Tag Archives: brentford

Greg Dyke announced as new FA Chairman

Former Man United director Dyke voted as new FA chairman, replacing outgoing Bernstein

By
Charles Sale

PUBLISHED:

11:30 GMT, 21 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:54 GMT, 21 March 2013

Former Manchester United director and TV mogul Greg Dyke has been voted through as the next FA chairman, replacing the outgoing incumbent David Bernstein.

Dyke, 65, will replace Bernstein when he leaves the post after two-and-a-half years in July – and takes the helm from Saturday July 13.

Dyke told the FA website: 'Football has always been a big part of my life whether playing 11-a-side on Sunday mornings or six-a-side on Thursday evenings.

Main man: Former United director Dyke will take the helm at the FA

Main man: Former United director Dyke will take the helm at the FA

'I was brought up in a household where my father was much more interested in whether or not you had won at football than whether you had passed your exams. In my case that was just as well.

'I still turn out to play six-a-side some Thursday evenings although at my age I seem to spend more time injured than playing.

'I supported my local team Brentford as a kid where my elder brother was a junior, watched York City while at university and followed Manchester United whenever I could.

'I got involved in how the game was run
when I was first involved in buying sports rights as Chairman of ITV
Sport in the late eighties and later at the BBC.

Game over: Bernstein's (left) tenure at the FA will soon come to an end

Game over: Bernstein's (left) tenure at the FA will soon come to an end

'I learnt a lot in the years when I was on the Board of Manchester United and have seen the other side of the professional game at Brentford.'

The FA said in a statement: 'The Football Association Board has today unanimously approved the nomination for Greg Dyke to be appointed independent FA chairman.

'Dyke, 65, will take over as chairman from David Bernstein when he leaves the post after two-and-a-half years in July – subject to approval by the FA council. The appointment will take effect from Saturday, July 13.

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford – where he became non-executive chairman in 2006

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford

'This follows a recruitment process led
by FA independent director Roger Devlin (chairman of the nominations
committee) with fellow board members Roger Burden and Keith Lamb.

'In a high-profile broadcasting industry career, Dyke has worked as director general of the BBC and managing director of London Weekend Television.

'Dyke has had a long background in football. He was a director of Manchester United in the late nineties and since 2006 he has been non-executive chairman of Brentford Football Club, the team he supported as a boy. He will relinquish this role at the end of the season to take up his new post at the FA.'

Red alert: United director Gill (seen with Dyke) is also on the FA board

Red alert: United director Gill (seen with Dyke) is also on the FA board

Former Spurs starlet John Bostock joins Toronto on loan

Former Spurs starlet Bostock seeks to revive his career with MLS side Toronto

PUBLISHED:

19:06 GMT, 8 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:06 GMT, 8 March 2013

Tottenham midfielder John Bostock has joined Canadian side Toronto FC on loan until the end of June.

The former Crystal Palace starlet has been at White Hart Lane for five years but has failed to break into the first team.

Out to impress: John Bostock will have a stint in the MLS

Out to impress: John Bostock will have a stint in the MLS

The 21-year-old has spent time out on loan at Brentford, Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town.

Bostock will now head out again to gain further experience and he will this time go to Major League Soccer, where he will link up with former Spurs team-mate Ryan Nelsen at Toronto.

Nelsen was recently appointed as the club’s head coach and will be delighted to have increased his midfield options until June with the addition of Bostock.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich orders Rafa Benitez to deliver top-four finish

Abramovich gives up on cups and orders Benitez to deliver top-four finish

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

22:28 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:11 GMT, 30 January 2013

Roman Abramovich has written off Chelsea's chances of winning silverware this season and told Rafa Benitez to finish in the top four.

Chelsea's technical director Michael Emenalo met with Benitez at the club's training ground on Tuesday morning and passed on the message from their billionaire benefactor.

It means Chelsea – who started the season with the chance to win seven trophies – must finish strongly in the Barclays Premier League to guarantee Champions League football.

Mind the gap: Rafa Benitez is under instruction from Roman Abramovich to guide Chelsea to a top-four finish

Mind the gap: Rafa Benitez is under instruction from Roman Abramovich to guide Chelsea to a top-four finish

Although Abramovich and various Chelsea executives are furious with the manner of the team's performance in the 2-2 draw at Brentford in the FA Cup, finishing in the top four is all that counts.

Benitez met Emenalo before training on Tuesday for the latest inquest into Chelsea's failing season. The interim Chelsea coach said: 'All I can say is what I know. I have had meetings. We were talking about the situation and it's clear for me the priority is the top four and progressing as much as we can in the other competitions.

'In the last 10 days, we had a fantastic game against Arsenal, not such a good game against Swansea, and 50:50 the other day against Brentford. 'We still have the FA Cup and the Europa League, and we can still finish in the top four.'

All smiles: Demba Ba in training on Tuesday as Fernando Torres (below) bears the brunt of a tough challenge

All smiles: Demba Ba in training on Tuesday as Fernando Torres (below) bears the brunt of a tough challenge

Fernando Torres

Chelsea began the campaign with the chance to win seven trophies, but the only competitions they can win now are the Europa League and to defend the FA Cup.

Although Benitez insists he still wants to win the Cups, he has been in left in no uncertain terms about the priority of the owner.

Chelsea finished sixth in the Barclays Premier League last season and only qualified for the Champions League as winners.

Despite increasing pressure from Abramovich over the club's results in recent weeks, Benitez is working with a squad restricted by injury, fatigue and the Africa Cup of Nations.

Benitez, who has the support of the majority of Chelsea players under difficult circumstances, takes the team to Reading this evening in the Premier League.

They will be without keeper Petr Cech again, who is out with a calf injury, and they will have to rely on error prone Ross Turnbull at the Madejski Stadium.

Benitez is short of attacking options and Chelsea confirmed that they had offered Didier Drogba the chance of an emotional return to the club.

Drogba began training at Cobham to keep fit after the end of the Chinese football season and he was offered a six month deal with the option of another year. Despite the temptation to relive the glory years, Drogba has opted to join Turkish club Galatasaray on an 18 month deal.

Benitez will rotate Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, who cannot play three games a week because of a chronic knee condition, to get them across the finishing line this season.

The Chelsea chief came under severe criticism from supporters on Sunday when he replaced Branislav Ivanovic with Cesar Azpilicueta when the team were losing at Griffin Park.

They forced a replay when Torres scored the equaliser, but it's clear that the players are being affected by the mood around the club.

The Chelsea chief added: 'I talk to the players, that's my way. Some managers like to put their arms around their shoulders.

'I talk to the players every day. I talk with the injured players in the physio room. 'With the players in training. Or with senior players, why this, why that, and what we need to improve and what the game-plan will be.'

Ashley Cole had a go at Chelsea team-mates, claims Brentford striker Clayton Donaldson

I heard Ashley Cole blast his Chelsea team-mates, claims Brentford's Donaldson

.

Donaldson added: 'You couldn’t
really see that they were European champions. We set out to unsettle
them, and we did that. They didn’t really create that many chances,
which I am very surprised about to be honest, especially with the
quality of players they have got. That was down to our hard work.

'We’d
done our homework on them and we stopped them creating. We have to take
some credit for that. We’re confident, especially given their run of
form at home recently not having been the best. The pressure will be on
them again.'

Didier Drogba turns down Chelsea return to sign for Galatasaray

EXCLUSIVE: Drogba turns down stunning offer to REJOIN Chelsea as under-fire Abramovich tries to win back the fans

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

16:44 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:52 GMT, 28 January 2013

Didier Drogba will turn down a sensational approach to return to Chelsea and sign an 18-month contract with Galatasaray.

Sportsmail can reveal that Roman Abramovich gave the go-ahead last week to offer Drogba a deal until the end of the season, with an option for a further year.

Incredibly the talks were so far advanced that Chelsea were convinced that the man who delivered the European Cup last season was on the brink of signing before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

It also appears that after unexpectedly re-signing Ashley Cole on a one-year deal last week, Chelsea are embarking on a major charm offensive supporters.

They were furious with Rafa Benitez yesterday as they drew 2-2 in the FA Cup at League One side Brentford at Griffin Park and chanted ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’.

Terms on the deal had been offered to Drogba — who joined Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in May — and there was a huge emotional pull to return to Stamford Bridge.

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Champions League trophy: Didier Drogba sits on the pitch with the trophy

Champions League trophy: Didier Drogba sits on the pitch with the trophy

He won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and his Chelsea career ended with that glorious finale against Bayern Munich in the Allianz-Arena in May last year.

Chelsea offered him a year’s extension on reduced terms at the time, but Drogba, 34, decided to quit after lifting the Champions League.

helsea have been struggling without him this season and Fernando Torres, who scored yesterday, is still struggling for form.

Drogba, whose family still live in Surrey and whose children attend Chelsea’s academy, has been training with his old team-mates ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations and they initially began teasing him that he wanted to return.

Big spenders: Galatasaray also snapped up Dutchman Wesley Sneijder (right)

Big spenders: Galatasaray also snapped up Dutchman Wesley Sneijder (right)

Despite the temptation to relive the glory years with his former team-mates, he will guarantee Champions League football by signing for Galatasaray.

The big-spending Turkish side, who recruited former Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder last week, expect to announce the deal for Drogba this week.

Galatasary face Schalke in the European Cup next month and the lure of playing in the competition he won last season proved too much.

FA Cup fifth round draw

Leeds face daunting trip to Premier League champions City… but Chelsea face a fixture pile-up

By
Guy Aspin, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:23 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 28 January 2013

Leeds were rewarded for their victory over Tottenham with a trip to Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Neil Warnock's men knocked out Spurs 2-1 at Elland Road to book a trip to the Etihad Stadium in the pick of the ties.

Non-league Luton, who claimed a famous 1-0 win at Norwich yesterday, missed out on a plum draw with a top Premier League side as they got Millwall at home.

Marching on: Leeds will now play Manchester City after beating Tottenham

Marching on: Leeds will now play Manchester City after beating Tottenham

Oldham, the npower League One side
who stunned Liverpool 3-2 this afternoon, were handed their Merseyside
rivals Everton at home in the next round.

Manchester United were drawn to face
Reading at Old Trafford, while Arsenal also got a home tie, against
Championship outfit Blackburn.

Chelsea, should they see off
Brentford in a replay after the two sides drew 2-2 at Griffin Park
today, can look forward to a trip to Middlesbrough.

However, the Blues could face some serious fixture congestion if they progress. The replay at Stamford Bridge has been provisionally arranged for the Saturday February 16 – the fifth round weekend.

Busy times ahead: Chelsea, and Fernando Torres, will face a fixture pile-up as a result of only getting a draw at Brentford yesterday

Busy times ahead: Chelsea, and Fernando Torres, will face a fixture pile-up as a result of only getting a draw at Brentford yesterday

CHELSEA'S BUSY FEBRUARY

Jan 30 Reading (A) PL
Feb 2 Newcastle (A) PL
Feb 5-6 Internationals
Feb 9 Wigan (H) PL
Feb 14 Sparta Prague (A) EL
Feb 16-17 Brentford (H) FAC
Feb 21 Sparta Prague (H) EL
Feb 24 Man City (A)
Feb 26-27 poss Middlesbrough (A) FAC
Mar 2 West Brom (H) PL

This is necessary because Chelsea have a Barclays Premier League match at Reading this Wednesday, will lose a number of players to international duty next week and then have home and away legs in the Europa League with Sparta Prague the following two midweeks.

It is then necessary to play Chelsea or Brentford's fifth round trip to Middlesbrough in midweek to catch up, meaning a very long journey for London-based fans for a night match.

A possible replay in that tie, should Chelsea get that far, would trigger a fixture pile-up, especially as they get through in the Europa League.

Upset: Luton sparked wild celebrations when they beat Norwich on Saturday

Upset: Luton sparked wild celebrations when they beat Norwich on Saturday

QPR's conquerors MK Dons were drawn at home to Barnsley, while Wigan will travel to Huddersfield or Leicester.

The ties will be played on the weekend of February 16.

FA Cup draw (Ties to be played weekend Feb 16)

Huddersfield/Leicester v Wigan

MK Dons v Barnsley

Oldham v Everton

Luton v Millwall

Arsenal v Blackburn

Man City v Leeds

Man Utd v Reading

M'brough v Brentford/Chelsea

Players won"t fight for Rafa Benitez – Neil Ashton

Chelsea players are not fighting for Benitez and the fans have still not taken to him

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

00:10 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:24 GMT, 28 January 2013

After the rucks and rows with opposition managers over the years, Rafa Benitez developed the skin of a rhino.

As manager of Liverpool he called it on with Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson, engaging in hand-to-hand combat as they competed for the game’s highest honours.

At Chelsea, employed as the club’s interim coach until the end of the season, he faces a unique challenge.

Hard times: Rafa Benitez is struggling to get the Chelsea players to play for him

Hard times: Rafa Benitez is struggling to get the Chelsea players to play for him

Tough crowd: The Chelsea fans make their feelings clear

Tough crowd: The Chelsea fans make their feelings clear

Chelsea fans still haven’t taken to Benitez and he was getting on their goat again when they were in danger of being blown away by Brentford in the FA Cup.

There were only 1,800 Chelsea fans squeezed into the Brook Road Stand, but their message in the 79th minute came over loud and clear.

‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ was the chant as Benitez prepared to replace a right back with another right back.

Chelsea were 2-1 down when it turned hostile and the idea that Cesar Azpilicueta could provide the attacking thrust to bring Chelsea back into this game seemed improbable.

Benitez just brushes it off, insisting that he simply concentrates on the job in hand. ‘I don’t hear any of it, I am on the touchline, I am concentrating on trying to win the football match,’ is his standard response to the fans’ dissent.

Finding it tough: Even though he scored, Fernando Torres had a tough afternoon

Finding it tough: Even though he scored, Fernando Torres had a tough afternoon

Benitez deserves more respect than this after a career dedicated to the art of management.

He may not be the perfect fit for Chelsea, but he remains, in the words of Brentford manager Uwe Rosler, ‘a world-class coach’.

Twice named UEFA manager of the year, a European Cup winner with Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005 and a FIFA Club World Cup winner, his list of achievements is pretty impressive.

Going ahead: Brentford's Marcello Trotta puts his side 1-0 up

Going ahead: Brentford's Marcello Trotta puts his side 1-0 up

Chelsea fans will never take to him, that much is clear, but he could do with a bit of a breather when it comes to this club. They began the season under Roberto Di Matteo in seven competitions and are fortunate to still be in two after this escape at Griffin Park.

Benitez appeared to have it cracked when they steamrollered Aston Villa 8-0 in a Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge.

Since then they have spluttered through games, beaten easily over two legs by Swansea in the Capital One Cup semi-final and somehow surviving yesterday’s fourth-round tie.

This is a team in transition. Ross Turnbull, in goal yesterday, is an accident waiting to happen and his clumsy performance against Rosler’s team, only his 18th appearance for Chelsea, should probably be his last.

Not going to plan: Oscar, Frank Lampard and Torres look on after conceding

Not going to plan: Oscar, Frank Lampard and Torres look on after conceding

The rest lack motivation, uncertain of their goals after landing the European Cup against Bayern Munich last season. A great side would be using the aura of that famous win to gobble up trophies.

Instead the only silverware left is the FA Cup — if they can get past Brentford in the replay on the weekend of February 16-17 at Stamford Bridge — and the Europa League will be on if they beat Sparta Prague. It seems beyond them, particularly if the body language of the players in recent weeks is anything to go by.

They don’t fancy it any more and the legendary fight to the finish, along with their match-winning mentality, is a thing of the past.

Benitez is battling on, but the lack of application will be getting right under his skin.

FA Cup fourth round TV: Manchester United picked again

Man Utd will play 38th straight televised FA Cup tie if they beat West Ham to reach fourth round

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

15:24 GMT, 9 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:56 GMT, 9 January 2013

Manchester United will play their 38th consecutive televised FA Cup tie if they get past West Ham to reach the fourth round.

The winners of next Wednesday's replay at Old Trafford will host either Fulham or Blackpool live on ESPN on Saturday January 26 at 5.30pm.

It is one of five televised matches – two on ITV and three on ESPN – over the fourth round weekend.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City also feature but the two remaining non-League sides, Luton Town and Macclesfield Town, have been snubbed.

On the box: Manchester United, who forced a replay with West Ham thanks to Robin van Persie's late goal on Saturday, will be on the TV for the 38th consecutive FA Cup tie

On the box: Manchester United, who forced a replay with West Ham thanks to Robin van Persie's late goal on Saturday, will be on the TV for the 38th consecutive FA Cup tie

The Saturday will see ITV show Premier League champions City's visit to either Crystal Palace or Stoke City, with kick-off at 12.45pm.

There will be ESPN action from either Old Trafford or Upton Park on the Saturday evening depending on the outcome of the replay, which is to be broadcast by ITV next week.

On the Sunday three matches will be shown, starting with holders Chelsea's trip to either Brentford or Southend United at midday on ESPN.

Live coverage: ESPN viewers can see Demba Ba's Chelsea in action at either Brentford or Southend on the Sunday

Live coverage: ESPN viewers can see Demba Ba's Chelsea in action at either Brentford or Southend on the Sunday

The satellite channel will then show Leeds United or Birmingham City v Tottenham at 2pm, before ITV conclude the weekend's coverage with Oldham Athletic v Liverpool at 4pm.

But there is no place in the schedules for the two non-League survivors – Luton Town, who travel to Premier League Norwich City, or Macclesfield Town, who will welcome either Wigan Athletic or Bournemouth.

All 10 clubs featured will receive 135,850 from the FA's broadcast fund, while those sides who progress to the fifth round also get 90,000.

THE LIVE FOURTH ROUND MATCHES

Saturday January 26 (kick-off times stated)

12.45pm – Stoke City or Crystal Palace v Manchester City ITV1

5.30pm – Manchester United or West Ham v Fulham or Blackpool ESPN

Sunday January 27

12pm – Brentford or Southend United v Chelsea ESPN

2pm – Birmingham City or Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur ESPN

4pm – Oldham Athletic v Liverpool ITV1

The Footballers" Football Column – Martin Allen: Balotelli is detrimental, disrespectful and unsettling, Fergie wouldn"t tolerate him……

MARTIN ALLEN: I can't believe people pay 70 for Premier League football, it's like watching chess… Balotelli is detrimental, disrespectful and unsettling, Fergie wouldn't tolerate him… Diving I did it all the time, 'course I did

/12/21/article-0-16953763000005DC-68_196x175.jpg” width=”196″ height=”175″ alt=”Martin Allen” class=”blkBorder” />

Martin Allen is the second in a series of new columns for Sportsmail titled The Footballers' Football Column. They're columns
about the game by people involved in the game. A manager of eight professional clubs, Allen, who follows Edgar Davids' column yesterday, made almost 200 appearances for West Ham and well over 100 for QPR in a marauding career which saw him earn the nickname 'Mad Dog'. He never once shied away from a tackle and here, in his first column, he doesn't shirk an issue…

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MEET THE MAN…

Name: Martin 'Mad Dog' Allen

Age: 47

Current job: Gillingham manager

Former clubs:

Player – QPR, West Ham, Portsmouth, Southend

Manager – Barnet, Brentford, MK Dons, Leicester, Cheltenham, Notts County.

International honours: England Under 19, 20, 21

You're probably wondering why I'm called Mad Dog. It goes back to when I was at West Ham. My central midfield partner was a guy called Ian Bishop. He was very calm, relaxed and enjoyed playing nice football. I was uptight, intimidating, I had a skinhead haircut. When I played next to him it was my job to get the ball back.

We were playing at Upton Park in front of the Chicken Run and he once looked at me and said 'you've got all froth round your mouth', this is while the game was going on. He laughed. I just looked at him with those horrible eyes I've got. It was around the time when it was all over the news that these dogs bred in America to fight were being imported over here. He laughed and said: 'you look like a mad dog'.

And that's how it happened. Instead of wiping the froth from mouth I just left it on.

Since I became a manager I'm usually brought in as a firefighter to save clubs from relegation. But at Gillingham it's the first time I've taken over a club in the right position.

I've been employed at most clubs when they've been near the bottom in trouble. They've got me in to turn things around. It's always been having to fight to stave off relegation.

I've had one play-off final at Cardiff, play-off semi-finals with Reading, a play-off semi-final with MK Dons, play-off semi-finals twice with Brentford. So we've always been there or there abouts, but haven't managed to quite get up. That's through having clubs that in the previous season had been in the relegation zone.

People would say 'why haven't you managed to do it' You could turn around and say a year ago you were fighting relegation and now you're fighting for promotion. Well since I took over Gillingham in the summer we're top by five points, been there for five months.

I've never been top of the league and the only thing I want is one promotion. I can't even imagine what it'll be like if we do it. Then from that the dream is to take a team from the Championship to the Premier League. I know I can do it, I know I can.

Still growling: Allen has lost none of his trademark bite

Still growling: Allen has lost none of his trademark bite

Premier class Watching top-flight football is like watching chess!

Premier class Watching top-flight football is like watching chess!

But you know what The Premier League ain't all it's cracked up to be. I've been to some Premier League games and sat there bored. No shots or crosses. Everyone backs off to play the counter attack.

I know friends with season tickets for Premier League clubs and they find it boring. Bloody well right they do.

They come and watch Gillingham and say what a good football match that was. They love coming here. We don't make 20 passes on the half-way line. They see our football a bit more how it used to be.

The game's changed. In the old days we lined up 4-4-2 and smashed each other to bits, go hell for leather. It ain't like that now. Now everyone drops off and it's chess football. You pay 70 quid for a ticket for that – and I ain't doing it.

The game has changed in other ways, too, players are on massive wages now. Some people moan but I think they deserve it.

I don't think players are on insane wages. I've just been to a hospital in Gillingham to see a lot of sick children who have nurses to look after them.

There was one called Anna, from Liverpool, she spoke with such enthusiasm and love for the children. The remarkable job that lady does she would probably not be earning too much money.

But footballers are entertainers. The ones at the top of the game it's not just in England they're watched, like it used to be in the old days. Everyone in Asia wants to watch the Premier League. It is growing in India and Africa.

When I was a boy my dad used to take summer schools in America and I'd go along with him. You wouldn't see a football goal anywhere, now you go there and they're everywhere.

Oh my god can you imagine what it's going to be like in another 20 years It's just going to get bigger. Do footballers earn too much money Compared to that nurse Anna in Gillingham – yes they do. But people want to watch it and pay for it and I think they should get their fair share.

He's not for me: Allen wouldn't toerate Mario Balotelli's antics - and neither would Sir Alex Ferguson, he reckons

He's not for me: Allen wouldn't toerate Mario Balotelli's antics – and neither would Sir Alex Ferguson, he reckons

I say footballers are entertainers but one of them who's taken it too far is Mario Balotelli – he's not for me. He's got amazing talent, but I'm with the Jose Mourninho school of thought who had him but washed his hands with him pretty quick. You wouldn't see him playing for Sir Alex Ferguson.

I think he'd be detrimental, disrespectful, unsettling. I saw him play at West Ham 18 months ago, he got subbed in 55th minute, hardly broke a sweat the whole game.

When he came off he walked from the centre circle down the tunnel. Never acknowledged the Man City supporters, and that's disrespectful, I don't like that.

The way he walked off the pitch was disrespectful to his team-mates, the sub coming on, the manager. I wouldn't tolerate it.

He needs to come and watch my development squad train and play. Sundays and Mondays they do team work, pattern of play, technical work.

Then Thursdays and Fridays they do three sessions a day, first session 9.30am in the gym with their core work, stability and weights. Second session 10.30am a working football session.

Then after lunch they go back to the training ground to do fitness work without footballs. Same again on Fridays but they go to the local parks where there are lots of hills. It's hard work.

Away win: Allen's Gillingham continue to set the pace at the top of League Two thanks to Chris Whelpdale's winning goal at Southend on New Year's Day

Away win: Allen's Gillingham continue to set the pace at the top of League Two thanks to Chris Whelpdale's winning goal at Southend on New Year's Day

We had a reserve match against Millwall recently and one of my players ended up with seven stitches and a fractured cheekbone. That was not nice. The lad's only 19. Pure accident the Millwall player headed his face instead of the ball.

It brought back horrible memories for me when I was 19 playing for QPR and had exactly the same thing, spookily the same.

I glanced a header and the Millwall centre-back headed my cheekbone and I had a depressed fracture. George Graham was my youth-team manager.

When I saw it I half-knew what to expect. The blood was just gushing from his head – that's fine but I could see the cheekbone depressed.

I rang his dad to let him know he was going to hospital but was OK.

Hammer time: Allen is a West Ham legend

Hammer time: Allen is a West Ham legend

That's all part of the game – but I'll tell you what's never going to be part of the game with my teams.

I watched Spurs play Swansea last weekend and Chico Flores went down like he'd broken his ankle or ruptured a ligament. He squealed like a pig, I could hear him from where I was.

Then he gets up two minutes later. I thought that was diabolical. I wouldn't at all be happy if one of my players had done that. I would definitely not be happy with that.

I don't like any players to feign injury. If they get tackled take it like a man and get on with it. Give it and take it the same.

I hate blatant cheating but I think that's different to diving. People complain about it but it's a skill – and I did it all the time.

From my experience of the last few years there's no diving in the lower levels.

That cements my view that the introduction of continental and South American players has changed it. It's just normal there.

Jose Mourinho's Porto played at Celtic a few years ago and Martin O'Neill refused to shake his hand.

Said
he would never want a team to play that way. It was like Swan Lake they
were diving everywhere. But it's part of the game. You play for fouls
and penalties. It's in their culture and it's now come to our country.

Schoolboys
and youth players on the continent get taught how to win fouls. It's
part of training. They teach them how to win fouls at Barcelona's
academy.

If you're
good technically, players want to tackle you, to destroy you and destroy
your skill. You run into a player's pathway so they foul you. That's
skilful play.

Gareth Bale
is being accused a lot – the one against Fulham was
theatrical. Then again I wouldn't know what it's like to be that fast
and to be tackled at that speed,

I
was certainly not like that. It's part of the change. You bring in
talented players like Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Juan
Mata, Oscar.

In the red: Gillingham manager Martin Allen is a new hard-hitting columnist for Sportsmail

In the red: Gillingham manager Martin Allen is a new hard-hitting columnist for Sportsmail

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20/12/12

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You bring them in, technically top drawer, they play for fouls. Get used to it 'cos it ain't going away.

I dived all
the time anyway. 'Course I did. Any opportunity to win a foul I made
sure I put my body between the ball and the player. To give us
possession.

If I could
give us a foul for a penalty I would do, definitely. I was more unique
back then, I was a bit different to everyone else. I'd do anything I
could to win.

What do I tell my players at Gillingham I don't encourage it. I don't say to them 'go into the penalty area and dive to win us a penalty'.

But
what happens if see player running really fast into box and if you run
in their path they're going to push you over and you'll win a penalty

I
don't encourage my players to dive but drawing fouls and penalties is a
skill and I don't think there's a manager in the country wouldn't want
them to do it.

League One round-up: Tranmere go top after Sheffield United slip-up

League One round-up: Tranmere go top after Blades slip-up

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 29 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 29 December 2012

Tranmere went top of npower League One by a point as they claimed a 1-0 victory over struggling Scunthorpe.

Cole Stockton grabbed the only goal of the game just before the hour mark at Prenton Park as Rovers took advantage of a slip-up by Sheffield United.

The Blades lost 3-2 at home to bottom club Hartlepool, who picked up just their second win of the season.

Top dogs: Tranmere beat Scunthorpe 1-0 to leapfrog Sheffield United

Top dogs: Tranmere beat Scunthorpe 1-0 to leapfrog Sheffield United

Steve Howard put the visitors ahead only for Michael Doyle to level.

But a Ritchie Humphreys strike and Howard's second put Hartlepool clear, and Harry Maguire's late effort was not enough for United.

Doncaster are now level on points with their second-placed Yorkshire rivals after a 3-0 win at Preston.

David Syers opened the scoring inside the first minute, with David Cotterill and a Billy Paynter penalty completing the scoring.

Surprise: Harry Maguire's injury-time goal wasn't enough for Sheffield United as they lost to bottom club Hartlepool

Surprise: Harry Maguire's injury-time goal wasn't enough for Sheffield United as they lost to bottom club Hartlepool

Brentford dropped to fourth after a goalless draw at Shrewsbury while Bournemouth were 3-0 victors over Crawley thanks to a Gary Alexander own goal and further strikes from Brett Pitman and Eunan O'Kane.

Portsmouth remain in the bottom four after a 2-1 home defeat against Yeovil.

Dominic Blizzard and /12/29/article-0-16AF9EB1000005DC-948_468x362.jpg” width=”468″ height=”362″ alt=”Comeback: Coventry came from behind twice to beat MK Dons” class=”blkBorder” />

Comeback: Coventry came from behind twice to beat MK Dons

Daniel Powell and Ryan Lowe netted for the Dons but Franck Moussa and Stephen Elliott pegged them back before the Irish striker bagged the winner.

Moses Odubajo struck three minutes from time to help Leyton Orient beat Walsall 2-1.

David Mooney put Orient ahead only for Sam Mantom to level for the visitors. But Odubajo popped up the claim the points for his side.
Two early goals were enough to give Carlisle a 2-1 win over Bury.

A Lee Miller penalty and a Matty Robson effort put Carlisle in control with Stephen Schumacher getting one back for the visitors.

The games between Colchester and Swindon and Stevenage and Notts County were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.