• Foreign Coaches Have Been Essential To English Football’s Evolution

    Paul Merson drew everybody's ire over the weekend and, quite rightly, has been taken to task for his meandering rant on Sky Sports about Hull City's appointment of Marco Silva. Merson was eviscerated by Football365 on Sunday, by John Nicholson on the same website a day later and, with typical eloquence, Alan Tyers in The Telegraph on Monday morning.  ...

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  • How Mainstream Coverage Perpetuates England’s Failure

    It took less than a day following England’s Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland for normal service to be resumed. The usual tired clichés were trotted out. It was all down to a lack of grit, and/or a lack of confidence, and/or a lack of bravery, and/or a lack of individual quality. ...

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  • Ongoing Stream Of Lazy Punditry Is An Insult To Football Fans

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that the only two superpowers doing all they possibly can to gain supremacy, and dragging it out in the process, were House Lannister and House Targaryen, yet, we have been witness to the battle of the box between previously unchallenged Sky Sports, and those pesky upstarts BT Sport for the past couple of seasons. ...

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  • Why Is In-Depth Goalkeeping Analysis Being Avoided by Lazy Premier League Pundits?

      As the ball ran across the body of Alexis Sanchez, allowing him to place the ball back across the six yard box and into the bottom left-hand corner of Tottenham’s goal, it came, the rhetoric of the goalkeeping illiterate; “Lloris should do better there”. ...

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  • Roy Keane: How To Kill A Legend

    How a player finishes his career and what he does after it are very important. His body of work - what he managed to achieve during his prime- remains unaffected in a literal sense, of course, but those book-ending years nevertheless help to dictate hislegacy. A retirement shrouded in mystery, a David Batty-style vanishing for example, helps to suspend a player's motion and freeze him in time. Conversely, a highly visible secondary career will typically have a diluting effect: note how Gary Lineker, a true icon, has had his edges softened by crisp-themed over-exposure and his time on Match Of The Day. ...

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  • How Gary Neville Transformed The Premier League’s TV Landscape

    While most have shown a genuine level of joy or excitement at the news of Gary Neville’s new role coaching at Valencia, the flip side of that has seen some mourning his loss from Sky, too. While speculating about who should replace him is fairly useless and futile, appreciating what Neville has introduced to the medium can’t be stated enough. Pre-Neville, football punditry on television was stale, boring and offered as much insight into events as Ray Charles could, who’s not only blind, but dead. Shows such as Match Of The Day and Sky’s own Monday Night Football were dominated by ex-pros who were happily mumbling along and offering half-baked opinions without offering those watching anything to chew over, or digest. Highlights were played, nonsense was spouted, and the ritual was repeated until the programme had finished.  ...

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  • The Fall & Hopeful Rise Again of Chelsea Hero Kerry Dixon

    Kerry Dixon was, and remains, a hero to many—myself included. In the early-to-mid-80s, when being a Chelsea fan meant ridicule at my north London school, his goals were what illuminated the gloom. When my dad returned from The Bridge on a Saturday evening, match programme in hand, the first question I always asked was: “Did Kerry score?” The result seemed less important than that. When I was taken to the docs for my jabs, I was told to imagine the best thing I could think of to take my mind off the "sharp scratch" (always liars, doctors). I dreamed of Kerry scoring the winner in a cup final that was sadly never to happen. (Incidentally, I related this to the doc, who chuckled: “Chelsea? Win the cup?”) ...

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