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

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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

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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

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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

The Merseyside Derby: Duncan and The Dogs of War

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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

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