FootballOpinion

More Late Drama Than Sky Atlantic’s Through the Night Programming

On Friday BornOffside published my latest Lower League Week.

It begins with a summary of the events in the League One and Two playoff semi-finals, which were pretty dramatic.

I also covered the smaller, end of season stories.
Bury fan favourite Efe Sodje is in conflict with manager Kevin Blackwell, refusing to sign a new contract unless he leaves. Steve Fletcher has finally retired at the age of 40, not because decades of centre-forwarding have taken their toll on his body, but simply because he’s pretty far down the pecking order now.

Steve Fletcher: Retiree
Steve Fletcher: Retiree

Coventry were locked out of their stadium again after continuing to refuse to pay the rent (what are they like!) and Martin Ling, who’d been on sick leave, has been replaced as Torquay manager by Alan Knill.

Having narrowly survived relegation, Dagenham caretaker manager Wayne Burnett has been appointed as permanent manager, while Brian Flynn has decided against continuing as Doncaster boss despite their last minute title win.

And Luke McCormick has returned to Plymouth, the club that terminated his contract after he was convicted of causing the death of two young boys. Yeah, it’s not all sweetness and light.

Click here to read The Lower League Week – The Stoppage Time Equaliser Edition

FootballOpinion

I Sort of Remembered to Leave a Link This Time…

Yesterday there I wrote a new edition of the Lower League Week for Born Offside.

Swindon’s new owners have pissed of Paolo di Canio, Bournemouth are doing quite well, the Dalai Llama has declared his support for a League Two side, Hartlepool United won (remarkable in itself) with the goals scored by Hartley and Poole, Dickov and Curle were sacked by Oldham and Notts County, while Graham Westley praised himself in the Daily Mail, in the week his Preston side set a new club record for home games without victory.

You can read all of that in The Lower League Week – Things Fall Apart

FootballOpinion

Things I Forgot to Link To

You know how sometimes you plan to do something, keep intending to go back to it in just a few hours, regret not doing it yesterday, and then intend to do that thing in just a few hours for a second day in a row? Then a third?
Yeah, I meant to link to my Lower League Fortnight column when it went live last Thursday. I make it a principle of sorts to make sure everything I write is linked to from here, so I’m catching up, even if it is out of date.

Last Thursday’s Lower League Week (written before the frantic last two days of the transfer window) covered Swindon’s new owners, Bournemouth’s impressive form, Sheffield United hitting a rough patch, Zoko being a bit daft for Notts County, Keith Hill’s return to Rochdale, and a banana.

You can read all of that by clicking on The Lower League Fortnight – Of Money and Managers.

Speaking of things I haven’t linked to, a couple of weeks ago there was a bit of a furore over the ballboy in the Swansea – Chelsea match. At BornOffside we wrote some quick reactions, myself included.

These can be reading by clicking through to BornOffside Reacts…

And… that’s me pretty much up to date for today!

FootballOpinion

Silly Forest

Nottingham Forest Football Club, one of the bigger teams in England’s second tier and former double European Champions, have been underachieving for a long time. Bought out by rich Middle-East businessmen in the summer, they made what I’d consider to be a smart appointment, by naming Sean O’Driscoll as manager. O’Driscoll had put together successful, entertaining teams at Bournemouth and Doncaster, but this was his first job at a ‘big’ club.

On December 27th, O’Driscoll was sacked.

Are those Christmas trees by the City Ground? Let's assume they are. Merry Christmas Sean!
Are those Christmas trees by the City Ground? Let’s assume they are. Merry Christmas Sean!

Over at BornOffside, I’ve written about my feelings on the sacking.

FootballOpinion

Eddie Howe’s a Talented Chap

After missing last week, this week sees a Lower League Fortnight on BornOffside.

Bournemouth have been in form under their new manager (but don’t seem to have properly disposed of the old one), David McGoldrick is in form for Coventry, Carl Fletcher’s job isn’t in danger at Plymouth, a Leyton Orient youth striker has been involved in a robbery, and Hartlepool United are all but confirmed as the first English team to be relegated this season. Oh, and Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws compared his team’s defending to the holocaust.

Come this way for The Lower League Fortnight: Air of General Negativity

FootballOpinion

How Bloody Cool is Edgar Davids?

Seriously. I mean, just take a look at how cool and laid back he looks, even when he’s not leading European teams to continental glory:

I think I may have a man-crush on him.

There is a sort of reason for the above. Davids has just been named as the Joint Head Coach of Barnet, currently sitting 92nd in the English league structure, whcih I’ve written about for BornOffside in the Lower League Fortnight.

I’ve also covered Peter Ridsdale’s tax dodging, Bournemouth’s surprise managerial appointment, Portsmouth’s secret boardroom history, more accusations of racism (yey, navel gazing!) London Orient, transfer embargoes, and Tranmere’s confusingly good start to the season.

Come this way to read The Manager in the Coloured Glasses

FootballOpinion

Back in the Lower Leagues…

Having not found the time to write a Lower League Week last midweek, a Lower League Fortnight went up at Born Offside yesterday morning.

There seems to have been a lot of managerial sackings, resignations and appointments over the last fortnight, so they dominate the column.

Get it?

Plus there’s been racial abuse at a football stadium, so for people who can’t get enough of that kind of thing (there seems to be a lot working in Fleet Street) you can read about Hartlepool fans yelling at Marvin Morgan.

Click here to read the “We’re Mostly Not Racist” edition