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. “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 […]

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 […]

Who will win Euro 2012?

The European Championships are now only a few days away, so we at Spirit of Mirko have decided to predict the entire tournament. Rather than predicting the results by analysing each individual side, their players, formations, recent form, we have decided to use hard, cold facts. So, for this set of predictions we have used the previous meeting for each side to predict which side will win. Group A Greece […]

Euro 2012 squad analysis: Part Two

Rather than bombard you all with information I thought I’d split the Euro 2012 squad analysis into two parts. I’ll try and concentrate more on the players than the squads in this section. Top goalscorers per nation Croatia – Eduardo (22) Czech Republic – Milan Baros (40) Denmark – Dennis Rommedahl (21) England – Wayne Rooney (28) Spain – Fernando Torres (27) France – Karim Benzema (13) Germany – Miroslav […]

Euro 2012: Squad analysis

The sixteen nations have now named their twenty-three man squads for Euro 2012. Three hundred and sixty-eight players will travel to the tournament in Poland & Ukraine, some experienced, some young, some with over hundred caps, some with none or very few. The following table shows a list of Euro 2012 countries, the total number of caps in their squad, the average caps per player, the number of international goals […]

Wales vs Montenegro & England

During the final days of Mark Hughes reign at the helm of the Wales national team when the marvellous win in Helsinki and a fully deserved victory over Italy were a fading memory, Welsh fans would often travel to games more in hope than expectation.  Then John Toshack came and  killed the hope. An inevitable slide down the world rankings ensued with defeats home and away to Russia, Germany and […]