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Sports Then and Now



Jose Mourinho – Too Cautious to Succeed? 0

Posted on April 01, 2018 by John Harris

MourinhoCurrent Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, for nearly two decades now, has perhaps been the most important coach operating in the game of football. Champions League and Uefa Cup successes at Porto, turning Chelsea into the leviathan they are today, guiding Internazionale out of the wilderness and into the limelight and stopping Pep’s Barcelona, (albeit briefly) with Real Madrid all marked him out as one of the game’s brightest minds.

However, it is undeniable that his star is beginning to wane.

In fact, Mourinho’s position at Old Trafford is looking more perilous with each passing day. Despite signing a contract extension that theoretically sees him employed until the year 2020, Mourinho sits at odds of just 5/1 with Titanbet to leave his post in the summer.

After spending a total nearing £300 million, Jose Mourinho has ensured that the fans demand the utmost from his side. Of course, a club like Manchester United always need to be in the hunt for trophies, yet the Salford club’s demands extend far beyond the need for silverware. The club long for the brand football so regularly displayed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fearing that Manchester United are losing what made them unique and are in the process of morphing into ‘just another big club’, we often hear a chorus of fans singing, “ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK!!”.

Manchester United have the players to play a more cavalier style of football, yet the manager in the dugout is reluctant to shift his foot too far from the break peddle. Mourinho, by his very nature, is a cautious individual, and nowhere was this more evident than in Manchester United’s recent elimination from the Champions League. Read the rest of this entry →

Guess the English Football League Mascots 0

Posted on February 13, 2018 by Barrie Smith

Premier League-2018Even the most stalwart football fan could be forgiven for not remembering the name of every mascot.  While they’re a big deal across the pond, the mascots of the beautiful game don’t always take center stage.

With a few exceptions, usually because of things like Partick Thistle’s mascot Kingsley looking like a sentient nightmare. But if you’re a serious fan of football, the kind who’s memorized every players number and who makes a killing at the Premier League betting game because of your outstanding Premier League predictions, then it stands to reason that you ought to be able to recognize a mascot and tell us what club they come from.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to be unreasonable and ask you to name them too, it’s just a test to see if you can match them up to the right club. Are you going to hit the back of the net or are you heading for a red card?

How To Get Your Kids Excited About Sports 0

Posted on January 25, 2018 by John Harris

Youth-soccer-indianaSports are a wonderful way of keeping your children fit and active while also doing something fun. Who knows, what may start out as a fun activity, may turn into a possible career path for your child. But regardless of what the outcome may be, sports are a way of getting your child off the PlayStation, out of the house, and doing something that is not only good for them, but that it’s something they enjoy too.

It’s not just about the physical aspect of it either though; they will also socialize and make friends, while learning life skills, such as teamwork, responsibility, and communication.

Here are some ideas about how you can get your children excited about sports. Read the rest of this entry →

Soccer Slip-up: How to Recover Quickly from a Sports-Related Injury 0

Posted on December 17, 2017 by Kara Masterson

fussball anstossThere’s a saying about horseplay that goes, “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” This also applies to playing sports. While sports injuries can come from a variety of causes, such as an unfortunate collision with another player or a wrong turn of an ankle, they need to be treated as soon as possible. Here are four tips on how to recover quickly from a sports-related injury.

Get Medical Attention Right Away

There’s no sense in delaying things when it comes to a sports injury. Regardless of whether it’s a sprain, a twist, or a broken bone, it needs to be attended to immediately. Issues such as concussions can be especially physical traumatic and need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Even if an injury seems rather benign, it should still be looked over by a professional who can give the best assessment possible.

Relax

Healing is possible following a sports injury, but you need to make sure you give your body time to heal. Whatever part was injured, you need to make sure it’s properly rested. If it needs a cast or a sling, it should stay in there as long as the doctor requires it to. Even if you feel ready to get back into athletics, you should wait until you have the proper medical clearing to do so. Read the rest of this entry →

Premier League at 25: How Do ex-Pros View the Modern Game? 2

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Peter Addison
The Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

The Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

As the Premier League celebrates its twenty-five year anniversary, there can be no doubt that football has changed irrecoverably over that period. It seems that the modern game is all about money, and the grip of the money giants means that plucky upstarts like Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers can no longer hope to challenge the elite as they have in the past (we’ll excuse Leicester City’s 2015-16 EPL win as an anomaly).

The question is, how do ex-Pros view the cash-cow that modern football has become? Are they resentful of the money that current pros earn – after all, Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga, a player who’s never even played in the top flight, is reportedly on £40,000 a week.

In a recent Emile Heskey interview at the fan-created site AskFans.co.uk, the former Leicester City, Liverpool and England striker gave his thoughts. “The game’s quicker, people are looking after their bodies better, and there are certain more athletes around then when I first started,” said Heskey. He also cited Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and new Manchester United record signing Romelu Lakuku as modern-day players he would like to have played with.

One player who has seen it all is George Haigh. You’ve probably not heard of him, but currently, at a staggering one hundred and two years of age, Haigh is the oldest surviving professional footballer, having made his debut for Stockport County in 1936. He doesn’t actually see much difference between the modern era and sepia-tinged times. “I would’ve found it easy playing today; centre-half would’ve been dead easy for me knowing what I know now, I’d have been an international!  And the equipment is so much better; the boots were so heavy in my day, especially when it was wet.  In the modern era, David Beckham is probably the one who stands out, I’d like to have taken him on.” Read the rest of this entry →

Is The Premier League Getting the Better of Guardiola? 2

Posted on December 16, 2016 by James Thomas
Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola is understandably viewed as a footballing purist. Anyone fortunate enough to witness his Barcelona side in full flow, with miniature maestros Xavi and Iniesta dizzying the opposition, softening them up for the slaloming brilliance of Messi, glimpsed a level of football closer to perfection than anything seen before or since.

Guadiola has always maintained, however, that he is against the type of football known as tiki-taka – passing for the sake of passing. The objective for Guardiola has always been to win and he’s been phenomenally successful. He won the first six trophies available to him at Barcelona – an unprecedented sextuple of La Liga, Copa Del Ray, Champions League, European Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and the Club World Cup – and didn’t do too badly at Bayern Munich either, winning three straight championships by comfortable margins.

Manchester City fans were understandably thrilled at Guardiola’s appointment in the summer. A manager who wins more than anyone else with greater style than anyone else – what’s not to like?

Others, however, predicted a rocky road for Guardiola in England. The phrase “can they do it on a cold Wednesday night in Stoke” was used, albeit often with irony, to question how Messi, Xavi and other tiki-taka purists would cope in the hurly burly of the Premiership. For many, England posed the ultimate test to Guardiola’s style of play: could artistic football survive a close encounter with Ryan Shawcross and managers in the mould of Steve Bruce, who famously said “some would say it wasn’t even a red card” about the tackle from Martin Taylor that shattered Eduardo’s leg?

Those who stick their neck out as football pundits are used to having humble pie thrust towards them and Guadiola’s stellar start with Man City had many eating their words. City won their first ten games in all competitions under Guardiola, including a highly impressive win away at Old Trafford, and the players looked to be adapting to his unique style of play well.

The first blip in City’s season, a 3-3 draw at Celtic, appeared little to worry about, but was followed by a 2-0 defeat away to Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino’s men brought the full force and physicality of the Premier League to bear on Guardiola’s team that day and won comfortably.

City’s run since then hasn’t quite been disastrous but four wins in 15 games is not something Guadiola is used to. A few of the naysayers have raised their heads above the parapet again and wondered whether the physicality of the Premier League is belatedly getting the better of the Spaniard, but the biggest concerns have been raised by Guardiola himself. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Mike Gminski: Four-Year Duke Star
      March 10, 2018 | 11:05 am
      Mike Gminski

      Mike Gminski

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a star big man who achieved great success at Camden Indoor Stadium in the era before Coach K and the One-and-Done big men became the norm at Duke University.

      Much like recent Duke big men Marvin Bagley III, Jayson Tatum and Jahlil Okafor, Mike Gminski made an immediate impact for the Blue Devils. However, because he played 40 years earlier at a time when few players left college early, Gminski spent four years racking up stats and success in Durham.

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