Breaking International Law for the sake of Brexit: Where on earth are we headed?

Personally, I think there are more important things to be discussing politically on here at present such as what appears to be out woeful efforts at combating and preventing the further spread of COVID-19. However, Brexit has reared its ugly head back into the public conversation recently and it prompts me to worry even more for the future of the UK. Why? Because a no-deal Brexit [Pictured above are Boris Johnson and Jean Claude Juncker last year; image from Business Insider] which last year which at the moment we appear to be heading for and which I would have labelled disastrous last year but to be coming to that scenario in the middle of a pandemic…I’m lost for words….

Why is it increasingly likely? The government brought forward the Internal Market Bill which aims to ensure that post-Brexit, the UK nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the same standards and rules throughout. At first glance, that’s nothing contentious. It seems perfectly reasonable. However, the bill also says ‘Certain provisions to have effect notwithstanding inconsistency or incompatibility with international or other domestic law’ but also replaces parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement as elements of it “cease to be recognised and available in domestic law”. read more

UEFA Nations League Preview

In 2018, we have already had the euphoria and emotions of what turned out to be an amazing month of football in Russia. The domestic league seasons have started up again and now they have reached the first break in the season. That means the return of International football. Normally, European sides will begin their qualification campaign for the next major tournament but instead, they will be embarking on a new competition in the UEFA Nations League.

The Story behind the Nations League

The UEFA Nations League has its beginnings seven years ago, at the 2011 UEFA Strategy Meeting in Cyprus. This is when the discussions and consultations began regarding having a third major tournament to go alongside the European Championship (EUROs) and the World Cup. The discussions continued through meetings at the Top Executive Committee (TEP). It was not until March 2014, at the XXXVII UEFA Ordinary Congress in Astana, Turkey where the tournament was unanimously adopted. read more

NUFC EFL Championship 2016/17 Season: November

The clocks have gone back, the nights are getting longer and darker while the nation celebrated Guy Fawkes night. That is where English football started in November and as the month progressed, developments in the world of football were getting darker and darker. Meanwhile, it was also Movember as men around the country attempted to grow some embarrassing stubble in the annual stubble against Prostate Cancer.

Football News: November 2016
  • England and Scotland faced each other for the first time competitively since Euro 96; England won the game 3-0 with goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill.
  • The Republic of Ireland defeated Austria for the first time since 1963 to go top of Group D in EUFA World Cup Qualification; James Maclean scored the goal.
  • Wales were held to another frustrating draw, this time with Serbia as Aleksandar Mitrovic equalised with 5 minutes remaining in Cardiff; the game finished 1-1.
  • Northern Ireland defeated Azerbaijan 4-0 at Windsor Park and finished 2016 2nd place in Group C in World Cup Qualification
  • The FA ended the month announcing Gareth Southgate as the new, permanent Head Coach after going unbeaten during his interim period
  • Football was rocked by allegations of historic sex abuse allegations with over 20 ex-professional players coming forward by the end of November.
  • In the Champions League, Manchester City progressed to the knockout stages with a 1-1 draw away to Borussia Monchengladbach while Leicester City achieved the same feat at the first time of asking after defeating Club Brugge 2-1 while a 2-1 defeat in Monaco knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the competition. Arsenal also progressed.
  • Southampton celebrated perhaps the biggest night in the clubs history
    Brazilian football club Chapecoense were struck by tragedy at the end of November
    Brazilian football club Chapecoense were struck by tragedy at the end of November

    after defeating Inter Milan 2-1 at St Mary’s.

  • Chelsea finished the month top of the Premier League after defeating Tottenham 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
  • Lamia flight 2933 crashed in the Columbian Mountains killing 71 people, including 19 players of Brazilian club Chapecoense who were travelling to face Athletico Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana final having defeated San Lorenzo the previous week.
  • Six managers in English football lost their jobs in November taking the tally for the season to 18.manager-sack-race
The managerial casualties of November 2016

NUFC in November

Away from those dark developments in football, there was, of course, the action on the pitch and the beauty of the beautiful game. In the EFL Championship, Newcastle United had only four fixtures in November; three in the league and an EFL Cup Quarter-Final. November would not be as stellar as the previous month when Newcastle won all 6 of their games but there were still some highs. read more

NUFC EFL Championship season 2016/17: October

The leaves have been turning brown, the nights are getting longer and colder, the kids have had their Autumn half-term while the ghosts and ghouls have been out for Halloween! And that’s without Chris samara’s fashion sense! In English football, the league and cup competitions are in full flow with early promotion and relegation candidates appearing across all three divisions of the Football league. All the while, the national side has been without a permanent manager.

October 2016: 10 things in October

  • The managerial sack race picked up with 8 casualties over the top 4 divisions of English football
  • Gareth Southgate began his spell as Interim England Head Coach with an unconvincing 2-0 win at Wembley over Malta before taking a dull 0-0 draw away in Slovenia.
  • Wales thought to a credible 2-2 draw in Austria but was followed up with another draw as Georgia held Wales to 1-1 draw in Cardiff
  • Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland defeated Georgia 1-0 before defeating Moldova 3-1 to go joint top of Group D
  • Northern Ireland defeated minnows San Marino 4-0 before falling to a 2-0 away defeat to reigning World Champions Germany
  • Scotland scraped a 1-1 draw at home to Lithuania after scoring a late equaliser before Slovakia destroyed them in a 3-0 win.
  • Jose Mourinho made his first return to Stamford Bridge after his sacking by Chelsea last season and his first visit as a rival Premier League manager but his Manchester United side was blown away in a 4-0 defeat.
  • Meanwhile, Diego Costa had a strop with manager Antonio Conte
  • Pep Guardiola overcame his worst run of form in his managerial career with a 4-0 win at West Brom after 6 games without a win against Celtic, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Barcelona, Southampton and Manchester United.
  • Sunderland were still yet to win a game in the league under David Moyes and became the first team in Premier League history to win in one of their first 10 games
  • At Arsenal, Arsene Wenger celebrated 20 years at Arsenal.

Newcastle United’s October

What a month it was for Newcastle United! No upheaval during the International break as has been the case at times under the ownership of Mike Ashley and for the first time this season; a 100% win record in all competitions. 6 games, 6 wins and 17 goals scored with only 2 conceded as well as a Quarter Final appearance in the bag! The feel good factor is certainly back now! read more

Euro 2016 Preview

We are just a matter of hours away from the start of the European Championships; affectionately known as the Euros! When France and Romania kick off on Friday night, they will start a whole month of football (10th June to 10th July) and the 15th edition of this tournament. The tournament has changed a lot since it began in France back in 1960. Having started with 4 participating teams from an eligible 17; the 2016 tournament will feature 24 teams! France host this tournament for the third time in its history (having also hosted Euro 82) while Spain come into the tournament as defending champions and the only nation to have defended this title (2008 and 2012).  This will also be the first time since Portugal in 2004 that one nation alone is hosting the tournament as Austria and Switzerland followed by Poland and Ukraine hosted the 2008 and 2012 tournaments respectively.

Map of the 10 venues in France
Map of the 10 venues in France

The initial tournament in 1960 used only two venues. Fast forward again to 2016 and this time France are using 10 stadiums spread throughout the country. read more