Tuesday, 26 June 2012

England: Progression or Regression?

By Aaron Leggott

After Sunday's quarter final defeat at the hands of Italy, something inside got me thinking about the past couple of years since the disastrous few weeks under Fabio Capello in Bloemfontein.

Before that World Cup, England were in great form under Capello. Losing just two friendlies, the Three Lions won their first eight qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, ensuring qualification with two games to spare.

Have things really improved since Germany humiliated us two years ago?
Photo: Tom Jenkins

Monday, 11 June 2012

EURO 2012: Group D Review

A Ukrainian fairy tale see's the co-hosts top Group D

Match day 1: By Aaron Leggott

The fourth day of Euro 2012 saw possibly the biggest shock of the tournament so far, as co-hosts Ukraine saw their idol Andriy Shevchenko strike twice to create a night to remember in Kyiv.

Shevchenko creates a fairy tale ending for the Ukrainians
Photo: Martin Rose/Getty Images Europe
Sweden, who boast a squad of fine talent, including AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, were the clear favourites but were unable to deliver as Ukraine used home advantage to deliver a spectacular win.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

EURO 2012: Group C Review

Italy grab a deserved point against Spain whilst Croatia dampen Irish hopes

Match day 1: By Jamie Hepburn

This was the second game in the Euros that featured two of the big teams, and unlike the dull game between Germany and Portugal, this game was exciting from the start. 

Both teams were set up in a strong and attacking manner, leading to an interesting spectacle. From the start Spain were keeping the ball, passing it around how they usually play, but this wasn’t working against an Italian defence which stood up to Spain and made it difficult throughout the game for them to make a clear chance. 

Saturday, 9 June 2012

EURO 2012: Group B Review

Netherlands bombardment not enough whilst Gomez pushes lacklustre Portugal aside...

Match day 1: By Archie Barnett

The start of “the group of death” was an eagerly anticipated one, with Netherlands taking on Denmark. The expectations for Netherlands are high, being one of the favourites to win the tournament.

With this expectation on their shoulders, they started with a high tempo and great attacking flair. Robben had a chance within the first 20 minutes, having the opportunity to shoot at close range, however he opted for the square ball which resulted in the attack being squandered.

Friday, 8 June 2012

EURO 2012: Group A Review

Questionable refereeing, dodgy goal-keeping, but certainly a thrashing.

Match day 1: By Tom Smart

Robert Lewandowski opens the
EURO 2012 scoring

Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe
The opening day of the European Championships without doubt sent messages of enthralling excitement to fans that have waited for football since the end of the domestic season. The day began with the early kick-off where co-hosts Poland took on a supposedly weaker Greek side including ex-City striker, Georgios Samaras.

The game burst into life with the hosts firing on all cylinders and certainly in the mood to impress the home crowd. A quick tempo took the Greeks by surprise and in the 17th minute a whipped cross in by Jakub Blaszczykowski found the soaring head of Robert Lewandowski to put the Poles in the lead.

The Greeks were stunned and hung on for the rest of the half despite being reduced to 10 men. Sokratis Papastathopoulos was initially booked for what seemed a fair challenge, before then being booked a second time for bringing down Polish attacker Ludovic Obraniak. A harsh decision on the Greek side who within minutes also had seen a debatable decision be ruled against them when the were shouts for a handball inside the area by a Polish defender.

Exclusive interview with Rodney Marsh

"Football was my life, it is my life."  Marsh speaks to TSBV

By Aaron Leggott (Interview by Archie Barnett)

Born in October 1944 in Hertfordshire, Rodney Marsh is arguably one of the greatest football players to ever grace this planet. After making over 500 appearances in his career, he had the honour of playing with and against the likes of Johan Cruyff, Pelé, Eusébio, Gerd Müller, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer and Bobby Moore. 

Photo: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

EURO 2012: Day One Preview

Lewandowski to grab vital goal for Poland...

By Archie Barnett

The start of the prestigious EURO 2012 trophy beckons, with the first game set to take place in a few hours between co-host Poland and previous EURO champions Greece. Later on this evening, the second game of group A will take place between Russia and Czech Republic.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Richer than God: Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing up by David Conn

The Sky Blue View's book review

By Aaron Leggott

When Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan took over Manchester City in the summer of 2008, nobody knew what to expect. 

Following decades of hurt, misery and gradual decline, a Sheikh with bottomless pockets decided to make the historic club from east Manchester his new business venture, and in turn raise the hopes of those who had been repeatedly let down for generations. 

David Conn, an award winning writer from the Guardian, has studied the "Manchester City story", from the ultimate highs to the downright spectacular lows, resulting in lifting the Premier League trophy in May.