Will put up with long balls in short term
7 December ~ I have to confess that I've been enjoying a nostalgic flashback or two since the appointment of Tony Pulis as the new manager at Selhurst Park. All these media mutterings about direct style and dogged spirit has put me right back there on the Holmesdale, quite possibly decked out in one of those multi-coloured Joe Bloggs sweatshirts and Naf Naf jacket, ciggie in hand and gleefully yelling "Ooof!!!" with the rest of them as Wright 'n' Bright, eyes trained on the sky, barge their way into the opposition penalty box.
January issue available in shops and online
The new WSC is out now, dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.
What's wrong with Youth coaching?
BT Sport's challenge to Sky
Decline of English keepers
Press ban at Newcastle
Fans in charge: Dons v Pompey
Player power in Brazil
6 December ~ As the draw for the 2014 World Cup approaches this afternoon, FIFA will be hoping it goes more smoothly than in 1982. Then, as this unfortunately low-quality video shows, the familiar (if slightly younger) face of Sepp Blatter struggled to cope as Scotland were drawn in the wrong group. Eventually they just went back and did it again.
6 December ~ Following their first victory at Old Trafford after 21 years, Everton will be aiming to end another winless streak on Sunday. They visit the Emirates Stadium, where they have never left with three points. The last time they did so at Arsenal's ground was at Highbury in 1996, when Graham Stuart and Andrei Kanchelskis scored to come back from an Ian Wright goal.
4 December ~ Among all the clubs with bog-standard striped crests, shines out this beacon of non-conformity, the rave lighthouse. Uruguayan rave culture was driven underground in the early 1990s by draconian laws forbidding the assembly of more than ten people at any one place, unless the individual had a doctor's note stating they suffered from separation anxiety. Read more
Barcelona vs Real Madrid
"Barcelona good, Madrid bad" is a pretty common idea among English-speaking football fans. Even those who question the Catalan club's "football philosophy", or its board's financial dealings with Qatar and Brazil, still often see Barça as purer than, and morally superior to, their rivals from the Spanish capital. This idea can be traced all the way back to George Orwell's Homage To Catalonia – and is just plain wrong, according to Sid Lowe's new contribution to the growing pile of English language books on Spanish football. Read more
The approved biography of George Best
Despite what Immortal would have you believe, George Best divides opinion in his home country. For each of the tens of thousands who stood reverently in the Belfast rain for his 2005 funeral, there is a counterpart embarrassed and infuriated by the constant scandals and drunken antics. It is a mark of his status, of course, that most people in Northern Ireland still care enough to have an opinion about Best – good or bad – and it is unlikely that Duncan Hamilton's "approved" biography will change what they think. Read more
The unknown story of football's true talent spotters
Shaun O'Connor arrived at the Potters Bar pitches to check on the progress of some under-12 players who'd shown potential, but when the referee for a neighbouring game between teams of under-9s failed to show, he volunteered to officiate. He was about to start a new job with Arsenal's academy and one eight-year-old, playing on the wing for Luton, caught his eye. Read more
Partizan pleasure, pain and paranoia
The collapse of communist-era structures had a profound effect on football in central and eastern Europe, but the ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia created even deeper fault lines. Modern-day Serbia, which was home to Europe's best team 22 years ago, now has the continent's 25th best (or 29th worst, depending on your perspective) league according to the UEFA coefficients. Its historic powers, Partizan and Red Star Belgrade, perpetually battle for supremacy in a competition whose numbers are topped up by minnows from the country's provinces and capital's suburbs. Read more
Parkside Road is the 2,400-capacity home of Kendal Town, who playing in the Norther Premier League. The Mintcakes, as they are nicknamed, were originally called Netherfield AFC when they were established by employees of a shoe factory in 1919 but changed to Netherfield Kendal in 1998 and then their current guise two years later. Their record attendance was 5,184 against Grimsby in the 1956 FA Cup.
Offer for iPhone and iPad users in November
6 November ~ Anyone heading to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday for Chelsea's Champions League match against Schalke will get exclusive free access to the latest WSC digital edition. In partnership with digital publishers Exact Editions, the When Saturday Comes app will be available to download for anyone with an iPhone or iPad in Stamford Bridge over the next three weeks, showcasing for the first time the latest ByPlace geo-location technology for the iOS newsstand. All you need to do is download the When Saturday Comes app from the App Store and open it up when in Stamford Bridge.
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