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Glenn Billingham

Senior Writer

Gary McAllister’s Indian Summer at Liverpool

The opening goal set a hypnotically frantic tone. Captivatingly familiar for a derby game. Quality’s void filled with the excruciating knowledge that something is always about to happen. In clearing a David Unsworth…

The making of Luis Suárez: a year in Groningen

As featured on Guardian Sport Despite its obvious and very pragmatic function, the humble umbrella has proven itself more foe than friend to football managers. The modern game’s umbrella-related history is short and…

The wizardry of Gianfranco Zola

The thing with being an instantly likeable footballer is that it’s oddly linked with being consigned to relative obscurity. As a mercurially gifted playmaker, Gianfranco Zola dazzled fans wherever he played. He was a magician.…

De Klassieker: the Ajax-Feyenoord rivalry

TRADITIONALLY, ‘while Amsterdam dreams, Rotterdam works’ – or so the saying goes. Extending the stereotype, Ajax Amsterdam often appear to mirror their hedonistic city’s defiant confidence. It appears – wrongly – as…

The decline of Dutch ball-playing centre-backs

BARRY HULSHOFF – beard unkempt, socks rolled down and a mullet with a life of its own – was something of a prototype. Looking something like the love child of Rod Stewart…

Northampton Town and the Swinging Sixties

NORTHAMPTON IS A perennial middle-of-the-road town. Located almost equidistantly between Birmingham and London, it represents an interestingly unmemorable stopover. Sitting staunchly somewhere between underwhelmingly attractive and downright ugly, Northampton is neither poor…

Kenny Dalglish: a reluctant hero of contrasting qualities

Illustration by Federico Manasse Kenny Dalglish is a man of contrasting qualities. He’s a deceptive five foot eight inches, yet immense in stature. He is often adorned with a seemingly prickly demeanour,…

Johan Cruyff: talent spotter, manager, orchestrator and genius

Illustration by Federico Manasse The multifarious sphere of footballing history encompasses many greats. Some prove greatness via a trophy cabinet, some gain notoriety for a single goal or piece of skill, some…

The hypnotic exploits of Carlos Valderrama

Illustration by Federico Manasse Watching Carlos Valderrama in slow motion provides quite the spectacle. His trademark hair bestows a bounce of almost seductive quality, perhaps only equal to that of a particularly…

Jan Mølby: Liverpool’s original pass master

THERE WAS A TIME, NOT LONG AGO, when footballers were permitted the luxury of vastly different physical forms and appearances. Today’s identikit toolbox of tattoos, ruggedly groomed facial hair, short back and…

The renaissance of Ajax, a superclub back on the map

Pareidolia – the perceiving of familiarity where none exists – is a more common psychological phenomenon than you might think. Frequently reported examples include; finding images in cloud formations, visualising a man…

Frank Rijkaard: the reluctant one

Delving into the treasure troves of Dutch football’s history is an often emotive and enriching experience. Juxtaposed to the relative mediocrity of the present, the Netherlands’ footballing past showcases a talent pool…