Commentary Box: Why we grudgingly tolerate international breaks

NO MATTER how well Gareth Southgate’s team performs and how much good progress was made in the 2018 World Cup, many football fans still find international break weekends tedious and an unwelcome distraction. Southgate and his immediate predecessors got what England managers, going way back as far as Sir Alf Ramsey and Don Revie, wanted […]

A crowded house: Why the continental championships and World Cup should be aligned

LET’S be frank, qualifying tournaments have become tedious – bloated and repetitive, full of over familiarity, largely predictable (don’t say that in Amsterdam this summer) and too much cannon fodder. Sometimes, you forget if you’re watching a European Championship or a World Cup qualifier. So here’s an idea. Why not use the continental tournaments as […]

GOTP Italia: Euro ’68 – Burying the ghost of North Korea

I walked past a men’s hairdressers in downtown Bologna and a giant photo of an Italian football team stared out at me through the window. It’s not an uncommon site in a coffee bar, tobacconist or barber to have such adornments – before the corporatisation of Britain, which made people that cut hair into technicians, […]