Football

Greg Dyke and the UKIPisation of English Football

Greg Dyke and the UKIPisation of English Football

Formed in the autumn of 2013, last May the England Commission – established by the Football Association to improve English football and aid the national team, and headed by FA Chairman Greg Dyke – published its first report. The report’s two flagship proposals – B-teams for Premier League clubs, and ‘Strategic Loan Partnerships’ between the top two and lower two professional…

Newcastle 2 – 1 Chelsea: Banks of Four Beat a Fluid Midfield

Going into Saturday’s match at St. James’ Park, Chelsea squatted imperiously atop the Premier League. Undefeated after fourteen games, and with thirty-six points thanks to eleven wins and three draws, they remained six points clear of second place. While a revitalised Manchester City – last season’s champions, and Chelsea’s main contenders for this season’s Premier League crown – had closed the…

Premier League 2014-15 Preview

Premier League 2014-15 Preview

Arsenal Arsenal led the Premier League for the majority of last season, but fell away towards the latter stages and finished seven points behind champions Manchester City. Mesut Ozil’s signing last summer served as a statement of intent which – as much as Ozil’s capabilities on the pitch – seemed to spur the rest of the squad to significantly improve…

A Sporting and Cultural History of the 2014 World Cup

A Sporting and Cultural History of the 2014 World Cup

—————— In five parts and totalling about 15,000 words – analysing the final of the tournament, viewing all thirty-two competing nations, and offering a wider perspective comprising fashion, politics, music, technology, and football’s myriad engagements with popular culture – my site may provide what is, at this point in time, the definitive history of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The…

The World Cup in Wider Culture

While on the field, the 2014 World Cup saw the rise of new superstars, the decline of footballing philosophies, the interplay between varying formations, and appeared to demonstrate the narrowing of traditional power gaps in the international game – in the knockout stages, from the round of sixteen through to the final, only three of fifteen matches were won by a…

Evaluating the World Cup: Groups E-H

Evaluating the World Cup: Groups E-H

France An indifferent World Cup for France was encapsulated by their 1-0 defeat in the quarter-finals against Germany, in one of the tournament’s most disappointing and uninspiring games. France had started the World Cup in blistering form, scoring eight goals in their opening matches against Honduras and Switzerland. Karim Benzema proved particularly impressive, scoring three of the goals and finding…

What’s Wrong with Brazil? Evaluating the World Cup: Groups A-D

What’s Wrong with Brazil? Evaluating the World Cup: Groups A-D

This first set of evaluations of the teams who competed at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil comprises the participants of groups A-D, listed in the order in which they finished the group stage. I explore how the teams’ tournaments progressed, and suggest the course of their futures. And in this first piece, I analyse at length the range of…

Germany 1 – 0 Argentina: An Analysis of the 2014 World Cup Final

Germany 1 – 0 Argentina: An Analysis of the 2014 World Cup Final

So the 2014 World Cup final took place in Rio’s Estádio Maracanã, Sunday 13 July, kicking off at 4 pm local time. Germany lined up in a 4-3-3 formation. With Manuel Neuer in goal, the back four comprised Benedikt Howedes at left-back, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng in the centre of defence, and Philipp Lahm at right-back, expected to fulfil a…

The Quarter-Finals of Wimbledon and the World Cup

The Quarter-Finals of Wimbledon and the World Cup

After almost three weeks of football and one week and a half of tennis, competitions have fallen into alignment, and we find ourselves at the quarter-final stage of both Wimbledon and the World Cup. While some of Wimbledon’s ladies have already progressed on into the semi-finals, the gentlemen’s quarter-finals are all scheduled to be played later today, on Centre Court…