THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Premier League ~ Aston Villa players undergo sight tests
Despite winning only once in eight games, Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish insists he is doing a good job: “I don't have a magic wand. There are not a lot of managers who could do a lot better than the job I am doing." In an attempt to get more from his players, the Villa squad had their eyes, peripheral vision and reactions tested this week. Gabby Agbonlahor said: "Someone came in to see if the players needed their eyes tested. A few of them need contact lenses." Perhaps the tests should have involved spotting a leaping David Dunn in the 85th minute of a football match. The Blackburn player headed a late equaliser against Villa on Saturday.

Championship ~ Coventry City's woes continue
Coventry City's dreadful season deteriorated further last week when they were hit with a transfer embargo. The Football League imposed the penalty because they club failed to file their accounts on time, something they cannot do until their owners, Sisu, agree to fund the club for a further 12 months. City's manager, Andy Thorne, had said previously that he was not planning to sign any more players this season. Another away defeat, this time 2-0 at local rivals Leicester, means they are three points from safety in the Championship's relegation zone. Coventry chief executive Tim Fisher has suggested there is “nothing untoward about this and it is perfectly normal”, but that has done little to quell fans' fears of administration.

League One ~ Parry out and Moore in at Tranmere
A 1-0 defeat to relegation rivals Chesterfield proved a loss too far for Les Parry as Tranmere manager. The news that Parry and the club had "parted company" broke on Sunday night. Parry's comments following the Chesterfield game suggest the sacking was imminent: "I have never jacked anything in. I've had a successful life and I think I've succeeded here at Tranmere as well. But it could end up on a low, where I end up losing my job. When it does happen, and there's a fair chance it could happen tomorrow or even tonight. I have to be realistic. If it does, it does." It did. Rovers have acted quickly, appointing Ronnie Moore for his third spell in charge at Prenton Park, this time until the end of the season. Fans will hope Moore's experience can help improve a run of just one win in 18 matches since October 2011.

League Two ~ Hereford sack Pitman despite win
Hereford United's 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon, their first for 11 games, was not enough to save Jamie Pitman's job at Edgar Street. The club's board held a two-day emergency meeting last week to discuss their slide down the League Two table and Pitman's position as manager. The Bulls' chairman, David Keyte, gave a teamtalk before the match on Saturday, saying "I am not here to talk tactics or formation but about passion, commitment and playing in the shirt of Hereford United." They are only two points above the relegation zone and look like they might appoint Walsall coach Richard O'Kelly as their new boss.

Primeira Liga ~ Porto victorious in the Clasico
Porto won their top of the table clash at Benfica on Friday night to move three points clear of their rivals. It was a game with many twists. Porto took an early lead at the Estadio de Luz, before the hosts hit back with goals from Oscar Cardozo either side of half time. Porto then levelled before Benfica's Emerson was sent off in the for a second yellow card in the 76th minute. Ten minutes later Maicon got on the end of a James Rodriguez cross and scored a header for Porto to win the game 3-2. The result means Porto have breathing space at the top of the Liga, with both Benfica and Braga three points behind them. Tom Hocking

Comments (7)
Comment by t.j.vickerman 2012-03-05 12:10:41

Also worth pointing out that Shteve McClaren's Twente racked up a 6-2 win at PSV, playing almost half the game with 10 men. Astounding result. They're only a point behind AZ at the top with a game in hand.

Comment by donedmundo 2012-03-05 12:25:23

What McLeish really meant to say was, 'There are a lot of managers who could do a lot better than the job I am doing.'

Comment by TheRedMax 2012-03-05 13:07:55

It really was managerial carnage this weekend wasn't it?

Comment by JimDavis 2012-03-05 13:19:07

No I think what McLeish was trying to say was 'I don't have a magic wand. There are not a lot of managers who could do a lot better than the job I am doing for West Bromwich Albion, and I haven't even got to Wolverhampton yet!'

Comment by jameswba 2012-03-05 13:27:22

Losing to WBA has apparently become a sackable offence. As for Villa, is there a serious chance they could go down? It would need three of the bottom five to go on a run of uncharacteristically good form - so I guess it's unlikely, if not impossible.

Birmingham were clever with that transfer embargo, weren't they? Bringing in three new players hours before it came into force.

Comment by jertzeeAFCW 2012-03-05 13:47:24

Jamie Pitman got sacked at Hereford because his team could only put 2 past the 4 players mascarading as defenders for Wimbledon

Comment by geobra 2012-03-05 13:56:47

Not exactly Serie A I know, but it would be hard to beat what happened in the top-of-the-table Prima Divisione Sicilian derby between Trapani and Siracusa last night. Six red cards, two from each side plus Siracusa's coach and sub goalkeeper from the bench. Three penalties, two in the first five minutes, and only one converted. And eight yellow cards. Siracusa won 2-1 to end Trapani's 9-match winning streak and reduce their lead to six points with 9 games to go.

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