Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Ashley Cole, William Gallas, Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure, Robin Van Persie, Bacary Sagna and now Cesc Fabregas.
All these men have something in common other than being former Arsenal players. Arsene Wenger has let all of them go to clubs that were direct threats to the Gunners in the English Premier League via the transfer or free market.
Mauricio Pochettino once referred to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho as "the best of the best". Prior to this weekend's encounter at Stamford Bridge, the Southampton boss was asked to expound on his thoughts regarding â€˜The Special One'. Pochettino rarely speaks English during interviews and press conferences; the majority of his statements are made through an interpreter: "I think he's one of the best managers in football history.
Since the liquidation of Chester City Football Club at the start of 2010, the fortunes of the game in the city which had its club effectively taken from it by its last owner has been on a largely upward trajectory. When the club's supporters trust took ownership of the lease for The Deva Stadium, the council-owned stadium that was the key to getting the football club back to the level at which it was playing when it was taken away from it, the new club, Chester FC, was granted a decent opportunity to claw its way through the non-league game, and promotions through the Northern Premier League and the Football Conference North have been rapid.
At The Exacta Stadium yesterday afternoon, a crowd of 2,689 people saw Chester play out a goalless draw against Brackley Town in the Blue Square Bet North. It was a result that left the club seventeen points clear at the top of the table with a third of the season left to play, albeit with second-placed Guiseley having five games in hand on them.
Three of our six matches in this weeks non-league videos of the week feature clubs that are owned by their supporters. Our first match comes from the Blue Square Bet North, and features league leaders Chester FC and their home match against Worcester City. Second up is the Northern Premier League match between Blyth Spartans and FC United of Manchester, and then comes the Southern League Premier Division match between Cambridge City and Stourbridge.
Perusing acres of statistics that can be found in newspapers on the opening weekend of the
football season can be a most enlightening way to pass the couple of hours, even if focusing on the
attendance figures rather than the results themselves does require a certain degree of furtiveness.
At the top end of the game, there are few surprises to be found.
It is the end, then, of another long, hard season, and perhaps now is an appropriate time to be
looking at how those clubs that are owned and run by their supporters trusts this season managed to
fair. As AFC Wimbledon paraded the trophy that confirmed their accession into the Football League
nine years after their formation, the words of the FA's committee, that a new club in the borough
would be, "not in the wider interests of football", have never sounded more hollow.
Was it really two years ago? I am in the middle of rebuilding this site for a summer
relaunch, and some of the new pages that will be available will be covering various running themes
that we have gone into over the course of the last five years or so. I thought that I may as well
put these up as posts as well, so that you can trace back some of longer running sagas.
Revenge, it is said, is a dish best served cold and, while the imprisonment of Stephen Vaughan
for fifteen months at the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre yesterday was an incident
unrelated to his involvement in football, there may be some people in Chester that will regard this
sentence as some degree of providence, held over for what he did to their club.
Chester is a city in the North-West of England that strays close to the Welsh border. It is a fascinating part of the country, steeped in culture and rife with historical relevance. Once a Roman fort situated in an ideal location on the River Dee, it was named Deva Victrix and remnants of those ancient times are still prevalent within the city to this very day.
Philadelphia Athletics historian Rich Westcott writes of Columbia Ball Park, "The park
functioned as a major league stadium for just eight seasons starting in 1901. During that period,
however, it helped to give birth to a new league, was the site of one World Series and was the
ballpark in which numerous future Hall of Famers launched their careers.