Five talking points from the weekend’s football
1. WinFin a Win-Win for 1FITG
Saturday saw 1FITG head over en masse to Wingate & Finchley FC, as part of the annual Non-League Day. This really is a great idea, aided by the internationals being on a Friday, to encourage fans to give clubs they wouldn’t normally watch a go. The Harry Abraham’s Stadium treated us to some decent ale, the spectacle of their art-deco double-sided stand (the other side looking onto the adjacent rugby pitch), and a pay-what-you-like promotion for the day. It got in the punters – the attendance of 262 was more than double what they expected, with most apparently choosing to pay the normal £10 fee. Between the 6 of us that went, we averaged at just over the £8 mark….
The game itself was a hard fought 0-0 with Concord Rangers from Canvey Island. WinFin were hanging on in the first half, with keeper Bobby Smith pulling off a number of crucial saves. They picked up in the second half, but couldn’t find a way through the resilient ‘Beach Boys’ defence. The stand-out player was left-back Paul Wright, whose confidence on the ball suggested he might be better deployed further forward.
2. Celeb gloss can’t paper over Barnet cracks
After this website condemned Barnet to the drop last week, the club took immediate action to rectify their gloomy fortunes by installing Edgar Davids as player/coach.
What’s even stranger than the sight of the former Dutch international in the dugout at Underhill, is how Davids fits into The Bees’ coaching set-up – with the pony-tailed one named as co-coach alongside Mark Robson.
Whilst we commend the Barnet board for heeding our doomsday prediction, we’re not confident this joint managerial set-up is going to be a happy marriage and one that sooner or later will end up with a messy divorce.
3. Coleman still living on borrowed time
In the P45 shoot-out between Wales and Scotland, it was Chris Coleman who’ll be sitting more comfortably in his office today, whilst Crag Levein will be wondering why someone’s left a box next to his desk.
Despite the win, Coleman has only really bought himself a few more months in charge. As we argued just the other week Coleman is the wrong man for the job, and his reign as Wales manager has only proven why he had such a mediocre CV before his appointment.
4. Trapp door opens for Giovanni
Germany’s 6-1 demolition of the the Republic of Ireland has loudened calls for Giovanni Trappatoni to go. Despite guiding the Irish to their first tournament in 10 years, Irish fans have begun to tire of the Italian’s negative tactics a feeling compounded by a poor showing at the Euros.
It seems an incredibly short-sighted view. Could another manager have got such a rag tag collection of journeyman footballers and solid pros to a major tournament? And could they have done it playing a more expansive game. Personally, I don’t think so. And lest we forget the much loved Jack Charlton, who did so much to raise Irish football’s expectations, put out teams that weren’t exactly easy on the eye.
5. Heskey surprisingly scores in surprising win
In the battle of the two international stars of the Australian A-League, it was Emile Heskey’s Newcastle Jets that had an unlikely away win over Del Piero’s Sydney FC.
Heskey’s first-half effort in the Jets’ 3-2 win saw him emphatically volley home from close range. With it, Heskey has now scored 1 in 2, a remarkable feat for a player that has an overall career scoring rate of 1 in 5.
Written by James Albion and @josephclift