Football Psychology – Blackpool & The X Factor!

The pundits had written Blackpool off. Dismissed them out of hand. Lowest points ever. Relegated by January said ‘expert’ Piers Morgan. And when you look at the evidence its easy to make these arguments. This is a team that has previously shown no real obvious ambition to be a Premier League team. That is in terms of infra-structure, player recruitment, wages and so on. So its easy for the pundits to dismiss Blackpool as a lower league team, trying to punch way above their weight. But that opinion, does not take into account what Blackpool have going for them. And […]

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Football: Holland – Losing Ugly!

The World Cup is meant to be the stage by which the game of football develops and evolves. A visible forum of new ideas; theories; moves and formations. A means to transfer the best of the game from the top table to the grassroots. Unfortunately, Dutch coach Bert Van Marjiwk took no heed of that notion. For him winning was everything. The only thing. No matter how. As long as the artful Spanish were stopped. For years the Dutch have shot themselves in the foot at the big tournaments. Big egos and superior attitudes undermining their collective talent. The years […]

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Football: QPR – What Next?

On Saturday, Queens Park Rangers travel to Blackpool, for a Championship match. But who will be in charge of The R’s? Two months ago, Jim Magilton was sacked after a dressing room bust-up with Akos Buszaky. Now. its understood, that new incumbent Paul Hart is on the verge of departing Loftus Rd, after a bust up with loanee Adel Taraabt. Its an extraordinary situation. Or is it? Nothing that comes out of Loftus Rd is surprising these days. Manager and player bust ups. It’s the norm isn’t it? Everyday football club stuff? So why is it, that managers are taking […]

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Football: Manchester City – Core Values?

‘Unacceptable’. The words of Sir Alex Ferguson to describe the manner in which Mark Hughes has been treated by Manchester City. Sitting through the 4-3 Sunderland game at Eastlands, knowing that rumours were growing like wild-fire, about his impending sacking. Of course, it will all be forgotten about soon enough. But the way in which the Hughes sacking has remained a news story, is a reflection of the unfortunate way the City executive have gone about their business. It has to be asked then, as to what are the Core Values that govern the behaviour of all at Eastlands? Values […]

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Darts Psychology: Gary Anderson – The First Round!

It’s the first round of the World Darts Championship, at The Alexandra Palace. Gary Anderson is playing Jamie Caven. Anderson is a class act. He has what it takes to become World Champion. If not this year, then sometime soon. When he’s in the groove, he looks unbeatable. The darts flow from his hand, and the scoring is heavy. But when he slips from that easy groove, then the doubts set in. Anderson should have the match with Caven well wrapped up. But he doesn’t. It goes into a deciding set. Anderson prevails. But it has been a scrape and […]

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Football: Sir Alex Ferguson – That Man Rafa!

‘Arrogance is one thing. You cannot forgive contempt, which is what he showed Sam Allardyce last week-end’. Sir Alex Ferguson, describing Rafael Benitez’s attitude, after Liverpool opened up a two-goal lead against Blackburn Rovers, at Anfield. Benitez, apparently signalled with his hands, that the game was as good as won, well before time, in a manner that has riled Ferguson and Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce. It’s another heightening in the intensity of the ‘mind-games’ that have been played out this season between Ferguson and Benitez. Mind games that seem to work perfectly for Ferguson, but not for the Liverpool […]

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Football: Petr Cech – Confidence!

It’s early on, in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final, when Liverpool have a free-kick, thirty five yards out from the Chelsea goal. As Fabio Aurelio lines up to take the kick, Petr Cech drifts off his line, ready to come for a high ball into the crowded box. Instead Aurelio notices the growing gap that Cech has left by his post, and drills a deft left-footer, past him from distance. It’s a big blow to Cech’s confidence, as he then struggles throughout the game. His lack of confidence, seems to impact upon his defence. Chelsea leak another […]

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Football: Rafael Benitez – That Man Fergie!

It’s the day before the big Champions League quarter-final. All is well at Liverpool. The Premiership title challenge, is back on. The team are in prime form. The manager has a new long-term contract. Nothing can go wrong! Then, at his Tuesday pre-match press conference, Rafael Benitez speaks out. Again. He claims that United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is now running scared of his Liverpool team. Believing that Ferguson is feeling the pressure from his Liverpool team. Given the adverse publicity, that his anti-Ferguson jibes in January brought him, it’s a surprising strategy from the Spaniard. And an ill advised […]

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Football: Liverpool – In The Zone

It’s twenty minutes after the end of Liverpool’s game at Fulham. And Liverpool supporters are still in Craven Cottage singing. Liverpool, after a dominant performance, have snatched it at the death. And are back on the top of the league. It maybe, that with United reclaiming top spot yesterday, Liverpool fail to take their first League title in twenty years. But, their performances over the last month, suggest that Liverpool, are finally moving in the right direction. For this is a team in the zone right now. When a team is in the zone, pressure increases focus, not anxiety. Players […]

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Football: Liverpool – Unity!

The pressure was on Liverpool yesterday. After the wins against Real Madrid and Manchester United, questions were being asked as to whether they would blow the opportunity, to close the gap on the league leaders. Well, the Reds answered these questions emphatically. Not only putting five past Villa, but playing with a clarity and sense of purpose, that informs us that this is a team oozing with confidence and self-belief. That confidence reveals itself in the energy and dynamic of the team. The way each player understands their roles. How the team patterns weave together. The ability to make the […]

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