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Showing posts from March, 2021

Scotland - Beware the Wee Yin | @AlexHTheMAX

Scotland have made a predictably difficult start to their latest bid to appear in the finals of a major tournament and after two draws, against Austria and Israel respectively, it is a must win match v Faroe Islands in World Cup Qualifying on Wednesday night at Hampden. Alex Horsburgh  Scotland and their difficulties with so called "minnows" is a tale of woe covering more than forty years. Radio presenter  @AlexHTheMAX revisits six occasions when Scotland flattered to deceive against nations who, on paper at least, seemed to have no chance against the men in dark blue.  1. Peru 3-1 Scotland / Iran 1-1 Scotland (1978) A dead heat at the top of our nightmare top five and arguably the matches that began Scotland's uncomfortable relationship with the underdog.  The hype that surrounded Scotland before the 1978 Argentina World Cup cannot be overstated. It was the ultimate football fairytale but sadly it was written before a ball was even kicked in South America.  After seeing

How to save football: A draft & a salary cap? | @GJ_Thomas

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has thrust the future of many football clubs across the world into doubt. In the UK it was reported that "football needs to take radical steps to avoid financial meltdown"[1] after the pandemic. The seemingly limitless pockets of some of the biggest football clubs had begun to dry up, whilst for smaller clubs, their very existence was under threat. Along with continuing rumours of potential European breakaway 'Super Leagues', some believe radical suggestions are needed to 'fix' or 'improve' football. We take a look to see if football can learn anything from across the pond. One of the biggest criticisms levelled at football from the outside world is the money that is involved in the game. Mega salaries, huge transfer fees, swelling TV deals and billionaire owners can, at times, make the sport seem unappealing and 'broken' to many. The birth of the Premier League saw football in England change financially beyon

The Last Action Hero: Peter Lorimer | @AlexHTheMAX

The passing of Peter Lorimer on Saturday 20th March 2021, at 74, is truly the end of a football era. When shooting from distance was a norm and Scots starred in England, radio presenter  @AlexHTheMAX remembers a childhood hero.  Designed by @binzoboy  on Twitter In the early and mid 1970s the weekday routine for most Scottish schoolboys was simple and straightforward. School -> home -> then out to play football until it was too dark to see the ball.  TV was king, despite only three channels being available, and late Saturday night North of the border was highlights of a top Scottish game on BBC Scotland 'Sportscene' with glimpses of two English matches borrowed from Match of the Day to finish with.  This was a time when it wasn't unusual for top English teams to have three, four or even five Scots in their first eleven and Leeds United had more than most. Infact, when they appeared in the 1975 European Cup Final there were a magnificent seven Scots in the side that t

Welsh Football's Greatest Moments | England 0-1 Wales, 1977

Wales versus England is a favourite fixture for every Welsh football fan. The truth is, the joys are fewer and farther between than we all would like. From Wales' mighty 1907 British Home Championships  victory, the competition was a firm favourite for all British football fans. In 1977, Wales travelled to Wembley, and in an extract from his book:  " Born Under a Grange End Star: The Life, Loves and Many Frustrations of a Cardiff City Fan ", David Collins takes us through his personal, eventful experience of that fine fixture: It was 1977. The punk-rock scene was setting the world alight as my beloved Wales ventured to the twin towers of Wembley to take on England. "Do anything you want to do", they yelled. This was the Modern World. Like a fool, I went along with it.  The decision to embark on this fateful venture was taken whilst passing from The Horse and Groom public house to The Cottage sometime around Christmas 1976. The air was festive, the world was brig

Welsh Football's Greatest Moments | Andorra 1-2 Wales, 2014

Why is this one of Welsh football’s greatest moments? Let’s rewind to the beginning of my support for Welsh football, an evening at the Racecourse in 1976 and a 1-2 loss to England in a friendly. Carry on via Yugoslavia in 1976, Anfield 1977 and there have been so many hopes crushed. Move to the 80s, 90s and 2000s and the promise of the qualifications that never materialised. Positivity therefore was overflowing once more for Euro 2016, this had to be the one, especially with the exciting squad Wales now boasted. Following the qualification draw and fixtures being released, the first task was finding Andorra! I had been to Andorra once before, en-route to the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, so to fly there should have been a doddle. All of this meant that I could begin to plan an epic journey to the European Championships beginning in Andorra and culminating in Paris, 2016. Maybe by train, the trans-Europe express? Although I’m probably barred since the 1978 incident that no-one talk

Welsh Football's Greatest Moments | Wales vs the World, 2002

Growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s, Welsh football was rarely thrust into playground conversation. At both club and international level, the game was falling increasingly behind its British and Irish rivals. Cardiff City and Swansea City were yo-yoing between Division Three and Four (League 1 and 2) and on the international scene, our proud nation failed to break into even the top 60 in FIFA's World Rankings. Failure to compete in both 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 qualifying would mean a change was needed to push the side on to where it needed to be. Following Paul Bodin's penalty miss in 1993 and defeat to Romania at the National Stadium, Welsh football would fall into disarray. John Toshack and Mike Smith would do little to boost morale before the enigmatic Bobby Gould took charge. A disappointing qualification campaign for the 1998 World Cup saw Wales finish only above San Marino in Group 7. Despite scoring an impressive 20 goals in just 8 games, the 21 conceded demonst

Welsh Football's Greatest Moments | Wales 4-2 England, 1938

“ENGLAND TROUNCED BY WALES” One of the most infamous incidents in international football occurred in May 1938, when, under orders, the England team gave the Nazi salute prior to the friendly international against Germany in front of a 100,000 spectators in Berlin. This was a propaganda triumph for Hitler’s Germany but its football team had no answer to the skills of the English, who won convincingly by six goals to three. England could at least claim superiority on the football field and the English press considered its team, with its usual hyperbole, to be the finest in the world. However, a few months later and despite being referred to as ‘the best England team for years’, they were found wanting against Wales in a thrilling international played at Ninian Park, Cardiff, on 22 October 1938. In many ways, the Welsh victory by 4-2 that day should not have been a great surprise. After all, Wales had already won the British Home International Championship on three occasions during the 19