Southampton set for playoff second leg push against West Brom
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by George Cochran
1w ago
Southampton prioritised a clean sheet in the first leg of their Championship Playoff and got it. It’s time to let the handbrake off if they are to make it to the Final at Wembley. As the final whistle blew on a nervy 90 minutes between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon, the overriding sense was of having watched a dress rehearsal for the main event at St. Mary’s. Southampton desperately wanted to avoid defeat in the first leg – understandably so, and it showed, as they knocked the ball around patiently, dominating possession, without ever threatening to ..read more
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Farewell Fleetwood Town’s giant, Bosun Lawal
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by Jeff Weston
3w ago
Players like noise. They look at their careers and gauge where they are via the heart and numbers of the crowd. On Saturday, Burton Albion’s fans didn’t disappoint. They came in great swathes, some dressed as Mexicans, and poured the tequila freely courtesy of their singing voices and general merriment. Fleetwood Town, down already – just like their former chairman – needed something on this final day of the season to suggest that life can be sweet again, full of optimism, better than the misery of three head coaches in one season and the lashing rain which has hit the country for weeks on end ..read more
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How to make the FA Cup great again
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by Back Page Football
1M ago
Heading into the business end of the 2023/24 football season, Chelsea had something of a choice. With a handful of games to go, the Blues found themselves in ninth position in the Premier League – but with the mathematical possibility of climbing as high as sixth. They also found themselves still in the FA Cup, but a thin squad – amazing, when you consider the amount of money they have spent on transfers in recent years – essentially left them with a choice of which to target at the end of a long, hard campaign: sixth place or a deep run into the premier domestic cup competition. Embed from Ge ..read more
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Irish players who’ve also played for England
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by Back Page Football
1M ago
The parameters for declaring a nationality when playing English football are being a UK resident, having English parents, or having English grandparents. It is so broad that it often gives the players more than one home nation to choose from. As such, a player can change nationalities, although only once, and Irish players are more frequently moving to England. These players have been supported as if they were English through team cheers and as fan favourites, as well as through punters placing bets on them. Irish players who know casinos.com is Ireland’s premier gaming destination also active ..read more
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Let’s make it special – West Ham get set for Leverkusen clash
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by Paul Caulfield
1M ago
According to one report, the day was saved by ‘the West Ham fans’ refusal to let disappointment turn to sullen resentment’. With football still recovering, post-Hillsborough, the sight of supporters in all manner of fancy dress, celebrating their club despite the day’s events, put football in a different light for a few hours. Embed from Getty Images Yes, we’re talking about the 1991 FA Cup Semi-Final with Forest at Villa Park, an occasion for which the word ‘bittersweet’ might have been invented. And it was a big day – our first semi for eleven years, earned with a superb quarter-final win ov ..read more
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The Changing Game – Part 9 – 1996-97 – The first two months!
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by David Hardman
1M ago
There was so much to comment on that the events of the 1996/97 season will have to be covered in two parts. This will focus solely on the close season and the first two months of the campaign. It’s been difficult to know where to begin with this piece. Not least because, such was the change in 1996/97, it’s hard to believe that events of 1995/96 took place only a few months earlier. It seemed as though several years worth of change and progress took place in those few months between seasons, not just in football but culturally and politically too. To compare the final league tables, it wouldn ..read more
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How the Barcelona legacy is still setting the standard in the Champions League
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by Back Page Football
2M ago
The draw for the 2023/24 Champions League has been made. And despite only two Spanish clubs remaining in the competition, there are four managers from Spain still in the running to lift this season’s top prize on the continent. Of all four of those Spaniards, they all have a connection to one team, Barcelona. Here, we look at them in more detail. Pep Guardiola Probably the most well-known manager in the world in 2024 is Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola. The former Barcelona boss led Manchester City to the Champions League in 2023. His City team is 7/4 to win it again in 2024. In the Premier Lea ..read more
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Fleetwood Town – Just about hanging on
Back Page Football
by Jeff Weston
3M ago
Half a chest bump between wing-back Ryan Broom and striker Promise Omochere before the match against Barnsley said much about the camaraderie slowly beginning to build at Fleetwood Town. Shorn of its identity during the Lee Johnson era, Highbury has a bit of bounce back, a bit of shebang and zing. Charlie Adam – new to the management game and The Cod Army’s seventh appointment in just six years – always had the look of a grizzled ex-player (girth and strained eyes testament to his commitment both off and on the field), but his presence is now seemingly beginning to make a difference to this ra ..read more
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Derry City centurion Ronan Boyce primed for big 2024 campaign
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by Gareth Lyons
3M ago
There’s no point in asking Derry City right-back Ronan Boyce what the Candystripes’ objectives for the 2024 League of Ireland season are. There is only one aim; to become the first Premier Division champions not named Shamrock Rovers since 2019. But how do you bridge that gap and mount a challenge vs Stephen Bradley’s four-in-a-row champions? Well, football is a simple game as they say, and goals win games. Alex Ferguson might argue that defenses win titles, but Derry are already well stocked in that area, having finished last season’s league campaign with 18 clean sheets.  ​Ruaidhrí Higg ..read more
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Will The World Cup’s new format be a success?
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by Back Page Football
3M ago
Some big changes are coming to the World Cup format. Back in 2023, the FIFA council approved a brand-new structure, marking the first change of any kind since the 1998 World Cup. These changes have sparked an explosive conversation amongst the global football community, with some in favour of them and others highly critical. The 2026 World Cup format explained The 2026 World Cup will feature: 12 groups of 4 teams 104 games The top two teams from each group along with the eight best third-placed teams will then progress to a brand-new round of 32. From there, it will be the round of 16, quart ..read more
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