Newcastle Provides Bigger Headlines than Man United as Season Ends
Newcastle Provides Bigger Headlines than Man United as Season Ends

It says a lot, for better or for worse, that Manchester United’s eighteenth championship sent barely a ripple through the footballing press.  Most headlines read, “Man United 0 – Arsenal 0,” with United’s Premier League-winning feat mentioned in the sub header.  It seems the Premier League ended some time ago, […]

Tevez, Ronaldo Give Ammo to the ABU Crowd
Tevez, Ronaldo Give Ammo to the ABU Crowd

Football loves dominant sides. Think of Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal of the 1920s, ravaging England with the WM formation; Real Madrid of the early days of the European Cup, with Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas wreaking havoc on unsuspecting continental champions; Liverpool getting comfy on their “fucking perch,” winning four […]

It’s Arrogant to Call Internationals Boring
It’s Arrogant to Call Internationals Boring

Gentleman, let us put away childish things. Yes, international breaks can provide some godawful football.  Yes, it doesn’t seem fair for a player to risk injury for a team he plays with only five times a year and miss games for the club that employs him on a weekly basis.  […]

Capello Owns Critics on Owen Decision
Capello Owns Critics on Owen Decision

Fabio Capello’s quiet demeanor and considered words give him an aura of deep intelligence and authority, so much so it can sometimes seems he’s foreseen everything through 2010 and beyond. But this week the aura’s faded a bit under over doubts about his decision last week to call-up perma knee-knacked […]

England Respects David Beckham, Why Can’t We?
England Respects David Beckham, Why Can’t We?

Say what you will about David Beckham, but at least the man isn’t on Twitter. Too bad in a way, because Beckham epitomizes the Internet age.  Thirty years ago, football’s ignominious sideshow used to be known only to players and pub owners; today, David Beckham has made the 24 hour […]

Villa’s Poor Form Should Give England Fans Pause
Villa’s Poor Form Should Give England Fans Pause

Title race back on, blah blah blah, Aston Villa torn apart like a dingo on a newborn, yada yada yada, England expects ahead of international week—wait just one minute there, pal. It would be safe to say that Villa is a sort of stand-in England B side in the Premier […]

The Premier League is Not, in Fact, a League
The Premier League is Not, in Fact, a League

Those of us round long enough to remember the Ipswichs, Blackburns and QPRs of old running rampant in the early days of the Premier League may have winced listening to Setanta’s commentators gag with delight as Dossena’s lobbed long ball made it Liverpool 4, Manchester United 1.  “This is why […]

Premiership’s Big Four Dominate Europe Because They’re the Big Four: News?
Premiership’s Big Four Dominate Europe Because They’re the Big Four: News?

Jonathan Wilson, the inimitable scholar of tactical mechanics with his recent Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics (a book I included in a piece on tactical reductionism for this website) has made a very convincing argument why English Premier League clubs have come to dominate the Champions League […]

Setanta’s Football Matters Reminds Us Football is for the Kids
Setanta’s Football Matters Reminds Us Football is for the Kids

North Americans don’t get much in the way of involving chit chat shows covering the Premier League. Sky’s CNN talking-head-over-ticker-tape style sports news is good for watching endless loops of Steven Gerrard looking forlorn as Liverpool’s title chances evaporate into thin air, but it’s hardly the sort of thing that […]

Man United Quadruple is Bittersweet Possibility
Man United Quadruple is Bittersweet Possibility

It’s the first of March and although there is everything to be decided, you can smell it in the air. This could be the year United do what hasn’t been accomplished by a British club since Celtic in 1967: winning the League, FA, and European Cups, in addition to the […]

Tactics and the Modern Game: the Perils of Overstating the Case
Tactics and the Modern Game: the Perils of Overstating the Case

And my particular bugbear, this week, is bullshit-artists who try to over-complicate a perfectly simple game by waffling on interminably about formations and tactics; holding midfielders, players in the hole, galloping wing-backs blah, blah, blah snooze yawn in a bid to make out they’re more clever than everyone else. There […]

Aston Villa Reminds Us What Football is All About
Aston Villa Reminds Us What Football is All About

You may have heard that football is about striving for glory, trying your best to win whatever the circumstances, and pleasing the fans by giving it your all each and every fixture.  If you heard that, the person you heard it from is a liar.  Instead, as Aston Villa’s surrender […]

Isn’t there Something Funnier than Special 1 TV?
Isn’t there Something Funnier than Special 1 TV?

The Football Comedy is closely related to the Football Film: both are nearly impossible to pull off and both tend to leave fans deeply divided.  In my experience, football comedy is usually best when it targets soccer’s absurd periphery, like When Saturday Comes’ tongue-in-cheek reporting on money in modern English […]

An Interview with Steven Wells
An Interview with Steven Wells

Steven Wells, scholar of punk, smasher of football’s sacred cows, and scribe for guardian.co.uk, FourFourTwo and Philadelphia Weekly, is not one to mince words when it comes to the prejudices held about football on both sides of the UK/USA divide.  Much like EPL Talk, he is one of those rare […]