FootballOpinion

Last Week of the Season

This is a late link yet again, with the final, double-sized edition of the Lower League Week going up on Bornoffside.net during the week.

born_offside_greenSome of the bigger stories were Coventry’s stadium apparently being on fire; the playoff finals; new managers for Doncaster and Hartlepool; Wolves and Sheffield United still searching for bosses (at the time of writing); the effects and to an extent the morality of  parachute payments; early summer transfers; Bury’s financial troubles, and Billy Sharp being playful. Probably.

Click here to read The Lower League Fortnight – Preparations for Next Season

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

Last Week’s Last Day Drama

Although football in the Premiership and the Championship are ongoing, the normal season in Leagues One and Two are now complete.

Speaking as a Hartlepool fan, I'm glad to see the season go.
Speaking as a Hartlepool fan, I’m glad to see the season go.

There’s been some pretty dramatic action on the final day, including an end to the Doncaster – Brentford game you may be aware of, and amazingly, 7 teams battling to avoid relegation from League Two on the final day.

And Jeremy Kyle, daytime TV talk show host, was invited to give a pre-match team talk, during which he presumably revealed the results of a DNA test to one of the players, and yelled at others.

Click here to read The Lower League Week: The Jimmy Glass Day Edition

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

Bornoffside Bits

After missing the first scheduled Lower League Week of the year due to other commitments, today a Lower League Fortnight has gone up at Bornoffside.

In it, I write about lower league involvement in three different cups, Dean Saunders waiting for the moment he starts being quite good to leave his job (again) Port Vale spending money, Notts County’s chairman surfing the web, and Graham Westley was booed by his own fans on his anniversary.

Click here to read The Lower League Fortnight: Glory of the Cups

Not THAT kind of cup, silly!
                                                        Not THAT kind of cup, silly!

I’ve also had another in the series of African Cup of Nations previews published, this time for Togo.

Click here to read African Cup of Nations Group D Preview : Togo

All Bornoffside previews for the competition (and subsequent coverage) can be found at the Africa 2013 section

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

Another Week in the Lower Leagues

This is a few days out of date now, but just putting up a really brief blog to say that my latest Lower League Week is up at Born Offside.
transfer news, Paolo di Canio declaring zero tolerance on players making mistakes, some thoughts on the impact of financial fair play, Sheffield United renaming a stand after Jessica Ennis, Chesterfield sacking their manager, and Oldham’s chairman going off on a bit of a rant.
Oh, and Scunthorpe’s manager was almost killed by a squirrel.

I can’t confirm if this was the squirrel, but from the way he’s rubbing his hands together, he’s clearly evil.

You can read about all this at The Lower League Week – The Angry Italian Man Edition