Unexpected Rivalries 8: Sheffield United and West Ham United

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Unexpected Rivalries | One Comment
Unexpected Rivalries 8: Sheffield United and West Ham United

It is now almost seven years since Uniteds Sheffield and West Ham faced up to one another on the football pitch, the Blades gaining something of a pyrrhic victory over the Hammers with Michael Tonge described in one unmentionable daily newspaper as having turned in a performance of ‘supernova intensity’ – hard to believe given that gentleman’s typically languid style.

At that point, the match seemed little more than …

Unexpected Rivalries 7: Stoke City and Cardiff City

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Unexpected Rivalries | No Comments
Unexpected Rivalries 7: Stoke City and Cardiff City

Last month saw Cardiff triumph in the Premier League’s first South Wales derby. Tonight, the artists formerly known as The Bluebirds will reacquaint themselves with another old foe – yet their grudge with Stoke City, which stretches back to the two clubs’ dark days in the third tier, has its roots not in geography but in betrayal, bitterness, and one enigmatic man’s backside…

Pitching up in the Valleys …

Unexpected Rivalries 6: Leeds United and Chelsea

Posted by on Dec 19, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unexpected Rivalries | 11 Comments
Unexpected Rivalries 6: Leeds United and Chelsea

After nearly a decade since the clubs’ last meeting, the press have been doing their best this week to stoke up the ghosts of rivalries past ahead of tonight’s Capital One Cup quarter final between Leeds and Chelsea at Elland Road.

Frank Lampard admits that he felt the need to inform his foreign team-mates of the historical enmity in case they find themselves upended and bewildered on the northern turf, …

Unexpected rivalries 5: Newcastle Utd and Nottingham Forest

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Uncategorized, Unexpected Rivalries | 10 Comments
Unexpected rivalries 5: Newcastle Utd and Nottingham Forest

I can pinpoint, to the day, when I first became aware of the animosity between my own club, Newcastle Utd, and Nottingham Forest: 16th May 1998. Up until then, I’d been relatively ambivalent about the Reds. If anything, I’d been inclined to look on them kindly for their part in what remains the single most enjoyable day I’ve ever experienced as a Newcastle supporter, one year earlier, when a 5-0 …

Unexpected rivalries 4: Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in Unexpected Rivalries | No Comments
Unexpected rivalries 4: Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion

The top two teams in the Midlands meet on Saturday.

That in itself should mean a game with plenty of seasonal spice – only there are other reasons why matches between West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City have a particularly feisty edge.

It’s partly down to the astonishing hoodoo one team has over the other; their 20-year league record reads: Played 26, Stoke wins 18, draws 8, West Brom …

MENU