Category: Latest

FA Fluff and Other F…oul Ups

It’s a running joke on English comedian John Oliver’s American cable TV show “Last Week Tonight.” Footage of Trump telling consecutive lies, with Oliver declaring “WE GOT HIM!” to cue huge celebrations. But…they hadn’t “got him.” Trump lies don’t matter. “He didn’t know what he was talking about. I thought that was meaningful,” Oliver concluded, his voice tailing-off in near-despair. I was as near-despairing when England’s Football Association hierarchy received the backing of their board, despite their woeful showing in parliament on October 18th. FA chairman Greg Clarke, chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth and human resources...

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Dover Athletic: Top Of The Pile, For Now

It’s tight at the top of the National League at the moment. With eighteen games of the season played, there are just six points between the very top of the table and Hartlepool United, down in twelfth place, and realistically anyone down to Eastleigh, who are in eighteenth place but are just eleven points off the top of the table, could realistically consider themselves to have some chance of getting to the top of the table by the New Year with the right wind behind them. At present, though, it is a slightly surprising name at the top of the...

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The Under-17 World Cup: The England Kids Are Alright

A mostly great final to sum up a mostly great tournament, with almost precisely the right result. England’s under-17 success in India, on the back of the under-20’s triumph in Korea in June, has had England’s jingoistic media drooling over the senior team’s prospects in Qat…well…in 2022 anyway, although basic arithmetic and probable playing conditions suggest that 2026 is a better prospect (especially with qualification places available to 25% of the world). There is, of course, plenty of opportunity for potholes to emerge on the paths to senior glory. Basic arithmetic and definite playing conditions suggested that Brazil’s youth...

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Televised Football In The Regions: From The North – Granada

The history of televised football in the North-West of England is complicated by the fact that independent television in Britain underwent structural changes in more than one sense during its formative years. When the Independent Television Authority (ITA) first advertised franchises for commercial television in the early 1950s, only three areas were made available – London, the Midlands, and the North of England – and in addition to this the ITA was sufficiently concerned by the amount of possible influence that any one broadcaster could hold that it decided to split each franchise into two, with one company to...

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Parking The Coach: Don Revie

  The English game has never produced a figure quite so divisive, so controversial and so widely reviled as Donald George Revie. If it has, they were never as consistently successful. The Leeds United team that Revie crafted – by turns brutal, immovable and brilliant – proved to be a short-lived dynasty, unable to survive the passing of its leader once Revie was lured away to manage England. This, too, would prove a step too far for Revie. A period of uncharacteristic failure, uncertainty, and eventually a scandal that would permanently taint his legacy (while no doubt delighting all...

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