Month: February 2011

Wrexham’s Proposed New Owners Fail To Impress Their Audience

Going into tonights match aganst Altrincham, Wrexham FC had won five matches in a row in the league, lifting them to fourth place in the table and, while they may have left things a little too late to be able to launch a challenge for the title itself for this season, a place in the play-offs is firmly within their grasp and should they continue the sort of form that they have shown of late they would fancy their chances against anybody come the end of the season. Yet, while this makes a refreshing change for a support base that has become dispiritingly accustomed to under-achievement on the pitch, the story of Wrexham’s season could yet turn out to be defined by what is happening off the pitch rather than the team’s achievements on it. We have reported before on the behaviour of the club’s owners, Ian Roberts and Geoff Moss, at the beginning of January, in what looked like a deliberate strategy of separating Wrexham FC from The Racecourse Ground, its home since 1872 and the oldest international football stadium in the world that still hosts international matches. Although Roberts protested, somewhat feebly, that, “We actually view it as strengthing The Racecourse position because one of the sideways issues is as a football club owning the stadium”, it is already starting to become apparent that Roberts and Moss...

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The Asian Cup 2011, Part Three: The Final Verdict

There could have been 100 goals in the 2011 Asian Cup tournament, if North Korea and the United Arab Emirates had been a bit less shi…ocking. And as there were nearly three goals-per-game and the best and most entertaining team won, this tournament can be filed in the success column – whatever Alex Ferguson may think of “this Asia Cup thing.” Japan were undoubtedly the best and most entertaining team. They managed the most goals too, despite Uzbekistan’s ‘best’ efforts to give Australia the honour in a semi-final collapse so complete that bookies wouldn’t dare rig it.  The ‘Blue Samurai’s’ opening match against Jordan turned out to be their ‘Spain v Switzerland’ moment. Their goalkeeper, Eiji Kawashima, went from Robert Green to Lev Yashin during his suspension for GBH on Syria’s Sanharib Malki in the group stages. And Yasuhito Endo produced the best performance in an international tournament from somebody looking like a cold, wet schoolboy in bedraggled kit wishing he was doing maths homework instead. Japan were involved in most of the best matches as well, with the Qatar triumph just edging the Syria and South Korean games. But on the flipside, they were lucky not to lose to Jordan – who knows what effect that would have had on their tournament? And they had the most over-rated player in Keisuke Honda who at times wasn’t even good...

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