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Showing posts from August, 2013

Girls With Balls: A Secret History Of Women's Football - Review

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Prior to Euro 2013 I wrote an article concerning the growth of women's football in England during the last 20 years. Whilst highlighting the obvious talents of Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey and Steph Houghton, it was briefly mentioned of the talent of one former player which had in particular given reason to delve into the history of the women's game deeper than before. The player was Lily Parr, albeit from a lot further back than 1993! The recent release of "Girls With Balls: The Secret History Of Women's Football" by author Tim Tate has provided an accurate insight in to the former height of the sport, perhaps even greater than the days of the United States' Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly.

The period Tate is referring to sets its scene in interwar Britain, a time which saw, as well as the then rapid growth of the men's game, the rising popularity of their female counterpart's footballing traditions. Until recently any female football prior to 1980 has bee…

The Yugoslav National Team: A Brief History

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Yugoslavia would be World Cup winning material if the nation still existed today. When the Yugoslavia split in 1992, five new national teams were created:
Bosnia & HerzegovinaCroatiaSloveniaMacedoniaSerbia & Montenegro, which later split and became 2 new national teams, Serbia and Montenegro. The Yugoslavian National Team could select players from a vast area of the Baltic states, an area in modern times which consists of 7 countries. Only the USSR National Team had a greater catchment area of where it could recruit players. If the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was still in existence then players such as Vidic, Modric, Srna, Jovetic, Vucinic, Eduardo, Matavz etc. could be playing together in the same national team.

The Yugoslavia National team were a force in national football. They reached the final of the European Championships twice in the 1960s, most notably in 1968 when all that stood in Yugoslavia’s way to winning the trophy was a replay. They battled with Ital…

1977-1982: How English Clubs Dominated The European Cup

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Last season’s Champions League was the first since 1995-1996 to not contain a single English team at the quarter-final stage. In the sixteen-year period between those seasons, an English side has won the Champions League on four occasions, and been runner-up on another five.

There was a time, however, when the European Cup was dominated by English clubs, no more so than in the late 1970s/early 1980s when, barely believably, from 1977 until 1982, an English team won the European Cup every single year. Here is our final-by-final account of how this extraordinary period in English and European football unfolded.

1977: Having edged Queens Park Rangers to the First Division title in 1975-76 as well as winning the 1976 UEFA Cup, Liverpool swept their way through the 1976-77 European Cup, thrashing Crusaders 7-0 on aggregate in the first round, before knocking out Trabzonspor, St. Etienne and crushing FC Z├╝rich 6-1 in the semi-finals to reach their first ever European Cup final.

Having just w…

Premier League Preview: Sunderland to West Ham

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SUNDERLAND



Club Nickname: The Black Cats Founded: 1879 Ground: Stadium of Light Manager: Paolo Di Canio Captain: John O'Shea Last Season: 17th
Last season was definitely one to forget for Mackem fans. The squad wallowed in the lower half of the Premier League table for the majority of the campaign, eventually crossing the line in  a below-par position of 17th. As the season began to enter its final months Martin O'Neil was sacked and replaced by Paolo Di Canio, a man that needs little introduction thanks to his enigmatic personality, his somewhat controversial political views and his incredible passion for the game and the club he's representing, whether it be in the shirt of a player or the suit of the manager. Di Canio managed to steer the Black Cats away from the drop, and managed to bag a win in the Tyne-Wear derby but it was a stuttering escape from relegation, with the derby victory being one of only two wins in the final run-in.
It didn't take long for Di Canio to make …

Premier League Preview: Manchester United to Stoke

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MANCHESTER UNITED



Club Nickname:The Red Devils Founded: 1878 Ground:Old Trafford Manager:David Moyes Captain:Nemanja Vidic Last Season:1st
"Manchester United start this season as the defending champions", not a phrase most of us will be unfamiliar with. However this year this is one big, big difference... Sir Alex Ferguson. After 27 years at the club Sir Alex Ferguson retired, arguably the greatest manager of all time, especially when you look at the trophies he won compared to the strength of some of his squads! David Moyes was offered the job, a man who whilst stabilising and growing the reputation of Everton has lacked competition success himself throughout his managerial career. This season will be one of transition and difference for Manchester United fans, how will those Londoners cope if United struggle initially? Will those Southerners still back their local club?!

In all seriousness you cannot discount Manchester United, Moyes or Ferguson they'll be in the hunt for th…