Football news reviewed or fiction revealed?

I am building a website called The Football Ground, with links to free web content by club, competition and country, and – unsurprising to regular readers of my football articles – with an emphasis on football history.

History is in the making of course and there is a whole lot of murkiness surrounding the process. Even after matches have taken place, there are often disputes about what really happened and a seemingly constant ‘re-evaluation’ by those who lost and football pundits who never won much anyway.

Neil Warnock – for once jettisoning his level-headed appraisal of what he has actually seen, especially if it stood in the way, like an articulated lorry, of the desire for his teams to play free-flowing, attractive football – was a bit cross that his team missed two penalties in injury time against Wolves. He was probably more annoyed that Wolves are now even further away from Cardiff than before the M4/M5 road trip even began.

“I just thought it showed a lack of class if I’m honest,” sobbed Neil, and might have added, “even Gareth Southgate only missed one and look where it got him. I was never even considered for the England job.”

Neil then seemed to remember where he currently lives and the accepted orthodoxy that those living in South Wales hate the English even more than they hate those living in North Wales. So, he adopted a peculiar version of Brexit (which we could call ‘welshit’) by going all jingoistic and pronouncing that “If that’s how they’re taught in Portugal, fair enough. But not in Britain.”

In other news, Paul Lambert has dramatically announced that Stoke City “need three wins to survive” – which, spread over at least three seasons, could be tricky; Southampton were “encouraged” by losing at Arsenal, according to their latest temporary manager, Mark Hughes, and David Wagner – holding out for the Bayern job, like every other German-speaking manager with big glasses – was proud of Huddersfield’s “bravery” against Brighton in spite of his own cowardice when failing to change his tactics and really go for it against ten men for the last twenty minutes of the bore draw.

All very vague and misty isn’t it? A bit like coming across Darren Moore tied to a tree on Cannock Chase and wondering a) who he is and b) whether this was the “positive” or “first class” response he was talking about without even pausing for breath.

If this is what it is like after a peacock (called Misguided Alan) has actually flown, or an eagle (called Modest Jose) has actually landed, imagine what it is like when these pieces of football history, reviewed through the eyes of those who really should have gone to Specsavers, haven’t even occurred yet?

Claim and counter-claim may once have been the preserve of lawyers but, no; in a changing world where even estate agents are, in future, going to have to learn to tell the truth we find players’ agents and PR consultancies fuelling the fires of prophecy and percentages.

I have a ‘News page’ on my site at which keeps me up-to-date with breaking football stories. It also has a ‘Gossip’ section which is like a homage to product placement.

This morning’s ‘suggestions’ are more open to re-interpretation than Paul Clement announcing that he is the best person for the job … any job.

‘Chelsea do not plan to terminate Conte’s contract until the end of the season’ which probably means that Carlo from that Italian joint down the Kings Road is a bit busy and hasn’t signed on the dotted napkin yet.

‘Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, 20, is becoming disillusioned at his lack of action’ which probably means that his attendance at the fabled ‘George Best Foundation for Uplifting Chicks and Kits’ – also known as Team GB – is not yet paying dividends.

‘Belgian international dreaming of a move to Everton’ is just bad English because that would not be a dream, it would be a nightmare. Not even a Belgian chocolatier with the highest international reputation in, well, Belgium, would ever consider such a soft centre.

‘Arsenal in ‘advanced talks’ over huge £40m deal’ sounds quite exciting until you realise that the new player is Adidas, who is not an up and coming teenage footballing sensation from Germany, Spain or Greece. Even Neil knows that, now that he has his Readers Digest Map of Europe spread out in front of him, simultaneously covering those players who went missing at Molineux.

About the Author

Mark Rasdall
I am a writer and football historian. My background is in information architecture and online search and all of this has come together in The Football Ground at