IF YOU asked 10 people in a room to name a German club, they would undoubtedly come up with “Bayern Munich”. Ask them the same question about Portugal, and they’d probably reply, “Benfica”. Have you noticed that wherever you are … Continue reading The clubs that became flag bearers
MANCHESTER UNITED are arguably in the best place they’ve been since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. The instability that has characterised the club since his departure would appear to be over and in Jose Mourinho, they have the ideal … Continue reading GOTP Notepad: United’s path to the last 16
CLUBS like Ajax and Benfica once created some of the most exciting teams we have ever seen. Today, their names still carry enormous weight, but they have been pushed into the shadows by clubs gorging on TV broadcasting fees and … Continue reading Paradise lost…but we’ll never forget Cruyff, Eusebio and their pals
LESLIE VERNON was football journalism’s European expert in the 1960s and early 1970s. Information on this gentleman is scarce, but for some reason I assumed he had some sort of link with Hungary. Somebody told me he had come to England in the mid-1950s during the Hungarian uprising. I had an image of this pencil-bearded academic schooled in the football wisdom of Ferenc Puskas, Willie Meisl and assorted Viennese coffee house experts. He could, however, have come from Acton or Hounslow for all I know! Nevertheless, Leslie Vernon provided some insight into football across the English Channel and deep into … Continue reading In 1968, these were Europe’s finest players…
Portuguese football has been stunned by the defection of Benfica manager Jorge Jesus to capital city rivals Sporting. Football watchers had been speculating for weeks that Jesus was on his way from the Estadio da Luz, but the smart money at one point was on Porto snapping him up. Indeed, there was also talk of Jesus waiting to get the call from Liverpool and also that his agent, Jorge Mendes, had offered him to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. But it was Sporting that came up with the sort of deal that, to quote Marlon Brando, was “an offer he … Continue reading Sporting find Jesus
About 10 minutes before he scored Arsenal’s first goal, Yaya Sanogo didn’t look to have much to offer. A little clumsy, lacking pace and his first touch looked suspect. By the end of the Emirates Cup day one, he had bagged four goals as Arsenal beat Benfica 5-1. The Emirates Cup does not really provide much of a pointer to the way the season will shape-up, but it does allow Arsenal to unveil their new signings and direct their fans towards their merchandising outlets and pick-up their new shirt for the forthcoming campaign. The way Arsenal played will have sent … Continue reading Emirates Cup: Sanogo’s your man, Arsene….or is he?