Is Davinson Sanchez’s distribution really that bad?

Davinson Sanchez passing football

Tottenham’s recent 5-2 win against Southampton was notable for the four assists which Harry Kane laid on for Son Heung-min, but the game was also significant for another reason related to Spurs’ distribution. It was the first game in over two years in which Davinson Sanchez provided a ‘second assist’ (the pass played before the … Continue reading Is Davinson Sanchez’s distribution really that bad?

4am journeys from the training ground, games every two days and players ‘close to the edge’: football’s fatigue problem

FeaturedHarry Kane holding injured leg

“Over the last few months, players are just walking from one game to another, without stopping. There’s no respite from it…it puts a hell of a lot of pressure on them.” It’s a stark warning from a man who knows more than most about the fatigue felt by footballers. Nick Littlehales, better known as the … Continue reading 4am journeys from the training ground, games every two days and players ‘close to the edge’: football’s fatigue problem

Lisa Fallon: ‘We have the opportunity to influence change’

Lisa Fallon

It’s becoming something of a cliche to say that we’re living in ‘unprecedented times’. However, English football is arguably facing its biggest crisis in a generation. The stark reality of financial pressure and the continued absence of fans is biting hard. Fortunately, Lisa Fallon is well-versed in dealing with challenging situations. The London City Lionesses … Continue reading Lisa Fallon: ‘We have the opportunity to influence change’

Peter Varney on Charlton, the salary cap and fit and proper owners

Picture of Peter Varney

It’s the time of year when photos of footballers lying on sun-kissed Balearic beaches are ten a penny. But away from the holiday snaps dominating Instagram, there’s an altogether different picture of life as a professional footballer. It’s a reality that Peter Varney is familiar with. The former Charlton chief executive, who oversaw eight seasons … Continue reading Peter Varney on Charlton, the salary cap and fit and proper owners

How the ‘biggest psychology programme in Europe’ helped Wycombe make history

Picture of Gareth Ainsworth and Richard Dobson

Anthony Stewart’s header hits the back of the net. He peels away to celebrate, his teammates in close attendance. They all know the importance of the goal, which will set the club on course for promotion to the Championship. For the first time in its 133-year history, Wycombe will be playing in the second tier … Continue reading How the ‘biggest psychology programme in Europe’ helped Wycombe make history

A game under strain: the power of pressure in football

Picture of football in middle of pitch

There’s an episode in the second series of Sunderland ‘Til I Die, the Netflix documentary which follows the Black Cats’ fortunes during the 17/18 and 18/19 seasons, that shows the club’s transfer deadline day pursuit of striker Will Grigg. If you managed to negotiate lockdown without watching the series, you’ll have missed the 60 minutes … Continue reading A game under strain: the power of pressure in football

Interview: Leo Pearlman (Sunderland ‘Til I Die exec producer)

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In the latest episode of the Beat The Press podcast, we speak to Leo Pearlman, executive producer of Sunderland 'Til I Die. Join us for a discussion that starts with Leo's time on the Roker Park terraces, supporting the club he would go on to make a documentary about. We look at the driving factors … Continue reading Interview: Leo Pearlman (Sunderland ‘Til I Die exec producer)

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