The Championship

Tuesday, 06 August 2013

Mitch Waddon's predictions for the 2013/14 season

The Football League got under way at the weekend and theres less than a fortnight before the Premier League boys kick off, but who will be the biggest winners and losers in the 2013/14 campaign? Yes, its that time of the season again when we all become Mystic Megs and put our football knowledge...

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Saturday, 03 August 2013

Championship: QPR, Reading and Bolton get the nod for the Premier League

The 2013/2014 Championship season gets under way today with Queens Park Rangers being pushed as the favourites to make an immediate return to the Premier League. The Hoops, managed by wheeler-dealer and former England manager contender Harry Redknapp, will be hoping to utilise Tony Fernandes’s for...

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Tuesday, 07 May 2013

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Bruce goes through Hull as the Championship season ends in drama

There are not many days in the course of the long football season that the glitzy farce of the Premier League is shuffled into the background like an ugly sister at a wedding. Usually, as the weekend rolls around every pundit, fan and newscaster is eagerly sharing their thoughts on Van Persie...

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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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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Championship: Who's going up and who's going down?

The Championship is arguably the toughest football league in the world. Anyone can beat anyone on their day and a couple of wins can take you from relegation fodder to play-off material. There are only eight more games of this madness left before the crazy world of the play-offs get under way, so le...

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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A lack of fanfare for the Final but Swansea make worthy champions nevertheless

There was a time in football, about six or seven years ago when it all became a bit tedious. Mourinho’s Chelsea and Fergie’s United were so far ahead of everybody else that those two goliaths monopolised the English game completely. It seemed as though every piece of silverware was theirs to ...

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Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Deadline Day drama as Simon gets angry and Peter gets lost

The more attentive among you might have noticed we endured the annual manic torture–fest that is Christmas recently, indeed you may still be recovering from it’s stress-pounding effects even now. Probably the most excruciating facet of the festive period, aside from having to spend uncomforta...

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A boring birthday for the FA as the stars fail to shine

For most people, an evening out at the local pub will be a largely stress-free excursion filled with raucous banter, sorrowful introspection and a touch of casual xenophobia. Nights out in this great country have followed that tight format for hundreds of years, never wavering in the face of adver...

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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A weekend of woe for Walters as the BBC put him centre stage

Do you remember the glory days of Saturday night TV? That wistful time before Simon Cowell was given the keys to the kingdom and filled the weekend evenings with a symphony of garish fairy lights, screeching teenagers and Louis Walsh. Things were so much simpler before: you knew where you we...

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: No room for confusion as Edgar Davids reminds us all who he is

You know, as we loiter in this age of decadent, endemic wholesale filth; a world preoccupied with the selfish needs of the few; a world in which sex, violence and sleaze are championed more than love, peace and honesty; a world teetering on the edge, tipping ever closer to a mass orgy of self-serv...

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Tuesday, 06 November 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A feelgood Focus for Muamba is the highlight of the BBC’s wonky weekend of football

As ever it was a big weekend in the Barclays Premier League. This after another extraordinary week in football with those League Cup games ending in rugby scores, referees accused of all kinds of ungodly crimes, Andrey Arshavin actually being of some use, and even Ashley Cole managing to go ...

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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A shortfall of laughs as Redknapp, Corden and co play the fools

In these bleak, recession-hit days of austerity and hardship, we are all frantically searching for ways to forget our woes and feel a little better about things. Often, we look towards our local footballing heroes for an escape, but even that’s turning sour right now. A game seemingly awash ...

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A more civilised way to talk about football perhaps, but it all comes down to Rooney’s gash in the end

Any long time readers of this column will be acutely aware of my ill feelings towards the current football malaise we reside in: the international break. A fortnight long forced abstinence of domestic football with only a scattered group of international fixtures to keep us going. Mercifully...

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Tuesday, 04 September 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Harry has a new game as Redknapp makes his Match Of The Day bow

All in all, it’s fair to say that the summer of 2012 will be looked back on with a great deal of fondness by the vast majority. Sure the weather failed to resemble anything remotely “summery”, and we may of had to put up with the usual bunch of sycophantic ne’er-do-wells in the Big Brother h...

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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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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Mischievous Murray makes Match Of The Day 2 anything but the Muppet Show

It already feels like the 2012-13 season has been going for months. Arsenal and Tottenham have had about three different periods of crisis already; Sir Alex claims Wayne Rooney isn’t pulling his weight, despite only having played one and half games; and Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is al...

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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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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Leeds, Forest, Wednesday or Blackburn: Who will win promotion from the Championship?

Ian Holloway’s Blackpool have made an unbeaten start to the new campaign. The Tangerines have scored 10 goals in three games against Millwall, Leeds and Ipswich Town, conceding just one in the process, and are looking good for a promotion place. However, trying to predict the Championship i...

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Neville looking sharp as Sky’s fantasy football begins

The beginning of a football season is always a curious period. Our much-cherished teams turn up at 3pm on opening day looking ever so slightly different from the last time we saw them. New kits, new colours if you live in Cardiff, new players and sometimes even new managers. Whatever misty remnant...

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Monday, 20 August 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Fleetwood fire blanks and Pompey players get to know each other

A new football season always throws up some unusual stories on day one but there can have been few beginnings to a campaign quite like Portsmouths. Amazingly Pompey came away with a point from their first League One encounter despite sending out a whole team of debutants. Before he joined the sou...

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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: An Olympic hangover means Dixon’s debut fails to inspire

It’s been a gruelling few weeks for fans of sport hasn’t it? Ever since Spain cemented their place as football’s frontrunners at Euro 2012, there has been a disorientating vacuum of sport on television and no amount of frantic bashing of the Sky remote has been able to render any nourishment for s...

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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Team GB and the BBC could do with heroes like Neymar and the incredible Hulk

I don’t know about you, but even though the Olympics are yet to actually begin, I’m pretty sick of them already. I’m fed up of seeing clowns from the Government on Sky News demanding that the underclass should stop complaining that they can’t afford a pint of milk and just swoon in admiration at t...

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Monday, 23 July 2012

Is this the worst football kit ever?

Players and fans are supposed to wear their shirts with pride, but sometimes the tops are so hideous they make you utterly ashamed. Arsenal fans have complained about their Dennis the Menace away kit, Manchester United supporters have hit out over their new tartan home kit and some Liverpool fans a...

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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Special report: Following football from the disabled area

On August18, 2012, Charlton Athletic visit St Andrews in the Championship. Personally speaking the fixture is a trip down memory lane. You see Birmingham City v Charlton Athletic was the first game I saw in the flesh. The date was September 15 1979 and the Blues won 1-0. Immediately I was hooke...

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A final day fanfare for Sky and the Blues

It all came down to this then. It’s been a gruelling journey, epic in its fluctuating fortunes as the favourites for the crown jostled back and forth. Each weekend millions looked on, eagerly cheering their chosen heroes, willing them to put in the performance that would clinch the prize they so ...

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Friday, 11 May 2012

Squarefootball's Championship Team Of The Season

There have been a number of top class displays from players in the Championship this season, some will even be polying their trade in the Premier League next season. But who has made it into Hugh Larkins Team of the Season? Squarefootballs Hugh Larkin has kept his eye on the ball in the world outsi...

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Tuesday, 08 May 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A long time ago in a Stadium far far away, ITV began their FA Cup Final coverage

The 2011-12 football season will probably be looked back upon with a real intrigue in future decades. It has been a long, incident-strewn expedition encompassing an abundance of controversy, drama and despair. It is hard to remember another campaign with more extraordinary talking points. The Luis S...

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Tuesday, 01 May 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A bad week for some as United falter and the Olympics fail to inspire

It ended with Liam Gallagher bopping along to his own record at the Etihad last night in the her-uge title showdown between the Manchester giants on Live Ford Monday Night Football. Basking in his own genius is probably a nightly ritual for Gallagher junior but what certainly hasn’t been a regular o...

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Time is running out for the Football League Show but Reading and the Saints defy the odds

Back in the hazy midsummer days of August 2011, while hoards of frenzied teenagers were marauding their way through the streets of London setting fire to police cars, looting Poundland and generally ruining Boris Johnson’s holiday; I was indulging in a regular pre-season pursuit. Like every footba...

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Tevez, title races and titillation in a terrific week of football TV

Well, it was a helluva’ few days in the Premier League title race last week wasn’t it? The fortunes of the twin Manchester clubs are weaving increasingly erratic patterns as the burden of the top trophy begins to heap its weight on their slumping shoulders. The last seven days or so have seen a numb...

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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A tough week of watching tough men taking tough action; and then there was Gary Neville on Super Sunday

There are many boulevards open to footballers when the time finally comes for them to hang up their boots, delete Sir Alex’s number from their Blackberry and say goodbye to the pantomime-drudgery of the Premier League. Obviously, the twin favourites for many pros are either a cushy job coaching the ...

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Tuesday, 03 April 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: One year on from Keys and Gray but is Sky burning any brighter?

It’s been around fourteen months since the corridors and offices of Sky Sports were rocked irrevocably by the now-infamous sexism scandal surrounding part-man, part-ape Richard Keys and his bosom buddy Andy Gray – the worthy winner of Nuts magazine’s 2006 ‘TV Personality That Most Resembles a Baby...

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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A tough week for the ‘football family’ but the future’s looking bright, and looking orange for the Toon Army

It has certainly been a difficult old week in football. Quite rightly, the grave events surrounding Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba dominated all stratums of the game over the past seven days, and by extension all of the football coverage too. This resulted in a strange ambivalence amongst the week’s acti...

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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Failure, hope and horror – just another weekend in the lives of Leicester City and ESPN

Despite the fact it has reached the ‘business end’ of the competition, I have so far abstained from reviewing ESPN’s FA Cup coverage; this is for two purely righteous reasons. Firstly, I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to watch England’s foremost domestic cup competition and I a...

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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Beckham, Best, Henry or Cantona: Who were the coolest footballers to ever live?

We would all like to be footballers, right? The money, the women, the cars. Oh, and the playing of football. That’s pretty good. But some are cooler than others. Too cool, even. So cool they make everyone else look like silly, awkward, emasculated chumps. So who were the 10 coolest footballers to e...

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Outside the Box – Football on TV: A mad Mario meets a melodic Manc and the result is perfect harmony

The twin worlds of football and music have not always been cosy bedfellows. Lest we forget the audio abominations that still stain jukeboxes up and down this land: ‘Fog On The Tyne’, that god awful attempt by Ant and Dec to appeal to people other than 12-year old girls during the 2002 World Cup, ...

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Monday, 12 March 2012

The View Outside The Premier League - Reading March On While The Big 'Franchises' Line up in League One

All season Southampton and West Ham United have been the most likely contenders for automatic promotion to the Premier League and the two clubs still sit one and two in the table - but just below them Reading have bolted from the pack to pose a serious threat to their ambitions. A few weeks back Wo...

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Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: QPR’s cautionary tale of success, greed and sweaty men is a real winner for the BBC

In every avenue of the vast road map of life, there have been distinguished comedy legends. The political world has Boris Johnson, Gordon Brown and Margaret Thatcher; in the music fraternity we have all had a good giggle at Keith Richards and Gareth Gates; and let’s not forget Jordan… she doesn’t re...

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Monday, 05 March 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Cardiff Complete A Bad Week And Dave Jones Takes the Wednesday Hot Seat

Of all the teams not to encounter after the disappointment of their Carling Cup Final defeat,West Ham would have been top of Cardiff Citys list. Sam Allardyce brought his brand of ultra-professional football to South Wales and took three valuable points back to London. Results like this one give am...

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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Youth vs. experience at Wembley as Sky take on the BBC in a battle of broadcasters

So, it was a giddily exciting weekend as the competition that ranks just above the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in most clubs’ priorities came down to its final two contenders; the mighty Merseysiders from Liverpool and the Championship underdogs of Cardiff. As is customary in these circumstances, th...

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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: An evening of Eurotrash as United make their Channel 5 debut

European football returned to our screens last week as our plucky English clubs once more ventured to the four corners of Europe to mix it up with some of the mightiest names in continental football; goliaths such as Barcelona, Inter and FC Metalist Kharkiv could all be on the horizon. As the week b...

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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: No handshake for Evra and no love lost between the partisan pundits at Sky

Think about this for a second. How many times do you think you have seen Luis Suarez’s hand this weekend? Ten times? Twenty? A hundred? I’m sure I’ve seen his wandering hand more than I’ve seen my own two in the past 48 hours, such has been the swirling media-frenzy since he refused to settle his di...

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Tuesday, 07 February 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Serious lessons to learn from Fashanu’s footballing family

I’m fairly certain we can all agree that football has its fair share of problems. If it is not the shady transfer dealings of murky agent types skulking around the bins at Tottenham’s training ground, it is the ignorant grunts of ill-informed morons as they boo a man purely for being the brother of ...

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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A prosperous week for Liverpool in the cups but off the field is a different story

The days leading up to the weekend’s FA Cup Fourth Round ties were not particularly pleasant for many football fans, a week in which the unseemly and murky face of football was glaringly apparent. Many column inches were devoted to the tax-evasion trial of Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, as well as th...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Confusion reigns at City as Coleman fluffs his lines

Have you played Football Manager 2012? You may wonder how a game brimming with data, facts and incalculable statistics comes to contain such a dearth of information. Well, in the early stages of the games development, some spotty oik is charged with the task of finding someone close to each of the 7...

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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: An incident-packed week at the BBC leaves Savage short of support and Lineker lost for words

They say a week in football is a long time and it can certainly be said that there was enough controversy, incident and wonder crammed into the last seven days of football to keep Joey Barton’s Twitter account going for years. The fallout from the Manchester derby, the return of Scholes and Henry, t...

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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Racism is in the spotlight but what is being done to tackle homophobia?

The FA stamped down on Luis Suarez’s racism towards Patrice Evra. And it’s quite right that they did, isn’t it? For when we look back into the past, and certainly in football’s past, we see things that are shockingly vile. In the seventies and part of the eighties, black footballers were subjected ...

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Monday, 09 January 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Robins Fly High And Rhodes Terrorises Wycombe

This was a weekend when FA Cup action mixed with a number of games in Leagues One and Two. Huddersfields star man Jordan Rhodes got things off with a bang on Friday night by crashing five goals past a hapless Wycombe Wanderers. Manager Lee Clark must have had mixed feelings as his top striker once ...

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Tuesday, 03 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A football overkill but Fabregas’ Barcelona adventure keeps us watching

At the top of this article you will see, if you can get past the crass, self-congratulatory overuse of my own name, that the tagline for this column mentions that there isn’t enough football on the TV. Obviously this pithy line is actually nonsense as there is in fact far too much football clogging ...

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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Stelling and his merry mates bring festive cheer and genuine fear in the absence of any football

If we boil it down, there are two distinct ways to spend the festive period. You either endure the holiday wallowing in a pit of desperate desolation, alone with no hope of joviality, good tidings or communal kinship. Sat crestfallen in front of Eastenders on Christmas night, nursing a bottle of gin...

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