River-Cottage-Football: Right-on, Brighton

THE American Express Community Stadium is an excellent example of a new-style, modern venue – good sightlines, roomy, comfortable access points, welcoming atmosphere and on a sunny day, with seagulls flying overhead, there’s few more pleasant places to watch football. There is a drawback, though, and that’s the inadequate train service  that serves the stadium. Brighton is not, by any means, alone in having poor … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Right-on, Brighton

River-Cottage-Football: Mitro’s definitely on fire

IF LONDON’s often abysmal infrastructure had got its way, I would not have reached Craven Cottage on time for Fulham’s second Premier League home game of the season. Train delays, tube disruptions, over-crowding from the Notting Hill Carnival and to top that, incessant rain. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me, but a damaged knee made the journey all the more challenging. Hopefully, the game would compensate. … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Mitro’s definitely on fire

River-Cottage-Football: Sticking £ 100 million where?

AN experiment? An indulgence? Folly? Or merely the search for something new and rewarding? The purchase of a Fulham season ticket, before – I might add – knowing if the club was going to be in the Premier League or the Championship, was a bid to regain something from my lost youth. In the past couple of years, I have been suffering a form of … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Sticking £ 100 million where?

Down by the riverside, something stirs

SOME impressive new signings, a significant chunk of cash invested and a healthy amount of continuity. Fulham have embarked on their return to the Premier League with gusto, arguably making more noise this close season than their far more celebrated neighbours along the road. I have to admit I have a vested interest in Fulham doing well having bought a season ticket for 2018-19 when … Continue reading Down by the riverside, something stirs

The right choice – Emery’s arrival at Arsenal

UNAI Emery was not a failure at Paris Saint-Germain, not by any means. But his time in Passy, the 16th arrondissement of Paris, was never going to last long given the impatience of PSG’s owner to become European champions. The taxi to Gare du Nord was ordered as far back as March 8, 2017. Impatience is not a quality you would normally associate with Arsenal, … Continue reading The right choice – Emery’s arrival at Arsenal

2017-18: A new script is needed

NEXT season, the British football landscape is going to have to find a new narrative. “Wenger out” has become “Wenger gone”, and therefore a considerable chunk of pundit and supporter dialogue has disappeared. With VAR likely to remove another slice of conversation – refereeing errors – you have to wonder what “your Linekers and Ferdinands” are going to talk about in a few years. As … Continue reading 2017-18: A new script is needed

Why we shouldn’t yearn for the ultimate team

MANCHESTER CITY are worthy champions, make no mistake. Inevitably, whenever any team is crowned as the nation’s best, comparisons are made with past winners and the new masters of the universe are duly benchmarked. It’s happening at the moment, with some journalists pronouncing the start of a dynastic period of domination, others pointing out the shortcomings of Pep Guardiola’s team of all stars. Some are … Continue reading Why we shouldn’t yearn for the ultimate team

Watford and Burnley – real people, real clubs

IT IS hard not to like Watford, a sentiment that dates back to the days of Elton John, Luther Blissett and John Barnes. Admittedly, their style of football under Graham Taylor wasn’t the most aesthetic – function over form, to be sure – but Watford also provided the football world with some genuinely warm moments. The club seemed to have a great attitude, connected well … Continue reading Watford and Burnley – real people, real clubs

Can the Spurs really go marching on?

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR have been receiving lavish praise for their stylish football this season, indeed the past few campaigns, but they still remain a team with a great future ahead of them. They have undoubtedly charmed audiences with their quality, not unlike Tottenham sides from the past, notably under the great Bill Nicholson. On the face of it, like so many Spurs line-ups from the 1960s, … Continue reading Can the Spurs really go marching on?

If it is Ancelotti, it’s a good fit

FIRST of all, Arsenal will have to get used to the idea their next managerial appointment will probably not be a dynastic move that changes the face the football. The problem is, they’ve had a guy in charge who created, to some extent, the shape of modern football in England. A cosmopolitan who was relatively unknown but had ideas that English football had never before … Continue reading If it is Ancelotti, it’s a good fit

Toffees couldn’t fudge the issue

EVERTON don’t generally act rashly when it comes to managers, but despite their poor form this season, the most relevant factor in the disposal of Ronald Koeman may just have been the shifting sands at the club. Everton are under new management in the boardroom, with Farhad Moshiri owning almost 50% of the club. Bill Kenwright may be chairman and 12.2% stakeholder, but Moshiri gave … Continue reading Toffees couldn’t fudge the issue

Missouri, we may have a problem: The Arsenal dilemma

THERE’S A VERY iconic album cover from 1975 that features a sunbathing guy surrounded by a world in chaos. It’s by Supertramp and the album is called, Crisis, what crisis?. It could well be used as a metaphor for the Arsenal condition. The club’s fans now believe the Gunners are in crisis, the media is now openly critical of the stupor that characterises the men … Continue reading Missouri, we may have a problem: The Arsenal dilemma