Leicester City fan Chris Francis extols the virtues of the English second tier…
Bloody hell am I excited. The football season is here already, but this isn’t the beginning of any old league. This weekend we get to watch the start of the most unpredictable league in the land: The Championship.
Over the past few weeks we’ve heard fans from pretty much every team talk about how they think they could reach the play-offs this year, and as ever no one has any real idea as to who will do well and who will fail and fade away.
The Championship is the best league in England because of this unknown quantity. Leicester, Forest, Blackburn, Bolton, and Middlesbrough were ‘the teams to watch’ last year, and it was a pretty poor show from the lot of them, as they finished 6th, 8th, 17th, 7th, and 16th respectively.
Instead, we had Cardiff winning the thing with a rather ugly, if efficient, brand of football, Hull in second and Palace winning at Wembley. In their place we have three teams joining the madhouse who should all fit in pretty nicely. Continue reading
So long Wigan Athletic, and thanks for all the
fish end of season memories. As Roberto Martinez’s men slip into the Championship, with an unlikely FA Cup under their arm for their efforts, Simon Smith salutes their greatest hits with a hypothetical squad list of players who have excelled at the DW over the last eight years…
After eight years in the Premier League that nobody could have predicted back in 2005, Wigan Athletic will depart the glitz and glamour of the top flight leaving us with the memories of so many exciting but fundamentally flawed teams. I’m not sure which is harder, choosing the creative players to omit or the defenders to include… Nonetheless, here’s an ultimate Wigan XI from the last eight years that reflects the nature of the team: a controversial and uncompromising 3-2-5 to have the purist salivating and the Italian fan crying with rage, sheer rage at the audacity to play so open! Continue reading
Manchester United supporter Greg Johnson accompanied his City-supporting father to the FA Cup Final to watch Wigan Athletic triumph, tradition fade and football win the day…
Emerging from underground, the first thing that hits you about Wembley is its size, looming impossibly large in the middle-distance, with its craning white arch. Strangely, however, as you approach the stadium it almost begins to feel out of scale, like a dolly zoom warping its 90,000 capacity into a confusingly manageable frame.
Unmistakably large but hardly intimidating, the venue, shrinking in stature with every step, fits the occasion perfectly. Once grand enough to occupy a whole date on the national events calendar, FA Cup Final Day is now FA Cup Final Evening; shunted into the primetime TV slot with the early distraction of an afternoon Premier League fixture to contend with.
I was a Manchester United fan in stealth mode, attending my first fixture at the new Wembley alongside my City supporting father. Aged four he took me to see Denis Irwin, Paul Ince and Eric Cantona at Old Trafford a number of times thanks to spare tickets gained through work. One of those games happened to be the 9-0 dismantling of Ipswich Town – an experience that painted my impressionable, glory-hunting young mind the colour red.
Having accidentally fallen for Manchester City’s main rivals while he introduced me to my love of football, joining him for the game was the least I could do, and besides; father and son, the FA Cup final, Wembley: in many ways this was a dream I’d long wished to realise. Continue reading
The False Nine debutant, Nathan Carr, takes a look at some of the emerging talents in La Liga…
Many are firmly aware of La Liga’s never-ending conveyor-belt of scintillating talent – but while the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, inevitably, continue to enliven Spanish football we mustn’t forget those youthful, fresh-faced folk who are waiting to set the stage alight. Here are three emerging talents from Spain’s top-flight. Continue reading
The False Nine’s David Dodds previews Group D in the African Cup of Nations…
This is the so-called Golden Generation of Ivorian football, and it’s little surprise that this is the case given how stacked their squad is with players who have European pedigree. Continue reading
Last week The False Nine brought you an assessment of the ‘false nine’ role in football. This week editor James Dutton looks at one of the most-maligned proponents of the old-school centre-forward…
Have you heard the one about Emile Heskey? Continue reading