Football

The rise and fall of Jose Mourinho

1 September 2018 17:17

If we were to discover Jose Mourinho lately fantasised during press conferences about mowing down the assembled hacks in a…

Why won’t football clubs give English players a chance?

25 August 2018 9:00

Watching the Chelsea v Arsenal match last Saturday I could spot one Englishman in the two starting line-ups: Ross Barkley,…

The World Cup is the only football that matters

19 July 2018 8:55

Every four years, when the World Cup ends, I make a promise to follow the players I’ve come to know,…

The agony of World Cup penalties

15 July 2018 12:00

Last week, for the first time since 1996, and for the second time in nine attempts, England won a match…

How football united a nation

12 July 2018 16:57

England did not expect. That was the key to this summer’s World Cup. Last night’s defeat by Croatia was a…

Why England’s part-time fans will be hurting the most

12 July 2018 11:46

My lovely, wonderful wife was disconsolate. She went to bed, desolated. This is the problem with people who tune in…

Gary Lineker tops the BBC pay league

11 July 2018 12:31

Whether or not England win their World Cup semi-final tonight, one thing is guaranteed: Gary Lineker has plenty to be…

Sweden vs England: the agony of the Nelson household

6 July 2018 15:07

At 3pm tomorrow, a thin blue line will be drawn across my living room. My wife will be supporting her…

Paul Mason’s England World Cup identity crisis

4 July 2018 10:25

Paul Mason wasn’t the only England fan celebrating last night’s World Cup win over Colombia but he is perhaps one…

My World Cup plea to Putin

2 July 2018 13:25

Here is a letter which I sent today to the Russian Embassy. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. To:…

Raheem Sterling’s article is brilliant but did he actually write it?

2 July 2018 10:47

England’s Raheem Sterling has underwhelmed so far at the World Cup. Off the pitch, however, he is winning new fans.…

Matt Hancock’s World Cup struggle

28 June 2018 13:09

Ahead of England’s crunch World Cup game against Belgium tonight, you might expect that support for the Three Lions is…

Brexit football chant competition: ‘He’s here, he’s there! He’s a citizen of nowhere: Barnier, Barnier!’

28 June 2018 11:58

Congratulations to Radio 4’s Today programme for the amusing item on Brexit football chants. Very good. Radio 4 being Radio…

I can’t wait for England to be knocked out of the World Cup

21 June 2018 11:53

On Monday evening, I watched a man in a smart shirt and trousers put his friend in a headlock while…

England’s diverse World Cup team is something to celebrate

18 June 2018 13:40

England kick off their World Cup campaign today by putting their faith in youth as they take on Tunisia: Gareth…

For France, the World Cup is about more than just football

16 June 2018 9:00

These are challenging times for Emmanuel Macron. Kim Jong-Un has supplanted him as Donald Trump’s Best Friend Forever and he’s…

Argentina, why not boycott the entire World Cup?

6 June 2018 15:52

I am all for taking ethical stands, but if you are going to do so it does help to show…

Is Gareth Bale worth 20,000 times more than Bobby Charlton?

3 June 2018 7:30

I must have missed the memo when it became compulsory for major football matches to operate as a marketing opportunity…

The Spectator Podcast: Health Cheque

24 May 2018 14:06

In this week’s issue, the Spectator reveals that the government is planning a significant yearly increase in the NHS’s budget.…

Morally bankrupt sport fans will forgive any abuse

6 March 2018 15:55

The death of Zac Cox is more than a horrible industrial action but a metaphor for modern sport: the scale…

Arsenal’s problem? French bureaucracy

2 March 2018 11:00

It’s ending in jeers for Arsène Wenger as his relationship with the club he began managing in 1996 hits rock…

The secret of Östersund, the tiny Swedish team who beat Arsenal

23 February 2018 10:15

Arsenal, one of the world’s richest football clubs, lost 2-1 to Östersund, which has people on £600 a week. How?

The Spectator Podcast: The digital inquisition

12 January 2018 17:08

On this week’s episode, we examine Twitter’s mob mentality, get to the heart of PTSD, and look at how Russia…

2018 will be the year of Russia and Putin and the World Cup

29 December 2017 13:00

Next year will be the year of Russia and Putin and the World Cup. It promises to be as smooth…

England are probably going to win the World Cup

2 December 2017 8:20

England, Belgium, Tunisia, Panama: it doesn’t make an acronym as alluring as the ‘England Algeria Slovenia Yanks’ headline The Sun…