At Bornoffside.net, the Lower League Week has gone up today.
There’s some bits on the Football League and governance in general (it’s more interesting than it sounds); a large section on Coventry; Carlisle and Greg Abbott; Swindon’s new boss Mark Cooper; Oldham’s kitman doing a runner; and Bobby Moore, Leyton Orient legend.
In football, it’s an unargued truism that managers deserve loyalty, that the best course of action is to back the man in charge.
But what if the man in charge has spent over a year in charge with no definite sign of forward progress (Martin O’Neill) and there’s a danger of relegation. Should he be allowed more time?
When a boss who’s got a good reputation as a coach, but hasn’t done much as a manager, and is taking the team down the table (Michael Appleton), should they be persisted with? Even when the former caretaker manager had a better record, and is still on staff?
I wrote about this dilemma on Friday for Bornoffside.
After missing last week, I’ve written a Lower League Fortnight, which has just gone live today.
Typically, there’s been some biggish stories breaking while the column was being checked over by the editor, but there’s still been a fair bit going on.
It was decided pretty quickly that Coventry were talking out of their backsides when trying to avoid a points deduction by claiming it’s only an arm of the club that’s gone into adiministration.
Walsall, Port Vale, and Portsmouth have all been in good form; Notts County and Stevenage have appointed new managers that the fans will be familiar with; the Football League Trophy final has been played, with a pro singing the anthems and everything; and Crawley Town decided to stop their local reporter interviewing their manager and players, because they didn’t like the headlines above a few of her articles.
Yesterday, this week’s Lower League Week went up at Bornoffside.net.
Coventry, after refusing to pay the rent on their stadium for almost a year, have finally ended up facing consequences for their rudeness. (Though they’ve objected to their punishment on a legal technicality.)
Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has responded to West Ham moving into the nearby Olympic Stadium and threatening his ‘community club’ by thinking about moving the club outside of the community.
Southend and Stevenage have both changed their manager, while Northampton and Burton are on very long winning streaks at home.
And the organisers of the Football League Trophy have apparently decided that the trophy was too well respected, and responded by inviting Soccer AM hosts Helen Chamberlain and Max Rushden to sing the national anthem. Yeah, that should fix that problem.
Two weeks ago I couldn’t find the time to write a Lower League Week, so last week I wrote a Lower League Fortnight for Bornoffside, covering the events of both weeks.
Coventry are in a legal mess of their own making; things are starting to look up for Portsmouth (relatively speaking); Bury’s players are on low wages; several of Accrington’s players haven’t been paid, but they now have two England international strikers on their books; the Fleetwood chairman has used Twitter to criticise his players; Southend defender Bilel Mohsni might be taking part in a cage fight; and Dani Lopez scored hat-tricks on two successive weekends, for two different teams, in two different divisions. Not bad.
While the English football season is over for most teams, there are still the matter of the playoffs, an FA Trophy final, economic troubles, Paolo di Canio possibly doing a racism, and several teams putting in early preparations for next season.
This column covers the first legs of the FA Trophy Semi-Finals, the race for the Conference title becoming even closer, Stevenage’s league form alongside their impressive cup run, Gillingham’s continued habit of losing high scoring back and forth matches, and Keith Curle continuing his impressive start as Notts County boss. Of course, I’d previously said that appointing Curle was a very bad idea, but let’s not dwell on that.
Looking back at the dates of recent posts, I’ve been neglecting the blog in the past few weeks, and, like the alcoholic father I am in this metaphor*, I intend to overcompensate dramatically in a way that embarasses everyone.
So, in the next few days I intend to polish off a few things I’ve been working on, and get them up either here on the blog or elsewhere (and remember to link to them this time).
So in the next few days there should be a follow up to my earlier Life’s Too Short article in a shameless attempt to cash in on the show’s American debut. I intend to write reviews of the books I’ve read since my last review was posted, and more.
That is, if my day job of rocket scientist/rockstar doesn’t get in the way.
Since my last post here at the blog, I’ve written two entries for Born Offside. The first of the two, filed on the 15th, went into depth on the lovely cuddly Steve Evans, while covering Torquay’s remarkable winning streak, Kettering not being able to afford to pay police for their matches, and more.
Then, last week, I covered the reasons for Stevenage’s rise and congratulated them on holding Tottenham to a draw, the reasons why Lee Clark’s sacking at Huddersfield was reasonable, and once again giving Darlington sympathetic press.
Really, as a Hartlepool fan, I hope they sort their finances out so that I don’t have to be sympathetic to them so often.
Nine days without posting – if I don’t write more often, I’ll never clog up people’s inboxes.
Right. After spending a few days away, I missed a week of lower league column for Born Offside, and compensated with Born Offside’s first ever Lower League Fortnight.
Knowing my issues with reliability and consistency, I’m sure it won’t be the last time that happens.
This issue covered transfer movements, changes in management, Bournemouth paying a huge £800,000 transfer fee…it’s crazy, a tell thee.
This past week, Fabio Capello, the Italian manager of the England national football team, walked out. It was the culmination of a long series of irritating events – the media attacked Capello for not walking on water, Wayne Rooney did something stupid and Capello didn’t stop him from doing it so is therefore dangerously incompetent, John Terry may or may not have said something potentially hugely offensive and faces a trial for it, Capello wanted to stick by him, his bosses didn’t, Capello told Italian television he wanted Terry to remain as captain.
Being an indisciplined and irregular writer has many interesting consequences, for the writer, employer, and reader. For instance, there’s the curiosity as to whether a planned feature will appear, wonder over how long a character will remain on a cliffhanger, and the legal mystery of what happens to expenses if that lazy so and so doesn’t finish off the work for once, grrr.
One of the positive consequences for the reader is that, at times, several features appear all at once.
Yesterday (okay, technically this morning you damn pedants) I mentioned I’ve started writing for Born Offside.
Well, you lucky lucky people, the second edition is now online.
The hope is that, when the feature gets settled in, it’ll start appearing early in the week, so you may even be able to read a third edition within a few days.