Arsenal – a great club in urgent need of direction

ARSENAL is a football institution suffering from bad karma and a deep malaise that includes dissatisfaction with ownership, poor team performances, disillusion with the manager, vocalised anger at some players and now, a disappointing set of financials. Nothing seems to be going right for the Gunners. Arsenal’s football club finances showed a loss for the 2018-19 season of some £ 23.5 million. This is hardly … Continue reading Arsenal – a great club in urgent need of direction

Tottenham’s frustration forces a change of ethos

TOTTENHAM Hotspur were supposed to be different, a club that didn’t follow the zeitgeist of football as a rich-man’s plaything. Spurs were committed to developing players, providing the hub of the Southgate project, and they resisted the temptation of throwing money around. They had also kept faith with a coveted manager that was popular, played football in keeping with the club’s rich heritage of purist … Continue reading Tottenham’s frustration forces a change of ethos

Will Leeds be the next member of the uber-rich?

IF ALL goes to plan, Leeds United should soon be benefitting from a big cash injection from Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the people who have made Paris Saint-Germain one of Europe’s wealthiest and high-profile clubs. The news has had a mixed reception, Qatar’s human rights record has been pointed out, along with the morality of inflated investment in football as a tool to enhance reputations, … Continue reading Will Leeds be the next member of the uber-rich?

It may be game over, now City should go all-out for the Champions League

IF YOU believe the misguided narrative, Pep Guardiola and Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League every season. Those that know, know differently. Pep has not won the competition for eight years, nine if he fails to do so this season. After Manchester City were soundly beaten by Liverpool at Anfield, Guardiola and his entourage may just decide to concentrate fully on lifting that enormous and … Continue reading It may be game over, now City should go all-out for the Champions League

Hasenhüttl’s house of horror

WHAT CAN you really say after a 9-0 drubbing except sorry? You had to feel some sympathy for pale-faced Ralph Hasenhüttl, facing the TV cameras after a seismic home defeat that extended Southampton’s current run to one point from five league games. Southampton have said they have no interest in sacking Hasenhüttl, but look at the fixture list and see what’s on the horizon – … Continue reading Hasenhüttl’s house of horror

Goodison Park – where games for the people are still played

CLOTH CAP nostalgia is a popular pastime among football folk as inner cities continue to be purged of their old football stadiums, replaced by smart, antiseptic structures of white steel and plastic. Horse manure no longer squelches underfoot as fans tramp through the streets and past red brick houses, the mildly eccentric fan with a transistor radio clamped to his ear has long gone. Like … Continue reading Goodison Park – where games for the people are still played

Non-League should throw carrots, but to the right people

INCREASINGLY, non-league football clubs have adopted a tactic they hope will entice fans of football league clubs to drop-by on a more frequent basis – the act of discounting admission if the fans have a season ticket of a Premier or Football League club I question this generous, and somewhat misguided approach, which does seem rather odd – cutting the price of seeing a non-league … Continue reading Non-League should throw carrots, but to the right people

Fulham and Charlton show why the Championship is so compelling

HOW OFTEN does a crowd filter out of a football stadium feeling they haven’t really been entertained? All too frequently, there’s a collective shrug of the shoulders, comments like, “not bad” or “they tried”, although supporters of the winning team console themselves with the result, a case of points over performance, function over form. Not so the 18,500 people who witnessed Fulham against Charlton, a … Continue reading Fulham and Charlton show why the Championship is so compelling

The sins of Wenger and Pochettino, strangely similar

ARSENAL and Tottenham Hotspur may have something in common other than a shared geography – they have hosted influential and extremely gifted managers who operate on an autocratic basis. Arsène Wenger was well known to be his own man, stubborn and convinced of his own methods and reluctant to change. In the end, Arsenal had to wait for Wenger to decide when it was time to … Continue reading The sins of Wenger and Pochettino, strangely similar

English football’s eco-system – cause for concern

THE LACK of true democracy in English football, which has long adopted a “survival of the fittest” culture, is an imbalanced class system that is surely unsustainable. Although many people in the UK look at American sport’s structure and self-protectionism with some cynicism, we may have come to a stage where the governing bodies have to look at creative alternatives to introduce more competitiveness to … Continue reading English football’s eco-system – cause for concern

Manchester United still have post-Ferguson hangover – six years on

MANCHESTER UNITED’S latest setback, losing to an unremarkable West Ham United team, has triggered a sense of mild panic and hand-wringing among some Old Trafford regulars. The decision to install Ole Gunnar Solskjær as permanent manager in March 2019 now looks like a hasty, ill-informed decision, but is the blame for United’s continuing frustration really the fault of the popular Norwegian? To many onlookers, Solskjær … Continue reading Manchester United still have post-Ferguson hangover – six years on

Luton Town may be struggling on the field, but they’re back where they belong

THE CHAMPIONSHIP may yet prove to be a step too soon for Luton Town after their rise from non-league to the second tier of the English game in a relatively short timeframe. On the evidence of the first few weeks of the 2019-20 campaign, this won’t be an easy season for the Hatters, so if they survive, they will probably consider it an acceptable achievement. … Continue reading Luton Town may be struggling on the field, but they’re back where they belong

More Coronation Street than Wall Street – Investing in non-league

IS IT purely philanthropy or is there something tangible about investing in a non-league football club? It is hard to justify investment in any sports club, let alone a non-league outfit, but all over the country, local football is short of money and struggling to live within its means. “Just do the math” as they would say on an investment banking trading floor. Money in, … Continue reading More Coronation Street than Wall Street – Investing in non-league