Mackems must move on from 8-0 Southampton defeat
25 October ~ A week ago, Sunderland were in unfamiliar territory. Following the calamitous start to last term and the defensive frailties that plagued the team, Gus Poyet’s men now appeared rather sound at the back. Having conceded a mere seven goals in as many opening games, only last Saturday’s opponents Southampton boasted a better record. How things change. As will need little recounting, Sunderland promptly shipped eight without reply, their joint-heaviest ever defeat.
22 October ~ There was a dearth of graphic designers in Iraq at the time that Zakho FC were formed. Five years earlier, Saddam Hussein had ruled that anyone who created pictures for pleasure or profit was just as dangerous as an artist and almost as annoying as an interpretive dancer. Read more
20 October ~ You can never write off FIFA president Sepp Blatter – he is a man with great ideas. By Tim Bradford.
November 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.
- New approach at Aston Villa
- Scotland: independence and football
- Third party ownership debate
- Threat of technology
- When players wear glasses
- In praise of the FA Vase
17 October ~ Newcastle Utd will be hoping to get their first win of the Premier League season this weekend when they host Leicester City at St James’ Park. In 1989-90 the two teams were in the second tier, with Leicester mid-table but newly relegated Newcastle, managed by Jim Smith and fielding the prolific strike partnership of Micky Quinn and Mark McGhee, pushing for an immediate return to Division One. In a thrilling game Newcastle missed a penalty as the visitors, featuring Gary McAllister and Kevin Campbell, took a 4-2 lead. Eventually the home team won out, with McGhee completing the comeback with a neat turn and shot. Newcastle went on to finish third, losing out in the play-offs to Sunderland. When the two teams next met, at Filbert Street the following season, the scoreline was again 5-4 but to Leicester.
The story of Billy Meredith
If you had to choose one player to encapsulate the Edwardian football world, you would be hard pressed to do better than Billy Meredith. In an extraordinary career, which ended in 1924 FA Cup semi-final defeat at the age of 49, the celebrated Welsh winger was central to many of the era's key moments. He scored the winner for Manchester City in the 1904 FA Cup final, then won the League with Manchester United in 1908 and 1911, and claimed another Cup winner's medal in 1909. He was with United when Old Trafford opened in 1910, and back with City when they moved to Maine Road in 1923. Read more
by Kevin Sheedy
Paul McGrath and Tony Cascarino's autobiographies are renowned as two of the most caustic and revealing footballing books in recent times. Their former Republic of Ireland international team-mate Kevin Sheedy has written his life story now but anyone expecting soul searching in the same vein as Back From The Brink or Full Time is likely to be disappointed. Sheedy's story is told in a fashion that could most politely be described as "breezy". From a youngster at Hereford to a bit-part player at Liverpool before becoming a key part in the all-conquering Everton side of the mid-1980s – then rounding off his playing career at Newcastle United and Blackpool – it's all dealt with in the same cheery, almost matter-of-fact fashion. Read more
The rise of fan ownership in English football
It is surprising that the rising supporter activism of the past three decades – from the inky anger of 1980s fanzines to the thoughtful campaigning on governance and club ownership of the supporters' trust movement – has not been more widely chronicled. Jim Keoghan has made one of the few readable stabs at drawing all these stories together in Punk Football, which traces how fan protest has shaped the game in recent times, including where it has failed and the formidable forces it is up against. Read more
13 October ~ Jack Charlton's Middlesbrough led from the end of September and were champions by 15 points, a divisional record under two points for a win. Their success was based around a tight defence which conceded only eight goals at home and a powerful midfield featuring 20-year-old Graeme Souness and his fellow Scot, Bobby Murdoch, a European Cup-winner with Celtic. Like his older brother, Bobby Charlton was experiencing a first season in management, at Preston. But after today's victory they won only four more games and went down in 21st place.
£5 off to WSC readers
WSC contributor Simon Inglis has launched the latest book in his Played in Britain series. Played in London charts the spaces, buildings and sports that have shaped London’s cultural and urban landscape for centuries. Beautifully illustrated with original photographs and detailed maps, the book is based on over ten years of in-depth research. There is an extensive chapter on football and even if your team isn’t based in the capital you’ve probably watched them there.
Lakeside Stadium is the 12,000-capacity home of South Melbourne, who play in the top level of the Victorian league system, one step below the A-League. The ground was built on the old site of the Lake Oval, which was used for Australian rules football. However, in 1995 South Melbourne were forced out of their old Middle Park ground because of the construction of the Melbourne Grand Prix circuit, and Lakeside was built as their new home. In 2008 the ground underwent another major redevelopment to accommodate an athletics track and make it the centre of the Victorian Institute of Sport.
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