A Link to a Lower League Week, and an Irrelevant Photograph of a Guinea Pig

New today, the latest in the Lower League Week I write for BornOffside, covering the big events in League 1 and League 2. Stories include the FIFA regulation stopping Shaun Derry continuing as a player, the bad form of Peterborough, Crewe and Portsmouth, Gillingham losing in the FA Cup, and a really, really bad miss.

I warned you this was coming.

I warned you this was coming.

Click here to read Lower League Week: Notts County and Leyton Orient Battle Red Tape

England vs Germany – a Philosophical Divide

Another link, this time to something new. Published today on BornOffside, I’ve responded to Dietmar Hamann’s autobiography extract, published on Sunday in the Independent.

In it, Hamann compared Michael Ballack and Paul Gascoigne’s reactions to being booked in World Cup semi-finals, arguing that Gascoigne’s emotional reaction would see him becoming a national pariah rather than a hero… and that Gascoigne represents what’s wrong with English football.

If the German football model is so good, why do their players look so weird?

If the German football model is so good, why do their players look so weird?

However, I disagree with a lot of what Hamann said, and have written a response for BornOffside.

Click here to read Dietmar Hamann has England’s Problems All Wrong

Last Week’s Week, Brought To You This Week

I’ve just completed writing the latest Lower League Week for BornOffside and, after filing it for editing, I realised I’ve not linked to last week’s edition.

The main stories are news and opinion of Swindon and Cheltenham being defeated in the FA Cup; Hartlepool’s excellent form; Gillinham appointing a permanent manager; Shaun Derry retiring from playing to focus on management; Port Vale banning their local paper from covering their matches; Carlisle taking released criminal Courtney Meppen-Walter on trial; and mascots solemnly observing minute’s silences while smiling gleefully.

Imagine this guy with his head bowed trying to be dignified, and tell me that wouldn't be funny/creepy.

Imagine this guy with his head bowed trying to be dignified, and tell me that wouldn’t be funny and/or creepy.

Click here to read The Lower League Week – Port Vale Battle The Sentinel

Turns Out, I’m Not Dead

My Lower League Week column has, over the past two years, become the premier weekly internet recap of events in Leagues One and Two written by a guy called David Stringer.

That is, unless the David Stringer who wrote The Insect Hotel has decided to branch out.

When I feel sad, I like to look at this cover and pretend Bill Oddie wrote a foreword to my book.

When I feel sad, I like to look at this cover and pretend Bill Oddie wrote a foreword to my book.

After not being able to find the time in a hectic last seven weeks (which I’ll blog about at some point soon) I’ve finally gotten back into the swing of things with a Lower League Weeks, published today at Bornoffside.

In it I cover Leyton Orient maintaining their position at the top of League One; Bristol City’s surprisingly enduring underachievement; a mass of sackings and replacements; and, more seriously, Tranmere player Joe Thompson’s battle with cancer.

Click here to read The Lower League Weeks – Getting Back Into the Groove

Look! A Lower League Week!!

Going up tonight, the latest Lower League Week, covering events in Leagues One and Two, is now live.

Northampton have had a surprisingly bad start to League Two given their playoff finish last season; Hartlepool and Carlisle have their first wins of the season; Sheffield United are struggling in League One; I’ve covered the latest, (relatively) mundane developments for Coventry; Leyton Orient can’t stop winning even if they wanted to (though I assume they don’t); Notts County can’t win at all; and there’ve been a load of goals in League One, now officially* the best league in the world.

*It’s at least as official as Sky Sports’ insistence that the Premier League is the best league in the world.

Goals! Everyone loves goals!

Goals! Everyone loves goals!

So how can you say no to all that? Be honest, you can’t, can you?

Click here to read Lower League Week: Northampton Are Cobblers And Sheffield United Still Blunt

Goals Galore for Coventry and Peterborough

Today at Bornoffside.net, the latest Lower League Week is up.

Carlisle’s results this weeks have been less bad than previously; Bradford’s Nahki Wells has broken a club scoring record; There’s been lots of goals for Coventry and Peterborough but few for Hartlepool; Wycombe have had a double financial boost; Mark Cooper has started well at Swindon but still has a few problems ahead.

Peterborough are binging on goals - any chance one or two could be spared for Hartlepool?

Peterborough are bingeing on goals – any chance one or two could be spared for Hartlepool?

Plus, there’s been a few upsets in the second round of the League Cup.

Click here to read The Lower League Week – Posh Peterborough Slaughter the Royals

Mistakes Made at Coventry

At Bornoffside.net, the Lower League Week has gone up today.

There’s some bits on the Football League and governance in general (it’s more interesting than it sounds); a large section on Coventry; Carlisle and Greg Abbott; Swindon’s new boss Mark Cooper; Oldham’s kitman doing a runner; and Bobby Moore, Leyton Orient legend.

It takes a lot to be a legend at a club you never played for.

It takes a lot to be a legend at a club you never played for.

Click here to read The Lower League Week: Michael Knighton’s Bloody Awful Poetry

Premier League Predictions

The Premier League has finally got around to starting their games, the lazy buggers, kicking off for the first time yesterday. To tie in with this, there was a new piece on BornOffside yesterday morning, we took a look at what we think for the season ahead.

Only pretentious people and things wear crowns.

Only pretentious people and things wear crowns.

Eight of us gave our thoughts on who’ll win the league, qualify for the Champions’ League, be relegated, and surprise expectations. A few times we contradict each other, which is proof that we shall be proven right on all things.

Click here to read the BornOffside Premier League Preview

Wolves v Blades… And a Tale of Two Coventries. Coventrii?

Today my latest Lower League Week went up at BornOffside.

It featured stories on Wolves trying to clear out unwanted players so that they can take a star player from Sheffield United, one of their rivals; Exeter have decided to expand their fanbase by appealing to Brazilians; Walsall have started surprisingly well and Carlisle surprisingly badly; there’s some brief thoughts on Hartlepool; and two different versions of Coventry City were playing at ‘home’ at the same time on Sunday.

We have a saying here in England - home is where the dangerously amateurish and visually repulsive DIY is.

We have a saying here in England – home is where the dangerously amateurish and visually repulsive DIY is.

Basically, it’s just another ordinary, bizarrely colourful week in the lower leagues!

Click here to read Lower League Week: Wolves at Sheffield United’s Door

Two Games in – A Perfect Time to Announce Some Predictions

This went up a little later than it should have, but yesterday BornOffside published predictions made for the Football League and Conference by myself and two others – Lucy Waldon and Dan Rawley.

Obviously, predictions should be made before the event begins, as the word, broken down, should make clear: pre- meaning previous to, and -diction meaning… to pronounce correctly. Actually, that just about makes sense.

This picture of a hamster, however, makes no sense.

This picture of a hamster, however, makes no sense.

Though it’s been published after two Football League games and one Conference game, all predictions were made before the Football League started.

Click here to read Football League & Conference Predictions