World Cup 2014 Play-offs: Who will join the European brigade in Brazil?

October 22, 2013 in International by Ben Said Scott

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Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Spain, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina - the names of those brave few who will gather on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro next summer to create history. They will arrive in Brazil with a chance of becoming the first European team to win a World Cup in South America. The chances are good. Spain and Germany are arguably the best two teams in international football, while Italy performed admirably in last summer’s Confederations Cup, and Belgium are many people’s outside bets.

Their ranks will be bolstered with four more teams who ran-out second place in their groups. But first those teams will have to be decided in four play-off games, so who will make it through to 2014 World Cup carnival? Read the rest of this entry →

Sweet Like Chocolate: a team fast becoming everybody’s second favourite - Belgium

October 18, 2013 in International by Emma Lucy Whitney

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The collective mood which spread across England on Tuesday night was one of relief; Roy’s boys had, in the end, managed it, qualifying for Brazil 2014 in something dangerously close to style. If the memories of the past decade or so of apathetic underachievement is enough to make Three Lions’ fans grimace, imagine what it must feel like to be Belgian at the moment. The Rode Duivels finally qualified for their first international tournament in 12 whole years with their Romelu Lukaku-inspired win over Croatia last week, and the country duly erupted into euphoria. At a time when the obligatory ‘golden generation’ of Belgian players are really starting to achieve something individually, with successes at club level across Europe, particularly in the Premier League, qualification for this World Cup has come at exactly the right time. It may even go some way towards reconciling the different political factions in the country – though a number of Belgians from the Flemish north seek to separate from French-speaking Wallonia, all parts of Belgium are currently cheering on one set of players. With all kinds of pressure on its collective shoulders then, will this Belgian team really live up to the hype?

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England Qualify For The World Cup

October 16, 2013 in International by Louis Baxter

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I have been anti Roy Hodgson pretty much since he was appointed. It felt like the cowardly appointment, the one made with PR in mind; whereas Redknapp may have made a few purists mad and caused unnecessary headlines but was at the top of his game. Having taken Spurs from stragglers to Champions League contenders, his recent achievements far outstripped Hodgson’s, whose recent CV read doing OK at West Brom and getting Fulham to  a Europa League Final. Less impressive by my count.


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Are Switzerland the 2014 Underdogs?

October 15, 2013 in International by Daniel Lloyd

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First, before we look into the current team, let’s take a look down memory lane.

The year was 1992. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston was the highest selling single of the year. Gladiators had just debuted on TV. Famous films included Sister Act, Home Alone 2, Wayne’s World and Aladdin. Leeds United won the last football league season before the Premiership began. And Roy Hodgson was the new manager of Switzerland.


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Top Five Suave Managers

October 15, 2013 in Bundesliga, Championship, Funny Stuff, International, Premier League by George Curtis

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Football managers are judged on three things; style of play, success rate and dress sense. Needless to say, 90% of managers are floating round at the bottom of the barrel of hopelessness, each defined by their own lack of fashion sense, whether it be the Tony Pulis baseball cap or the Arsene Wenger overcoat.

But for a select few, Gok Wan would be raising a glass and toasting to that neatly pressed suit or beautifully paired cashmere jumper and trousers. Every football fan wishes they could be a manager, but what would you wear?

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