• History of the World Cup: Tactics Explained 1982-1990

    Football was now a truly global, visible sport as the 1970s had proven, and the World Cup its most significant event both in terms of prestige and viewing figures. However, while the first six World Cups saw an average of 4.28 goals per game, peaking in Switzerland in 1954 with 5.38, the 1960s onwards saw a general trend of decline that reached its lowest ebb in Italia ’90, where a paltry 2.21 goals per game were scored. Defence was king as the free-scoring ‘50s receded from view, but Spain ’82 did provide some respite from the doldrums. ...

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  • Tottenham’s Transfer Inactivity Isn’t So Bad

    This comes with a caveat: yes, while the teams above and below them are busy spending fantastic sums of money on strong players, it must be difficult for Tottenham fans to cope with the silence. Manchester City have already spent nearly £80m, Liverpool tied up the signing of Mohamed Salah a couple of days ago, and Chelsea and Manchester United are rumoured to also be on the verge of major deals. ...

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  • Australia Are Outgrowing Their Associations Under Ange Postecoglou

    In a 2011 episode of the long-running soap opera Neighbours, a show imported on a daily to entertain British audiences in need of their daytime TV fix, character Andrew Robinson randomly declared former Liverpool winger and retired Serbia international, Milan Jovanovic, to be one of the greatest soccer players in the world; a statement so bizarre and ill-founded that for a few seconds it seemed as though it might threaten to set back Australian and European football relations back by decades. ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Olivier Giroud Has Become Arsenal’s Very Own Cockroach

    It’s often said that cockroaches would be the only living species to survive extreme nuclear fallout. Their simple bodies and slower cell cycles offer resistance to radiation, which is fatal towards beings with more active biological sequences. Olivier Giroud couldn’t be further away from having a ‘simple body’, and while I don’t have his exact anatomical figures to hand, it’s unlikely he’d survive extreme nuclear fallout. But no matter what is thrown at him, whatever alternatives are tried, the Frenchman keeps clawing his way back to find the back of the net with regularity. Arsenal’s very own cockroach. ...

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