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Blackpool transfer stand-off cause for fans' concern

Seasiders struggling for players and warm-up games

icon blackpoolaway21 July ~ While other Championship clubs have got their squads assembled and are busy preparing for the new season, Blackpool are, not for the first time, scrambling around for players at the last minute. Even in the Seasiders' sole Premier League season, manager Ian Holloway was forced to entertain a number of trialists including the forgotten man Francis Jeffers. Twelve months ago, then-boss Paul Ince complained about having to field so many auditionees in a pre-season friendly at Penrith: "We're a Championship club, and with no disrespect to anyone, we shouldn't really be looking at trialists."


WSC 330 out now ~ World Cup 2014 special!

August issue available online

wsc330 The new WSC is out now, dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.

- World Cup 2014 special
- England: playing the blame game
- Teamwork triumphs in Germany
- Return of attacking football
- A month travelling around Brazil
- 7-1: the hosts' humiliation

Book review: The Special One

The secret world 
of José Mourinho

329 MourinhoJosé Mourinho is a strange, as well as a special, one. He seems quite consciously and gleefully to play up to the stereo-type of a conniving practitioner of cunning tricks and brazen gamesmanship – a living affirmation of the lower morals of the southern European sort, with decent Englishmen being advised to be on their guard and lock up their wives and daughters should he attempt to beguile them with his oily ways. Read more

Book review: Conference Season

by Steve Leach

329 ConferenceOften erroneously likened to a fifth division of the Football League, the Football Conference could more accurately be described as a halfway house. Non-League's top tier is home to a curious mix of teams; professional clubs who have fallen on hard times compete alongside new names making their way up the pyramid and getting a first taste of the big time. Read more

Book review: World Cup Cortinas

by James Ruppert

329 CortinasIn 1970 the Ford Motor Company loaned every member of the England World Cup squad a car ahead of the forthcoming Mexico World Cup. With the exception of Jack Charlton – who requested a Ford Zodiac because he needed a bigger boot for his fishing tackle – they each received a Cortina 1600E. This is the story of how motoring journalist James Ruppert sets out to track down the 24 original "World Cup Cortinas". Read more

WSC Survey ~ have your say on the state of football

The end of another international tournament means it’s time for you to have your say on the state of football in the WSC Survey. Was Brazil 2014 was the best World Cup ever? Who was the worst TV pundit? How you get on with the people around you at games? What would you like to change about WSC? Don’t hold back now. As ever we’d be really grateful for your response – it should only take ten minutes and there's a chance of winning a T-shirt as a thank you. Just click on this link to take the survey.

How fans around the planet watched World Cup final

21 July ~ Kick Off! is a global project that filmed fans watching the Brazil 2014 final between Germany and Argentina around the world. The documentary follows people's reactions to match, from a beach in New Zealand to a taxi in Moscow and market in Tokyo.

Book review: I think, therefore I play

By Andrea Pirlo

329 PirloReading this autobiography of a playmaker nicknamed "Mozart" is like going to the opera: some bloke comes on and sings very loudly in Italian at you for a couple of hours, it's all very dramatic and enjoyable, but you don't always know quite what's going on. In no discernible order, its voluble and intelligent subject, who "has an opinion about everything and I'm not ashamed to express it", launches into an erratic, extended and idiosyncratic monologue. There are even (mostly much needed) footnotes to explain some of the passing references, although glossing ultras as "the self-styled, most passionate, vocal and committed supporters" was probably unnecessary. Read more

Getting shirty ~ Southampton home, 1995-97

Notable kits of yesteryear

Southampton95-9718 July ~ This shirt was a return to Southampton's traditional red and white stripes after a few seasons spent wearing the experimental red-sleeved, ticked chest of the previous Pony kit. It was worn by players such as Egil Ostenstad, Mickey Evans, David Hughes and Ken Monkou, during a period which saw Southampton complete their 17th consecutive season in the top flight.

Badge of the week ~ Bechem United FC, Ghana

Becham15017 July ~ You never knew when the Vulture of Fear would strike. In the Ghanaian region of Bechem, residents were terrorised for several weeks by a large, angry vulture who would enter a building surreptitiously, hide behind something papery or thin (often this would simply be a large piece of rice paper the vulture brought with it), before shoving its head through suddenly and cawing like a maniac. Read more

Spain Under-21 own goal


 

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