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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

End of term report

What to make of England’s rugby tour to New Zealand this month? In advance it was viewed both by the England coaching hierarchy and UK pundits as a chance to make a statement of intent as regards next year’s Rugby World Cup – who can forget the Martin Johnson team’s 13-15 victory at [...]

June 23, 2014 // 0 Comments

View from Italy

Here in Italy we have been shocked by the defeat by Costa Rica but all is not lost and we think we can beat Uruguay in the crunch game on Tuesday. Our problems are defensive, which is surprising given our reputation. Giorgio Chielini is the worst culprit being now slow and making clumsy challenges. [...]

June 22, 2014 // 0 Comments

Fixtures list

The fact that we are in a different division after 13 years does not affect my excitement when the fixture list is published. I particularly looked out for Brentford and Brighton and we are playing both teams in late November. We always seem to play Norwich and beat them at the end of the season [...]

June 21, 2014 // 0 Comments

Another debacle but not another debate

The main reason for England’s defeat last night will not be debated – it never is – namely, a press campaign revolving around Wayne Rooney. This was good for Rooney but bad for the camp. No other national media is so obsessed with individuals.We were once with Gascoigne and now [...]

June 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

Don’t waste it!

“The funny thing is, I find the more I practice the luckier I get” – Gary Player’s famous response to someone who had suggested that a brilliant shot to the green during his just-finished round had involved a slice of good fortune – was far more than just a slick response to a cheeky [...]

June 17, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Rooney debate

For years Wayne Rooney has been the dominating story of English football: some might say distracting even destructive are more accurate adjectives. Whether its  his metatarsal fracture or contract negotiations with threats of leaving somehow this takes precedence over all. The football press is [...]

June 16, 2014 // 0 Comments

Italy’s win

I thought Italy ‘s win was merited. Roy Hodgson is a highly respected coach here after two terms at Inter Milan and one at Udinese. His philosophy is old-fashioned catanaccio, the rigid defensive style perfected by both Milan clubs in the 60s, so I was surprised by the adventurous, pacy side [...]

June 15, 2014 // 0 Comments

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