The evolution of violent football hooliganism has been recorded in a book which pins the firework-buying informal Brazilian football associations as its beginning and ultra-violent organised criminals at its conclusion. Ultras, published by Carpet Bombing Culture, attempts to tell the detailed story of the journey from football hooliganism to organised criminal activity. The book considers the start of Ultra culture in Brazil's Torcidas, which are informal football fan clubs. Started in the 1930s, fans would co-operate to buy fireworks, cloth for large flags, and other things to be used during the matches to show their support. Though their origins are innocent, the Torcidas developed into hotbeds of hooliganism, leaving the police no option but to disband them. The socio-economic downturn in the United Kingdom during the 1970s and 1980s made a fertile breeding ground for hooliganism and then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, even set up a war … [Read more...] about Inside the violent world of football’s Ultras: How firework-loving Brazilian fans sparked the ‘English disease’ of hooliganism before European die-hards took it to an even more vicious level
“With Leon Clarke making his Premier League debut at the age of 34 for Sheffield United against Liverpool, who is the oldest debutant in a top division?” tweets Joe Turner. We’ve unearthed a golden oldie who can beat the ageing Blade by two years. Now-retired Brighton defender Bruno captained the Seagulls to promotion and then made his first appearance in the English top flight at 36 and only two months shy of his 37th birthday. But Tom Aldous points us in the direction of Graham Alexander who, at the ripe age of 37, made his Premier League debut for Burnley in 2009. Italy has always been an accommodating place for footballers who have got a fair few miles on the clock, so it is little surprise that a 39-year-old made his bow in Serie A in 2016. Goalkeeper Maurizio Pugliesi turned out for Empoli against Torino in the last game of the season and ended up on the winning team too, the home side victorious 2-1. Sticking with goalkeepers, the one and only John Burridge was … [Read more...] about Who is the oldest footballer to make their debut in a top-flight division?
Mesut Özil seems to have accepted his days at Arsenal are numbered, having made just a paltry two appearances for the club in all competitions this season. With his manager Unai Emery reported to be unimpressed with the playmaker’s attitude in training, a January move elsewhere looks increasingly likely even if his current employers are forced to heavily subsidise his £350,000 weekly stipend. Turkish newspaper Takvim, which your polyglot Rumour Mill has delivered daily, report that Fenerbahce have opened talks with Arsenal about a loan deal and say the “dream move can come true in January”. Not for the first time in recent months Manchester City are mulling over the possibility of trying to sign Nathan Aké, having identified the central defender as the man to help plug the conspicuous Aymeric Laporte-shaped hole in their beleaguered defence. Speculation linking Aké with City during the summer ultimately came to naught, but knowing how desperate … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: Mesut Özil to leave Arsenal for Fenerbahce?
It was telling that it was two substitutes combining to deliver Chelsea’s 2-1 humbling of the reigning Women’s Super League champions Arsenal on Sunday. The strategy of the Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, has always been to build a strong, deep squad, not just to have quality on the bench but also to provide as competitive an environment in training as possible. That paid off in 2017-18 as Chelsea won the double, Nick Cushing’s Manchester City struggling to keep up with the Londoners as they fought relatively comfortably on all fronts. At the end of that season Cushing pointed to the difficulties posed by the switch from a summer to winter season but also to the lack of depth in his squad. “Listen, people will always question the teams that don’t win because ultimately the standard is set by the teams that win, I get that,” he said. “Maybe we learnt a little bit about the season last year, changing to a winter season meant we played Champions … [Read more...] about Will Montemurro’s small squad come back to haunt Arsenal this season?