• Lillian Thuram, The Summer Storm

    Lilian Thuram is the most confusing of defenders, because the only mistake I can remember him making is his most famous. That doesn’t feel all that remarkable until I consider that I watched him on Channel 4’s Gazzetta Football Italia programme as often as I could, which was a fair amount given that he was an ever-present in the Parma and Juventus teams he played for. He was also frequently on my screen as yet one more star of the France team that claimed consecutive international tournaments - the World Cup in 1998, and the European Championship in 2000. And, in that time, I saw only one error. ...

    Read full article

  • Morning Editorial: England Have Foundations To Build On Despite U21 Heartbreak

    Stefan Kuntz was in the dugout and Stuart Pearce was in the TV studio, so England's defeat to Germany on penalties in the Under-21 European Championship semifinal should have come as no surprise to anyone. Kuntz, now Germany's U21 coach, scored the fifth and final penalty to break English hearts in the semifinal of Euro '96, while Pearce missed in the shootout defeat to West Germany at the same stage of Italia '90. ...

    Read full article

  • For VAR To Work In Football, The Decision-Making Process Requires Clarity

    'In general we have really good results, but for sure, many aspects could be improved,' said FIFA’s head of refereeing Massimo Busacca in relation to video assistant referees (VAR) at a news conference on Monday. This came less than 24 hours after Cameroon defender Sebastien Siani was wrongly sent-off against Germany in the Confederations Cup, before a series of replays were needed to send the right player off shortly after. ...

    Read full article

  • Kelechi Iheanacho’s Stagnation Shows Manchester City’s Cluttered Pathways

    In recent years, the language of marketing and public relations has bled into football discourse. It had always been there in the background, erupting onto the surface with the announcement of a new sponsorship deal or kit launch, but now it has begun to influence the way we talk about footballers and the game that they play. Tactical ideas have become “philosophy”, dealings on the transfer market fall under “recruitment” and young players being given a chance in the first-team represents a “pathway”. ...

    Read full article

  • 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. ...

    Read full article

  • 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. ...

    Read full article

  • 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. ...

    Read full article

  • Tottenham Require A Veteran Winner To Get Over The Hump

    When Edgar Davids joined Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2005, the Dutchman addressed concerns about his 32-year-old legs in impressive fashion. "It doesn't matter if you are 30 or 40 or 19 or 17 - if you can play the ball, you can play the ball,” he said. ...

    Read full article

  • Are Liverpool Holding Back The Career Of Nigerian Striker Taiwo Awoniyi?

    When Taiwo Awoniyi made the move to Liverpool in 2015, he arrived as something of a rare commodity: then 18, the striker’s signing came out of the blue, with few supporters aware of his abilities. The Reds paid Nigeria’s Imperial Soccer Academy £400,000 to secure his services, as well as compensating Swedish Allsvenskan club Kalmar FF to nullify their pre-contract agreement with the youngster, ensuring he followed Joe Gomez, James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan, Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Clyne and Christian Benteke through the Shankly Gates to round off a busy summer transfer window for Brendan Rodgers. But two years and two loan spells later, and Awoniyi is yet to even step foot on Liverpool’s training field at Melwood—let alone turn out for his parent club—with work-permit issues threatening to damage the career of a bright young talent. ...

    Read full article

  • Can Huddersfield’s Fiver-A-Game Season Ticket Start A Revolution?

    At most Premier League grounds £5.26 would barely get you a pie and a cup of tea, but at Huddersfield Town’s Kirklees Stadium it will get many supporters through the doors next season. That’s because chairman Dean Hoyle has kept his word and has rewarded loyal fans who took part in his ‘Premier Pledge’, an initiative launched in 2010. He promised that all those who had bought a season ticket in every year of his tenure, from the 2008/09 campaign onwards, would be rewarded with one costing just £100 if the club made it to English football’s top flight and, one penalty shoot-out and play-off final victory later, over 4,000 fans have secured it. ...

    Read full article