Ballsy Banter Roll of Honour 2012: Villain of the Year

December 20, 2012 in Awards

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We are well and truly into panto season, and today’s category in the Roll of Honour looks at the ‘Villains of the Year’ - those that have raised the ire of the footballing world. Be it through poor judgement or moments of madness, these people have made the footballing landscape an unpleasant place to be.

So let’s see who we’ve picked as our ‘Villain Of The Year’….

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Ballsy Banter Roll of Honour 2012: Moment of the Year

December 18, 2012 in Awards

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We are on day two of the Roll of Honour 2012, and this brings a brand new category - Moment of the Year. Football is all about moments, those scenes that will last long in the memory - be it moments of joy, sorrow or complete mayhem. Let’s see what the panel picked.

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Setting the bar for Demba Ba: possible options for the striker

December 12, 2012 in Premier League, Transfers

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They missed the opportunity in summer, when his release clause was a mere (ha!) £7 million, but with his club seemingly in freefall, so many clubs light on strikers and without a stint in South Africa putting them off, it almost seems negligent to ignore the merits of Newcastle’s Demba Ba this January. But who’ll go in for him? Well…

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FA Cup Third Round Preview: Part 1

December 12, 2012 in FA and Carling Cup

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For your average human, falling leaves, frost on the window, blossoming flowers and the chime of various instruments bellowing from an ice cream van determine the four seasons of the year. But for the football fan, that calendar that you bought from WHSmith last summer looks drastically different. ‘Summer’ is replaced by European Championships, World Cup or merely the birth of the domestic season, ‘Spring’ is taken over by the latter stages of European competition, ‘Autumn’ is disposed of in favour of the Champions League group stages and ‘Winter’ is crossed off with a big black marker pen to be replaced with FA Cup football, good and proper. Exciting, isn’t it?

Now that endless weeks of qualifying rounds, competed by non-league teams most of us will never hear of again, are over, what is commonly referred to as ‘the FA Cup proper’ can commence. With a number of ties whetting the appetite of the most fervent FA Cup followers with still a matter of weeks to go before the Third Round, I’m here to take you through a few of the shiny red balls that caught my eye when the draw was made.

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How do UEFA solve a problem like Europe?

December 3, 2012 in Europe

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The Champions League is arguably the greatest club competition in the world; a tournament steeped in history, graced by the world’s best players from years gone by, and has offered up some truly memorable games in its 57-year history, if we count the European Cup. It still offers that today, despite being bloated by the group stage. The Europa League, in comparison, has always been the problem child, the one who has not achieved the dizzy heights of its brother, and instead of being loved, it’s seen as a waste of time by both managers and fans. Michel Platini, the head of UEFA, has seemingly noticed this and has had some thoughts about the future of both competitions and has mooted the possibility of combining the two. Is this a good idea? And what else could they do to shake things up a bit?

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