Soccer Pro – At last, some sports nutrition innovation from the UK

A lifetime separates Herbert Chapman’s death and the arrival on the scene of Simon Clifford: in that time, there was no innovation in British football. In fact, if you remove Chapman from the equation, the innovation-free period starts in 1888. So it’s vital to encourage innovation and risk-taking, the attempt to do something genuinely new,…

LBITCR Christmas Quiz from Rob Marrs

Go over and try Rob Marrs’s Xmas Quiz over at Left Back In The Changing Room? You might as well: it’s fiendishly difficult, and I reckon I can get about one answer in ten.The beauty of it is that the questions are skilfully crafted, and look and sound as though you should know the answers…..

Who's in the new Header Image?

I’ve been asked to identify the faces in the new More Than Mind Games header image. Pleased to do so. From the left, they are: Arthur Kinnaird, the football pioneer and nineteenth century philanthropist Herbert Chapman, the manager of Northampton Town, Leeds, Huddersfield and Arsenal Brian Clough and Peter Taylor Canon Edward Hannan, the founder…

Early Football Violence: Glossop v Bolton Wanderers 1908

  We seem to be entering upon an era of dirty play, and Glossop has the unenviable distinction of being concerned in the latest row. It occurred in the match between the Bolton Wanderers and Glossop, both of whom are striving for promotion to the Second League and are well in the running. No fewer…

A Thinking Man's Game

In Holland, football is a thinking man’s game. When the Dutch talk about it, the concepts to which they always return are ‘techniek’ and ‘tactiek‘. ‘Passie‘, or passion, was a quality they associated with unsophisticated footballers from other countries. In Korea, Hiddinck learnt that it was actually pretty important. Even when speaking Dutch, he tends…

Ten Minutes of Victorian Street Scenes

Here’s an astonishing Pathe lineup of – almost entirely – Victorian English streetscape. Because the bulk of this was shot in 1896-7, the camera was too bulky to manouvre but too new to be recognised for what it was, lending these scenes an intimacy, almost an anonymity, that Mitchell and Kenyon would neither seek nor…

A Bad Way To Do It

Brian Phillips: Back in May, before I knew that academic statisticians were eavesdropping on my thoughts, I mused on Sport Is a TV Show that “judging the footballing abilities of two football teams is so difficult that football itself is often a bad way to do it.” Read the rest here.

50 Years of Bill Shankly

[youtube=] For my money, the lesser of the great ’60s tranche of managers, but the better man of the lot of them. He reminds me of my Uncle John RIP.


[youtube=] Apologies for the relative silence here. The book – 2-3 years away at best – is taking up most of my erstwhile blogging time. Congratulations are in order to Tiberius for this, which is long overdue.

Teaching and the Decline of Scottish Football

I said yesterday (checks: no, make that earlier today) “whatever happened to Scottish football started happening in the mid-to-late seventies.” Here’s this to bear me out, from Harry Reid’s marvellous The Final Whistle? Harry quotes Fred Forrester of the EIS, the principal Scottish teaching union: Our preferred weapon in 1974 was the work to rule….