Premier clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal should always be Europa favourites

MANCHESTER UNITED and Arsenal made it through to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League, very comfortably. This came just after Manchester City and Chelsea reached the last four of the UEFA Champions League. There is a reasonable chance that for the second time in three seasons, UEFA’s big two competitions will be all-English affairs.  […]

1968, the year it came together for English clubs

ENGLISH football was not quick to warm to the prospect of pan-European football and, it had no representation when the Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens kicked off in 1955, an early post-austerity attempt at sporting integration and collaboration. The author, James Walvin, in his seminal work, The People’s Game, remarked that “few areas of European […]

Arsenal 1968-70 – Relative calm before the storm

WHEN Arsenal won the “double” in 1970-71, they received very little praise for their considerable efforts. Were it not for Charlie George’s messianic fall to the ground in the FA Cup final, Arsenal would be remembered for merely grinding-out results and out-slugging Leeds United’s relentless machine. But the seeds of Arsenal’s triumph were sown in […]

Great Reputations: Newcastle United 1968-69 – the last chorus of Blaydon Races

NEWCASTLE UNITED fans like to think of their club as one of the truly big footballing institutions in the country, and in terms of the Magpies’ support, heritage and potential, they are not too far wrong. But the problem is that Newcastle’s glory days are now more than half a century away and the era […]

The Premier has helped remove xenophobia

THE PREMIER League is a multi-national circus of talent that  has – rightly or wrongly – transformed football in England into the most intensely marketed, lucrative and, arguably, most controversial league across Europe. Football in Britain relies heavily on foreign players, to such an extent that its critics claim it has damaged the fabric of […]

Great Reputations: Arsenal 1968-70 – The Mee too generation

WHEN Arsenal won the “double” in 1970-71, they received very little praise for their considerable efforts. Were it not for Charlie George’s messianic fall to the ground in the FA Cup final, Arsenal would be remembered for merely grinding-out results and out-slugging Leeds United’s relentless machine. But the seeds of Arsenal’s triumph were sown in […]