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Special Report: From War to World Cup in Two Decades

Image: EBRU

In approximately five months’ time, millions of viewers from across the globe will tune in to watch Bosnia-Herzegovina make their debut appearance at football’s top table, the World Cup in Brazil. Yet, just 20 years earlier, the nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina was gracing our TV screens for altogether different reasons. Gary Armstrong charts the remarkable rise of the Bosnia-Herzegovina national football team: from war-time, to World Cup. 

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The Show Must Go On

Image: Telegraph

By Conor Murphy

If Southampton could be encapsulated by anything, it would be the scene in Les Misérables where Gavroche is shot. Pretty gutting, especially as the protagonist in question had so much potential to rock the world they lived in. Every play has a low point, and Southampton must have thought their low point was a few years ago. But maybe it is today, with Nicola Cortese’s resignation. 

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Character Assassination: Andre Villas Boas

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By Conor Murphy

Here lies the man undone by his own tactical stubbornness but ultimately remembered as the man who successfully failed to introduce the pressing game to Michael Dawson and John Terry.

It’s time to actually defend AVB. We should be a little weary to criticise a man who won the a treble in his first season in charge. He was undone by his own ambition through moving to Chelsea, if you discount the disgraceful conduct the respected players showed towards him. He had been undone in North London by a combination of the press and his own stupidity. 

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Character Assassination: Rene Meulensteen

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By Matty Brown

A full, in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of Fulham’s new manager:

René Meulensteen’s time at Manchester United began in May 2001, where he was appointed as the club’s skill development coach*.  In December 2005, he became the reserve-team manager, installing his impressive coaching methods.  He enjoyed success in the 2005/06 season, winning the FA Premier Reserve League Shield, the Premier Reserve League North and the Manchester Senior Cup.  Meulensteen’s successes earned him a short managerial spell at Brøndby IF, before he re-joined Manchester United as a technical director on January 18th 2007.  When Carlos Queiroz left United to become the Portuguese national manager, Meulensteen was promoted to first-team coach on the 13th August 2008. 

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Now The Pigs Don’t Fly

By Henry Greenwood

When it comes to football, you need two basic things; a foot, and a ball. Feet are easy, nearly everyone has them, but footballs, they’re a whole different ball game - well, not ball game, but you get what I mean. See times have changed since the Chinese and their animal skins stuffed with feathers 3000 years ago. The Vikings, with the heads of their deceased enemies has had its day. We don’t even use (you’ll be surprised to hear) a pigs bladder to kick around as the those in medieval England once did.

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A Return to 4-4-2?

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By Matthew Brown

In modern day football, complicated tactics are more prominent than ever. Formations are becoming more radical, with some excluding any sort of striker at all. The 4-4-2 is considered old-fashioned and out of date, and has even been held responsible, by some, for England’s failures in international tournaments. Despite this, Manuel Pellegrini appears to have succeeded in implementing an efficient 4-4-2 at Manchester City

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Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
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Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info
Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info
Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info
Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info
Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info
Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info
Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info
Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info
Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.
Zoom Info

Our photographer Goran Janson compiled this gallery during his recent trip to Morocco, giving a brilliant insight into football in the North African country. Click on an image to see it in its full beauty and immerse yourself in a side of football rarely seen outside of its homeland.

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Chile Expose the Flaws in England’s System

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Ahead of the England VS Germany game tonight, Matthew Brown talks about the holes in England’s tactics which Chile were able to exploit last Friday.

62,963 people turned out at Wembley to watch a weakened England lose 2-0 to fellow future participators in the World Cup, Chile. People will point out that the match was only a friendly, with Chile given big motivation to win in the ‘home of football’. Others will highlight Chile’s near full-strength line-up. The visitors made just two changes from the 2-1 win against Ecuador which sent them to Brazil, yet the players who were removed from the starting line-up, creator Jorge Valdívia and all-round midfielder Arturo Vidal, are big stars for Chile. The truth is England’s major flaws, already known to many football watchers, were exposed by the Chileans’ game plan.

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SPOTP Recommends

As part of a new series, SPOTP have decided to bring you our favourite content on other websites from the past week. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!

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Relegation and Amateur Status: The Story of AEK Athens

By Matthew Brown

On Saturday 20th April 2013, one of the most successful teams in Greece, AEK Athens, were relegated. Unusually, this was only partially down to team performances; six days earlier, at home to fellow relegation rivals Panthrakikos, AEK’s fans had made their season even more of a mockery than the on-pitch displays had previously. An own goal from Mavroudis Bougaidis’s handed the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 88th minute, sparking fan violence in the stands and culminating in AEK fans chasing their own players off the pitch. Inevitably, the match was called off.

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Winter World Cup? It’s Not All Bad

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By Henry Greenwood

As almost everyone in football knows, Qatar, a small nation around the size of Yorkshire with a population of just under two million, was granted the right to hold the 2022 Fifa World Cup in December 2010 amid allegations and counter-allegations of corruption and unfairness in the decision making process.

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Who’d Have Thunk It? The Success of Mauricio Pochettino

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By Jake Allingan

When Southampton decided to terminate Nigel Adkins’ contract in January of this year, few English football fans could honestly have claimed to believe it the correct decision; instead, it was damning evidence of the fickle direction in which football has turned since the inception of the Premier League and the riches that followed it.

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