Sportswashing doesn’t wash with Geordies

A few years ago Palace were playing Newcastle at Selhurst and there was the customary sizeable following from the North east. The game itself, a pedestrian goalless draw, did not live long in the memory, but one particular aspect that occurred off the field did. At one stage Mike Ashley was spotted in the standsContinue reading “Sportswashing doesn’t wash with Geordies”

Burnley – the clean Clarets reach 100 Premier League matches without a red card

Photo by Nathan Rogers on Unsplash Burnley fans will not have been exactly cock-a-hoop after they were held to a goalless draw against bottom-of-the-table, the previously porous and pointless Norwich City. But there was a small milestone for them to celebrate at Turf Moor. Burnley completed their 100th consecutive Premier League match without a red card. For aContinue reading “Burnley – the clean Clarets reach 100 Premier League matches without a red card”

 The Premier League abroad – A step too far? 

Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash When John Buchan wrote his most famous book in 1915, he probably did not envisage that his indomitable hero Richard Hannay might be a precedent for the machinations of English top-flight football a century on. In “The Thirty-Nine Steps” Hannay’s enduring ability to avoid the tightest of scrapes with the forces ofContinue reading ” The Premier League abroad – A step too far? “

Queens Park Book Festival with Pat Nevin and Ricky Hill

At last weekend’s Queens Park Book Festival I had the pleasure of hosting a football panel with Pat Nevin and Ricky Hill, who both had books published earlier this year. A common theme that unites the two former internationals is that, for different reasons, both were considered as outsiders within the football world, for exampleContinue reading “Queens Park Book Festival with Pat Nevin and Ricky Hill”

Arsène Wenger and the Biennial World Cup

Photo courtesy of Nelson Ndongala (@whodunelson) at Unsplash.com Arsène Wenger and Mae West may not appear to be natural allies at first glance. The 71-year-old may be blissfully unaware of West’s collection of pithy sayings but in light of his endorsement of Fifa’s plan to host the World Cup every two years it appears thatContinue reading “Arsène Wenger and the Biennial World Cup”

Game, set, match

Italy’s success at the Euros was underpinned by the innovations and imagination of their set piece routines. The man primarily responsible was a Venetian banker by trade who spent much of his spare time as an assistant coach in the lower leagues of Italian football before getting the opportunity to work in top flight football.Continue reading “Game, set, match”

The 300 Club Part Two: Noble by name, nobleman by nature

As West Ham were cruising to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Leicester they indulged themselves in one of those prolonged sessions of keep ball, with each successive pass greeted by the joyous olés of the home crowd. There were only two minutes remaining and it looked as though this could go on until the finalContinue reading “The 300 Club Part Two: Noble by name, nobleman by nature”

Crystal Palace 0 Man City 125

19/10 Cancelo’s goal is City’s 121st in all Cup competitions since Palace last scored one and there’s Mahrez adding the 122nd. And there’s the 123rd…followed by a debut CL goal for Cole Palmer and another for Mahrez making the running total – 125 21/09 There has been considerable interest generated by the nugget that IContinue reading “Crystal Palace 0 Man City 125”

The 300 Club – current players who have made 300 appearances for one club Part One

Nearly all the attention was focused on a player who was not going to play. Even the BBC got wrapped up in the “Will he? Won’t he?” saga, with 5 Live’s football correspondent John Murray commentating on which Tottenham players he could spot as they trooped off the team bus and made their way aroundContinue reading “The 300 Club – current players who have made 300 appearances for one club Part One”

The best Premier League Debuts

As Brentford ready themselves for their Premier League debut against Arsenal, here is a quick dip into my book, “Premier League Nuggets” to look at the most impressive performances by five clubs in their opening Premier League matches. Starting with the opening day of the inaugural season when Arsenal were also involved, taking on NorwichContinue reading “The best Premier League Debuts”