Archive for the ‘International Football’ Category

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Unless England get another chance to play every game at Wembley, which nowadays certainly wouldn’t guarantee them anything, they will be nowhere near winning another World Cup.

Considering that they haven’t come close to winning anything in all that time, this is a very sad indictment of the nation who like to keep reminding the world that they invented football. (more…)

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Is scouting the most difficult job in the Premier League? We suppose it depends on what your brief is. If, for example, we had been sent to watch Glasgow Celtic three or four years ago, we would have noticed two standout players who we would recommend be playing at a top six club. (more…)

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Eden Hazard is wanted by Real Madrid. Big deal. Real Madrid, like many other big clubs, has a scouting network which only seems capable of finding world class players after they have become world class.

Whether or not Hazard wants to go to Madrid is, to an extent, irrelevant. Usually when Real want a player they get that player. If Hazard does opt for the riches in Spain it should be seen as a cop out by the Chelsea fans. (more…)

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Just as the Premier League season nears it’s pulsating climax it happens. What happens, (we don’t hear you ask)?  What happens is one of those pesky international breaks.

It is called a break because the players, particularly the English ones, can have a rest. All of the ones not included in their national team squad can sit, feet up, and watch the dross churned out by their so-called “betters“.

All of the players selected by their national team manager can also have a rest as the pace of the games, at least those involving England, will border somewhere between snail and tortoise. (more…)

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Like a chain smoker reaching the airport exit after an eight hour flight, like a shopaholic after a particularly long bank holiday weekend during which all of the shops have been closed, like a fish returning to water after almost too long out of it, these are all experiences which are accompanied, at some stage, with a massive sigh of relief. To return to normal having been out of the comfort zone for so long is a blessing. Just ask the fish! If speech were possible it would surely mop it’s brow, say “phew” and thank it’s lucky stars that it were still around to tell the tale. (more…)

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Czechoslovakia, Greece, Denmark and Portugal spring to mind as relatively recent winners of the European Championships. None of the four could be considered as serial winners of competitions.

Wales also stayed in the last competition for longer than England and even managed a 3-1 win over Belgium while England couldn’t even scrape a draw with Iceland and exited the tournament in their usual fashion, ie when there was still plenty of it left! (more…)

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In a normal job anybody, especially somebody in a senior position, who fell below the required standard would be sacked. Their contract would not necessarily be paid off, as it is with football managers, because falling below the required level would be seen as a breach of that contract and, therefore, a sackable offence. (more…)

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Manchester United fans do not have a lot of time for Wayne Rooney at present. When he originally signed for the club he was accepted quite quickly, helped, no doubt, by scoring a hat-trick in his first game, a Champion’s League match against Fenerbahcé.

He then went on to have a few relatively successful years even though he could only watch as better players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez moved on to more success. He never reached their level despite his early promise. It appeared that he reached his comfort zone and stayed there. (more…)

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Having spent most of my working life scraping a living in the sales industry I have met, over the years, my fair share of blindly optimistic people. It helps, apparently, to think that something will go well even when, to the unbiased observer, it obviously will not.

I have nothing against optimism and positive mental attitude but, as with most things, there is a time and a place. (more…)

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It just shows what a sorry state the England national team is in. Sam Allardyce parts company with them for a mistake which was, basically, getting himself involved in a sting operation by a newspaper designed to prove that Allardyce is, after all, as human as most other people.

It was not a mistake over which he should have lost his job which will be proved in future when he is given another job. There’s hypocrisy for you! One man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that. (more…)