Monday, September 24, 2012
A tale of two Steves
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.
Widespread reports suggest the end is nigh for Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean, whose team were beaten 2-1 by Middlesborough in Friday night's televised Championship clash.
Blackburn owners Venky's set Kean a target of 16 points from the club's first seven games this season. He's only come up with 14 and the BBC believe his assistant Eric Black will take temporary control should Venky's decide to terminate his contract this week. There's also the suggestion former Blackburn player Tim Sherwood, who is currently employed on the coaching team at Tottenham, has been sounded out about the role.
Kean is nothing if not a stubborn survival expert, however, so don't be overly surprised if he somehow clings on after making a defiant statement promising promotion. Equally, don't be surprised if Blackburn fans chanting "Kean Out" succumb to a deep emptiness should he actually be sacked.
Seagulls flying high
Gus Poyet's Brighton & Hove Albion beat 10-man Millwall 2-1 on Saturday - picking up their fifth league consecutive victory and going top of the Championship in the process.
The Seagulls' goals came from Will Buckley and Adam El-Abd , with former Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak responsible for a stunning late save that assured all three points.
Leeds takeover latest
Leeds chairman Ken Bates says the club are in advanced negotiations with "a banking institution" with interests in the Gulf, Asia and Africa with regard to a takeover at Elland Road.
"The potential investors are looking to conclude things as soon as possible," Bates told LUTV. "Both parties regret missing the August transfer deadline, but we are planning for the January transfer window."
Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray was another to bag a hat-trick at the weekend, as his team fought back from 2-0 down to beat high-flying Cardiff 3-2 at Selhurst Park.
Murray's triple included two penalties - the concession of which left Cardiff manager Malky Mackay less than pleased.
"We committed suicide by gifting Palace two penalties," Mackay said. "The first one, one of our players raised his arm. With the other one Helguson made a rash challenge... If we don't give two penalties away we would have sat top of the table."
Some managers hide from the truth, but not 'Honest' Steve Bruce. After going apoplectic and being sent off towards the end of Hull's 3-1 defeat at Leicester, Bruce was the first to admit afterwards he'd made a fool of himself.
"Sometimes you do stupid things," Bruce said, after watching David Nugent put his team to the sword with a first-half hat-trick. "I contested a decision but I still shouldn't go on like some raving lunatic. I went in to see the referee. I've apologised. I didn't think the ball had gone out, but that doesn't mean I can go on like a raging idiot.
"Sometimes you get home, especially at my age, and think 'What the hell were you doing?' You look at it later and think 'What a complete p***k I've made of myself!'"
The Trawler and its entire readership know exactly what you mean, Steve.
Di Canio corner
Paolo Di Canio was an angry man the last time we met. A week and two Championship victories later - 2-1 at Portmouth and 4-0 at home to Bournemouth - have put Paolo's crazy mindset in a different place entirely. Thankfully for his players, he's happy now. Or should that be, for now.
"We won 4-0 but we created six or seven more chances once again, like we did at Portsmouth in midweek," he said on Saturday. "We could have got six, maybe seven."
There could also be a change in tactics afoot. "We're getting rid of tippy-tappy football," Di Canio is quoted as saying by The Sun. "I don't like it. Now we show more aggression and desire to link up."
Zola stars again
Calvin Zola made his debut in The Trawler last week and is clearly keen on making himself a regular fixture. The 27-year-old scored a late equaliser for Burton against Torquay on Saturday, to make it four goals in his last three games.
Gills going great guns
Gillingham are the form team in League Two. Martin Allen's men went six points clear at the top after beating their closest rivals Port Vale on Saturday, with journeyman striker Deon Burton on the scoresheet for his third of the season. To google Burton is to find the word, "evergreen", everywhere. You could call him the Ryan Giggs of the Football League right now.
Here's Allen on the Gills' chances of promotion: "We worked hard in pre-season and we are a close-knit club with everyone pulling together on and off-the-field. It's too early in the season to make predictions and now we move on to the next game. Some of the older players have worked tirelessly and they will now need resting before we play Rochdale next Saturday."