Back then when critics pointed out that England had been overtaken by hungrier and more progressive teams, a stock reply was ready: “But we’re English and we’ve always done it this way.”
My motto, when it comes to buying shoes, is “as rarely as possible”. A shoe will have to be hanging off my foot and making flapping noises as I walk before I buy another one.
Tennis has not become ugly. It has got more beautiful. Professionalisation did not ruin its balletic strand; it deepened it. The ultimate athletes turned out to be lighter, leaner and more mobile.
Sport’s love affair with the myth of thwarted victory.
Last month’s rush to exonerate the Premier League’s CEO, Richard Scudamore, who had been accused of sexism, was just another example of the game’s eagerness to sweep dirty linen under the carpet.
The continued endorsement of Premier League B teams being given access to Football League competitions has led to an open rebellion by teams and their owners against the executives who are supposed to represent their interests.
When I encounter the words “my wife” or “my husband”, I get, in some dark moods, a choking sensation beneath the breastbone.
A new book by newscasters Katty Kay and Clare Shipman argues women’s timidity is holding them back at work – but does it perpetuate the idea that confidence is a masculine trait.
After excavating your mega-basement in Holland Park, it’s cheaper and easier to leave the JCB entombed down there with the pool, personal cinema and staff quarters.
Smoke draped a decent veil across interior vulgarities, while softening our loved ones’ hateful features. Designated smoking areas are an abomination.
Over the years, I have begun to see the attraction of going out less and less. I sit, like Mycroft Holmes in the Diogenes Club, daring anyone to talk to me.
They may earn millions and drive Maseratis but today’s footballers are still described using old working-class terminology. It’s the last link with the game’s roots.
From Virginia Woolf's boeuf en daube to Bunny Garnett’s “orgy of squid”, the glorious new Bloomsbury Cookbook fleshes out the Group’s relationship with food.
In 1990 it launched as a single shop; this year it posted sales of almost a billion pounds. How did a budget store flogging cheap tat grow so huge?
Reforms set to take effect from September 2015 will see English literature become an optional subject, reserved for only the brightest students, which will not count to schools’ Ofstead rankings.
For some time now, misogynist extremism has been excused, as all acts of terrorism committed by white men are excused, as an aberration, as the work of random loons, not real men at all. Why are we denying the existence of a pattern?
If asking why there is one rule for the person who runs the richest league in the world and can control access to its key figures and another for the chief executive of a fans’ organisation counts as grinding an axe, we’re in deep trouble.
That my children actually want to see me, after years of my not even remotely bursting into tears of pride whenever I contemplated them, is one of the nicest surprises that this existence has granted to me.
Men worry about feminism, as if a culture of women's rights is about to stamp out male identity. But really, it's men who are their own worst enemies.
The role of parent, which seems so demanding while you’re playing it, requires mostly that you underact.
The women’s officer of Oxford’s student union, OUSU, and another student have started a campaign for the Oxford Union president to resign from his post after he was accused of rape and attempted rape.
What I thought was going to be an investigation into my expenses turns out to be nothing of the sort: instead, a charming young woman is trying to sell me life insurance.
The Brazilians have won five World Cups, more than anybody else. So why was there rioting last summer when teams arrived for a warm-up? Brazil's relationship with football has never been an easy romance.
I hardly slept for weeks during the run-up to the last two World Cups, terrified he wouldn’t make it.
The FA has ignored the concerns of fans and lower league clubs in favour of the interests of the wealthiest soccer interest – once again showing it’s mostly concerned about serving the already-powerful.
Girl crushes are 75 per cent respect, 24.999 per cent idolatry and 0.001 per cent something nebulously sexual. It’s more about wanting to be someone than wanting to do them.
Simply having the choice to have children later than before isn't a sign of greater freedom - it's simply a sign of greater privilege under the same old patriarchy.
The novelist and comedian on anti-Semitism in football, a night out in Pocklington and plans for his 50th.
When you approach 25, it suddenly hits you that you’re never going to be an astronaut. Or an architect. Or a folk sensation.
Once Wigan scored, though, it was a different story: the affable familes were suddenly full of hate and fury.