Monday, February 13, 2012
Pompey fans get shirty
Welcome to The Trawler, your weekly submersion through the teeming waters of life in the Championship, League One and League Two. You might be surprised what you find down there.
Pompey fans get shirty
Portsmouth players have offered to cover the cost of shirts they threw to travelling fans following Saturday's televised 1-1 draw at Blackpool.
Pompey fans who made the five-hour trip staged a two-minute protest at the start of the second half, turning their backs on the action and singing in support of their manager Michael Appleton. The motivation was the club's dire financial plight, which could lead to a point deduction over a £1.9 million tax bill.
"Giving away our shirts wasn't discussed before the game," Portsmouth defender Greg Halford said. "It was a goodwill gesture for all the fans and if we could have given everybody one we would. Of course, we are willing to pay. The fans have been amazing and stuck with the club through good times and bad."
Billy Sharp marked his home debut for Southampton with the second goal in a 2-0 win against Burnley, a result that moved the Saints within a point of Championship leaders West Ham.
Sharp's deflected effort secured only Southampton's second league win of 2012, and his contribution drew high praise from manager Nigel Adkins - who worked with Sharp at Scunthorpe and knew exactly what he was getting when he signed the 25-year-old from Doncaster in January.
"He is going to be a massive threat in this league," Adkins said. "You can see the link-up play between Rickie Lambert and Billy - there are goals in both of them. They are going to be a huge threat for any defence."
Next up for Saints and Sharp is a Valentine's Day clash with the Hammers at Upton Park. With top spot up for grabs, it could be a defining battle in what is beginning to look like a two-horse race for the Championship title.
Brighton continued their remarkable run of late shows with an injury-time winner against Leeds on Saturday. Alan Navarro got the decisive goal for Gus Poyet's Seagulls, who remain unbeaten in 2012 and are back within a point of the play-off places.
Much of that has been due to their knack for finding goals late on. Will Buckley scored late winners against Leicester and Peterborough, and in total 12 of Brighton's 14 goals this year have come in the second half of matches - with the majority later than 70 minutes.
"I am lucky at the moment," Poyet said. "It's a good time to be at Brighton, I make a lot of decisions."
Arsenal keen on Ipswich youngster
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reportedly turned up at an Ipswich youth team match last week to watch 17-year-old prospect Carel Tiofack.
Tiofack was born in Cameroon but represents Republic of Ireland, and is listed as a striker or winger on Ipswich's website. For what it's worth, he counts Zinedine Zidane as his favourite player (good sign), and The Hills as his favourite TV show (not such a good sign).
Di Canio corner
It's been another relentlessly entertaining week in the life of Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio.
On Tuesday his team secured a trip to Wembley, with a 2-1 aggregate win against Barnet in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. On Friday, Di Canio was handed a two-match touchline ban by the FA, after being sent off for the third time this season in the 1-0 win against Macclesfield.
"If they want to send me off every game, no problem," Di Canio said. "I will win this league anyway because my team is a strong team."
To top it all off, the Italian performed an impression of how his former boss Harry Redknapp might react if he got the England job.
Next up, Di Canio will watch from the stands as his team take on Crawley in a battle of League Two heavyweights on Tuesday night.
League One calling
Jermain McGlashan set up Cheltenham's equaliser against Hereford on Saturday, ensuring his team went top of League Two and repaying the faith of his manager Mark Yates.
McGlashan was a £60,000 signing from League Two side Aldershot in the January window, and it looks as though the 23-year-old's days as a mobile phone salesman are now behind him.
"Less than two years ago I was playing non-league and having to work part-time to make my money for Phones4U," McGlashan said. "I began to think I'd never make it - now I'm going to take my chance."
Sheffield lack steel
This week's "telling it like it is" award goes to Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson, who launched into his team following a disappointing 2-1 loss away to lowly Exeter in League One.
"A lot of our players at the moment are not playing in the right manner," Megson said. "I watch and respond to what I see and you will have to ask them why. There is a lack of energy from one or two. There have been times when we have lost games but not like that."
With Charlton's game away to Chesterfield a victim of the weather, Wednesday missed a glorious chance to close the gap on the league leaders. A bad day was made worse by a 3-0 win for city rivals Sheffield United, who are now just a point behind Wednesday in third, with two games in hand.