A boycott is needed for Arsenal fans to make their point

STAN KROENKE may not be every Arsenal fan’s idea of the perfect owner, but letters of complaint and stamping feet will probably not have much impact on the US businessman. Arsenal have almost become a typical US sports franchise, well run, nicely-housed, profitable, conservative and driven by the bottom line. Arsenal, in all reality, will never be a club that gets into financial trouble, but … Continue reading A boycott is needed for Arsenal fans to make their point

UEFA Europa League: Together to Baku – almost

IF Arsenal or Chelsea were not up against a local rival, Baku and the Europa League might not mean as much as it probably does to the fans of both clubs – those that decide to make the journey to Azerbaijan. The fact that the clubs have returned tickets to UEFA says a lot about the appeal of Baku as the stage for a major … Continue reading UEFA Europa League: Together to Baku – almost

Commentary Box: Into perspective – England’s quartet

THIRTY years ago, it would be nigh on impossible for one country to provide all the European finalists. The only way it could have happened was if the holders of the European Cup and European Cup-Winners’ Cup were English and the qualifying clubs from England were not the holders. In 1971-72, we had a UEFA Cup final between Tottenham and Wolves – a competition where … Continue reading Commentary Box: Into perspective – England’s quartet

The revival of Valencia – Arsenal’s next Europa League opponents

VALENCIA is the third largest city in Spain, which dovetails nicely with its football club’s status in its home country. Most neutral observers would say that Valencia Club de Fútbol is Spain’s fourth club, and given two of the three above it are from the capital Madrid, Els Taronges (the oranges) know their place in Spanish football hierarchy. Valencia are enjoying a good season – … Continue reading The revival of Valencia – Arsenal’s next Europa League opponents

Why Tottenham are edging the battle of North London

AS the two North London giants prepare to meet in another heated derby, the dynamic in that part of the capital is clearly changing. Tottenham, on the brink of moving into a new stadium, are moving up a gear, both on and off the pitch. For the first time in a number of years, Spurs look poised to gain the upper hand over their fierce … Continue reading Why Tottenham are edging the battle of North London

We are the Champions: 1988-89 – Arsenal

AFTER such an exhilarating 1987-88 season, Liverpool were hot favourites to retain the title they won in style, especially as they had re-signed striker Ian Rush from Juventus. Arsenal, who had finished sixth, were seen as a team that could chase the eventual champions, but not seriously challenge for top spot. Their success in 1988-89 was a tribute to the talent of their young players, … Continue reading We are the Champions: 1988-89 – Arsenal

Why a super league could work if handled properly

NATURALLY,  nobody is happy about the clandestine discussions that may or may not have taken place over the past few months involving certain clubs to create a closed football league comprising the wealthiest names across the top five nations. A “super league” is what they are calling it, but effectively, it is a cartel of the “super rich”, a group driven by greed and entitlement. … Continue reading Why a super league could work if handled properly

61 fouls – the story of triumph over an ideology

IN NOVEMBER 1934, England met World Champions Italy in London in a game that has forever been known as “The Battle of Highbury”. This tag was no accident, however, for whatever was going to happen on that gloomy afternoon in North London, a football match was always going to become a theatre of war. On the road to war Europe in the 1930s was an … Continue reading 61 fouls – the story of triumph over an ideology

Great Reputations: Arsenal, the Art Deco club

IN THE 1980s, a television series called The Thirties highlighted a turbulent and exciting decade. An entire chapter was devoted, quite simply, to “The Arsenal”. The 1930s was the age of the Gunners, a time that the club has strived to replicate ever since. Arsenal were as 1930s as Crittall Windows, British dance bands, mock-Tudor housing and Bakelite. They were thoroughly modern in every way, … Continue reading Great Reputations: Arsenal, the Art Deco club

London cooling? Not quite yet

IT MAY not be the most successful city across Europe, or the most productive in terms of league titles in the UK, but if you want to see top division action in the European Union’s capitals, London has the highest percentage of clubs among the leading leagues. There are six London clubs in the Premier League (Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham), … Continue reading London cooling? Not quite yet

River-Cottage-Football: When wealth is all relative

JUST imagine, if Chelsea’s founding family, the Mears, had got their way, there might not have been a Craven Cottage and the football world would have been deprived of one of the real pleasures of watching the game in London. Is there a more pleasant experience than walking from Hammersmith, past the Odeon (the theatre where, in 1973, David Bowie killed-off his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust), … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: When wealth is all relative