[T]hey won't like this but David Beckham's retirement from football this week put me in mind of a bunch more readily associated with the other half of Manchester, Britpoppers Oasis. Both came to prominence in the mid to early 90s; Oasis at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut and Beckham at Preston North End's Deepdale ground.
[L]ast week, it was announced that a certain Scotsman would take the reins at England's biggest club come August. David Moyes' record at Everton has been called into question by the more arrogant among Red Devils' fans but his supposed unfamiliarity with real achievement canbe further rebuffed with recourse to his astonishing six year sojourn at Preston - taking a club that had been recently in danger of relegation from the92 to regular contenders for Premier League football.
[T]oday, we are delighted to welcome back Chris Lines, curator of the long established Narrow The Angle, one of the best football websites in business. Chris is a season ticket holder at AFC Wimbledon and in between mops of his brow with a handkerchief following fellow Two Unfortunates' contributor Jack Midson's nerveless spot kick against Fleetwood, he took time to reflect on Neal Ardley's impact at Kingsmeadow.
Promised Land: A Northern Love Story Published by Yellow Jersey Press 2011, £8.99 [G]rowing up in the 90s, Leeds were a permanent top flight fixture and played at one of the country's showcase grounds yet – unlike many other sides – I cannot remember coming across a single Whites supporter in my youth.
[T]hese are heady days indeed for Hull City, back in the Premier league after a short absence, even their capture ofthewiles of Steve Bruce saw few tip the Tigers last August. But this current purple period for the East Riding is by no means the only high point in the club's history. Here's Matthew Rudd of Amber Nectar with a look back to a famous World Cup year.
[A] few days ago I had the pleasure of hearing a short speech from the great socialist doyen and one-time Labour cabinet minister, Tony Benn. In his address, he harked back to his time as the Government's Minister for Technology, noting a definition of the concept offered to him by a colleague upon his appointment.
[P]rawn sandwiches may be pushing it too far, but with the regular Football League season drawing to a close this past weekend, imagine rolling up at Boundary Park or Gigg Lane next August to find an array of food choices containing only locally sourced meat and vegetables? Or you could picture arriving at the Pirelli Stadium to find the paper towels of yore have been replaced by those poncy blade hand dryers, while a series of green footprints denote the path to some shiny new recycling bins.
[G]allows humour was in plentiful supply at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday, in a rubber that would have rivalled the dodo itself in its deadness. But, amid the good natured acceptance of a fate well deserved, the unfurling of one banner in particular indicated where Queen's Park Rangers fans feel the blame lies.
Wings of a Sparrowby Dougie Brimson Published by eBookPartnership.com 2012, £1.90 (Kindle) ASIN: B00AFXLKRO [I] wonder how many Southampton fans havefantasized about a large lottery win in the past two years – one that could see them elbow aside the various suitors bidding for control of rivals Portsmouth, promptly running the club even further into the ground on assuming ownership of the Fratton Parkers - selling off assets and wreaking havoc from within.
[T]onight, Watford travel to Leicester City at the onset of a nail biting weekend of Football League fixtures. With a great many issues still hanging in the balance, our two founding bloggers, Lloyd and Lanterne Rouge convened to discuss the prospects: ... Lanterne Rouge: As a Plymouth fan, you've mentioned to me that you are still worried about the drop - it's quite possible mathematically but will take a chain reaction of perhaps sub-nuclear proportions for Argyle to go down to the Football League.
Blackburn. Wolves. Manchester City. Colwyn Bay. Frickley Athletic. Brackley Town. It doesn't take long for things to change in football – a few right decisions and you can be transformed from nowhere to become a star pupil, held up as an example to follow. Swansea are the most obvious example, and in previous years Cardiff and Blackpool have enjoyed similar meteoric rises from bottom to top.
[L]eague One still hurts for Preston North End supporters. Although current travails don't come close to the dark days of the 1980s when the club flirted alternately with going out of the league and out of business altogether, a fanbase reared on the successes of the David Moyes era, not to mention the enduring legacy of the Invincibles, are very unwilling to accept the third level as their place in the natural order of things.
[I]n an emotive week, we have so far resisted discussing the attempts of a certain individual to run the sport we love into the ground a quarter of a century ago now. Nonetheless, a press narrative appears to be developing that recalls that era. Here, Tom Furnival-Adams analyses another example of how the irresponsibility of theFourth Estatehas gotten out of hand and how this might well suit the heirs of a previous regime.
[S]omething different on The Two Unfortunates as we approach the final few weeks of the season. With Gillingham already promoted we would like to invite readers to flex their brain muscles by attempting this fiendish crossword devised by regular reader and Swindon Town devotee, Singapore-based Ben Hathaway.
[T]ony Pulis' Stoke have been a Premier League club for the entirety of this website's short life. But, as Rob Doolan describes, both could be about to lose their place at the top table come the end of the season. ... There is mutiny in the Potteries. With Stoke City appearing from nowhere to stake a late claim for a relegation berth, fans are beginning to turn in increasing numbers against Tony Pulis.