Days of Enjoyment to Which Everyone Cheers
The title of this post is a line from Blur’s Bank Holiday, quite possibly the weakest track on their Parklife album but still a respectable rabble-rouser. Forget the Reading festival and Notting Hill Carnival, the Championship provided more than an enough to talk about as we enter the autumn months. Here are this week’s discussion projects:
Not so Ravey Davey
A manager so vilified by his own supporters stood little chance of lasting long and Simon Davey, who stewarded Barnsley to wins over Chelsea and Liverpool just last year on the way to an FA Cup semi final has finally departed Oakwell. It’s sod’s law that the Tykes won the quasi-meaningless League Cup encounter against Reading before losing the infinitely more important league clash. Good old South Yorkshire parochialism stemming from dissatisfaction with the reliance on foreign players may have led to his early demise but will Aidy Boothroyd or Ronnie Moore really turn the Oakwell club around? My feeling is that they should go a’knocking on Paul Jewell’s door.
A Flagship match?
Graeme Souness’s planting of a Galatasaray club flag in the centre circle after a 1996 Turkish Cup Final win over Fenerbahce provoked a little mild disquiet and made it in at Number 4 in the Observer’s list of Top Ten Managerial celebrations. On saturday, Nathan Tyson thought it would be a good idea to engage in a little mimicry. Branded a disgrace by Robbie Savage who, let us not forget, expounded long and loud over a penalty earned in front of those self same fans while wearing a Leicester shirt, Tyson’s behaviour was undeniably irresponsible. Credit to the Rams’ supporters for showing restraint, unlike their heroes.
There have been second division campaigns in the past which have seen a clutch of teams assert themselves early and form an oligopoly at the top of the table. The 1983-84 season, for instance, saw Chelsea, Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City and Newcastle United exercise utter domination. Early indicators for 2009-10 seemed to point in the same direction, but Bristol City and Doncaster have flung banana skins under the hooves of previously rampant Middlesbrough and Cardiff. I still think the top end of the league is higher in quality than last year, but there is life among the underdogs yet.
Confusion at East Midlands Airport Traffic Control
Far be if from me to form a judgement based on viewing a match on Sky Sports but those gentlemen at London Road could really have tried to keep the ball on the baize a little more this afternoon. Promoted Posh perhaps have some excuse as they are still adjusting, and their trident of a strike three is set up to receive the ball from airborne methods, but Neil Warnock has been infliciting this turgid stuff on us for too long now. The old mantra that you need to kick ‘n run your way out of this division simply doesn’t wash anymore.