Premier League Nuggets

As the thirtieth Premier League season is over, it is high time for some Nuggets, all 30 of them firstly club-by-club, and then some generic ones.  1. Starting with Arsenal who lost more games (13) than Brighton (11) & Palace (12) but won more (22) than Chelsea (21). 2. Next up it’s Aston Villa –Continue reading “Premier League Nuggets”

The 2022 Play-Offs: Return of crowds, Records and Redemption

If any evidence of the popularity of the Football League Play-Offs was needed, it was provided this week by the Sunderland Sheffield Wednesday tie. On Friday night the record for the highest attendance of a semi-final was broken by over 4,000 as 44,724 gathered at the Stadium of Light for the first leg. An impressiveContinue reading “The 2022 Play-Offs: Return of crowds, Records and Redemption”

The welcome return of the 12th man and home comforts

When Everton squeaked past Chelsea last weekend it provided a huge boost to the Toffees’ chances of survival, something that was celebrated with raucous gusto by the Goodison crowd of over 39,000. The influence exerted by the home supporters that started the night before and reached a climax in the last frenetic minutes of theContinue reading “The welcome return of the 12th man and home comforts”

A view from the box seat and what was missing

18 October 1969 is a date indelibly marked in my football conscience. It was my very first visit to Selhurst Park as part of my elder brother’s birthday party. After over five decades, my recollection is a little sketchy, indeed I had to look up the score: a 1-1 draw with Gerry Queen scoring forContinue reading “A view from the box seat and what was missing”

Palace’s FA Cup semi-final : a chance to celebrate

As a Palace supporter I find it difficult to contain the thrill of going to Wembley this weekend for the club’s fifth appearance in an FA Cup semi-final. While for the fans of our opponents Chelsea and the other semi-finalists, Liverpool and Manchester City, this is much more routine. It is all part and parcelContinue reading “Palace’s FA Cup semi-final : a chance to celebrate”

Is the Premier League Manager of the Month cursed?

NB This is a fuller version of the piece published in the Guardian on 7th April, with added information A myriad of myths that swirl throughout football, some of which hold credence, such as ‘The Law of the Ex’ that dictates more often than not that strikers will score against their former clubs. Another ofContinue reading “Is the Premier League Manager of the Month cursed?”

Qatar 2022 – The most unusual of World Cups

The twenty-second World Cup Finals will be unusual in many ways. Not only will Qatar become the first Arab nation to host the World Cup but also the first to have never qualified (with the exception of Uruguay who were the hosts in the inaugural tournament in 1930). With a population of just under 2.9Continue reading “Qatar 2022 – The most unusual of World Cups”

Own Goal of the season – the Richard Dunne trophy

Stats c/o premierleague.com Inspired by the prospect of the 1,000th Premier League own goal being imminent towards the end of last season I wrote several pieces on football’s brand of self-inflicted wounds. Starting with this one in February https://bit.ly/3dNMEo4, followed by Part two in March https://bit.ly/3cr5Rem and culminating with the finale in April https://bit.ly/3uWihkQ.  HatsContinue reading “Own Goal of the season – the Richard Dunne trophy”

O captain, my captain: does it matter who wears the armband?

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth around Old Trafford on Tuesday night after the home side were knocked out of the Champions League by Atlético Madrid. The contrasting fortunes of the two clubs was encapsulated in a few minutes towards the end of the second half. With ten minutes remaining Atlético’s captain JorgeContinue reading “O captain, my captain: does it matter who wears the armband?”

Grenfell Athletic: How a football club brought hope to a devastated community.

Images c/o Sebastian Barros Instagram @sebbarros The Middlesex County Football League is one of the fifty leagues operating at Step 11 in the pyramid of English football with almost 1,000 clubs represented. Every Sunday morning,  hundreds of matches dotted around the country are contested but there is one club, that stands out from the crowd.Continue reading “Grenfell Athletic: How a football club brought hope to a devastated community.”