Showing posts from July, 2013

Football By Decade: 1930s

The 1930s, perhaps the twentieth-century's most turbulent decade for change and international relations, which saw the rise of fascism in Germany, Italy and Spain as well as the ruthless communism of Josef Stalin's Soviet Union. However, when it comes to football the game continued its growth into the superpower we see today. The decade brought us the first three World Cup's, famous matches and the birth of rivalries still played with the same passion in the modern game.

Of course, in 1930 the Football League was still the World's most successful league, already almost 40 years old providing some of the greatest teams the game had ever seen, like Herbert Chapman's Huddersfield Town and later Arsenal sides as well the FA Cup. Globally the late 1920s had finally supplied the football fans from Italy and Spain with their own leagues, known respectively as Serie A and La Liga. German football would also continue to develop in the 30s, even with the dark shadow of Nazi …

Greatest Team Ever?: Arsenal's Invincibles

The Invincibles, a team that perfectly defined the philosophy and ideology that Arsene Wenger had sought to bring to the English game since his arrival at Arsenal in 1997. The 2003/04 squad were suitably nicknamed the Invincibles subsequent to the campaign as a result of the unheralded achievement in the modern era of completing the entire season without losing a single match. Despite only being 10 years old at the start of the invincible season, my passion (or as it was then, more of an obsession) for Arsenal and domestic football was perhaps at its peak. Although being young I still to this day feel privileged to have witnessed, albeit from the safety of my sofa, such greatness unfold on the pristine grass stage that was Highbury. 
The Invincibles are quite rightly viewed as the strongest squad assembled byArsene Wenger during his time at Arsenal. The team possessed a combination of strength, guile and outstanding team chemistry that helped shape an unstoppable force that would tear …

The Premier League: A Transfer Crisis?

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the FA and its codified rules and football has come a long way since its official birth. With it have the transfers of its players. There seems to be a consensus that it has only been in recent times in which transfers have caused uproar. This is in fact is untrue as even as far back as 1905 there was surprise and uproar surrounding the transfer of Alf Common to Middlesbrough from Sunderland for the first four figure sum of £1000. 1979 saw the first British £1m player (if you include VAT) in Trevor Francis as he moved from Birmingham to Nottingham Forest going on to win the European Cup in the same year. 

Fast forward 30 years and the record fee of £80m (€94m) paid for the supreme talent that is Cristiano Ronaldo could definitely have been better timed. Amid the height of the financial crisis Florentino Perez, in his second spell at the Bernabeu, approved the deal just a week after the £56m acquisition of Kak√°. UEFA president Michel Platini crit…

The Battle of Highbury - November 1934

10th June 1934 - Italy win the second ever FIFA World Cup 2-1 after extra time against Czechoslovakia with a side featuring the likes of Giuseppe Meazza. However, FIFA were still not representing the World as a governing body as nations like England and their Football Association had fallen out with FIFA pre-1930 and the first World Cup.

Come 14th November 1934 it was time for what the English press were calling the “real” World Cup final between the official World Champions and the long acknowledged best team in Europe. Not only was this game billed as a titanic clash on the pitch but it was also a political minefield off it with fascist dictator Benito Mussolini ruling Italy. Il Duce was so keen to win that he was rumored to have offered his countrymen an Alfa Romeo and £150 (in old money) if they beat the English. 
The Line Ups:

Position No Name Age Club Caps (incl v ITA) Goals (incl v ITA) Gk 1 Frank Moss  25 Arsenal FC 4