Hasty announcements: Klopp and Hayes, too quick to go public?
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
2d ago
NO MATTER what industry or company, when the chief announces he or she is leaving in several months’ time, there is a loss of power, impetus and focus. The boss will not be the boss in the near future, so human nature changes the dynamic. Those that were close to the boss are nervous because their sponsor is leaving. Those that didn’t like the boss are relieved, even excited. For everyone, the uncertainty that comes with a change of management can be destructive. From football’s perspective, revealing a coach is leaving at the end of the current season several months before it is due to happen ..read more
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European Round-Up: PSV close in, Sporting on song, Graz draw level, Scottish Premiership, Bundesliga
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
2d ago
PSV Eindhoven need just four points to be absolutely certain of the Dutch Eredivisie title, their first since 2018. PSV beat Vitesse 6-0  to take their points total to 81, nine ahead of Feyenoord. Luuk de Jong scored twice and Hirving Lozano also got on the scoresheet. PSV may reach 100 points, they now have a goal difference of plus 78. Feyenoord, thanks to an 18th minute goal from Dávid Hancko, won 1-0 at Fortuna Sittard. Ajax, still way behind, beat third-placed Twente 2-1, coming from behind to win with a Steven Bergwijn penalty. PSV are away at Heerenveen on Thursday ..read more
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Slow Newsletter: Women’s FA Cup, Manchester City, Plovdiv, Zidane
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
3d ago
THIS year’s Women’s FA Cup final will be between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. The semi-finals saw United surprisingly beat holders Chelsea 2-1 in front of just under 7,000 people. United took the lead after 60 seconds through Lucy Garcia and added a second with a Rachel Williams header on 23. Lauren James pulled one back in first half added time. England keeper Mary Earps pulled off some fine saves to keep Chelsea at bay, but United hung on to avenge their cup final defeat last season. Tottenham also won 2-1 against Leicester City at the Tottenham stadium, watched by a cr ..read more
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Champions: Bayer Leverkusen, at last
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
4d ago
WHO WOULD have thought Bayern Munich’s reign at the top of German football would be ended in 2024 and by a club that had never won the Bundesliga before? Bayer Leverkusen’s triumph is fully deserved and, appropriately, it was clinched with a 5-0 victory against Werder Bremen. The celebrations could continue for some time because Leverkusen have a DFB Pokal final to look forward to and they have one foot in the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League. Nobody has beaten them this season and it is difficult to see who might lower their colours for the first time. Much of the credit has been given t ..read more
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Relegation has lessons that can be the catalyst for promotion
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
4d ago
MY local club could well be relegated this season. They have been in freefall for months, losing 10 of their last 12 home games and eight of their last nine away. They have won twice in 21 and their last home success was at the end of October. It has been a shambolic campaign that started with so much promise. Now, they have two fixtures remaining and they are one point ahead of the team occupying the last relegation spot. The battle to avoid the trapdoor will undoubtedly go to the final weekend of the season. Already, the gloomsters are predicting the club will fall all the way through to ste ..read more
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Russian football goes on, but the world won’t listen
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
6d ago
RUSSIAN football has become a pariah; the country’s clubs and its national team are banned by UEFA/FIFA, foreign players have gone home or have joined clubs outside of Russia and nobody is paying too much attention to what’s going on. While Russia continues its onslaught on Ukraine, football seems irrelevant and frivolous.  Russian football has not been in a good place for a while, and the current situation can only make things worse in the long-term. Zenit St. Petersburg, the club owned by Gazprom, have won the Premier League for the past five years and they are currently top of the tabl ..read more
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Slow Newsletter: Rachel Daly, Stamford Bridge, Leeds United finances
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
1w ago
RACHEL Daly has announced her retirement from international football, a decision that has been met with tears and regret in some corners. However, Daly is 32, has played 84 times for England, scoring 16 goals, and has had an excellent career. Comments that she has been under-appreciated and undervalued are a little inappropriate. Nobody gets 84 caps if they are undervalued, but there comes a time when change is necessary. Generally, players seem to hang around a long time in the England set-up, but churning the squad is necessary to build for the future. As we have seen in the men’s game, play ..read more
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Brighton, Birmingham, West Ham or Middlesbrough – could one of these be the next big club?
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
1w ago
WHEN BAYER Leverkusen’s Bundesliga is finally confirmed, they will be the first new title winners in Germany since 2009. It will also end the jibe that Leverkusen should be referred to as “never-kusen” due to their lack of honours. A sizeable club, they have been an underachiever, just as teams like Chelsea and Manchester City were before they started to benefit from massive investment from new owners.  In the long history of English football, there have been just 24 league champions. Leicester City’s 2015-16 victory represented the first new winner since 1978 when Nottingham Forest won t ..read more
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Slow Newsletter: Joe Kinnear, Premier abroad, CR7 red card, Fulham
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
1w ago
TALK has resurfaced about the possibility of the Premier League, among other leagues, playing games in the United States in the future. FIFA and Relevant Sports have reached a settlement over the latter’s claim that the governing body was “closing the doors of the United States to international soccer”. This rekindles the idea of leagues such as La Liga and the Premier exporting their matches to the US. The benefits of taking the Premier to America is really only beneficial for US broadcasters and sponsors and has very limited upside for the clubs. It also distorts the structure of the Pr ..read more
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How the team was built: Liverpool 1988, the all-star line-up
Game of the People
by Neil Fredrik Jensen
1w ago
THE MID-1980s was a grim time for football in England. The authorities, both at home and abroad, had run out of patience with the game’s hooligan problem, crowds were falling at a worrying rate, stadiums were mostly ramshackle and the national team was struggling to be relevant. In 1985, the Heysel Stadium disaster at the Liverpool-Juventus European Cup final, led to English clubs being banned from European competition. This was not just a blow for those clubs used to regular European involvement, such as Liverpool, but also to Everton, who won the league in 1985 and 1987, Coventry City, Luton ..read more
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