Tag Archives: orient

NextGen Series: Arsenal and Chelsea on course to meet in semi-finals, while Aston Villa play Sporting Lisbon

Arsenal and Chelsea on collision course in NextGen semi-finals as Villa face Sporting

Adam Shergold


16:06 GMT, 21 March 2013



16:06 GMT, 21 March 2013

Arsenal and Chelsea are on a collision course in the semi-finals of the NextGen Series.

If the young Gunners side can beat CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night, they will face their London rivals in the last four.

Aston Villa, who beat Olympiakos 1-0 last night to progress, will play Sporting Lisbon, who beat Tottenham 5-3, in the other semi-final.

London Derby: Chelsea, who beat Juventus 4-1 in the quarter-finals, could face Arsenal in the last four of the NextGen Series

London Derby: Chelsea, who beat Juventus 4-1 in the quarter-finals, could face Arsenal in the last four of the NextGen Series

NextGen Series


(click for match report)

Chelsea 4 Juventus 1
Aston Villa 1 Olympiakos 0
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Sporting Lisbon 5 (aet)

Arsenal v CSKA Moscow – Monday March 25, 7pm (Emirates Stadium)

Chelsea v Arsenal/CSKA Moscow – Friday March 29, 3pm local time

Aston Villa v Sporting Lisbon – Friday March 29, 8pm local time

Both at Stadio G. Sinigaglia, Como, Italy

Both semis, as well as the final and third place play-off, will be played at Como FC in Italy over the Easter weekend.

Chelsea booked their place in the last four with a 4-1 win over Juventus last Sunday, thanks to goals from Lewis Baker, Alex Kiwomya and Islam Feruz.

Villa got through last night thanks to a first half strike from Graham Burke.

Sporting beat Spurs in a rollercoaster
match played at Leyton Orient – trailing 3-1 with minutes to spare,
they forced extra time thanks to a Laste Dombaxe penalty and Roman
Michael-Percil's last gasp equaliser.

the Portuguese side proved stronger in extra time, with further strikes
from Alexandre Guedes and a 45-yard volley by defender Atud Fokobo
ending hopes of an all-English final four.

Arsenal will hope to join Chelsea and Villa when they host CSKA on Monday evening.

Winner: Graham Burke (centre) scored the winner as Aston Villa beat Olympiakos 1-0

Winner: Graham Burke (centre) scored the winner as Aston Villa beat Olympiakos 1-0

Dramatic game: Sporting's Ruben Semedo celebrates the penalty that restored his team's lead in extra time against Tottenham

Dramatic game: Sporting's Ruben Semedo celebrates the penalty that restored his team's lead in extra time against Tottenham

League One round-up: Sheffield United stay top

League One round-up: Blades stay top with routine victory



19:34 GMT, 26 December 2012

Sheffield United retained their place at the summit of npower League One with a 3-0 victory over relegation-haunted Scunthorpe.

Shaun Miller and Dave Kitson were on target while Nick Blackman struck a penalty to secure a routine win for the Blades.

Max Power and Adam McGurk were on the scoresheet as second-placed Tranmere came from behind to end a six-match winless league run with a 2-1 victory against Crewe.

Top of the table: Sheffield United's Shaun Miller (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal against Scunthorpe

Top of the table: Sheffield United's Shaun Miller (right) celebrates scoring the opening goal against Scunthorpe

Brentford continued their quest for automatic promotion with an impressive 3-1 victory over Colchester.

The Bees were two goals ahead inside 12 minutes as Marcello Trotta broke the deadlock and, after Josh Thompson was dismissed for a professional foul, Adam Forshaw smashed in the free-kick from 18 yards.


Bournemouth 3 Yeovil 0

Carlisle 3 Hartlepool 0

Colchester 1 Brentford 3

Leyton Orient P – P Swindon

MK Dons 2 Walsall 4

Oldham 1 Doncaster 2

Portsmouth 1 Crawley 2

Preston 0 Bury 0

Sheff Utd 3 Scunthorpe 0

Shrewsbury 2 Notts County 2

Stevenage 1 Coventry 3

Tranmere 2 Crewe Alexandria 1

Drey Wright halved the deficit and although Tom Adeyemi was sent off for two bookings, Brentford secured the win thanks to Harlee Dean's 85th-minute strike.
Will Grigg scored twice as Walsall completed a league double over high-flying MK Dons with a 4-2 win.

Grigg's brace plus goals from Febian Brandy and Jamie Paterson handed the Saddlers a second successive win, while Ryan Lowe and Dean Bowditch were both on target for the below-par Dons.

Crawley came from behind to triumph 2-1 at Portsmouth and extend the Blues' winless run to 11 matches.

Pompey took the lead at Fratton Park when Paul Benson converted Scott Allan's cross after 10 minutes only for strikes from Mat Sadler and Billy Clarke to wrestle back the initiative.

Shrewsbury rescued a useful point with a late equaliser to frustrate promotion hopefuls Notts County in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Greenhous Meadow.

The lively Jon Taylor's 81st-minute cross from the right took a deflection and goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski was left red faced as he fumbled the ball into his own net.

Harlee Dean (right) celebrates scoring the thrid goal for Brentford, his team are now two points off the top with a game in hand

Harlee Dean (right) celebrates scoring the thrid goal for Brentford, his team are now two points off the top with a game in hand

The Shrews had gone in front in the 19th minute with a neatly-taken goal from County old boy Luke Rodgers. Lee Hughes equalised before County moved ahead on the stroke of half time through Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

Lewis Grabban scored his seventh goal in as many games as play-off chasing Bournemouth thumped Yeovil 3-0 at Dean Court.

A goal in each half by Grabban and Harry Arter, prior to Brett Pitman's late penalty, earned the Cherries a 12th win in a remarkable run of 14 unbeaten matches.
David McGoldrick completed the fightback after Coventry came from a goal down to beat Stevenage 3-1.

Lucas Akins gave the home side the lead from the penalty spot, but goals from Richard Wood, Carl Baker and McGoldrick secured the points.

In the hunt: Coventry's Carl Baker (centre) scores past to move his side just five points off the playoffs

In the hunt: Coventry's Carl Baker (centre) scores past to move his side just five points off the playoffs

Preston's winless league run at Deepdale dating back to September 29 continued after the Lilywhites drew a blank in a goalless draw at home to north west rivals Bury.

David Syers scored a last-minute winner as Doncaster prevailed 2-1 at Oldham.

Rovers took an early lead through Rob Jones after Billy Paynter's flick from a Cotterill free-kick had come back off the post before Youssouff M'Changama levelled.

Sam Collins, Matt Robson and Lee Miller fired Carlisle to a 3-0 victory over Hartlepool.

Leyton Orient first match called off as weather wreaks havoc with sport

More frustration for Orient as they're first to fall foul off the wet weather across England



19:07 GMT, 25 December 2012

Leyton Orient led the way with the first weather postponement of the Boxing Day fixture programme as the forecast of more heavy rain threatened further disruption.

The League One side called off their home clash with Swindon at lunchtime on Christmas Day after downpours in London overnight.

Raining on our parade: The sports calendar has been affected by the weather

Raining on our parade: The sports calendar has been affected by the weather

It has been a frustrating week for Orient boss Russell Slade, who took his team to Notts County last weekend only to have the game controversially called off, even though both managers and the players felt the pitch was playable.

That match was one of 13 League fixtures which fell foul of heavy rain and clubs will be hoping there is no repeat at a time of the year which is traditionally lucrative in terms of attracting fans.

There was also a major casualty in racing, with Thursday's Welsh Grand National at Chepstow succumbing after six inches of rain fell in the area.

The race, which was due to be the BBC’s farewell, has been re-arranged for January 5 and will be screened by Channel 4.

Barry Hearn ready to throw in the towel over objection to West Ham"s Olympic Stadium move: Charles Sale

Hearn is ready to throw in the towel over West Ham's Olympic Stadium move



00:06 GMT, 6 December 2012

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn,
with his threats of multiple lawsuits, has proved to be the biggest
obstacle in West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium.

And the only fully transparent part of
yesterday’s fudged London Legacy Development Corporation decision to
make West Ham the first-ranked bidders was that Orient’s application to
groundshare had been rejected.

However, Hearn, who is always so quick
on the trigger with legal action, will find it difficult this time to
bring in the lawyers over Orient’s snub and is expected to throw in the
towel. A judicial review can only examine the process rather than the
outcome and Hearn has said that the second tender was at least managed

Game over: Barry Hearn is set to end his objection to West Ham's move to the Olympic Stadium

Game over: Barry Hearn is set to end his objection to West Ham's move to the Olympic Stadium

His appeal to the Premier League — to
rule on whether West Ham would break their rules by moving into Orient’s
catchment area — is on hold. But the League have already given
permission for the Hammers’ move. Upton Park and the Stratford venue are
both in the borough of Newham, while Leyton Orient’s ground is in
Waltham Forest.

Hearn, who is in Mauritius on holiday,
said: ‘This is not the best news I have had in my life, but I will not
panic. There are still questions to be asked about the validity of West
Ham moving close to us, which will put a great strain on our survival.

‘We will not be rushed. I am looking
forward to my meeting with the Olympic people next week. I cannot
understand what harm there would be with a groundshare.’

The LLDC statement dismissed Orient’s bid as not being commercially viable.

More from Charles Sale…

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Charles Sale: Rivals Warren and Hearn take fight over Bellew to the High Court

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Charles Sale: Pearce blamed for losing flying Chelsea winger Moses to Nigeria

We were wrong! But Chelsea still won't say sorry to Clattenburg over Mikel

Charles Sale: Jordan pondered Portsmouth deal but bowed to fan power

Charles Sale: Wimbledon set to avoid any MK Dons exposure in FA Cup clash

Charles Sale: Call this reintegration, KP After rejoining England, flash star leaves team-mates behind to upgrade at five-star hotel in India


Warburton rejects West Brom

Mark Warburton, Brentford’s sporting
director and co-founder of the European Under 19 NextGen Series, has
surprisingly turned down the chance to succeed the FA-bound Dan Ashworth
as technical director at West Bromwich Albion. Warburton, who was
persuaded to stay at Griffin Park by the club’s major benefactor Matthew
Benham, said: ‘I am flattered to have even been considered for such a
position. But as it stands I have unfinished business at Brentford and
the NextGen Series is in full swing.’

Jevans' overhaul continues

The most surprising aspect of England Rugby 2015’s brutal regime change under new chief executive Debbie Jevans has been to dispense with the services of chief operating officer Ross Young, despite him having more knowledge than anyone of how a World Cup operates after delivering successive tournaments since 2003.

Tough regime: Debbie Jevans has shaken things up at the RFU

Tough regime: Debbie Jevans has shaken things up at the RFU

The International Rugby Board were informed of his sacking and that of media and marketing chief Jon Duckworth but did not interfere. The cost of the pay-offs, plus the severance payment to former CEO Paul Vaughan, will come out of the ER 2015 budget — as will the price of hiring plenty more LOCOG personnel to follow Jevans and new rugby operations director Neil Snowball from Stratford to Twickenham.

New role for Townsend

Chris Townsend, the London 2012 commercial director who famously described himself as the Sir Alex Ferguson of LOCOG, is taking his self-acclaimed talents to Kent. Townsend will be working to raise 2billion for the proposed Paramount Pictures theme park on the Swanscombe peninsula close to Ebbsfleet International railway station.

Mancini’s flight of fancy

Manchester City’s decision to stay in Dortmund after their Champions League defeat on Tuesday, to train there yesterday before flying home in the afternoon, has a lot to do with another of manager Roberto Mancini’s many quirks. He has a dislike of late-night flights — along with regarding purple as his unlucky colour and holding team meetings at uneven times of day.

BOA race hotting up

The election for the athletes’ representative on the British Olympic Association board is going to be a lot more competitive than the chairmanship vote, which saw Lord Coe anointed unopposed. Five Olympians, including three rowers, will be giving presentations to the athletes’ commission: current board member Sarah Winckless, fellow rowers Alex Partridge and Zac Purchase as well as middle-distance runner Andrew Baddeley and hockey’s Kate Walsh. Winckless is favourite.

West Ham handed Olympic Stadium

They won the World Cup, now they've won the Olympic Stadium… West Ham win race for the newest Premier League ground



12:34 GMT, 5 December 2012

West Ham have been named as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium to end a three-year saga over its future.

After the success of the Games this summer, there has been uncertainty over what happens next for the arena.

But Barclays Premier League side West Ham are now set to inherit the venue that framed many of this summer's iconic sporting moments.

We're moving, lads: West Ham are ready to leave their Upton Park home

We're moving, lads: West Ham are ready to leave their Upton Park home

They beat Leyton Orient, a Formula One consortium and a Burnley-based football business college.

The London Legacy Development Corporation board voted today when they met in Stratford under the chairmanship of London mayor Boris Johnson.

The key issue concerned how to meet the estimated 150million cost of converting the stadium to include football, athletics and concerts.

A new dawn: The Olympic Stadium is set to host football in the future

A new dawn: The Olympic Stadium is set to host football in the future

West Ham have upped their contribution to 15m, plus 9m a year including rental, merchandising, catering and naming-rights revenue.

They believe that, with fellow tenants Newham Council paying 60m and the Treasury committed to a 38m subsidy, there will be no further call on the public purse.

They also dispute that the conversion will cost as much as 150m. No tenders are out for the work.

The Treasury have already said that they have not been asked for extra funding towards the stadium, which will remain unused until at least 2015 and possibly the 2016-17 football season.

Decisions, decisions: London mayor Boris Johnson has been at the centre of plans

Decisions, decisions: London mayor Boris Johnson has been at the centre of plans

That looks to have ruled out the stadium being a host venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

West Ham were given the stadium in 2011 before legal complaints sunk the deal. Although a repeat may occur, it is thought the new process will stand up to scrutiny.


Olympic Stadium

The athletics track will have to go, won’t it
Not if the next generation of Mo Farahs and company are going to have something to run on in five years’ time. The stadium will host the 2017 World Athletics Championships after Lord Coe’s persuasive powers proved instrumental in bringing yet another major sporting event to London following the best Olympic Games in history.

So West Ham fans will need binoculars to see the action then
Here’s where the money starts mounting up. A key part of West Ham’s bid is to retain the running track but they do not want fans match-day experience to suffer. The plan is to install retractable seating to slide over the running track to ensure Hammers’ fans continue to get a close up view of their club’s renaissance.

Alright, the view will be OK but won’t we get soaked on a wet Wednesday night in January
Mercifully the weather held out for those magical nights in August but the stadium was originally conceived as a summer venue. Another chunk of cash has been earmarked to extend the venue’s circular roof to protect West Ham fans from the unpredictable elements.

Er, how much is all this going to cost
Converting the iconic venue to one which fits the bill for the Barclays Premier League, and one which can also cater for athletics and pop concerts, won’t come cheap. Estimates for the work range between 130million up to 200m and it is worth remembering the stadium cost 429m to put up in the first place.

So who is going to cough up
Well, West Ham are willing to part with 15m towards the conversion plus 9million annually in rent and cash from commercial proceeds. Fellow tenants, Newham Council, are in for between 40m and 60m while the Treasury has reached into its pockets for another 38million. Some shortfall estimates for the work range between 15 and 20m although West Ham argue that the cost of the conversion is covered with the cash already on the table.

This is starting to sound like a cracking deal for West Ham – are they getting a 60,000 stadium for a knockdown price
There is little doubt that moving home would do wonders financially for a club currently around 80 million in debt and turning over around 80 million a year, provided they can maintain their top flight status. Do so and the match day revenue generated by the move to Stratford will dwarf the 18m they pull in annually at Upton Park. David Gold and David Sullivan shelled out in the region of 50m to buy a 50% controlling stake in West Ham in January 2010 and a Premier League club with an iconic, state of the art home could certainly be an attractive proposition for outside investors. But one of the caveats of West Ham’s lease is expected to be that they share a slice of the profits with taxpayers if Gold and Sullivan eventually decide to cash in.

So off to the New Boleyn Ground we go then
Romantic though that sounds, there is little prospect that West Ham will not attempt to sell the naming rights to their new ground. Manchester City get an estimated 400m from Etihad to have the airline’s name emblazoned on what was the City of Manchester Stadium, constructed for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. And while West Ham are unlikely to strike a deal of that magnitude, the potential naming rights cash would be too tempting to turn down especially if it covered the 9m-a-year they are paying their landlords.

And what happens to West Ham’s old Green Street home
Flattened is the overwhelming expectation. A 99-year lease on their new arena means the beige towers built from the proceeds of the 18m sale of Rio Ferdinand to Leeds will slip into memory. Potential buyers are already circling with community houses, flats and a supermarket the likely uses for the site.

When will West Ham move in
Prior to the last bidding process collapsing in May, the club reckoned they could be out of their present home by the summer of 2014. But as a result of the delays in reaching a decision about the fate of the Olympic Stadium West Ham will need to extend that until at least the start of the2015/16 season. Many feel that timescale errs on the optimistic side as the necessary construction work may take until the summer of 2016 to be finished.

It"s West Ham or a white elephant for the Olympic Stadium – Martin Samuel

Get real with the Olympic Stadium… it's West Ham or a white elephant



23:40 GMT, 27 November 2012

Something for nothing. That is what it is presumed West Ham United are getting out of the Olympic Stadium deal. A free ride. A gift from a grateful nation.

So consider the alternative. Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, is supposed to make his final announcement about tenancy a week today. If he does not award the Olympic Stadium to West Ham, what are his options Not West Ham, basically. That is what is out there. West Ham or Not West Ham. West Ham or white elephant.

There is no coherent rival plan. The Formula One future envisages a grand prix that does not currently exist and ignores a long-term contract with Silverstone. Leyton Orient’s average league crowd this season is 3,785, which should play well in a 60,000 arena. The University College of Football Business in Burnley would get some nice classrooms out of the executive boxes.
There is only one serious bidder. There has been all along.

Let there be light: the spectacular opening ceremony of the Olympics  but are there dark days ahead

Let there be light: the spectacular opening ceremony of the Olympics but are there dark days ahead

The NFL franchise discussions came to nothing. Tottenham Hotspur just wanted the land. Only a madman would hold pop concerts in a stadium with no protective roof in Britain. While those who masterminded the Olympic process continue their orgy of self-congratulation, the in-built flaws of their mighty stadium are increasingly apparent. This is a structure that has no legacy in its present form. It is not fit for post-Olympic purpose. They can’t say they weren’t warned.

So far from getting something for nothing, West Ham would prevent something becoming nothing. Here’s the reality. A stadium was built for the Olympics. It was paid for because of the Olympics. The Olympics are over. Now what

Grand plans: David Sullivan (left) and David Gold (right) plan to relocate West Ham in the Stratford stadium

Grand plans: David Sullivan (left) and David Gold (right) plan to relocate West Ham in Stratford

Every Olympic stadium without the legacy of a core tenant from a major sport is in financial ruin. The iconic Bird’s Nest in Beijing is currently a Segway race track. You know, those upright motorised scooters You can race them at the Bird’s Nest for 12.50 a pop. Before that, there was a snow park with man-made ski hills. The annual maintenance cost is 6.8million. That’s a lot of Segway action to break even.

Manchester City were considered to have got something for nothing out of the Commonwealth Games stadium, too. Yet consider the venue without its football tenants. What would it be now
The Olympics were never coming to Manchester, the IOC made that clear. After another failed bid, Great Britain’s Olympic Committee were as good as told to come back with a proposal from London and there might be some interest.

So maybe Manchester would have got a World Athletics Championships, or the Europeans. A busy two weeks and then what A large arena in an unfashionable sector of a provincial northern city, gathering dust at huge cost to the public purse.

Manchester City didn’t get something for nothing. As a result of the potential in that facility, they attracted major foreign investment from Abu Dhabi and the new owners continued the development of the east Manchester area with a world-class sports complex.

An 80-acre swathe of industrial wasteland is to become a 100m campus with a 7,000-capacity stadium for youth and reserve football and a first-team training centre. City cleaned polluted land to assemble the plot required. Now that’s legacy. A legacy that is in danger of being lost in east London if the Olympic Stadium is allowed to stay dormant while men in suits squabble.

The problem with London’s stadium is that it was designed for a summer event and is unsuitable for use in an English winter. Money has to be spent. Any tenant with plans to use the venue throughout the year is going to have to extend the roof and any football tenant will require retractable seating over the athletics track.

We cannot keep pretending the future won’t cost. Without a roof, nobody is interested. Without a roof, the legacy is an 80,000-capacity athletics venue sitting empty for years on end incurring enormous maintenance.

Not what the designers had in mind: Beijing's Bird's Nest is now being used as a Segway race track

Not what the designers had in mind: Beijing's Bird's Nest is now being used as a Segway race track

There are some real geniuses out there, though. ‘If the 2012 Games have taught us anything it is that football doesn’t quite matter any more,’ sniffed a writer on the Huffington Post, who really thought handball fever was going to last for ever. So let’s get real. West Ham’s final offer was to pay 15m up front and a further 8m a year to cover the cost of redevelopment. The Government pays for much of this initially and then gets its money back over time.

Anyone who thinks this is unreasonable might wish to consider how many houses are sold without the buyer obtaining a mortgage. In addition, West Ham will pay 2.5m-a-year rent, and allow their landlords to keep the catering revenue and the naming rights, with benefits estimated at a further 6.5m annually.

More from Martin Samuel…

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Martin Samuel: Suarez is poetry in motion… but can he really be Player of the Year

Martin Samuel: Too few had the desire to follow Cook into battle

Martin Samuel: Admit it KP, left-arm spin baffles you

Martin Samuel: Greedy owners the only winners if you curb these players' wages

Martin Samuel: Double centurion Pujara is the new great Wall of India

Martin Samuel: Mental agility was the real skill as Ibrahimovic stunned England


Now consider those naming rights. Providing West Ham remain in the Premier League the stadium has a global television audience in the region of nine billion, before the summer athletics programme is taken into consideration. One imagines the reach of the University College of Football Business in Burnley is somewhat smaller.

So when the naming rights come to be sold it rather figures that the Government, and therefore you, will be better off discussing potential exposure to nine billion around the globe, rather than six blokes called Tony who want to be football agents. The same goes for Leyton Orient. The recent deal struck between Arsenal and Emirates Airlines for Ashburton Grove amounted to 150m until 2019: 30m per year. Alternatively, sign the Olympic Stadium over for a one-off annual grand prix event that might never take place and see how far you get.

Some think West Ham and Leyton Orient could be made to share, but there is no tradition of successful joint occupancy in English football, certainly when there is such disparity in size between the partners.

The Olympic Stadium should not be a test case for future projects on Merseyside or in Bristol, and it would be hard to see the partners working harmoniously together when Orient chairman Barry Hearn has been an obstacle to West Ham’s tenancy for so long.

The disaster for the stadium would be if the final decision was overtaken by politics of the kind that booby-trapped the project from the start. Nasty old Premier League football. Why does it always have to be about them Here’s why. As a Premier League football ground, with summer use for athletics and other one-off events thrown in, the stadium will accommodate in the region of 1.2 million visitors per year.

Alternatively, the London International Segway Centre has a nice ring to it. Last one to leave, park up and turn out the lights.

I shall say zees only once

Joey Barton's French accent Wat waz ’e thinkin’ Ooh, mah achin’ sidez.

Ryan’s giant leap too far

Ryan Shawcross had another outstanding game for Stoke City against Fulham on Saturday. His team-mate Charlie Adam immediately used it to endorse his England selection, claiming this happened 18 months too late.

Yet Shawcross’s senior England debut was unimpressive. His brief time on the field came when Sweden and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were rampant. England led 2-1 when he arrived on 75 minutes and trailed 4-2 when the final whistle blew.

Some players are just short. Shawcross is a wonderful central defender for Stoke, but international football, like the Champions League, is a step up again and may be beyond him. Shawcross started out as a Manchester United player and if Sir Alex Ferguson felt him capable of competing with the likes of Ibrahimovic, no doubt he still would be.

Just short: Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross (right) looks a level below an international class defender

Just short: Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross (right) looks a level below an international class defender

DIY lesson for Scottish rugby

Following the resignation of Andy Robinson, the various speculative lists of contenders for the job of Scotland rugby manager did not include a native.

Nick Mallett and Jake White (South Africa), Sean Lineen and Todd Blackadder (New Zealand), Scott Johnson (Australia), Michael Bradley (Ireland), even those working north of the border were not nationals. And right there is the problem.

If the country is not producing the coaches it cannot produce the players, and if it isn’t producing the players, it gets beaten: by Tonga.

Contrast this with the vacant post at the top of Brazilian football. We all know who is free to succeed Mano Menezes as Brazil’s manager, because every elite team in the Premier League is after him.

What could be more perfect An architect of the beautiful game at the home of the beautiful game; the greatest manager with the greatest players, delivering the World Cup to Brazil, in Brazil. Yet Jose Maria Marin, president of the Brazilian federation, ruled out a move for Pep Guardiola on simple grounds of nationality. ‘All five world titles won by Brazil came with Brazilian coaches,’ he said.

Too proud, you see. Do it yourself, or don’t do it at all.

Sexton's blasts could give Fergie a run for his money

Dave Sexton was a great football man. Thoughtful and innovative as a coach, yet never bogged down in mere theory. He was passionate about turning his ideas into wins, never more so than when managing the Under 21s. When England won an end-of-season tournament in Toulon under his stewardship, he could not have been happier. Excusing his young charges for the night, he said: ‘The bus for the airport leaves at 8.30 tomorrow morning. Make sure you’re on it.’ Before play, there had to be work.

Restless natives

Only news of the death of local hero Dave
Sexton placated the Chelsea crowd before Rafa’s first match on Sunday.

Chelsea are at home again tonight. Kerry Dixon and Ray Wilkins may wish
to lie low until this one blows over.

At the same tournament several years later, England’s goalkeeper was Peter Shilton’s doomed protege at Plymouth Argyle, Alan Nicholls. After the first game, there was a raucous gathering in one of the rooms, in which Nicholls demonstrated his party piece: he could smoke 20 cigarettes at once. He would clasp his lips around the top of the pack, pull the box away and then proceed to light, and smoke, the entire contents.

Midway through, there was an urgent knock, which Nicholls assumed to be a team-mate with more beers. A lager in each hand, and 20 lit cigarettes in his mouth, he opened the door to be confronted by an incandescent Sexton. Party over. Whispering Dave, he was called at Manchester United, but that was only one side of him. The public dressing-down by the swimming pool the following day made Fergie’s hair-dryer seem like a gentle breeze.

Forget outrage, let’s end the vile chants

Anything wrong that is not stopped is encouraged, so the outcry over the vile chants heard at White Hart Lane on Sunday, while understandable, is hardly pre-emptive. So, too, the Premier League demand that the Crown Prosecution Service take a stronger line.

‘We have created safe, welcoming, liberal environments where, frankly, people are allowed to behave badly,’ Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore admitted earlier this year, and therein lies the problem.

Credit to West Ham United for banning a supporter for life, following his police caution, but the idea that the club could face severe censure from the Football Association over the behaviour of their supporters at the weekend ignores the fact that equally abhorrent attitudes have been struck for years, as authority figures stood idle.

Action: West Ham have banned a supporter for life over anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham last Sunday

Action: West Ham have banned a supporter for life over anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham last Sunday

No group is innocent: supporters of Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Leeds United, Millwall and the rest have all had their day.

The clubs do what they can — Norwich City banned a season ticket-holder for life during the last campaign, for racist abuse — but are powerless unless the officers on duty, the game and the CPS wish to act.

If a line in the sand is being drawn, that is a good thing, but it cannot be placed retrospectively. Those who impose order on football have been complicit in this deterioration for too long.

They cannot pretend what happened at the weekend was the worst outrage. It was merely the latest. The challenge from here is to make it the last.

FA Cup Second Round draw: AFC Wimbledon could meet MK Dons

Battle of the Dons: FA Cup draw throws together possible clash between AFC and MK



20:29 GMT, 4 November 2012

AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons are in line to meet each other for the first time in the second round of the FA Cup – so long as they both win their replays.

AFC Wimbledon have climbed the football pyramid up to League Two since they were formed 10 years ago after the original Wimbledon were essentially franchised to the town of Milton Keynes in 2004.

Neal Ardley's men will travel to the League One side should they beat York City in their first round replay after the two sides drew 1-1.

Possible clash: Karl Robinson's MK Dons could host AFC Wimbledon who are managed by former Dons player Neal Ardley (below)

Possible clash: Karl Robinson's MK Dons could host AFC Wimbledon who are managed by former Dons player Neal Ardley (below)

Here again: Ardley was unveiled as the new AFC Wimbledon manager on Wednesday

While Karl Robinson's Dons need to overcome Cambridge City in their replay too, if they are to host a club set up in protest at the decision to disband Wimbledon and move them 60 miles north of London.

Meanwhile, angry Tranmere fans were charged 5 to park even though their tie against Braintree was postponed. Council staff only offered a 50 per cent refund to supporters who had made the 250-mile journey.

Elsewhere in the draw, non-league Chelmsford have been rewarded for their victory over Colchester with a trip to the Us' npower League One rivals Crawley.


Preston v Gillingham

Bury v Southend

Sheffield Utd v Port Vale

Carlisle v Bournemouth

Crewe v Burton/Altrincham

Northampton/Bradford v Brentford

Luton/Nuneaton v Dorchester

Alfreton v Gloucester/Leyton Orient

Oldham v Doncaster

Braintree/Tranmere v Chesterfield

Rotherham v Notts County

Cheltenham v Hereford

Guiseley/Barrow v Macclesfield

Accrington v Oxford Utd

Lincoln/Walsall v Mansfield/Slough

Harrogate Town v Hastings Utd

Coventry v Morecambe/Rochdale

Cambridge City/MK Dons v York/AFC Wimbledon

Crawley v Chelmsford

Fleetwood Town v Aldershot

Ties to be played on the weekend of the 1/2 of December

Goals from Anthony Cook, Donovan Simmonds and Jamie Slabber helped the Blue Square Bet South outfit to a 3-1 victory On Saturday and they will travel to Broadfield Stadium with a third-round place at stake.

Hereford upset Shrewsbury on Saturday and will next travel to Cheltenham, currently third in League Two, with the clashes set to be played on the weekend of December 1 and 2.

Macclesfield were shock winners over Swindon and they have been drawn to face either Guiseley or Barrow, while Blue Square North team Harrogate upset League Two Torquay and will relish the chance to play the Isthmian Premier Division side Hastings United.

Slough Town, the lowest-ranked side left in the competition, must beat Mansfield in their replay to set up an away clash with Lincoln or Walsall.

Former Sheffield United boss Micky Adams will take his Port Vale side to Bramall Lane in one of the more intriguing ties, League Two leaders Gillingham travel to Preston and Bury welcome Southend.

Carlisle host Bournemouth and Oldham entertain Doncaster in the two League One ties, Crewe await the winner of Burton and Altrincham and Notts County visit Rotherham.

Northampton will welcome Bradford or Brentford, Oxford must travel to Accrington and Fleetwood host Aldershot.

Gloucester City and Leyton Orient's clash as well as Braintree's encounter with League One leaders Tranmere were both postponed and Alfreton and Chesterfield await the respective winners.

Coventry will wait for Morecambe or Rochdale and Dorchester Town will travel to Luton Town or Nuneaton Town.

Fulham loan Matthew Briggs to Bristol City

Fulham youngster Briggs heads out on month-long loan to Bristol City



12:51 GMT, 26 October 2012

Fulham left-back Matthew Briggs has joined Bristol City in a one-month loan deal.

The England Under 21 international has previously spent loan spells at Leyton Orient and Peterborough United.

He is in line to make his City debut in Saturday's npower Championship clash with Hull.

Loan star: Fulham defender Matthew Briggs (right) is off to Bristol City

Loan star: Fulham defender Matthew Briggs (right) is off to Bristol City

Jason Brown abused on Twitter, police launch investigation

Police launch race probe after Wales goalkeeper Brown is abused on Twitter



13:15 GMT, 15 October 2012

Investigation: Brown has called police in over Twitter abuse

Investigation: Brown has called police in over Twitter abuse

Police are hunting a racist who directed vile abuse at Aberdeen goalkeeper Jason Brown on Twitter.

The Wales international was on the bench during the 2-1 victory over Scotland in Cardiff and took the micro blogging site to express his delight at the result.

He said: 'What a game. Both sets of fans were brilliant. The Tartan Army was strong.'

However, one reply caused Brown – who
joined the Dons on a free this summer – enough distress to warrant
asking the police to investigate the matter.

The reply said: 'F*** off you d***** c***!!! Hope you get lynched.'

The 30-year-old, who has had spells
at Charlton, Blackburn, Leeds and Leyton Orient, contacted police who
have since confirmed they are taking the incident further.

'We have received a report from a
footballer of an offensive racist comment sent to him over a social
networking site. The matter is being investigated,' said Grampian

League One round-up: Eddie Howe returns to see Bournemouth win

League One round-up: Howe returns to see Cherries sink O's as Tranmere stay top



16:32 GMT, 13 October 2012

Eddie Howe's second stint in charge of Bournemouth got off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory at home to Leyton Orient which lifted the south coast club out of the League One relegation zone.

Lewis Grabban (65) and Marc Pugh (67) scored to give the former Burnley boss an ideal start.

Leaders Tranmere fought back from two goals down to win 3-2 at home to Yeovil.

Back home: Eddie Howe is paraded on the pitch ahead of Bournemouth's win over Leyton Orient

Back home: Eddie Howe is paraded on the pitch ahead of Bournemouth's win over Leyton Orient

Paddy Madden put the visitors ahead after nine minutes and Sam Foley made it two just before the half-hour mark.

But James Wallace pulled one back on the stroke of half-time and Jake Cassidy equalised six minutes into the second half.

Rovers got another boost when their opponents had Joe Edwards sent off 17 minutes from time and they made the extra man count as Danny Holmes got the winner five minutes later.

The win extended Tranmere's lead at the top to seven points after their two nearest rivals both slipped up.

Winning away: David McGoldrick celebrates scoring for Coventry at Swindon

Winning away: David McGoldrick celebrates scoring for Coventry at Swindon

Stevenage stayed second, despite a 1-0 loss at Colchester, Sanchez Watt with the 55th-minute winner, two minutes after the visitors had Anthony Grant sent off.

Sheffield United conceded an equaliser to Oldham in the seventh minute of stoppage time to remain third, a point further back.

Nick Blackman's 52nd-minute penalty looked set to decide the game, but Matt Smith stunned Bramall Lane by making it 1-1.

Crawley looked to have squandered a 2-0 lead against basement boys Bury only for a Nicky Adams winner in the fourth minute of injury time to give them a 3-2 win which sent them fourth.

Not enough: Nick Blackman scored for Sheffield United but they could only draw with Oldham

Not enough: Nick Blackman scored for Sheffield United but they could only draw with Oldham

Goals from Adams and Hope Akpan either side of half-time put Crawley in command, but Tom Hopper and Andy Bishop scored in the space of four minutes as Bury showed plenty of fighting spirit to level.

Adams got his second at the death, though, to leave Crawley a point off second.

Notts County claimed a thumping 4-0 away win at sorry Carlisle to go fifth.
Jeff Hughes (11), Neal Bishop (27), Francois Zoko (54) and a Jamal Campbell-Ryce penalty (57) put the Cumbrians to the sword.

The win left County level on points with sixth-placed Swindon, who staged a late comeback to rescue a 2-2 draw at home to Coventry.

Mobbed: Crawley Town's Nicky Adams is congratulated by his team mates after he scores their side's third goal against Bury

Mobbed: Crawley Town's Nicky Adams is congratulated by his team mates after he scores their side's third goal against Bury

A first-half brace from David McGoldrick put City in control, but Gary Roberts halved the deficit in the 77th minute and James Collins earned Town a point three minutes later.

Brentford were made to pay for a missed penalty as they drew 1-1 at 10-man Scunthorpe.

Clayton Donaldson missed from the spot in the 34th minute, but Harry Forrester did put the Bees ahead two minutes before the break.

But Leon Clarke levelled in the 77th minute and then held on following David Mirfin's late red card.

Doncaster scored an 89th-minute equaliser through Rob Jones to snatch a 1-1 draw at struggling Hartlepool.

Neil Austin put the hosts ahead from the spot in the 70th minute.
Portsmouth saw off Crewe 2-0 thanks to a second-minute Wes Thomas effort and an Izale McLeod penalty in the 18th minute.