THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

While Swans fans trust their chairman, few would support becoming a stepping stone for Giggs’ ultimate return to Manchester United

The Roma stalwart has his critics, and could have won more trophies elsewhere, but his appeal is in his simplicity

The cups presented for many modern competitions often lack the appeal of their predecessors

The Sky Blues are without a win in the league, their Ricoh Arena rental deal is due to expire and the category two status of their academy is under threat

Despite a slow start Monk could probably turn things around at Elland Road if he was given time

9 September ~ The season is only a month old and for many Leeds United supporters there is already a strong sense of deja vu. The threat of the sack looms large over new manager Garry Monk should Leeds lose to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town tomorrow.

Awarding Sassuolo's points to the losing team also hurts the rest of the clubs in Serie A

5 September ~ On August 28, Sassuolo beat Pescara 2-1 to go joint top of Serie A with maximum points from two games. Two days later it was ruled that they had fielded an ineligible player and the game was awarded 3-0 to Pescara, who went to four points with Sassuolo staying on three.

Gordon Strachan’s team were left out over summer and must make it to Russia 2018

ScotlandFans

Frustration growing at The Hawthorns but there are glimpses of a bright future

27 August ~ If West Midlands football seems to struggle for attention in the face of the national media’s obsession with north-west and north-east clubs, West Bromwich Albion sometimes seem to be overlooked even in a local context. This was understandable 20 years ago, when Aston Villa were always at least one division higher, Wolves and Birmingham were loudly targeting promotion or expensive signings, and the most exciting news from The Hawthorns tended to be of the "Stacy Coldicott signs new one-year deal" variety. It is less so now that Albion are the region’s only top-flight club and in the midst of a takeover headed by Chinese businessman Guochuan Lai.

Owen Coyle hasn’t endeared himself to fans, who are protesting against the club’s owners

26 August ~ A recent ex-Burnley manager was never going to be in for an easy ride at local rivals Blackburn Rovers, so what Owen Coyle most needed to keep supporters on-side was a good start to the season. After a disastrous first game against Norwich in which they were 3-0 down within 30 minutes and the subsequent loss of the team’s two centre-halves (Grant Hanley sold to Newcastle, Shane Duffy who has just gone to Brighton having been suspended and fallen out with Coyle) the coach is already under serious pressure.

The additional 30 minutes is already making way for penalties in some competitions

22 August ~ “No one wants to see extra time.” Late into this month’s Community Shield match, Manchester United and Leicester City locked at 1-1, Radio 5 Live co-commentator Danny Mills expressed relief the game would go straight to penalties. Listening in my car as a vaguely interested neutral, I instinctively agreed. Mills then followed up by claiming all drawn knockout games should go straight to a shootout because, really, there had only been a few decent periods of extra time ever played – in any competition. I almost crashed.