“He’s a novice. He should keep his opinions to Japanese football.”

The famous welcome Alex Ferguson extended to Arsene Wenger might have been one of his less nuanced attempts at mind games, but it was also an opinion quietly shared by many at the club who’d appointed him back in September 1996. Read the rest of this entry »



If ever a contest was in need of a distraction, it was the dour Danish Supaliga struggle between also-rans Randers and VF Silkeborg in August 2016. Midway through the second half, one hell of a diversion duly arrived when a bald and very much naked middle-aged man sprang onto the turf, bounded athletically round the pitch and entertained spectators with handstands and cartwheels while avoiding the pursuing stewards. Read the rest of this entry »


No World Cup is complete without its underdog story, and Italia ‘90’s was Cameroon. Theirs was a tale with everything; from their shocking (and hilarious) opening game near-literal scalp of the world champions, to the iconic wiggling of their 38-year-old star turn, Roger Milla, to their history-making feat of becoming the first African side to reach the quarter finals.

The tournament’s other fairytale however, was arguably even more remarkable. Costa Rica might not have gone as far as the Indomitable Lions, but in many ways their road had been longer. Read the rest of this entry »

Picture the scene: Paulo Dybala and Claudio Marchisio stride into the Juventus dressing room. Life is sweet in Turin. They’re top of Serie A. They’ve breezed through their Champions League group. Yet the duo are here to say their goodbyes. Arrivederci, Gigi. Adios, Gonzalo. For they have heard the clarion call of the English Championship. And those play-offs won’t win themselves… Read the rest of this entry »

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Exotic. Mysterious. Sexy. Not words you’d readily associate with Roy Hodgson. Indeed, that’s been a big part of Mr Roy’s appeal in recent times. He is English football’s equivalent of a pair of oven gloves or a trip to the garden centre. Familiar. Unremarkable. Safe. Read the rest of this entry »


Tasked with returning Hibernian to the Scottish Premier League in 1998, Alex McCleish apparently thumbed through some early 90s sticker books. He was in search of a statement signing, an experienced yet flashy name to send the message that Easter Road was the place to be, even when hosting Clydebank. Read the rest of this entry »


“Forget about the money and everything else. If we go up, we’ll face 10 months of misery”

Steve Coppell, 1997


How did you ring in the Millennium? Did you have a quiet one in with your loved ones, watching the fireworks smug in the knowledge that the end of a century was indeed nothing special? Did you raise a dignified glass to the next 1000 years? Or did you go hell for leather, embarking on a path of debauchery so depraved as to make the video for Smack My Bitch Up look like a Richard Curtis production? Read the rest of this entry »

5th June 2015: it was football’s equivalent of the Saddam statue toppling, or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man exploding in a flurry of crossed streams and gooey confectionary. Just a week after being re-elected for a fifth term as FIFA president, Joseph S. Blatter suddenly announced his resignation, with the FBI net closing around his cronies, and the widespread corruption many had assumed was endemic apparently set to finally be exposed. Read the rest of this entry »


Despite – or possibly because of – the absence of all four home nations for the first time since 1938, the 15th world cup finals delivered goals, shocks, controversy, tantrums, scandals and milestones in abundance. Read the rest of this entry »

Charity Shield, Wembley, 8th August 1992


Life should have been good for the two teams who strode out at Wembley in August 1992 to bring the curtain up on the glitzy new world of the Premier League. Read the rest of this entry »