Up, Up and Away – the 2021 Play-Offs

This year’s Play-Off finals started with a penalty and they ended with a penalty. The first was stroked home with consummate confidence by the Championship’s top scorer Ivan Toney, his 33rd goal of the season, which set Brentford on their way to finally ending the curse of clubs that traditionally wear red-and-white striped shirts withContinue reading “Up, Up and Away – the 2021 Play-Offs”

Down, Down, Down – Why relegation already being decided is a pity

When Sam Allardyce finally lost his oft-quoted record of never being relegated from the Premier League there were quite a few people revelling in a spot of Schadenfreude. The memory of his grubby dethronement as England boss allied with his uncompromising and prickly persona combined to make him one of the least likeable managers. EarlierContinue reading “Down, Down, Down – Why relegation already being decided is a pity”

Decline and Fall of The Super League

The dust barely had time to form let alone to settle when the whole edifice came tumbling down. As fans gathered outside Stamford Bridge to express their opposition to the formation of the Super League there were already cracks appearing within the dozen clubs. The protests had been gathering ever since the news broke onContinue reading “Decline and Fall of The Super League”

The 2020/21 season and the concertina effect

This is my thirtieth weekly blog post I know, how time flies. Having started back in August we are now entering the final straight so it feels as good a time as any to reflect on what has happened over the last seven months. The 2020/21 season did not begin in August as is theContinue reading “The 2020/21 season and the concertina effect”

Football’s Wasteland: VAR, empty stadiums and fractious fragmentation

As I and many others have pointed out until we’re blue (or in some extreme cases purple) in the face the pure aesthetics of football are being steadily eroded for the sake of minuscule and misguided rulings. At its very best football flows with an elegance that few sports can match but under VAR itContinue reading “Football’s Wasteland: VAR, empty stadiums and fractious fragmentation”

London Calling: Palace’s curious derby habit

Most fans have a sneaking suspicion that fate conspires against their club now and again. In extreme circumstances this feeling develops into rapidly escalating levels of paranoia reaching a consensus that firstly, the whole world is against you and secondly and more worryingly that there is very little that can be done about it. ForContinue reading “London Calling: Palace’s curious derby habit”

Half-term report: No fans, plenty of pens and tightest of title races

At this stage last season Liverpool were already thirteen points ahead of their nearest rivals, Leicester City. While the second half of the season was not exactly a walk in the (Stanley) park, there was the sense of an orderly procession towards their first league championship for thirty years and that elusive Premier League title.Continue reading “Half-term report: No fans, plenty of pens and tightest of title races”

Footballers’ flaws in flouting the laws

If there is one thing that really gets my goat it is when people describe professional footballers as pampered prima donnas. This stereotype ignores the fact that all these players are operating at the very height of their profession, and a highly competitive profession at that. They have reached that point through hard work andContinue reading “Footballers’ flaws in flouting the laws”