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66 Star United »
Adult Male
Abbey Lions »
Adult Male
Abbeymead Rovers »
Glevum Way, Abbeydale, Gloucester
Adult Male
Abbeymead Rovers Ladies »
Glevum Way, Abbeydale, Gloucester
Adult Female
Afc Phoenix »
Estcourt Close, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Avonvale United (Youth) »
Lowfield Road, Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Male, Female, U14, U12, U11, U10, U9, U8, U7
Belmore »
Adult Male
Broadwell Amateurs »
Hawthorns, Poolway Road, Coleford
Adult Male
Charfield Juniors (Youth) »
Male, U13
Charlton Rovers (Youth) »
Male, Female, U18, U15, U13, U12, U11, U10, U9, U7
Cheltenham Civil Service »
Tewkesbury Road, Uckington, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Cheltenham Saints »
Wymans Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucester
Adult Male
Cheltenham Saracens (Youth) »
Whaddon, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Male, Female, U18, U16, U15, U14, U13, U12, U11, U10, U9, U8, U7
Cheltenham Town (Youth) »
Whaddon Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Male, Female, U18, U16, U15, U14, U13, U12, U11, U10, U9
Cheltenham Town Ladies »
Quat Goose Lane, Swindon Village, Cheltenham
Adult Female
Cheltenham Town Ladies (Youth) »
Quat Goose Lane, Swindon Village, Cheltenham
Male, Female, U14, U10
Dursley Town Girls (Youth) »
Kingshill Road, Dursley, Gloucestershire
Male, Female, U12, U10
F C Lakers (Youth) »
Male, Female, U16, U14, U12, U11, U10, U9, U8, U7
Finlay »
Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Gala Wilton »
Fairmile Gardens, Off Tewkesbury Road, Gloucester
Adult Male
Gloucestershire College (Men) »
Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Gloucestershire College (Womens) »
Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Adult Female
Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue »
Adult Male
Gotherington Juniors (Youth) »
Male, Female, U15, U14, U13, U12, U11, U10, U9, U8
Hinton Phoenix (Youth) »
Male, U18
Inter Hop Pole »
Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Kendal Road Old Boys »
Longford, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Leonard Stanley Sunday »
Marsh Road, Leonard Stanley, Stonehouse
Adult Male
Longford »
Adult Male
Longford Sunday »
Plock Court, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Matson »
Cotteswold Road, Saintbridge, Gloucester
Adult Male
Oakridge »
Oakridge Lynch, Stonehouse, Stroud
Adult Male
Rising Star »
Adult Male
Rotunda Rovers »
Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Ruardean Hill Rangers (Youth) »
Highview Road, Ruardean Hill, Drybrook
Male, U15
St Georges Dragons »
Wymans Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucester
Adult Male
St James (Youth) »
Spa Road, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Male, U12
St Marks Juniors C.A.F.C. (Adult) »
Adult Male
St Pauls (Disbanded) »
Marle Hill, Cheltenham
Adult Male
Stonehouse Town (Youth) »
Old Ends Lane, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire
Male, Female, U18, U15, U14, U13, U12, U11, U10, U9, U8
Stratton United »
Adult Male
Team Star »
Adult Male
Tetbury Town »
Cirencester Road, Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Tewkesbury Rovers (Disbanded) »
Wymans Lane, Swindon Village, Cheltenham
Adult Male
Tivoli Rovers Fc »
Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Tredworth Tigers »
Estcourt Close, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Trident »
Estcourt Road, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Adult Male
Trinity & Quedgeley United »
Windfall Way, Elmbridge Road, Gloucester
Adult Male
University Of Gloucestershire Womens »
Swindon Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Adult Female
Victoria Celtic »
Adult Male
W M Police J Ocu »
Adult Male
Young Gloucestershire »
Male, U16, U14, U12

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Football News

» Erik ten Hag makes clear who is to blame for Man Utd's implosion at Galatasaray
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was left to face the music after his side threw away a two-goal lead against Galatasaray to leave their Champions League hopes in tatters
» South Korea suspend striker Hwang Ui-jo over sex tape allegation amid police investigation
Norwich striker Hwang Ui-jo has been suspended by the Korean Football Association amid a police inquiry into claims he illegally filmed his former girlfriend without consent
» Andre Onana has become Man Utd's clear liability and biggest threat to Erik ten Hag
GALATASARAY 3-3 MANCHESTER UNITED: The visitors could have pulled off a result that defined their season in Istanbul, only for their goalkeeper to let them down badly in a Champions League encounter that they really needed to win
» Man Utd break 66-year-old club tradition with historic kit during remarkable Galatasaray fixture
Manchester United broke with a 66-year-old tradition with their kit ahead of Wednesday night's must-win Champions League match against Turkish giants Galatasaray in Istanbul
» Man Utd winners and losers at Galatasaray as Andre Onana lets down team-mates again
GALATASARAY 3-3 MANCHESTER UNITED: United led 2-0 and 3-1 in Istanbul and looked set for a win that would take them to second in the Champions League group before a second half collapse
» Man Utd implode again at Galatasaray during Champions League epic - 6 talking points
GALATASARAY 3-3 MANCHESTER UNITED: Manchester United led 2-0 and 3-1 away to Galatasaray but let the Turkish champions back into the game on a fiery night in Istanbul
» Bruno Fernandes left fuming as Alejandro Garnacho's Man Utd celebrations take awkward turn
Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes was visibly concerned after Alejandro Garnacho celebrated the opening goal against Galatasaray by shushing the home fans
» Ansu Fati out for three months as Brighton suffer double blow to worsen injury crisis
Brighton face AEK Athens on Thursday night knowing that victory will book their spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League - but Roberto De Zerbi will be without two more of his stars as the club's injury woes continue
» World Cup winner Lionel Scaloni decides to step down as Argentina manager
Lionel Scaloni guided Argentina to World Cup glory last year but the 2024 Copa America is set to mark the former West Ham defender's final tournament in charge of Lionel Messi and co
» Wolves sporting director banned for calling ref Anthony Taylor "absolutely f****** useless"
Wolves sporting director Matt Hobbs was hit with a one-match ban by The FA after slamming Anthony Taylor following last month's controversial 2-2 draw against Newcastle
» Cristiano Ronaldo faces £790million lawsuit in USA after "next level" vow
Former Manchester United forward and current Al-Nassr star Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in a class action lawsuit in America after promoting a range of NFTs for Binance
» Premier League chief hits back at Andy Burnham as Everton feud escalates
Everton were deducted 10 points during the international break for allegedly breaching the Premier League's financial rules but will appeal the record-breaking punishment
» Ryan Reynolds produces yet another classy Wrexham act as florist pens emotional thank you
Wrexham AFC's Hollywood owner Ryan Reynolds has gone above and beyond for the city and donated an Aviation Gin advertising slot to help promote a local business, with a twist, in the Welsh city
» Erik ten Hag left red-faced as Man Utd chiefs look to immediately fix transfer mistake
Manchester United spent more than £170million during the summer but are likely to dip into the transfer market again in January - with the team sixth in the Premier League
» Sir Jim Ratcliffe gives green light to four Man Utd transfers as huge fire sale planned
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is closing in on his minority takeover at Manchester United and is ready to sanction four new signings with several others potentially being moved on
» Jurgen Klopp confirms double Liverpool blow as extent of Alisson injury becomes clear
Liverpool will have to do without two first-team stars for the Europa League clash with LASK as boss Jurgen Klopp delivered an update on the Reds' injury list ahead of that game
» Man City suffer huge blow as highly-respected chief joins mega-rich Saudi Arabia club
The Saudi Pro League has made a huge impact on world football in the past 12 months be raiding European clubs to sign a host of high-profile players on huge wages
» Rio Ferdinand provides update after leaving Champions League broadcast during match
Rio Ferdinand left TNT Sports' broadcast of Newcastle's draw with PSG mid-game due to illness, with the pundit now releasing an update on his health ahead of Manchester United's clash with Galatasaray
» Mikel Arteta responds to claim Arsenal have the next Santi Cazorla in their ranks
Arsenal have a history of technically gifted stars and Mikel Arteta has commented on whether current forward Leandro Trossard is on the same level as former ace Santi Cazorla
» Maddy Cusack's heartbroken mum says pressures on female footballers are "way too much"
Sheffield United star Maddy Cusack was found dead at her home in September, aged 27, and her mother believes there is too much pressure put on female players, some of whom have to juggle football with other jobs
» Paul Mullin told Ryan Reynolds 'you f****** up more than me' in Wrexham moment
Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds received a cutting critique from Paul Mullin after filming a hilarious advert with the striker in the Racecourse Ground changing room
» PSG vs Newcastle VAR official stood down by UEFA after controversial handball decision
Newcastle were denied a famous win in the French capital on Tuesday night when Paris Saint-Germain were awarded a last-minute penalty following a questionable VAR decision
» Man Utd's Kobbie Mainoo could switch international allegiance despite England call-ups
Manchester United's teenage midfielder Kobbie Mainoo - who was born in Stockport - has represented England at U17, U18 and U19 levels but is eligible to play for Ghana
» Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti hits back at reporter after being quizzed on Brazil job
Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid contract expires at the end of the season but the Italian has no interest in discussing his future despite links to the Brazil job

Other sport news:

» Arsenal v Lens: Champions League – live

That PSV result does put a bit of pressure on Arsenal, though it puts far more on Lens. If they lose tonight, they’re out. Arsenal have two chances.

This is how Group B looks after that mighty victory for PSV Eindhoven, who were 2-0 down when Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos was sent off in the 66th minute.

Arsenal P4 Pts9

PSV P5 Pts8

Lens P4 Pts5

Sevilla P5 Pts 2

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» Manchester United undone by Onana’s gifts in six-goal Galatasaray thriller

Manchester United went through hell and high water in Istanbul but their Champions League aspirations were left hanging by a thread after a thrilling tie against Galatasaray.

Alejandro Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay took great pleasure in silencing the home fans who spent 90 minutes trying to intimidate their visitors out of the game but an Andre Onana mistake allowed Galatasaray back in and a stunning Kerem Akturkoglu strike ensured the points were shared.

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» Champions League: Pepi winner caps PSV’s wild comeback at Sevilla

PSV Eindhoven fought back from two goals down to earn a 3-2 win in a high-octane Champions League group stage encounter against Sevilla on Wednesday that moved the Dutch side closer to the knockouts and ended Sevilla’s qualification hopes.

Sergio Ramos gave Sevilla the lead in the 24th minute and Youssef En-Nesyri chipped the ball over the goalkeeper to extend their advantage two minutes after the break.

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» Everything you ever wanted to know about the handball law – explained

What exactly is a handball now? Is it different in Uefa matches? And is VAR actually making a referee’s job more difficult?

Uh oh, an ‘explainer’ on the laws of football. Can I assume that something has gone terribly wrong? You may. On Tuesday in the Champions League, the referee, Szymon Marciniak, overruled himself to award a penalty to Paris Saint-Germain in the last seconds of their match against Newcastle. Marciniak took the decision that Tino Livramento had handled the ball and Kylian Mbappé duly scored the spot-kick to give the French side an important point. The problem is that the decision apparently failed to meet any of the criteria for handball.

So what are the criteria for handball then? Livramento certainly touched the ball with an arm … That he did, but contact between ball and arm (defined as starting at the end of the armpit) is only the beginning of the considerations a referee must make. First, and most important, if contact is deemed to have been deliberate, it’s a handball. But if it’s thought not to be deliberate other factors come into play, such as the shape of the player’s body when the ball struck them. If the silhouette of the body is deemed to be “unnaturally big” then a penalty can be given, whether the player meant to touch the ball or not.

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» Premier League denies Burnham’s claim of ‘abuse of process’ in Everton case
  • Mayor of Greater Manchester called Everton penalty ‘arbitrary’
  • Alison Brittain, the league’s chair, has rejected his accusations

The Premier League has written to the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, rejecting his claim that there was an “abuse of process” in the hearings that led to Everton being docked 10 points for breaching spending rules.

In a letter sent last weekend to the league, Burnham argued that the organisation “sought to introduce a new sanctions policy” during the considerations of an independent commission into Everton’s breaches of profit and sustainability rules, leading to an “arbitrary decision” that “seemed to result from the pressure applied by the Premier League”.

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» Women’s World Cup players highlight lack of rest before and after tournament
  • Two-thirds say they were not at physical peak for World Cup
  • Nearly 90% had under two weeks to recover after the event

Two-thirds of players at the Women’s World Cup this year feel they were not at their physical peak during the tournament and a similar number have criticised the lack of recovery time after it, with one describing their quick return to club football as “mentally exhausting”.

In a report by the players’ union, Fifpro, which surveyed 260 players from 26 of the 32 teams that took part in the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, 53% said they did not have enough rest before their opening fixture and 60% said their post-tournament rest was insufficient.

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» Football Daily | Newcastle, PSG and a handball call we can all agree on, right?

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Bob Mortimer hates opinions. The preface of his (excellent) autobiography, And Away … includes the important point that the book contains “very little opinion or advice”. And yet he loves football, a sport where it is almost impossible not to have an opinion. And he has a football-related podcast, Athletico Mince, where he is forced to give his two pence. “I have spent 50 years making sure I have no opinions,” he explained to Adam Buxton in 2018. “And then I signed up for a football opinion show, so I had to change that quite quickly.” Football will do that to you. Referees, managers, pundits and tea-timely emails are all paid to have an opinion. And thank goodness for that. It would be deathly boring if everything in the beautiful game was a statement of fact. If everyone agreed that Alejandro Garnacho’s volley was better than Wayne Rooney’s, or that José Mourinho is a better manager than Pep Guardiola, then the world, the pub, the pillow-talk – we presume – and the group chat would be a poorer place.

An unfortunate incident with a Video Assistant Referee in Paris? But let’s not forget the true winner – the petrochemical industry” – Darren Leathley.

While technically brilliant on his behalf, Alejandro Garnacho’s overhead kick at Everton came about because of a hopeless cross, as many of these goals do. I prefer a team goal with many passes (Barry Glendenning and I agree on the beauty of Ethan Pinnock’s goal against Liverpool) or a blistering counterattack. I propose separating out the over-hyped overhead kick from the real goal of the season contenders” – Tony Wilson.

Mention of World In Motion (yesterday’s Memory Lane, full email edition) reminds me to share this. If you’ve never heard it [we have, but others might want to feel our pain – Football Daily Ed], I can only apologise, but I’ve suffered long enough and it’s your turn now. Yes, it’s Peter Beardsley doing the rap” – Mike Slattery.

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» Liverpool target Manchester United game for goalkeeper Alisson’s return
  • Brazilian’s hamstring injury not as serious as first feared
  • No 2 Kelleher could start next five games in all competitions

Jürgen Klopp has allayed Liverpool concerns that Alisson faces a lengthy spell out of action and hopes the influential goalkeeper will be fit to face Manchester United on 17 December.

Liverpool feared an extended layoff for their first-choice keeper after he sustained a hamstring injury late in the 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Saturday. However, scans have shown the damage is not severe and Alisson could be out for just over a fortnight.

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» ‘Just be careful’: Exeter’s Rob Baxter warns football over sin-bin trial
  • Ifab has voiced support for sin-bin trial at professional level
  • ‘We are meddlers in sport and rugby is worst of lot’

Exeter rugby director Rob Baxter has urged football’s law-makers to be careful after they agreed that sin-bins should be trialled at higher levels of the sport.

The International Football Association Board (Ifab) has supported the move following a successful implementation in the grassroots game. Temporary dismissals of players for offences such as dissent and specific tactical fouls were backed by Ifab at its annual business meeting. Sin-bins have been used in rugby for more than 20 years, and they were introduced across all levels of grassroots football from the 2019-20 season in an attempt to improve levels of respect and fair play in the game.

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» Smashing the grass ceiling: Eta set to make Champions League history

Union Berlin’s interim joint assistant manager will break new ground when the German side travel to Braga on Wednesday

When Marie-Louise Eta takes her seat in the away dugout at Braga on Wednesday night women across the world will have reason to cheer long and loud. In her capacity as interim joint assistant manager at Union Berlin, Eta is set to become the first senior female coach to be actively involved in a men’s Champions League group stage game.

There was a time, not so long ago, when such a scenario seemed impossible. Indeed the inherent challenges involved dictate that Eta’s achievement still feels almost akin to a human walking on the moon. At elite levels of the men’s game gender diversity often remains a vague aspiration rather than anything approaching reality, so quite a watershed was achieved when, on Saturday, Eta helped choreograph Union Berlin to a 1-1 home draw with Augsburg. In the process she became the first female assistant manager in Bundesliga history.

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» Eddie Howe stays ice cold even as Newcastle burn with sense of injustice | David Hytner

Even after being denied a crucial win, manager gave a masterclass in composure to set the tone for Milan showdown

It was most assuredly in managerial meltdown territory – either then and there upon the full-time whistle or in the press conference afterwards. Perhaps it even merited a strongly worded club statement, decrying the demise of refereeing standards.

Put yourself in Eddie Howe’s shoes. You have watched your Newcastle team put bodies on the line throughout a second-half siege at Paris Saint-Germain, protecting a 1-0 lead courtesy of Alexander Isak’s 24th-minute goal.

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» Moving the Goalposts | Women’s Nations League: what’s at stake in the final group games?

Olympic spots, promotion, relegation and Euro 2025 qualifying hopes are on teams’ minds in these two rounds of matches

The final group stage window of the inaugural Women’s Nations League is fast approaching with countries jostling for promotion and position. While many in League A have the semi-finals in sight, others will be focused on securing a good spot for the Euro 2025 qualification phase. Moving the Goalposts broke down the format in September and the majority of placings remain to be decided.

None of the semi-finalists have been confirmed, with all top positions in League A still up for grabs. That means the European teams who will feature in next summer’s Olympics remain unknown. The eventual finalists will qualify for the Paris Games – if France make it, a spot goes to the third-place team. For Team GB to qualify, England count as the nominated side.

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» What are the biggest football fixtures that have never taken place? | The Knowledge

Plus: chains of substitutes, sharers of Spurs’ injury-time pain and the legality of using an opponent’s back as a springboard

“What are the ‘biggest’ (competitive) international and club matches that have never occurred, ie the teams that have never played each other competitively?” asks David Mills.

Pete Tomlin kicks things off for us with the kind of researched answer that could put us out of work. “I have been looking at international matches and used the current Fifa rankings to decide which are the biggest matches that have not occurred, depending on the teams’ current placings,” he begins. “It also depends what you class as competitive – there are tournaments such as the Confederations Cup, Umbro Cup, etc which may be seen as competitive by some but are not officially.

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» PSG reignite the handball debate and Wolves v VAR – Football Weekly

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Nicky Bandini and Philippe Auclair as a controversial handball means Newcastle are denied a vital win

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

On the podcast today; Newcastle concede a controversial late penalty away at PSG that leaves them needing a win and results going for them to qualify for the knockout stages. It also means we are duty bound to have another 15 minute conversation about the handball law.

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» Champions League: Barcelona and Atlético seal knockout places
  • Barça beat Porto 2-1 at home to earn last-16 spot
  • Borussia Dortmund win in Milan; Atlético eliminate Feyenoord

João Cancelo and João Félix scored in each half to earn Barcelona a 2-1 comeback win at home against Porto that booked their spot in the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time in three seasons.

The visitors wasted several chances before Pepe put them in front in the 30th minute with a close-range strike from a rebound. But Barça hit back quickly with a fine curling shot into the top corner by Cancelo two minutes later.

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» Manchester City seal top spot as Álvarez caps fightback win against RB Leipzig

Pep Guardiola was proud of his players’ fight when transforming what appeared certain defeat when Manchester City trailed 2-0 at half-time into a late victory. He was less enamoured of the actual display.

In introducing Julián Álvarez and Jérémy Doku early in the second half, Guardiola performed a masterstroke. Each was pivotal, the former finding the winner from a move that was decorated by Doku’s mastery of the ball before Phil Foden set Álvarez up.

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» Celtic out of Europe after late double from Lazio’s Ciro Immobile

Brendan Rodgers bemoaned a lack of quality after Celtic’s interest in Europe ended with a 2-0 defeat in the Champions League by Lazio in Rome.

The Scottish champions went into the make-or-break game with one point from four Group E matches but were undone with two late goals from the home side’s classy substitute Ciro Immobile.

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» Championship roundup: Watford pull off brilliant comeback win over Norwich
  • Asprilla scores winner as Hornets come back from 2-0 down
  • Hull move back into top six with 4-1 win over Rotherham

Watford hit back from 2-0 down to beat Norwich 3-2 and leapfrog the Canaries in mid-table.

Danny Batth and Hwang Ui-jo gave the visitors a 2-0 lead after just 12 minutes but Ismaël Koné and Mileta Rajović levelled by half-time and Yáser Asprilla grabbed the winner with 13 minutes left.

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» ‘Sky’s the limit’: Beth Mead supports new organisation to run women’s game
  • Arsenal player says it’s time to let go of FA’s ‘stabilisers’
  • Forward is in England squad for first time since ACL injury

Beth Mead has said “the sky’s the limit” following the decision of Women’s Super League and Championship clubs to vote to form an independent organisation to run the women’s professional game.

“We want the game to move to a new level, we want to keep pushing it forward,” she said. “Although the FA have done an amazing job over so many years, it was time to let go of those stabilisers and let somebody else take over. Hopefully in the long run that can help us push the game and the leagues to the next level. The sky’s the limit and we have to keep pushing it there.”

Continue reading...
» Lewis Miley makes his name on biggest stage amid Newcastle’s righteous rage | Jonathan Liew

The 17-year-old from County Durham starred on the game’s biggest stage and local hero provided green shoots of joy

Power finds a way. Albeit for Paris Saint-Germain, the road to redemption here would consist of a scandalous late penalty, a midfield made of sugar syrup and some of the worst distance shooting seen this side of a Soccer AM Crossbar Challenge. At full time the Parc des Princes roared with relief, heaved and exhaled, not with conviction but with the begrudging acceptance of something stolen, not earned.

And this really was tough on Newcastle, who were 97 minutes in to perhaps their greatest away win in Europe. Annihilated by injuries and with about three grown adults on their bench, they weathered everything the world’s richest club and the world’s greatest forward could throw at them: a home crowd, chances saved and blocked and thwarted, the sort of pressure that makes the Montpelliers and Lyons of this world crumble on a weekly basis.

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» ‘Kids with Down’s have no filter. I love it’: Allan Cockram, the man behind the Mighty Penguins

A new film charts the rise of a west London football club for young players with Down’s Syndrome, and the team’s founder has a fairly extraordinary life story of his own

‘Life has turned upside down the last eight weeks,” Allan Cockram says with a breathless smile after another muddy Sunday morning training session with the exuberant kids in his football team for players with Down’s syndrome, the Brentford Penguins. “It’s gone from just the training to all this recognition from so many people. I’m at a stage in my life where I can handle this stuff so let’s go for it. Let’s highlight these extraordinary children.”

Cockram’s life has been remarkable and unusual. After a couple of games for Spurs in the 1980s, playing in midfield alongside Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles despite his undiagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he became a playmaker with a magnificent mullet for years at Brentford. His depression after football, while he found work as a fireman and then a taxi driver, lifted when Cockram met a teenager with Down’s who, years later, inspired him to start the Penguins.

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» Manchester United face Galatasaray with high hopes but bad memories

Thirty years after an infamous night in Turkey, United must win to secure their Champions League destiny

It is 30 years since Manchester United’s most famous trip to Istanbul with Champions League elimination on the line. Galatasaray created an unwelcome hell that Cerberus would have been proud of and a night of sin ended with Alex Ferguson’s side being dumped out of Europe.

United, realistically, required a win to progress after drawing 3‑3 in the first leg of the second‑round tie at Old Trafford but the atmosphere in Turkey subdued the visitors and the second leg stuttered to a goalless draw. Eric Cantona was sent off late on for his frustrations with the referee and the home team’s addiction to timewasting. There was a post-match melee in the tunnel involving the United squad and riot police as the trip ended like it began – with intimidation. Many of United’s team froze, unable to deal with the ferocious and vociferous atmosphere they faced.

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» England’s Euro 96 squad was full of leaders but we all looked up to Terry | Darren Anderton

From Tony Adams to Stuart Pearce, the team had big personalities but everyone knew who was in charge

When you’re talking about great managers, when you’re talking about great men, for me you’re talking about Terry Venables. Nobody else comes close. In terms of tactics, in terms of coaching, on the training pitch, as a man manager, just the guy that he was, there’s no comparison.

Terry signed me for Tottenham as a 20-year-old. I didn’t want to leave Portsmouth, but once I’d met him, that was it. I remember I asked how much the club had paid for me. He said £2m and I said: “What?” I was shocked and I think he picked up on that, because he said to me: “That’s what we think of you. You’re going to be a hell of a player and you’re already on your way.”

Continue reading...
» ‘I’m happy. I have friends who are not’: What Inter Miami lost with Messi

The Argentinian has delivered a trophy and massive attention for his new team. But some fans say the franchise has become impersonal since his arrival

“When the news happened, I had to turn my phone off,” says Mike Longin, a member of the Green Lot Gang Inter Miami supporters’ group, of the moment Lionel Messi’s signing was confirmed.

“My friends, my family, even my pool guy, were all calling – ‘Hey, Messi’s coming. We’re so excited for you.’ It was an exciting day. But there was also from day one, ‘OK, what does this mean?’ We knew it wasn’t going to be the same.”

Continue reading...
» Comandante Morales’ hat-trick shows Villarreal what they have missed | Sid Lowe

After a barren run, veteran forward has five goals in two games and has helped jumpstart Marcelino’s second stint at the club

One by one, 16,389 people stood to salute the Commander. First they got to their feet, then they applauded and then, as José Luis Morales, the man with the military title, made it to the edge of the pitch, they began bowing, repeating his name like some Gregorian chant. On the touchline, his coach – the fourth he has had this season and the one that might just have set him free at last – was waiting to welcome him back. They had barely been working together a week, but it was turning out nicely, hope let in again. “When good things happen to friends and family, you’re happy for them; this time it’s my turn,” the Villarreal forward said softly.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine this,” Morales said. At the start of this week, he had started just three games all season and not scored a goal. A footballer capable of the ridiculous, who scored from 50 yards last season, he is 36 now and hadn’t begun a match since September. Quique Setién didn’t play him, José Rojo Martin “Pacheta” didn’t either and, as for Miguel Ángel Tena, the caretaker coach didn’t get the chance. Morales, meanwhile, hadn’t scored in eight months. Then in the past week he played twice in four days, starting Marcelino García Toral’s first two games as the new coach, and did so five times. Yes, five.

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» Player scores outstanding long-range volley in Welsh seventh-tier game – video

Cwrt Rawlin FC's Harry Short scored a stunning goal in a game against AFC Penrhiwceiber in the Welsh seventh tier, with an amazing volley from near the halfway line. The goal helped Cwrt Rawlin to an impressive 5-2 victory.

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» 'A proper, proper man': Pep Guardiola pays tribute to Terry Venables – video

The Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, paid tribute to the late Terry Venables, who has died aged 80. The two briefly overlapped during Venables’ spell in charge of Barcelona from 1984-1987, while Guardiola was part of the club’s famous La Masia academy. Guardiola called Venables 'a proper, proper man' and said his death was 'a big loss for English football'.

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» Fans delay Argentina top flight match with barrage of fireworks – video

A match in the Argentina top flight between hosts Godoy Cruz and visitors Boca Juniors was delayed for almost two minutes when home supporters set off a barrage of fireworks just before stoppage time. Boca Juniors led 2-1 when the pyrotechnics were set loose, with some missiles landing on the pitch. The visitors didn't seem fazed however, as Boca Juniors went on the clinch the victory after the restart for their second straight win.

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» 'I'm a handsome man who seduces his players': Guardiola jokes about secret to his success – video

Pep Guardiola joked that the secret behind his success as a manager is that he is 'a handsome man who seduces his players'. The Manchester City manager expressed his frustration at the lack of time his team have to prepare and train for matches this season. When asked how players manage to absorb information with only 10 minutes of training time, Guardiola jokingly responded: 'I am a handsome man and I seduce them and we do it. So, I am really good'

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» Terry Venables: a look back at his distinguished career – video obituary

Former England, Barcelona and Tottenham manager Terry Venables has died at the age of 80. Venables, who had a distinguished career as a player that brought two international caps. Although he played more than 500 league games for Chelsea, Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace from 1960-74, he is best known for his exploits as a manager and was in charge of England when they reached the semi-finals of Euro 96.

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» 'Let's get on with it': Sean Dyche prepared for Everton's 10-point penalty – video

Sean Dyche is ready for the challenge Everton's 10-point penalty will pose by preparing for his team to play their way out of the relegation zone. Everton is brimming with a sense of injustice over the record point deduction that has revived relegation fears. Despite fan protests ahead of Everton's home game against Man Utd, a level-headed Dyche argued that for now, dependent on the result of their appeal, the penalty is in place and they need to move forward as if it will continue to be so.

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» Afghanistan football head involved in match-fixing, former players claim
  • FA president Mohammad Kargar accused over games in 2008
  • He denies claims and says people with agenda are targeting him

Several former Afghanistan players have claimed the president of the country’s football federation ordered them to fix two matches during a men’s tournament in Malaysia.

The former captain Djelaludin Sharityar and the goalkeeper Aimal Gerowal are among those to have accused Mohammad Kargar – who has been president of the AFF since January 2019 and previously had two spells as coach of the senior men’s team – of working in collaboration with the notorious match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal and Dan Tan to arrange the results of games against Nepal and Sierra Leone at the Merdeka tournament in 2008. Tan was described in 2013 by Interpol as head of the “world’s largest and most aggressive match-fixing syndicate” but denies wrongdoing.

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» Juventus make a point against Inter as talk of title grows louder in Turin | Nicky Bandini

Allegri has tried to play down his side’s scudetto hopes but after Derby d’Italia draw Juve really do look like contenders

On the eve of this season’s first Derby d’Italia, both managers insisted they would not “sign for a draw”. Simone Inzaghi was pragmatic, claiming he would never do that “unless it’s the second leg [of a knockout game] and you already won the first.” Massimiliano Allegri found a way to be even more so, saying: “No. We need to play the match that starts at 8.45pm.”

Those replies were as inevitable as the question being posed. Neither manager could pre-declare a willingness to settle for a point in a game against their most likely rival for the Serie A title. Yet it was reasonable to think that outcome might suit them both.

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» Union say farewell to Urs Fischer, the FußballGott who created dreams | Andy Brassell

Union Berlin began life without Urs Fischer with a 1-1 draw against Augsburg and an outpouring of emotion

It is often trite to describe a particular goal as the turning point of a season. Especially with late goals, we have the tendency to let the emotion describe them, as if they are more important than they actually might be.

Divorcing events from emotion has never been a speciality of Union Berlin, however. This is a club and a fanbase that feels everything. The club whose supporters literally gave their own blood to raise funds to fill empty coffers, who rebuilt a crumbling stadium with their own hands – and who, on the back of a horrendous run of 12 successive defeats which turned what should have been a dream season into an unfolding nightmare, chanted not for their head coach to be sacked, but emptied their lungs with the gospel that he was still a FußballGott to them.

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» Sergio Ramos and his 29 red cards: a retrospective

Back with his boyhood club, the defender has finally seen red for Sevilla nearly 20 years after his debut

Sergio Ramos may have won the Champions League four times, five La Liga titles, the World Cup and two European Championships but once again the defender is in the headlines for the wrong reasons. On Sunday night, the 37-year-old Sevilla defender was sent off against Real Sociedad – the 29th time in his career that he has seen red. Delve into Ramos’s back catalogue here:

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» European roundup: Bellingham on target as Real Madrid sweep aside Cádiz
  • Rodrygo scores twice for Real in 3-0 win
  • Inter stay top of Serie A after draw with Juventus

Real Madrid’s Rodrygo struck twice and Jude Bellingham was also on target as the visitors enjoyed a 3-0 win at Cádiz in La Liga on Sunday to move to the top of the standings.

Real went ahead after 14 minutes when Rodrygo cut into the area and fired a superb shot into the top-right corner. The Brazilian got his second in the 64th with another fine shot after finding space in the box before Bellingham sealed the win 10 minutes later with his 11th league goal this season.

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» ‘For me it’s like a movie’: the fall, fightback and rise of Belenenses

An ownership saga left the club teetering in Lisbon’s regional league but the former champions are back in the second tier

Five seasons ago, Luis Palma attended a friendly match in a suburb of Lisbon with his wife, son and dog, Pipoca. “It translates as popcorn in Portuguese,” he says. “And it was the game where I decided I was going to support [and be a member of] Belenenses.”

Palma’s fandom coincided with a tumultuous time for Clube de Futebol Os Belenenses. In 1999, all clubs in Portugal’s top two professional divisions were required to operate through a Public Limited Sports Company, widely known as a Sociedade Anónima Deportiva (SAD), the idea being that it would lead to greater global investment into Portuguese football.

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» Warren Zaïre-Emery can become the heart of France’s midfield at Euro 2024

The decline of Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kanté has given Didier Deschamps a problem – a 17-year-old has solved it

By Eric Devin for Get French Football News

“Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.” When Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote his allegorical poem Queen Mab, he was exhorting readers to be in the moment, not to daydream about what could be or what might have been. But his famous line also sums up the exceedingly brief career of the France and PSG midfielder, Warren Zaïre-Emery.

With France already qualified for Euro 2024, and the Real Madrid pair of Aurélien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga missing through injury, Didier Deschamps called up the 17-year-old for their final two qualifiers, against Gibraltar and Greece. Zaïre-Emery’s rise ​has been remarkably quick. He made his professional debut for PSG in August 2022, becoming the club’s youngest ever player at the age of 16 years and 151 days. He only recently made his debut for the France Under-21s, where he was picked as captain by manager Thierry Henry.

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» Women’s Champions League: Paralluelo fires Barcelona comeback at Frankfurt

Barcelona survived a scare in the Women’s Champions League as the holders battled back from a goal down to defeat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 thanks to quickfire strikes from Salma Paralluelo.

Barça were heavy favourites to follow up the 5-0 thrashing against Benfica in their opening match against the German side. But Eintracht had also picked up a victory in their first match, against Sweden’s Rosengård, and showed they were no pushovers by taking the lead three minutes before half-time through Laura Freigang.

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» England’s Under-17s dumped out of World Cup by Uzbekistan as coach sees red
  • Asian side win 2-1 against 2017 champions in Indonesia
  • Jamoliddin Rahmatullayev sent off for kicking ball away

England’s Under-17s were dumped out of the World Cup by Uzbekistan despite the Asian country’s manager being shown a red card for deliberately kicking the ball into the stands.

Greg Lincoln’s side finished top of their group in Indonesia and had been expected to progress to the last eight against a side ranked 73rd in the world. But they fell behind in Jakarta to a goal from Amirbek Saidov before Manchester City’s Joel Ndala equalised with his third goal of the tournament.

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» ‘We had a small wooden box’: why a TV can make (or break) your enjoyment of this winter’s sporting events

Sports lover Andrzej Łukowski truly suffered for his teams by watching them on less than perfect TVs over the years. Here he looks back at the bad and the ugly and celebrates the great of today

Little can beat the thrill of settling down on the sofa to watch live sport, although over the years I have had TV sets that have done their absolute best to scupper it.

The first telly I remember from childhood was a sort of corrugated wooden box that my family didn’t even own – it was rented. This might make me sound as if I’m in my 90s, or grew up behind the iron curtain. But no, this was 1980s Birmingham, where my formative memory of both TV and sports was Poland’s 3-0 thrashing by England in the 1986 World Cup, requiring my dad to tell me what was happening because to a five-year-old it wasn’t especially obvious from said small wooden box what was actually going on.

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» From viewing parties to gaming nights: how to be the ultimate host this winter

If you haven’t already heard, cosy season is here. But beware, the gravitational pull of a comfy sofa and a blanket can mean the death knell for social plans – unless, that is, you bring the party to you …

Sure, you can throw a gathering with a selection of the local offie’s finest, some Twiglets and a Spotify playlist; but the year is 2023, and you’re better than that! At home, you’re unlikely to be able to hit the levels of Secret Cinema or the immersive theatre Punchdrunk (though you may have fun trying) but there are still ways to make your party a truly interactive experience.

Rest easy, as the entertainment aspect can all be taken care of by Sky Glass, a smarter than smart TV with all of Sky’s services inbuilt – so there’s no need for a satellite dish or box – and which offers all the major streamers and sports.

Film and TV night

Sports night

Gaming night

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» Shopping for a new smart TV? You’re going to want to read this …

From looking good to sounding great, it’s time we demanded a lot more from our TVs

It’s fair to say that in 2023 we want more from our TVs. Gone are the days when we were happy to point our remotes at an uninspiring box in the corner and flick mindlessly until we found something everyone could settle on (the one where you watch the same episode of Friends for the 387th time). We’re now living in, dare I say it, a golden age, where TV shows are packed with more A-listers than you can shake an Oscar at, and are as great as, if not greater than, many films.

Luckily, we have the tech to back it up – say hello (literally) to Sky Glass, the smarter TV that feels as if it’s from the future.

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» ‘A gateway to entertainment’: how to choose the right smart TV for your family

From losing ourselves in films to watching history unfold, the TV is a core part of our households. Christine Ochefu explains what to think about when going for an upgrade

If you’re ever looking for a way to experience a moment of leisure when at home, one of the safest, most instant options is to put the TV on. It’s certainly the case for me anyway; in between work or alongside a meal, I’m always looking for a source of entertainment that doesn’t include using my phone like a phantom limb. Catching up on my favourite shows seems a bit more wholesome and slower-paced than scrolling, and there’s something quite soothing about losing oneself in a re-run or watching a film.

Generally, I’d argue that the kettle is TV’s only rival for the spot of most grounding appliance of the modern home. And culturally, television might have won the battle. The TV is surely the most central, standout and immersive appliance in a sea of home life mundanity, and not to mention something most people actually like using (have you ever jumped for joy picking up a vacuum cleaner?).

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» Mohamed Salah’s consistent genius has propelled Liverpool back to the top | Andy Hunter

The Egyptian forward makes the exceptional seem routine and is still the star man in a reshaped team this season

Breaking new ground has become such an established part of Mohamed Salah’s repertoire at Liverpool that sometimes it takes a fresh voice to remind us that his routine is, in fact, exceptional, and should be celebrated as such. The erudite Thomas Frank was that voice before the international break.

“Mo Salah gets praised a lot but I don’t know if he gets enough praise,” the Brentford manager said. “I think now, off the top of my head, he is the best player in the Premier League potentially. In terms of goals and assists, what a level. He must be one of the top offensive players in the world. Not top 10, but top three.”

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» How long can the Premier League remain sane? | Jonathan Wilson

Twelve weeks into the season, there have been zero managerial dismissals – have clubs begun to realize that changing managers is not a panacea?

All is calm, and it’s a little disconcerting. Last season, a record 14 Premier League managers left their jobs, but with a third of this campaign gone, we are still awaiting out first dismissal. It’s true that prime sacking season is not yet quite upon us and that the opening of the transfer window in January may focus minds but, still, this is a period of unusual stability. So what lies behind it?

Immediately there is a caveat, which is that Julen Lopetegui left Wolves shortly before the season began, reasoning that the financial constraints under which he would have had to operate were intolerable. The former Spain manager seemingly turned down the opportunity to take charge of the Saudi champions Al-Ittihad and now lurks as a potential replacement for any Premier League manager who is sacked this winter. Lopetegui’s successor, Gary O’Neil, has done a remarkable job given the restrictions on him: Wolves lie 12th in the table and probably would be in the top half had three poor penalty decisions not gone against them.

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» Sacking a manager is the hardest call, but the evidence will speak for itself | Jason Stockwood

Club owners need to balance long-term objectives with near-term realities when making decisions that affect people’s lives

Unless you are a sociopath, it should always be hard to fire someone. It is even harder if you enjoy working with, and have had success with, those people. Businesses go through constant evolution and the people you need in your business will and should change at each stage. A startup team is often different to those you need in a turnaround or as you are scaling. All are definitely different from large businesses optimising for efficiency rather than growth. This applies even more so to the people leading.

Since May 2021 we have been involved in a turnaround at Grimsby Town FC. On becoming custodians of the newly relegated club we committed to a process of continual improvement and identified that the club needed stabilising through an improved playing squad, a modernised culture and updating vital infrastructure. We gave ourselves three years and, until recently, we have been on plan, securing promotion from the National League, attaining our highest League Two position in 17 years and reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1939.

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» David Squires on … Terry Venables doing it his way

Our cartoonist looks back on the life of the former England manager with the help of a favourite Sinatra song

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» WSL title challengers flex their muscles – Women’s Football Weekly

Faye Carruthers is joined by Suzanne Wrack, Sophie Downey and Tim Stillman to round up all the action going into the international break

On today’s pod: it was goals galore as the Women’s Super League’s top five had fun this weekend.

SEVEN says our vidiprinter as Bunny Shaw’s first-half hat-trick set Manchester City rolling at the expense of Spurs.

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» Football Daily | Newcastle take the cherubs on a must-not-lose mini-break in Paris

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While Newcastle’s Gulf state derby against PSG is not strictly a must-win game for the Premier League side, it is certainly must-not-lose to maintain hopes of progressing to the Big Cup knockout stages. Having smashed their French hosts 4-1 in the corresponding fixture at St James’ Park, Newcastle fans would have every right to feel confident in Paris if their squad wasn’t so decimated by injuries and suspensions. The list of absentees is so long that celebrity Toon fans Ant and Dec would almost certainly get a game if they weren’t making an even bigger show of themselves in Australia helping to rehabilitate the reputation of a despicable, dinghy-obsessed demagogue.

Hey. Hey. Hey. Let’s take it easy on one of my all-time faves, the Gliding Gladiator, Dimitar Berbatov (yesterday’s Fun and Games in South America Dept, full email edition). To my recollection Berba never had any responsibility to track back, God forbid. His responsibility was to score goals which I thought he did with admirable panache” – Guy Robert.

Generally, I’m all for the use of AI and, quite frankly, in my office I’d settle for any sort of intelligence, artificial or natural. However, it was extremely disappointing to see the once-great Sports illustrated being accused of using AI to generate articles and generate fake profiles for authors while also being too lazy to even check whether they even made any sense afterwards. Thankfully, the quality of the articles, with such classics as ‘volleyball can be a little tricky to get into, especially without an actual ball to practice with’, is so poor that even Football Daily wouldn’t lower itself to using it. My office on the other hand” – Noble Francis [you say that … – Football Daily Ed].

Petr Cech posing for a photo in ‘a graveyard in Surrey’ you say (yesterday’s Memory Lane, full email edition)? Or is it a graveyard next to Baron’s Court tube station?” – Russell Packford (and 1,056 other west Londoners).

Sergio Ramos has wrongly been accused of receiving his 29th red card. It is the 30th when you count the un-awarded one for his judo tackle on Mohamed Salah in the Big Cup final” – Krishna Moorthy (and no other readers struggling to move on from 2018).

In this age of Premier League-centric largesse, let’s spare a thought for the rest of a pyramid which is the envy of the world. I present you Wealdstone’s 98th-minute winner against our despised rivals Barnet on Saturday which provoked chaotic scenes among the 2,000 home fans, emptied the technical area and inflicted a fourth consecutive defeat on the club that [Snip – Football Daily Lawyers] our ground. Wealdstone are part-time, Barnet are full-time. Delicious doesn’t begin to describe the rapture at the final whistle” – Neale Harvey.

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» Arsenal go top and a tribute to Terry Venables – Football Weekly

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, John Brewin and Troy Townsend to review the weekend’s Premier League action and pay tribute to Terry Venables

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

On the podcast today: Spurs lose their third game in a row and the panel ask whether Ange Postecoglou’s good vibes can ride out this storm and whether Aston Villa are quietly becoming title contenders.

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» Football quiz: test your knowledge of street art and stadium murals

Grab a can of spray paint and test your skills on football artworks and the figures who inspired them

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» Which club has the highest back-to-back symmetrical scores in football? | The Knowledge

Plus: more relegated European Cup teams, another perfect, perfect hat-trick and the shortest new-manager bounce

“Celtic lost 6-0 to Atlético Madrid this month. To make amends Celtic beat Aberdeen by the same scoreline in the following game. Do any other teams have a higher symmetrical scoreline in back-to-back games?” asks Billy.

Let’s start with a cracking example from Christmas 1960, as highlighted by Clive Denny, when Charlton and Plymouth produced symmetrical scorelines against each other in the space of 24 hours.

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» David Squires on … the ultimate fantasy football stadium in 50 favourite bits

Our cartoonist asked his echo chamber to nominate their best-loved parts of grounds. The response was overwhelming and explains the liberties taken with scale and perspective

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» ‘It’s a way to let it out’: Jess King on football, music and fighting racism

Footballer and spoken word rapper uses the game and music to help against experiences of racism and micro-aggressions

Football and music are powerful tools. There is a reason why they are so widely loved and touch many lives around the world. About 30 miles from central London, in Billericay, the footballer and spoken word rapper Jess King uses both arts to deal with painful experiences and fight for change in the women’s game.

Born in Liverpool, King has written spoken word, music and poetry from an early age. But when she suffered concussion last year and had to stop playing, she dedicated more time on it and was able to share her talent with the world. Earlier this month, she released a new single called Look Into My Eyes, where she shares some of her experiences dealing with racism and micro-aggressions throughout her life. “I think music is a way to let it out,” she tells Moving the Goalposts.

This is an extract from our free weekly email, Moving the Goalposts. To get the full edition visit this page and follow the instructions.

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» Meet the AI-created football expert aiming to teach Infantino a lesson

‘Hope Sogni’ is launching a hypothetical Fifa election campaign to represent women and show game could be run differently

In March Gianni Infantino was re-elected unopposed as Fifa’s president to serve until 2027, having taken over from Sepp Blatter in 2016. “Those who love me, you are many, and the few who hate me, I love you all,” he said at Fifa Congress after confirmation he would continue in the role. Eligible to stand again, he could stay in post until 2031.

Frustrations with Fifa and Infantino fester in parts of the world on a variety of issues from inequities and inequalities in football to human rights abuses and the manipulated inevitability of a men’s World Cup in Saudi Arabia in 2034. Yet there is no viable alternative to him, given influence is so heavily concentrated in the hands of the federation’s president.

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» On the plane or sofa? How England’s Euro 2024 squad is shaping up | Jacob Steinberg

Gareth Southgate will keep faith with established names but exciting youngsters such as Eberechi Eze and Cole Palmer are in with a chance

Jordan Pickford continues to fend off rivals for the No 1 spot and will be England’s goalkeeper at Euro 2024. Gareth Southgate has repeatedly shown he will back his regulars. Harry Maguire has his critics but the centre-back will go to Germany. A bigger question is whether Maguire starts. Marc Guéhi has emerged as a viable alternative and is pushing to start alongside England’s best defender, John Stones.

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» David Raya: ‘Those three months at Southport were among the best of my career’

Arsenal goalkeeper on the Ramsdale ‘debate’, his unusual route to the top and the reason he feels so mentally strong

“Soap and water, nothing else. Never, ever put them in the washing machine: soap, water, hang them on the line, that’s it.” David Raya has been shown a pair of well-worn goalkeeper gloves, held at arm’s length between thumb and forefinger, and asked his advice: how do you stop these from absolutely stinking? Which they do, he knows, even from a safe distance. The size of the smile reveals that, recognition instant. It’s not something he has to do any more – these days he pulls on a new pair every few games – but it was. Not just the gloves, either.

“My story isn’t the typical footballer’s story,” the Arsenal goalkeeper says, settling on to the steps outside the dressing rooms at the Spanish federation’s Las Rozas HQ, 25km northwest of Madrid.

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» Darrell Clarke: ‘I don’t want to be treated as the manager who lost his daughter’

The raw anguish of his daughter’s death has left the Cheltenham manager seeking a lasting legacy as he breathes belief into the club

Every time Darrell Clarke returns to his roots in Mansfield, where he grew up on the Ladybrook estate, he walks into a world of pain. He visits his uncle, Russ, and elder brother, Wayne, who still live in the town, but it is also there, in the cemetery off Nottingham Road, where his grandmother, Sheila, his mother, Doreen, and eldest daughter, Ellie, are buried within yards of each other.

He last went a few weeks ago. His gran brought him up after his mum died in a car crash when he was two. His grandfather was a turnstile steward at Mansfield’s Field Mill. His father was an alcoholic.

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» Next Generation 2023: 60 of the best young talents in world football

From Warren Zaïre-Emery to Endrick, we select some of the best players born in 2006. Check the progress of our classes of 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018

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» Next Generation 2023: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

We pick the best youngsters at each club born between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of our classes of 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 and look at the editions from further back

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» From Saka to Ackermann: what happened to Next Generation 2018?

Five years ago we picked 80 of the most talented players in the world to follow their progress in a cut-throat business

It is the time of year when we check in on the Next Generation players we picked in 2018 to follow for five years, to assess their progress amid success, setbacks, injuries, trophies won and transfers made.

Next Generation started in 2014 with the aim of showing the difficulties that even the best prospects in the Premier League (we pick one from each club at first-year scholar age) and the rest of the world (we choose 60 born in a specific calendar year) face on their way towards the top.

A defensively minded midfielder who is incredibly strong (he used to be a wrestler) but with an excellent touch to go with his physicality. Made his debut in the Swedish top flight as a 16-year-old last year and captained Sweden as they reached the quarter-finals of the Euro Under-17 tournament in England this summer. Has taken an unusual path to the top. He left the top-flight side IFK Göteborg for sixth division Angered MBIK as a 14-year-old as he felt that he was not getting the right support for his football education. Another Gothenburg club, Häcken, snapped him up in 2017 and he made his senior debut that season. Has signed a new contract with the club from Hisingen until 2021 despite interest from Real Madrid and Benfica and trials at both Manchester clubs.

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