Tag: England

The Trouble With The Soundtrack To England 

It is a simple fact of life that the scheduling of international friendly matches is more likely to provoke earnest discussion about the state of things than it is to provide entertainment on the pitch. With Europe’s domestic leagues now gearing up for the final legs of  their domestic seasons, the small matter of why it should have been deemed necessary to poke the hornet’s nest of antipathy that many hold towards the international game by scheduling rounds of matches at this time of year remains tantalisingly out of reach. So, in Dortmund last night Germany beat England by...

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England & Scotland Fight Over A Comb

At Wembley on Friday night, it was difficult to escape the feeling that we were all witnessing the act of two bald men fighting over a comb. England versus Scotland is the oldest international football match that there is, a cross-border rivalry that stretches back to the age of Queen Victoria and the very beginning of the white hot crucible that professional football would become over the following two decades. The Home Internationals tournament kept it alive as an annual international varsity match until the 1980s, and it even limped along after that tournament’s abolition in 1984, finally coming...

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England’s Dreaming: A Post-Allardyce Fallout Warning

There is a point at the heart of the conversation concerning the now confirmed departure of Sam Allardyce from the position of England manager after just sixty-seven days that is worthy of consideration: nobody really cares. Sure enough, football loves nothing more than a good argument. If I may push my Saint button and pull my Greavsie lever for a moment, it is a game of opinions. And there will be debates about the continuing over-involvement of agents in modern professional football, about whether a manager should be sacked for injudicious comments or for discussing the circumvention of FA...

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The Deflation of England’s Big Sam

At the very moment that this is being written, we do not know whether Sam Allardyce will be able to cling onto his position as the manager of the England national football team. Superficial readings of the case against him do not make for great reading. Allardyce has been caught red-handed, giving implied approval to breaking FA rules concerning the third party ownership of players, a practice which has been described more than once as being akin to “modern day slavery”, and further injudicious comments do little to present an image of a manager who has grasped that this...

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Podcast 70: A Post-England BigSamCast

Due to other commitments, we’re a little late with this weekend’s podcast, but we got there in the end. We didn’t have too much of a plan for it, but settling down to watch the first World Cup qualifier of the Sam Allardyce vintage, we though that his first match would be a good topic of conversation. And considering his love – which exists solely and entirely in my own mind – of the gala pie, it also gave me the opportunity to pull out Fred Dinenage getting very excited about a very long egg, during the late 1970s....

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