Day: March 24, 2011

Is Gary Speed Gambling On Aaron Ramsey, Or Is This A Storm In A Tea Cup?

There can be little doubt that the two big stories during the build up to this weekend’s European Championship qualifier between Wales and England have been related to the captaincy of the two teams. How important the captaincy actually is may be a question for another time – and it’s something that we will be returning to a little later on this evening – but there can be little question that the more interesting of the two captaincy shuffles this week has been by the Welsh coach, Gary Speed because, while his English counterpart Fabio Capello has been ruffling the feathers of some in the English press by replacing Rio Ferdinand with John Terry, Speed seems to be looking to the future with his decision. It is a decision that has been forced upon him by the decision of Craig Bellamy to effectively retire from the captaincy of the team on account of a persistent knee injury which means that he will be unlikely to be able to play regularly for his national team again. There were, Speed has stated, several candidates for the captaincy role (most notably Aston Villa’s James Collins) but he has settled on Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey as the man for the job. There is, of course, an element of risk to any managerial decision of this nature. In this case, Ramsey’s youth (he is still...

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Mungo S03E32

This week’s happening from Clackins Park sees Sir Roddy Bulbs’ daughter put her own stamp on proceedings, laying down a marker which suggests her reign as chairman will be nothing if not identical to that of her father. Dotmund done it. Click for full-size You can tweet up Dotmund and Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking on those links...

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Making The Case For Safe Standing

There are, perhaps, two debates that should be had when it comes to the issue of the reintroduction of safe standing (or, for those of us of a certain persuasion, terracing). Firstly, there is the question of whether the choice of whether to stand or not should be a matter for law or not, and secondly whether it will make the slightest bit of difference to the game in this country. The answer to both questions is almost certainly “no”, and this is the important issue at the heart of the safe standing debate. Whilst the principle of safe standing is clear, it still feels as if seeing terracing return at the biggest clubs will remain little more than a pipe dream. That it should not be a matter of law whether football clubs allow supporters to watch matches to stand should they wish to and should it be done with safety in mind should be obvious. The decision to legislate for all-seater stadia was a product of its time. The Taylor Report didn’t blame the Hillsborough disaster on the fact that the events that led to the death of ninety-six people were standing on a terrace, but this was enough to start pushing English grounds towards a culture of being all-seater. The chief architects of the Hillsborough were the dithering South Yorkshire police and the fences that surrounded...

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