Boxing Day 1963 and how fortunes switched dramatically two days later

As the frenetic Christmas calendar swings into action English players are very much in the minority amongst major European leagues in readying themselves for the customary glut of games squeezed into the tightest of holiday schedules. While the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 are embarking on at least a fortnight’s winter break, Premier LeagueContinue reading “Boxing Day 1963 and how fortunes switched dramatically two days later”

Friday Morning Nuggets – Matchweek 14

In a break with tradition, today’s blog post is a selection of the seven tastiest Nuggets from MW14 as there was a full round of midweek action to delve into. Plus a gentle reminder that you still have time to buy this year’s ‘must have’ Christmas gift for all football fans: the revised edition ofContinue reading “Friday Morning Nuggets – Matchweek 14”

Managerial Merry-Go-Round: Episode 6

Photo c/o larry_rw Unsplash.com The managerial merry-go-round shows no signs of slowing down, indeed it appears to be gathering pace. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s dismissal was the sixth in the Premier League this season and we are only in Week 12, so less than a third of the way through. By contrast there were only fourContinue reading “Managerial Merry-Go-Round: Episode 6”

 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”

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”

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”

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”

Fan engagement – now is time to act

This week’s publication of the 2019/20 Fan Engagement Index was understandably delayed because of the Covid pandemic, but ultimately it could hardly have been better timed. In light of the protests at Old Trafford last Sunday against the owners and the universal condemnation and subsequent implosion of the European Super League [see https://bit.ly/3gziruc%5D, the thornyContinue reading “Fan engagement – now is time to act”