THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Friday 1 David Moyes is to sue the Daily Mail over claims that Wayne Rooney said he was “forced out” of Everton by the manager. Bristol City’s Bradley Orr and Scott Brooker and a former team-mate, David Partridge, now at Leyton Orient, are jailed over a nightclub brawl last October.

Saturday 2 “I feel part of the England family,” says Jermain Defoe after scoring two in a 5‑0 victory over Andorra, which triggers the usual media grumbling about uncompetitive fixtures. Scotland’s 6‑0 defeat of the Faroes is their biggest win in 30 years. Wales fall to a controversial 2‑1 defeat in Prague: the first home goal is offside and the 89th-minute winner comes from a contentious free-kick. Northern Ireland sink to one of their worst ever results, a 3‑0 home defeat by Iceland, and the Republic lose 1‑0 in Germany. After his managerless side’s 2‑1 win at Port Vale, Doncaster chairman John Ryan says he’d like to appoint local boy Kevin Keegan: “He’ll probably tell me to get lost, but that’s life.”

Tuesday 5
Chelsea say William Gallas threatened to score an own goal if selected for their opening game, against Man City. Gallas responds: “All this is very, very petty. But at the same time, that does not surprise me.” Wales lose 2­­­‑0 to Brazil in a friendly at White Hart Lane.

Wednesday 6
Peter Crouch’s 11th England goal secures a 1‑0 in Macedonia. In other Euro 2008 qualifiers, David Healy gets a hat‑trick as the relentlessly erratic Northern Ireland beat Spain 3‑2, Scotland continue their good start, winning 2‑1 in Lithuania, and Germany set a competition record by winning 13‑0 in San Marino.

Friday 8 Wayne Rooney and Michael Gray are said to have had a punch-up in a restaurant last week, though no one has pressed charges. Liverpool get council approval for a 60,000-capacity stadium in Stanley Park, a few hundred yards from Anfield. Mark McGhee is sacked by Brighton, currently 17th in League One. Sean O’Driscoll is to leave Bournemouth to take over at Doncaster.

Saturday 9 Man Utd stay top with their fourth straight win, Ryan Giggs scoring the only goal at home to Spurs. Chelsea beat Charlton 2‑1, with wage-slave Ashley Cole making his debut and Frank Lampard missing another penalty. Portsmouth, the only League team yet to concede a goal, stay second after a 1‑0 defeat of Wigan. Everton beat Liverpool 3‑0 for their biggest home derby win since 1909, in a performance chairman Bill Kenwright describes as “an out-of-body experience”. Arsenal come from behind to draw at home with Boro, Arsène finding a brilliant excuse for his team’s poor form – the PA announcer’s travel updates: “I think he has to respect people and not talk too much.” Fulham lose Jimmy Bullard to a bad knee injury and go a goal down to Newcastle before recovering to win 2‑1. Sheffield United and Blackburn draw 0‑0 in a game of three saved penalties. Birmingham go joint top of the Championship with a 2‑1 win at home to Hull. Sunderland come from behind to win 2‑1 at Derby in Roy Keane’s first match in charge. “He has lifted the whole area – we’re on the crest of a wave,” says defender Robbie Elliott. In League One, Forest go clear of Tranmere at the top with a 1‑0 win at Yeovil. League Two leaders Swindon lose at Wrexham to end their 100 per cent start. The bottom four all fail to win, Accrington scoring twice in the last minute but still losing 3‑2 at Notts County. “We didn’t just cut off our arms in the first half, but both legs as well,” says manager John Coleman. Celtic stay top of the SPL with a 1‑0 win at Aberdeen. In the First Division Gretna are off the top after a 4‑0 defeat at home to Dundee. Hamilton v Clyde is abandoned with the score 3‑3 after Hamilton player Ross McCabe is kicked in the throat and has to be resuscitated on the pitch. Matt Gadsby, a defender with Hinckley United, dies on the pitch during their Conference North match with Harrogate Town.

Sunday 10 West Ham draw 1‑1 at home to Aston Villa. Carlos Tévez makes his debut as a sub, while Javier Mascherano doesn’t play, apparently as a “message” from Pardew to would-be buyers: “The two new guys are the icing on the cake – but the cake has to taste nice in the first place.” Wolves go joint top of the Championship after a 1‑0 win at Leeds, Jay Bothroyd scoring a last‑minute winner. Brian Kidd turns down Sunderland to join Neil Warnock at Sheffield United. Harry Redknapp denies any involvement in transfer-related corruption ahead of next week’s Panorama documentary. “There is no evidence against me,” he says. “I don’t know why my name has been dragged into this. It’s cobblers.”

Tuesday 12 Michael Ballack scores from the spot in Chelsea’s 2‑0 win over Werder Bremen, but José suggests that Frank Lampard may get his job back: “If the next one comes in a position where Lampard is cool he will take it again.” Liverpool draw 0‑0 at PSV. Cardiff are off the top of the Championship after losing a three-goal lead in a 3‑3 draw at Plymouth. Birmingham’s 2‑0 win at QPR takes them two points clear. Forest lose for the first time, 2‑0 at home to Oldham, but stay top of League One as nearest challengers Tranmere are beaten 2‑1 by Rotherham, who move up to nil points after their pre-season deduction.

Wednesday 13
“We could have had ten,” says Sir Alex after a raucous evening at Old Trafford ends in a 3‑2 victory over Celtic, clinched by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s goal early in the second half. Arsenal win 2‑1 win at Hamburg, whose keeper is sent off after 12 minutes.

Thursday 14 In the UEFA Cup, Newcastle and Spurs (wearing a “chocolate” strip) get 1‑0 away wins against Levadia Tallinn and Slavia Prague respectively, but West Ham lose by the same score at home to Palermo. Alan Pardew is still upbeat: “In terms of what we’ve seen, we’ve nothing to be frightened of.” Blackburn concede a 90th-minute equaliser in a 2‑2 draw at Salzburg; Rangers also draw, 0‑0 with Molde of Norway.

Saturday 16
Portsmouth are top of the Premiership after a 1‑0 win at Charlton, who have lost four out of five under Iain Dowie. But he isn’t panicking: “Don’t look behind you, put your head above the parapet and take it on the chin.” Reading win 2‑1 at Sheffield United, Kevin Doyle scoring the first after 16 seconds. “Only an idiot would change what we’re doing,” says Aidy Boothroyd as Watford and Aston Villa draw 0‑0 at Vicarage Road in Doug Ellis’s final game as Villa chairman. Cardiff are top of the Championship after a 4‑1 win at home to Luton, Michael Chopra scoring twice. Birmingham are held 2‑2 at home by Ipswich. Leeds are in their lowest league position for 21 years after a 1‑0 defeat at Coventry. “I hope they don’t bother coming again,” says West Brom’s Paul Robinson, after a 1‑1 draw at home to Southend leads to chants of “Robson out!”. Forest stay top of League One, despite missing their fourth penalty of the season in a 0‑0 draw at home to Carlisle. At the bottom Millwall lose again, 1‑0 at Crewe. Rotherham have a positive points tally after a 0‑0 home draw against Doncaster. In League Two, Wycombe stay top after their sixth consecutive win, 2‑0 at Rochdale, Swindon lose at home for the first time under Dennis Wise and MK Dons win 3‑2 at Lincoln despite being caught in a motorway traffic jam and passing the time practising on a roundabout. Adam Le Fondre scores four times for Stockport as they beat Wrexham 5‑2. Huddersfield owner Ken Davy holds talks with fans under a police escort after protests following a 3‑2 home defeat against Yeovil. Celtic go six points clear at the top of the SPL with a 1‑0 defeat of Dunfermline. Owen Hargreaves breaks his leg playing for Bayern Munich and will miss England’s next two qualifiers.

Sunday 17 Sky’s “Grand Slam Sunday” peters out into a pair of 1‑0 wins. Chelsea beat Liverpool for the fifth time in a row in the League, Didier Drogba scoring the only goal. Michael Ballack apologises after being sent off for stamping on Mohamed Sissoko. Arsenal win 1‑0 at Old Trafford, Emmanuel Adebayor scoring in the 86th minute and also earning a penalty that Tomas Kuszczak saves on his United debut. “There’s no way we can say Arsenal didn’t deserve to win,” says Sir Alex. Newcastle win 2‑0 at West Ham, where police restrain some home supporters angered by Glenn Roeder waving towards the away end on his first return to Upton Park. Blackburn beat Man City 4‑2 at Ewood Park; Spurs and Fulham draw 0‑0. Rangers suffer their first defeat under Paul Le Guen, 2‑1 at Hibs.

Monday 18 Bryan Robson leaves West Brom “by mutual consent” after nearly two years in charge. “Bryan spoke to the players – they were subdued and disappointed,” says caretaker-manager Nigel Pearson, resisting the urge to add “so no change there”. Barry Fry resigns as chairman of Peterborough. Darragh MacAnthony replaces him. “Darragh was music to my ears because he was talking football, football and football,” says Fry.

Tuesday 19
Sam Allardyce is accused of taking bungs from agents in a Panorama investigation into alleged corruption in football, which also features Chelsea’s Frank Arnesen appearing to make an illegal approach for a Middlesbrough academy player. The FA say they will study the evidence assembled by the BBC. Wigan are knocked out of the Carling Cup 2‑0 at Crewe. Watford and Reading both win on penalties after home draws with Accrington and Darlington respectively. Randy Lerner completes his takeover of Villa.

Wednesday 20
“My good name has been tarnished by deceit and innuendo,” says Sam Allardyce, who denies all the Panorama allegations and says he may sue. Others featured, such as coach Kevin Bond and agent Peter Harrison, also threaten legal action. Boston Utd manager Steve Evans pleads guilty to fraud charges related to illegal payments to players – he will be sentenced in October. In the Carling Cup, Man City are beaten 2‑1 away at Chesterfield – their 13th defeat in 16 games – while Middlesbrough and Fulham lose at home to Notts County and Wycombe respectively. “Some of the lads looked like they were on the night shift when they really wanted to be on the afternoon shift on Saturday,” says Chris Coleman of his weakened line‑up. Xabi Alonso scores from his own half in Liverpool’s 2‑0 Premiership win over Newcastle. There is a post-match barney in the tunnel involving Craig Bellamy and Newcastle coach Terry McDermott, who says: “I take exception to little upstarts like him.” “I still have lots of points to prove to myself – although not to anyone else,” says John Gregory on taking over at QPR, currently bottom of the Championship. Leeds, one place higher, sack Kevin Blackwell.

Friday 22 The FA complain that the BBC are yet to hand over evidence from their investigation. “If the point of the programme is to clean up football, why not help?” says an official. Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston says he has been offered bribes by agents, while Jon Holmes, owner of the SFX agency, claims that three managers, one currently in the Premiership, have asked him for kickbacks.

Saturday 23 Chelsea go top of the Premiership with a 2‑0 win at Fulham, Frank Lampard scoring twice, one a penalty. “What’s all-important is you keep your nut down and rise above things,” he explains. Manchester United draw 1‑1 at Reading. Arsenal win for the first time at the Emirates, 3-0 against Sheffield United. “It was not as easy as the result suggests,” says Arsène, politely. Giorgios Samaras scores twice as Manchester City beat West Ham 2‑0. “It is easy just to blame the two Argentinians,” says Alan Pardew, blaming the two Argentinians. Watford stay bottom after a 1‑1 draw at Wigan. “We are trying to get the word ‘unlucky’ out of our system,” says striker Marlon King. In the Championship, Southampton go second after coming from behind twice to win 3‑2 at Burnley, while Birmingham are beaten by the same score at Leeds. Hull and Sheffield Wed both lose to stay joint bottom. The first signs that Roy Keane is building a team in his own image, as Sunderland have four players booked and a man sent off as they lose 3‑1 at Ipswich. The top two in League One, Tranmere and Nottingham Forest, draw 0‑0 at Prenton Park. At the bottom Rotherham win 3‑2 at Leyton Orient and are now just a point off overtaking Millwall, who lose 1‑0 to Northampton at the New Den, where director of football Ray Wilkins has an impromptu debate with supporters in the car park after the game. In League Two, Lincoln are second after ending Wycombe’s run of eight home wins in a row. Walsall go top with a 2‑1 win at Bristol Rovers. At the bottom Macclesfield draw 3‑3 at home with Torquay but stay four points adrift. “It’s satisfying but here wasn’t any whooping or hollering in the dressing room,” says Gordon Strachan as Celtic beat Rangers 2‑0 to go seven points clear at the top of the SPL.

Sunday 24 Newcastle and Everton draw 1‑1 at St James’ Park. The home side’s goal is clearly offside, but David Moyes is calm: “I make mistakes, we all do. Today the assistant referee made one.” Cardiff top the Championship after a 3‑0 win at Southend. “I’m the flavour of the month, but I’m not stupid,” warns Dave Jones.

Monday 25
Portsmouth lose for the first time this season, 1‑0 at home to Bolton. After the match Sam Allardyce tells Sky presenter Jeff Stelling that he’s “out of order” after being asked if he’d ever been offered a bung. Nigel Spackman leaves Millwall after four months in charge and seven defeats in ten games.

Tuesday 26 Man Utd get their first Champions League away win in nearly three years, 1‑0 at Benfica. “We had to defend properly, which is no crime, even if it is a little bit anti-Manchester United,” says Sir Alex. Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wants action taken against Paul Scholes for call the referee a “fucking poof” after being booked. Thierry Henry gets his 50th European goal in Arsenal’s 2‑0 win over Porto. Celtic beat FC Copenhagen with a penalty from Kenny Miller. Tranmere miss a chance to go top of League Two, losing a two-goal lead in a 2‑2 draw with Huddersfield; Forest stay top with a 1‑1 draw at Port Vale. Leyton Orient recover from three down to draw 3‑3 with Gillingham with a 15-minute hat-trick from full-back Matt Lockwood. An injury-time equaliser conceded at Wycombe prevents Swindon from returning to the top of League Two; Walsall keep the lead after a 1‑1 draw with Shrewsbury. Ashley Cole’s agent Jonathan Barnett has his licence suspended for his role in the “tapping-up” affair. Newcastle sack coach Kevin Bond, who featured in Panorama’s bung investigation.

Wednesday 27 Peter Crouch scores with a spectacular scissors kick in Liverpool’s 3‑2 win against Galatasaray. Didier Drogba gets all Chelsea’s goals in their 3‑1 victory at Levski Sofia. Andrei Shevchenko squanders chances again but Jose is to persevere: “He will play until he scores.” Sepp Blatter says penalty shootouts shouldn’t be used at the 2010 World Cup: “Maybe some players should be taken away in extra time.” Twenty West Ham fans are arrested after fighting in Palermo.

Thursday 28 Steve McClaren’s agent, Colin Gordon, says “millions upon millions” are going out of the game in bungs: “I can’t argue with the public seeing us as the scum of the earth.” He may be sued for “group defamation” by a body representing 289 UK agents. West Ham crash 3‑0 in their UEFA Cup tie in Palermo, but Alan Pardew denies that there is a crisis: “Tiny little things aren’t working for us right now.” Hearts and Derry City are knocked out 2‑0 on aggregate by Sparta Prague and Paris SG respectively, but Blackburn, Newcastle, Spurs and Rangers get through. Coventry refuse to let Micky Adams speak to West Brom about their managerial vacancy.

Friday 29 Colchester beat Ipswich 1‑0 in their first League derby in 49 years. Mido causes a stir by claiming that Sol Campbell, whose Portsmouth side play Spurs on Sunday, is the easiest opponent he’s faced: “disrespectful and irresponsible”, says Martin Jol. David Hodgson, linked with Bournemouth, is suspended by Darlington.

Saturday 30 Villa put in another fine performance in a 1‑1 draw at leaders Chelsea. “On another day we could have caved in,” says Martin O’Neill, not adding that the day in question was last season under David O’Leary. Bolton’s 2‑0 win over Liverpool takes them up to second. “We nullify the opposition very, very well within the laws of the game,” says Sam Allardyce, responding to pre-match criticism of his methods from the opposition camp. Man City equalise in the 94th minute in a 1‑1 draw at Everton, after which Joey Barton bares his bum at home fans. Sheffield Utd move out of the bottom three with a dramatic 2‑1 win over Middlesbrough; Charlton prop up the table after losing 2‑1 to Arsenal. Cardiff’s 4‑0 win over Wolves takes them five points clear in the Championship; Birmingham are held 1‑1 by Leicester. League One leaders Forest surge on with a 3‑1 defeat of Swansea, with Yeovil now second after beating Brentford 2‑1. Millwall avoid going bottom of the division by scoring twice in the last four minutes to win 3‑2 at Rotherham. Walsall’s 4‑0 win over Mansfield gives them a three-point lead at the top of League Two. Brian Horton is sacked by Macclesfield, who are seven points adrift at the foot after a 1‑0 defeat at Hereford. England’s women qualify for the 2007 World Cup with a 1‑1 draw in France.

From WSC 237 November 2006. What was happening this month

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