FootballOpinion

A Dramatic Day to Come in Leagues One and Two

It’s a bit late in the week, but I’ve covered the events in Leagues One and Two.

This is what cool looks like

Barnet have played their last game at Underhill, home of the famous sloping pitch; Portsmouth have been deducted points this season rather than next, despite already being relegated; Scunthorpe are all but relegated, for the second time in three years; Coventry City FC are – I’m sorry if I don’t seem to be taking it seriously, just laughably villainous.

I’ve also written about the teams still with something to play for on the last round of league matches this weekend.

Click here to read The Lower League Week – Preparing for the Showdown

FootballOpinion

T’was the Season to Be Jolly…

Over at Bornoffside.net, my weekly round-up of Leagues One and Two, the Lower League Week, has returned for the first time this year, cleverly disguised as The Lower League Christmas. (Okay, maybe not so clever).

Football in the midst of World War One. Back in the days when players wore their international caps while representing their nation.
Christmas day football in the midst of World War One. Back in the days when players wore their international caps while representing their nation.

In it, I covered the form of Gillingham, Port Vale and Tranmere over Christmas. All of them are battling for the title in League Two, Two, and One respectively, and all of them surprise challengers for one reason or another.

Leon Clarke has signed for Coventry, Hartlepool United have broken two club records in the last month, and Barnet’s management team have broken up. Bristol Rovers have appointed a new boss, who’s helped to force his Plymouth equivalent out of the door. Rotherham have a transfer target which is either delusionally ambitious, or a sign of how far the Scottish league has fallen, dependent on how things turn out.

And there’s evidence that it’s not Lazio, Roma or Millwall who have the most extreme fans in Europe, but Oldham. I also round up the other significant news over Christmas.

All of that can be found in The Lower League Christmas

FootballOpinion

If You Beat Arsenal, Does It Really Count As An Upset?

My latest round-up of the events in football’s League One and Two went up at Born Offside this morning.

If you even vaguely follow English football, you’ll probably be aware that Arsenal were knocked out of the League Cup by Bradford City – a team three divisions lower than them. You can read about the Bradford side of the story, and the rest of their eventful week.

The_Sunwin_Stand_-_Bradford_City,_Valley_Parade by Betty Longbottom                             Taken from Wikimedia Commons

Meanwhile, Coventry have been in negotiations over rent for their ground, Portsmouth fans are trying to enforce the sale of theirs, Southend and Bury have struggled to pay their wages, a Carlisle director inadvertendly put his manager under more pressure, and you can hear tales of an amusing own goal and an impressive double save.

Click here for The Lower League Week – Keeping Calm and Going to Penalties

FootballOpinion

A Mixed Bag of a Lower League Week

The latest Lower League Week has now gone live at Born Offside.

In it, I discuss Michael Appleton’s record at Portsmouth, Tranmere beginning to struggle at the top of League One, Bury and Scunthorpe pulling away from the bottom leaving Hartlepool (who’ve just appointed a new manager) behind; belatedly praise Walsall for their good start to the season, chuckle at Rotherham’s heavy defeat, look at Bradford’s record in penalty shoot-outs and listen to Edgar Davids saying a naughty word. It’s a mixed bag of a column.

One of the first responses to ‘mixed bag’ on Wikimedia Commons. Another was a painting of Jesus being breast-fed.

Click here to read The Lower League Week: Doing a Great Job in Difficult Circumstances

FootballOpinion

Billionaire Owners are Passe, Knights Are Cool Now

The latest Lower League Week is now up at Born Offside.
Port Vale and Portsmouth are both on the verge of takeovers, and I’ve been slightly mystified by reports that Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton is the favourite for the Burnley vacancy.
Swindon have replaced their chairman (with a knight who was ambassador to Afghanistan – pretty imperial), Oxford insist on being inconsistent, Hartlepool have parted ways with manager Neale Cooper, and York’s Matty Blair managed to get himself injured by a training ground mannequin.

In his defence, these guys can be absolute thugs

All that and more can be found in The Lower League Week: Owners and Managers

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

Matches against Portsmouth and Brazil

A little late, as this post went up on Born Offside on Thursday night.

This week’s Lower League Week focuses on Port Vale, whose financial woes have deepened, with prospective owner Keith Ryder no longer returning the administrator’s calls.

No matter how long they waited, the call just wouldn’t come.

Harry Redknapp returned to football with Bournemouth, di Canio refused to stop talking, Preston have put together a decent run of results, an Oldham player made his international debut against Brazil, and Martin Allen took Gillingham to Barnet, who decided against appointing him manager in May.

Click here for the column in which I ask Where in the World is Keith Ryder?