Day: November 1, 2010

Match Of The Midweek: Blackpool 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

The early season is over now. The clocks have gone back, which means that there will be precious few matches that finish in daylight between now and next spring, and in commemoration of this fact the Premier League rolled out the luminous yellow ball last weekend. There is something deeply aesthetically unsatisfying about the yellow ball. Marketing fools still doubtlessly proffer the argument that it is somehow more “visible” than a white ball, as if we are incapable of seeing through their guff, but still they press ahead with it. The ball isn’t the only affront to the eyes at Bloomfield Road this evening, either. Both Blackpool and West Bromwich Albion have their shirts adorned with sponsors’ logos which defy all logic by making the companies – a payday loan company and an emergency insurance company respectively – that they are flogging even less unattractive than they may already be. Fortunately, there is much, much more to this game than aesthetic concerns. This match was almost certainly selected for live television broadcast on the basis that it would be a relegation six-pointer, but West Bromwich Albion at least are defying the pre-season odds with a string of excellent results, including taking seven points out of nine from matches against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. Moreover, they have done it with a degree of style and panache (they scored...

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Danny Baker

Over the past few weeks on his Saturday morning show on Radio 5 Live, it’s been growing increasingly apparent that Danny Baker’s illness-enforced absences were probably for something a little more serious than anyone had hoped, but that doesn’t make the confirmation of it any less numbing or unpleasant. There are understandably few details beyond the necessary at this point, which is only right and proper.  Typical, too… the mark of a man who broadcasts for the benefit of the Reithian values of information, education and entertainment rather than to try and thrust himself into the pink top world of the personality cult. In all of the overblown, over saturated media coverage of football that has mushroomed beyond all expectations in the past twenty years, Danny Baker’s input has – by comparison at least – been small, yet his contribution has been inestimably significant.  No other journalist has anywhere near the same understanding of what it is about the sport that makes people devoted it, nor does any other broadcaster put this understanding across with the same knowledge, warmth, passion, generosity or wit. Everyone here at Twohundredpercent sends Danny Baker our best wishes for a swift recovery and return to the...

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The Rooney Saga – A Little Historical Perspective

The Wayne Rooney transfer saga isn’t the first time that Manchester United have been involved in high profile and controversial transfers. William Abbs takes a look at a couple of occasions in the past that the club have found themselves in this position. The original article can be found here. Following Rooney Week earlier in October, when the Manchester United forward went from publicly requesting a move away from Old Trafford to signing a new five-year contract at the club within the space of 72 hours, the fallout from those days’ events lingers on. Rooney is likely to be out of first team action for longer than expected with an ankle injury – sustained after a training-ground tackle from Paul Scholes – that was evidently much easier to diagnose than the one his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, alleged the player was already carrying, a verdict that Rooney contested. For as long as the forward is injured he will be unable to break a scoring record that stands at no goals at club level from open play since 30th March. Despite the player’s abject form and his dissent over the strength of United’s squad and the need for new signings, however, Rooney was rewarded with the lucrative new contract (estimated to be worth in excess of £40m to the player in wages) that some claim his rebellion to have been...

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