Last on MOTD: It’s only a number

December 29, 2009

VERY early on in my journalistic career, David Moyes – then still a few years from the Everton job – taught me an important lesson: Don’t use squad numbers as a guide to team selection. Read the rest of this entry »


Steel yourself, Gordon

December 27, 2009

“IT’S all coming at us just now – I’m getting a lesson in Championship football,” said Gordon Strachan less than an hour after securing his first home victory as Middlesbrough manager yesterday, a fairly comfortable 3-0 win over Scunthorpe. Read the rest of this entry »


Last on MOTD: What ARE you thinking?

December 27, 2009

PICTURE the scene: A Saturday morning. You’re lying in bed with your loved one, daylight starting to seep through the curtains, a breakfast DJ chirruping from the radio. As the first sounds of the day guide you gently towards wakefulness, your partner turns to you, head propped up on one arm, and whispers gently: “What are you thinking?” Read the rest of this entry »


Match of the Noughties: 2009 – Manchester City 4 Sunderland 3

December 26, 2009

DURING the course of my journalistic career, I have twice been interviewed in my back yard by Scandinavian television stations. In both cases, the catalyst was Manchester City, that great curiosity of English football. Read the rest of this entry »


Match of the Noughties: 2008 – Derby 2 Sheffield United 1

December 24, 2009

THERE’S an episode of the Garry Shandling-a-like early 90s Channel Four sitcom Sean’s Show in which the Sean Hughes character, going through one of his various existential crises, is comforted by his friend Tony.

“Don’t worry, Sean,” Tony says, cheerfully. “Nothing lasts forever. Apart from Saturday’s Brookside omnibus.” Read the rest of this entry »


There are no conspiracy theories

December 21, 2009

ROBERTO Mancini’s first press conference as Manchester City manager ended with a pledge to watch Coronation Street and Eastenders to improve his English. But no soap opera could have produced as much drama as the extraordinary events at the City of Manchester Stadium this evening. Read the rest of this entry »


Last on MOTD: Oooooh… We’ve got a corner flag

December 20, 2009

I ONCE made the mistake of sitting near the front at a comedy gig in Manchester. It was bad enough that the compere took the mickey out of me, but the first act then followed up by speculating about whether I took an interest in animal porn. Read the rest of this entry »