A New Derby Wing Man

Posted by on Jun 25, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Lee Croft first came to significant national attention following a scything tackle on Nicky Hunt in a BBC televised cup tie between Bolton and Oldham in 2005: a combine harvester of a lunge that seemed a personal tribute to Andoni Goikoetxea, the legendary “Beast of Bilbao”. The youngster was on loan to the Latics at the time from Manchester City, but this unhappy incident could not have been more misleading. …

Sears on for a Catalogue of Goals?

Posted by on Jun 21, 2009 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

West Ham have had problems with homesick players before so Freddie Sears opting to stay in the big city with Crystal Palace is perhaps understandable. Who can forget Joey Beauchamp’s refusal to stray too far from his beloved Oxford dog track back in the day, or Florin Răducioiu’s love of Harvey Nick’s? Could Neil Warnock have fancied raining on Sheffield Wednesday’s parade out of spite? He probably didn’t even want …

What next for Danny Fox?

Posted by on Jun 20, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Coventry left back Danny Fox struts around the pitch and has the swagger of a player who feels he deserves to be playing in a higher league. A fan of the white tape and white boot combo, popularised by Ronaldo: a style solution that lends a player the air of an ice skater, the emphasis on grace and elegance about the pitch, it certainly convinces: Fox had an outstanding first …

Another Iberian by the Mumbles?

Posted by on Jun 19, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Paulo Sousa as a player was a true European superstar of the nineties and a pivotal member of Portugal’s dazzling World Youth Championship win in 1991; although as a group, they were surpassed in achievement at full international level by the Scolari line ups of the following decade. It was at club level that the unhurried and dynamic midfielder gained most success, with back to back European Cup wins in …

The Unfortunates of the Second Tier

Posted by on Jun 18, 2009 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

BS Johnson’s The Unfortunates features a football reporter visiting the City Ground in Nottingham. The title of the book could almost be reinterpreted as a comment on the way Championship sides like Forest are viewed by the media at large: forgotten giants destined to last out their days in the Purgatory of sub-Premier League football.

But there is another side to the story: in truth, the Championship is perhaps Europe’s …