Commentary Box: Germany’s “crisis”

IT is easy to admire many things about Germany, from the trains running on time, to German pragmatism and consensus, employee protection, high quality products, Kraftwerk and refusal to discard industries that appear to have little in common with modern trends. Back in the 1990s, some people in Britain laughed that Germany was still “bashing metal” to make money, while the UK was looking to … Continue reading Commentary Box: Germany’s “crisis”

Commentary Box: Time for non-league to go European?

THERE seems to be a World Cup or European Championship for virtually everything these days. The CONIFA World Football Cup drew to a close recently and captured the imagination of a certain type of football fan. It brought international football to non-league clubs in and around London. We have European competitions for every stage of the game at international level and the appreciation of football … Continue reading Commentary Box: Time for non-league to go European?

Commentary Box: A Passion Play

LIVERPOOL is a passionate football city, that’s what we are told. Liverpool Football Club’s fans are, arguably, the most ardent of any supporters in Britain. It is a devotion that has been built over many years, from the Shankly era, through the cultural highs of the 1960s and, in spite of the disasters of the 1980s and the city’s economic decline. But the club has … Continue reading Commentary Box: A Passion Play

Commentary Box: The uphill battle to save non-league

THE ongoing saga of Dulwich Hamlet is a sad story, for many reasons, and one that should cause non-league club chairmen and officials a few sleepless nights. Not for the first time, a non-league club is being bullied by people who know how to manipulate and also, most importantly, how to use money and the law to get their own way. The club’s landlords are … Continue reading Commentary Box: The uphill battle to save non-league

Commentary Box: Time to leave this man alone

ONCE AGAIN, the knife grinder has been to the Emirates and the Sabatiers are out for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. And Le Professeur has clearly had enough of the media and the constant probing of journalists – his latest press conference saw him get rather rattled by the questions being asked about his contract and whether he was likely to fulfil it. No wonder the … Continue reading Commentary Box: Time to leave this man alone

Commentary Box: Do I blame this TV age?

SO it went something like this. I excitably booked a ticket to see Paris St. Germain with Zlatan in his pomp. I couldn’t wait as I considered that the controversial, arrogant and quite brilliant Swede was one of the best players in the world. I paid for my flights, got my hotel and I was ready to go. Then, about a week before I was … Continue reading Commentary Box: Do I blame this TV age?

Swapping deck chairs at quarter to midnight

THE transfer window has been its usual game of cat and mouse, but there’s also been a degree of interconnectivity, with the move of one player depending on another rubber-stamped transaction that relies on a third deal:  Chelsea – Arsenal – Dortmund – Giroud, Aubameyang – Batshuayi. Arsenal’s acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raises questions about the future of the club’s last high profile signing, Alexandre … Continue reading Swapping deck chairs at quarter to midnight

Logos not badges – how club identity is getting muddled

WHAT an own goal Leeds United scored with their new club badge. It’s a less than serious affair, about as convincing and credible as someone using the Comic Sans font for a magazine, but it also appears to have been designed by a group of creatives who have little idea about the game of football. No doubt Leeds have been charged a significant sum of … Continue reading Logos not badges – how club identity is getting muddled

How Chelsea destroyed the Wenger aura

AS the two London giants prepare to meet in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, we look at why Chelsea have been the source of so much angst at Arsenal. There’s no love lost between Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger and Chelsea – he’s been critical of the culture of the West London club down the years and successive managers of the Blues have been a thorn … Continue reading How Chelsea destroyed the Wenger aura

What could a Corbyn government mean for the Premier League?

OVER THE coming months, it is likely that independent financial advisors will be contacting their clients to discuss contingency plans should the Labour Party win power. The words “flight capital” come to mind. Top level football will undoubtedly be impacted by the new administration. If Jeremy Corbyn admitted he would be a threat to City of London-based US banks (actually he is not as they will … Continue reading What could a Corbyn government mean for the Premier League?

Commentary Box: New fans for old?

TIME after time, tickets are sold-out at matches but there are still empty seats in the stand at Arsenal, Chelsea and other clubs. Somebody, somewhere, is sitting on tickets that have not been sold. Similarly, they may belong to fans that have failed to turn up. What bemused me at the recent Chelsea v Atletico Madrid game there were plenty of empties but the gate … Continue reading Commentary Box: New fans for old?

Johnson’s Bristol cream and the margin between success and failure

JOSÉ MOURINHO might have felt Bristol City were lucky to have won their English Football League Cup quarter-final tie with Manchester United, but their 2-1 triumph was a much-needed and much-welcomed reminder that shocks can still happen in top level football. Everyone outside the United support base must have raised their hat to the Robins, it was an old fashioned victory for the little man … Continue reading Johnson’s Bristol cream and the margin between success and failure