Category: Latest

The State of the Nation, 2017/18: An Overview 

There’s a chance that the summer of 2017 will, presuming that society doesn’t completely collapse over the next couple of months or so, come to be remembered as The Summer of No Football. There is a feeling of apathy hanging over the game as the year reaches its longest day, an air of lethargy that feels only accentuated by the heatwave that is currently overwhelming so many of us. For those of us that have thrown our lot in with writing about the game, this provides something of a dilemma. Our raison d’etre – be it money, an interest...

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FIFA’s Video Assistant Referees: How VAR Should They Go?

The Video Assistant Referees (VARs) experiment at the just-finished Under-20s World Cup in the Korean Republic was undoubtedly successful. As was the system itself, largely. Whether the people running it were as successful is a different matter…and possibly doesn’t matter. The primary object of any experiment is to subject its subject to vigorous, wide-ranging scrutiny, to determine how it would work under as many different circumstances as possible, and highlight any problems, potential or active. This experiment certainly did that. Amid the fabulous Eurosport commentary-box set-to during the Italy/Zambia quarter-final, one issue emerged above all. A poor overall understanding...

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The FIFA Under-20s World Cup: A Final Reckoning

England’s finest footballing hour since 1966, claimed pundits who had only just discovered there WAS an Under-20s World Cup in the Korean Republic, let alone that England were the best team in it. Welcome, bandwagon jumpers. Anyway, I told you so. About how good Under-20s World Cups are and how England would win this one. Regular readers will know of, and be wearied by, my insistence that less-well-known international football tournaments have merited more attention than filling space on Eurosport when there’s no tennis, cycling or ski-ing on. So, while I’ll never need Danny Mills for vindication, it was...

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Podcast 97: General Election 2: The Corbyning

This week’s Twohundredpercent podcast is a follow-up on last week’s Following the dramatics events of Thursday night, we’re onto the results and fallout of a night that not too many people were expecting. Where were we when we saw the exit poll came through? Where do we think we’ll be in twelve months time? Both of these questions will be answered and several more as well. As ever, you can download the 200% podcast by right-clicking and saving here, whilst the 200% podcast’s RSS feed is here and you can subscribe through Itunes here. We also have a Facebook...

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FIFA Under 20s World Cup: Italy 3-2 Zambia

Eurosport co-commentator Stewart Robson knew. He usually does. “When you come to tournaments,” he noted, co-incidentally listing the ones for which Eurosport had UK broadcast rights, “you are looking for one of the great games. And this,” he added as Italy’s Under 20s World Cup quarter-final against Zambia approached extra-time, “could be it.” Commentator Tim Caple knew too. He usually does…and if he doesn’t Robson is always quick to tell him. “Up to 50 shots,” he gasped. “Almost unheard of.” And Zambia’s occasional “shoot-(impulsively-off-target)-on-sight” policy only contributed marginally to that stat. Italy/Zambia was better still for the significant and...

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