the then-Greater London Council leader Ken Livingstone was asked what the actual, looming 1984 of George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel would be like. “Pretty much like 1983, really,” he whined, a less dystopian answer than required, but more accurate. Bono and Ken were right about football, too (aren’t they...

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Hull City: Missing The Point, Again

In the high octane, fast moving world of football manager replacement, it can often feel as though there isn’t a great deal of sympathy for those that have been cast aside. This doesn’t seem to have been the situation in the case of Mike Phelan and Hull City, though. Phelan, according to the majority consensus, walked into an impossible job at The KCom Stadium. Hull City were promoted into the Premier League via the play-offs in May of last year, an end of season denouement totally at odds with the level of discord behind the scenes at the club...

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