Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Jonny Gould Interviews: Peter Withe Part 2 (of 4)

Here's the part 2 of our four-part series chronicling the remarkable career of Peter Withe. In this episode, Peter discusses his departure from Nottingham Forest, soon after winning the League and League Cup, his move to Newcastle - and the background to his Aston Villa transfer, which saw him scale the heights of European football.

Part1 is available here

This is a Sportsmedia co-production with John Warrington. Peter's life story written with Simon Goodyear is out soon.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Jonny Gould Interviews: Peter Withe (Part 1 of 4)

Peter Withe's distinguished career is discussed in this four-part video interview series with Jonny, discussing his early days as a Liverpool dockworker before embarking on the long and winding road to the very pinnacle of the game.


Monday, 11 July 2016

Portugal a better result for football than you might first think

Portugal did exactly the number on France that Greece had done to them twelve years ago. I was there in Lisbon to see a crestfallen Cristiano Ronaldo miss what I thought would be his one career opportunity to win a trophy for his country. 

Which is why I was so gutted for him to fall victim of a chancers tackle last night - but so chuffed he could scream "Vamos!" when lifting the Henri Delaunay trophy less than two hours later. 

Portugal might've won less matches than Wales this tournament but no nation can hold a candle to their durability and determination. Pepe was majestic in defence and embodied class disguised as drive. 

They have players of experience and quality playing throughout Europe and though Ronaldo is their standout superstar, they proved they're no one-man team. 

Remember, Portugal was the greatest football nation never to win a major trophy – until last night.

It's a better result for football than at first glance. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The new Aston Villa badge confirms the disconnect

As Aston Villa embark on a new life in Division 2, it's time we tweaked the badge, eh? Yep, lob the "Prepared" in Rennie McIntosh-font-for-no-reason-at-all off the bottom (as Villa have been ill-prepared for at least six years)  and lumber on with the colours of Manchester City instead.

Villa have reportedly spent £80,000 on removing Prepared, sticking high-res claws on the lion - and we've been laughed at on talkSPORT. We look like a ship of fools.

It's in sky blue so the claret of the shirt is required to give it context. Trouble is, our colours aren't blue and claret - they're claret and blue.
If I want a Manchester City badge, I'll commission one
It was under the stewardship of Richard Fitzgerald as CEO when this half-baked badge first appeared. I challenged him once about how inappropriate it was - and why the iconic round badge was shelved - and he passed the buck, telling me it wasn't his idea. Yet it was on his watch.

There's no recourse to history. The lack of boardroom continuity results in these sort of decisions.

No, there really is only one badge that should be used and it's the one of Peter Withe, Brian Little, Gary Shaw, Andy Gray, Sid Cowans - even Keith Leonard and Charlie Aitken. Of Rotterdam. Of Highbury. Of Penarol.

Stick a European Cup star discreetly above this.
Some might say, it's the guys performing under the shirts that count. That this doesn't matter. To those, I say yes, but you've heard of playing for the shirt, playing for the badge?

We have enough history in the locker to go back in time. Sometimes that's the only solution. We might've spent considerably less than £2m and stuck a European Cup star above the famous badge instead. But now let's bloody well get on with promotion.