Wales

Wales

I had given up. I had given up on Wales qualifying for a tournament, and that was OK. In the same way that most men give up on becoming astronauts or professional footballers, I’d come to the conclusion that Wales featuring in a Panini sticker album was never going to happen. It’s a well worn cliche, but supporting Wales has never been about results, as we’ve achieved very few of them […]

Commonwealth Games Football Tournament

Commonwealth Games Football Tournament

After writing a post about what a World Cup for the 33rd to 64th best teams in the world would look like (you can read that post via this link), it was suggested to me that I should do similarly for the Commonwealth Games. As there appears to be no official rankings for Commonwealth football sides I decided to use the FIFA World Rankings to select the 32 sides that […]

World Cup B Tournament

World Cup B Tournament

What if  FIFA decided to run a second competition featuring the second best 32 teams in the world? Who would compete in it? What would the groups look like? Based on the qualification for the 2014 World Cup I’ve set out who the best 32 sides who didn’t qualify for the World Cup would be. What follows is an outline for an international football tournament for the 33rd to 64th […]

World Cup 2014 UEFA Qualification – Average Attendances

Despite many English football fans claiming to be disgruntled with their national side, they are the best supported side in Europe. Although England didn’t always fill Wembley Stadium during qualification for the World Cup, they normally got pretty close and come out top of the attendances ladder for Brazil 2014 qualification. Looking at the attendances by group shows that France & Spain’s group came out on top. This is almost […]

Margaret Thatcher and the curse of the Norwegian commentator

Only 32 short years after this was recorded, everyone mentioned in this famous commentary has now passed away. http://www.youtube.com/embed/PqZTP8-8wIs “We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten England 2-1 in football!! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten England! England, birthplace of giants. Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana–we have beaten […]

Nationality of players in the Premier League and Football League

The nationality of players within the Premier League and Football League is a subject I regularly return to. It’s not because I’m a believer that foreign players are a blight on our national sport, but because I find the exotic nature of the nationalities represented an interesting discussion point. If you believe that the English national side suffers due to the number of foreign players in its league you should […]

Africa Cup of Nations 2013: The players

With the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 almost here I thought I’d take a look at the players who make up the sixteen squads taking part in the competition. Some of the graphics are interactive, so feel free to have a click around. The above graphic was made with infogr.am and the data came from the ever reliable wikipedia.

Integrating penalty shoot-outs into a nation’s psychology

Integrating penalty shoot-outs into a nation’s psychology

In 1252 King Henry III enacted the Assize of Arms. This act decreed that all Englishmen between the ages of 15 and 60 must, by law, equip themselves with a bow and arrow. This ensured that Englishmen would be familiar with the weapon, and when war inevitably arrived (inevitably against the French) the populace would be ready to fight back. Incredible victories such as Agincourt in 1415 (the 13th century’s […]

World Cup 1978: Tunisia

World Cup 1978: Tunisia

In 1990 Cameroon were rightly lauded for their swashbuckling run to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup. Their flair, power and pace impressed and surprised in equal measure. Many regard Cameroon’s excellent World Cup in Italy as the breakthrough moment for African football. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story as in the late 1970s Tunisia, one of the best teams in Africa, played some wonderful football in Argentina’s […]