Category: Latest

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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Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday & Ghosts of Christmases Past

For all the madness that we have seen in terms of the hiring and firing of football managers in recent years, precious little criticism has been levelled at Middlesbrough. Steve Gibson, owner of the club for almost a quarter of a century, has even been considered a model football club owner in some circles, having overseen its move to a new stadium, its first major trophy and even the final of a European competition. As such, the decision on the part of the club to fire manager Garry Monk yesterday evening after a win in the Championship at Sheffield...

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Bristol City & Reflections On Competitive Footall

When, with two and a half minutes of stoppage-time at the end of the match played at Ashton Gate on Wednesdasy night, Bristol City’s Korey Smith slammed the ball into Manchester United’s goal to secure an unlikely but throughly deserved win in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, the cheering across the country was louder than we might have expected for such a fixture. Sure enough, there was a heavy element of schadenfreude in the reaction to the goal and Jose Mourinho’s post-match comments. There always will be, when it comes to Manchester United. This, however, felt a little...

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Wembley versus Wembley 

Choose your enemies wisely, a wise person once said, but when have the Football Association ever been particularly wise over anything? The FA have opened a can of worms marked “bad publicity” this week, and here’s Gary Andrews to tell us what on earth they’ve been up to.  Locked away in the back offices of Wembley FC is one of the more unusual collections of football memorabilia. England’s World Cup winning side used the club’s Vale Farm facilities as a training ground in 1966 and Alf Ramsey was so taken with the hospitality shown by the club that he...

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The FIFA Trial: Over By Christmas? 

Watching helplessly, as events overtake your just-submitted 1800-word article, is frustrating. Luckily, I was proof-reading my last “Fifa Trial” piece (NOT “Fifa-Gate” because that…MAKES…NO…SENSE…) when news emerged that defence attorneys in New York’s Brooklyn Federal Courthouse had “declined to submit an affirmative defence of their clients.” So, I was able to look a fraction less behind-the-times, even if it was disappointing to discover that the attorneys’ statement was NOT legalese for “there’s NO defence for this shower of crooks.” And some of the late testimony illustrated an issue which has concerned some trial observers. After the trial’s early dramas,...

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