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For Cottage and Country

In the fifty-odd years I have followed Fulham I cannot recall a game in which two of our sons were skippers facing each other in a World Cup game, as happened last night when Bryan Ruiz’s Costa Rica put out Karagounis’ Greece. Before I get a comment, I am talking tournament stage as [...]

June 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

Italian view

Like yourselves, we are bitterly disappointed with our second successive poor performance in the World Cup. My Florentine friends have been texting me angrily that this would not have have happened if Rossi had been selected. I agree. He, not Cassano nor Immobile, was the type of forward who would [...]

June 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

This sporting summer

I read somewhere recently that watching three or more hours of television a day doubled someone’s risk of suffering a stroke, or of their ‘meat and two veg’ dropping off, or some similar medical horror story – which makes me slightly surprised that I’m still here at the computer keyboard [...]

June 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

What’s it all about, Alfie?

Yesterday, according to media reports, the Uruguayan soccer team manager Oscar Tabarez gave a press conference in which he accused FIFA of making Louis Suarez a scapegoat and claimed the global criticism of the World Cup ‘biting’ incident in the Uruguay v Italy match had been whipped up by [...]

June 28, 2014 // 1 Comment

Post-round round-up

The qualifying round in the World Cup is a bit like losing your virginity; you want to get over it with the minimum of embarrassment. It’s not that accurate an indicator of who will win. This tends to be the team that gathers momentum. Italy, for example, only got 3 points in 1982 in the [...]

June 27, 2014 // 0 Comments

It’s the whole thing, stupid!

Wimbledon wouldn’t be Wimbledon without the odd ‘manufactured’ media controversy. Early contenders include an ungracious Frenchman – I won’t even bother to look up his name – who got beat and flounced out of SW19 saying he hated the tournament anyway. Good riddance to him. [...]

June 27, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Tanner Report

I was in my local butchers, deciding whether it would be a Porterhouse or rib eye steak, and chewing the cud with Colin there. We laughed about the latest excuse: the selling of the playing fields. Of course we all know that the favelas are replete with fine pitches and sports pavilions. He said [...]

June 25, 2014 // 9 Comments

That same old story

As regular readers of my sports pieces will be aware, although cricket was one of my boyhood obsessions, it no longer holds much interest for me. I put this down largely to the world constantly evolving – a concept which, generally-speaking, I embrace – and me gradually falling off the [...]

June 24, 2014 // 0 Comments

Who’s to blame?

In the media coverage of English national football, post defeat and debacle, it’s vital to have someone to blame. In the first 48 hours it was unclear who this would be: Roy Hodgson is affable, good with the press; it was not the younger players but the experienced ones, notably Gerrard, that [...]

June 24, 2014 // 0 Comments

Diary of a modest punter

Some of my gambling friends mock me for the small wagers I lay, saying I will never make any money but it’s the converse that matters to me – namely I will never lose that much.  The combination of ill judgment, incompetence and bad luck – of which every gambler, big or small, [...]

June 23, 2014 // 0 Comments

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