Day: September 13, 2008

Match Of The Week: Barnet 1-1 Morecambe

One of the least desirable effects of the Football League’s absurdly disproportionate points deductions in League Two has been the comparative lack of competition at the bottom of the table. With Luton Town, Rotherham United and AFC Bournemouth having been deducted a massive amount of points between them over their recent financial difficulties, several clubs seem to be taking the opportunity to use this season as the chance for a break from having to try very hard, safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely to find themselves pulled into a serious relegation battle for this season at least. One such club is Barnet. When Sir John Betjeman wrote lovingly of the outer surburbs of London in “Metroland”, he was writing about the Metropolitan Line, but he could just as easily have been writing about the outer stretches of the Northern Line instead. As the London Underground pulls away from the centre of the city, the gaps between the stations get larger and the trains head out from the tunnels and into the open air and through Suburbia before coming to rest at High Barnet underground station. Barely two hundred yards from the station is Underhill, the less than palatial home of Barnet Football club. Barnet is a strange place – not quite London, yet not quite the Home Counties, which lie a handful of miles to the north....

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There are few things in football that are more pleasurable to hear than a damn good booing, but you don’t hear enough of it these days. Too many football supporters are far too supine these days – they put up with whatever they’re given. There’s none of that going on at Newcastle United at the moment. They’re angry. There is an extent to which the whole situation there has spiralled out of control. Kevin Keegan’s record there wasn’t terribly good, so quite why Newcastle United supporters have decided to get quite so worked up about this is anybody’s guess. Keegan was born in Scunthorpe rather than Newcastle, and didn’t sign for them until 1984 during the twilight of his playing career. The sum total of his “messiah” status upon Tyneside as a player was winning the Second Division in 1984. It’s easy to forget this, such is the hubris that surrounds Keegan’s relationship with Newcastle. You’d think that he was born on the centre circle at St James Park, but the truth of the matter was that until the Keegan PR machine got involved, he was more closely associated with Liverpool or even Southampton than he was with Newcastle United. You can’t help but think that the people of Scunthorope have been short changed. Meanwhile, Mike Ashley continues to look for an exit strategy. He has been linked with...

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