Football Shorts 3
After all the excitement of the weekend, it’s nice to have a sit down, relax and take in a little of what has been happening in that parallel universe that we call Footie World (Actually, I don’t call it “footie”, but if it’s a parallel universe, then it has to have a different name, doesn’t it? I should probably stop reading those booklets about philosophy that they’ve been giving away with The Independent for the last few days). Anyway, here are a few bits and pieces for you to chew over while you’re supping your coffee tomorrow morning.
Keeping The Home Fires Burning Some of you may remember that, when the plan was put forward by Wimbledon’s owners, a few years ago, to move the club to Dublin, the plan was quashed by the Football Association of Ireland, who banned it because of the potential damage that Premier League football in Ireland would have done to its already fragile domestic league. Skip back to the present day, and very similar problems could be facing the (surely, surely doomed) plans of the Premier League to play matches abroad. Their plans for global football colonisation are already running into problems, with the USSF and the AFC already stating in no uncertain terms that they are very unhappy at the proposals. Ultimately, any challenges to this would probably have to go through FIFA, but it is difficult to imagine circumstances under which they would be happy to let this go unchallenged. Whether the Premier League could press on with Asia and the USA knocked out of their global market is very much open to question. I get the feeling that this story will run and run.
3-0, And You F**cked It Up More pleasing news from League Two this evening, where Franchise’s slow disintegration at the top of the table is continuing apace. Amid continuing rumours about where Paul Ince is going to decamp to (I heard Sheffield United mentioned today and they haven’t even offloaded Bryan Robson yet), their league form has utterly collapsed. They were at Shrewsbury Town tonight, and raced into a 3-0 lead before being pegged back to a 3-3 draw. This result means that, should Rotherham, Darlington and Peterborough all win their games in hand, they’d be out of the automatic promotion places altogether. As it is, they’ve won just one of their last seven league matches. Meanwhile, in the Championship, West Bromwich Albion’s lacklustre 0-0 draw with Sheffield United at The Hawthorns tonight meant that Bristol City, who won 1-0 at Scunthorpe United, jump into the automatic second promotion place, with Watford pulling clear at the top of the table after a home win against Leicester City. I’m all in favour of the Championship being an open league in which anyone can beat anyone else, but there’s a decent chance that, should they go up, Bristol City would be even worse than Derby County have been this year, isn’t there? I still want to see them do it, though.
South American Beauty The Copa Libertadores, South America’s sprawling equivalent to the Champions League starts in the early hours of tomorrow morning, and it’s pretty much required viewing for anyone tired of the predictability and staleness of UEFA’s most sought-after trinket. I’ll be doing my best to keep you up to speed with it all (though I know that no-one will thank me if I ease up on the Sussex County League coverage in favour of it), but I’m not going to make any promises, and would advise you to head over to Hasta El Gol Siempre for full updates, starting with this outstanding preview and brief history of the competition. For those of you in Blighty with the appropriate digital bits and pieces, you may be interested to know that there will be liver coverage and highlights on Setanta Sports 2. For those of you without, the seamier side of internet streaming technology may turn out to be your friend.
And Finally… Keep an eye on the links on the right hand side of this page, because there are new ones being added on a daily basis at the moment. Football & Music is almost worryingly interested in football music (and football and music, and… well, you know) and is well worth getting lost in for a couple of hours (I emerged, disorientated, the owner of two new Chas & Dave songs), whilst Treasons, Stratagems & Spoils is clearly written by someone far cleverer than I. I will raise my own personal intellectual bar soon, I promise.