Hugh Larkin

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Luton's return Is a victory for all football fans

Without wishing to denigrate the efforts of clubs like Cambridge United and Alfreton Town the return of Luton Town to the Football League should be a reason for celebration for everyone who loves the game of football. No bunch of fans has suffered quite so much from the financial miasma that surrou...

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wigan close in on another amazing FA Cup feat

Wigan Athletic pulled off one amazing record in last years FA Cup - albeit an unwanted one. The Latics became the first club to win the competition and be relegated from the top division in the same season. Now a year on, they are threatening to make history again. West Bromwich Albion take pride o...

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Wednesday, 09 April 2014

How Arsenal and Man United are set to rewrite Champions League history

What were you doing in 1995? Its an awful long way to think back and its the last time the premier European competition didnt see either Manchester United or Arsenal in the draw. Evertons win on Sunday means we might be about to see it happen again. United and the Gunners have been two of the most ...

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Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Champions League last eight: Top quality or same old, same old?

When Manchester United struggled through to the last eight of this years quarter-finals it ensured that the last eightshowed a striking resemblanceto the Forbes and Deloittes lists of the wealthiest clubs in the world. The last eight come from the English, Spanish, German and French leagues. With t...

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Arsenal must put aside the memory of the 2011 Carling Cup final

Its around this time in the season when Arsenals campaign starts to unravel. Yet another exit from the Champions League knockout stages following a few weeks where the Gunners have been caught in the race for the title - familiar territory. They could still win the title but not many would put m...

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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Hull City and Sheffield United get their shot at FA Cup history

The FA Cup semi-final draw gave us a tie that will break new ground whichever team comes through. As Squarefootball noted before the quarters, a Hull City winwill see the Humbersiders secure a first appearance in the showpiece after 108 years of trying. But arguably a victory by Sheffield United wo...

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

England need to take as many young players as possible to Brazil

So, hands-up all those who think England can win the World Cup in Brazil? Actually win it, not battle through a few matches, put up a sterling defensive action and then subside on penalties in the knockout rounds? Take no notice of the ludicrous odds on England most bookies feel compelled to chalk ...

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Monday, 10 March 2014

North London derby is Spurs last chance

The Premier League is a very long campaign and most teams endure ups and downs during the season, but Spurs have endured a more rollercoaster time than most. At times they have looked smooth, composed and ready for the breakthrough -and alternatively,shoddy and lacking spirit when the mood takes the...

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Wednesday, 05 March 2014

Bookies make Luis Suarez odds-on to be Player of the Year

March marks the beginning of the seasons run-in and as well as club prizes there are individual awards to be won. But this year the bookies are agreed that the PFA Player of the Year award is a shoe-in for Luis Suarez. All the firms currently running a book on this award have the Liverpool hitman a...

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Tuesday, 04 March 2014

Can Hull City Finally Make Their Mark In The FA Cup?

After the Capital One Cup Final Gus Poyet missed out on writing himself into the folklore of Wearside, but former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce still has a fighting chance of making history on Humberside. When the eight teams for this seasons FA Cup quarter-final were finalised, seven of themhad won ...

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Monday, 03 March 2014

Spurs installed as second favourites for the Europa League

Theres been a big debate about whether the Europa League is worth bothering with for teams chasing a Champions League berth but now that Tottenham have come so far it seems a waste not tofocus on winning the trophy. It would mean seven more games if Tim Sherwoods side went all the way, but as the m...

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Friday, 28 February 2014

Captial One Cup: How Sunderland can do Manchester United a big favour

In the normal run of things, Manchester United fans would want Sunderland to trip up their city rivals in the Capital One Cup Final, but this weekend Old Trafford fans have even more reason than usual to want a Black Cats win. One of Englands three Europa League qualifying places goes to the win...

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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Premier League: Moyes or Mel - who is next to be axed?

The Premier League used to be a place of relative security for managers compared to Europes other top competitions but thats all changed now. In what has already been frenetic season, even as we approach March, there are managers under threat. Even in his worst nighhtmares David Moyes couldnt have ...

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Can Manchester United Turn It Round Against Olympiakos?

More gloom settled over Old Trafford after a bad defeat in Greece but what are the chances that David Moyes could still salvage something from what has become a car wreck of a season? The statistics for European two leg ties dont carry much consolation for Red Devils supporters. Across the years...

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Sunday, 05 May 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Hull City enjoy the rollercoaster but Peterborough lose out in musical chairs

To call it high drama doesnt even do justice to the last day of the Championship. All three major issues - promotion, play-offs and relegation went to the last minute. At the KC Stadium Hull City made sure they did it the hardest of hard ways before finding a way back to the Premier League. Going...

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Monday, 22 April 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Gillingham and Mansfield are champions but Hull still sweat

Mansfield Town are back in the Football League. It was a nervy afternoon for nearly 7,000 packed in to Field Mill but a 1-0 win over Wrexham ensured that a tremendous challenge from Kidderminster Harriers fell just short. Now the Harriers must play Wrexham in the play-offs while Newport County ...

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Tuesday, 09 April 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Sheffield Wednesday win a six pointer and Crewe love Wembley

Sheffield Wednesday against Blackburn Rovers was always the proverbial six pointer and it was the Yorkshire side who emerged with the vital win. The result puts Rovers into the bottom three for the first time and their slide continues. Typically, Rovers raised the hopes of their long-suffering fans...

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Wednesday, 03 April 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Erratic Hull still have Premier League in their sights but Mansfield are cruising

As usual Easter weekend proved to be frantic and potentially decisive in promotion and relegation battles. While Wolves took a massive step towards survival by netting six points, Hull City were able to cling on to second spot in the Championship. The race for promotion has reached that stage where...

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Monday, 25 March 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Tranmere add to Stevenage woes and York City are in trouble

With international matches on the go, this weekend had a truncated Football League programme which was reduced even further by the dreadfulMarch weather. The snow proved to be especially troublesome for Sheffield United and Brentford who would have taken top billing on Sky. Bournemouth and Donc...

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Tuesday, 05 March 2013

Championship: Can Wolves beat the drop?

Of all the clubs in the Premier and Football Leagues none is sitting in a more surprising position that Wolverhampton Wanderers. Last season Wolves were a Premier League outfit - in two months time they may well be plying their trade in League One. For Molineux fans of a certain age this is a parti...

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Monday, 04 March 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Middlesbrough peg back Cardiff and Hull City take advantage

Just when it seemed that Cardiff were beginning to set the seal on a successful promotion campaign Middlesbrough spoilt the party on Saturday and revived their own flagging hopes into the bargain. When confidence is low sometimes it takes an addition from outside the dressing room to cut through ...

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Monday, 25 February 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Bolton finally hit form and its a blanket race In the Conference

Bolton Wanderers hammered promotion-chasing Hull City 4-1 on Saturday and established a modest unbeaten run of four games. This is how Trotters fans hoped things would be from the start of the campaign but it seems the improvement has come too late. Even with the departures fro the squad after ...

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Monday, 18 February 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Shrewsbury surprise Tranmere, Cardiff win again and Burton Albion make a move

Tranmere Rovers were hoping to steal a march on their promotion rivals with their game with Shrewsbury Town staged on Friday night. Unfortunately, Ronnie Moores side had one of those nights and the Shrews went away with three vital - and unexpected - points. Rovers were down to 10 men very earl...

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Monday, 04 February 2013

The View Outside The Premier League: Concern builds at Nottingham Forest and Wolves but Sheffield Wednesday are buoyant

Nottingham Forest took a big gamble when they ejected Sean ODriscoll with the club on the edge of the play-offs and playing in a settled style - and Saturdays defeat by Birmingham City will have added to the concerns of Forest fans. The club are now in 11th spot and the 2-1 defeat at St Andrews c...

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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The View Outside The Premier League- Luton Stun Norwich, Stead Boosts Bristol City And Liverpool Fall At Icy Oldham

In ornithological terms Luton Town made the Canaries as sick as parrots but the Robins (Bristol City) went bob-bobbing along thanks to Jonathan Stead. The weekend saw FA Cup and league action mixed together and the biggest story was in Norfolk. The stat that Luton Town are the first non-leaguer...

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Tuesday, 08 January 2013

Who will be the next Blackburn Rovers manager?

So who wants to be next into the Blackburn Rovers hot seat? Which manager wants to operate with global adviser Shebby Singh in the background and Venkys based in India and seemingly detached from the day to day realities of the Premier League. Well actually quite a lot of managers would take the ro...

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Wednesday, 02 January 2013

The View Outside The Premier League - No happy New Year for Huddersfield or Portsmouth

New Years Day saw a full programme of League football with some fans enjoying a wonderful start to 2013 - but there was little to revel about in one part of West Yorkshire. Huddersfield Town are in the throes of a horrendous run of form; and its now just five points from the last 30 in the Cham...

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Monday, 24 December 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Becchio bags a Boro brace and Brandy butters Saddlers

We had the usual rash of Christmas postponements but not for the traditional reasons. This time waterlogged pitches caused the problems rather than frost and snow. Very few lower division games survived but there was a near full programme in the Championship. Leeds United got off to the perfect s...

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Friday, 14 December 2012

Arsenal: Spend big or accept fourth or worse

There are two ways of looking at Arsenals current predicament and after being dumped out of the Capital One Cup by League Two Bradford City, those two views are in even sharper contrast. View One - Sensible, morally acceptable and the long game Under Arsene Wenger Arsenal have managed to reloc...

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Monday, 26 November 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Leeds impress the new owners and Doncaster find some home form

Leeds United marked the clubs sale to new owners by ending the excellent run of high-flying Crystal Palace. It was a much-needed boost for boss Neil Warnock who knows well enough that new men in charge often want to make changes. He will be only too aware that the club are no further on than wh...

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Monday, 19 November 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Wolves On The Slide And Hartlepool Fall Flat

Watford beat Wolves 2-1 on Saturday to send the visitors down to 16th place in the table and the Midlanders have now gone seven matches without a victory. This bad run has revived all the concerns about Stale Solbakkens appointment and the loss of key players as the campaign started. There wasnt ...

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Friday, 16 November 2012

FA Cup: MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon is on

Dust off those cliches about the lure of the FA Cup and the ability of the competition to write unlikely scenarios. Two replays on successive nights hasmade the potentialthe tie of this years Second Round a reality - AFC Wimbledon travelling to MK Dons. An overseas visitor unfamiliar to the English...

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Five reasons why Spurs will beat Arsenal this weekend

Forget the Old Firm derby and El Classico, there is only one derby that matters to people in north London and its happening for the first time this season at the Emirates this Saturday lunchtime. As with all good rivalries, there is no love loss between Arsenal and Spurs. However, over the past...

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Monday, 12 November 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Dons end Blades' run and Appleton arrives at Blackpool

League One saw a meeting between the two pre-season favourites for promotion and MK Dons were able to end Sheffield Uniteds unbeaten start to the season. It took a last-minute penalty to send the game the way of the home side and Blades boss Danny Wilson was livid with the decision. Its been a st...

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Wednesday, 07 November 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Ollie gets a Palace welcome and it could be Dons v Dons in the cup

Its a truism of football that managers usually take over teams when they are in trouble and the last incumbent has resigned or been sacked. Thats certainly not the case at Crystal Palace though, where Ian Holloway has inherited a bunch of players full of confidence and fairly fizzing on the park...

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Monday, 29 October 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Palace Show Resilience and the Gills Are On A Roll

It proved to be a weekend of quiet satisfaction for Crystal Palace fans. Despite Dougie Freedmans decision to join Bolton the Eagles produced the performance of the day to end Leicester Citys unbeaten home record. And for good measure, Bolton lost at Middlesbrough. Because of his past service t...

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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Middlesbrough enjoy another away day and Bournemouth down Tranmere

Saturday proved to be one of strange results in the Championship, as most of the frontrunners fluffed their lines. But Middlesbrough once again demonstrated their talent for getting a result playing away from the Riverside. Their 1-0 win at Brighton delivered a fourth successive away win for To...

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Monday, 15 October 2012

Stoke City: Early season report - Steady as she goes

There is very little to choose between Stoke Citys currentposition in the Premier League table and their status at the same point in 2011. Superficially Stoke are worse off in 12th after seven games this season compared to 8th in 2011 but they only have one point fewer. In 2011 the Potters had ...

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

QPR: Early season report - Hughes must do better

Acomparison between the first seven matches of QPRs 2012/13 campaign and the same number from 2011/12 makes for very uncomfortable reading for Tony Fernandes and Mark Hughes. The current Rangers squad are sitting rock bottom with just two draws to show for their efforts. At the same point in 2011/1...

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Tuesday, 09 October 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Helguson boosts Cardiff and Stevenage go second

There are exciting strikers who score spectacular goals and there are strikers who are efficient and score goals that wont appear in compilation videos. Heidar Helguson is very much the latterkind of player, but Cardiff City were grateful for his efforts at Ipswich on Saturday evening. The Icelan...

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Monday, 01 October 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Blackburn start life post-Kean and Walsall hit the heights

And so it finally happened. Blackburn Rovers went into Saturdays encounter with Charlton without Steve Kean at the helm. The Scot resigned this week - was it before he was pushed? - much to the relief of Ewood Park fans. Unfortunately for the supporters Venkys didnt go with him but you cant hav...

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Liverpool: If you don't like referees, do it yourself

It was Bill Shankly who supposedly uttered the famous quotation about football being more important than life or death. Whether he said it or not, its a fair bet that a man from his hard background in the coalfields didnt mean it to be taken literally. Unfortunately, in modern football, some so-call...

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Monday, 24 September 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Wolves pile misery on Posh, Tranmere score for fun

Saturday proved to be another miserable one for fans of Peterborough United as visitors Wolves claimed the points and left Darren Fergusons side still without a point this campaign. The match was a delight for Wolves fans though and the Molineux club have now slipped quietly into one of the play-...

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Manchester City: Joe Hart Tells It Like It Is And Gets a Rap

So youve just played a blinder in a Champions League match in the Bernabeu and still seen your team leak two goals in the last five minutes to lose. Now theres a bloke from ITV pushing a microphone at you - not likely to say too many positive things are you? This morning Roberto Mancini has repor...

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Monday, 17 September 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Bellamy Sparks Cardiff And Tubbs Strikes For Bournemouth

Will this finally be Cardiff Citys year? After multiple play-off disappointments the level of investment at the club this season indicates that the aim is to put promotion beyond doubt and grab an automatic place. One of the big signings, Cardiff supporter Craig Bellamy, repaid some of the faith ...

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Monday, 03 September 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Mackail-Smith double sinks Burnley

Craig Mackail-Smith is an unusual name for a Scotland striker but the Brighton player showed his international pedigree at Turf Moor on Saturday with two quality strikes, one of which would grace a goal of the season compilation. The striker made the difference in a 3-1 win which didnt flatter th...

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Fulham: Jol looks for water cooler moments from Berbatov

Of all the major transfers taking place in the hurly-burly of deadline day, the potentially most entertaining is Dimitar Berbatovs move to Fulham. For the neutral fan the Bulgarian is the sort of player you want to see on the park rather than languishing on the bench. The £30 million move to Manche...

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Saturday, 01 September 2012

QPR: Joey Barton's loan move to Marseille is a last chance

The news that QPRs controversial midfielder Joey Barton has moved to Marseille on loan is both a surprise and a shock rolled into one. No surprise that QPR might want rid of a troublesome asset, but a shock that the French club want to take him. Whatever else is true of Joey Barton his career has...

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Friday, 31 August 2012

Champions League Draw: Man City face Ronaldo and Celtic take on Messi

Its become one of the big rituals of the modern football season - the draw for the Champions League group stage. Yesterday five British clubs were in the hat (glass bowls really, but it doesnt soundright). Three clubs - Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United- were seeded to the first pot. Ironical...

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Monday, 27 August 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Wycombe washed out but its raining goals in Blackpool

Saturdays games saw the rare occurrence of amatch being abandoned due to health and safety reasons. With thunderous clouds overhead and lightning flashing, Wycombe Wanderers and Bristol Rovers were called off well into the second half of their League Two contest. Rovers were the most aggrieved by...

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