FLASHBACK: David Beckham vs Greece

Fifteen years after David Beckham’s brilliant free-kick against Greece, James Dutton looks back at the moment that defined the England captain…

In English football there has always been a fascination with the individual. From the cult of the manager to the star player, the influence of one has often been viewed as greater than the collective.

It is why the job of England manager continues to be sold as among the biggest in world football; the idea that one man can turn around years of infrastructural complacency and negligence.

The Roy of the Rovers phenomenon that has gripped English football for over 50 years still dominates. It is why Manchester United ‘owe it’ to Wayne Rooney to fit him into the first eleven, why dropping Steven Gerrard in his final season at Liverpool became such a seismic issue.

All-action super-heroes and chest-thumping talismanic captains are what England specialise in. And yet, it is a country without a major honour in 50 years, who haven’t since defeated a major nation at the knockout stage of a tournament in normal time. Continue reading

Greek Football – A Tale of One City?


The False Nine’s Simon Smith looks at the current state of play in Greek football, in a season that hasn’t followed the usual script… 

Olympiacos and Panathinaikos: two Champions League regulars we all have at least a bit of familiarity with.  Champions League group stage perennial drop outs, they are the shop window of Greek football to the rest of Europe: in fact with the possible exception of AEK Athens, what does the rest of the world actually know about the Greek Superleague?  Continue reading