Awarding Sassuolo's points to the losing team also hurts the rest of the clubs in Serie A

5 September ~ On August 28, Sassuolo beat Pescara 2-1 to go joint top of Serie A with maximum points from two games. Two days later it was ruled that they had fielded an ineligible player and the game was awarded 3-0 to Pescara, who went to four points with Sassuolo staying on three.

Gordon Strachan’s team were left out over summer and must make it to Russia 2018


Frustration growing at The Hawthorns but there are glimpses of a bright future

27 August ~ If West Midlands football seems to struggle for attention in the face of the national media’s obsession with north-west and north-east clubs, West Bromwich Albion sometimes seem to be overlooked even in a local context. This was understandable 20 years ago, when Aston Villa were always at least one division higher, Wolves and Birmingham were loudly targeting promotion or expensive signings, and the most exciting news from The Hawthorns tended to be of the "Stacy Coldicott signs new one-year deal" variety. It is less so now that Albion are the region’s only top-flight club and in the midst of a takeover headed by Chinese businessman Guochuan Lai.

Owen Coyle hasn’t endeared himself to fans, who are protesting against the club’s owners

26 August ~ A recent ex-Burnley manager was never going to be in for an easy ride at local rivals Blackburn Rovers, so what Owen Coyle most needed to keep supporters on-side was a good start to the season. After a disastrous first game against Norwich in which they were 3-0 down within 30 minutes and the subsequent loss of the team’s two centre-halves (Grant Hanley sold to Newcastle, Shane Duffy who has just gone to Brighton having been suspended and fallen out with Coyle) the coach is already under serious pressure.

The additional 30 minutes is already making way for penalties in some competitions

22 August ~ “No one wants to see extra time.” Late into this month’s Community Shield match, Manchester United and Leicester City locked at 1-1, Radio 5 Live co-commentator Danny Mills expressed relief the game would go straight to penalties. Listening in my car as a vaguely interested neutral, I instinctively agreed. Mills then followed up by claiming all drawn knockout games should go straight to a shootout because, really, there had only been a few decent periods of extra time ever played – in any competition. I almost crashed.

Brazilian police issue warrant for Marcus Evans’ arrest over Olympic ticket scam


20 August ~ Following an Ipswich v Norwich derby, the Suffolk police usually release a statement to the local press giving the (often surprisingly low) number of people who have been arrested at the game. This Sunday’s fixture carries the unusual possibility that one of those having their collar felt may be the owner of the home club.

Southampton fans once again don’t know what to expect from their team this season

19 August ~ For us Southampton fans, games with Manchester United conjure up images of Bobby Stokes scoring at Wembley; David Beckham and Ryan Giggs rendered powerless in grey jerseys at the Dell; and proving that win was no fluke by putting six past them the following season.

When Britain joined the European Economic Community a celebratory game was held at Wembley, revealing split opinions on the move

18 August ~ Two days after Britain formally joined the European Economic Community (EEC) on January 1, 1973, a Wembley crowd of 36,500 watched an international friendly. The teams were “The Three”, comprising the home nations and fellow Common Market newcomers Ireland and Denmark, and “The Six”, from existing EEC nations Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, West Germany and France.

Leicester 17th, Chelsea champions and Watford relegation – what WSC contributors got right and wrong about the previous season


12 August ~ “The arrival of manager Claudio Ranieri doesn’t seem to be the most reassuring,” wrote Leicester City fan Simon Tyers in WSC’s 2015-16 season guide last summer. “I’m still confident we’ll survive… but probably with someone else at the helm.” He wasn’t alone, with the Foxes averaging 17th position among the rest of the Premier League contributors’ forecasts.

Tournaments such as the World Cup foster jingoism and are exploited by sponsors

10 August ~ Nation states are the result of wars, intrigues, marriage, propaganda, blackmail, lies and deception," wrote former German cabinet minister Norbert Blum in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper yesterday in a column headed Nationalism Equals Idiocy.