THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

From some WSC contributors

icon fantasist

Maybe someone at Nottingham Forest will find the gumption to tell Billy Davies to wind his neck in every now and then, before his managerial career disappears in a puff of self-righteousness. A friend of mine, who used to work in Preston North End’s media department, once suggested to me that Davies seemed unable to function unless he was falling out with someone. Maybe such tension acts as a motivator, but holding his "post-match" press conference before the game against Leicester in May and bawling out a photographer at Millwall in December were the kind of acts that make enemies needlessly. Mike Whalley

That the World Cup is one that we can actually enjoy, both as a sporting spectacle and with at least some measure of good conscience (although that latter point is already diminishing with each successive construction accident). It's going to be a long, barren wait between then and 2026, after all. Seb Patrick

Not only is there an endless list of reasons not to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, there isn't a single good reason to hold it there. But it's obviously naive to hope that the people who supposedly run world football will reconsider their decision. James Baxter

Against a backdrop of sniping and legal action between the owners of the stadium and the owners of the club, Stephen Pressley's young Coventry City team have overcome a ten-point deduction to achieve a comfortable mid-table position in League One. They have scored more goals than any other side in the top four English divisions, apart from Manchester City, but are forced to play in Northampton in front of home crowds of around 2,000; the return of the club to Coventry is my only football hope for 2014. Ed Wilson

To find something football related to keep me occupied in 2014 (I stopped playing in local football a few weeks ago). Going to watch my local team Southampton is a bit pricey for me. Plus it would take up the same time as playing did. Maybe I’ll watch some local non-League midweek once in a while. I’ll have to find something, otherwise my football involvement will centre around listening to it on the radio while doing the washing up, and reading WSC. Suggestions are welcome. Mark Sanderson

That the format of the Europa League is changed to stop the third-place Champions League teams from entering in the knockout stage. It is not only unfair on the teams who have competed in a qualifying round and six group matches to reach the knockout rounds, but also means that they end up playing two more knockout stage matches than the Champions League teams. The Europa League winners will be awarded a place in the following year's Champions League from next season, but if UEFA want to give more value to the competition itself then the removal of Champions League third-place finishers should be high on their agenda for 2014. Nick Dorrington

That Spanish football authorities rethink a crazy scheduling policy which sees games regularly kick off at times such as 10pm Thursday night or midday on Sunday. Spanish supporters tend not to travel to away games, but even home fans often find it difficult to make games fixed for times apparently set for TV viewers elsewhere. It seems very unlikely to me that many neutrals overseas are likely to bother to watch Levante v Betis, or Celta v Rayo Vallecano, no matter when they take place. But plenty more locals might be tempted to head along if the game was on at traditional kick-off times of Saturday or Sunday afternoon/early evening. Dermot Corrigan

That everyone in football stops being surprised by the blindingly obvious, for example that it is very, very hot in Qatar, that Alex Ferguson is a hard act to follow, that if you can bet on anything in a football match it might (just might) encourage corruption. Joyce Woolridge

For producers of televised football to remember that a pundit is supposed to provide expert insight, rather than simply spewing a unending stream of opinion. I'm not sure how we reached a point where the authority on the performances of a referee is a person who has never refereed a match in their life but I'd like it to stop. Or, if we must have people who've never officiated analysing refs then take the Have I Got News For You approach and liven things up with a guest pundit: "West Ham though felt they should have had a penalty, has Phil Dowd called this correctly, Brian Blessed?" Glen Wilson

Wouldn't it be refreshing if Manchester United were to miss out on Champions League qualification? One of the big pleasures thus far in this Premier League campaign, and a source of hope for other clubs, has been the sight of United outside of the top six, and the accompanying calls to various radio phone-ins from fans (the vast majority predictably based nowhere near Manchester) moaning about their lot. Now they know what it's like for the rest of us, and after 20 years of success, it is hard to have any sympathy as they "suffer" a season of transition. Simon Hart

For Spain to get knocked out of the World Cup as quickly as possible – it would be terrible for international football if the same side won four major tournaments in a row. They've obviously been superb over a long period of time, but the World Cup needs a knockout stage without them. Also at the World Cup, I hope England (and their fans) just try and enjoy it. There shouldn't be any pressure to get out of a very difficult group, so it would be nice to see a positive, hype-free attitude from both the players and the media. James de Mellow

The Premier League could do with being pepped up a bit, so I'd like to see the addition of a fourth relegation spot. It wouldn't be based on league position, though, but on various criteria, from the quality of calls by fans to football phone-ins, to the number of times anyone in a position of authority refers to their club as "the project". The fourth team to be relegated would be announced shortly after the end of the final round of matches, on a glitzy TV special hosted by John Fashanu and Susan Boyle. I'd definitely watch that. Tom Lines

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