The Substitute: Keith Peacock

The 21st of August 1965 may seem like another unremarkable date in history for many, but in the world of English football, it’s a date on which things permanently changed. It was the day the first ever official substitution was made in the English Football League. To mark the 12th edition of Pickles, it’s only…

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Remembering The Fantasistas

There was once a time when Italian football ruled Europe. It was a time when the world’s finest footballers flocked to the boot-shaped peninsula to play in the hardest league around. That time now appears as a collection of sepia-tinted moments, left to grow old and dusty while its clubs tarry to attain the standard…

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Where The Owl Sleeps

If a commentator ever says “nobody wants to see that” about an incident at a football match, you can be sure that ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE wants to see it. Take the Wenger-Mourinho rutting stag act in which the lanky one alpha-maled it all over his special counterpart’s territory. “Nobody wants to see that”. Wrong: everybody wants…

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Barcelona’s Brazilian Connection

YouTube can be a wondrous, endless treasure trove for the web-savvy, intrepid football fan. Among the unmatchable headquarters for free video content, you can discover endless hours of footballing pornography, everything from great players humiliating each other to a clip of an over-zealous American commentator screaming ‘release the Kraken’ after witnessing John Arne Riise’s rocket…

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The Giant From Portugal

A football club usually owes its popularity to regional factors and its sporting achievements. Benfica, known worldwide as the giant from Portugal, are no exception. In fact, one of the main reasons for Benfica’s incomparable popularity in their home country is their achievements since the club’s early years. The Reds have won the most championships…

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Leave Them Kids Alone

There are moments in life when you just know you have over-stepped the boundaries of appropriate adult behavior. In my case it was shouting ‘For fuck’s sake, don’t make that fat twat look like Messi!’ during a tense under-10s league match in which my son was playing. For one second shame overcame me at the…

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Pickles Meets MCWFC

A slightly dreich morning at Sale Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium, and I’m here to meet some of the stars of England’s best performance in an international tournament in 45 years. I’m shown into a small, tiled changing room and there, sitting on the floor against the wall, knees drawn up to her chest, is England’s…

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