Category: Latest

Merthyr Town & A Matter of Trust

Life, as the popular twenty-first century vernacular would have it, comes at you fast. Over the course of the seven years since the club’s reformation following the collapse of its predecessor, Merthyr Town FC have looked like a model of steady improvement in the shark-infested waters of the non-league game, an environment in which the vast majority of clubs live a hand to mouth existence and financial insecurity is never that far away. Since joining Division One of the Western League in 2011, the club’s ascent had been solid, with three promotions lifting it to the Premier Division of...

Read More

Football & The Law: The “FIFA Trial” – Week One

Should 280-character tweets be a thing? Dunno. However, “Buzzfeed News Reporter” Ken Bensinger has used the new limit superbly to tell as much of the whole story of the “Fifa Trial” as possible via twitter from court. In English AND Spanish. And the first week of the estimated six-week trial has been a VERY whole story. It is easy to ridicule rich Fifa grotesques and their greed for more money than they could physically spend. However, this week has been touched by tragedy and behaviour more in-keeping with the “mob trial” some observers predicted. In the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse...

Read More

Parking The Coach: Rinus Michels

Very few figures from the history of association football are better remembered for something they created than for something they won. Rarer yet are people like Rinus Michels: remembered for their philosophical and aesthetic contribution despite what they won. Michels won leagues in two countries, cups in three, two European trophies and at the 1988 UEFA European Championship finals, the only major title in the history of the Dutch national side. They were a whisker away from winning the World Cup, too, only to fall flat at the final hurdle. For all this, Rinus Michels’ legacy will forever be...

Read More

Ireland’s World Cup Car Crash 

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph” is a polite, religious Irish version of a phrase which rhymes with “clucking bell;” the reaction, surely, of many Ireland fans watching their team’s humiliating World Cup exit on Tuesday. And probably a better bet in Ireland’s midfield diamond than the one Denmark ran lanes through at will. When the end came, it was as difficult to watch as much of the football Ireland have played under Martin O’Neill’s management, although some of Denmark’s football was at the opposite end of the quality scale. Christian Eriksen and his manager Aage Hareide had reason to say...

Read More

Italy: The Arrival Of The Apocalypse

There are two sides to most people who watch football on a regular basis. On the one hand, we have to be ruthless pragmatists, in order to preserve our sanity if nothing else. We know that some players are better than others, that some teams are better than others, and that some teams can be either greater than or equal to the sum of their parts. It’s mechanical, in a sense. All footballers – and all football teams – are not created equal. On the other hand, though, we are fabulously flamboyant romantics. We love the idea of David...

Read More