Category: Football

Treading cautiously

Ah, pre-season. Always the absolute bestest time to be a Spurs fan. Ignoring the league table, which for some obviously biased decision always has us hovering around the relegation places at this time of year, this is usually about as good as it gets for us. Last season has been and gone. We have new players, a new manager, a new identity. Everything will be alright this year, it’s our year. We’ve learned from our mistakes this time. What could possibly go wrong? Hopefully, and I mean this from the very bottom of my weary heart, nothing. For the...

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Professional evolution

Ah, bliss. Absolute bliss. Finally, a weekend spent without having to worry about running. After a succession of weekends where the main focus was on having to go out in the stifling heat/pissing rain on a Sunday morning, trudging around in an attempt to condition myself to be able to fail at a sub-40 minute 10k, I had a weekend off. The 10k but a distant memory, and no new events on the horizon other than a succession of 30th birthdays and a stag do, I was a free man. I had many things I could have done to mark this...

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Arrivederci, Postman Pat

Fabio Capello, in happer times And just like that, he was gone. The ever-evolving story that had been building exponentially over the past few days finally came to a stunning and perhaps somewhat unexpected conclusion late yesterday afternoon, as statistically the most successful England manager in history, not to mention one of the all-time great club managers, fell immediately on his sword in ignominy and resigned from post following a blistering attack on those who employed him. The ongoing furore over the John Terry allegations has now claimed perhaps its biggest scalp as Capello left Wembley stadium with his previously impeccable reputation severely blemished by his dalliance with English football. England are managerless. Rewind two years and no one could possibly have seen any of this coming. England had stormed through qualifying, winning every game bar the 0-1 in Ukraine when qualification was already assured. An England team in utter disarray after Steve McClaren’s lax regime had apparently been whipped into shape, showing discipline, hunger and a level of professionalism previously unseen with the national squad. Players were being played in their natural positions, often reflecting the role they already played with their club teams. Sounds simple, but anyone who had to sit through endless matches under Sven-Göran Eriksson with Emile Heskey trundling uselessly up and down the left wing would appreciate this. WAGs were off limits. Discipline was key. Capello had an...

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Balls to it all

I’m angry. For nearly 24 hours over the weekend, all the way from 4:45pm on Saturday when the full time whistle went at The Lamex Stadium, right up to 3:45pm on Sunday, just before the holy numbered balls went from bag to drum, I was excited about the draw for The FA Cup fifth round. I always look forward to a draw, but this was a bit different. Tottenham had done the business on Friday evening, albeit in a very fortunate manner in a distinctly below-par display at Vicarage Road, and then Stevenage efficiently dispatched with Notts County on the Saturday to reach the fifth round for the first time in their history. Both my clubs were there in the hat for the first time ever at this stage of the season. I sat there in rabid anticipation, hoping for a good draw. An away day in the North West would be nice; so far I had been unlucky on that front as Spurs had been dealt two home draws, and Stevenage had followed the Stourbridge match that I couldn’t get a ticket for with drawing Reading away and then Saturday’s home tie. I hoped for a ground I’d not been to before, or perhaps a distant and exotic location such as Liverpool, Bolton or Sheffield. And ideally, either an ultimately winnable set of fixtures, or at the very least, a glory tie for Stevenage. Well,...

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