Tottenham Come of Age on Golden Night in Turin

When you visit Juventus Stadium what first surprises you is its relative lack of size. In the brave new world of billion pound amphitheatres, two-way tunnel mirrors and cheese rooms, 41,000 seats isn’t a great many for comfortably the most successful club in Italian football history or a team currently pushing for a seventh consecutive league title and third Champions League final in four years. Continue reading “Tottenham Come of Age on Golden Night in Turin”


Superb Sexton Keeps Ireland’s Dream Alive

From the moment this year’s Six Nations fixtures first hit the feverish eyes of the game’s followers, many looked upon round five’s skirmish between England and Ireland at Twickenham as the tie that would likely decide where both the title and, quite possibly, the grand slam were heading. Continue reading “Superb Sexton Keeps Ireland’s Dream Alive”

Rampant Arsenal Reaping the Rewards of Transfer Market Good Fortune

A month ago, as the expectant chimes of a new year gave way to the humdrum tedium of daily existence once more, Arsenal found themselves in a most familiar condition. There’s an old journalistic truism that states “dog bites man is not news, man bites dog is” and such a template can be co-opted for the purposes of capturing the late-Wenger era: “Arsenal in crisis is not news…” etc. Continue reading “Rampant Arsenal Reaping the Rewards of Transfer Market Good Fortune”

Australian Open: The More Things Change, the More Roger Federer Stays the Same

Pink was the colour of this year’s Australian Open, from Nike’s monopolistic colour palette to Kyle Edmund’s skin in the 40 degree sun. But it was Roger Federer, once again, who left everyone else looking red-faced, no matter how much Factor 50 they slathered on before stepping out of the shade and into his shadow. Continue reading “Australian Open: The More Things Change, the More Roger Federer Stays the Same”

Theo Walcott and Everton Walk Hand-In-Hand Into Existential Malaise

It must have been a weird feeling for Theo Walcott on Saturday as he watched Oumar Niasse turn his headed cross into the roof of the net. Not because this was the first time in well over a decade that the winger hadn’t been setting up someone in an Arsenal shirt, but because it was the first time in almost two years since he’d set up anyone in a Premier League game. Continue reading “Theo Walcott and Everton Walk Hand-In-Hand Into Existential Malaise”

Chords Begin to Strain In the Ballad of Bakayoko

‘Ten-man Leicester hold on for point at Chelsea’ read many of the headlines after Saturday’s goalless draw between the Premier League’s two most recent champions. Yet, whereas the visitors did a worthy job of reacting to the predicament posed by Ben Chilwell’s dismissal midway through the second half, their hosts had progressively been wrestling with the same problem long before the young left back went flying uncontrollably into Victor Moses like a novice ice-skater suddenly stripped of his equilibrium. Continue reading “Chords Begin to Strain In the Ballad of Bakayoko”

Footballing Driftwood: Hughes The Victim of Stoke’s Growing Identity Crisis

A few months ago scientists in America revealed new findings equal parts fascinating and terrifying. Among people suffering cardiac arrests, experts announced, even after your body has given up the fight and your heart has pumped out its last desperate beat, there’s enough residual blood sloshing around your brain to briefly keep it functioning as though your entire existence hasn’t just been abruptly sucked into a cold, black eternal void. The upshot of this cheery piece of news is that those of us unlucky enough to suffer the torture of a sudden heart-attack face the added delight of hearing our own deaths being announced to our loved ones before body and mind are finally unified in shuffling off the mortal coil. Continue reading “Footballing Driftwood: Hughes The Victim of Stoke’s Growing Identity Crisis”