Month: February 2007

Start Lobbying Now!

Two posts in one evening! Aren’t you lucky? Actually, don’t answer that. Before I say anything else, I’ll just take a second to mention the little music doohickey on the right of the page – click the “play” button and it will play a selection of funky choons! How exciting! Or don’t. It’s entirely up to you. Meanwhile, the argument over AFC Wimbledon’s missing eighteen points rumbles on. Further to perhaps surprisingly considering me to be an authority on the subject (you have to scroll down a bit, but it’s there in black & white), The Guardian this week weighed in with a supportive article on the subject this week, to which, you may notice, I’ve already added my, ahem, considered opinion. To be honest, I’ve said about as much as I can say on the subject until the appeal date comes, but if anything else crops up, you’ll be approximately the millionth to know. Elsewhere, the Morden & Mitcham MP Siobhan McDonagh has put down an Early Day Motion in their support. As you can see, a handful of MPs have already backed her, and you can hassle your MP to join them by using this particularly handy site. It’s probably for the best that you’re not too rude when you’re writing it, but it might pay to mention how close most political analysts think the next general...

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Replay If We Want To

I’d thought that I must have covered the issue of FA Cup replays before, but recent comments in the press by Premiership managers have forced my hand again. You know how it is: I just can’t resist it. The latest comments have come from Arsene Wenger and Glenn Roeder, both of whom are rather of the opinion that the only way to save football (volume seventy-three) is to scrap FA Cup replays and play extra-time and penalties at all FA Cup matches. Fans don’t want them, they say, and they add to a fixture pile-up that damages the hopes of England’s brightest and best. Roeder adds that it will increase the chances of upsets, with teams from the lower divisions having a much better chance of winning a penalty shoot-out than a replay. Well, of course, Glenn. First things first. No-one from within the game that ever comes out with these pronouncements does so through altruism. In Arsene’s case, the priorities are pretty clear. If it was down to him, he’d pull his team from the Carling Cup altogether, play the stiffs in the FA Cup, and leave his big guns for the Champions League and the Premiership. It can’t be that there are too matches for Arsene, after all – he was one of UEFA’s loudest critics when they decided to withdraw the second group phase of the...

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Greetings, Hawkfrenz!

Greetings Hawkfrenz, indeed. Many years ago, a very good friend of mine went to see the 70’s space rockers Hawkwind at The St Albans Arena. Afterwards (and quite possibly under the influence of some industrial strength psychedelic drugs), he signed up for their newsletter and, this being a more innocent age (when newsletters did such things in a far more literal way), it plopped through his letterbox a couple of weeks later with the cheery message “GREETINGS, HAWKFRENZ!” printed across the top of it. So now you know. If you think I’m veering a little off-topic, there is a reason for it – I found out yesterday that Whitehawk, a tiny team from the outskirts of Brighton, are in the quarter-finals of the FA Vase, no less. The FA Vase is the annual knock-out competition for teams playing in the regional leagues at the very foot of England’s national pyramid. It’s for the teams that play, in a very literal sense, in front of three men and a dog. As I may have mentioned on here before, until 1974, the FA drew a distinction between “professsional” and “amateur” players, but when they removed this distinction and ended the FA Amateur Cup, they needed a competition for the smaller clubs – the majority of whom would continue not to pay their players. With the bigger amateur clubs joining the semi-professional...

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Welsh Rare Bits

I knew that I should have taken an hour out last night to put something up on here, because I’ve now got enough material to last me for the whole of this week. So, coming up this week: another report from AFC Wimbledon, who provided us with another splendid afternoon’s entertainment on Saturday afternoon against Billericay Town last weekend, the all-important question of whether Tottenham Hotspur have turned an important corner over the last eight day or so or whether this is yet another false dawn in that particular corner of North London, and only team from Brighton with any chance of winning anything this season. First up, though the Carling Cup Final, played yesterday afternoon at the Millennium Stadium. Arsenal’s young boys finally ran out of gas against Chelsea’s older and more experienced team. I will have to grudgingly concede that Arsenal’s younger team have set this cup on fire this season, to the extent that it’s perfectly valid to ask whether their more experienced players would have done any better. Certainly Jose Mourinho’s reaction at the end of the match indicated that the so-called “Special One” (his words, not mine) was placing quite a lot of importance in this competition, which says a lot for what Manchester United have done to the rest of the Premiership this season. The back pages, of course, were taken up with...

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The Daily Match (Part 6)

I’ve had an exceptionally busy week, so there’ll be a full round-up on here tomorrow, along with a look back at Wimbledon’s Ryman League match against Billericay Town. No time for that this evening, though, so you’ll have to make do with Manchester United getting walloped by Crystal Palace in 1972 – Commentary by Brian Moore. Ah, good old...

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