• 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. ...

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  • 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. ...

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  • 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. ...

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  • 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”. ...

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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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