A Darlington Dynasty

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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

So after that tough derby game at SJP, we can afford to rest and recuperate a bit as the schedule allows us to do so. Recently it feels like we have been playing games back to back, and with the intention of finishing as high as we can: being the forefront of it all then rotation is still not possible. I want to be seen able to field my strongest possible line up for every game we play.

One slight worry is that the goals seem to have dried up a bit for Tonton. His last goals came in the 4-2 away win against Aris Salonika in the UEFA Cup Second Round Second Leg. that was ten matches and 905 minutes back. He's still our top scorer mind, but we need the Swedish magic man to start banging in the goals soon. Alejandro is still by far, our player of the season so far as he concedes less than a goal a game. Makes you wonder though, what he needs to do to get that long awaited Spanish international call up which he so richly deserves...

14 December 2005: Can you believe we're almost halfway through December in season five? Where does time go?

Anyway some good news off the training ground as Robbie Palacios is back in full training again. The lad from Paddington Bear country, who will be probably released in the summer, is a very useful man to call on if needed.

Tonight saw action in the Premier League as well as the two remaining League Cup quarter finals. In the Premier League, Harpal Singh gave Aston Villa the lead at Fulham only for Barry Hayles to draw the Cottagers level at half time. Villa though, took the points, when Turkish defender Alpay bagged the winner 19 minutes from time. The result keeps the Londoners in 19th place, four points away from safety. Meanwhile at SJP, Mark Burchill scored the winner on the stroke of half time to see off Everton. Burchill had only been on the pitch three minutes after replacing Mr Chicken and Beans who suffered a bad ankle injury that will sideline him for a month.

In the League Cup, Chelsea overcame a distinctly second string Liverpool side 3-2 at Stamford Bridge. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink gave the Blues a half time lead but Emile Heskey equalised eight minutes after the restart. Matt Holland restored the home side's lead and Savo Milosevic extended it to 3-1 with a penalty 20 minutes from time. Danny Murphy made it 3-2 eight minutes later but Chelsea held on. Manchester United's second string had enough to beat QPR 3-1 at Old Trafford in the other delayed quarter final; Colin Heath opened the scoring for United after just five minutes and Bobby Petta doubled it three minutes before the interval. Doudou halved the deficit on half time but an Andrew Cole penalty five minutes after the interval settled matters. The semi finals will see United take on surprise packet Grimsby, first leg in Manchester, and Newcastle take on Chelsea with SJP hosting the first leg of that one.

15 December 2005: Some busy transfer activity today with Spanish giants Barcelona. They didn't sign one player but four as they try to get their season back on track, the Catalans are currently five places and 12 points behind leaders and arch rivals Real Madrid. Ivan de la Peña rejoins them from Lazio for £10.25 million, Marc Overmars is recruited back for £6.25 million, Pedro Munitis comes in from Real Betis Balompie for £3.4 million and the big capture is Croatian defender Igor Tudor from Juventus for £25.5 million! Must be s**t or bust at Barca, eh? Not to be undone, Valencia spent £7.75 million on Inter goalkeeper Francesco Toldo. Staggering money for someone who has just turned 34.

Back home, Liverpool finally complete the signing of the new "Neville Southall" as in Aston Villa's Welsh internationalist Jon Davies for a bargain £1 million, Mattias Jonson swaps Everton for the SPL and Celtic Park for £2.7 million and Freddie Ljungberg leaves Arsenal for Milan for a £8.25 million fee.

It's a second successive loss for our reserves as Blues second string pump them 4-1 with Karsten Hopfner having a bit of mare by all accounts. Former Sheffield United striker Patrick Suffo and ex-Crewe front man Dele Adebola both notch a brace, making Glen Little's seventh minute goal for us small beer indeed. Then to compound it, "Mads" twisted his knee and is expected to be sidelined for three weeks.

Former Valencia boss Rafa Benitez is named as the new manager of Segunda Division side Rayo Vallecano. Rayo are the lesser known team in the Spanish capital behind Real and Athletico.

16 December 2005: All quiet as we finalise arrangements for Birmingham's visit tomorrow. The first team squad seem refreshed ahead of Blues arriving in town; wonder if Jasper Carrott is coming to the game or not?
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Loved Jasper Carrott stand up/shows back in the day - loves the blues

Pool struggling - maybe new keeper will help

Chrissy R on the bench at the mo ?

Some spending by Barca
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Redknapp69 wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 10:56 pm Loved Jasper Carrott stand up/shows back in the day - loves the blues

Pool struggling - maybe new keeper will help

Chrissy R on the bench at the mo ?

Some spending by Barca
Chris Ronaldo has been injured recently hence he's not featured, he's going to get some time in the reserves to give him some games ideally. Dunwell and Tonton are the first choice pairing at present. We might not be scoring many, but we're keeping it tight at the back too hence we're in the top half of the table.

Yeah, maybe the new keeper will help the Reds but as long as they stay below me is all that matters haha. Barca definitely going for it Redders, question is though: will their new signings gel immediately?
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

Middle of December already now, and thankfully the Lads have a good rest ahead of the Birmingham City home game. After the Blues have been in town, we have both Arsenal and Liverpool in consecutive fixtures away from home which is not the best way to get to the halfway point. With a smattering of points between fifth and mid-table, just one bad result could prove costly.

We might be the second joint lowest scorers in the Premier League, but not even leaders Chelsea can match or better our goals conceded tally which is the best there is. Changing the formation is probably behind it all but it needed to be done, and I'm sure it will all work out in the long term.

17 December 2005: Brummies are in town today, and no sign of Jasper Carrott sitting alongside Uncle George in the directors box. Did Uncle George forget to ask him to come?

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18th placed Birmingham arrive at Feethams in need of points to avoid an immediate response; whilst we are looking for points to maintain a bid for a second campaign in Europe next year. Something has to give, right? Team news sees us make triple changes from the side that drew 1-1 last Sunday at SJP. JP is restored after his suspension but "Big Dave" keeps his place in the back three in place of Stevie Warnock whilst Geoff Pitcher is taken out of the starting eleven and replaced by Julian Gray who was on the bench at SJP; and Artur Correia is swapped for the youthful exuberance of Arnar Valdemarsson. Blues make one change themselves, Keith Lasley replacing fellow Scot Stephen Simmons. Former Juventus defender Paolo Montero features in their defence.

The game itself was far from a classic to be honest with the wet conditions making cute football an impossibility hence we tried to mix up as best we could to break Blues down. After a tepid first 20 or so minutes, Blues created the first chance when Matthew Etherington found himself unmarked in the penalty area but Alejandro pawed away his effort. Lasley fired wide and then Blues thought they had gone ahead when Darren Currie, nephew of Tony, drove home but it was ruled out for an Andy Johnson handball in the build up. Then just before the half hour, Etherington saw red for an off the ball incident under the referee's nose involving him and Ashley Lythe. Blues went defensive after that, making it hard for us to break through. Valdermarsson shot straight at Wilko De Vogt and then Michael Dunwell fired wide as we finished the half stronger. Half Time: 0-0

The second half was pretty much cat and mouse with neither side wanting to yield to the other. Dangerous Norwegian striker Rune Johansen forced Alejandro into a smart save in the only real effort of the second 45. It was a dire game and probably not one we wanted with those games at Arsenal and Liverpool to come next. We walked off feeling rather disappointed in ourselves, but on the flip side: another clean sheet for the Premier League's best goalkeeper!

Attendance: 13370
Man of the Match: Matthew Hamshaw (Birmingham City)
Position After Game: 7th
Next Game: Arsenal (A)

As we reflected post game, the point was enough to move us back into the top seven as some other results went our way. Elsewhere, leaders Chelsea won the SW London derby over Fulham thanks to goals from Sol Campbell and Matt Holland despite Tore Andre Flo not adding to it when his penalty was saved by Cottagers keeper Jimmy Walker. Leeds stayed second with a 3-1 home win over Newcastle, scoring all their goals in the first 29 minutes from Alan Smith and a brace from Michalis Konstantinou, Mickey's relation Scouse Steve Schumacher scored the Geordies goal. Everton and Manchester United served up a goalless draw as did Arsenal at bottom placed West Ham. Marcus Stewart gave Ipswich an early lead against Liverpool on Jon Davies' debut for the Reds but Robbie Fowler equalised within five minutes before a Chris Riggott own goal gave the Reds the points; and Bolton saw off Southampton 3-0 at the Beer OK Stadium.

Aston Villa Olof Mellberg was removed from their squad today ahead of their game tomorrow as he completed a £3.2 million move to Leeds United. The Swede has signed a deal in West Yorkshire until the summer of 2010. Meanwhile, Leicester manager David Mitchell is announced as Frank Farina's replacement as Socceroos manager: he will combine both roles apparently.

18 December 2005: Couple of games in the Premier League, one which had a bit of an impact on us.

First of all, Aston Villa drew 1-1 at home with Blackburn Rovers. Matt Jansen gave Rovers the lead in the 22nd minute but Martin Dohlsten's first ever Villa goal ten minutes from time gave them a point.

Then Millwall went to Tottenham and won 3-1 which pleased us no end as it kept Spuds behind us in the standings. Lee Hughes bagged a hat-trick for the Lions, whilst Tony Thorpe scored for the home side.

19 December 2005: Big spends from Everton this morning as they shell £8 million on Manchester City's versatile South Korean Song-Jong Kook. City make a nice £6 million profit on the defender they bought from Pusan three years ago.

Valdemarsson will probably be missing now for a few days, looks like he's fractured his cheekbone in training today. Unless we can find him one of those protective masks that make you look a deformed member of the Frankenstein clan...

In tonight's Premier League action, the Wear-Tees derby at the Stadium of Light ends goalless.

20 December 2005: Nothing more to do today but prepare for tomorrow's trip down to the Smoke to face the Arsenal. Anyone got me any word searches to do, or maybe the latest monthly edition of Logic Problems?

Asking for a friend....
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

So we head towards the halfway point of the season, and after a wobbly start then things have started to settle down nicely. We're still in touch with sixth placed Newcastle, with Everton and Arsenal just a little further ahead. The more points and wins we can pick up, the better it will be in the final standings as the higher the finishing position, the better end of season prize money you get.

Still no word from Uncle George on the stadium expansion he promised. I'm going to stay quiet on that for now, might decide to mention it again in the close season as we plan for season six when it comes around. Feethams is close to being full every home league game, surely Uncle George sees that yeah? If only we could start to go on a scoring spree and tear teams apart, maybe the floodgates will open shortly?

21 December 2005:A trip to the Capital and a game against Steve-Gordon Eriksson's Gooners who go into the game in fifth place, two above ourselves.

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A trip to North London to face the Arsenal, the team who have inflicted the heaviest defeat on us since the career began. Arnar Valdemarsson was not declared fit enough to play after a facial injury in training a couple of days earlier. Therefore Geoff Pitcher was drafted in to replace the Icelandic teen with Stevie Warnock taking Pitcher's place on the bench. Steve-Gordon Eriksson surprisingly gave Thierry Henry his first start in over a month, Henry had picked up a very bad groin strain and was expected to be sidelined for at least a further three weeks. Missing for sure was Irish striker Robbie Keane who picked up a knee injury against West Ham last weekend, Keane had scored twice against us when the two teams met last time out.

We decided to adopt a defensive tactic at the beginning and hope that we could catch the Gooners out on the break. The first chance came in the eighth minute, Swede Kennedy Bakircioglü shooting straight at Alejandro after Henry had set him up. That was to be Henry's last meaningful contribution as he went over on his ankle two minutes later, reports later confirmed he had broken it and would be out for five months. Despite the absence of the Frenchman, Arsenal continued to pepper us with efforts with Alejandro saving from Rino Gattuso, Nwankwo Kanu and Bakircioglü in a spell of incessant home attacking. Eventually something had to give, and they broke the deadlock a minute before half time when Kanu headed in an Olivier Dacourt cross via the post. Half Time: 1-0

Despite the battering from the home side, we decided to go a bit more adventurous second half as all it needed was one stroke of fortune to go our way. Arsenal's riposte was to take off their former Barcelona defensive midfielder Josep Guardiola and replace him with DR Congo striker Carlin Itonga. They meant to put the game beyond us for sure. Kanu and Bakircioglü were denied again by Alejandro before we had our first effort of the night just before the hour, Julian Gray with a well struck effort that Roy Carroll was required to make a decent save from. Dacourt had a free kick pushed aside by Alejandro before the Spaniard saved a goalbound header from Tomas Repka as the home side continued to rack up the chances.

Dutch defender Regillio Vrede was denied by Alejandro in the latest chance whilst teen striker Ian Gray had a volley turned away by the Spanish custodian as time ticked on. Could we just get that breakthrough to stun them? Well, against the run of play, we did that with nine minutes to go in a made in Cheltenham routine. Jamie Victory with a free kick into the box and the Duffer with a thumping header beyond Carroll. The majority of the crowd went suddenly silence bar the wee pocket of Darlington fans in one corner of the stadium. Yet Arsenal should have won it with two minutes to go, a great team move saw Kanu lay the ball off to Bakircioglü but the Swede skewed his effort well wide. So we got a point, but it felt like a win. A fantastic result for us!

Attendance: 34273
Man of the Match: Alejandro
Position After Game: 7th
Next Game: Liverpool (A)

As we drove home, news broke that Gary Megson had resigned as manager of 1979 and 1980 European Cup winners Nottingham Forest. The Tricky Trees are ninth in the First Division, five points off the last play-off spot currently held by Grimsby Town.

22 December 2005: Last night was a full Premier League programme with all twenty sides in action. Leaders Chelsea stayed top thanks to a 2-0 win at Anfield, Roy Keane (bet he enjoyed it) and Pietro Parente on target for the Blues. Leeds stayed in touch with a 2-1 win at St. Andrews, Joe Cole and Ian Harte from the penalty for the West Yorkshire side meaning Dele Adebola's injury goal for Blues was just a consolation. Goals from Patrik Berger and Ruud van Nistelrooy saw off Sunderland at Old Trafford as United stay third three points behind the leaders. Everton suffered a shock 2-1 loss at Fulham, two goals in three minutes from Lee Morris and Phil Charnock proved decisive, Ole Gunnar Solsjkær having given the Toffees a 32nd minute lead.

Newcastle and Ipswich drew 0-0 at SJP despite the visitors playing the entire second half with ten men after Titus Bramble was dismissed for violent conduct, Blackburn defeated Spuds 2-1 at Ewood thanks to a brace from Vasilis Lakis with the Scottish Stephen Hughes scoring for the Londoners. Martijn Reuser gave Millwall a 17th minute lead at home to Bolton but the Wanderers took the points thanks to a Dean Ashton effort and a couple from Henrik Pedersen. Chris Coleman inspired 'Boro to a 3-1 win down by the Riverside against Aston Villa with Hamilton Ricard and Sayed Abd El Hafiz also netting. And finally, West Ham recorded a welcome win when they triumphed 2-0 at St. Mary's thanks to strikes at end of each half from recent signing Victor and Christian Hemberg.

Couple of injuries from the training ground today, one of them major. Young Dane Karsten Hopfner and Ashley Lythe collided into each other and you could tell both were in distress. Hopfner has a damaged shoulder which will sideline him for a fortnight, but Lythe broke his collarbone in the clash and is going to be ruled for three months minimum. Just as Ashley was starting to really establish himself again in the defence, eh? Martjin Reuser leaves Millwall for Liverpool and a £3.7 million fee, and Sporting Lisbon forward Jardel has said to a Portuguese newspaper that he wants to join Arsenal.

23 December 2005: Remember Mark Peat, the young Scotttish goalie? Well it looks like he might be on the move in the next few days as Watford have made a £250K bid to Kilmarnock for him; he has played just three senior games in his career. Spuds have signed Scottish left back Steve McMillian from Crystal Palace for £775K, he was previously with Wigan and Motherwell.

Meanwhile, Sporting Lisbon have rubbished those Jardel claims.

24 December 2005: Peat has agreed personal terms at Vicarage Road, expect him to be unveiled soon.

Elsewhere, Millwall's Scottish goalkeeper Jamie Langfield has joined Crewe Alexandra on a one month loan and Ipswich have bid £7.25 million for that Rohan Ricketts gadgie. We will be on TV next month too, our game at Ewood has been switched to be a Monday Night Football game.

We know what tomorrow is, don't we? Be good children....
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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• Montero in Brum defence!
• Feels like 2 dropped there though
• Mellberg a decent 01/02 player IIRC
• Lee Hughes – spell in prison didn’t he?
• C’mon George – get the planning permission in!
• Some names in that Arsenal team – cracking away point
• MERRY XMAS TO ALL!
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

We're on the coach and everyone is feeling rather happy with themselves, and why should we be? We've gone to one of the biggest clubs in the capital, and taken a point out of them on their home patch. Yes us, little old Darlington. Now we go into the Christmas fixtures themselves, with them being another hard away trip before finishing with a local derby against the Smoggies from up the A66.

If we can take something out of these then we can hopefully kick on and close in on matching or bettering last season's fifth placed finish. Just need to get Tonton scoring again....

25 December 2005: The strains of Noddy Holder and Slade pipe through the speakers in the breakout area at the training ground. Like most football teams, we trained on Christmas Day albeit a light one before the players departed back to their families to enjoy the festive day and the Queen's speech.

Tomorrow we're off to Anfield, a team we are yet to take a point from since arriving in the Premier League. Will the Kop intimidate our players or will we pull another fantastic result? This is a huge test for all concerned.

Meanwhile, Mark Peat has completed his £250K transfer from Kilmarnock to Watford, and former Wrexham and Birmingham midfielder Bryan Hughes has dropped a division to leave Ipswich Town for Manchester City with the Citizens paying £6.5 million for the 29 year old's services.

26 December 2006: it's an early start for the Lads as we go to Merseyside for a lunchtime kick off at Anfield. Tonton seems a bit upbeat despite the goal drought he is on, he gives a wee wink towards me as he boards the team coach and says "Don't worry gaffer, I'm gonna score today. Can feel it'll happen." - let's hope the wee Swedish genius is right eh?

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We named an unchanged side from the side that drew 1-1 at Arsenal five days. This meant that "Big Dave" kept his place in the back three as we adapt to life without Ashley Lythe for the next three months or so. The big question was, who replaced Lythe? We chose former Liverpool trainee Stevie Warnock ahead of George McCartney with David Copeman staying in midfield. Warnock's place on the bench went to versatile Swede per Andersson who has been in solid form for the Reserves this season. Liverpool handed a debut to their new Dutch signing, Martjin Reuser. Reuser would start the game at left wing back for Houllier's Reds.

Liverpool of course had the first chance of the game, and it was a double chance spurned in the 11th minute when Steed Malbranque and Michael Owen were denied in the space of seconds by Alejandro. Stevie Gerrard was the next one up, but his header from John-Arne Riise went soaring over the bar. However, they broke through in the 22nd minute when Owen unselfishly set up Vegard Heggem to lash the ball beyond Alejandro and send the Kop into raptures. They were still singing when Tonton nearly silenced them immediately, firing inches over after a piece of individual skill. They didn't heed the warning just before the half hour when Geoff Pitcher picked out Tonton and he drove the ball past Davies. The smile was back, and he celebrated big time: jumping straight into my arms and screaming "Told you so gaffer, told you so!"

Owen then missed two more Liverpool chances, one that flashed wide and the other that clanged off the post. Yet we were still in the game too with Jamie Victory sending a volley just wide as the game really opened. Heggem nearly got his and Liverpool's second in time added on at the end of the first half, Owen again setting him up but this time out: the shot fizzed inches over. Half Time: 1-1

The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Owen headed an effort into the Kop from a Malbranque cross. Yet we almost took the lead in weird circumstances, Victory's ball forward almost catching Davies out with the Welsh youngster claiming the ball inches from the line as it threatened to land over his head and into the net. Davies pulled off a smart save to deny Julian Gray before Alejandro denied Malbranque with an equally smart save. With nine minutes to go, The Duffer curled an effort inches wide with Davies scrambling across his goal. Malbranque was denied by a superb Alejandro save before Robbie Fowler headed the last chance of the game over from a Malbranque corner. Another huge point on the road!

Attendance: 40162
Man of the Match: Michael Owen (Liverpool)
Position After Game: 7th
Next Game: Middlesbrough (H)

We might be signing a couple more youngsters to boost our squad, a couple of 20 year olds have attracted our attention. They currently play at non-league Alfreton Town, and the feeling is that they could play a higher level. Might be able to bag them for around £200K apiece with a percentage of next sale deal if we can tempt the Reds into a double deal. Former Arsenal legend Tony Adams might be the next managerial casualty, Pompey have lost their last five successive games and are 23rd in the First Division. 'Borer have also seen Hamilton Ricard turn down a new deal, where he will play next season is open to conjecture.

27 December 2005: It was full day of action in the Premier League, here's yesterdays round up.

Chelsea remain at the top, goals from Argentine Andres D'Alessandro and Norwegian Tore Andre Flo saw them win 2-0 at Middlesbrough. Leeds were held though, but had to come from behind to get a point at the Cottage after goals from Lee Morris and Barry Miller gave Fulham a 2-0 advantage by 62 minutes yet two in six minutes from Joe Cole and Mario Stanic rescued that point. Manchester United eased to a 2-0 home triumph over Ipswich Town with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Dwight Yorke on target whilst Everton did a Leeds with a comeback for a point at Ewood; Marcus Bent and Christian Nerlinger had Rovers 2-0 ahead in 25 minutes but two late goals from Samuel Wowoah and Ole Gunnar Solsjkær gave the Toffees a share of the spoils.

Steve-Gordon Eriksson's Gooners slipped to a 3-1 loss at the Beer OK. Dean Ashton opened the scoring for the Whites and although Sibusiso Zuma equalised, second half goals from Gary Breen and former Gooner Paolo Vernazza sent them crashing with Olivier Dacourt also sent off for the visitors. Milwall overcame Sunderland 2-1 at the New Den, Lee Hughes and David Johnson netting for the Lions and Derek McInnes the Black Cats sole reply. Spuds and Villa were involved in a goalless draw whilst Birmingham City and Southampton shared a 2-2 draw, Rune Johansen and Matty Etherington Blues scorers and John Eustace and James Beattie for the Saints. West Ham remain bottom after losing 2-1 at SJP, Tommy Smith and Jesper Gronjkær for the Magpies meaning Svetoslav Todorov's late goal for the Hammers was just mere consolation.

One of the young Alfreton talents has signed a new deal there, but we hear there's a £180K minimum fee release clause in place. Might just have trigger that. "Mads" is also back in light training which is a boost as I plan to start him, if fit enough, in the FA Cup game against Lincoln.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

Welcome back to the second part of the Christmas special. Can we finish 2005 with a bang?

28 December 2005: After "Mads" started training again yesterday, another one out of the treatment is Byron Bubb. The former Millwall trainee suffered a shoulder injury three weeks ago but is now back into full contact training with the Lads. Meanwhile, Richard Hodgson is out of contract in six months time: as he doesn't fit in with the rigours of Premier League football then he's definitely released in the summer.

Couple of matches for those with games in hand tonight. Arsenal scraped to a 1-0 win at Birmingham with Kennedy Bakircioglü scoring the winner for the Gooners against the Blues who had 17 year old central defender Gary Wood sent off for clattering Olivier Dacourt. Newcastle and Southampton drew 1-1 at SJP with Tim Cahill giving the home side the lead but Gary Alexander's 72nd minute equaliser gave the Saints a point.

29 December 2005: Another injury boost as teen Arnar Valdemarsson appears to have fully recovered from a fractured cheekbone which has kept him out the Arsenal and Liverpool away trips. He will be on the bench probably for the derby game against the 'Borer.

The Reserves took on the 'Boro second string at Rockcliffe Hall this afternoon. Youth prospect Dave Fleming gave us a 24 second lead with a superb solo effort that fizzed home but Colin Carroll levelled by the sixth minute. The teams shared chances before former Hartlepool defender Graeme Lee gave the home side the lead in the 61st minute, tapping home after "George" Neves had spilled a Malcolm Bates shot into his path. We gained a draw ten minutes from time when Per Andersson's cross was turned home via the post by Chris Ronaldo, still looking to regain his match fitness after his injury issues.

Karsten Hopfner wasn't risked for the Reserve outing, he started light training today so we need to be patient with him.

30 December 2005: Nothing much to report ahead of tomorrow's derby against the Smoggies, bar the second Alfreton youngster has penned a new deal there. Once more, it's got a £180K minimum fee release clause inserted in.

31 December 2005: What better way to end the year, a derby against the Smoggies at Feethams!

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With the team at full fitness, we named an unchanged starting line up for the Smoggies visit. The only change was on the bench with Valdemarsson replacing Per Andersson. Middlesbrough named an attacking line up with Bestchastnykh, Tawio and Ricard forming a very dangerous front three that would keep our defence firmly on its toes. They won at Feethams last season and would nothing more to do so again this season to help alleviate their relegation fears.

That intent was known in the seventh minute, Ricard with a powerful header that Stevie Warnock put his body on the line to deflect away from goal. What a man! Bestchastnykh drilled a free kick wide of goal and then Warnock again was the hero when he cleared Ricard's header off the line as 'Boro dominated the early stages. Alejandro then saved superbly from Barry Quinn as the away side created another chance on goal before Jamie Victory headed our first opportunity over the bar. Bestchastnykh's curling effort was brilliantly pawed away by Alejandro whilst Victory went close again with another home chance, the ball inches over the top. Ricard had another header saved but we felt we deserved a penalty on half time when Christopher Kanu clean wiped out Tonton but the referee said no dice. Half Time: 0-0

Five minutes after his 56th minute introduction, the enthusiastic Valdemarsson rattled the 'Boro crossbar with our best chance so far. Both sides then started to defend their lines after their lives depended on it, I mean who wants to be on the losing side in a derby encounter. It looked a certain goalless draw until the deadlock was broken five minutes from the end, Tonton sending in an effort that skidded off the wet playing surface and into the net! Absolute scenes in Feethams! Michael Dunwell almost made it two moments later, but his volley flashed wide of goal when half thought it had gone in. But we got the win, and bragging rights over the Smoggies! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Attendance: 13354
Man of the Match: Mike Duff
Position After Game: 7th
Next Game: Manchester United (A)
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

As we are at the halfway point of the season, here are the standings:
Top Half

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Bottom Half

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These are our games in January as it stands:

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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Dominated by the mighty reds and you spawn a point!

Lovely win over Boro sends the fans into the new year with joy!

Tonton back in the goals - happy days

After Utd then it's 4 games you should be looking to get positive results from. Lincoln should pose little threat and at home maybe a chance to get some goals and then 3 teams in bottom half so would be hoping for 6 points for those 3 games
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

Post by PauloDiHanio »

Great to see Tonton scoring again!

Other than United some very winnable games in January, maybe time to start pushing for top 5
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

Post by Strike Force One »

PauloDiHanio wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 5:48 pm Great to see Tonton scoring again!

Other than United some very winnable games in January, maybe time to start pushing for top 5
Too right fella, hopefully he will go on a bit of a spree now. it's all getting a bit congested for the European spots, so we will be counting on others to do favours based on games in hand. All we can do is win what we can, and hope...
Redknapp69 wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2024 10:42 pm Dominated by the mighty reds and you spawn a point!

Lovely win over Boro sends the fans into the new year with joy!

Tonton back in the goals - happy days

After Utd then it's 4 games you should be looking to get positive results from. Lincoln should pose little threat and at home maybe a chance to get some goals and then 3 teams in bottom half so would be hoping for 6 points for those 3 games
Was well pleased with the point from Anfield, sometimes you have to take the unexpected when it happens. Winning the derby means everything, especially against the nearby Smoggies.

United away will be difficult guaranteed but Lincoln is a banana skin, I will still be looking at making a host of changes for it though - maybe see if CR is fit enough to play a part. League games after that should pose difficult problem, but if we get past Lincoln then the Villa game will get rescheduled as it's FA Cup Fourth Round day.

Win games and then pray for others to slip up. It's all in our own hands Redders.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

The second part of the season which will determine where we will finish this season. A top six finish is my plan as that will guarantee us very much so a second shot in the UEFA Cup next season. We're doing well in this season's competition; having seen off club sides from Macedonia, Greece and Italy before our last sixteen encounter with Girondins de Bordeaux which is at the beginning of March.

Everything is going to be dependent on winning our own games and others not. If we can get a decent FA Cup run going then that would be grand too.

1 January 2006: And a very Happy New Year to all and sundry, it's a World Cup year and hopefully a good one too domestically for us all at Darlington. We're positively bouncing after the derby win over the Smoggies yesterday, which was the perfect tonic for the end of the old year. Lads had the day off ahead of Wednesday night's trip to the PL Champions themselves, Manchester United. Having got draws at Arsenal and Liverpool in December, maybe this follow suit.

December's awards were announced today ironically. The Manager of the Month went to West Yorkshire and to Leeds United's David, some call him Dreary, O'Leary. Player-wise, Player of the Month was the exceptional Argentine Andrés D'Alessandro of Chelsea and Tottenham's Chris Phillips won the Young Player of the Month.

After being out of the managerial game for 14 months, former Leicester City and England (caretaker) manager Peter Taylor is the new manager at Nottingham Forest. He replaces Gary Megson who resigned after the Tricky Trees had drawn 0-0 with Gillingham last month.

2 January 2006: Preparations start for Wednesday and Old Trafford, with the boys firmly knowing that to get a result here similar to Arsenal and Liverpool would be surpassed if they get something from M16. One player who won't feature there and also in the Lincoln FA Cup tie, when I'd planned to give him a game, is midfielder Byron Bubb. Bubb, 24, fractured his wrist in training so will be out for a week.

Bari's Emanuele Troise has joined Italian giants Internazionale for a £10.25 million fee. The defender, 26, played in the second leg at Feethams in the UEFA Cup and recently won his first Azzurri cap in their 2-0 friendly international loss to England way back in November at Wembley. One player getting it in the neck apparently is Portsmouth's Scott Parker who has failed to impress at Fratton Park since arriving in late October, with Pompey struggling at the wrong end of the First Division.

3 January 2006: Final touches made on the training ground for tomorrow's game, with no further injuries to report thankfully so we will be at full strength bar Ashley Lythe's long term absence.

Well QPR accepted that Ipswich bid for that Rohan Ricketts gadgie, but...he's turned down the move! Apparently he wants to wait until the end of this season to decide on his future, sounds like someone is looking for a bumper fat pay cheque elsewhere. He must think he's the dog's danglies, eh? Another player who probably won't arrive is IFK Göteborg teen Markus Jensen. The 17 year old who can play either central defence or midfield, apparently wants over £10K a week in wages and that's a lot for someone who hasn't played a first team game for the 19-time Swedish Champions. Meanwhile, scout reports on one of those Alfreton 20 year olds is less than impressive, so undecided if to pursue him too.

4 January 2006: Good news off the training pitch, "Schmeichel" as we call him (in other terms, Danish keeper Karsten Hopfner) is back in full training. He had been recovering from a damaged shoulder sustained in an accidental training ground clash with Ashley Lythe. It's going to be a toss up between him and "George" Neves whom gets the substitute keeper spot on Saturday against Lincoln City in the FA Cup as I'm planning to give Alejandro the entire afternoon off barring injuries.

Image

Our first game of 2006 saw us head to the League Champions, Glenn Hoddle's Manchester United. We chose to make one change from the side that won the derby against Middlesbrough on New Year's Eve. That change was in the middle three with Arnar Valdemarsson replacing Julian Gray in a like for like switch. United named a very strong squad, compared to some previous outings. Their bench included three full internationals: Andrew Cole and Dave Beckham of England as well as German central defender Christian Wòrns. A tough night in Manchester with sleet falling and playing in sub-zero temperatures, causing some people to don gloves including our very own Tonton.

United made the perfect start, a goal inside two minutes. Phil Neville provided the cross and Dwight Yorke escaped "Big Dave" to rifle a half volley beyond the reaches of Alejandro and into the corner. So that was not we wanted. Jamie Victory flashed a shot of sorts well wide before we had to make an early substitution, Michael Dunwell limping off to be replaced by Peter Weatherston. The Champions almost added a second in the closing stages of that first half, Ruud van Nistelrooy whizzing a free kick inches over the bar and then as the whistle prepared to shrill: Yorke having a goalbound effort well saved by Alejandro. Half Time: 1-0

After losing Paul Scholes to what looked like a slight niggle, the Red Devils added their second on the hour. JP seemed to have halted the progress of van Nistelrooy, only for the loose ball to come back to the predatory Dutchman who thundered it top bins. No chance for Alejandro whatsoever. Scholes' replacement Kalam Mooniaruck almost bagged the third three minutes from time when sent clear by van Nistelrooy but his effort was superbly turned around the post by Alejandro. Tonton then attempted an audacious chip over Gianluigi Buffon which cleared the Italian internationalist but also cleared the bar, before Beckham played in Yorke and his chance was thwarted by Alejandro.

Attendance: 60102
Man of the Match: Phil Neville (Manchester United)
Position After Game: 8th
Next Game: FA Cup Third Round - Lincoln City (H)

Overseas, Real Madrid made the signing of left wing back and 15-times capped Italian internationalist Francesco Coco from Lazio for £11 million. The wing back started his career at Milan and spent three seasons in La Liga with Madrid's rivals Barcelona. He adds further competition to the position, currently battled for with Mauro Navas, Roberto Carlos and Santiago Solari.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

So we couldn't do at Old Trafford, what we had done at Arsenal and Liverpool and that was come away with a point. We're still in the hunt for a top six finish, again exceeding Uncle George's expectations, but we know that we need to take maximum points against the teams in the bottom half of the Premier League standings. That's a given.

Time to take some time out, and start our quest in the FA Cup. There will be changes, plenty of them.

5 January 2006: Last night saw a full Premier League programme of ten fixtures. This is the round up of what happened elsewhere. With United beating us, it was important that Chelsea and Leeds both won to keep the Red Devils behind them. Leaders Chelsea overcame Millwall at the New Den with a 2-0 win thanks to a pair of Savo Milosevic strikes whilst Leeds won 3-0 at the Riverside, Mark Viduka scored twice and Harry Kewell once for David O'Leary's men. Everton raced into a 3-0 lead after 13 minutes at Tottenham, Freddy Kanouté with two more to his tally and that after Francis Jeffers had scored in the first minute. Diego Tristán pulled one back for the home side from the spot after England international goalie Michael Oakes had been dismissed for a professional foul on him but that was as good as it was. Tommy Smith scored the only goal of the game, his 19th of the season, in the last seconds to gain Newcastle a 1-0 home win over Arsenal.

Birmingham looked to be on course for a win at Bolton despite trailing to an early Henrik Pedersen goal when Rune Johansen and Marian Pahars netted. However, three second half goals from Grégory Dufer, Ian Stonebridge and Gary Breen gave the home side the points at the Beer OK Stadium. Martjin Reuser's first goal since his transfer from Millwall gave Liverpool a narrow win at home to Southampton. Paul Robinson gave Ipswich an early sixth minute lead at Ewood but Matt Jansen levelled inside a minute, and the game ended level. Goals from José Antonio Guayre and former Sunderland midfielder Lee Clark gave Aston Villa a 2-0 win over the Black Cats in an ill tempered affair which saw the home side have two sent off and the visitors one. And finally, the bottom of the table clash at Craven Cottage saw honours even: Jermain Defoe put West Ham ahead but a last minute equaliser from Neal Ardley ensured a 1-1 draw.

After limping off last night, it's been diagnosed that Michael Dunwell has picked up a thigh strain and will miss a fortnight's action. This opens the door to either Peter Weatherston, Dean Shiels or Chris Ronaldo to step in. Meanwhile club captain "Mads" resumed full training today so should be available for the Lincoln Cup game. As I said, there will be a raft of changes....just hope they don't bite me on the proverbial back side and we fall victim to a giant killing on home turf.

6 January 2006: Last day of training before the FA Cup game tomorrow. Thankfully no injuries picked up, so no last minute changes to plan.

Was looking at the last time we played each other, it was the first season in charge. The sides drew 2-2 with David Cameron and Tony Thorpe scoring for the visitors whilst Clint Marcelle and Neil "Auntie" Wainwright bagged for us to get us a point. Of our squad that day, only three feature for us in the Premier League. A truly remarkable rise.

7 January 2006: A break from the bread and butter of the Premier League, the romance of the FA Cup arrives at Feethams for yet another season. The Red Imps are in town, ready to cause an upset!

Image

With the focus on the high finish in the Premier League, we made nine changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Old Trafford. Yes, nine changes! The only players to stay in the starting eleven were Jamie Victory and "Big Dave", everywhere else saw a change. It represents a chance for others to shine, and most of the usual first teamers to have a day off. One of the changes saw recent signing from Hibernian Mark Dempsie in a new look back three with "Dave" and Simon Downer. Glen Little was at right wing back whilst Peter Weatherston and Chris Ronaldo started up front with Tonton on the bench if needed, Jonathan Bourdon was in goal with "George" Neves acting as substitute custodian. Lincoln were obviously going for the physical approach with David Cameron and former Wimbledon defender Mark Williams acting as a physical strike force.

Those visitors nearly had the perfect start with a goal inside two minutes, a rising shot from central defender Ben Kay being clawed away from the top corner by Bourdon. After that it became cagey, and we had to wait for the 37th minute for the next effort when Lionel Morgan crossed for Adam Jewell but his shot went wide of Bourdon's goal. We had offered little ourselves but as half time approached, Chris Ronaldo forced Imps Gareth Stewart into a good save and from the resultant corner the same striker had a goalbound effort blocked bravely by Kay. Half Time: 0-0

Like the first half, the visitors made a positive start with Cameron and Adam Burley having goalbound efforts denied by the alert Bourdon who was showing why he's highly rated. Weatherston rifled a volley high, wide and not very handsome as the frustration started to become very palpable indeed; so much so that Tonton was summoned from the bench to replace Chris Ronaldo with 19 minutes left to play. Imps substitute Will Farrell forced Bourdon into another save and the prospect of an unwanted replay loomed larger. Then breakthrough with four minutes to go, Victory with the cross and Tonton took one touch before blasting it in top bins.

We held on after that, not the prettiest performance but we're through. Who next?

Attendance: 5957
Man of the Match: Jamie Victory
Next Game: Fulham (H)

There was only two shocks, and that came at Anfield where the Reds were taking on West Bromwich Albion. Steed Malbranque gave the home side a 21st minute and it stayed that way until the 58th minute when the Baggies stunned the Kop with three goals in just eight minutes from Gerald Sibon (penalty), Jason Roberts and Jonathan Macken. Michael Owen made it 2-3 with 12 minutes to go but Baggies held on with former Red Frode Kippe being a stalwart in their rearguard. Middlesbrough also exited to a First Division side, Derby County, with veteran Scot Craig Burley scoring the winner in a 4-3 Riverside thriller.

The draw is tomorrow after the Tottenham - Manchester United tie.

8 January 2006: After Leeds had squeaked home 3-2 against Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United at Elland Road, and Manchester United spanked Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 at White Hart Lane: it was time for the FA Cup Fourth Round draw and performed by Ossie Ardiles and Garth Crooks.

Image

Not the best draw we could have hoped, against a Chelsea side that's chasing a domestic treble and the Champions League. If we can get past them then we stand as good a chance as anyone. The lowest ranked sides from the Third Division face higher ranked teams if they make it into the fourth round: Stockport, providing they see off Norwich City, will go to Everton whilst Stevenage will host Derby County if they manage to beat Crewe Alexandra. Other significant ties see Nottingham Forest, conquerors of Arsenal again, go to Reading or Cambridge United whilst Manchester United are away to QPR and Leeds United travel to Charlton Athletic. Games are played on the weekend of 28 January 2006.

With us being in the FA Cup still, the Villa game has been moved to 1 February. Our trip to Tottenham Hotspur has also been moved too, to the Sunday 5 February, to accommodate another appearance live on Sky.

9 January 2006: Former Notts County defender Nicky Law, who played for the 'Pies between 1988 and 1990, is their new manager. He succeeds Billy Davies who was his successor at Hibernian. Work that one out, eh?
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

Post by Redknapp69 »

Looks like RM really need another LB!

Always tough away to Utd and they still have some team

Jaysus - only just sneaked past the "Imps"

...........and rewarded with fecking Chelsea
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Redknapp69 wrote: Sat Mar 02, 2024 9:47 pm Looks like RM really need another LB!

Always tough away to Utd and they still have some team

Jaysus - only just sneaked past the "Imps"

...........and rewarded with fecking Chelsea
Exactly on all points Redders, the positive is that Tonton's back in the goals. The longer his drought went on, I was getting more and more concerned. But reasons now that this season still can end well, even if we exit the FA Cup against Chelsea.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

After the second string squeaked, and it's true to admit they did squeak, past Second Division Lincoln City in the FA Cup then we're heading back into the bread and butter of the Premier League. Teams still around have games in hand on us so we will need to be reliant on others messing up whilst taking of our own business.

16 league games stand before us, can we ensure that there will be another grandstand finish?

10 January 2006: We got some good news from the training pitches today, Byron Bubb has healed from his fractured wrist so was able to take part in full contact training again.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Newcastle have shipped out defender Michael Walsh to Derby County for £1.2 million and in another bizarre one Barnsley right-back David Worrell has joined fellow First Division side Coventry City for a £3.1 million fee. The amazing thing is that Barnsley are 7th in the First Division and the Sky Blues are 19th. I just don't get it.

11 January 2006: Four games in the Premier League tonight as teams use up their games in hand.

The biggest surprise came at St. Andrews as leaders Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by relegation threatened Birmingham, Ian Hughes scoring that all important goal. Gives us hope that we can do something similar in the FA Cup later in the month, eh? Another top side that failed to win too was second placed Leeds United who drew 2-2 at Southampton; Michalis Konstantinou scored twice for DOL's side but James Beattie and a last minute equaliser from Kevin Betsy gave the Saints a point. Ipswich got a goalless draw at Arsenal with Shay Given denying the Gooners time and time again whilst Liverpool were indebted to first half goals from Alain Goma and Robbie Fowler to see off Sunderland at Anfield. That Liverpool result sends them 8th and pushes us down to 9th, five points behind 6th placed Arsenal.

Talking about the Arsenal, they have signed Bobby Petta from Manchester United. The former Celtic winger joins the North Londoners for a £3.5 million fee. And in Italy, Fabio Brini has been dismissed as manager of Inter Milan with the Nerazzuri 6th in Serie A and a whopping 17 points behind leaders AS Roma.

12 January 2006: As one player exits the treatment room, two go in. Chris Ronaldo picked up a thigh strain in the warm up for the reserves match against their Fulham counterparts. This probably explains why he was an unused substitute in the game which the Cottagers won 1-0 thanks to a Lucas Cornwall strike on the stroke of half time. By all accounts, the reserve showing was pretty insipid with "Schmeichel", Simon Downer and David Poole being the only ones noted as being any way on the pace: the others were very average I'm led to understand.

Mark Dempsie lasted only 13 minutes in this reserve encounter, limping away with strained knee ligament damage which will sideline him for three weeks.

13 January 2006: Friday the 13th, what horrors happened today then?

Reserve full back Simon Betts joins the injured list today, he picked a chest related injury and will be out for a week and a half. No great shakes since he's not a first teamer and will be out of contract in the summer. American defensive midfielder John O'Brien joins Millwall from Ajax Amsterdam for £1.2 million whilst that Smoggie with the long surname, yeah him Vladimir Bestchastnykh, is a bit of a team liability. The 31 year old striker has scored just eight goals in 48 appearances since joining 'Boro for £5.75 million from Spartak Moscow in November 2004.

Cottagers in town tomorrow...
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Few niggling injuries to ressies/squad players

Bobby Petta is tearing it up for Trunky I think in DTL

Chunck of change for a 31 year old from Boro
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

So we meander through January with what looks on paper, two very winnable league games for us. However, Fulham are scrapping for every single point that they can muster as they bid to avoid relegation to the First Division. Then there's the next opponent after that, 1995 Premier League Champions Blackburn Rovers. Rovers have had a bit of indifferent season so far, and sacked "King" Kenny Dalglish in October. They also frustrated the heck out of us earlier in the season at Feethams when they repelled everything we threw literally at them despite playing with ten men from the second minute onwards. At Ewood, I do not expect them to be that negative and defensive.

We are danger of losing valuable ground in the race for Europe if we don't start turning the draws into wins, so maybe consolidation is the revised target? The squad overachieved so much last season. Perhaps the problem is me, I'm personally too over ambitious compared to what Uncle George wants.

14 January 2006: On what would have been our Nanna's 93rd birthday, we welcome former Mansfield Town winger (in his playing days) Mark Kearney and Fulham to Feethams. Mohamed El Fayed is the directors box sharing a chuckle with Uncle George. Can we get the points on offer?

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It's a wet and rainy Feethams that hosts today's Premier League action with both sides wanting points for differing reasons. Team News sees the majority of the first team back on duty after being rested for last Saturday's narrow FA Cup win over Second Division. This means that Peter Weatherston gets the nod alongside Tonton in attack with no recognised striker on the bench. Robbie Palacios is named on the bench though after a few injury setbacks as we try to put him the shop window for suitable suitors. Mark Kearney shuffles his pack and changes the formation for the game today with Adam Smith being replaced by former Chelsea man Rati Aleksidze as the Cottagers go 4-4-2 today; Lee Morris and former Aston Villa striker Darius Vassell are in attack.

Despite setting up to frustrate, Fulham took the lead in the sixth minute. Neal Ardley's free kick was deflected into the path Aleksidze whose low effort skidded off the wet pitch and past Alejandro. It was his first goal for the Cottagers since joining them in mid-October, having spent six and a bit years at neighbours Chelsea and making just 11 appearances in that time since arriving as promising 21 year old in 1999. It should have been 2-0 just after the half hour mark but despite being in acres of space, Vassell lashed his volley over the bar. Our first effort came five minutes before the interval when Tonton drove an effort wide from distance. Half Time: 0-1

Five minutes into the second, parity was restored when Arnar Valdemarsson laid the ball off to Geoff Pitcher who executed the perfect chip over Jimmy Walker for his first of the season in his 32nd appearance. Fulham had a couple of chances midway through the second half, Lee Morris forcing Alejandro into an important save before seconds later, Gary Naysmith drilling a shot wide of the mark. Tonton then curled a long range effort wide of Walker's goal as the game petered out into an uninspiring draw. Our eighth draw this season, and the feeling is that we have drawn far too much which could prove costly in the final analysis.

Attendance: 13052
Man of the Match: Rati Aleksidze (Fulham)
Position After Game: 8th
Next Game: Blackburn Rovers (A)

In the other games played today, Chelsea remain top of the pile with a 3-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers thanks to goals from Sergei Rebrov, Andrés D'Alessandro and Sol Campbell. That advantage is only three points as defending Champions Manchester United crushed Leeds United by the same score at Elland Road with Ruud van Nistelrooy bagging a brace and the other from Patrik Berger. Arsenal heaped more relegation fears on Birmingham City with a 2-0 home success, Bobby Petta scoring on his debut in the 71st minute and Finn Hannu Tihinen sealing the deal with an injury time penalty.

Alan Shearer scored the only goal to give Newcastle United the points against his old club Southampton. Mick Wilkinson gave Sunderland a 32nd minute lead against Tottenham at the Stadium of Light but Diego Tristán bagged a last minute equaliser for the visitors. And finally, Ipswich drew 1-1 with Middlesbrough at Portman Road with Brett Ormerod scoring for the home side and Sean Davis equaiising for 'Boro.

15 January 2006: Two games in the Premier League this afternoon, and both ended 1-1 draws. Freddie Kanouté's 15th of the season gave Everton the lead against Millwall but David Johnson obtained the Lions a share of the spoils. Meanwhile in London, West Ham's relegation worries weren't eased when they drew with visitors Liverpool; Martijn Reuser gave the Reds the lead which lasted until 12 minutes from time when Craig Bellamy equalised. After the game, with pressure mounting, Hammers chairman Terence Brown gave his beleaguered boss David Moyes the dreaded vote of confidence.

16 January 2006: Some good news from the training ground as Michael Dunwell started light training after picking up a thigh strain at Old Trafford 12 days ago,

Meanwhile, Ipswich splash out £7.5 million to sign Brøndby's two-cap Danish internationalist Mads Jorgensen. The 26 year old could make his debut on Wednesday night in the Suffolk side's FA Cup Third Round replay with Leicester City.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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As you say - have been a lot of draws this season

Tough league though and not easy to convert them to wins - even more so when you are not free scoring

Ah - Bellamy - he did a nice job for me in my Swansea story

Shearer must be getting on now?

George and Fayed on the prawn sandwiches!
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Redknapp69 wrote: Thu Mar 07, 2024 10:25 am As you say - have been a lot of draws this season

Tough league though and not easy to convert them to wins - even more so when you are not free scoring

Ah - Bellamy - he did a nice job for me in my Swansea story

Shearer must be getting on now?

George and Fayed on the prawn sandwiches!
Great minds think alike here Redders, hopefully we can start to put a few goals away in the remaining games this season. I'm probably going to persevere with this tactic next season, at least the side will be more used to be it by then.

Bellamy has only scored 6 times in 50 odd games since joining the Hammers, but his form has really started to falter in the last few seasons. Might just scout him and depending what comes back, decide if he's worth a punt in the summer but we might have to offload some deadwood to accommodate him and then there's his wages (he's on 12K a week at the Hammers) to take into account. Current valuation is around the £3 million mark....

Old Chicken and Beans is 35 now, but still banging in the goals: 20 in just 24 appearances this season! Still hasn't signed a new contract at SJP though, but doesn't seem interested in a move down the road. He also has a clause in his playing contract to release him under freedom of contract if he's offered a manager's job somewhere.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

Middle of January, and the season will be finished in four months or so. With the exception of Manchester United and Leeds, everyone is now on 23 games. 15 games left, and we are 13 points clear of the 18th and final relegation spot. However, make no illusions about it, a series of bad results might send us cartwheeling into a relegation scrap.

We're far too good to get relegated, aren't we?

17 January 2006: Couple more squad players in the treatment room, taking the total to six. The latest incumbents in "Winston" Riley's office are Byron Bubb and Richard Hodgson. Bubb, less than 2 weeks back from a fractured wrist, has a chest related injury and will be sidelined for a fortnight whilst Hodgson has suffered a badly sprained ankle and will spend three weeks on the injury list. Hodgson is also out of contract in the summer, and hasn't featured for the first team under ourselves: he will be one of the players that we will be granting free transfers when his current deal expires on 28 June if not before.

18 January 2006: Just four days after playing at Elland Road, Leeds United and Manchester United played each other again tonight but at the Theatre of Dreams. United won the game in West Yorkshire 3-0, and repeated the score in front of their own fans this evening. Central defender Ugo Ehiogu gave the Red Devils a 27th minute lead, and a brace from Ruud van Nistelrooy after 50 minutes and in injury time sealed the points for Glenn Hoddle's team.

The result catapults the Red Devils into 2nd place, level on points with Chelsea. The Londoners lead the table on goal difference, +29 to United's +25.

19 January 2006: Preparations continue ahead of the Monday night trip to Ewood, and another appearance in front of the Sky cameras. We will be hoping that relegation threatened Fulham and Birmingham City do us a favour before we kick off as they take on Arsenal and Liverpool respectively but we're not holding out much hope. 9th placed Bolton face Newcastle at the Beer OK, so a favour from the Geordies would also be quite nice too. Are you listening Mr. Chicken and Beans please?

20 January 2006: Simon Betts is out of the treatment room and has started light training. The reserves will be happy to have the former Colchester wing back in the side as he plays the left wing back role for them so consistently. I'm considering adding a second physio to the back room team if finances allow.

Former Torino Head Coach Giancarlo Camolese, 44, is the new Head Coach at Internazionale Milan. Prior to his appointment at the San Siro, Camolese was in charge at Salernitana who are second in Serie B.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

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Season 2005/06

Just a couple of games to play before we bid farewell to January 2006 in season five. One in the league and the other in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. It's been a bit of a topsy turvy ride this month, with the team still struggling to get any form of consistency. Story of our season domestically I would add.

Can we deliver a winning performance in front of the Sky cameras?

21 January 2006: With us not in action until Monday evening, the team had a light training session today to work on a few routines which we might be subject to at Blackburn. After the session, it was time to take the trip to the Beer OK Stadium to see how the home side would fare against Newcastle United. As it was, the two sides played out a goalless affair in a quite even match up. Henrik Pedersen hit the crossbar for Wanderers, who played the final 16 minutes with ten men after Grégory Dufer was red carded, whilst both Mr. Chicken and Beans and Jesper Gronjkær were denied by Simon Bullock in the home goal. Not the worst result for us in all essence.

Elsewhere, Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw at Villa Park with Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel's equaliser denying Martin O'Neill and his Blues the win. That draw coupled with Manchester United's 4-1 home win over Southampton saw the Red Devils ascend to the top of the table; Dwight Yorke bagged a brace whilst Ruud van Nistelrooy and a Luke Chadwick spot kick saw off the Saints for whom Dave Smith scored a mere consolation. Arsenal won 2-0 at Fulham thanks to a double from Kennedy Bakircioglü, whilst first half goals from Mikael Dorsin and Diego Tristán enabled Spurs to win by the same scoreline at home to Ipswich. Sunderland led Everton thanks to a Julio Arca 27th minute goal but Freddie Kanouté equalised for a point. Finally, West Ham's survival hopes got a boost as they won by the odd goal in five at the Riverside with Thomas Gravesen scoring the winner.

That same evening, Sunderland sacked Stuart Baxter. The 51 year old, who was recruited from Portsmouth, leaves after 13 months in the Stadium of Light hotseat.

22 January 2006: Today started with news that Leicester City have made a £75K bid for one of the promising young defenders we had been looking at and plays at Alfreton Town. The defender has a £180K minimum fee release clause, and despite our scouts being sceptical of us signing him, I am sorely tempted to trigger that clause and see we can attract him. If we do, he will spend a season or two in the reserves which itself will be a step up in standard for him.

In today's action; a 10th minute goal from Michael Owen proved to be enough for Liverpool as they recorded a narrow win over visitors Birmingham City despite dominating from start to finish. Lee Hughes put Millwall ahead with his ninth of the season but a double from Michalis Konstantinou gave Leeds the points at the New Den.

Back here, Chris Ronaldo has been in touch to advise he can start light training again as of tomorrow and there is good news for Artur Correia as he has been named in the Angola squad for the upcoming African Cup of Nations in Tunisia. Artur flies out to join the pre-tournament squad on Friday which runs throughout February. Considering a loan move for "George" Neves as he's apparently finding it hard to adapt to life here but if you remember so did Chris Ronaldo initially but he's OK now.

23 January 2006: Made bids to trigger the minimum release clauses for the Alfreton Town defensive pair. Chucked in sell on clauses too to tempt the Reds even more. Just a case of wait and see...

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A Monday night date with Sky as we go to the town that has apparently 4000 holes according to the Beatles. We made a single change from the side that drew with Fulham nine days ago, Peter Weatherston replaced by Julian Gray with Icelandic teen Arnar Valdemarsson pushed up front to form a new look strike force with Tonton. Rovers featured former Middlesbrough midfielder Carlos Marinelli in their starting eleven and were captained by Republic of Ireland international winger Damien Duff. Former Ajax trainee Nordin Wooter was on their bench alongside Indian internationalist Baichung Bhutia.

We took the lead as early as the third minute with a well executed move off the training ground. A Jamie Victory corner was headed on by Geoff Pitcher to the Duffer who lofted it into the six yard box where JP outjumped Alan Marriott to steer home a header into the gaping goal. Marcus Bent was denied an immediate leveller by Alejandro before Matt Jansen and Victory traded chances that went over the bar. Another effort from Bent struck the bar before we added a second just after the half hour. Victory's cross saw Tonton strike the post initially and after Gray had recycled possession, Tonton powerfully headed in the former Palace man's cross for his fourth in his last six games. Valdemarsson tested Marriott on half time but screwed the rebound wide when he should have scored our third. Half Time: 0-2

Early in the second half, Jansen had a half chance to halve the deficit. However, his header from a Duff cross went wide of the target. After that it became a cagey affair with us determined to defend as if our lives depended on it whilst the home side were desperate to give themselves a fighting chance of trying to salvage a draw. They ensured a nervy finish with a goal back in the 83rd minute; Andre Bergdølmo's low cross being turned in by Bent. With their tails up, Rovers poured forward for an equaliser. Bergdølmo being denied by Alejandro and then former Bayern midfielder Christian Nerlinger shooting straight at the Spanish custodian when well placed. But we held on, thankfully.

Attendance: 34786
Man of the Match: Jamie Victory
Position After Game: 8th
Next Game: FA Cup Fourth Round - Chelsea (H)

Geoff Pitcher's booking tonight was his fifth this season, triggering a one match ban from 6 February 2006.
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

Post by Strike Force One »

Season 2005/06

So a much needed win indeed at Ewood Park in front of the Sky cameras, and back up to eighth place in the Premier League. We find ourselves level on points with Liverpool who are a position above us and six behind both Everton and Arsenal who are fifth and sixth respectively. The tight defence is the reason we are where we are.

A break from the League this weekend coming, can we surprise Chelsea and get into the fifth round against all the odds?

24 January 2006: More good news ahead of the Chelsea Cup game. There's a chance that striker Michael Dunwell could feature against the Blues as he has now commenced full training after recovering from his thigh strain. The former Hartlepool United striker has five goals in 26 games this season, and 40 in 150 games since arriving in the summer of 2002 from Bishop Auckland in a £30K deal.

Alfreton Town have rejected the £75K offer from Leicester for 20 year old Welsh defender Andy Parry. However, our £180K offer plus a percentage on next sale offer is still on the table. Will he want to talk?

25 January 2006: Transfer news. Alfreton have accepted the deal offer we put forward for Graham Ryan, the second of the promising 20 year olds we have been keeping close tabs upon. But shock horror! Ryan has come back and said he's happy to stay at Alfreton for the time being...what a lack of ambition! Not to worry, we will test his resolve again some time in the near future.

Defending Premier League Champions Manchester United have a new signing. 29 year old Dutch winger Bolo Zenden has ended his second spell at PSV and joined the Red Devils for £13.5 million. He had two seasons at Chelsea before re-joining PSV, scoring once in just 17 appearances for the Blues. And Third Division Stockport County caused a stir when a 41st minute goal from Jermaine Jenas (on loan from Sunderland) sent First Division Norwich City out of the FA Cup at Carrow Road tonight. The Hatters go to Everton in Saturday's Fourth Round.

26 January 2006: Looks like a tug of war for young Mr Parry's services. Our offer has been accepted and we have also offered him a contract too. Whilst we were doing this, both Coventry City and Blackburn Rovers have made £90K offers for him.

Meanwhile, these will be our fixtures for the month of February. Please note there is no game on the 18th as it stands, as that game is earmarked for the Fifth Round of the FA Cup.

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27 January 2006: Yet another team enters the race for Andy Parry. Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian have also bid £90K for the young Welsh defender's signature.

Quadruple injury boost though as Byron Bubb, Mark Dempsie, Ashley Lythe have all started light training following their respective injuries. Simon Betts has resumed full training.

Chelsea tomorrow, and we will be fielding a virtually full strength side for it. We want that place in the last sixteen!
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Re: A Darlington Dynasty

Post by Redknapp69 »

Ugo and RVN CM01/02 beasts

Only 1 physio?! Have to get another!

Doesn't feel like we've seen CR7 all season

Zenden seems expensive £13m and 29

Let's go and beat the blues then!