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”

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 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, followed by Part two in March and culminating with the finale in April  HatsContinue reading “Own Goal of the season – the Richard Dunne trophy”

We Need to Talk About Kevin (Friend and his friends)

There are few things more tiresome than supporters complaining about refereeing decisions and the injustices suffered by their own club. Consequently I hesitated in joining the clamour surrounding Kevin Friend and his VAR wingman Craig Pawson for a series of contentious decisions during Palace’s game with Liverpool on Sunday. However, emboldened by the almost unanimousContinue reading “We Need to Talk About Kevin (Friend and his friends)”

Botafogo and Crystal Palace: From Rio to South London – a match made in Heaven?

[Thanks to Tomas Martinez for the photo of Botafogo Bay c/o and also to Robbie Blakeley @rio_robbie for his insight] John Textor’s investment in Brazilian club Botafogo has led to an unlikely transatlantic alliance between Rio de Janeiro and South London. After Textor announced his interest a few weeks ago there was a rashContinue reading “Botafogo and Crystal Palace: From Rio to South London – a match made in Heaven?”

Arsenal’s century of Premier League red cards:- Winterburn to Gabriel

Gabriel’s second yellow card in the space of a few minutes against Manchester City on New Years’ Day handed the champions the initiative in a match in which they had struggled to assert their customary superiority. The successive yellow cards were reminiscent of Arsenal’s first red card in the Premier League when Nigel Winterburn receivedContinue reading “Arsenal’s century of Premier League red cards:- Winterburn to Gabriel”

Monday morning Nuggets – Matchweek 19

Yesterday’s win over Leicester was Man City’s 35th in 2021 and with 47 points at halfway stage could still break the 100 barrier as they did in 2017/18.  City last conceded three goals at the Etihad in September 2020 to none other than Leicester who on that occasion beat them 5-2.  Wilfried Zaha’s sending offContinue reading “Monday morning Nuggets – Matchweek 19”

Celebrating Panini’s 60th anniversary

There are countless sticker collections gathering dust in lofts across the country. Panini albums have been avidly compiled by millions of people across many generations, dating back to the first that was launched in the UK for the 1970 World Cup. The sticking phenomenon was so popular, it even had its own language — ‘swapsies’,Continue reading “Celebrating Panini’s 60th anniversary”

Team of the Eighties – Part One

This week was a particularly poignant time to catch up with Al Ryan, writer and director of the “Team of the Eighties” documentary that charts the many ups and downs of Crystal Palace Football Club from the early-1970s. The club went through a seismic transformation under the influence of flamboyant Malcolm Allison when he arrivedContinue reading “Team of the Eighties – Part One”

The Stat Pack – the commentator’s bible.

You do not know his face nor his name but you will have experienced his work many, many times while watching televised football. As a freelance broadcast journalist and assistant producer Dave works for, amongst others, BT Sport and Premier League Productions – the company responsible for broadcasting the Premier League around the world. HeContinue reading “The Stat Pack – the commentator’s bible.”