Tag: Preston North End

Graham Westley Discovers That Attitude May Be Just As Important As Ability

Defeat on Saturday at Sheffield Wednesday confirmed what most that have been watching them play all season had been long suspecting: that hopes of a swift return to the Championship at the end of this season were little more than pie in the sky, but that the possibility of a second successive relegation still looms, distant yet ominous on the horizon. The manner of the teams defeat, coupled with the post-match comments of manager Graham Westley and rumours of what may have happened prior to the match will have left the clubs supporters will a feeling of foreboding that a new set of problems is set to manifest itself at a club that has had a bumpy ride over the last couple of years or so.   This season was supposed to be one of regeneration for the club, following the sweet kiss of relegation at the end of last season. Yet in a competitive division, Preston North End has found that relegation of itself doesn’t necessarily bring the clean sweep required to revive its fortunes. That was supposed to come with the arrival of a new manager, Graham Westley from Stevenage, yet for all of Westleys achievements in getting that club from the Blue Square Premier to League One whilst seeing of Newcastle United in the FA Cup for good measure, he seems to have been unable to...

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Westley & Ridsdale: Together At Preston

One advantage of Peter Ridsdale and Graham Westley being together as chairman and manager respectively of Preston North End is that they may only end up annoying each other and messing around with only one club. I recognise that will not have brightened the day of any Lilywhites fans. And I can only apologise. There aren’t many football clubs who deserve those two, and certainly not a club steeped in history such as North End. I am prepared to give Westley the benefit of some doubt. It is fifteen years since he undertook his first managerial role in senior football at the club I support, Isthmian League Kingstonian. And maybe he has improved with age. About Ridsdale, there is less doubt. As I have written before, Ridsdale isn’t primarily known as “PR-Pete” because of his initials. And he was up to his old tricks in London’s Evening Standard newspaper last week. He became North End chairman last month. He had significant spells at Barnsley, Cardiff City and Plymouth Argyle. But his “exclusive” interview with the equally self-regarding Mihir Bose in the Standard was still about bloody Leeds United. For those too young to remember, Ridsdale became Leeds chairman fifteen years ago. Within three years, Leeds were challenging for domestic and European titles. Within three more years, they were in administration. And now Ken Bates runs the club. Even judging by those...

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Video Special: Six Great FA Cup Finals

It may have escaped your attention, but it is the FA Cup final on Saturday. Manchester City and Stoke City will take the pitch at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, with both clubs looking for their first major trophy since the 1970s. With shameless nostalgia in the back of our minds, then, it’s time to take a look back at six terrific FA Cup finals – unless your team happened to be on the losing side, that is – from the days when Cup Final day was the crowning glory of the domestic season. So, with no further ado and no boring words to have to read between them, here are six classics from the archive. If Saturday’s match can live up to any of these matches, we will have had a very good afternoon indeed. 1953 – Blackpool vs Bolton Wanderers 1964 – West Ham United vs Preston North End 1973 – Sunderland vs Leeds United 1979 – Arsenal vs Manchester United 1981 Replay – Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City 1987 – Coventry City vs Tottenham Hotspur Follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter...

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2010: A Football Financial Review

You could frame it. If you wanted a short, pithy representation of all that has been wrong with football finance in 2010, you could do no better than quote a Plymouth Argyle fan known as “Sensible Surfer” on the BBC Football website over the Christmas period. “Ridsdale set to take control… good news,” he/she said, a phrase which would sit nicely as an explanation of irony…except that it didn’t appear to BE irony. And it served as fair comment on Argyle’s current state that, relatively, Peter Ridsdale – the failed former Leeds and Cardiff chairman and serial over-borrower – IS good news for the cash and panic-stricken South Westerners, with the heaviest possible emphasis on the word ‘relatively.’ If professional football entered 2010 in a state of moral and financial bankruptcy, it is leaving it in much the same manner. Certain football problems have been “solved.” Some more have emerged. While others, hello Portsmouth, look set to run forever. The “greater fool” theory still underpins much of the game’s financial strategies. The theory is about as scientific as it sounds – buying something in the belief that you will be able to sell it again for a higher price (to a “greater fool”), regardless of what has happened in the meantime (increased debts, usually), or even whether the original price was rooted in reality. Finding a “greater fool” is...

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Match Of The Week: Burnley 4-3 Preston North End

On the eighth of September 1888, on the opening day of the Football League in England, Preston North End beat Burnley by five goals to two in their first match of ther season. It was the start of the year of The Invincibles, the Preston side that ran away with the Football League championship by eleven points. The margin was all the more remarkable for the twin facts that they only played twenty-two matches in that first, nascent season of league football in England and that, of course, teams only received two points for a win at the time. To put it another way, in their first season as a Football League club, Preston North End only dropped four points. One hundred and twenty-two years on, Preston North End and Burnley resumed hostilities in the Championship in front of BBC television cameras last night. This is something of a secondary derby match for both of these Lancashire clubs. Burnley’s real ire is reserved for Blackburn Rovers, while Preston North End’s traditional rivalry sees them look towards the coast and Blackpool. Both of these rivals, however, are sunning themselves in the Premier League so Burnley and Preston have to make do with with each other for the time being. It’s an unsatisfactory situation and the empty seats at Turf Moor seem to indicate that this particular match hasn’t really caught...

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