soccernet blog
Bolton Wanderers
March 24, 2009

This is the second year in a row that the bottom half of the Premier League has been heroically bad, but this season has been just ugly and brutal. Traditionally teams have targeted 40 points if they wanted to avoid relegation. It's a nice round number and it's easy for football types to remember, but is it even relevant any more?

Last season, when seven teams were in serious danger of going down, thirty-six points and goal difference were enough for Fulham to stay up. With eight games left this season, there are nine teams still in trouble and only ten points separating Bolton and West Brom. Will 36 be enough this year?

Last season might have been a bit skewed by Derby County's bid for the history books, collecting just 11 points in 38 games. Before that teams survived on 38, 38 and 34 points. What should those of us who are currently watching our teams lurch and writhe around at the bottom of the table be targeting for survival?

March 9, 2009

Football's dying in this country. Because of the vast, unfathomable sums of money. Because gun-running, drug-smuggling, money-laundering crooks and bandits, villains and scoundrels that are ruining our clubs. Because of the players, who are paid too much and care too little. Even the fans, who've only supported United/Arsenal/Chelsea for a few years and have never been through the turnstiles. Just don't blame the referees.

Yeah, I know all the propaganda. It's an impossible job how can they keep everyone happy you couldn't do it. I'm fed up with hearing how hard they have it. Last I heard, they were supposed to be professionals. They get paid, just like those soulless players, but they're exempt from criticism?

The thing is, it's not as if it's a new problem. Referees have always made mistakes, and they always will. I can deal with that. What upsets me is that referees are starting to ruin the spectacle, something much, much worse than botching a call and screwing the fans.

When you're watching the Chump's League fixtures this week, play this game: How long will it take for someone around you to say "That's never a foul in the Premier League"?

March 2, 2009

Ker-chunk. That was me firmly hitching my trailer up to the Gary Megson bandwagon. You got me Gary, I'm on board. He may not be a visionary, but he is building something, (allegedly). And he's not going anywhere.

Yep, Phil Gartside was so outraged that the club was linked to one of the brightest young managers in the Football League, (the same cabbage patch that produced The Big One and The Ginger One), that he felt compelled to announce that Gary and the club had already agreed on a new rolling contract.

Rolling? That's a funny word. It just slips into the report, almost unnoticed. It's playful, fun and completely trivial. Who gets wound up about Rolling?

So, what is a rolling contract? More importantly, who wins in this arrangement?