If Bayern Munich are in a battle, somebody has to actually BEAT them

BAYERN MUNICH recently reminded everyone they are a powerful club with substantial financial resources. Furthermore, by drawing 1-1 at RB Leipzig, they also stopped dead – for now – any talk of an imminent shift in the balance of power in the Bundesliga. Leipzig may have held the champions, but they also failed to beat them and record a victory that would have provided evidence … Continue reading If Bayern Munich are in a battle, somebody has to actually BEAT them

Manchester City’s three best teams – or are they?

MANY people believe that the current Manchester City team is probably their best ever. It is certainly their most expensive and most successful although the club’s modern-day achievements are often dismissed due to the inflated investment made in the club. However, nobody can deny the quality of football being played by Pep Guardiola’s side or the depth of talent that has been assembled. City have … Continue reading Manchester City’s three best teams – or are they?

Football’s mind games – therapy for mental health?

MENTAL HEALTH is very much in the news at present, everyone seems to have suffered from problems at some point in their life. Mental Health has been misdiagnosed as a “cover all” for anything that touches the mind, be it depression, anxiety, paranoia, stress and a whole vast range of other conditions. I have been receiving something called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to deal with … Continue reading Football’s mind games – therapy for mental health?

Reflecting the times – World Cup posters

THE 2018 World Cup was notable for a number of reasons: the competition was of a high quality and therefore, enjoyable; there was harmony off the pitch; and Russia, with one eye on Soviet-style graphic design, produced an excellent poster representing the event. The image of Lev Yashin was modern, but also nostalgic – it could easily have been an album cover for Kraftwerk, a … Continue reading Reflecting the times – World Cup posters

WSL freebie worked, now test if the public will pay

CHELSEA and Tottenham opened their Women’s Super League (WSL) campaigns in front of 24,500 people at Stamford Bridge, although the game itself was best described as enjoyable but occasionally lack-lustre. Chelsea tried their best to create a carnival event in London SW6, employing performers on stilts, introducing some pyro and also installing a somewhat unnecessary DJ who was desperately trying to drive engagement. They were … Continue reading WSL freebie worked, now test if the public will pay

Je suis prétentieux : The fascination of foreign media

THOSE of us who like to venture abroad to watch the beautiful game will be aware of the difference in the way football is chronicled by the media in France, Germany, Italy and other countries. There’s something quite fascinating about a foreign football newspaper and although coverage in Britain has improved dramatically since the miserable 1980s when you struggled to even find a team line-up … Continue reading Je suis prétentieux : The fascination of foreign media

Commentary Box: Why we grudgingly tolerate international breaks

NO MATTER how well Gareth Southgate’s team performs and how much good progress was made in the 2018 World Cup, many football fans still find international break weekends tedious and an unwelcome distraction. Southgate and his immediate predecessors got what England managers, going way back as far as Sir Alf Ramsey and Don Revie, wanted – a decent preparation period for important international matches. I … Continue reading Commentary Box: Why we grudgingly tolerate international breaks

72 Classic: Lessons from Europe for English football

AT the start of 1971-72, England’s football fraternity was still clinging to the idea that the nation was still a major power in the game. The 1970 World Cup defeat at the hands of West Germany was mostly seen as an aberration and partly attributable to the rustiness of poor old Peter Bonetti, the outstanding Chelsea goalkeeper. There was little suggestion that perhaps the English … Continue reading 72 Classic: Lessons from Europe for English football

Everton’s chance to regain status

THIRTY years ago, if you named the top six clubs in England, Everton would have been among them, despite the era belonging to their neighbours Liverpool. Traditionally, Everton were one of the blue riband institutions, but in the Premier League era, they have been unable to compete for major honours. In fact, the last piece of silverware won by the Goodison Park-based club was in … Continue reading Everton’s chance to regain status

The 1982 Brazilians – football’s last cavaliers

SINCE JUNE 21 1970, football fans have been longing for Brazil to gift the world the spirit of samba, the ball-juggling artistry that encapsulated jogo bonita, the romantic, natural brilliance that delivers entertainment and excitement. Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winners did not represent the start of something, that team was actually the culmination of a process that began amid the despair or Rio 1950. By … Continue reading The 1982 Brazilians – football’s last cavaliers

Non-league can still be a stakeholder concept

THE NON-LEAGUE football world often lives within a false economy that does little to dissuade clubs from flirting dangerously with financial ruin. Some clubs live way beyond their means, paying out everything they accrue and agreeing players’ wages that are totally unrealistic when one considers the earning power of the clubs. It’s a questionable  business model – often a club is propped up by a … Continue reading Non-league can still be a stakeholder concept