Football League to scrap draws?


The Football League board is to consider a proposal to scrap draws and decide matches by penalty shoot-outs according to the BBC. Obviously they've gone completely mental. The idea will be discussed by Football League chairmen and chief executives at a board meeting on Thursday. There is no indication as to when this could happen if it ever gets the green light. Gunners gaffer Arsene Wenger said: "I saw this in my first year managing in Japan - it did not have spectacular results." He added: "In extra-time they played a sudden death goal and if no-one scored they had penalties. The draw is part of the culture of the game and I would not like that to disappear."

The idea was originally put forward in the recent Football League Fans Survey. There are currently two proposals to be considered - a traditional penalty shoot-out or where a player would have eight seconds to try and score after receiving the ball on the half-way line... a bit like the penalty shoot outs in Ice Hockey. Bournemouth boss Kevin Bond told the Daily Echo newspaper said: "Why can't we just have a draw? I don't agree with it because I think it's too much of a radical change. I'm very open-minded and I think certain laws of the game need to move with the times but that would be too much of a drastic measure."

What do you think? Brilliant idea or complete guff? [Mof Gimmers]

March 14, 2007 in League One, League Two, News balls, Rumours & gossip, The Championship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Stockport County keep ninth straight clean sheet, with Wolves' fourth-choice goalkeeper

Picture_1_286 In beating Swindon 3-0 at the weekend, Stockport County notched up a ninth consecutive victory. A very impressive run, but all the more impressive because in those nine games they have conceded no goals. Not one! Zip, nada, nicht, zilch, nil points etc. That's a Football League record, so big congrats to everyone at the club.

The man between the sticks for Stockport during this astonishing run has been 19-year-old Welsh 'keeper Wayne Hennessey, currently on loan from Wolves. Hennessey is Wolves' fourth-choice 'keeper, but at this rate he will soon be Wales' first-choice. Channel Five did an excellent little feature on Hennessey before the Swindon game, which you can watch after the click…

March 5, 2007 in League Two, News balls | Permalink | Comments (5)

Free travel to football matches

Wewillfollow_1 Fans who have experienced the thrill of an away match will know how addictive it is. The trip down, the pre-match pints in a strange pub, being in a strange ground. It's like a holiday with a football match stuck in the middle of it! However, loads give it a wide berth because they can't get a lift down to the games. Well, you needn't fear that any more.

A website called WeWillfollow aims to stop all that worry and hassle by allowing you to offer and request lifts to games home and away, and it’s completely free. Added to that, the site also has a ticket exchange for fans with a spare. It's all rather nice isn't it? To add to the community feeling, WeWillFollow also have a unique 'Exile List' for each club, so if you've drifted away from your club (geographically speaking) you can register as a member on the site and talk to other exiled supporters of your club. With a list of 1000+ supporters clubs too, you need never feel lonely and exiled again! Have a look and sign up with the site now!

January 22, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, League One, League Two, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Non League, Portsmouth, Reading, Scotland, Sheffield United, The Championship, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wycombe hold Chelsea in Carling Cup semi-final

BridgeLeague Two side Wycombe Wanderers held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final. A Jermaine Easter equaliser on 77 minutes was enough to keep the Chairboys in the tie ahead of the second-leg at Stamford Bridge on 23 January.

Wayne Bridge had earlier put Chelsea in front with his deft lob, taking a nasty blow to the head from Wycombe keeper Ricardo Batista in the process. But Easter bustled past makeshift centre-back Michael Essien to continue the Blues' shaky run. Click here to see the goals. [Rob Parker]

January 11, 2007 in Chelsea, League Two, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (2)

Official confirmation: Henrik Larsson will not be joining Bristol Rovers for the rest of the season

Bristol_3You heard it here first! Henrik Larsson will not be joining mid-table League Two outfit Bristol Rovers until the end of the season. Confirmation came from Larsson's coach at Helsingborgs, Stuart Baxter, who said the Swedish striker might stay on loan at Manchester United until May.

Baxter said: "While it is very early to speculate, it could happen. We are in a world where we are not really able to force Henrik back. We knew this situation might happen when we did the deal. It is Manchester United, after all, not Bristol Rovers." Not quite sure why he felt the need to have a dig at Rovers in making that fairly simple point, but there you go! Don't forget to join in THE VOTE on whether Larsson should stay at United.
[Rob Parker]

January 8, 2007 in Funny old game, League Two, Manchester United, Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bury thrown out of the FA Cup (and Chester are over the moon)


Bury have been chucked out of the FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player in their 3-1 second-round replay win over Chester City on 12 December. Chester, who are surely buzzing their tits off, have now been reinstated and will play Ipswich in the third round as well as receiving all the cash that comes with being in the second round.

Bury can appeal against the decision, and any hearing will take place on Thursday 28 December... but you fear that it would be unlikely. The player in question is Stephen Turnbull, who is a loan signing from Hartlepool. An FA statement said: "Bury selected Turnbull without receiving the required permission from Hartlepool United and lodging that permission with The FA. Bury also failed to comply with the required timescales for registration of players for the FA Cup." This could be disastrous for the club currently just outside a promotion place in Division Two. [Mof Gimmers]

December 20, 2006 in League Two, News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

Boston United's mascot bullies the Lincoln City mascot

In the USA, sports fans are treated to cheerleading displays by good-looking ladies in skimpy outfits while they wait for a match to kick-off. In Britain, we have grown men dressed as 8ft animals locked in a battle of cheekiness and one-upmanship instead.

In this video, the Boston United mascot, Pilgrim the Panther, tricks the Lincoln Imp into trying to shake hands with him no fewer than four times. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to see him return to a hero's welcome!

Boston United's mascot bullies the Lincoln City mascot continued

[Rob Parker]

December 19, 2006 in Funny old game, League Two, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rumour Tuesday

Believe it or not…

Player_focus_match_t_27716a Portsmouth keen on Ghanaian midfield star Sulley Muntari (pictured), currently at Udinese. [Mirror]
Barcelona prepare to make another bid for Thierry Henry. [The Sun]
Macclesfield manager Paul Ince may play for his team in their FA Cup tie against Chelsea. [Mirror]
Liverpool, Spurs and Portsmouth all in for Birmingham City's Matthew Upson. [Mirror]

And our favourite…
Gareth Icke, son of former pro goalkeeper/religious loon David Icke, has been given a late-call-up to England's beach soccer team. [The Times]

December 5, 2006 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European football, League Two, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Rumours & gossip, Tottenham Hotspur | Permalink | Comments (0)

Torquay United to sack players who dive

TorquayLeague Two outfit Torquay United have launched a new initiative which could see players sacked if they repeatedly dive. Chairman Chris Roberts came up with the scheme after being "disgusted" by the amateur dramatics on display at the World Cup.

Manager Ian Atkins is backing his chairman's plan. A three strikes and you're out system will be in place. The Torquay board will consider complaints of diving from third parties for up to five days after a match and review video evidence. If the board decides it was a "clear" dive, the player will be cautioned. If cited again, the player will receive a maximum fine and a final warning. The player will then be sacked or transferred if he is found to dive a third time.

Torquay United to sack players who dive continued

Roberts said: "I've challenged other clubs to follow suit and I'm keen to hear why they wouldn't. But I'm not here to be confrontational with other clubs. I'm responsible for the conduct of Torquay's players on the pitch and that's what i'm doing."

It is reassuring to see a chairman trying to do something for the benefit of the game, but whether attempting to sack a player under these circumstances would work in practice is doubtful. What's the verdict, readers? [Via BBC]

[Rob Parker]

November 21, 2006 in League Two, News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

Best young players outside the Premiership

Interesting little video which profiles, as the title of this post cunningly suggests, the hottest talent outside of the top flight in England. Definitely some future Premiership stars to watch out for…

November 20, 2006 in League One, League Two, The Championship, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)