Commentary Box: It will be painful, but Liverpool should be champions

BE prepared, 2019 will probably be a year of Kop revivalism, Shankly philosophy, Klopp’s teeth and Mo Salah being proclaimed the greatest Egyptian ever to walk down Lime Street. Liverpool could be back at the top to end an incredible 29-year gap between league title wins. What’s more, it’s the 30thanniversary of Hillsborough, so the emotional connection will be even more intense. For some of … Continue reading Commentary Box: It will be painful, but Liverpool should be champions

The obsession with “invincible”

WHEN Manchester City lost their unbeaten run to Chelsea a few weeks ago, it didn’t take more than a few minutes for schadenfreude to creep into the narrative. “You may be good, but you ‘aint no invincibles,” was the first tweet to appear, I believe from none other than Arsenal fan Piers Morgan. Since 2004, any prospective Premier champion, or team that sets a blistering pace, … Continue reading The obsession with “invincible”

72 Classic: Clough, Allison, Keegan and co. – why it was special

MALCOLM Allison, one of the pivotal figures of the 1970s, once said that the period between 1967 and 1972 was one of British football’s golden ages. Anyone who lived through that half decade of action will doubtless recall some outstanding players and personalities, memorable teams and the outlandish fashion and hairstyles of the age. This was, after all, a period that desperately clung to the … Continue reading 72 Classic: Clough, Allison, Keegan and co. – why it was special

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

We are the Champions: 1987-88 – Liverpool

LIVERPOOL  returned to the top of the first division two years after their double-winning performance of 1985-86. It was a reshaped Liverpool team that was crowned champions, playing a brand of football that led many pundits to declare them as one of British football’s best-ever sides. Liverpool spent heavily in building this team, signing England internationals John Barnes (£ 900,000 from Watford) and Peter Beardsley … Continue reading We are the Champions: 1987-88 – Liverpool

Great Reputations: Red Star Belgrade 1973-74 – the team that changed English football

IN 1978, Chelsea chairman Brian Mears, desperate to change the fortunes of his ailing club, started to court Miljan Miljanić the Yugoslav coach rated among the best in Europe. Miljanić sat in the Stamford Bridge stands, dark glasses shielding him from the autumn sun and watched a calamitous first-half display by Chelsea against Bolton Wanderers. For a man used to rubbing shoulders with Europe’s footballing … Continue reading Great Reputations: Red Star Belgrade 1973-74 – the team that changed English football

Commentary Box: Leading cities are not always top football cities

IT goes without saying that for football fans who like a trip abroad, the ideal excursion is a combination of culture, football, food, drink (!) and meeting people from different corners of the world. If, like me, you tick all of those boxes when you go on a jaunt, then you inevitably form some form of judgement about the world’s great footballing cities. I’m starting a … Continue reading Commentary Box: Leading cities are not always top football cities

The dramatic shop window

FOR the neutral, the UEFA Champions League final had the required level of drama to capture the attention of even the most hyperactive mind. However, there was something very predictable about Liverpool losing their most important player so early on, you could almost see the steam that has built up under Jürgen Klopp evaporating in front of your eyes. That Liverpool’s hopes were extinguished by … Continue reading The dramatic shop window

Commentary Box: Gerrard and Rangers. Blinded by the light

HISTORY has told us that great players don’t necessarily make great managers. Some do go on to have decent managerial careers, but how many outstanding footballers can match their days on the park to their time in the dugout? When Bobby Charlton went to Preston North End, they were truly excited about having one of the English game’s great names as their “gaffer”. It didn’t … Continue reading Commentary Box: Gerrard and Rangers. Blinded by the light

UEFA Champions League: Competition management – why Real and Liverpool won through

REAL MADRID and Liverpool are not necessarily the best teams in Europe at the moment, but one of them will be crowned champions in a few weeks’ time at the UEFA Champions League final in Kiev. Their progress to the final has been coloured by good fortune, sympathetic draws, controversy and simply good management. They deserve to be there, that’s for sure, but history will … Continue reading UEFA Champions League: Competition management – why Real and Liverpool won through

The Champions League needs a new label

THE LAST four of the UEFA Champions League comprises Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Roma. Big names all, but surely, it was supposed to include Barcelona and Manchester City, wasn’t it? It’s been a few years since an actual champion club lifted the most glamorous piece of silverware in European – possibly world – football. In 2016-17, Real and Bayern were champions in La … Continue reading The Champions League needs a new label

Commentary Box: A Passion Play

LIVERPOOL is a passionate football city, that’s what we are told. Liverpool Football Club’s fans are, arguably, the most ardent of any supporters in Britain. It is a devotion that has been built over many years, from the Shankly era, through the cultural highs of the 1960s and, in spite of the disasters of the 1980s and the city’s economic decline. But the club has … Continue reading Commentary Box: A Passion Play