Dilemmas of Football Ownership: Marching on, Direction Unknown

September 24, 2014

“As we move into Day Three of our Football Ownership series, Gary Hartley tries in vain to make some sense of what, exactly, Massimo Cellino is up to at his beloved Leeds United. It’s not particularly new, this football clubs subsumed by rich men’s egos thing. It’s just that in the presumed halcyon days, the egos were more the Rotary Club, cigar on Sunday type of affair – vaguely but not entirely unapproachable, with no offspring on Twitter. Things are different now; we’ve supported or allowed the cult of moneyed personality, accepting that since it’s all ultimately a game, we can in turn allow our game to be gamed. Sigh. But hey, down at Elland Road, at least our rich man has a personality. Right? You with me? Right?” thetwounfortunates


TTU Go Predicting: a Club-by-Club Premier League Preview 2014-5

August 13, 2014

“Our divisional previews of a year ago were so well received that we decided to go one better and offer a full set for 2014-5 even if bloggers enjoy the luxury of not being obliged to cover irrelevances such as the Community Shield. TTU staffer Ben Woolhead has a little extra time on his hands now after the masterful Newcastle United blog Black & White & Read All Over finally closed its doors after a decade. Here, Ben gives a club-by-club lowdown on the top echelon of English football.” thetwounfortunates

TTU Go Predicting: a Club-by-Club Championship Preview 2014-5

August 7, 2014

“Following on from John McGee’s freeform assessment of League 1 yesterday, here is a somewhat more plodding assessment of the level above. That, however, is no reflection on the ins and outs of this season’s Championship – a competition where extortionate transfer fees, underqualified managers and frankly terrifying owners hold sway, where parachute payments warp the competition and everyone is indulging in the filthy scramble for Premier League riches – apart from Blackpool. If the written word isn’t enough, all three of our previewers can be heard expounding in person on the same issues on three special editions of the We Are Going Up! podcast this week. Anyway, without further ado…” thetwounfortunates

TTU Go Predicting: a Club-by-Club League 2 Preview

August 5, 2014

“In the first of four divisional previews we focus today on who’s who in League 2, which once again looks set to be tight. The bookies are backing Bury, Luton, Portsmouth and Shrewbury – we think that they’ll each do well, but suggest that they’ll have plenty of competition, not least from Southend and York.” TTU

Graham Westley and Stevenage Are Not Disappearing Yet

March 14, 2014

“I in a fascinating article in the most recent issue of The Blizzard , one which largely debunks the idea that football has any real likeness to the game of chess, Scott Oliver bemoans ‘the obsessive measurement of atomised players’ individual contributions’ measured by way of ‘output’, suitable perhaps ‘for ‘the neoliberal market’ but not for ‘the socialist midfield’. Graham Westley, that lower league bogey man, might concur. In Westley’s world view, the individual is ruthlessly subjugated for the wider good of the team and while that seems to be no reflection at all of the man’s personal and political views – his Machiavellian ditching of Farnborough Town is evidence of that – on the pitch at least, all notions of creativity are suppressed in favour of the collective.” thetwounfortunates

Blackburn Rovers have Unearthed a Gem in Gary Bowyer

February 25, 2014

“When I last wrote of Blackburn Rovers in the autumn, my verdict was overwhelmingly harsh. After all, the imposters who currently own the club are still in place, the wage bill is exalted and the consequences of year upon year of over spending and declining attendances are beginning to bite hard. If there is a club whom Blackburn resemble in their current trajectory, it’s Coventry City, a team that patented the concept of slow decline before their demise became a head on rush into oblivion these past 12 months.” thetwounfortunates

Back in the Ex-USSR: Former Soviet Nationals in the Football League

February 4, 2014

“Amid the relentless cacophony of last Friday’s transfer deadline day, Radio Five Live’s needlessly exhaustive coverage did include an interesting discussion on the whys and wherefores of signing players from the former Soviet Union in the light of Liverpool’s failed bid to take Yevhen Konoplyanka to the club from Dnipro. Examples were given of underperformers from the one time Russian orbit with Martin Keown contrasting Oleh Luzhnyi’s ‘OK’ performances in an Arsenal shirt to that of the beast of a player who had had Marc Overmars running backwards during a Champions League tie against Dynamo Kyiv and the mystifying failure of Andriy Shevchenko to perform anything like his best for Chelsea – for the record, I think the Ukrainian national hero might be my choice as the most disappointing player I have seen play across three seasons of live Premier League football since 2006.” thetwounfortunates