ENGLAND TRAIL BEHIND THE WORLD’S BEST AT ALL LEVELS

By CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

AS ENGLAND prepare to begin their season with a friendly against Scotland, footballwriters.co.uk can reveal they are trailing behind the world’s elite at the highest levels of international football, winning only a third of their games at finals this millennium.

Since 2000, at senior, Under-21, Under-20 and Under-19 levels England have won 29 of 84 games at world and European finals – 34 per cent.

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FWA Q&A: MARCEL VAN DER KRAAN

MARCEL van der KRAAN on watching Jesus in football boots...being mistaken for Lance Armstrong...and paying for toilet paper in Belarus

Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?
When I was 17 and still at college, I had my own little business in polishing cars. I was making more money than my dad. People would bring their car and pick it up at night. The boss of a major company asked if I could polish his wife’s car. He insisted that I would pick it up at his house in the country on a Saturday morning at 7 ...

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FWA Q&A: KEVIN BAXTER

KEVIN BAXTER of the Los Angeles Times on why Manchester is the culinary capital of the world...the wonderful Doghouse...and the importance of learning a second language

Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?

As for covering the sport, I came very late to football – and even later to a deep appreciation of it. For more than 20 years I primarily covered baseball and only became involved in football because my newspaper needed a Spanish speaker to follow the Mexico team through its preparations for the 2010 World Cup. I followed the team through Europe then to ...

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FWA Q&A: PHILIP QUINN

PHILIP QUINN, football correspondent of the Irish Daily Mail, on meeting himself...why a football writer was Man of the Match in Paris...and bunged up for a week at the Tour de France

Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?
No. Signed on as a freelance aged 17 in 1979 with the Evening Herald armed with notebook, pen, wide-eyed wonder and, crucially, a copy of the Dublin bus timetables. Nearly 35 years on, the wonder has never left me.

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FWA Q&A: MIGUEL DELANEY

MIGUEL DELANEY on super Spain...awesome Ajax...and magnificent McIlvaney

Have you ever worked in a profession other than football?
Sort of, but not really. I was lucky enough to go straight out of university into a job on the sports desk of the now sadly-defunct Irish paper, the Sunday Tribune. And, although they tried to inflict other sports on me that I never had any real interest in, I was always leaning towards football!

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SOCCER…SUNSHINE…SAMBA…BUT BRAZIL 2014 WILL NOT BE EASY

By CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

BRAZIL. A country that conjures up images of sunshine, fabulous beaches, carnivals, Pele...the most successful nation in World Cup history, so what better place to stage the 2014 World Cup finals?

Mike Collett, the football editor of Reuters and member of the Football Writers’ Association’s national committee, spent two weeks in Brazil checking out the venues and any possible problems. Brian Homewood was Reuters’ South America football editor for 20 years. Footballwriters.co.uk asked them about the good and bad of Brazil 2014.

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WHEN THIERRY BECAME HENRY

PHILIPPE AUCLAIR thinks Thierry Henry has a right to be considered France’s greatest footballer but in a ‘love letter’ he explains the character of the player changed...

By CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

IT IS sad that a player who gave Arsenal, English and French football such joy, so many moments of incredible skill, scoring breathtaking goals after a 60-yard lung-bursting run should be remembered as much for a handball (pedants will argue two handballs) as the pleasure he served up.

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