Posts

Showing posts from 2013

What's In A Nationailty Anyway? The Home Nations Agreement Explained

Image
To start off The Football History Boys would like to say we hope you had a Happy Christmas and wish you the very best for the New Year! However for me, whilst following the plethora of Christmas sport, there has been something that's been bugging me: as the World Cup approaches why are we having messy debates over foreign born players representing countries they reside in? It's something that needs clearing up and to do this we have to look at the Home Nations Agreement.

Now I'm not questioning the reasoning behind people being either for or against players representing neutralised countries, in fact I do think it's something that needs looking at; but what I'm not in favour of is seeing the high profile figures of the game getting the rules wrong. To understand the background of the debate lets look at some history... FIFA previously allowed a player to change his nationality, Real Madrid legends Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo di Stefano being the most notable examples…

Arsenal Ladies: End of an Era?

Image
In the past I have made no secret of my stance on the women's game, and the answer was not wholly positive. However, since Gareth and I founded +The Football History Boys in February, I am pleased to say my view has made a complete u-turn, in doing so I have discovered a fondness for the history of women's football, both past and present. One of the major female teams of the modern-day is the Arsenal Ladies, who just five years ago where described as "better than the men". The North-London team has dominated women's football in Britain and abroad for the last ten years, but the recent emergence of the game as a whole has driven the development of numerous challengers to their crown. Is this the end of an era for Arsenal's Ladies?


Arsenal Ladies are the most successful women's British football club of all-time, since their formation in 1987, they have gone on to win fourteen league titles as well as the Women's Champions League in 2007. Rachel Yankey, …

The New York Cosmos: A Brief History

Image
Let’s travel back 40 years for a minute. The New York Cosmos have just brought Pele out of retirement, the soccer world takes notice. In his many autobiographies Pele mentions that European clubs were always after him to play. Then Steven Ross goes crazy, and tries to buy every player who has thought of soccer. Which, looking back at it now, wasn’t that bad. Could this have been the start of the Real Madrid teams of the 90’s, Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona’s “Dream Team”, or the AC Milan teams with Gullit, Rijkaard, Van Basten? Or would have Blackburn in the 90’s bought every top player (and missed on some) to win their league? Could this explain why Manchester City was taken-over by oil barons? 

There are countless soccer magazines out there, and I’ve read or bought pretty much all of the ones in America at some point. It is also very good that a big time magazine like +FourFourTwo talks about the NASL. “Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Giorgio Chinagalia, and Johan Neeskens, joined Pele…

Football By Decade: 1950s

Image
Over the past ten months I have made no secret of my admiration for football in the 1950s. We have written pieces on the 1950, 1954 and 1958 World Cups as well as biographies on Ferenc Puskas and the appointment of Bill Shankly at Liverpool in 1959. Following the Second World War, football like the rest of the world was in disarray, however the 1950s would bring with it a global regeneration of the game and the way it was played. In England, West Germany, Italy and elsewhere the 50s would change the face of football forever. 
English football perhaps underwent the largest reorganization in the decade, after being widely renowned as the "masters of football" before World War II, despite never appearing at a World Cup finals prior to 1950. The Football League however did remain the leading example in the domestic game with its 4 divisions of professional football. No team dominated the early 1950s with Spurs, Manchester United, Arsenal and Wolves sharing the spoils. Also in th…

Gibraltar: UEFA's Newest Team

Image
On the 19th November 2013, Gibraltar marked their debut as a UEFA member by earning a goalless draw with Slovakia in Portugal. A squad with only 4 of their players plying their trade outside of the British Colony, featuring most notably former Premier League defender Danny Higginbotham and Barnsley right back Scott Wiseman recorded a superb result against a side who are ranked 27th in Europe, considerably better than any of their former opponents.



Despite only being accepted as a UEFA nation in May 2013 the Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) are in fact one of the oldest football associations in the World. Formed in 1895 their purpose was to bring some organisation to the football teams springing up. Initially the only form of competition in the region was the Merchant’s Cup but in 1907 a league was system was added. From 1901 Gibraltar had it’s own national side who played against British military teams and even managed a draw with Real Madrid in 1949 but from 1909 onwards there wa…

1950 World Cup: The Miracle On Grass

Image
The World Cup is football's premier international tournament, it provides us with quality, shocks and some of the greatest players and teams to have graced the game. Today, two nations almost always qualify for the main draw - England and the United States. Despite the "Special Friendship" both nations now adorn, history tells us of many battles between the countries, be it The American War of Independence, the War of 1812 or the 1950 World Cup. 

To fully understand the amazing story of the United States in 1950 is to look into just where, in footballing standards they were in the mid twentieth-century. The answer? Way off. The US team for a start was made up of part-time players, hastily assembled by Scottish manager William Jeffrey. The 1950 World Cup, held in Brazil, was the first major tournament following the Second World War, and despite America emerging as the main global superpower after the conflict, their soccer team was in no place to match their countries wid…

The Crest Dissected - AS Roma

Image
It’s been a good while since I’ve done a Crest Dissected but after a bit of a summer break and time at the BBC (Cardiff and Swansea pieces) it’s time to get back down to TFHB writing! So followingFC Barcelona, PSG, AS Monaco and US Women’s Soccer this week I’m going to take a look at AS Roma and their intriguing history. 

In the summer of 1927 an Italian Fascist, Italo Foschi, was behind the merger of three older Italian Football Championships clubs all based in Rome, Alba-Audace, Roman and Fortitudo. The purpose of the move was to compete with the well established clubs, especially in the Northern cities but Lazio were not behind the move meaning the Derby della Capitale rivalry was there from the beginning and Associazone Sportiva Roma was born. AS Roma immediately endeared themselves to the masses by taking on the capital’s colours, red and yellow, something Lazio did not consider as they favoured the greek myth of Olimpia and the colour blue.


The crest of AS Roma itself is notable f…

Football By Decade: 1940s

Image
Scandal, war, growth and radical. Perhaps the four words to best describe the four decades preceding the 1940s. Of course the 1940s would at first bring about the unfortunate relapse of battle in the Second World War and the loss of an estimated 60 million lives, both militant and civilian alike. However the 1940s can also be remembered as the turning point in football. Following the Second World War, where once again footballers too found themselves at the frontline of conflict, the game began to change into what we see on our TVs today. 

Although starting in 1939, the Second World War would spread until 1945, suspending leagues around the globe as nations began entering what is now described as a 'Total War'. Like 1914-1918 conscription was introduced to the British Army meaning even footballers, who were even then held in high esteem and watched by crowds as large as today, were not immune to the effects of warfare. Football would not stop completely during the War, as leag…