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English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread


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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Superb comeback from North End sees them top

FOUR GOALS IN 15 SECOND HALF MINUTES SAW PRESTON COMEBACK FROM A GOAL DOWN AT HALF TIME TO BEAT MANCHESTER CITY AND GO TOP OF THE LEAGUE.

Man City took an early lead through Kevin Grosskreutz, whose shot took a wicked deflection off Danielle Gastaldello and left Marco Amelia in the Preston goal stranded. However, a second half comeback architectured by the brilliant Luka Modric on his debut, left City manager Bail Gaudin in disbelief.

The comeback began in the 70th minute, after the introduction of Sami Hyypia, Gareth Barry and Sergio Canales. Modric, in a more advanced role since the substitution, latched on to a long ball up-field by sub Barry to open his account for Preston with a sidefoot effort past 'keeper Joe Hart. The seocond goal seemed to come straight from the training ground, after a Modric corner was headed home brilliantly by Hyypia, who left his marker for dead and rose unchallenged to head home.

Two minutes later, and Preston had the chance to extend their lead via the penalty spot. City defender Holger Badstuber bundled over Stevan Jovetic in the box, and up stepped Modric who placed the ball to Hart's right to make the score 3-1.

Preston's goal glut wasnt finished yet, with loanee Romelu Lukaku scoring a long range effort on his first start for the club with five minutes to go. Prestonm manager James Burrow was delighted with the result, but was looking to improve on samll errors made throughout the game:

"It was a great result for the lads. In two games, we've scored eight goals, with Luka (Modric) helping himself to four. He's proving to be a great signing, and we hope he can continue this form throughout the season. There is still room for improvement, obviously their goal couldnt have been avoided, but we had the possession and the shots to have perhaps pulled it back sooner. When you're a goal down with 20 minutes to go, you cannot expect to score four goals every time. The team is still to gel fully, we had Luka making his debut, Rob Huth only has a few games under his belt, Romelu (Lukaku) and Sergio (Canales) have been away over pre-season. It's a great start, and we hope to continue it."

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Modric's two goals saw Preston gain victory over Man City

Matchday Stats

SATURDAY 19TH MARCH 2011

DEEPDALE

ATTENDANCE: 21,484

TEAMS

PNE: Amelia, Johnson, Cole, Carragher, Huth (Hyypia, 60), Gastaldello, Huddlestone (Canales, 60), Guti (Barry, 60), Modric, Jovetic, Lukaku*

SUBS NOT USED: Kelly, J Barton, Welbeck, Owen

MAN CITY: Hart, Van Der Wiel, Schennikov, Congre, Badstuber, Boateng, Kagawa, Inler, Aguero, Hulk, Grosskreutz

SUBS NOT USED: Szczesny, Salihovic, Blaszczykowski, Van Wolfswinkel, Tettey, Mazuch, Gamez

MAN OF THE MATCH

ROMELU LUKAKU: The 17 year old forward looks to be ready to step up to the big stage, starting ahead of Owen and Crouch. Him and Jovetic played fantastic together, and he took his goal superbly. However this was a superb team performance with every man having a fair claim to be MOTM.

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Lukaku has been given his chance to secure a first team place, and with goals like this, it should be an easy task

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

English Championship 106

Team of the Week

Turn 1

Division One

R. Patricio (Darlington)

S. Ramos (Man Utd)---H. Westermann (WBA)---N. Burdisso (Crewe Alex.)---E. Insua (Crewe Alex.)

R. Kaka (Man Utd)---W. Gargano (WBA)---M. Hamsik (Darlington)---L. Modric (PNE)

D. Berbatov (Sheff. Utd)---Z. Ibrahimovic (Man Utd)

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Thompson disappointed despite win

AFC Bournemouth 2 vs 3 Grimsby Town match review

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Goalkeeper Scott Loach was a surprise inclusion for Grimsby

Grimsby town started their season 13 campaign with a narrow 3-2 away win over Bournemouth at Dean Court. The performance was by no means convincing and Mariners boss Steve Thompson will know that he still has a lot of work to do with his side if he wants them to be successful this season.

Grimsby owed a lot to on loan defender Phil Jones who provided assist for all three goals to cap of an excellent individual performance and do his chances of a further England call up no harm.

Thompson handed debuts to Cheik Tiote and Fraizer Campbell and also sprung a surprise by naming goalkeeper Scott Loach as his new number one with last season's main goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi not even making the substitutes bench.

The match started brightly for both teams and the first major talking point of the game came within the first 5 minutes when Grimsby saw claims for a penalty waved away by the referee after midfielder Dickson Etuhu seemed to be tripped inside the box. That decision proved more significant less than a minute later when the home side took a surprise lead. Winger Sone ALUKO went on a foraging run leaving the Grimsby defense for dead before unleashing a fierce strike to give Loach no chance and send the home faithful into raptures 1-0.

Grimsby were clearly rattled by that goal and struggled to keep possession of the ball whilst Bournemouth were enjoying themselves something not to accustomed to the Dean Court faithful. Things could have got even better on 19 minutes for Bournemouth when a shot from James Hayter smashed the crossbar the ball fell to fellow striker Brett Pitman who looked destined to score but Mariners keeper Loach produced a stunning save to keep his side in the match.

Thompson was very animated on the touchline and was clearly not happy with how his side had started the game but after that save by Loach Grimsby started to get a foothold on the game could have leveled the match up on 24 minutes but striker Andy Johnson saw his effort turned away at full stretch bu Cherries keeper Chris Kirkland. Grimsby did finally draw the game level just a minute later through midfielder Darío CVITANICH. The Argentine was on hand to poke the ball home on the line following an almighty scramble in the goalmouth 1-1.

That goal proved the undoing for the home side as heads started to drop and just a minute after drawing level Grimsby took the lead. Cheik TIOTE was the man to get the goal dummying Kirkland before placing the ball into an empty net for a debut goal 1-2.

Bournemouth looked desperate whilst Grimsby could smell blood and went in search of a third which would surely have been too much for the home side but the Cherries hung on to make sure it was on a 2-1 deficit at HALF TIME.

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Phil Jones laid on all three of Grimsby's goals

The home side would have to up their game like they did early in the first half and it couldn't have started any better as they drew level on 53 minutes. Sone ALUKO bagged his second goal for the home side . The striker received the ball after a cut back at the byline and Aluko made no mistake finishing cleverly 2-2.

The home side had a glorious chance to take the lead for a second time in the game by striker James Hayter saw his effort go straight into the arms of a thankful Scott Loach. That miss proved costly on 56 minutes when Grimsby scored what was to prove the winner. Brazilian midfielder Melo GILBERTO grabbed his first ever goal for Grimsby hitting an early shot from distance which left Kirkland stranded 2-3.

Bournemouth looked stunned by that setback and their chances of getting back into the game were dealt a huge blow just after the hour mark when they were reduced to 10 men. Defender James O'Connor was the man to walk after a disgraceful challenge which Nugent was lucky to get up from.

The home side had no choice but to throw caution to the wind as they went in search of an equalizer and a minute after going down to 10 men they nearly got back into the game but defender George Elokobi saw his effort go agonizingly the wrong side of the post. Grimsby were inches away from a fourth goal on 68 minutes but Dickson Etuhu saw his shot come back off the crossbar a let off for Bournemouth.

With the game nearing it's end Bournemouth had one last chance to get something and what a chance it was. Aluko tried a shot from range which was superbly saved by Loach and with the keeper stranded on the deck Hayter followed up on the rebound but the striker inexplicably blasted his shot high over the bar much to the dismay of the home fans. FULL TIME 2-3.

After the match Grimsby manager Steve Thompson met the press to give his reaction to the result.

" I am happy to get the three points but i am far from happy with the performance. We looked really sloppy at times and if Bournemouth had taken some more of their chances i could have been stood here talking about a heavy defeat.

I don't want to throw to much doom and gloom around this result there was still some very pleasing performances the likes of Scott Loach in goal Phil Jones who had a hand in all 3 goals and Melo Gilberto who i thought was superb and got himself a goal so there positives are there.

We have got that first win and we need to push on from here and try and build some momentum this division is not going to be easy but i feel we are more than capable of reaching the playoffs even though no one really fancy's us to do anything"

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Match Review

Hartlepool United 0 - 0 Bristol City

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Muamba's 15th red card left Hartlepool clinging on for a point

Hartlepool United got off to a positive start to the new season after managing to grab a point in the 0-0 draw with Bristol City last night at Victoria Park. Nearly 7,000 souls crammed into the stadium to see a game that was low in terms of goals, but high in controversy.

The main talking point of the game took place in the 15th minute when referee Steve Dorr showed Hartlepool midfielder Fabrice Muamba a straight red for what he deemed as a professional foul. This resulted in outrage from the home faithful and resulted in Hartlepool being on the back foot for the rest of the game.

First a long range effort from Milos Ninkovic on the 17th minute mark just crept wide and 2 minutes later the away team nearly went ahead again after a beautiful over head kick from Peter Odemwingie just flew over the cross bar.

The second half went much the way of the first with Bristol dominating play. Milan Jovanovic really should have opened the scoring 10 minutes into the half but somehow his free header went wide. Hartlepool had a late chance to win the game after a great run from Bruno Cesar, but the resulting finish was off traget.

Speaking after the game, Hartlepool boss Patrick Coll said;

I think we knew before the game how tough life would be in this division and today we were proven right. Obviously, having a man sent off didn't help but I think in all honestly the ref made the correct call as it wasn't the greatest tackle in the world by Fabrice.

On the up side, we still managed to get a positive result from the game and hopefully we can take that into next week's game against Leicester City.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Fulham Outclass Wigan

Fulham opened their account for the season with an impressive 4-1 win over Wigan the home side took just 14 minute to open the scoring thanks to Jucilei who's shot nearly took the back of the net off.

this visitors managed to hold out until half time keeping the score at 1-0 however they could only contain Fulham until the 60th minute when Marcus Berg was left with an easy tap in, Berg added a 2nd just a minute later after some fine passing from the Fulham midfield the Swedish striker looking much more like himself after a disappointing campaign last season that saw him score only 6 goals.

Only 6 minutes later and Fulham had made it 4-0 with center back Mauricio Romero following up on a rebound to score his first ever goal for the club the visitors did manage to get a 79th minute consolation goal from Juan Román Riquelme but were outclassed by an impressive looking Fulham.

Fulham News

Fulham have added two experienced players to the squad after a quiet pre season that saw mostly youth and depth players arrive the two latest arrivals should prove very popular with fans.

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Marcos Senna

Marcos Senna arrives at Fulham from Huddersfield for a fee of £10,000,000 + Oumare Tounkara the veteran Spanish midfield has a wealth of experience and has been a key player for Huddersfield and was a major part of the team that gained promotion to the top tier of English football and played in all bar two of last seasons league games he signs a 2 Years contract with Fulham worth £44,700 per week

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John Arne Riise

Fulham have snapped up a bargain in John Arne Riise the former Man Utd,Crewe,Blackburn and Southampton left back joins for the minimal fee of £5,879,000 Riise had been frustrated with the lack of games at Man Utd last season with the Norwegian international making just 9 league appearances Riise along with Marcos Senna are expected to debut against manager Philip Gibbon's former club Middlesbrough in midweek Riise signs a 3 year contract with Fulham worth £45,000 per week

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Clifford pleased with disciplined display

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Cardiff boss Ben Newman seemed a frustrated man on the touchline

Notts County beat Cardiff City 2-1 on Saturday night to make Ben Newman's first game in charge a miserable one,Notts County started the game in a positive fashion and took the game to Cardiff in the opening minutes,the first sight of goal was for German Roberto Hilbert who made his debut in this game,after a fine pass from Lorik Cana he was set free and just as he found an opening,but a fine slide tackle from Ryan Donk prevented him from scoring.

The second move also involved Hilbert who took on his fullback and whipped in a fantastic near post cross only for fellow debutant Brandao to head wide from a free header from 8 yards out,the next action was on 20 minutes with Hilbert again involved,this time he picked up the ball from 20 yards out but his shot went narrowly wide,and only a minute later Cardiff had there first chance of the game,after a fine ball from Matt Jarvis Craig Bellamy was through on goal but he was denied by Samir Handanovic.

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Bellamy got the goal his play deserved

However despite this County were still the dominant side and there play was rewarded on the 31st minute when Lorik Cana received a 30 yard pass from Apam he controlled the ball and smashed it home,however the lead didn't last long as Bellamy finally got his goal,a short ball from Sulley Muntari was misplaced leading to Bellamy receiving the ball and slotting home after a fantastic run,Cardiff went close again after a corner was floated into the box and from the goal line scramble that ensued it fell to Ryazantsev who kicked the ball to safety.

There wasn't as much action in the second half as there was in the first and the first action of real note was when Emmanuel Riviere had a driven shot from the edge of the area,however Handanovic denied him once again,at this stage it seemed despite County's possession Cardiff were the next to score but it was the home side who made the breakthrough, after a corner County worked the ball around before it fell to Vasili Berezutsky who then rifled home a beautiful curling shot which was just out of the keepers reach,this seemed to give the game some life again as Cardiff pushed forward for an equaliser and nearly found one when a chip from Matt Jarvis went just over the bar with the keeper beaten,Bellamy also put in a dangerous delivery which was just cleared from safety with Yamada ready to pounce at the far post,County posted there last attack of the game on the 77th minute when Alexis Sanchez picked up the ball ran at the defence and had a fierce shot that went just wide of the post,there was to be one last incident on the 84th minute when Vasili Berezutsky turned from hero to villain and got himself sent off for headbutting Craig Bellamy,still despite this County held on quite comfortably and got three points in the process.

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Vasili Berezutsky had a memorable game at the heart of County's defence

Lineups and player ratings:

S HANDANOVIC © 8

O APAM 8

E PIETERS 8

V BEREZUTSKY Red Card (84) 1 Goal 7

L ALMEIDA 8

S MUNTARI 8

R HILBERT 7

L CANA 1 Assist 1 Goal 8

A SANCHEZ 7

E BRANDAO 7

A RYAZANTSEV 8

Notts County Substitutes

S MALKOWSKI

M YANGA-MBIWA

J CHICO

M TOPUZ

C SANCHEZ

J CAREW

I JELEN

R GREEN 5

A HUTTON 7

F PINTO 7

R DONK 7

J WOODGATE Yellow Card 6

O HARGREAVES © 7

M JARVIS Yellow Card 6

A RAMSEY 1 Assist 7

C BELLAMY 1 Goal Man Of The Match 8

E RIVIERE 7

N YAMADA 7

Cardiff City Substitutes

G HOOPER

R SNODGRASS

P WHITTINGHAM

S OGNENOVSKI

J VIDAL

G DORRANS

B WATSON

I was delighted with how we played today and it seemed like all the debutants fit into the side well,I thought Hilbert was our best player of the game and it seems we've picked up from were we left off from last season which is encouraging,I didn't want to make too many changes in the lineup as it could then become disjointed and we wouldn't have been as cohesive as we was tonight,I'm sure given time they can force there way into the side but on tonight's performance I see no need for any wholesale changes.

I felt we was always in control and our possession showed that,we kept the ball superbly and very rarely wasted a pass,Cardiff were had to break down and I'd have liked more attempts at goal but on the whole it was a fantastic display,Promotion to Division 2 is the aim this season and on tonight's performance it certainly looks like were capable of achieving that.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Lehmann wants to taste success

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Jens Lehmann has returned to football with Grimsby Town

After making his debut in arranged friendly against Fulham last night 41 year old former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann says he is not ready to retire just yet and wants to taste success with his new club Grimsby Town.

Lehmann played the full 90 minutes at Craven Cottage last night as his Grimsby side ran out 3-2 winners against division 2 side Fulham and the veteran keeper showed he still has a lot to give making a number of fine saves to ensure his side claimed the victory.

The capture of Lehmann has left some fans divided with many fans lauding the capture of an experienced shot stopper who has played at the highest level with Arsenal whilst other supporters see the signing as a waste of clubs resources with the Likes of Scott Loach Adam Bogdan and Alex Smithies all vying for a place between the sticks.

After the game last night Lehmann caught up with the waiting media to discuss his motives behind his move to the Mariners.

"Firstly let me say that i am delighted to be back in football and happy to be at a great club like Grimsby Town. I simply just wanted to play football again i feel i still have a lot to give and the hunger is certainly still there.

I will also be taking up a coaching role within the club which is fantastic there is some really talented young goalkeepers here and i hope that by passing on my knowledge they will become even better.

The move isn't about the money it's about wanting to play and tasting success again. I feel with the squad we have here we are more than capable of challenging for the playoffs and it would be fantastic to be part of the side that climbs out of this division"

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Preston to take first steps into Europe as Sevilla travel to Deepdale

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Preston North End are set to enter the record books after qualifying for this season's Champions League. The North West Side finished 5th in the league, qualifying for the group stages along with league winners Arsenal, Liverpool, Sheffield United and Everton, and will take on the likes of Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, and tomorrow night's opponents Sevilla.

Sevilla's squad has been criticised for being incredibly thread-bare, with manager Gregorio Manzano only having 17 players to choose from, including three goalkeepers, one of which being veteran Spaniard Andres Palop, who has had spells at West Ham United and Tranmere. Former Preston player Kevin Kilbane is also amongst the Spanish sides ranks, as well as Josh Thompson, Arouna Kone and Marc Crosas.

Returning to the home side, Preston boss James Burrow has confirmed that he will make changes from the team that beat Manchester City 4-1 at the weekend, with pre-season signing Charlie Adam set to make his debut on Tuesday night. The 25 year old Scot has 51 appearances as a Blackpool player under his belt, but is set to make the leap from Division Four football to European football tomorrow night, with fellow Scot David Weir set to start alongside him in the team. Burrow had this to say in his first ever Champions League pre-match press conference:

"Sevilla are not to be underestimated. This is the premiere European competition, and we are incredibly grateful to be participating. As far as the team goes, Charlie Adam and Hugo Campagnaro will start, and Gareth Barry will captain the side. Premier League survival is our main concern, but this is not to mean we totally disregard this competition. To reach the knock-out stages would be nice, but it wont be the end of the world should we not make it."

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The usually 'level-headed' Burrow was then riled by one particular question from a British journalist, who questioned his decision to field a 'weakened side:'

"Since when does Joe Bloggs of some newspaper decide which players should start for Preston? I am the manager of Preston North End, and I make the decisions on who starts! I have a squad of roughly 30 players and I plan to use them all throughout this season. How can you define Charlie Adam as being a 'weaker' player than Luka Modric? If Lukaku scores 20 goals and Crouch scores 2, does that make Crouch a weaker player? The team I have put out to face Sevilla is perfectly capable of beating them, and the same can be said for the team which beat City. No player in my squad is 'weaker' than any other!"

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

Blackpool 7-2 Swindon Town

Emre 1,11

Bradley 26

Sobiech 28

--------------------- Zigic 43

--------------------- Nene 65

Frei 70

Mesto 72

Nelsen 85

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Blackpool made the perfect start to Season 13 as they thrashed Swindon 7-2 at Bloomfield Road on Saturday. A disappointing attendance of just 7428 made it clear how unhappy the fans were with last year's performances in the league, but a few more results like this will soon see that number rising.

The 16th placed finish last season meant that work needed to be done in pre-season and that meant the shock departure of captain Charlie Adam. The 25 year old had a disappointing season with just 1 goal and 2 assists, and after 51 games for the club he made the move to Preston last week. Also joining the Division 1 side from Blackpool was reserve goalkeeper Matthew Gilks. Gilks played just 1 cup game before he was transfer listed in December. Moving to Blackpool in return were Michael Bradley and Matt Upson. Bradley has played for a number of clubs despite being just 23, and the central midfielder is brought in as Adam's replacement. Upson meanwhile will be hoping to play more regularly and earn an England recall.

Unlike last season, Blackpool have also used the loan market to add another 2 players. French talent Kevin Theophile-Catherine joins from Notts County, and whilst the 21 year old isn't expected to go straight into the starting line-up, he does bring the ability to play anywhere across the defence.

And also arriving is Polish striker Artur Sobiech, from Huddersfield. He made 1 appearance for his club 2 years ago and will now use this loan spell to get more experience of the English game.

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(Sobiech signs before pre-season game against Wolves)

Upson, Bradley and Sobiech all started for the first time against Swindon, as did Carlos Bocanegra who signed towards the end of last season. Theophile-Catherine was named on the subs bench.

Blackpool (5-3-2): Douchez; Mesto, Upson, Nelsen, Bocanegra, Brison; Verdu, Emre , Bradley (Mulumbu, 60); Vydra (Frei, 60), Sobiech (Heskey, 60)

Subs not used: Theophile-Catherine | Carr | Brechet | Pino

Swindon (4-1-2-1-2): Abbiati; Pablo, Cannavaro, Lopez (Nene, 60), Magnin; Rebko (Pehlivan, 60), Pires, Ivic, Seedorf; Zigic, Palermo (Fellman, 60)

Subs not used: Campbell | Bowyer | Farias | Crespo

Scoring in the first minute of the season is obviously an ideal way to start the year, and that's what Blackpool did as Joan Verdu's corner was headed in by Emre. The Turkish midfielder soon made it 2-0 as he went round Christian Abbiati before finishing from an acute angle. Swindon eventually woke up and Victor Lopez made a great run down the wing, only to deliver a poor cross. The visitors were also unhappy not to be awarded a penalty when Aleksey Rebko was brought down by Matthew Upson. That decision would prove costly for them as Blackpool immediately made it 3-0 with Michael Bradley scoring on his debut, after Abbiati failed to deal with Emre's long range effort.

And just as the away side thought it couldn't get any worse, Blackpool pushed forward again and this time it was Artur Sobiech who got his name on the scoresheet. Vladimir Ivic had two great chances for Swindon, before Nikola Zigic found himself with plenty of space and made it 4-1, 2 minutes before half-time. That was the end of the action in the first half, and although that goal gave the away team a glimmer of hope, it was game over already.

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(Michael Bradley makes it 3-0)

The 2nd half started quietly, and it stayed that way until all 6 subs were made on the hour mark. Blackpool took the impressive Bradley off for Youssouf Mulumbu, and the 2 young strikers were replaced by Alexander Frei and Emile Heskey. Swindon meanwhile changed to a 5-3-2 formation, and decided to take off Lopez for striker Miguel Nene who was played on the right side of the back 3!

Central midfielder Yasin Pehlivan was also forced to play out of position as he took Rebko's place and was moved to left wing-back. Their 3rd sub also left Swindon's fans confused, as Martin Palermo was taken off and instead of the experienced Ernesto Farias or Hernan Crespo coming on, 21 year old Daniel Fellman made his professional debut.

Just seconds later though and the surprise decision to use Nene in defence proved to be a good one. Zigic played a superb ball through the Blackpool defence and the Brazilian smashed it into the top corner.

If Town had thought they were back in with a chance, they were soon left disappointed as 5 minutes after that, Frei got the home side's 5th with a diving header at the back post. The striker had a disappointing World Cup on the back of a poor season last year, and is determined to prove he is still a world class striker, more goals like this will surely do that. The Swiss international was soon back in the action as he got the assist for the 6th, a wonderful pass to Giandomenico Mesto who's speculative chip was fumbled over the line.

Ivic and Zigic both had decent chances to get another goal for Swindon, but they were comfortably saved by Nicolas Douchez. Unfortunately for them there was still time for another Blackpool goal and Ryan Nelsen beat the offside trap to score his fifth for the club.

MoM - Artur Sobiech

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Grimsby face tough home start against Blackpool

Grimsby Town face a difficult first home game of the season when they welcome Blackpool to Blundell Park tomorrow. Blackpool go into the game off the back of a fine 7-2 at home to Swindon Town at the weekend whilst the Mariners also tasted victory edging out Bournemouth 3-2 at Dean Court.

Thompson will be hoping that his Grimsby side can start their home campaign in style and a win against Blackpool would be a great tonic for the Mariners to push on and make strides towards building a solid playoff push.

The Mariners will still be missing captain Alberto Zapater who serves the last game of a three match ban so Dickson Etuhu will continue in midfield. One noticeable plus point from the win over Bournemouth was the form of on loan defender Phil Jones who weighed in with assist for all three goals and Thompson will be hoping that the one cap England international can continue that kind of form against a fancied Blackpool side.

Blackpool go into the game with a clean bill of health and have no suspensions to contend with and manager George looks set to stick with the same team that put seven past Swindon at the weekend.

Grimsby manager Steve Thompson spoke to the waiting media at a Blundell park press conference earlier today.

"It's nice to be finally getting back on home soil for a game. Our last league game at home was coincidently against Blackpool and we won 1-0 so a repeat of that would be fantastic.

Blackpool had a blistering start against Swindon and will be coming here full of confidence and thats no surprise. I was critical of our performance against Bournemouth and the lads have responded to that well in training so i am very happy.

Most people will put their money on Blackpool but i have faith in my lads they always seem to pull of an upset and if we can up our performance levels i see no reason why we can't get a positive result for our fans"

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

BRENTFORD LOOK FOR REVENGE WIN

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Cheltenham Town v Brentford

Brentford travel to Cheltenham Town tomorrow night in what could prove to be a tactical battle between Aidan Ranford and Darren Richardson. Aidan has got the better of the Scot on the last two meetings with successive 2-0 wins under his belt. Richardson is looking for third time lucky after an encouraging start to the season, beating Luton 3-1 at Griffin Park. The main man on that night was Theo Janssen and Richardson will once again be looking for the creative spark in the middle of the park in what could be a tight congested area of the park.

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DUTCH MASTER: Janssen could be the key player for Brentford

We expect a tought battle, Cheltenham have some quality in their ranks but we think they will encourage a physical battle. That's fine with us, we are tough enough to handle it and I'm sure if we conduct ourselves properly we can stamp our passing game onto the match and create chances. We've been unfortunate in the last two meetings, I think we wasted numerous chances so I'm looking for clinical finishing from the attacking players. We performed well against Luton and I think a similair performance will see us leave with the points.

Kevin Nolan could be the chief thorn in the Brentford rearguard, drifting inbetween the midfield and attack and it is believed Richardson will hand Blaise Matuidi the responsibility of shackling him. Zat Knight will be the only absentee for the home side with Brentford fresh with no injuries or suspensions to worry about. Cheltenham record an impressive 3-1 win at Carlisle on the opening day so Brentford will need to be wary of the threat they carry going forward as well as concentrating on breaking them down. Overall it should be a fascinating encounter with the visitors determined to inflict revenge on Cheltenham after two defeats on the bounce.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Kazim-Richards Seals Emotional Return

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Rochdale's Second Taste Of Turkish Delight

Rochdale today confirmed the return of English come Turkish star Colin Kazim Richards. Karen Brady allegedly sold Richards behind the back of her manager over 2 seasons ago and with news of his availability, Hilton was soon bidding on the 24 year old after it also emerged that Newcastle were interested in signing him from Inter Milan. Yeovil also placed a bid but Rochdale emerged victorious, selling Neil Taylor and Brazilian striker Jonathas as part of the deal. Inter were keen on Jonathas and Leonardo was happy to come to a quick deal in part exchange. Kazim Richards has struggled for gametime in Italy since his £8m move from Bradford at the start of Season 12. Richards started his career at Brighton before a 2 year stint at Southampton, a 2 year stint at Reading, and a 2 year stint at Rochdale. Hilton signed the journeyman for £5.6m, where Richards settled and played some fine football, scoring important goals and becoming a fan favourite at Spotland. However in Season 12, Karen Brady allegedly sold Richards behind the back of Hilton, after accepting a sum of £9.9m from Fenerbahce. The move didn't work out though, and Richards was soon back in England with Bradford before moving out to Inter Milan where he has now endured the shortest stint of his career.

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The winger burst onto the scene at Brighton...

Elliot Hilton could not hide his joy as he spoke about re-signing Colin Kazim Richards, the first time he has ever brought an ex player back to Rochdale. The 18 year old boss said the departure of Karen Brady left the door open for a return:

I'm so happy to have Colin back here. He's spell at us previously as short but memorable. I never wanted to let him go and it was the first and only time I have never had full control over a transfer decision. In the end it was a decent price but I never wanted to see Colin leave here. We've got him back now and he's adapted his game. The option of playing him alongside Ruud or out wide gives me a decision and it's certainly exciting to have him back at Spotland.

Richards also spoke in jubilation of his move:

It's class to be back here. I have an awesome relationship with the manager who is one of my biggest fans aha! I know a lot of the lads and hopefully I will settle in quickly. Would like to stay here long term now and stay with Rochdale in the long run. If I can get a good full season under my belt then that will be a good start!

Richards may not be fit to make his debut tomorrow night's game against Doncaster but he will look forward to Saturday's fixture, and his return in a Dale shirt.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Europa League Round Up - 22nd March 2011

Dynamo Moskva 1 - 1 FC Shalke 04

Leyton Orient 2 - 1 Werder Bremen

Lille OSC 0 - 1 CSKA Moskva

Leeds United 2 - 2 Rubin

Manchester United 0 - 1 Sampdoria

Galatasaray SK 2 - 0 Shaktar

Chelsea 0 - 1 Athletic Club

Besiktas JK - VfB Stuttgart

Palermo 1 - 0 AJ Auxerre

Southampton 0 - 2 Dynamo Kyiv

Fenerbache SK 1 - 0 Panithinikos

Getafe 3 - 2 West Ham United

Sporting CP 0 - 0 Darlington

Olympiacos 2 - 3 Parma

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Spartak Moskva

AS Saint-Etienne 1 - 1 Ajax

So as it stands just two English club managed a win in the Europa league, being Leyton Orient and Pompey!

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Match Preview

Leicester City Vs. Hartlepool Utd

Leicester City take on division 3 new boys Hartlepool United at The Walkers Stadium later tonight. The home team will be hoping to continue on from their opening day win away at Stoke while Hartlepool will be aiming for their first win of the season following their draw against Bristol City on Saturday.

Leicester are expected to name an unchanged line up from the team that beat Stoke City and have no fresh injury or disciplinary concerns. Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov will be hoping to continue to bang in the goals after notching a brace last time out.

The away team will have to make at least one change from last week's game following the sending off of Fabrice Muamba against Bristol City, meaning he will miss the next three games. It is believed that Pablo Guinazu will move into the DM role while Esteban Granero, now fully fit, will make his Hartlepool debut by coming into the centre of midfield.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Grimsby Town 1 vs 2 Blackpool

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Dickson Etuhu scored his first goal for Grimsby

Grimsby Town suffered a heartbreaking defeat at Blundell Park last night when an 89th minutes strike from Alexander Frei ensured that Blackpool headed back to the North West with all the points. Thompson's men looked to be heading for a well earned point but Swiss international Frei on as a 60th minute sub popped up to break their hearts and it will be interesting to see how the Mariners pick themselves up after such an agonizing defeat.

Thompson made one change to the side that won in the season's opener at the weekend that seeing veteran keeper Jens Lehmann takeover goalkeeping duties from Scott Loach.

Blackpool started the game brightly and had a great chance within the first 3 minutes but midfielder Joan Verdu's chip flew inches over the crossbar. Grimsby found a foothold in the game and created a chance of their own ten minutes later when Fraizer Campbell hit a snapshot from range but Blackpool keeper Nicolas Douchez was equal to it. That save proved crucial just a minute later when the away side took the lead. The impressive Joan VERDÚ claimed the goal after his mis hit shot somehow found it's way past an embarrassed Lehmann in the Grimsby goal 0-1.

That goal gave Blackpool the upper hand and they began to knock the ball around with confidence. The Seasider's had a number of chances to extend their the best falling Artur Sobiech who beat Lehmann but did not beat Phil Jones who was waiting on the line to clear the ball.

Just before half time Grimsby gave their fans a glimmer of hope when a 25 yard effort from Dickson Etuhu had them on their feet but his effort came back off the crossbar. HALF TIME 0-1.

Both sides started the second half cautiously the best early chance falling to Blackpool but Lehmann pounced on the ball after a scramble in the six yard box. On the 65th minute Blundell Park was on it's feet when Grimsby leveled the game up. After a corner was headed clear the ball fell to Dickson ETUHU who was waiting on the edge of the area the Nigerian international met the ball on the half volley and smashed the ball into the roof of the net 1-1.

Both sides looked to be heading for a share of the spoils but Blackpool had other ideas and with just a minute of the game left to play they scored what was to be the winner. Alexander FREI on as a 60th minute substitute got the goal poking home from close range following a goal mouth scramble. The away fans behind the goal went into raptures whilst the rest of Blundell Park fell silent. FULL TIME 1-2.

After the game a disappointed Steve Thompson spoke to the press.

"Thats a heartbreaking defeat for us tonight and i have a big job picking the boys up after that. I thought we had done enough to grab what would have been a decent point but Blackpool showed why they are early favorites for promotion.

Overall i was happy with the way we played but it proves that you can't switch off no matter how long is left in the game or you will be punished and we found out the hard way tonight.

We have Alberto Zapater back from suspension now and that is a massive plus. Alberto is our captain and is pivotal to the way we play. We have a very tough looking game against Swansea next but we are at home and we will make it as hard as possible for them it's sure to be a cracking game for the fans"

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Match Review

Leicester City 3 - 1 Hartlepool Utd

Borriello 9, 56

Bilyaletdinov 24

Osvaldo 85

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Borriello celebrates after bagging his 2nd goal of the game

Hartlepool Utd slipped all the way down to 17th a disappointing 3-1 defeat away at Leicester City last night. The home team, who move up to 2nd, will count themselves fortunate to have grabbed all 3 points yesterday evening having been on the backburner for long periods of the game.

Despite this, it took the home team less than 10 minutes to score the opener. A great defence splitting pass from Ganso on the 9th minute mark, left Marco Borriello clear through on goal and he made no mistakes as he nonchalantly lobbed the ball over Mirante into the empty goal. Leicester City doubled their lead midway through the 2nd half when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who scored a double in the opening game of the season, caressed a curling shot into the far hand corner of Mirante's goal. The away team had once chance before the break but after some skilful play by Guinazu, he rifled his shot wide.

The game was put to bed on the 56th minute mark when, after a scramble in Hartlepool's penalty box, Marco Borriello once again came in and bundled the ball over the line to claim his 2nd goal of the game. Despite a lot of huffing and puffing from the away team, they never really looked like scoring until the 85th minute when some excellent passing left Pablo Osvaldo clear on goal and the Italian bagged a consolation for Hartlepool with his first goal of the season.

A down beat Patrick Coll said after the game;

I'm very disappointed that we failed to pick at least a point in the game because, unlike last week, I felt we were the better team on the night and the scoreline doesn't reflect what really happened. Saying that, you have to take your chances when they come and Leicester certainly did that tonight so credit must be given to them.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Division One Match Review

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Nicklas Bendtner 36'

Bendtner strike gold

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Bendtner celebrates his goal with the architect, Samir Nasri.

Charlton Athletic showed a footballing lesson to the newly-promoted Sheffield Wednesday with a convincing 1-0 victory. Nicklas Bendtner headed the only goal in the first half to make his tally to three goals in his two starts for his new club. The goal was enough to earn Addicks their first three points in the season. They were held by Sheffield United to a 2-2 draw in the opening game in The Valley.

Addicks manager Dean Bryant took urgent leaves on 20th March and return to Singapore due to family matters. During his leave, assistant manager Alex Dyer steer the side to a convincing start in the two games.

Charlton made a positive start with left back Pedro Botelho and winger Samir Nasri provide some pace on both flanks. Danko Lazovic almost got himself an opportunity to get a lead over his former club but only to see the linesman raise his flag for offside. Nicklas Bendtner, who grabbed two goals in the 2-2 draw against Sheffield United, was the main threat in the air for the visitors and his aerial power saw him climb over his marker easily to head home the goal in the 36th minute.

The host continue to threathen their opponents after the break with Radamel Falcao making some fine passes. However, their work rate were not able to produce the needed finishing on the end. Charlton could double their lead but they were denied a penalty in the 78th minute after Samir Nasri was brought down by Philippe Mexes in the box. The Addicks captain was later given the medical treatment and it was then confirmed that the France midfielder picked a pulled calf muscle. Charlton had made all their substitution and they were forced to play with 10 men in the final ten minutes. The visitors started to push themselves more in search for the equaliser and Diego Forlan provided the main threat. Charlton held on to the lead until the final whistle.

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Guest 1CapWonder

Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Ivanka Impressed

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Rochdale 2-0 Doncaster

Ivanka Trump watched on impressively as a Ruud Van Nistelrooy double made it two wins in two for her new side this season. Following an opening win against Plymouth by the same scoreline, Rochdale played out their first home game of the season in confident style and outplayed a helpless Doncaster side with two second half goals. Colin Kazim Richards was handed his first start on his return and he set up Van Nistelrooy's first 64 minutes in. The Dutch predator finished well from an acute angle and scored his second 15 minutes later to seal victory. A long through ball over the top by Hector Moreno wasn't dealt with by the Doncaster defence and Ruud rounded the keeper to make it 3 in 2 games. Trump may be wondering why the club are considering selling the 34 year old with his goalscoring record speaking for itself. After this game and Van the man's start to the season, Hilton may be having second thoughts. Doncaster were one of the club's who bid for Van Nistelrooy but it appears they have been put off by Hilton's demands for a part exchange deal. Perhaps Rochdale are not the only club having second thoughts...

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A Van Nistelrooy double gave Rochdale top spot in Division 3...

In Other News...

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Gibbs In Talks

Elliot Hilton has called a meeting with England starlet Kieran Gibbs regarding his future at Rochdale Football Club. Hilton has had nothing but praise for the 21 year old since his £5.75m move to Dale back in Season 9. Gibbs has had a lot of faith put in him as a young fullback, and he has managed an impressive 120 league appearances in his 5 seasons at Spotland, but there are rumours that his days could be numbered. Hilton has never hid his admiration for Gibbs, but the youngsters progression has stuttered over the last year, and Hilton wants to talk to Gibbs about the possibility of a new contract, or even a move elsewhere. There has been mounted interest in Gibbs, with Charlton the most likely destination were he to move, but Rochdale will certainly not be letting one of their best players leave on the cheap, particularly when Hilton has placed so much time and effort into developing the former Preston man.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

4-4-2, is it any good?

Following the recent debate over whether the age-old 4-4-2 formation was not long for this world, Opta Stats conducted a survey of all 80 English league teams, collecting data on the formation used in their last game (Turn 2) Here are the findings:

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The graph above shows that 3-5-2 is by far the most popular formation of choice, with 40% of English clubs using the formation. 50% of the teams currently yet to drop a point use the 3-5-2 formation, while one of the four bottom clubs in each league uses the 3-5-2 (Luton)

4-4-2 is the runaway second choice as regards formation, with 10 of the 80 English League clubs using the trusted 4-4-2 tactic. Amongst these are Rochdale (6pts out of 6pts), West Brom (6pts out of 6pts), but also Coventry (0pts out of 6pts) and Cardiff (0pts out of 6pts)

4-2-3-1 and 5-4-1 come joint third in the list, with each being used by 6.25% of English League clubs, most notably Division One title holders Arsenal, last season's Division One runners up Liverpool, and Division One bottom club Crystal Palace. 5-4-1 is used mostly by lower league sides such as Port Vale, Wycombe and Hartlepool to varyinmg degrees of success.

By far the rarest formations used are the 4-2-2-2 (Burnley), 3-4-3 (Bournemouth), 3-4-1-2 (Southend), 4-5-1 Defensive (Doncaster), and 4-3-2-1 (Chelsea)

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

BRENTFORD SWEEP BOGEY TEAM ASIDE

Cheltenham 0-3 Brentford

Before the match Brentford were confident they could end their jinx against Cheltenham, on the night they proved just too good for their hosts. Indeed the home side failed to muster even a single effort on target in the entire 90 minutes. It has to be said, Richardson caught Cheltenham out with the tactics with a masterstroke.

Cheltenham lined up 4-1-3-2 in an ambitous looking attacking eleven with Brentford opting for a 4-4-1-1 with Cacau playing just off lone frontman Milan Baros. It was a tactic never employed before by the Scot and it seemed to work a treat. Cacau was wrecking havoc in the gap between the anchorman for Cheltenham and the back four. The German constantly making himself available and finding passes and gaps to exploit. The confidence we mentioned earlier was shown as early as the third minute by Theo Janssen who let fly from twenty five yards out only to see his shot smash off the crossbar before Whittaker bundled the ball out for an early corner. The early possession was being dominated by the visitors and the natives were getting restless at their sides poor display. Matuidi began to get his foot on the ball for Brentford and he joined Cacau in a passing masterclass with Cheltenham caught chasing shadows time after time. It took twenty four minutes for the inevitable, a perfectly weighted pass from Matuidi set Taddei on his way and he swung a delightful ball inbetween keeper and defender and Cacau powered a header into the corner of the net for 1-0.

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LIFT OFF: CACAU HEADS BRENTFORD IN FRONT

Just after half an hour and Pedro Mendes thought he had hit a second only to be correctly flagged offside, but the Portuguese playmaker was furious at the late flag and was joined by manager Richardson. However two minutes before the half time whistle, Brentford got the second their play richly deserved and you couldn't have asked for a more appropriate person to score it. Theo Janssen played a neat one two with Cacau and picked out Matuidi's late surge into the box and the Frenchman made no mistake with a firm header past the rooted Robinson to make it 2-0 Brentford.

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VIP: MATUIDI RAN THE SHOW IN A BREATH TAKING DISPLAY

Brentford didn't show any mercy in the second half either, preferring to beat their opponents to a pulp with some wonderful passing. You could have been forgiven for thinking you had Barcelona in disguise on the pitch with Matuidi pulling all the strings, easily his best game in a Brentford shirt since his thirteen million pound move from Newcastle. Just before the hour mark, Cheltenham had gone on one of their rare jaunts forward only for Mendes to break up play and slide the ball to Matuidi who stroked a wonderful pass into the path of Cacau who galloped clear of the chasing defenders, lifted his head and gave Robinson the eyes before feigning left then right then left before leaving Robinson on his backside to slide the ball into the empty net to wrap up an impressive 3-0 win for Brentford. John Mensah did have a chance to grab a consolation but he bottled it against Viviano and dragged his effort wide when clean through on goal.

It was a display of brilliance from the Bee's and Richardson agreed it was one of the finest performances since he took over at the club several seasons ago.

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YOU BEAUTY: RICHARDSONS RELIEF AT BEATING CHELTENHAM AT LAST

It was fantastic all round play I thought, we came here with the intent and desire to win the game playing the way we want to. We talked before the match about how we would conduct ourselves in the correct manner and stamp our authority on the match. We did that and I don't think Cheltenham could deny we deserved the win and the margin of it. They play a very physical way and I felt the key was to let them chase after us and try to pressure us when we were on the ball, all we had to do was make sure we kept a calm head and had the required numbers in midfield to make sure we always had a pass. The lads showed how technically gifted they are and Cheltenham couldn't deal with us. Cacau and Matuidi were first class in particular, I don't think they put a foot wrong. Cheltenham have a good lad in charge though and I don't doubt they will be hurting from this and will beat a lot of good sides this season. It's a pleasing start, another tricky game with Yeovil next. A new man in charge, team will be looking to impress and know places will be up for grabs and the usual boost a new manager brings makes it a challenge. They performed well to beat a spirited looking Bournemouth so I think they will show us no fear and get in our faces but as we showed tonight, we are more than happy to let teams have a go.

The win moves Brentford into second place on goal difference just a goal behind Blackpool but of course the league standings mean very little at this early part of the season. The performance was excellent but this is Brentford all over, a terrific start followed by a mid season slump that carries on until they finish the season in mid table. Hopefully for the supporters sake, they can carry it on and get promoted to division three at long last.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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Match Preview

Hartlepool Utd Vs. Port Vale

Hartlepool Utd take on Port Vale later tonight woih both teams hoping they can pick up a result after poor starts to the season. The home team have only managed to pick a point so far and lie in 17th while Port Vale currently sit 2nd bottom of the table after losing their two opening fixtures.

Despite Hartlepool's 3-1 defeat to Leicester City last time out, it is expected the home team will make only one change from that game with Franck Beria, on loan from Wycombe Wanderers, set to make his debut at RB with Francisco Chica dropping to the bench. In other news, Fabrice Muamba is still out suspended.

Port Vale have no fresh injury or disciplinary worries and, like Hartlepool, could put out the samel 11 that were beaten 3-2 off Plymouth Argyle on Wednesday. Port Vale will be relying on Argentine midfielder, Fernando Belluschi, who has scored 2 in the first 2 games of the season.

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Guest 1CapWonder

Re: English Championship 106 - Transfer/Gossip thread

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"The Green Genius" Loses His Colour

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Irish FA End Hilton Association

Elliot Hilton took the England job shortly after his first full season in charge of Rochdale, where he earned a historic promotion to Division 3. However, his year in charge of the national side saw mixed results, and the FA cited a "lack of experience" behind his failed spell as National Boss. He then went on to assist the wiser head of James Burrow, who certainly had the publics backing with Elliot Hilton demoted to assistant manager in order to gain experience. However, things turned from bad to worse when Hilton turned up late to a World Cup group match, embarrassing his team, and apparently the nation with his antics. The youthful manager was soon put in charge of Ireland, where he guided us to a remarkable first World Cup, going through the qualifying process unbeaten! Hilton was famously proclaimed a "green genius" and he and Paris were loved by the Irish for crossing the border and adopting their colours. However, another embarrasing World Cup saw Hilton caught in the middle of a media storm, with him supposedly cheating on his then wife Paris Hilton with Tia Carrere at China 2010. This year's World Cup wasn't much cop either, with Ireland sailing through qualifying once again, but failing to win a game come the tournament itself. Many Irish fans turned on Hilton believing the 18 year old treated South African more like a holiday with girlfriend Heidi, as opposed to a vital World Cup with the country who employs him. Today the FAI confirmed the parting of ways between manager and country. Elliot Hilton had the makings of a legend in Irish green, but instead he walks away unfulfilled with once again, a blonde on his arm for comfort.

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The people or Ireland warmed to Paris; Heidi Montag? Not so much...

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