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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chelsea-bound Ballack is ballacked; Wolves' Hoddle misquotes as Championship race turns

Michael Ballack appears to have made, through his agent, good publicity over his talks with Chelsea. His manager at Bayern Munich, Uli Hoeness, feels the Germany captain is more interested in money than in pursuing a change in team for sportive achievement. It may well be, yet if a player wants to move, his motives why are immaterial though they may fare ill with his current supporters. Hoeness said Ballack will leave with Munich's blessing and good luck but it's questionable the Bayern fans will think so when Hoeness has made a statement like that. I personally wonder why Chelsea wish to seek a 29 yr old midfielder who can be temperamental, according to rumours, and is not accustomed to not playing regularly. Yet with Frank Lampard and Ballack in front of Claude Makelele, it makes a great midfield greater, perhaps at the expense of Michael Essien or Makelele.

I've been intrigued with the Championship race for promotion. Reading are already guaranteed their lift and congratulations go to their supporters and the club for an excellent season that has achieved a goal difference of 64, and their chairman wants them to achieve the maximum of 110pts as they currently stand with 4 games remaining and 98pts. Sheffield United are within touching rights with their away win yesterday at Cardiff, and if Leeds fail to win against Reading at Elland Road, then Neil Warnock will have taken Sheff Utd back into top flight football once again, since Dave Bassett achieved it some 16 years before. That would leave the third team curently out of Preston North End, Watford, Crystal Palace and Leeds. 6th place is some 4pts away from 3rd, so it is still too close to call, however one team outside the quartet may have counted their chickens too soon, pessimistically.

Wolverhampton Wanderers drew 1-1 against Watford yesterday, and remain in 7th place. They have 3 more games remaining, need to win all three and also need 6th place Palace and/or 5th place Preston to lose all four of their remaining games, to stand a chance of breaking into the quartet at a steal. Even then, it would go down to goal difference, which Preston and Palace are more superior, so it a very tight glimmer of hope for Wolves, but no doubt a win yesterday would have been very helpful. Post-match, there occurred a difference of fact between a Sky Sports interviewer and coach Glenn Hoddle:

SSI: "Given that, very briefly, on your future, given that Jez Moxley in the programme today, the chief executive, has again reiterated that getting to the play-offs is a minimum requirement, does that undermine your future here?"

Hoddle: "No, it doesn't, and what you said to me before the game, he didn't actually, you need to read his notes again cos obviously you didn't read them, did ya?"

SSI: "Well I did, what he.....

Hoddle: "He didn't say that it was a complete disaster,....

SSI: "......said was it would be a complete disaster

Hoddle: ".......he didn't say that. So go and read them, then come back and maybe you will apologise one day, but, you know, probably won't because you will move on to the next game, cos I read them and he didn't say that, he said they were disappointed, we're all disappointed, we're all disappointed, course we are."

The Wolves chairman said in the programme notes:

"It has to be said that most of us feel that this season has been a complete disaster because of where we are likely to finish in the league table."

Mr Moxley went on to say finishing 7th would be nice but, in terms of expected achievement, is as good as finishing 21st. This would indicate the chairman would be bitterly disappointed with the draw and does not see 5th and 6th teams dropping enough points to allow Wolves to take advantage.



Blogger T said...

Good update on the race to to join the Premiership, Redsman. I should update it further and say congratulations to Sheff Utd for gaining promotion yesterday afternoon.

This means that Reading and Sheff Utd are two of the three promoted teams. The third place will be decided through the play-offs... and out of the four teams looking likely to reach the play-offs, I would favour Crystal Palace to go through. This is because they have the fantastic Andy Johnson (second or third top-scorer in last season's premiership), good young midfielders like Soares and Watson, and of course a young manager I really rate: Iain Dowie.

4/16/2006 1:26 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

And in the spirit of conggratulating promotion, nice to see Accrington Stanley back in the league again since 1962.


4/16/2006 7:48 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says...First huge congratulations to Accrington Stanely on their return to where they belong. As a Gunner, I am always upset to see our big boys showing no respect for tiny teams, who are the bedrock of football. I also detest reading of 'young' stars earning so much they can owe up to £700K for betting !!!!!!This grates on me more when I hear that good clubs like Rotherham and many others are deperate for enough finance just to keep going. When are the authorities going to set up a system of taxation, whereby the big money makers have to donate a part of their overloaded bank accounts into a pool to assist these 'feeder' clubs ? I mean we are talking of relatively small amounts of money compared with the fees written off on bad buys or players who see out their contracts & leave on a free!

We all know that a wage cap is impossible to install, as clever accountants will find another way to donate the mising money back to our pampered stars. So, why not have an inforced fee for out of contract stars ie; Edu & Wiltord, both worth, at the time of leaving' about £6 million each. Something like £500K, which the buying club has to pay into a special account entirely for aid aimed at the Rotherhams & Cambridges, of this world. Can you imagine what these clubs would do with the £75,000 fine paid out by Cole for his little nasty meet with Chelski? Just what do the FA do with all these fines. They have had quite a windfall from AFC, Chelski & Manure etc. There could be many other ways to increase this fund ie: Fines that the FA take from players who are done for " Red cars & bans for disrepute etc. It would also be a good idea for young players with potential like Bentley etc. to be loaned only to these 'in trouble clubs', just think of the increased gates. In that case AFC would still pay his wages, as their way of helping poorer clubs.If I have time I could think of many more ways, the rich clubs can donate without hardly noticing it. I know its fairy land but one day goodwill will take over from greed & the 'sod you jack attitude' we now have.

Talking of fairy land, I see Mr Hoddle still has not learned the lesson of 'think before opening mouth' problem he has that lost him the England job. I just hope he will apologise 'on camera' to the interviewer he insulted. Anyway good luck to Wolves, with or without him.

4/17/2006 11:04 am

Blogger T said...

Innovative, fair thinking GP, but of course there is no chance that the FA would ever have the will to enforce such measures.

4/19/2006 1:18 pm


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