Our archived articles

How To Be A Football Reporter

December 1, 1996

How To Be A Football Reporter with Jim MankyLesson two: Why the directors are always right (until they leave)When you are a journalist, you have a professional duty to your readers. Your duty is to never tell them anything if you can possibly avoid it – particularly if they might get the idea that their  more ]


May 1, 1996

STOP THE MADNESS Swindon Town at the Manor, 19th March – An unforgettable evening. Despite supporting Oxford for eighteen seasons this was the first victory I’d seen against Swindon. In 1982 when we beat them 5-0 I was on holiday in Devon with the parents. I ran down to the local newsagents at the crack  more ]

Oxford Really is a Rather nice place

March 1, 1996

Oxford Really is a Rather Nice Place My Old Man said be an Oxford fan and I said NO!Oxford. University; students; boat race.’ tourists; places to eat.Swindon. Railways; the railway village; Magic Roundabout.We haven’t got a lot in common. Or have we? I’d say that not supporting Manchester United and actually supporting a proper team  more ]

Safe as Milk?

October 1, 1995

Safe as Milk?Football has long been a rich feeding ground for the vultures of quick profits and mass commercialism. Anything to do with the game that is marketable is packaged and repackaged and redesigned many times, and still the public snaffles up any keepsake, souvenir or piece of shoddy memorabilia which has some small relevance  more ]

Mug’s game

April 1, 1995

MUG’S GAME I’m not superstitious of course, but it always seemed perfectly rational to make sure that I drank my tea out of my United mug on match days. Common sense told me that my beverage habits had about as much bearing on the on-field fortunes of Denis’s Yellow Army as the moon in conjunction  more ]

Littlemore than we expected

October 1, 1994

LITTLEMORE THAN WE EXPECTEDHaven’t we been here before?If we’re talking about new stadium locations, we’ve been practically everywhere before. What I mean is, now there’s another stadium plan, it’s a good site, the council should approve… it’s a story we’ve heard too many times before. Why believe it this time?All previous stadium schemes have generally  more ]

Mikabila – out of Africa

May 1, 1994

Mikabila – Out of Africa, into…?Everyone knows about Cameroon since Italia ’90. The world youth cup was won last year by Ghana, beating England in the final. The next world cup will see three African nations represented, any or all of whom are well capable of making an impression (watch Nigeria in particular). Football is  more ]

Open Ground

December 1, 1993

Open GroundThere’s something that annoys me about people’s obsession with their house price. Never mind the health of your community, never mind facilities, never mind if anybody else has anything to do. Just don’t build anything near my house, in case it makes a difference when I want to move away. Forget our football ground,  more ]

Something Nasty on the Bottom of your Shoe

February 1, 1993

Something Nasty on the Bottom of your Shoe Many fans will remember that in the late 1970s, a particularly slimy and unpleasant form of political life tried to attach themselves to English football. While their leaders dreamed of being some sort of British Hitler, their boneheads were sent to matches to throw bananas and chant  more ]

In spite of …

September 1, 1992

‘In Spite of’ or ‘Because of’– so what (who) is a good manager?Wealthy Blackburn made it, and poor old Charlton blew it? So did the taciturn Dalglish work the wonder, and were Charlton’s dual managers to blame? Keegan graciously decides to stay at Newcastle because he can have most of the money he wants for  more ]