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
MENTION the Ukraine and people automatically think of political strife and the conflict that has raged on since 2014. The assumption is that life is hard and dangerous and events like football do not take place. But football has certainly continued and although the average crowd for a Ukrainian Prem’er-Liha game has dropped to 4,200 (from 10,930 in 2014), the Ukrainian public still turns out … Continue reading Ukraine on a mission
It seemed a little too good to be true: Cambridge United – newly promoted to the Football League – hosting West Ham United, Espanyol and Shakhtar Donetsk. Surely, there was some mistake? And at £ 12 per ticket, it seemed remarkably good value. I was told that Cambridge had pulled off a coup in getting European opposition to the R Costings Abbey Stadium. There was … Continue reading Nice try Cambridge, but pre-season’s pre-season
Russia are in London next week to play an exhibition game against Brazil – the hosts of the next two World Cups meeting at Stamford Bridge. With many Russians and Brazilians residing in the London area, the game should be well supported. Anyone expecting a Russian team to compare with sides of the past will be disappointed, however. Russian football has never been the same … Continue reading Back in the USSR – Russia and Ukraine to merge?
Think of the giants of European football and the names reel of the tongue: Barca, Real, Bayern, the Milans, United and Chelsea. They have dominated European club football for the past few years and in the case of the Spanish and Italians, for many decades. But there is a wind blowing from the East and Chelsea, this week, may find it a very chill one. … Continue reading Europe will be forced to accept a new order
Cometh the man, cometh the hour, as they say, and Wayne Rooney proved to be “johnny on the spot” just at the right time. England have, against the odds, “ponced” their way through to the quarter finals of 2012 and they could even go a stage further. If the three England games proved anything, it was that Sweden, France and Ukraine are not very good … Continue reading England can “ugly” their way through….until they reach the Germans
One-down, one to go. Poland really blew their host nation status, turning in a poor performance against an average Czech Republic team to tumble out of Euro 2012. They failed to win a single game and as a result the two underdogs from Group A – the Czechs and Greeks – go into the quarter-finals. It’s a pity, because the heart of Euro 2012 has … Continue reading UEFA hope for Ukraine after Poland polka out
Alan Shearer, the former England striker, has predicted a semi-final place for Roy Hodgson’s side, because he is patriotic and wants them to do well. That doesn’t sound like an “expert” opinion but more a case of wishful thinking. He also knows that the reason expectations are low is because people realize that England have no chance. And they are right, because England’s squad, depleted … Continue reading The problem with England: Euro 2012 Group D
They must pay well in Ukrainian football, because it seems to be a prime location for Brazilian and Nigerian footballers chasing the dollar. You can always tell where the money is in the game by the number of foreign players streaming into the market and right now, African and Latin American players , chaperoned by their agents, are looking at Ukraine and Russia. How much … Continue reading Ukraine – perhaps it is the “wild east” after all….