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  1. Champions League Group B: FC Basel or Liverpool to Qualify?

    by Steve, Reading

    It's blatantly obvious that Real Madrid are going to qualify from Group B. Two wins out of two, a 5-1 drubbing of FC Basel and a solid win against Ludo Razgrad mean that things are looking quite good at the moment for the world's greatest team. There seems to be large gap in quality between Madrid and the other three clubs in the Group and as such it's safe to say they are heading towards the top spot with ease.

    Stoke v Man City-image001-jpg

    With that in mind it leaves three teams searching for that second spot, and since Ludo Razgrad don't seem likely to shake things up in Group B the question is: Who will qualify, FC Basel or Liverpool?

    A lot of people would jump the gun and say Liverpool are going to get that ...

    Updated 21st October 2014 at 03:30 PM by Veritas

    Champions League , Clubs
  2. The Value for Money Premier League

    As we all know, the average price of the cheapest tickets across English football has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011. But which clubs offer the best value for money for fans?

    According to a recent BBC Survey the average price of the cheapest match-day ticket from the Premier League to League Two now stands at £21.49, up 4.4% since last year, over treble the 1.2% rate of inflation.

    However, this average disguises large differences between different clubs, large differences between different seats at the same club and also of “value for money” in terms of the entertainment on show.

    The new Value for Money League we will bring out on a seasonal basis uses two simple indicators to rank clubs by the value they offer fans. ...
  3. Soccer Aid - True Blood

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    You may recall that in the middle of my serious, or at least semi- serious, football blogs I suddenly wrote one based around the television series Sex and the City.

    This was based on someone suggesting that I frequently used the expression - ‘it got me thinking’ – a saying that one of the characters in the show uses in nearly every episode apparently.

    On the back of that my irrepressible work colleague Nicola decided to set me a new challenge along similar lines.

    Surely there can’t be any connections between the television show ‘True Blood’ and football was the gauntlet she laid down, adding how about linking in Take That as well along the way.

    Aston Villa v Crystal Palace-compton-jpg ...

    Updated 17th October 2014 at 06:10 PM by Veritas

  4. We hand over our FA Cup baton to East Thurrock United

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    We followed Tooting and Mitcham United into the FA Cup Third Qualifying round last Saturday but unfortunately they were beaten 2-1 away at East Thurrock United.

    So it’s now the Essex side that I turn my attentions to for the Fourth Round Qualifying round, due to be played on Saturday 25 October 2014 – the round before the non-league boys are joined by the clubs from the Football League.

    It’s already been a long haul for many of the teams as the competition, which began with an Extra Preliminary Round as far back as 16 August 2014, when 368 teams battled it out to progress to the qualifying rounds proper.

    The key dates coming up in the FA Cup are:
    First Round Proper Saturday 8 ...

    Updated 15th October 2014 at 10:23 AM by Veritas

    FA Cup
  5. The Sack Race - Football managers are losing their jobs too easily

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    One of my biggest gripes with football is the complete lack of patience, from owners, chairmen, chief executives and fans. I was driven to write this blog by the sacking of Russ Wilcox at Scunthorpe United last Wednesday.

    AFS Annual 1909-10-zedwvoua-jpg-large-jpg
    Russ Wilcox in reflective mood
    Photo courtesy of Steve Hope

    As it’s not always clear if a manager has been sacked, left by mutual consent or simply resigned I won’t, for legal reasons, make any assumptions about the bosses referred to below!

    I clearly remember the furore caused when Brian Clough spent just 44 days as manager at Leeds United back in 1974.

    Looking back now, it seems the great man was given a lifetime to sort ...

    Updated 12th October 2014 at 01:00 PM by Veritas

    football league
  6. Tooting march on

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    I have to admit that I feel a bit like Dr Who after my recent blogs. I’ve been somehow transported back to the 1970s and have become stranded there.

    We had Hereford United’s FA Cup slaying of the Newcastle giant from the 70s, Malcolm Macdonald’s sideburns and even mention of the 1970s comedy classic Citizen Smith.

    As I sit here in my flared jeans and garish purple lavender tank top with floral Motif, I’m ready for my next adventure and hopefully a return to the reality of 2014 and this seasons FA Cup competition.

    You may recall that my plan was to follow the winners of the tie between Tooting and Mitcham and Bishop's Stortford, into the next round of the FA Cup this Saturday.


    Updated 9th October 2014 at 10:45 PM by Veritas

    Tags: fa cup, tooting
    FA Cup
  7. Does big spending equal Champions League success?

    Which clubs involved in the 2014-15 Champions League spent most – and to what extent will that spending increase their chances of lifting the trophy?

    Well first things first – before we have a look at which clubs spent the money and what their chances currently are – let’s first have a look at a few stats that could help us decide where the trophy is likely to be headed after next June 6th’s final in Berlin.

    If we take a look at what has happened since the turn of the century in this, the biggest club competition on world football, it seems likely that the winner will be Spanish, English or German... or maybe Italian. No great surprises there, then, but it’s interesting to have a look at the stats anyway.

    Since the year 2000, Spanish clubs ...
  8. Gibraltar Rocks!

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    The Republic of Ireland take on minnows Gibraltar in EURO 2016 qualification at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on October 11 before going from one extreme to another, as they challenge World Champions Germany in Gelsenkirchen just three days later.

    The games have a particular interest for me given the number of players from the team I follow included in the provisional 37 man pool, which will be shortened ahead of the final squad meeting up on October 7. The four players in question being Paul McShane, Robbie Brady, Stephen Quinn and David Meyler.

    Add to that former Hull City players Damien Delaney, Shane Long and Jon Walters and you can see my interest.

    On a broader topic, as I understand it, Gibraltar is classed ...

    Updated 9th October 2014 at 04:38 PM by Veritas

    Tags: gibraltar
    European championships
  9. A few sports apps for your smart phones

    by B. Money

    If you have a smartphone and have a bit of time on your hands, why not idle a bit of time away playing around with a sports-related Android app? Here we have a quick look at a few of the most popular entertainment options of the early 21st century, including some sports-themed apps, a simulated football game, sports information application and online casino!

    FIFA 14

    The FIFA franchise is the dominant simulated football game, featuring 33 leagues, over 600 licensed teams, and more than 16,000 players. You'll find this pretty user-friendly, optimised for tablets as well as smartphones – while the touch controls can be mastered quickly. FIFA features ...

    Updated 2nd October 2015 at 01:49 PM by Statisticus

  10. Tooting and Mitcham, the popular choice for the FA Cup

    By Citizen Sands

    In my last blog I decided, given that Hereford United were no longer in the competition, I would randomly pick a team to follow into the next round of the FA Cup.

    My unscientific choice is Tooting and Mitcham United. Probably just because I like the name and it resounded with me for some reason.

    Then I remembered why – because of the 1970s comedy sitcom Citizen Smith that starred Robert Lindsay as Wolfie Smith, a young Marxist urban guerrilla living in Tooting in South London.

    Bournemouth v Barnet-citizen-smith-jpg

    The show was written by John Sullivan, who later wrote Only Fools and Horses. The pilot for the show was first transmitted in 1977 – shortly after the football club’s most famous FA Cup exploit. ...

    Updated 29th September 2014 at 04:28 PM by Veritas

    FA Cup
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