Despite having more limited resources than the likes of Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday and Milton Keynes Dons, the Cumbrians now have similar ambitions to the aforementioned teams as they battle with Stevenage and Notts County for the final play-off spot. View full article »
Archive for March, 2012
By Tony Alvarez
I’m sure many of you have seen the post match brawl between the players ofCrawleyand Bradford after their Tuesday night fixture. (if you haven’t http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17533203) I’m also sure many of you have now seen the news that both clubs have been charged by the Football Association for failing to ensure that their players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour.
The match was won 2-1 by promotion chasingCrawleyTownbut no one has taken any notice of that, all you hear about is the brawl at the final whistle.
The clubs have until 4pm on Tuesday the 4th of April to appeal against the decision although it is thought neither side will do so with such evidence against the clubs.
While the likes of Nigel Adkins and Brian McDermott deservedly earn plenty of praise for their managerial efforts this season, there is another boss in the Championship whose work seems to have been understated.
Watford are currently embarking on a six-game unbeaten run in the league that has seen them pick up 14 points and put them within six points of a possible play-off place.
Although there are many sides in the mix for a top-six position, it is only when you look at Watford’s situation at the start of the season that makes Sean Dyche‘s achievements so far something to be greatly admired.
Last summer the Hertfordshire-based club saw their manager Malky Mackay depart to fellow Championship side Cardiff City, as well as losing two of their biggest players in star striker Danny Graham and creative midfielder Will Buckley.
So when the managerial vacancy was given to a former player that had no previous experience in a hotseat, the natural reaction for many was to state that there was a season of struggle ahead for the Hornets. View full article »
During the period dominated by the Six Nations, London Irish announced the return of a former favourite to help reignite their success on the pitch.
After leaving his position as the attack coach for England following a traumatic World Cup, the Australian has returned to the Madjeski as the club’s Director of Rugby.
The 45 year-old will hope to rekindle the winning formula alongside Booth that gained the management duo many admirers during their first spell together between 2005 and 2008.
In that time, Irish reached the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup where they narrowly lost to Toulouse, while a year on after Smith’s departure to the national set-up they reached the Premiership final, only losing to Leicester Tigers by a solitary point at Twickenham.
However, since reaching the domestic season’s showpiece in 2009 the Berkshire-based club have been unable to build on those foundations, failing to reach the play-offs in the three seasons since and now finding their Heineken Cup status in serious doubt. View full article »
The Reds have secured European football for next campaign following their Carling Cup triumph last month, which gave them a place in the Europa League – but their recent setbacks have coincided with their Wembley win over Cardiff City on penalties.
Four of those five losses have followed winning their first silverware in six years, and it has left many Liverpool fans wondering what the main issue is regarding their sudden downturn in fortunes.
But recent history shows that they are not the only side to suffer such a hangover after winning the League Cup as recent winners have also struggled to carry that momentum into the business end of the league season. View full article »
By Tony Alvarez
I feel Newcastle are quietly going about their business and are not being noticed, when people talk about sides over achieving people rightly mention the likes of Swansea and Norwich but no one mentions Newcastle who at the start of the season people would of thought you was crazy if you predicted a 6th placed finish.
While the showpiece event pits opposition from League One against a League Two outfit, both sides have had differing fortunes in their respective division that means this is set to be a close encounter.
Chesterfield have been embroiled in a battle to stay in League One for most of the season, while Swindon currently sit atop League Two and very much favourites to secure automatic promotion. View full article »
By Tony Alvarez
Today’s article will be a lot shorter than the posts your used to reading from Shouts From The Stands. This is due to an Arsenal Legends Q+A which I attended and had planned to write an article on not producing anything out of the normal or all that interesting.
Instead I will look at Thursdays transfer deadline for loan signings for clubs in the Football Leagues and who got the best deals in my opinion.
One of the deals that stood out for me being an Arsenal fan was Readings signing of young forward Benik Afobe he has always looked useful when I have seen him although he is not as prolific as people may want he does a lot of the ugly work for the team, also with Reading the only one of the title chasing bunch making a signing it could be a big deal for them.
John Bostock has always had the talent but not the temperament, with going on loan to Swindon he now has a manager who was the same let’s see if he can get the best out of him.
Notts county have made a couple of useful signings with Daniel Bogdanovic being the one that stands out for me he is a proven goal scorer at championship level so could be devastating in league 1.
Misfiring southend have done well to get the undoubtedly talented Freddy Eastwood back. He made his name at the Shrimpers let’s see if he can find form at Roots Hall again.
Exeter made two good sigings in their battle for survival whilst both Rohan Ricketts and Alan Gow were unattached they are both proven at a higher level and could help them in their battle.
Gillingham got a good deal in bringing in Rowan Vine he hasn’t had much Football but is always a menace and could help them towards the summit of League 2.
Finally I think QPR’s Hogan Ephraim could add something to the Bristol City side I still think they will go down but they will have more of a chance of survival with him amongst their ranks.
What are your thoughts? Who has got the best deal? What would you single out as the best individual deal?
Wolves’ miserable season continued when they suffered a comprehensive 5-0 defeat at home to Manchester United last weekend.
The hammering means it’s now just one win in their last 15 matches in the league, and their inferior goal difference has sent them to the bottom of the Premier League.
For the club’s owner Steve Morgan it leaves him with a headache that becomes more thumping by the week, despite a change of management designed to allay such an issue.
When Mick McCarthy was sacked following the side’s 5-1 humbling at home to fierce rivals West Brom, many felt the need to bring in an experienced figure to galvanise the side in time for the crucial run-in. View full article »
By Tony Alvarez
Last night Coventry City grabbed an injury time equaliser to get a draw away against play off chasing and recent Carling Cup finalists Cardiff City.
The point leaves the Sky Blues 22nd in the table occupying the final relegation place but now only 3 points off a struggling Bristol City side.