Category: Latest

The EFL, Stevenage and Grimsby: Talking Whilst Saying Nothing

For many years, talk of how to improve attendances at football matches often seemed to ultimately boil down to the idea that making grounds safer to visit and more welcoming to all members of the community was ultimately beneficial to everybody. When hooliganism reached its nadir in England during the first half of the 1980s, it was suggested that falling attendances had stripped back those who went to matches to such an extent that troublemakers, once a minority that it was easy to drown out, were amongst the few left who had the stomach to still attend matches, and...

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The Under-17 World Cup: England’s To Lose

The double dream lives. And “only” Spain stand between Steve Cooper’s teenage sensations and World Cup glory. But whatever happens in Saturday’s final, this World Cup has been terrific. There has been none of the tail-off in excitement which usually pock-marks knock-out stages. And for all the joy that underdogs’ successes can bring, there is something satisfying about the best teams contesting the “business end.” Quarter-finals Mali 2 Ghana 1 They’ll not have played many matches in these conditions in Timbuktu or Tumale. The monsoon season had clearly hung around to turn the Guwahati surface into an unplayable mudheap,...

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Televised Football In The Regions: The North-East

With the north-east of England being as fervent in its interest in football as it is, it is perhaps surprising that the football output of its local commercial television station should have always been done on a shoestring. This, however, was the reality of the marketplace. Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough may all be clubs who stir passions in their supporters that are difficult to match elsewhere in the country, but the reality of the media landscape in the United Kingdom was that these three clubs were served by one of the more perpetually cash-starved members of the patchwork...

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Parking The Coach: Cesar Luis Menotti & Carlos Bilardo

For all of their heritage, there is a very real sense in which Argentina’s World Cup victories in 1978 and 1986 represent an important validation of their style, their method and their passion for the game. But these two victories, won just eight years apart, could not have come about in more different ways. One was the result of a socialist revolutionary, a free-thinker who changed the way that Argentina approached the international game. The other, a triumph for rigorous, systematic preparation. The story of the two coaches who brought about these victories exemplify the two diametrically opposed schools...

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The Under-17 World Cup: The Second Round

The FIFA Under-17 World Cup has just completed its second round, so here’s Mark Murphy with a round-up of all the shenanigans in India. Colombia 0 Germany 4. A bad evening for South America (part one). I’d filed this match under “too close to call.” Ultimately all that was “too close to call” was whether Colombia were awful or dreadful. German striker Jann-Fiete Arp’s surname may sound like the noise you make if you cough and burp simultaneously. That may accurately summarise his contribution in general play. But, boy, the boy can finish. He didn’t look over-displeased to be...

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