Category: Latest

Sent To Coventry: The End Of The Road For Mark Hughes

He’d been standing at the gallows drop for such a long time that yesterday’s result might have been considered something of a formality, but for Mark Hughes yesterday evening’s sacking by Stoke City still most likely stung all the more for the further humiliation heaped upon both his and Stoke’s reputation by their loss at League Two side Coventry City in the Third Round of the FA Cup. This was the day upon which Hughes ran out of excuses. Slumps in the league can sometimes be mitigated by promises of jam tomorrow, but cup football, with the harsh glare...

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Football Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas 

When call me negative, I simply say “no, I’m not” and wait for the laughter…and wait… But the just-finished festive football fun showcased much of the negative in the modern game. Some other negatives are on-going. In 2017, Rangers were confirmed as cheats when the UK Supreme Court ruled that their scheme to wilfully avoid tax on player salaries was illegally funded. Rangers failed to meet legal obligations to tax AND football authorities, admitting to doing so to sign players they, ahem, “perhaps” could not otherwise afford. Yet Scotland’s football authorities want them to keep the titles they cheated...

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Sheffield Wednesday’s Busy New Year

It’s been a busy ten days or so for Sheffield Wednesday. A mixture of the bizarre and ridiculous have begun to conflate at Hillsborough in a manner that is causing some to reconsider their opinion of the fitness of club owner Dejphon Chansiri for his current position, and that a whole period of turmoil couldn’t be happening at a less conventional time of the year for a club that started the season with lofty ambitions of reclaiming a place in the Premier League after more than a decade and a half away but which now finds itself in a...

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The FIFA Trial: Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad?

“Happy but not satisfied.” When I read football comics as a 28-year-old kid, comic-strip stars such as “Cracker” Crane of Ditchfield United and “Bobby of the Blues” (from the porn-mag-sounding “Scorcher and Score”) never seemed to lose. And “happy but not satisfied” was the closest they ever got to describing crowd disaffection; itself a remarkably cossetted view for an era of scarves-on-wrists, feather-cut-sporting “football hooligans,” on-and-off the pitch, fans and players alike. My point? Oh yes…sorry. “Happy but not satisfied” was the phrase which came to my mind, and I’m sure the minds of more important and better-informed observers,...

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Jose Mourinho: …Never His Fault

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, of course. The coming together of Manchester United and Jose Mourinho always had the feel of a Faustian pact about it. All connected with the club have long made considerable currency of “the United way”, the fundamental belief that this club should not just win but win with style, but the truth of the matter is that this was always likely to be compromised by a manager whose previous history had entirely been built upon the accumulation of results and trophies to the detriment of any other considerations, up to and including...

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