Mirko Bolesan

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August 21, 2015 01:01 UTC
September 14, 2010 10:53 UTC

A combined men and women’s world ranking

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I'm a sucker for an international tournament, so like many I was glued to the TV as the Women's World Cup filled the summer football void. The World Cup divided opinion on social media into three distinct camps. The first was the misogyny filled moronic opinions, those who weren't interested and those who loved it.

Cardiff City back in blue

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"Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars."

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

In 2012 I was a Cardiff City supporter. I was a season ticket holder and made the two hundred and sixty mile round trip for home matches.

How to fix the FA Cup / Does it even need to be fixed?

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Every year around this time there's a rush of suggestions and ideas of ways to improve the FA Cup. The three ideas are mentioned below in the tweets are ideas that I've seen more than once and I can understand where the thoughts originate from. They come with the best intentions.

My concept for revamping the FA Cup in the Huge TV Deal era.

Watkin’s Folly and the English game

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In the late 19th Century an industrialist, railwayman and distinguished member of parliament named Sir Edward Watkin proposedthe splendid idea of building a structure, most likely that of a tower,in Londonto rival that of the recently built Eiffel Tower.

An eclectic range of sixty-eight designs were submitted to Watkins from across Europe and the world.

Commonwealth Games Football Tournament

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After writing a post about what a World Cup for the 33rd to 64th best teams in the world would look like (you can read that post via this link), it was suggested to me that I should do similarly for the Commonwealth Games.

As there appears to be no official rankings for Commonwealth football sides I decided to use the FIFA World Rankings to select the 32 sides that would compete in these games.

World Cup B Tournament

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What if FIFA decided to run a second competition featuring the second best 32 teams in the world? Who would compete in it? What would the groups look like? Based on the qualification for the 2014 World Cup I've set out who the best 32 sides who didn't qualify for the World Cup would be. What follows is an outline for an international football tournament for the 33rd to 64th best international sides on the planet.

Premier League 2013/2014 – a graphical review

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The BBC website produces match reports for all of the games every single Premier League side plays during the season. From Premier League and FA Cup, to Champions League to League Cup ties the BBC reports on them all. I thought it would be interesting to compile all of these reports for each of the twenty Premier League sides, and to produce word-clouds for each side.

An introduction to women’s football

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I did something that I'd never done before last week. I attended women's football matches.

Women's football has lagged behind the men's game for decades. The fifty year FA directive that saw womens teams banned from using men's football grounds was only lifted in the early70s and the women's game has never recovered to the pre-wardays of 50,000 crowds at Goodison Park

Recently however, the game has seen a bit of a renaissance with the formation of a national league (the FA WSL) and the coverage of women's football, especially the English national side, has increased over the past few years.

B Teams – we might not get lucky next time

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I was going to write something about B Teams, but after writing a few sentences I realised just how ridiculous the idea was and gave up. I can't help but think Shoot were rubbing their hands in glee thinking they'd be able to stretch their pre-season "Team Ladders" editions over three issues. Anyway, I just thought I'd add a few words of warning about the whole scheme.

Manchester United to unveil a player/manager?

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When the announcement was made earlier this week that David Moyes would lose his job at Manchester United, and that Ryan Giggs would potentially take charge as aplayer/manager, my mind instantly turned to an old photo of Bryan Robson. For many, this wouldn't be the automatic thought, but I've always absolutely loved staged press photos of footballers (you can see more at the marvellous http://awkwardfootballphotoshoots.

A very short history of floodlit football

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"It is without question that first-class football by floodlight is both spectacular and enthralling. With vision fixed to the pitch that alone is illuminated, there can be no distraction at all to disturb or frustrate attention. There is an accentuated feeling of expectation and excitement, and the speed of the players and of the game itself is, or seems to be, increased.

The five best Danish football songs of all time

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England's World Cup song for the 2014 World Cup is terrible. I don't think I'm being controversial when I say that.

Another uncontroversial statement is this: These are the best five Danish football songs you will ever hear.

1. En for alle, alle for en (1988)

En for alle, alle for en is "One for all and all for one" in Danish.

Hull City vs Tampa Bay Rowdies

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In the height of the North American Soccer League tours by British clubs to the States in the summer were common. What perhaps wasn't so common was an American side travelling to the UK to play a fixture. This is exactly what Tampa Bay Rowdies (coached by Rodney Marsh) did in 1984 when they travelled to Hull to play the first-leg of the alliteratively named "Arrow Air Anglo-American Cup".

The Crystal Palace crowd potential (A tale of London club catchment area)

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The concept of a club's catchment area will be a well understood idea by any fan of one of the country's smaller football teams. This understanding will be more acute for fans of clubs which are based in highly populated areas. So the below image of eleven of London's clubs published in the late 1970s may well be of interest to supporters of capital city teams where arguments rage as to which area belongs to which club.

Late 1970s proposal for a British Super League

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In the late 1970s a company called Marshall Cavendish released a series of football magazines which the avid reader would slip into binders to create their very own football encyclopaedia. One of the articles contained within is a lament about the struggles of the British game and part of the argument for improvements made by the author suggests the introduction of a British Super-League.