Thursday, 28 June 2012

Olympics Stars #4 - Rebecca Adlington

By Shane Thomas

Rebecca Adlington arrives at the Olympics as one of Britain's marquee names. But it's easily forgotten how rapidly her star ascended during the Beijing Games four years ago.

She went to China as little more than an up-and-coming 19 year old, one of those talented kids who's only going to the Olympics for the experience, and on a good day, could maybe, just maybe, nick a medal.

That optimistic forecast came to pass, but it wasn't a bronze Adlington went home with, but two golds.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Getting Bored With Spain? Here's Why.

By Shane Thomas

One of Euro 2012's subplots has been the fates of Spain. The reigning champions advanced to the semi-finals after beating an insipid France 2-0. But why have their displays been met with such indifference, and even annoyance at times?

Friday, 22 June 2012

England vs Italy: Hodgson's Twin Problems

By Shane Thomas

As previously stated on these pages, England have shown up to Euro 2012 a humbled, docile team. And it's worked pretty well so far. But there's a potential problem. The consensus of the punditocracy oscillates wildly where England are concerned; they're either world-beaters or hapless dolts. While good fortune has smiled on England in Poland and Ukraine, they deserve credit in reaching the quarter-finals, topping their group no less.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

England Without The Bounce

By Shane Thomas

Going into an international tournament as an England fan, we all knew the drill; get the beers in, get the flags out, and get down to your local bookies to put £10 on England to win the competition. In conjunction with the television, radio & print media, the nation would be whipped into a chimeric fugue-state, our boundless optimism not in keeping with past experience or rational footballing analysis. The hysteria England would inspire at a World Cup or European Championship was so potent that even those who normally avoided the sport would venture opinions on players, formations and strategy (all ill-informed of course).

Friday, 8 June 2012

Trading Places

By Shane Thomas

There has been a very evident aspect to this past football season. European football's major powers, the teams that you would expect to win their respective league titles, the ones who you would regard as bankers for your betting accumulators, had by their standards, a fallow season.

Euro 2012 Preview

By Shane Thomas



The co-hosts are the lowest FIFA ranked team in the tournament, but there's a history of hosts (or co-hosts) overachieving at the Euros; Sweden in '92 and England in '96 being strong examples.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Meet The Progenitors

By Shane Thomas

For almost  a generation, it was said that a team needed one crucial element to able to function effectively. I only need to use one name to illustrate this point; Claude Makelele.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The 2011/12 Premier League Club Review

By Shane Thomas

One of the most common misnomers in sport is the word "great". Greatness is often ascribed to a sporting event or occasion when what one means to say is "eventful" or "dramatic".

There's no doubt that this past Premier League season was chock-full of excitement and drama, but great is was not. Greatness comes from a high standard of excellence. So while this season wasn't the greatest (that probably goes to either the 1998/99 or 2007/08 season), the past nine months were arguably the most dramatic seen on these shores. In the order of where each club finished in the league table, let's go through the clubs:

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Big Names To Miss Euro 2012

By Shane Thomas

While football fans can expect to see some of the European game's most coruscating talents at Euro 2012, every major tournament sadly comes around with certain stellar names being left at home. So with that in mind, here are ten players who - for reasons of injury or non-selection - will not be performing in Poland and The Ukraine this summer:

Open letter to Olympic NIMBYs : Relax, smile and enjoy the summer

By Jonathan Wilkinson

Sometimes I think that Britain doesn't deserve to host top sporting events the amount of moaning I have witnessed from people in the run up to the Olympics. We have heard it all, from it costing way too much money in such economically troubling times to the worries about London's transport system struggling to cope with such an influx of people, and then the complaints about the amount of coverage that the torch relay is getting.