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Claude Makélélé and the importance of knowing your role

Both overrated and underrated, Claude Makélélé’s public perception changes with each passing year. Perhaps it’s the idea that we’ve already seen his upgrade in the form of the high-speed blur that is…

The flight of the Magpies: star strikers and broken wings

ENGLISH TEAMS ARE OFTEN CRITICISED FOR THE LACK OF A SOLID GAME-PLAN. There’s sometimes a dearth of continuity caused by the constant culling of managers, leading to confusion as players have to…

Why is West Ham’s academy providing diminishing returns?

Will West Ham ever return to the days where local lads played beautiful football among their peers, with many born close to the stadium itself? It’s highly unlikely, but that won’t stop…

Abuse in 140 characters: Twitter, football and racism

Football isn’t politically correct. It’s not an ideal location for discourse, and it’s not the best place to hear enlightened views about modern society. It’s a sport where telling the referee what…

The striking similarities between Arsenal and England

If I were to argue that England were the Arsenal of international football, who would I be insulting? On face value it’s Arsenal right? Some may say England. The answer is neither,…

Has José Mourinho become a victim of his own success?

HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS in football management? If it’s just about emerging victorious, José Mourinho is up there with the best over the past decade. There’s no doubt that José Mourinho is…

José Mourinho and the problem of siege mentality

IT IS NO GREAT SECRET that José Mourinho is fond of mind games. Throughout his two spells in charge of Chelsea, whenever things have been going against him – and even when things…