Like father, like son

So it looks highly likely that Erling Braut Haaland is on his way out of Borussia Dortmund and en route for either La Liga or the Premier League with Barcelona, Real Madrid, both Manchester clubs and Chelsea all in the frame. If he, or more significantly Mino Raiola, chooses England as his next destination, heContinue reading “Like father, like son”

From Marine to San Marino: The Underdog’s Tale

One of the beauties of sport is championing the underdog. There is nothing more memorable or satisfying than when the little one has a chance of toppling the big one. So when Marine drew Tottenham in the FA Cup earlier this year there was frothing excitement on behalf of those who are keen to seeContinue reading “From Marine to San Marino: The Underdog’s Tale”

Own Goals Part Two – Double Trouble

When the ball cannoned off Craig Dawson past Lukasz Fabianski during West Ham’s helter-skelter draw with Arsenal last weekend it was the centre back’s second own goal in consecutive matches. It was also the second that West Ham conceded in this game as Tomas Soucek had inadvertently deflected Alexandre Lacazette’s shot into his own netContinue reading “Own Goals Part Two – Double Trouble”

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”

Own Goals Part One – Keepers’ Clangers

They are football’s equivalent of tragicomedies. Own goals litter the football landscape with an intoxicating mixture of laughter and tears. Over the next few weeks here on The Football Mine I will be publishing an occasional series of pieces that focus on these captivating slices of football history, those little vignettes that can define aContinue reading “Own Goals Part One – Keepers’ Clangers”

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”

The madness of Lombardo, Goldberg and Palace: An interview with Dom Fifield

In November 1997 an aspiring journalist arrived at Selhurst Park on a work internship. No sooner had Dominic Fifield started than things changed. “Originally I was only meant to be there for a month as the editor went on a four-week trip to Australia, but I was kept on as his assistant after he returned.”AndContinue reading “The madness of Lombardo, Goldberg and Palace: An interview with Dom Fifield”

Football’s Endgame: How clubs now face a grim fight for survival this winter

In my first blog post in late August I wrote about how eerie and soulless football was without fans after being among forty-odd people watching QPR play Sheffield Wednesday: “The likelihood is that this will be the way matches are going to be played out for the foreseeable future. Josh Scott, QPR’s Operations Manager, toldContinue reading “Football’s Endgame: How clubs now face a grim fight for survival this winter”