This Arsenal side has reached the end of its cycle 4

You can’t really talk about Arsenal without involving yourself in the debate surrounding Arsene Wenger.  Any criticism of a side’s performance - or long-term habits - is naturally associated with its manager and so detaching the two is impossible. But let’s do that for a minute. Quite evidently, Arsenal were shockingly naive against Monaco and(…)

Tottenham, Dimitar Berbatov, and Wembley 2008

Tottenham, Dimitar Berbatov, and Wembley 2008 0

Tottenham and Chelsea return to Wembley this weekend to face each other in a domestic cup final for the first time since 2008. Irrespective of the league cup’s debatable prestige, winning is winning and there’s never anything second-rate about watching your side climb those steps and lift a trophy. Naturally, then, that 2008 final is(…)

Broaden retrospective punishment at this time of refereeing need 3

People who talk incessantly about refereeing performances are dull.  In fact, the broadcast media’s tendency to focus on officiating controversy at the expense of actual game analysis is very tiresome.  Endless slow motion replays of potential handballs, the continuous ‘I think this, I think that’ of whichever ex-player pundit happens to be in the studio(…)

Muting football managers for the sake of purity 0

Allow me to daydream briefly. Completely unrealistic though it may be, imagine a football world with silent managers. Press-conferences, outbursts and refereeing truthing have become such staples of the game, that it’s impossible to conceive of a world without them.  Because football is the dominant sport in England, a lot of the content which fills(…)

Chelsea’s appeal of Nemanja Matic’s suspension needs to fail 13

Chelsea have appealed the red card given to Nemanja Matic over the weekend in the hope of overturning the suspension that currently rules him out of the league cup final. Anyone who has ever played football - at any level - has some sympathy for Matic.  Whilst the decision to send him off was unquestionably(…)

Sam Allardyce, excuses, and failure to own responsibility 6

At 12pm yesterday, it would have taken an impressive effort for any Premier League manager other than Jose Mourinho to be this morning’s talking point.  The modern game loves a soap opera, and the Portuguese’s appearance on Goals On Sunday has already been transcribed by several national newspapers. Yes, really. But then came Sam Allardyce…(…)

The dying art of football commentary 3

“One nil…” Sometimes the less a commentator says, the more memorable his contribution to a game can be.  That’s why David Coleman and his famous goal-call are still revered well into his retirement.  It was a signature, but it was also very organic. On any given weekend, there are dozens of different football matches broadcasted(…)

Manchester United, Kyle Walker, and fanciful transfer chatter 2

The Mail have published a story this morning that claims that Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker is of interest to Manchester United and will be one of Louis Van Gaal’s targets over the Summer. Not to be cynical, but the number of players who are supposedly ‘on Van Gaal’s list’ seems to double by the week.(…)

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