Category Archives: Football

A Saturday at Saltergate: Where were you when you were shit?

As a lifelong QPR fan and an optimist who expects to be disappointed by life,  I’ve grown to expect little from away games than the inevitability that in the end, football will get in the way of a good day out.

On the very rare occasion that Queens Park Rangers play well enough for opposition supporters to ask “Where were you when you were shit?” my mind instantly takes me back to one cold and wet afternoon in Derbyshire . . .

Chesterfield 4, Queens Park Rangers 2

Continue reading A Saturday at Saltergate: Where were you when you were shit?

El Arquitecto: Barcelona’s first great Luis Suárez

Two players, two different footballing ages, one famous name.

  • Luis Suárez Miramontes starred for Barcelona and Inter Milan in the 1950s and 60s
  • “The Golden Galician” won consecutive European Cups in 1964 and 1965 with Il Grande Inter 
  • Remains the only Spaniard to receive the Ballon D’Or
  • Won the 1964 European Championship with Spain
  • Led national side to World Cup Finals as coach in 1990

Ordinarily two players with careers taking place 50 years apart, would not be compared but for the coincidence of sharing a name now famous to football fans across several generations. Continue reading El Arquitecto: Barcelona’s first great Luis Suárez

The story of Total Football’s forgotten father

Twenty years on from his death, Vic Buckingham’s influence upon the way we see, play and think about football resonates to this day.

Largely overlooked in his homeland, yet widely respected on the continent, Buckingham is credited with shaping the thinking of some of the game’s greatest minds and laying the foundations of the “Total Football” movement.

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Martin Ødegaard: The new Messi-ah? Or a very naughty boy?

It’s the stuff of boyhood dreams.

Whilst mere mortals pretend to be their idols on PlayStation or Xbox, Norwegian wonder-kid Martin Ødegaard has joined them for real.

At sixteen years of age and already a full international, the teenage prodigy had his choice of Europe’s top clubs before agreeing a £40,000 per week deal to join Ronaldo, Rodriguez, Ramos, Bale and Benzema at European champions Real Madrid.

Continue reading Martin Ødegaard: The new Messi-ah? Or a very naughty boy?

Clubs play fair on Living Wage

In 1890, Luton Town Football Club became the first team in the south of England to pay its players, heralding the dawn of professionalism and the end of the age of the Victorian footballing gentleman amateurs.

124 years later, following last season’s promotion from the Conference; the Hatters have become the first Football League club to agree to pay its entire workforce the Living Wage.

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Top 20 footballers on Twitter

Forget the WAG, Bentley or Ballon D’or, the must have accessory for today’s footballer is a Twitter account with more followers than the Pope or the Dalai Llama.

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Time for fans to make a stand

From Wembley, to Old Trafford, to the Emirates, every weekend, tens of thousands of fans choose to stand in front of their seats in English football’s all-seater stadiums; prompting calls for the introduction of “safe-standing” sections in Premier League and Championship stadia.

In August, the Liberal Democrats made a pledge that they would allow clubs to introduce standing sections to English stadia in their 2015 General Election manifesto. Rather than a return to the vast expanses of terracing seen in the 1980s, the party proposes the adoption of the “rail seating” system already in operation in top European leagues such as Germany’s Bundesliga.

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Ready to Launch: Indian football set for lift-off

The much-anticipated Hero Indian Super League kicks-off tomorrow (Sunday) with the 8 team, 10 week tournament seeing Atlético de Kolkata host Mumbai City FC at the beginning of an exciting new chapter for sport on the sub-continent.

Peter Reid, Freddie Ljungberg, Nicolas Anelka, ATK, Atletico de Kolkata, Mumbai City FC
Atletico de Kolkata take on Mumbai City FC in the first match of the Hero Indian Super League. credit@wikipedia

Atlético de Kolkata, co-owned by La Liga champions Atlético Madrid and cricketing super-star Sourav Ganguly, must seek to unite a city usually divided by the East Bengal v Mohun Bagan “Kolkata derby.” Continue reading Ready to Launch: Indian football set for lift-off

Billionaire benefactor backs local boys’ goals

Non-league Salford City, backed by billionaire businessman Peter Lim, Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, are planning to achieve Championship football within 15 years.

La Liga giants Valencia and Evo-Stick Division One North side Salford City may seem unlikely bedfellows and whilst immediate ambitions may differ, the two clubs now share a common director and benefactor.

Continue reading Billionaire benefactor backs local boys’ goals

Leeds: How a City became United

FANS OF LEEDS UNITED are no strangers to drama both on and off the pitch.

From the glory of the Revie era, to Brian Clough’s infamous 44 day tenure as manager of the “Damned United,” from winning the Football’s League’s final title before the riches of the Premier League changed everything; to the highs, lows and excesses of the Ridsdale years. Leeds United fans have seen it all.

With new owner Massimo Cellino’s reign at the Championship side beginning with managerial changes, questions around his tax affairs, and a bizarre superstition around the number 17 which saw veteran ‘keeper Paddy Kenny frozen out of the club due to his date of birth; Leeds United fans can expect more headlines concentrating on off-field matters.

However, the story of the Yorkshire football club began in far deeper controversy than perhaps anything its supporters have seen since, and still ranks as one of the biggest scandals in English football history.

Ninety-five years ago, in 1919, following an investigation into financial irregularities, United’s predecessors Leeds City, were expelled from the Football League.

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India: Football’s next emerging market

Football in India may finally emerge from cricket’s shadow with the launch of the Hero Indian Super League, an attempt to bring the game to hundreds of millions of fans and ultimately capitalise on the potential for the game’s development in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

With a young, aspirant population comprising 25% of the world’s under-25s and an economy forecast to be the world’s 3rd largest by 2030; backers of the league know that football on the sub-continent has enormous potential.

Indian Super League Soccer Delhi Dynamos FC (Delhi) Atlético de Kolkata (Kolkata) Kerala Blasters FC (Kochi, Kerala) Mumbai City FC (Mumbai) North East United FC (Guwahati, Assam) FC Pune City (Pune) Chennai Titans (Chennai) FC Goa (Goa)The new league’s 8 team franchise format draws inspiration domestically from the success of cricket’s IPL Twenty20 tournament, which brought genuine international stars to Indian stadiums. The inaugural season will kick-off in October
Continue reading India: Football’s next emerging market

Double identity ends Cup of Nations dream

Rwanda’s dreams of qualifying for their second African Cup of Nations tournament, came to an end as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) upheld its earlier decision to expel the Amavubi from the final round of qualifiers for

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