Euro 96 and Brazil 2014: pickpockets, penalties and pressure

People playing football on a beach

This is, ostensibly, a look at how two hosts of major tournaments – both of whom lost to Germany in memorable semi-finals – dealt with the pressure of playing in their own country. It's also an account of my experiences of both competitions, as an 11-year-old watching Euro 96 at home and, 18 years later, … Continue reading Euro 96 and Brazil 2014: pickpockets, penalties and pressure

Interview: The Football History Boys

Austrian football players running

In the first episode of the Beat The Press podcast, we speak to Ben Jones and Gareth Thomas, founders of ‘The Football History Boys’ website and authors of ‘Football’s Fifty Most Important Moments’. Join us for a discussion about the parallels between the modern-day reaction to football’s suspension and the response in 1914 and 1939. … Continue reading Interview: The Football History Boys

Coming soon: the Beat The Press podcast

Football fans celebrating

With the kind of inevitability usually reserved for a last-minute Steve Bruce header (football nostalgia box ticked), Beat The Press is launching a podcast! In this trailer, we run through some of the topics we'll be covering in the coming weeks, including the response to football's last season-stopping suspension and the pyschological challenges facing footballers … Continue reading Coming soon: the Beat The Press podcast

The Merseyside Derby: Duncan and The Dogs of War

Sign with directions to Everton and Liverpool

Preparations for a game between Liverpool and Everton can take many forms. Given the scale and evolving nature of the coronavirus outbreak, it's unlikely that the forthcoming derby - when or if it takes place - will witness the usual pre-match clichés. Revenge for a Curtis Jones wonderstrike seems less of a priority when a … Continue reading The Merseyside Derby: Duncan and The Dogs of War

Do Spurs need a bigger blanket?

Exterior of Tottenham Hotspur stadium

Jose Mourinho's analogies are well-worn, ranging from rundown houses to bed linen. But does his attempt at summarising Tottenham's perceived shortcomings - which he likened to wrestling with a undersized blanket - ring true? We take a look at whether the injuries, squad balance and upcoming fixtures should really give the manager cause for concern. … Continue reading Do Spurs need a bigger blanket?

Ginola and Gillespie: a story of speed, skill and spewing in Peter Beardsley’s Rover

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David Ginola is lying prostrate in the front garden, holding aloft a can of lager. It’s been that kind of evening. Inside the house, Les Ferdinand, Warren Barton, Lee Clark, Steve Watson and Robbie Elliott are still standing. Welcome to Keith Gillespie’s bachelor pad. When you think of Premier League wingers, some familiar names roll … Continue reading Ginola and Gillespie: a story of speed, skill and spewing in Peter Beardsley’s Rover

From Andy Booth to Ben Thatcher and eight double vodkas: remembering George Graham’s spell at Spurs

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A look of bemusement spreads across Chris Hughton’s face. He hesitates before asking the question. ‘Thatch, have you been on the sauce?’ The uncertainty of the query is easy to understand: Hughton is looking at a man lifting weights with the kind of zeal he usually reserves for two-footed tackles, but sweating in a way … Continue reading From Andy Booth to Ben Thatcher and eight double vodkas: remembering George Graham’s spell at Spurs

Book Review: Living On The Volcano

Football supporters holding flares

Eruptions are a familiar part of football’s touchline pantomime – just ask David Meyler – but the stories behind the frayed tempers exhibited by Pardew and co have rarely been examined with the detail which runs throughout Michael Calvin’s book, ‘Living on the Volcano’. The widely-respected journalist trawls through the personalities which define football management … Continue reading Book Review: Living On The Volcano