Monday, November 29, 2004

Speculation surrounding the vacant manager's post at United reached what could almost be described as fever pitch today (relatively speaking), with no fewer than three new potential candidates being reported from various sources. First up, the official Ipswich Town website (registration site, but don't panic, the story was quickly picked up by, amongst others Sky Sports and the BBC) reported that allegedly Jim Magilton has been approached to become United's player manager. Obviously most would welcome Magic's return as a player, but there are concerns about his lack of management experience. So, if Jim doesn't fit the bill, don't worry, another former U was also reported to be in the running. The Liverpool Echo suggests that former midfielder Richard Hill, currently assistant boss at Tranmere, has also been linked with the job (we're not sure who exactly has been doing the linking, other than the journalists writing these articles, but it's all grist to our mill). The same article claims that Oxford have received around 60 applications for the post, which hasn't been advertised (coincidentally the same number of applicants that Wycombe apparently received for their vacant post).

As if that wasn't enough, Oxford's own tabloid, The Oxford Mail, has come up with a fairly unlikely story that Malcolm Crosby, currently assistant boss at Middlesbrough, and striker Tommy Mooney, have been "lined up" to be United's new "sensational management double act". The article goes on to say that "this possible new management duo is unlikely to happen at the Kassam Stadium", so one wonders who has been doing the lining-up. Getting back to something resembling reality, the piece concludes that Danny Wilson and Chris Turner remain the favourites for the job.

All this speculation may help sell newspapers, and fill a few lines on this blog, but at the end of the day only Firoz Kassam will make the decision, and the rumours will count for nada.

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Monday, November 22, 2004

An interesting article has been published by Reuters, and picked up by the Guardian, written by Nick Mulvenney. Entitled
Fergie's success a world away from Oxford United
it basically picks up on John Ley's article, linked to last Wednesday, but looks at how Oxford have fared since Alex Ferguson's first game in charge of Manchester United. Difficult though it might be to believe, United haven't actually fared that well in the intervening years. The article stops short of being investigative, but it highlights just how far the Us have tumbled over the past 18 years. Not that we didn't already know that, but still...


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Hot off the BBC presses, Wrexham have won their stay of execution, with the High Court temporarily lifting the threat from the Inland Revenue's winding-up petition.


Two items of interest to Oxford supporters that are worth preserving appeared in the newspapers over the past couple of days. The first, in The Guernsey Press and Star, features an interview with Channel Islander Chris Tardif about recent events at United. It gives us a nice insight into the mentality of the players before the FA Cup defeat at Rochdale, and also a useful perception into Darren Patterson.

The second article comes from former Oxford Mail reporter, and long-time Us fan, John Ley, in today's Daily Telegraph. Dressed up as a paeon to Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson (sorry, I meant Sir Alex), it is actually a celebration of United's victory over the Red Devils back in 1986, Fergie's first game in charge of the Mancs. A nice reminder of how things used to be up the Manor.

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Although things still look bleak for Wrexham, they have a stay of execution for, perhaps, a couple of weeks as yesterday the board petitioned the High Court to grant an administration order. Red Passion reports that this petition should be heard in the next two weeks and, should it be granted, it will result in Wrexham becoming the first Football League club to receive a 10-point penalty for such a move. More immediately though, it prevents the Inland Revenue from getting the winding-up order it was seeking over an alleged unpaid tax bill of £800,000, which was expected to be granted today.

Administration may be avoided should a suitable takeover package be accepted by Wrexham's ex-chairman and still majority shareholder, Alex Hamilton. However, the perceived wisdom is that Hamilton does not want to do a deal, unless it involves him being able to sell the Racecourse Ground for development, thereby making him pots of cash. As it stands, administration looks the most likely outcome, and the only way that the supporters of Wrexham will be able to ensure their clubs survival.


Thursday, November 11, 2004

For the benefit of anyone pondering the absence of David Bentley from the Norwich squad for their last two games, that purveyor of truth which is the BBC reports that he was dropped following an incident in training. Said incident involved Bentley doing his best Peter Kay impersonation and hoofing the ball skywards during a close-passing exercise.

We cannot confirm that Bentley is also set to miss this Saturday's game as punishment for getting hot and bothered with an old boxer and a bottle of cheap aftershave.

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