Monday, August 22, 2011
Tractor Boys smashed at Posh
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.
Ipswich, the great entertainers
If you want entertainment this season, go and watch Ipswich Town. The Tractor Boys have played five times and delivered value for money at almost five goals a game. Unfortunately for their fans - most of them have gone in at the wrong end.
It was all going so well after week one. Paul Jewell's men won 3-0 away at Bristol City, with new signing Michael Chopra bagging a double and Ipswich immediately being touted as promotion candidates. Six new signings made debuts that day, as Jewell and his team reignited a hope that was all but extinguished during the dark days of Roy Keane.
But the mood of optimism didn't last long in East Anglia. A 2-1 defeat at the hands of League Two Northampton in the League Cup was followed by a 1-0 loss to Hull, then a 5-2 battering by Southampton. Worse was to come. On Saturday Jewell's team were on the end of a 7-1 humiliation away at Peterborough.
Jewell called it the lowest moment of his career, but for neutrals it boasted arguably the most entertaining 25 minutes of football you'll see anywhere in Europe this season. Having gone ahead through a superb strike from Keith Andrews, Ipswich conspired to concede five times and have two men sent off between the 23rd and 48th minutes of the match. "To let in four goals in what was it, 12 minutes, is ridiculous," Jewell said.
Ridiculous indeed, but wildly entertaining all the same. The visit of Leeds United this weekend is virtually guaranteed to be a classic.
Faris Haroun's charm offensive continues
New Middlesbrough signing Faris Haroun finally got his international clearance through from FIFA last week, and wasted little time in making an impression with a goal in their 3-1 win against Birmingham at the weekend.
The 25-year-old Belgian international had been chomping at the bit after watching his team beat Leeds 1-0 in a scrappy, hot-tempered clash at Elland Road. "It was a typical English game - red cards, fouls, a last minute goal, it's the type of football I like. I'd rather have come here than go somewhere else for the money," Haroun said.
You get the feeling the 6' 2" midfielder will be a cult hero at The Riverside before too long.
Ken Bates as Swiss Tony
Last week The Trawler focused on disharmony between Leeds United fans and the club's owner Ken Bates. In the intervening seven days the 79-year-old has given us one of the most nauseating sexual references you're likely to hear in your lifetime.
"The rebuilding of Leeds United is a bit like sex. In an age of instant gratification, Leeds United is having a long, drawn-out affair with plenty of foreplay and slow arousal," Bates was quoted in the Leeds matchday programme - the staff of which are presumably still being treated for emotional trauma.
Not a great weekend for Paolo Di Canio
Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio did a great job of winding up visitors Oxford United before their derby encounter on Saturday afternoon. The Italian claimed United striker James Constable was "a big Swindon fan through and through", and said he'd love to sign him.
Constable responded with a brace in a 2-1 win for the away side, while Di Canio's disappointment was compounded when he was sent to the stands after being enraged by an offside decision. He might think twice before embarking on similar mind games in the weeks to come.
"They were two great goals by the Swindon fan weren't they," said a smirking Oxford manager Chris Wilder after the game. "A lot of things were said in the build-up to the match, but we remained professional, kept our counsel and just let our football do the talking."
From Macclesfield to Manchester?
Macclesfield's Elliot Hewitt has apparently been attracting the interest of some rather big fish, with rather big pots of money to spend. The 17-year-old defender has recently broken into the Wales Under-21 squad and appears destined for bigger things.
"Clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham have all been in touch and so the vultures are circling, but it's understandable because in my opinion he's got everything it takes to play at the highest level," said Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson, who gave Hewitt his debut as a 16-year-old last season.
How to kill a transfer rumour
Chesterfield manager John Sheridan gets the football league's "telling it like it is" award this week. In the wake of his side's defeat to MK Dons, the former Republic of Ireland international said he was "embarrassed" by his players and offered an apology to the fans.
When asked if there was any truth in the rumour that Newcastle's Ryan Donaldson could be arriving at the club, Sheridan didn't want to waste anybody's time. "I've never heard of Ryan Donaldson," he said. And there, you would imagine, ended the speculation.
Will the new buyers of Coventry please step forward
Coventry picked up their first Championship point of the season in a 0-0 home draw with Watford on Saturday, but remain in the relegation places and among the favourites to be relegated this season.
Their only hope may be an injection of cash, but a meeting on Friday with a group of potential new owners led by former vice-chairman Gary Hoffman didn't appear to go as planned. "We had been led to believe this would be a meeting with principal investors," said City's chairman Ken Dulieu. "We were disappointed that no principal investors were present."
"There was a frank exchange of views. No formal offer was put on the table, which is what we had been asking for. Gary's previous indicative offer of a pound for the club is totally unacceptable."
Do I hear £1.50? £1.50 anybody?
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