PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : NOVEMBER

November got off to a dramatic start, as I headed to Mourneview Park to see nine man Linfield come from 2-0 down to get a late draw against Glenavon.

I was back on the road a few days later to Ballymena to see Linfield record a 4-1 in win.

Up next was a trip to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland record a 4-0 win over Azerbaijan, before continuing Linfield’s road trip with a 4-0 over Dungannon Swifts before a midweek date at Windsor Park for Northern Ireland’s last game of 2016, a 3-0 friendly defeat against Croatia.

I was back at Windsor Park for Linfield’s only home game of the month, a 2-1 defeat to Cliftonville.

The following weekend, I went to see my first and second games at Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho as United manager, doing a double header of games against Feyenoord and West Ham United, with a trip to Bury (via Broadhurst Park) sandwiched inbetween.

As a bonus, I even got pictures of stickers left around Manchester by Feyenoord fans.

Glenavon v Linfield

Ballymena United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Croatia

Northern Ireland v Croatia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Manchester United v Feyenoord

Manchester United v Feyenoord Photo Album

Feyenoord Stickers

Bury v Millwall

Bury v Millwall Photo Album

Broadhurst Park

Manchester United v West Ham United

Manchester United v West Ham United Photo Album

Advertisements

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : WORLD SOCCER – NOVEMBER 1998

An expensively assembled team in Sky Blue are featured on the cover of this edition of World Soccer, but it’s not Manchester City, it’s Lazio.

In Jersey, there is an experiment taking place where a referee can move a free-kick forward ten yards if a defending player shows dissent or engages in unsporting behaviour.

In this edition, World Soccer has an article on satellite channels and receivers that can pick up football from around the world. One of those clubs you could watch, is Anderlecht, who get a page feature about their recent downturn in form.

Drugs were a major issue this month, with rumours of failed tests in Serie A being covered up, and one journalist suggesting that referees should be subject to random testing like players.

There is an article based on a quote from Ray Clemence that there are too many foreign goalkeepers in England, looking at the shotstoppers of the twenty Premier League clubs, noting that the two most promising English prospects, Steve Simonsen and Richard Wright, are playing outside the top flight.

Lazio get a four page profile, having spent £70m to try and win the Serie A title. They did manage it in 2000, but not since. One of those player in the expensively assembled sky blue outfit ……. was Roberto Mancini.

Two of those pages are used for an interview with Christian Vieri, who left Lazio the following summer in a big money move, becoming the world’s most expensive player when he signed for Inter Milan.

German football is in crisis with the departure of Berti Vogts as national team manager, and the DFB being rebuffed, for various reasons, in their attempts to appoint Otto Rehhagel, Christoph Daum, Jupp Heynckes, Franz Beckenbauer, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Roy Hodgson and Paul Breitner, before eventually settling on Erich Ribbeck.

Davor Suker, top scorer at the summer’s World Cup gets a double page profile, while Croatia’s Euro 2000 Qualifying opponents, Yugoslavia, get a double page spread.

It’s not just Germany who had a change in manager, the departure of Spain manager Javier Clemente after a 3-2 defeat to Cyprus in their opening Euro 2000 Qualifier got a double page spread. He was immediately replaced by Jose Antonia Camacho.

Across the border in France, Vikash Dhorasoo gets a full page feature, as the most exciting prospect in French football.

Back in Germany, Keir Radnedge reports on the success of the two Munich clubs, currently first and second in the Bundesliga.

In England, Aston Villa are top with an almost all English team (Mark Bosnich from Australia being the only foreigner in their regular starting eleven) and have money to spend following the sale of Dwight Yorke. World Soccer suggest that money could be used to bid on another English player, Andy Cole of Manchester United.

A former manager of Cole, George Graham, has new employment, as manager of Tottenham Hotspur, a move that has divided the club’s fans, given his long association with Arsenal.

In Scotland, Marco Negri is in dispute with Rangers, with manager Dick Advocaat accusing him of lying to the media about his transfer situation.

Northern Ireland’s news is dominated by the resurgence of Linfield and Glentoran, looking to win their first title in 5 and 7 years respectively, but already pulling away from the chasing pack at the top of the table.

Also in dispute with their club like Marco Negri, was future Rangers players Frank and Ronald De Boer, who want to leave for Barcelona.

Bruce Grobbelaar made a comeback of sorts, playing for Zimbabwe at the age of 41, as well as being part of their coaching staff.

Brian Glanville uses his column to question Alex Ferguson’s record in the European Cup and World Cup, in the aftermath of a TV documentary where he referred to Paul Ince as “A big time charlie”

Glanville also uses his column to question the wisdom of those who want Terry Venables to return as England manager following England’s poor start to Euro 2000 qualification.

2016 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November 2016 began with an eventful trip to Lurgan to see Linfield recover from being both two goals and two men down against Glenavon to secure an unlikely draw.

It was followed by a busy week. I was out on the road again to see Linfield take on Ballymena, before heading to The Odyssey to see Bastille in concert.

Two days later, I was at Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Azerbaijan, before heading back on the road to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

I then headed to near the Royal Mail’s office to photograph a new mural of various popculture icons such as David Bowie, Christopher Walken, Kes and Adam Ant.

The following midweek, I was back at Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Croatia in a friendly, before heading back to Windsor Park the following Saturday to see Linfield take on Cliftonville.

November ended with a weekend in Manchester, going to see United take on Feyenoord and West Ham, see Bury take on Millwall via Broadhurst Park, as well as capturing Street Art in Manchester and Salford Quays, and some stickers left by Feyenoord fans around the city.

Those trips to Old Trafford were my first since Jose Mourinho became United manager.

Glenavon v Linfield

Ballymena United v Linfield

Bastille live at The Odyssey

Bastille live at The Odyssey Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Down By The Royal Mail II

Down By The Royal Mail II Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Croatia

Northern Ireland v Croatia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Manchester United v Feyenoord

Manchester United v Feyenoord Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Feyenoord Stickers

Feyenoord Stickers Photo Album

Bury v Millwall

Bury v Millwall Photo Album

Broadhurst Park

Manchester United v West Ham United

Manchester United v West Ham United Photo Album

NORTHERN IRELAND 0-3 CROATIA 15.11.2016

In a year of milestones and firsts, Northern Ireland ended 2016 with another first, a first ever meeting against Croatia, meaning that Macedonia, Bosnia, Andorra, Gibraltar, Kazakhstan and Kosovo are now the only UEFA members that Northern Ireland have never played.

It was a game that had been a long time coming. The sides were supposed to meet at Windsor Park in March 1998 in what was Lawrie McMenemy’s first game in charge. That game got scrapped for some reason and Northern Ireland ended up playing against Slovakia instead. Ironically, Northern Ireland wore red and white squares against the Slovaks.

There were rumours of a game in 2009 while Davor Suker, now President of the Croatian FA, hinted at a future friendly when visiting Belfast to present an award to David Healy in 2014, before a meeting finally became a reality.

It was an indication of how far Northern Ireland have come that they can attract opposition of this level to Belfast.

Already two points clear in their World Cup Qualifying group, it would be a major surprise if they didn’t end up in Russia in June 2018, no disrespect to Ukraine, Turkey and Iceland.

Assuming they do, it will be their tenth tournament out of twelve they’ve tried to qualify for. The only ones they’ve missed out on have been when the year ends in 0, so don’t be putting money on them to win Euro 2020.

Despite their qualifying ratio, their record in finals isn’t that great, only reaching the Quarter-Finals once since France 98. Despite that, and the fact they’d be missing stars such as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, this would still represent a major test for Northern Ireland to see where they are at.

Northern Ireland were hoping to make it a Croatian double of sorts, as Croatia legend Robert Prosinecki is the manager of Azerbaijan.

Unsurprisingly, Michael O’Neill made some changes for this game, giving starts to Liam Boyce, Alan Mannus and Matthew Lunds. Mannus would be familiar with Mario Mandzukic, who scored in both legs of Dynamo Zagreb’s European Cup tie against Linfield in 2008.

Northern Ireland had the first attacking moment of the game when Josh Magennis cross was fired across goal, with nobody running in to take advantage of it.

It was Croatia who got the first goal when Alan Mannus could hold on to a fierce shot and the ball was eventually scrambled in by Mario Mandzukic, though it looked like a handball by him as it went in.

Northern Ireland held their own but Croatia’s class was there to see, and they made it 2-0 when Duje Cop finished from close range after a corner was flicked on.

The match was a non event, not that surprising for a friendly in mid November. Fans were treated to a spectacular long range strike from Andrej Kramarić, drawing applause from the home fans as well.

Northern Ireland kept going, but their best opportunity came when Kyle Lafftery won possession from a defender, but couldn’t get enough height to lob it over the keeper.

Despite a late flurry, Northern Ireland couldn’t make any of their set pieces count, as they chased a goal to finish off the year.

It finished 3-0. A disappointing end to a year that Northern Ireland got to the knockout stages of the European Championship and made a good start to their World Cup Qualifying group.

This match won’t live long in the memory, but 2016 most certainly will for Northern Ireland supporters.

Photo Album