30 years? – Some teams have been waiting a lifetime for tangible success

LIVERPOOL have been waiting 30 years for a league title but their fans have finally started to sing, “we’re gonna win the league”. They might even revive Ee Aye Addio and finally remove the psychological “years since…” day counter that’s hung above Anfield since 1990. Manchester United went through the same process between 1967 and 1993, constantly reminding people that it had been an unacceptable … Continue reading 30 years? – Some teams have been waiting a lifetime for tangible success

Premature evaluation and Liverpool

EVEN AT this early stage, Liverpool’s current team, as exceptional as it is, is being prematurely labelled the club’s best ever side. There’s a degree of “presentism” about this claim, not least because if any club has a phenomenal list to choose from, it is Liverpool. Liverpool are odd-on champions-elect this season but as yet, Jürgen Klopp’s team has won just a single prize, albeit … Continue reading Premature evaluation and Liverpool

1971-72 – the title chase to end all title chases

MALCOLM ALLISON, that big, brash, iconic figure from the early 1970s, once said the period between 1967 and 1972 was a golden age for English football. Of course, during that time, Manchester City were very successful, so naturally, Allison would look back on this six -year spell as special. But this was an age where the big prizes were not monopolised, no matter how hard … Continue reading 1971-72 – the title chase to end all title chases

Big clubs devalue the FA Cup, because they can

AS USUAL, the FA Cup third round brought with it heated debate about the way Premier League clubs abuse the competition. If we are truly honest with ourselves, the FA Cup used to be so important because of a number of reasons, but these have largely become null and void in the modern game. Firstly, the FA Cup was the only game that the majority … Continue reading Big clubs devalue the FA Cup, because they can

Everton and Carlo Ancelotti – now the hard work begins

CARLO ANCELOTTI knew he wasn’t taking over a bulge bracket club when he agreed to join Everton, making him one of the most celebrated managers ever to walk into the Goodison Park hot-seat. At Anfield, in his first Merseyside side, the constantly raised eyebrow told you everything you needed to know: the three-times Champions League winner has a major task on his hands at Everton. … Continue reading Everton and Carlo Ancelotti – now the hard work begins

Liverpool are actually the best in the world

REGARDLESS of their recent FIFA World Club Cup triumph in Qatar, Liverpool have every right to claim they are the best team in the world at the moment. It may be a subjective title given the halfway stage of 2019-20 has only just been reached, but 2019 will go down as the year of Liverpool’s resurgence and come May, the project will surely be anointed … Continue reading Liverpool are actually the best in the world

What was Guardiola trying to say?

WHEN the manager of one of the world’s richest clubs says his team may not be able to compete with its peers, it is hard to have real sympathy with him. Success and failure are all relative and you don’t have to travel far from Manchester City’s glittering campus to find a town that saw its club fail to overcome its problems. How Bury fans … Continue reading What was Guardiola trying to say?

The Club World Cup – creeping in the back door of 2019

WHY have FIFA persisted with their lop-sided Club World Cup, a relatively unloved competition that carries little weight and goes quite unnoticed by most of the world’s footballing audience? This year, the mid-season holiday for blazers moved to Qatar, providing a testing ground for the controversial 2022 World Cup. It’s very difficult to see this competition as anything other than a money-making venture and a … Continue reading The Club World Cup – creeping in the back door of 2019

Oh, Hillsborough – media reaction

FOR the families of the 96 people that died at Hillsborough, there can never be any peace. That seems to be the conclusion from the latest twist in a tragedy that refuses to deliver closure for the mourners. At some point, it may end, when the grieving relatives either gain satisfaction or there simply isn’t anyone left to stand trial, but the acquittal of David … Continue reading Oh, Hillsborough – media reaction

The big six in a time of disruption

LIVERPOOL are top of the Premier by a substantial margin and the odds are they will win the Premier League for the first time and lift the Koppites’ first title since 1990. Six or seven years ago, that would have seemed a fairly unlikely scenario as Liverpool had – temporarily – moved out of the elite bracket. Jürgen Klopp was hired to bring the good … Continue reading The big six in a time of disruption

It may be game over, now City should go all-out for the Champions League

IF YOU believe the misguided narrative, Pep Guardiola and Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League every season. Those that know, know differently. Pep has not won the competition for eight years, nine if he fails to do so this season. After Manchester City were soundly beaten by Liverpool at Anfield, Guardiola and his entourage may just decide to concentrate fully on lifting that enormous and … Continue reading It may be game over, now City should go all-out for the Champions League

The Champions League and the preservation of elitism

SINCE THE European Cup was introduced in 1955, there have been 22 different winners of the competition. This list includes some of Europe’s biggest names as well as some unlikely champions. The last “new” winner was Chelsea in 2012, and equally telling, the last team from outside the accepted top 20 most powerful clubs was Porto in 2004. It has gradually become a closed shop. … Continue reading The Champions League and the preservation of elitism

Goodison Park – where games for the people are still played

CLOTH CAP nostalgia is a popular pastime among football folk as inner cities continue to be purged of their old football stadiums, replaced by smart, antiseptic structures of white steel and plastic. Horse manure no longer squelches underfoot as fans tramp through the streets and past red brick houses, the mildly eccentric fan with a transistor radio clamped to his ear has long gone. Like … Continue reading Goodison Park – where games for the people are still played