Bottom team could still be promoted
8 March ~ The economic crisis can sometimes be of benefit to football fans. In Spain, the recession has levelled the teams below the top and is producing, so far, one of the most exciting seasons in recent history. By March one or two teams have usually created a big gap between themselves and the rest at the top of the Segunda División (second tier), effectively ending the automatic promotion race with three months to go. But this season, even leaders Eibar can't guarantee their presence in the play-offs. A bad run of results, and they could even be battling relegation.
7 March ~ Millwall visit Pride Park this weekend. While Derby County aim at automatic promotion, the Lions are struggling to keep themselves out of the relegation zone. Twenty years ago, both teams met in the Division One play-off semi-finals. After winning 2-0 at home, the Rams secured their ticket to the final by winning 3-1 at the Den.
To make room for our forthcoming World Cup T-shirt we're selling some older shirts for just a fiver, including the classic Stuff Yer Superleague and designs by WSC illustrator Tim Bradford. Grab yourself a bargain and when they're gone, they're gone.
6 March ~ The Division Two promotion places were tightly contested throughout the season – after a defeat at Forest in late January, Leicester dropped from first to fifth but regained top spot after their next match. They clinched the title on the final day with a 3-1 win at Brentford. Centre-forward Arthur Rowley, who got one of Leicester's goals against Bury, still holds the record for career goals in the Football League – 434 from 619 games.
6 March ~ In this region of Burundi it is highly unlucky for a cat to show its arse to you. It is quite all right if the cat ignores you in the usual way and moves away with its tail down, but if the tail goes up (see image) as it leaves, this could mean an absolute meltdown in your private life. Variously recorded in the local newspaper and in hospital records and death certificates are details of what has befallen those who have publicly seen the cat's arse. Read more
The Northolme – commonly known as The Chapel – in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, is among England's oldest stadiums, dating back to 1853. First used for cricket, the Northolme has been home to Conference North's Gainsborough Trinity since the club was established in 1873. The ground has a capacity of 4,304 these days, and it was purchased by the supporters' club more than a decade ago.
28 February ~ Southampton and Liverpool meet this weekend, the Reds having lost on their last three visits to St Mary's. In 1982, the clash between these two teams at The Dell produced one of the finest goals of the season. Mick Channon scored for the Saints after a beautiful team effort involving several passes. Unfortunately for them, Liverpool won 3-2 thanks to goals by Ian Rush and Ronnie Whelan (2).
March 1, 1975, League Cup final
27 February ~ Both finalists were promoted from Division Two this season, behind Manchester United, who had been knocked out by Norwich in the semi-final. The other semi-finalists were fourth-division Chester, who beat reigning League champions Leeds 3-0 in the fourth round at a time when no one complained that the biggest clubs didn't take the competition seriously. The only pre-match entertainment was the Band of the Royal Corps of Transport, and the final of the penalty competition organised by ITV's football preview show, On The Ball – teenagers versus West Ham keeper Mervyn Day. Unknown chinless aristocrat the Earl of Harewood presented the trophy (the Queen was washing her hair that afternoon).
25 February ~ Richard Keys sums up some of the many household names he has the pleasure to work with. Including a less than fulsome tribute to Ray Wilkins: "Different, but there's a place for that."
25 February ~ A bizarre goal from Mexico. The goalkeeper may be blaming a freak gust of wind.
March issue available online and in stores
The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.
Man City's empire
Footballers who love golf
New era for Crewe
Stockport on the slide
Mental pressure on players
Scotland: football and the Union
All four divisions represented in quarter-finals
7 March ~ There is a world-turned-upside-down aura about this weekend's Scottish Cup quarter-finals with teams from all four divisions represented. Dumbarton and Albion Rovers could upset more famous opponents, Aberdeen and Rangers, respectively, who appear overly fixated on the semi-finals and possibly renewing their hateful rivalry. Aberdeen are favourites for a domestic cup double which would reprise their glory days of the 1980s. With Ibrox hosting both semis, Rangers sense that their post-liquidation story could include a major cup final appearance.
Former European Cup winners in trouble
5 March ~ The only club to have played in all 51 seasons of the Bundesliga, Hamburg, are in serious danger of relegation after a disastrous domestic campaign. Staying in their current 16th place would mean an end of season play-off to avoid the drop. The club's rapid decline would appear to be unexpected, given that they were seventh last year, just outside the European places. But they also struggled in 2011-12, finishing 15th. An extremely high turnover of managers has certainly not helped.
Ongoing away allocation problem at Emirates
4 March ~ After significant defeats to Liverpool, Stoke City and Bayern Munich in the Premier League and Champions League in recent weeks, Arsenal host Everton in the FA Cup sixth round on Saturday knowing that the old competition represents probably their best shot at ending that nine-year trophy drought. If the Cup does prove the saving of their season, supporters of their opponents en route to Wembley could be forgiven a rueful smile given Arsenal's failure to abide by the spirit of the competition in their ticket allocations for away fans.
End of Terry, Lampard, Gerrard and Cole egos
3 March ~ John Terry is no longer considered fit for the England team, and Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard must surely be nearing the end of their international careers. This worries me greatly. How will I be able to cheer on England's opponents when this loathsome clique of money-bloated underachievers are finally deemed to be past their best? Watching England fail at major international tournaments will not be the same without them. There just don't seem to be any young players fit to step into the lurid, lucratively sponsored boots of the swollen generation.
Should the competition be scrapped?
2 March ~ Manchester City play Sunderland at Wembley today in the League Cup final. Shortly after one of them lifts the trophy, three Premier League games will kick off. While there will be no repeat of the 2011 FA Cup final, when Manchester City lifted the trophy and their neighbours won the Premier League on the same day, having other matches on the day of the final can only degrade the competition. Yet the debate about the worth of the League Cup has been going on for years. In 2002 for WSC 179 Chris Taylor and Craig Ellyard argued for and against scrapping the competition completely.
Face fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers
1 March ~ With 32 games played in League Two, Northampton Town's season may finally have flickered into life. Their midweek home win against play-off chasing Southend marks the first time that Cobblers have won two on the bounce this season, and saw them move off the bottom of the Football League, above Torquay, for the first time this calendar year. Today will tell if they have the stomach for survival. Opponents Bristol Rovers are in 19th place, just six points above them, but are having a recent resurgence of their own.
Second host third in Championship
1 March ~ By any definition, Burnley v Derby is a big game. There are 14 matches to go in the Championship with the home team second and their visitors two points behind in third. The feeling is that if Burnley can win this game, automatic promotion is theirs to lose. Of the other challengers, QPR are falling away despite seemingly making a new loan a day, Forest apparently have a crippling injury list despite having a huge squad, and Wigan and Reading have probably left themselves too much to do.
Coventry University research
27 February ~ Coventry University have set up a new survey to help them understand the perceived level of trust people have in FIFA and the national football associations. The questionnaire, which takes around ten minutes to complete, involves questions on a range of topics from the consistency of FIFA's decision-making process to how much respect they show to supporters. It also asks for opinions on how the governing body relay information to fans and whether you feel they engage in "ethical practices". You can take the survey here.
New stadium at centre of decline
27 February ~ As the sale of Valencia remains on hold, and the club's future uncertain, Argentinian manager Juan Antonio Pizzi has boosted the team's performances in both La Liga and the Europa League, where tonight they face Dynamo Kiev. A return of the Valencia that dazzled Europe a decade ago might yet encourage foreign investors to consider making a bid. In Valencia's power battle, the main actors are the club's board, the Valencian regional government and Bankia, a once public funded bank now privatised.