Tag Archives: milton

Red Bull told Mark Webber to cut power "more than Sebastian Vettel"

Red Bull told Webber to cut power 'more than Vettel' in Malaysia

By
Malcolm Folley

PUBLISHED:

19:51 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:51 GMT, 30 March 2013

Red Bull have admitted that world
champion Sebastian Vettel was not told to cut his engine power to the
same level as Mark Webber at the end of last weekend's Malaysian Grand
Prix.

But the team insist they had not
favoured Vettel above his Australian team-mate or that they were happy
to see the German ignore orders and snatch victory from Webber.

In the aftermath of the furore over
Vettel's behaviour, it was claimed Webber, with the German running
behind him, had been told to turn down his engine setting to ensure he
did not experience a mechanical mishap.

Falling out: Mark Webber (left) and Sebastian Vettel on the podium in Malaysia

Falling out: Mark Webber (left) and Sebastian Vettel on the podium in Malaysia

It was presumed Vettel had received the same instruction on the orders of team principal Christian Horner.

But F1 rights holder Bernie Ecclestone told The Mail on Sunday last week: 'After speaking with Christian, it seems Mark was told to turn down the wick on his engine, but the team didn't tell Sebastian to do the same thing.'

And a Red Bull spokesperson admitted: 'Seb's engine was turned down, but not as much as Mark's due to differing strategies and tyre wear.'

Although Horner told Vettel to stay behind Webber, the German had more horsepower to overtake.

Different instructions: Bernie Ecclestone (inset) says Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were given different orders

Different instructions: Bernie Ecclestone (inset) says Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were given different orders

Webber maintained a low profile last week, with no desire to have any contact with Vettel before they meet for the next race in China in 10 days' time, while the German 25-year-old triple world champion was on a charm offensive at Red Bull's HQ in Milton Keynes in midweek to apologise to the workforce for creating worldwide uproar.

Webber's sense of betrayal, after helping to clinch the past three constructors' titles, means he is unlikely to stay with Red Bull when his contract ends this year.

His presence alongside Vettel in the first official media conference in Shanghai a week on Thursday will ensure Red Bull's internecine warfare is the only story in town.

Golden boy: Sebastian Vettel talks with Red Bull principal Christian Horner (right)

Golden boy: Sebastian Vettel talks with Red Bull principal Christian Horner (right)

'It can only be a distraction and energy-sapping,' said a team insider.

Yet, as Ecclestone revealed in this paper last week, Webber would have lost his seat to Lewis Hamilton this season had Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz not offered the Australian first refusal on keeping his drive out of loyalty when the 36-year-old had been talking with Ferrari.

'I wouldn't say that Mark was an out and out, 100 per cent Red Bull guy when he was looking to leave the team,' said Ecclestone. 'If he'd have got the drive with Ferrari, he'd have gone. He was lucky to stay, in my opinion.'

Indeed, Webber is not blameless. In the past, he has shown an unwillingness to toe the line, most recently in Brazil as Vettel clinched his third title.

'There's never been any trust between Webber and Vettel, they're not bosom buddies,' added Ecclestone.

Martin Samuel: Why Milton Keynes Dons methods could make us play like Brazil

Small is beautiful at Milton Keynes… and it could make us play like Brazil

Victory Shield. Seyi Ojo went to Liverpool at 14 for a reported 1.5million. They must be doing something right. What they are doing, it seems, is evolving ideas. Micciche experiments with pitch sizes, with team numbers.

Not in any conventional way. Small areas, small teams, is the modern concept, and that alone is progress.

The days of a 10-year-old standing forlornly in the same size goal as Petr Cech, barely able to clear his penalty area with a goal-kick in ankle-deep mud, are thankfully over.

Contrasting styles: Brazil (above) and England (below) prepare for Wednesday night's friendly

Contrasting styles: Brazil (above) and England (below) prepare for Wednesday night's friendly

Contrasting styles: Brazil (above) and England (below) prepare for Wednesday night's friendly

The Football Association has, at last, addressed the in-built flaws in youth football and we should feel the benefits over the next 10 years.

The popular wisdom favours small-sided games in tight spaces. The logic is irrefutable. Players get more touches, more shots, more runs and more scoring opportunities playing four versus four than 11 versus 11.

Their ball skills are improved by
technical five-a-sides, rather than a war of attrition on a man’s size
pitch that promotes only the most athletically dominant.

What Micciche is attempting is stage
two. In the dome at Woughton Park worlds collide. Micciche has his
Under 16 MK Dons team playing 11-a-side, but on a reduced pitch 60
yards long by 40 wide. He has cones on the touchline marking two
invisible offside lines to compress play into the middle third. There is
no time, there is no space. To survive in this game, you really have to
be able to play.

Coaching guru: Micciche's ideas have seen MK Dons' academy flourish

Coaching guru: Micciche's ideas have seen MK Dons' academy flourish

An MK Dons kid is trapped on the near
touchline, ball at his feet, two lads bearing down on him. He gets out
of it with a lovely reverse pass.

‘You see, that, to me, is a goal,’ Micciche says. ‘At this age, you can swing your boot and the ball goes in, and everyone says “well done”. But it’s not necessarily progress, there’s no development. To see him do that, inside, I feel like we’ve scored, because he wouldn’t have tried it six months ago.’

Micciche, as his name suggests, grew up watching Serie A football on a giant satellite dish at home. Roberto Baggio was his man. He is not as steeped in the blood and thunder of English football as his contemporaries.

It is no surprise, either, that he started at Crystal Palace where John Cartwright was academy manager.

Cartwright, now retired, has been
advocating variations of games played in tight spaces for a long time.
From Palace, Micciche moved to Tottenham Hotspur working with Chris
Ramsey before arriving at Milton Keynes under director of youth Mike
Dove, who gave him a blank canvas.

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There are five pitches of varying sizes at Woughton Park and academy players of all ages get to use every one. Team numbers vary, too. Each player gets a turn training and playing with boys between one and three years older, and all have a homework file with a list of improvements. The most radical thoughts, however, involve space.

‘A lot of coaches don’t like limiting the space,’ admits Micciche. ‘They think it looks messy. Sometimes it does because we’re asking a lot technically. You might not always get quality, but when you do it is the highest quality.

‘And when they go out onto a full-size pitch again, it feels as if they have got all the time in the world.’
We watched a game together. Milton Keynes Dons versus Forest School. Pitch dimensions of 60 x 40 yards, two quarters nine-a-side, two quarters 11-a-side to feel the difference.

Players who looked competent when the team numbers were reduced were suddenly tested as room on the pitch shrank. There was a surprising impact physically.

‘It speeds the game up, but players then need to hold off defenders because they haven’t the space to simply outrun them,’ Micciche explains. ‘Also, in order to work through a compact space, they will need to move their feet and body quickly.

‘The intensity is great so they need to react and think faster. It becomes exhausting, but it makes them clever at finding space.’

A shot rattles against a crossbar.

‘The game has shifted,’ Micciche continues. ‘Nobody gets the ball in splendid isolation any more. It’s like rush hour in midfield, you might get 20 players in 40 yards of space, and the defenders are as fast and athletic as the forwards.

‘We need to recreate what these players are going to face in the future.’

The last time Brazil visited England, in
2007, the performance of Kaka in the heart of the play stood out. No
matter how many opponents surrounded him, he demanded the ball and his
team-mates were happy to provide it. He always found a pass. Spain and
Barcelona have that same quality.

Star man: Kaka was outstanding for Brazil at Wembley in 2007

Star man: Kaka was outstanding for Brazil at Wembley in 2007

‘We fail under pressure,’ Micciche adds. ‘That is a fundamental problem in English football. Once the game becomes tight, our approach lets us down.’

The first time Micciche tried out his theories, the opponents were a big Championship club. ‘It was an Under 12 game, a friendly, and I brought the dimensions of the pitch in, used smaller goals,’ he recalls. ‘We were 4-1 down at half-time and a couple of our kids were in tears.

‘I said that this type of football was going to ask different questions of them, that they had to think about how they would answer those questions.

‘We turned it around, and won in the second half. The next day they put in a complaint about us.’

Perhaps that is why as well as the standard league fixtures — MK Dons win some and lose some, like all academy teams — Micciche is happy to accept fixtures from stronger clubs, strong schools or even good men’s amateur teams.

Quick thinking: Micciche advocates playing on pitches of different sizes to help youngsters develop

Quick thinking: Micciche advocates playing on pitches of different sizes to help youngsters develop

‘It is important to play in as many
types of football as possible, with and against players of different
strengths and abilities,’ he says. ‘You need to challenge them all the
time. Sometimes we won’t have as many players on the field as the
opposition, or I’ll take my Under 16s to play a proper men’s team.
People say, “you can’t do that” but they learn from it.’

It is possible that, after tonight, it will again be said that English footballers are inferior. That the technique of the Brazilians is a class away.

There will be analysis and much you will have heard before.

Too many foreign players in the Premier League, an absence of passion for international football. We could tuck it away in a file marked: The Usual.

So explain this. Increasingly, there are foreign coaches who have passed through the English game, like Gus Poyet at Brighton and Hove Albion or Roberto Martinez at Wigan Athletic.

Pointing the way: Roberto Martinez has brought fluid, passing football to Swansea and Wigan

Pointing the way: Roberto Martinez has brought fluid, passing football to Swansea and Wigan

And their teams play. Martinez is the father of modern Swansea City, Poyet has taken Brighton to the brink of the Championship play-off places.

Neither developed teams in the lower leagues that were stuffed full of foreign imports. They took local players and improved them technically.

Martinez signed Ashley Williams from Stockport County. Will Buckley, one of Brighton’s leading lights, came from Rochdale via Watford.

Martinez and Poyet encouraged bog standard Football League players to play a high quality game. So why can’t this be done in international football, with players of twice the ability No doubt we’ll be asking those questions later.

Although if we did it earlier, the answers might be easier to find.

Hypocrisy rules for forgetful Joey

Joey Barton was sent off for Marseille at the weekend and took to his favourite medium to voice his displeasure. ‘Players who roll around when nobody touches them should be banned,’ he wrote. ‘I hate cheats.’ Gervinho of Arsenal, sent off after Barton play-acted, may have views on this subject. And if he can stop laughing he will surely give them to us.

Crying wolf: Barton sees red for Marseille (above) ... just as Gervinho did for Arsenal in 2011

Crying wolf: Barton sees red for Marseille (above) … just as Gervinho did for Arsenal in 2011 (below)

Crying wolf: Barton sees red for Marseille (above) ... just as Gervinho did for Arsenal in 2011 (below)

Sturridge highlights our problem with diving

On television and in just about every newspaper, Daniel Sturridge was the man of the match after Liverpool’s draw with Manchester City. And he did have an outstanding game. He also, however, committed one of the most blatant dives of the season, for which he was booked. If that had been Luis Suarez, the chorus of disapproval would have been deafening.

Instead, Sturridge collected his bottle of champagne and his printed accolades without too much fuss. So let’s not pretend we really care about cheating in football. If it mattered to us, there is no way Sturridge could have been the hero.

(And one last thing, there was also no reason for Liverpool to put the ball into touch on Edin Dzeko’s behalf on Sunday. That Sturridge scored Liverpool’s first goal while the Manchester City striker lay stricken is of no consequence. He wasn’t seriously hurt and there was no fear of head trauma. If City had won possession and wanted to put the ball out, up to them. But Liverpool had every right to play to the whistle, and Roberto Mancini’s complaints are groundless).

Booked: Sturridge looks to the floor after taking a tumble against Man City

Booked: Sturridge looks to the floor after taking a tumble against Man City

Wolves must realise they're in a dogfight

As Wolverhampton Wanderers plummeted towards the Championship last season, chief executive officer Jez Moxey insisted the club had the foundations in place for success. ‘This season will not create a situation where we are knocked off course from our medium to long-term objectives,’ he soothed.

Objective No 1 was to establish Wolves in the Premier League. At last look, Wolves were two points off relegation from tier two, 21st of 24. They have been passed by Ipswich Town, managed by Mick McCarthy, the manager they sacked a year ago.

On the day McCarthy took over at Portman Road, Ipswich were bottom and Wolves eighth. Still, it’s good to know the executive management have a plan. Otherwise, it would be easy to imagine they don’t know what they are doing.

Alarming slide: Wolves are just two points clear of safety in the Championship

Alarming slide: Wolves are just two points clear of safety in the Championship

Lock up Gillingham yob and put the ref on gardening leave

There is a very simple solution to the attack on Wycombe Wanderers goalkeeper Jordan Archer at the Priestfield Stadium on Monday night. It’s called five years. If the punishment on the Gillingham fan who jumped Archer was appalling, nobody would ever do it again.

As for referee Roger East, who booked Archer for kicking the ball away in frustration, even though he showed admirable restraint towards the pitch invader in the aftermath, he should be given the rest of the season off to consider his actions. Anyone so out of touch with human emotion should not be in charge of anything more testing than the roses in his garden.

Attack: Jordan Archer was jumped by a teenage Gillingham 'fan'

Attack: Jordan Archer was jumped by a teenage Gillingham 'fan'

BCCI stoop to new low

Responding to the 2-1 home Test defeat, the Board of Control for Cricket in India have banned a group of English county players from gaining experience on the spinning wickets of the subcontinent. The Global Cricket School in Pune has been told that no foreign cricketers can use the facilities without permission. The performance of Joe Root in the final Test in Nagpur appears to have been the clincher. Lovely, aren’t they And yet still cricket kowtows to the BCCI.

Leeds v Tottenham live

FA CUP LIVE: Leeds v Tottenham – the fourth round action as it happens from Elland Road

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:49 GMT, 27 January 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the FA Cup as Leeds host Tottenham at Elland Road to continue the day's fourth round action. The Championship side will be hoping for an upset when they take on Spurs who are flying high in the Premier League in an attempt to secure a Champions League spot.

Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur

Leeds United: Ashdown, Byram, Peltier, Lees, White, Green, Brown, Austin, Varney, Diouf, McCormack

Substitutes: Kenny, Pearce, Tonge, Norris, Somma, Hall, Dawson

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Naughton, Caulker, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Parker, Lennon, Bale, Sigurdsson, Dempsey

Substitutes: Gomes, Walker, Townsend, Livermore, Dembele, Dawson, Obika

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

1.40pm It's been a wonderful weekend so far for upsets in the Cup. In case you missed any of yesterday's headlines:

Non-league Luton Town stunned Premier League Norwich City with a late Scott Rendell goal at Carrow Road.

Milton Keynes Dons destroyed a much-changed QPR at Loftus Road.

At Griffin Park, however, it's now level again as Fernando Torres makes it 2-2.

Whoever makes it through, you can see the draw for the fifth round live here on Mail Online shortly before 6pm – after the Oldham Athletic v Liverpool match at Boundary Park.

1.35pm While there may be a seismic upset at Griffin Park, Tottenham appear very confident in their belief that Premier League class will prevail at Elland Road.

Michael Dawson, on the bench today, is already dreaming of another Wembley appearance, while former Spurs favourite Steffan Freund stuck the boot in, saying Spurs will never go bankrupt and tumble to the third tier like Leeds did.

1.30pm Brentford have just re-taken the lead against Chelsea, courtesy of a Harry Forrester penalty. You can follow the closing stages here.

1.20pm Stat pack: These two famous old clubs have met on five occasions in the FA Cup before today, with Leeds winning just one of them (a sixth round tie in 1972, when they went on to win the Cup).

The most recent meeting was in 2010, also in the fourth round, when Leeds earned a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane (YouTube highlights), only for Spurs to beat them 3-1 in the replay – Jermain Defoe scoring a hat-trick.

Spurs have kept three clean sheets in their last four away FA Cup games, but have failed to score in three of the four themselves.

Leeds have been eliminated by North London clubs in each of the last three FA Cups, losing to Tottenham in 2010 and Arsenal in 2011 and 2012.

At Elland Road, Leeds have lost just one of their last eight games (W6 D1), although that defeat came against another Premier League side, Chelsea, 5-1 in the Capital One Cup.

Andre Villas Boas's Tottenham side are now unbeaten in eight games, winning five and drawing three. After no goals in his first 13 games in the competition, Gareth Bale has scored in three successive FA Cup games.

A large crowd is expected at Elland Road this afternoon, but a few of them may get their toes wet. This was the scene in the car park ahead of the match as heavy rain and melting ice caused flooding.

A car drives across the flooded car park at Elland Road

1.15pm Kick-off is at 2pm for this one. In the meantime, you can follow Dan Ripley's live blog of the Brentford-Chelsea match here. Oscar has just levelled for Chelsea, so the latest score is 1-1.

1.12pm The big news for Leeds fans is that Luciano Becchio isn't involved at all after the Argentine handed in a transfer request during the week.

Where does the future lie Luciano Becchio handed in a transfer request to Leeds last week

Where does the future lie Luciano Becchio handed in a transfer request to Leeds last week

1.10pm Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to our live coverage of the weekend's penultimate FA Cup fourth round tie between Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road.

It promises to be a cracker and here are the two starting line-ups for the match:

Leeds United: Ashdown, Byram, Peltier, Lees, White, Green, Brown, Austin, Varney, Diouf, McCormack

Substitutes: Kenny, Pearce, Tonge, Norris, Somma, Hall, Dawson

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Naughton, Caulker, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Parker, Lennon, Bale, Sigurdsson, Dempsey

Substitutes: Gomes, Walker, Townsend, Livermore, Dembele, Dawson, Obika

Away day blues Tottenham will aim to record their first win on the road in 2013

Away day blues Tottenham will aim to record their first win on the road in 2013

Karl Robinson attacked with pint glass after MK Dons lost to Brentford

MK Dons manager Robinson attacked with pint glass after Brentford defeat

|

UPDATED:

00:43 GMT, 12 December 2012

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was ‘shaken’ after being attacked with a glass by a group of Brentford fans following his side’s defeat at Griffin Park this weekend.

Robinson was walking to the team bus when the group of around 20 supporters threatened and set upon the 32-year-old manager.

Stewards had to step in to stop the incident escalating further, and Brentford are now working with the police to catch the gang with the use of CCTV footage.

Shaken: MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was set upon by a group of Brentford fans

Shaken: MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was set upon by a group of Brentford fans

The shocking attack was one of a number of incidents this weekend which have blemished the reputation of the sport.

Robinson was attacked on Saturday, less than 24 hours before ugly scenes overshadowed Manchester United’s derby win at City.

Rio Ferdinand was struck by a missile thrown from the crowd after Robin van Persie scored the winner, which left a nasty cut above his left eye, before a fan ran onto the pitch.

Sebastien Bassong was also allegedly racially abused during Norwich’s victory over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

Although no charges have been brought for the incident involving Robinson, Brentford have asked the police to attend a meeting at the club on Wednesday, according to the Mirror.

Jubilant: Robinson guided the Dons to victory over AFC Wimbledon

Jubilant: Robinson guided the Dons to victory over AFC Wimbledon

Brentford chief executive Mark Devlin told the paper: ‘There was a minor incident when Karl Robinson was leaving Griffin Park on Saturday to get on to the Milton Keynes Dons’ team coach.

‘There was beer thrown towards him. The Brentford FC stewards and security staff dealt with the incident swiftly and professionally at the time.

‘We are currently working with the Metropolitan Police to review all the CCTV and video footage from Saturday’s match.’

MK Dons 1 AFC Wimbledon 1: match report

MK Dons 2 AFC Wimbledon 1: Ecstasy to agony for travelling fans as cheeky late winner ends dream grudge match victory

|

UPDATED:

15:17 GMT, 2 December 2012

Jon Otsemobor scored a last-gasp winner to send MK Dons into the FA Cup third round at the expense of bitter rivals AFC Wimbledon.

Jack Midson's diving header had looked set to earn Wimbledon a replay after cancelling out Stephen Gleeson's stunning opener, but Otsemobor flicked home in the last minute to break the visitors' hearts.

The match was the first between the two clubs since 1988 FA Cup winners Wimbledon FC were uprooted from south west London in 2003 and moved over 50 miles north of the capital to the Buckinghamshire town, before being renamed MK Dons the following year.

Stranded: Jon Otsemobor flicked home the winner for MK Dons in the dying minutes

Stranded: Jon Otsemobor flicked home the winner for MK Dons in the dying minutes

Match facts

Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Otsemobor, Kay, Williams, Lewington, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Chadwick, Balanta (Ismail 66), Lowe (Smith 80).

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Doumbe, MacDonald, Chicksen, Sekajja.

Goal: Midson 59, Otsemobor 90

AFC Wimbledon: Sullivan, Osano, Fenlon, Antwi, Mambo, Luke Moore (Johnson 81), Gregory, Long, Ajala, Harrison (Strutton 71), Midson.

Subs not used: Jaimez-Ruiz, Balkestein, Mitchel-King, McNaughton, Djilali.

Booked: Midson, L Moore, Ajala.

Goal: Gleeson 45.

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)

Angry Wimbledon FC fans subsequently formed AFC Wimbledon from scratch in the Combined Counties League before enjoying a rapid rise up the football pyramid, and are now just one division below npower League One promotion challengers MK Dons.

The bad blood between the clubs was in evidence throughout, with both sets of fans goading the other, but in the main the match passed off without incident, save for a brief pitch invasion following Wimbledon's equaliser.

The hosts controlled the first half but they struggled to create clear chances in the face of a disciplined Wimbledon rearguard action.

Angelo Balanta came close when he curled the ball just wide of the post after a neat turn on the edge of the box before Gleeson broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, blasting a 30-yard shot into the top-right corner.

MK Dons burst out of the blocks after the break and skipper Dean Lewington had a 25-yard free-kick pushed over the crossbar by Neil Sullivan before Balanta and Dean Bowditch both lashed strikes into the side-netting.

Mobbed: MK Dons celebrate their last-gasp winner which dumped AFC Wimbledon out of the FA Cup

Mobbed: MK Dons celebrate their last-gasp winner which dumped AFC Wimbledon out of the FA Cup


In front: Stephen Gleeson opened the scoring for MK Dons with a stunning strike

In front: Stephen Gleeson opened the scoring for MK Dons with a stunning strike

Happy days: Gleeson celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the first goal

Happy days: Gleeson celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the first goal

But Midson made the most of a rare
Wimbledon counter-attack to equalise after 59 minutes, glancing a fine
diving header past David Martin from Toby Ajaya's cross.

A number of Wimbledon fans spilled onto the pitch following the goal, but stewards quickly restored order.

In a frantic finale, Ryan Lowe had a
goal ruled out for offside for Milton Keynes and Wimbledon skipper
Steven Gregory was denied by Martin before Otsemobor hung out a leg to
backheel substitute Zeli Ismail's mis-hit shot over Sullivan to spark
wild scenes of celebration for the hosts.

Level pegging: Jack Midson equalised for AFC Wimbledon (above) before celebrating with team-mates and fans

Level pegging: Jack Midson equalised for AFC Wimbledon (above) before celebrating with team-mates and fans

Players and fans celebrate as Jack Midson of AFC Wimbledon scores their first goal

Players and fans celebrate as Jack Midson of AFC Wimbledon scores their first goal

Crunch: Ryan Lowe of MK Dons is tackled by AFC Wimbledon's Luke Moore

Crunch: Ryan Lowe of MK Dons is tackled by AFC Wimbledon's Luke Moore

On the run: AFC Wimbledon's Stacy Long (right) sets up another attack for the visitors

On the run: AFC Wimbledon's Stacy Long (right) sets up another attack for the visitors

Battle: Luke Chadwick (right) and Steve Gregory fight for possession at stadium:mk

Battle: Luke Chadwick (right) and Steve Gregory fight for possession at stadium:mk

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons – fans clash

We are Wimbledon! Fans stake claim for 'real Dons' tag during FA Cup grudge match

|

UPDATED:

13:39 GMT, 2 December 2012

As the MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon battled it out on the field in their FA Cup grudge match, both sets of fans did likewise in the stands.

The two sides met for the first time at stadium:mk, nine years after Wimbledon moved 54 miles to Milton Keynes and 10 years after AFC Wimbledon were formed.

The build-up to the clash surrounded the fight over who can lay claim to the achievements of the original 'Dons' and that trend continued on Sunday afternoon.

Clash: Both AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons claim to be the true heirs to the original Wimbledon side

Clash: Both AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons claim to be the true heirs to the original Wimbledon side

MK Dons

Despite threatening to boycott the match, AFC Wimbledon fans packed into the stadium although the promised radiation suits looked to be absent.

The visiting fans want MK Dons to drop the second part of their name but their supporters made it clear they have no intention of ceding to that request.

Making a point: A banner was flown over the stadium in support of AFC Wimbledon

Making a point: A banner was flown over the stadium in support of AFC Wimbledon

Up in arms: AFC Wimbledon fans made their feelings towards their hosts clear

Up in arms: AFC Wimbledon fans made their feelings towards their hosts clear

AFC Wimbledon fans hand out stickers

Hitting back: MK Dons fans responded to the jibes from the visiting fans

Hitting back: MK Dons fans responded to the jibes from the visiting fans

Milton Keynes Dons fans hold up a banner that reads' 'We're Keeping the Dons... Just Get Over It!'

John Fashanu: MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon should get along

Fashanu: I understand the emotions, but let's have some peace and love in the FA Cup

|

UPDATED:

20:50 GMT, 1 December 2012

Wimbledon legend John Fashanu has
called for 'peace and love' to break out between bitter rivals MK Dons
and AFC Wimbledon at their FA Cup second-round tie.

Fashanu, a key member of Wimbledon's
FA Cup-winning side in 1988, has defended the existence of MK Dons, a
team dubbed Franchise FC by many Wimbledon fans who accuse them of
'stealing' their old club when, in an unprecedented move in English
football, they were relocated to Milton Keynes and renamed nine years
ago.

Existing fans formed AFC Wimbledon as
a non-League club in 2002 and, while some will boycott the tie
altogether, others will attend the game in contamination suits to
underline their continuing contempt for Milton Keynes, who incorporated
the original 'Dons' nickname into their official name.

Different times: Wimbledon players celebrate their incredible 1988 FA Cup win

Different times: Wimbledon players celebrate their incredible 1988 FA Cup win

AFC's directors will keep away from the MK boardroom, while MK manager Karl Robinson said his scouts have been asked not to attend AFC home games in the build-up to the match.

Yet against this highly charged backdrop, Fashanu has admitted he embraces both clubs and defended his long-time chairman Sam Hammam, who sold Wimbledon to Pete Winkelman, who then moved them 60 miles north.

'I have to tread very carefully because I love the Dons and I love AFC Wimbledon,' said Fashanu. 'If AFC can beat MK it will be hard to know whether to laugh or cry. It's going to be so emotional for anyone and everyone connected to the Crazy Gang.

Legend: John Fashanu in action for Wimbledon

Legend: John Fashanu in action for Wimbledon

'All I hope is that we get to see a brilliant game and that afterwards, no matter who has won or lost, that there might be some peace and love between both clubs.

'MK Dons have a right to be where they are. Hard as it might be for some to stomach, Sam Hammam did what was necessary. He couldn't go any further in Wimbledon, he had hit a brick wall. This was the man who spent millions of his own money to keep Wimbledon going. He bankrolled the club and paid everyone huge salaries given the crowds we used to get.

'Wimbledon were a family club with unity and love for each other. That never changed for me even when they became the MK Dons. I'd never tell the fans what they should do or whether they should boycott the game. Only the individual can make that call. It's understandable people feel this way but it's also a huge shame.'

Fashanu, 50, will watch the contest on television in Nigeria, where he now works in business.

'It is a juggernaut of a tie. They have so much in common and, despite all the problems, will forever be linked in history,' said Fashanu, who will open a 50million football academy in London next weekend. 'It's going to be explosive.'

AFC Wimbledon are currently managed by former player Neal Ardley and now play their football only one division behind League One MK Dons after five promotions in nine seasons.

Much maligned: Former Wimbledon chairman Sam Hammam

Much maligned: Former Wimbledon chairman Sam Hammam

Former Wimbledon director and lifelong fan Peter Miller, who grew up in a flat overlooking the club's original ground at Plough Lane, says those AFC supporters who attend will boycott any supplementary spending on food, drinks, merchandising or programmes.

'I will be there but many who have travelled the length and breadth of the country are boycotting the game,' said Miller. 'A few won't even watch it on television and even the directors are split.

'Such is the resentment against everything the MK Dons represents that our supporters have been asked not to put money into their coffers by buying programmes or using any of their food stalls.'

What's in a name: The MK Dons' stadium

What's in a name: The MK Dons' stadium

Pete Winkelman, the MK Dons chairman, has admitted that he is 'not proud' of the way football came to Milton Keynes, having done the original deal, built the new stadium and developed the surrounding land.

But he insisted the club would not relinquish their 'Dons' name.

'I do understand that on this special occasion, this historic occasion, this first meeting, that AFC Wimbledon officials would rather sit with their own supporters,' he said. 'If there is a replay, I will do the same.

'But I was disappointed to hear about the boycott, I hope that doesn't happen. Boycotting your team or leaving your team alone is perhaps the worst way of voicing your disapproval of what went on.

On the up: AFC Wimbledon celebrate promotion from the Blue Square Premier League

On the up: AFC Wimbledon celebrate promotion from the Blue Square Premier League

'I've been very clear about this. I'm a custodian of the club and the only way our name could ever change is if our supporters demanded it. I take responsibility for the club getting here, but now it's here it's actually the responsibility of all of us. And I think it's incredibly clear, and clear in every conversation I have, that we are the MK Dons, we're going to stay the MK Dons, and in the future we're going to be the MK Dons.'

Although there is a tradition for sports clubs to change location for business reasons in America, the story of the Dons remains unique in English football.

Former player Wally Downes, now assistant manager at West Ham, said: 'I am not looking forward to the game. It's AFC Wimbledon against Franchise FC. MK Dons are in a position they didn't earn, they didn't even inherit it, they just bought it. Of the two teams, one is a proper football club and one is a fraud club. I can see why AFC fans would boycott the game.'

Jamie Mackie says he"s proud to say he"s former Wimbledon, not former MK Dons: EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: I'm proud to be former Wimbledon, not MK Dons, says QPR's Mackie

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 29 November 2012

Ask Jamie Mackie if he considers himself a former Wimbledon or MK Dons player, and you’ll get an unequivocal response.

'I'd always say I was a former Wimbledon player,' said the Queens Park Rangers forward. 'I just don’t feel as emotionally attached to the MK Dons. Wimbledon was my first club.

'I made my debut in the league for the club, even though, strangely, it was playing in Milton Keynes.

Top Don: Jamie Mackie considers himself a former Wimbledon, not MK, player

Top Don: Jamie Mackie considers himself a former Wimbledon, not MK, player

'But the badge said Wimbledon. We were Wimbledon, we had Wimbledon’s history — we just weren’t playing there.'

Mackie is part of a small band of footballers to have played for Wimbledon and MK Dons. Having emerged through the youth ranks at Wimbledon, Mackie made his first-team debut in December 2003.

But the famous Crazy Gang spirit was no more. Wimbledon had already moved to the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes — and just eight months later he was lining up for MK Dons in a 1-0 defeat by Doncaster.

'I was at Wimbledon as a youngster, I understand the turmoil the supporters have gone through,' said the Scotland forward. 'Some Wimbledon fans say losing the club was like losing a loved one. I don’t think that is taking it too far.

'That’s what is amazing about football, the passion runs so deep. It’s like dating a girl and then breaking up with her. I can totally understand it.'

But, while Wimbledon’s break-up meant heartbreak for the club’s fans, Mackie is not ashamed to admit he benefited from the move.

'I know that era will hold bad memories for Wimbledon fans but for me it was a time to remember because I made my breakthrough into the first team,' he said.

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

'I was getting a game when maybe I might not have if the club were still as strong as they once were but, I have to admit, it was strange playing for Wimbledon in Milton Keynes. One day we were told we were going to Milton Keynes and that was it.

'Of course, it was a bit weird to start with but we were employed by the club. The players didn’t even have a choice.

'Ideally, we wanted it to stay as Wimbledon and keep playing in London. But we, the players, had bills to pay, mortgages and families to feed.

'We were all under contract and, if we didn’t play then, we might not have had a job. We had to work.'

Once Mackie walks off the pitch against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, his thoughts will turn to Sunday’s FA Cup clash at stadium:mk, when MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon, the reincarnation of Wimbledon, will go head-to-head for the first time.

Up for the cup: Wimbledon face MK Dons for the first time on Sunday in the FA Cup

Up for the cup: Wimbledon face MK Dons for the first time on Sunday in the FA Cup

The 27-year-old said: 'This match was always inevitable. It was always going to take place, be it in the league or a cup. I know a lot of AFC fans never wanted to see this match take place and I can sort of understand their point.

'It would be great if this match could be the beginning of the end of the rivalry but I don’t think that will be the case. You will never change that, it will be very hard to draw a line under it because of the history.

'But, for me, both sets of fans should be proud of their clubs for their own achievements.

'I see the clubs as completely different entities. I see AFC Wimbledon as the new Wimbledon and MK Dons as MK Dons.

'I don’t attach the old Wimbledon to MK Dons, the badges tell you that and that’s how it should be.

'But at the same time, I don’t think people should hold that much against MK Dons as a club and people should appreciate what they have achieved.

'The chairman is fantastic and an ambitious man. At the end of the day, Wimbledon were going out of business and if he didn’t do it then someone else would have tried. A lot of credit has to go to him because the club were on their knees.'

A large section of south-west London will not see it that way. Particularly at 12.30pm on Sunday.

AFC Wimbledon should bury hatchet with MK Dons, say Crazy Gang members

It's time to bury the hatchet with MK… so long as they ditch the 'Dons', say original Crazy Gang ahead of grudge match

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UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 29 November 2012

It may have been 24 years ago but when the FA Cup comes around, it still stirs passionate emotions among the most famous football mavericks of them all – the Crazy Gang of Wimbledon who shocked the then mighty Liverpool to lift the famous old trophy at Wembley in 1988.

And those passions are no less fiery due to the nature of this weekend’s second round games that pit the reborn AFC Wimbledon against the hated club they call the franchise robbers who stole their birthright – MK Dons.

It was when the original Wimbledon, founder members of the Premier League, died and their League place in the fourth tier was snapped up by the Milton Keynes outfit, headed by opportunist chairman Pete Winkelman, that a vow was taken to restore the old club.

The upset to end all upsets: Lawrie Sanchez heads the winning goal in the 1988 FA Cup Final at Wembley

The upset to end all upsets: Lawrie Sanchez heads the winning goal in the 1988 FA Cup Final at Wembley

Legends: Dave Beasant (centre) and Bobby Gould (bottom) celebrate with the famous old trophy

Legends: Dave Beasant (centre) and Bobby Gould (bottom) celebrate with the famous old trophy

So successful has that been that AFC have climbed all the way back from the Combined Counties League and back into the Football League – and now have the draw that the game would lick their lips over – though AFC fans have warned they won’t set foot in the place that forced them to start all over again on a park pitch.

But the old Dons heroes, the REAL Dons, who won that FA Cup, believe it is time to bury the hatchet with MK – as long as Winkelman agrees to drop the Dons from their name and renames them City, Town, United or some other.

Goalkeeper Dave Beasant, who comes only behind FA Cup Final scorer Lawrie Sanchez in the pantheon of Wimbledon legends by saving a penalty on the great day, led the call last night to call a truce.

Beasant said: ‘There is a lot of bitterness from AFC fans that Wimbledon lost their League status. They think that MK didn’t go about it the right way, when they should have only gained a place in the League by qualifying through non-league football.

‘You understand the bitterness but it’s been done, it was a while and the position isn’t going to be changed. And MK Dons are a progressive team, having gained promotion to League Three, just as AFC have progressed into the League proper.

Dons folklore: Beasant dives to his left to save a penalty from Liverpool striker John Aldridge

Dons folklore: Beasant dives to his left to save a penalty from Liverpool striker John Aldridge in the Final

‘I know a lot of fans won’t forget about it. But this is now a Cup match, the two teams are meeting for the first time. And AFC getting there from where they started is what Wimbledon’s history is all about.

‘We were never a big club but got a big name through winning the FA Cup. It’s a game that will be talked about because of the way MK attained their League status on the back of Wimbledon losing theirs.

FA Cup Final 1988 – Match Facts

Wimbledon: Dave Beasant (c); Clive Goodyear, Eric Young, Andy Thorn, Terry Phelan; Alan Cork (Laurie Cunningham 56), Vinnie Jones, Lawrie Sanchez, Dennis Wise; John Fashanu, Terry Gibson (John Scales 63)

Manager: Bobby Gould

Goals: Sanchez 37

Liverpool: Bruce Grobbelaar; Steve Nicol, Gary Gillespie, Alan Hansen (c), Gary Ablett; Ray Houghton, Nigel Spackman (Jan Mlby 74), Steve McMahon, John Barnes; Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge (Craig Johnston 64)

Manager: Kenny Dalglish

‘Of course I have more of a feeling for AFC because they represent the foundations that Wimbledon came from. I don’t know how many fans went with MK or how many stayed. I know a few did and one or two became directors.

‘But I do feel they should stand on their own two feet now as Milton Keynes – forget calling themselves Dons.’

Beasant, now a part-time coach with Bristol Rovers and previously Glenn Hoddle’s academy in Spain until it finished, added: ‘If they would drop the Dons from their name, I do feel that would go some way to appeasing Wimbledon’s current fans.’

In looking back to those great days of the Crazy Gang, Beasant says: ’We weren’t given the credit we deserved as individual players because of the way we played. But look how many of us did move on to bigger clubs after the Cup triumph – myself, the likes of John Fashanu, Dennis Wise and Vinnie Jones.’

Yet through the mists of time he sees one man as the original Crazy Gang founder – current West Ham coach Wally Downes. Beasant explained: ‘He was the original before myself and Alan Cork joined in. Then the likes of Fash, Wisey and Vinny became associate members.’

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

Injury prevented Downes from sharing in the FA Cup glory but he was there from the start as an apprentice Crazy Gangster.

Another who came through that route was Cup Finalist Andy Thorn, up until recently the Coventry manager before his heroic struggle to keep them from being relegated to Division One gave out.

Thorn, who is now eager to get back into the managerial fray after settling compensation, remembers the kind of stunt the Gang were famous for. He said: ‘We used to go everywhere in this minibus, lads all piled in the back, feet up on the kit like a bunch of schoolboys. That was the way we went to White Hart Lane to play our FA Cup semi-final against Luton.

‘It was a minibus I remembered well after my first experience of the senior team, a trip to Leyton Orient when I was probably 13th man.

VIDEO: Dean Holdsworth's FA Cup memories

‘After we won, I was ordered to get to the nearest off licence in Leyton High St to get the beers in. I duly brought armfuls of cans back, handed them over, upon which the back doors were slammed in my face and they roared off leaving me stranded in the middle of the high street!

‘So I was left to get a couple of buses and trains back home on my own.

‘But it was all part of the growing up, the toughening up. We don’t go out of our way to see each other these days but it’s as though we’ve never been away when we do bump into each other. It seems we’re all following the same pattern of life, a few divorces, and we’re all moving on.

‘On the big game, I regard them as two
completely separate clubs now. But with Wimbledon, the way we battled
from where we came from to get as far as founder members of the Premier
League, what we had to overcome, the supporters of the new AFC have done
exactly the same thing. It epitomises what Wimbledon are all about.’

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Cup Final winning manager Bobby Gould regards himself as an honorary Crazy Gang member and recalls hilarious times. Gould, who now has a regular show on Talksport, said: ‘I originally joined Wimbledon as a player after the sack from Chelsea as a coach in 1981 when I answered an advert from then manager Dave Bassett for a centre forward. It was 40 a week and 20 expenses.

‘When I was manager the one who was always up to something was Dennis Wise. I could never take my eyes off him.

‘The players used to have what was known as The Circle when a dispute needed settling. They would form a circle and the two players who had a problem with each other would have a grapple, like wrestling – but no punching or biting!

‘After a few days there, Wisey shouted: ‘’Circle’’. I said: ‘’Who’s in it’’ He said: ‘’You are Gouldy, you’ve upset me’’. So I couldn’t back down,

‘We started to fight and all of a sudden I land on his fist and crack a rib. I had the physio Steve Allan in and said: ‘’Get me up the stairs to the dressing room before I faint because at the moment I’m winning’!

‘But I had fought Wisey in the circle. We laughed and we never stopped. But the beauty of them was they knew when they wanted to do the job and went about it the right way.’

VIDEO: We are Wimbledon

Gould will be supporting AFC this weekend, though admits: ‘I started off supporting MK in the early days, simply because I wanted Wimbledon to survive in some form or other. But once AFC came on the scene, starting up from a Sunday kickabout, my allegiance changed to them.

‘On the day I’ll be wearing my lucky tracksuit that I wore the day we won the FA Cup. I agree with Dave Beasant that now MK should do the decent thing and drop the Dons part of their name. Why not be City, United or whatever. They don’t need it, they’ve handed back all the trophies so they recognise that Wimbledon are the true Dons.’

Alan Cork, who can proudly claim that he played for Wimbledon in every division of the old Football League, sadly does not connect with AFC as much as some of the others. He said: ‘I don’t have a club to go back to in Wimbledon like I can with Sheffield United, because it’s not the same one I played for. I know a lot of the boys do associate with AFC but as far as any dispute with MK Dons is concerned I don’t have a serious view.’

Cork, formerly a No 2 for Gary Megson at Bolton and now a part-time scout for Stuart Pearce’s England Under 21s, added: ‘MK have an excellent stadium and a thriving club. The cup tie I won’t be supporting either, as my loyalties now are to Southampton where my son Jack plays and is doing very well.

‘It’s hard to get to watch him because I am normally at another game. I was recently at Italy v. Spain Under 21s for Stuart. Italy are in our group in the championship finals next summer. Spain have got quite some side….’

Different Dons with differing views but the old boys will all have memories of great past deeds this weekend.

VIDEO: The best FA Cup second-round shocks

Sebastian Vettel earns Red Bull employees 10k bonus each

Cheers Seb! Over 550 Red Bull employees pick up 10k each after Vettel wins title

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UPDATED:

12:03 GMT, 27 November 2012

Christmas has come early for the employees at Red Bull Racing.

Each member of the 550-strong team will
land a cool 10,000 bonus after Sebastian Vettel wrapped up his third
drivers’ title on the bounce following Sunday’s dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old German fought his way from the back of the field to finish sixth and deny Fernando Alonso the title by just three points.

Centre of attention: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel surrounded by his colleagues... who each picked up a cool 10k

Centre of attention: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel surrounded by his colleagues… who each picked up a cool 10k

It was Red Bull’s second success in as many weeks after they sealed the constructors’ championship at the penultimate round of the season in Austin.

In a recent interview with Sportsmail, team principal Christian Horner stressed that the key ingredient behind his team’s unprecedented success was its ‘people’.

And they’ll now be rewarded with a tidy bonus just in time for the festive season after securing an incredible three drivers’ and constructors’ titles on the spin.

Blow: When Hamilton's car got damaged McLaren paid the price to the tune of 7m

Blow: When Hamilton's car got damaged McLaren paid the price to the tune of 7m

Vettel, his team-mate Mark Webber and Horner will make a triumphant return to the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes today, where they’ll be given the chance to celebrate their triumph with fellow Red Bull colleagues.

Over at rivals McLaren however, the picture isn’t quite so rosy.

Lewis Hamilton’s retirement from the lead of the season-ending race in Brazil has cost the British team in excess of 7million in prize money – the difference between finishing second and third in the constructors’ championship.

McLaren were on course to leapfrog Ferrari in the standings before Hamilton was denied victory in his final race for the Woking-based outfit after he sustained irreparable suspension damage in a collision with the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.