Category: Latest

Parking The Coach: Arrigo Sacchi

In the rarefied atmosphere of twenty-first century soccer, job applications from people with no previous managerial experience tend not to be welcome. In some quarters, they are actively discouraged or even specifically prohibited, as though all those tens of thousands of hours playing Football Manager were just a colossal waste of time. Fortunately, in the late 1980s there were no such restrictions to the way that the game thought about recruitment: The last manager to guide their team to the successful defence of the European Cup had never played a single minute of competitive football in his life. Four...

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West Ham United: Here Comes The Moyes

Not that anybody who’s perusing this afternoon’s news headlines will likely care too much, but there is an alternative narrative to the recent career of David Moyes. Received wisdom has it that, over the course of the last four years or so, Moyes has become one of football’s familiar bywords for failure who somehow keeps finding himself in work. He failed at Manchester United. He failed at Real Sociedad. He failed at Sunderland. Why on earth, received wisdom asks us, should that recent run end at West Ham United, where an expensively assembled squad is still, in November, playing...

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West Bromwich Albion & The Peter Principle

Yesterday afternoon, Huddersfield Town defeated West Bromwich Albion by a goal to nil at Galpharm. This wasn’t an especially surprising result in any respect. Huddersfield are still playing as though fired by the momentum that took the club into the Premier League in the first place, whilst Albion’s seven previous seasons in the Premier League have wavered between middling anonymity with the occasional flirtation with the top end of the bottom end of the table, so it perhaps shouldn’t surprise us that they’re having something of a wobble at the moment. The full-time whistle brought a not entirely unsurprising...

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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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