DONNY NOGGINS GONE
Scotland was so good the other night that everyone wants to come in. Steve Clarke’s side found themselves on the Ukraine grid on Wednesday as the genetically spliced offspring of Valeriy Lobanovskyi and Irvine Welsh, and now the whole world wants to hitch its wagon to the runaway train that is Scottish football. An example of this craze – admittedly the only example, but trends have to start somewhere – is that of spanking new (est.2022) Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior Football League Division Two side Doncaster City, who have made a claim to the SFA to play in next season’s Scottish Cup and yes, it’s a slow news day even by the standards of your average international break.
City, which is backed by Mr 15% Willie McKay and sponsored by Sports Direct, Big Cup sellers and others, has ambitious plans to build a ‘football hub for the North of England’ including grounds for training, accommodations and entertainment. and a canteen. The hope is that big teams from the South, Overseas, That London etc. will travel to Doncaster Sheffield Airport when playing up north and camping with them. A great business idea, we’re sure you and at least two other Dragons will agree, but they’re not going to stop there. City also plan to do their own football, and to that end, ineligible for the FA Cup as a tier 13 side – only tier nine goes into the velvet bag – they are trying to work their way into the SFA of the same way. luxury bag, arguing that Donny is actually part of Scotland.
This is indeed as silly as it sounds, but nevertheless has a vague connection to reality. In 1136, King Stephen of England and King David I of Scotland stopped swinging clods and signed a peace treaty. David was given Carlisle, Cumberland, Lancashire, that lovely service station which has a farmers shop just off the M6 and Doncaster, and although most of it was later taken over, Donny was never officially returned to English possession. So you can see where City is coming from. A smart plan, even if it looks doomed, given that their membership in the English FA means they don’t meet Scottish Cup entry requirements. They could of course always do a Berwick Rangers, cast their spell with the authorities across the border, citing Steve and Dave’s 1136 treaty, and take things from there… but The Fiver advises them to keep their lawyer for a few more days at least. See how Republic O’Ireland fares in Hampden on Saturday, for starters. Perhaps the clamor to grab a piece of this hot Scottish action will have suddenly died down.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“They love to talk about the good old days, the man is old like ‘Annie, how are you?’, I’d rather not talk like I’m José” – Roma boss José Mourinho makes natural progression in British rap, bringing dad vibes to Stormzy’s music video for new track “Mel Made Me Do It.”
“So a few weeks on a business course at Harvard qualifies Mark Noble as West Ham’s new sporting director (yesterday’s quote of the day). Now it looks like the Hammers have finally put a long-term plan in place. Very long range, actually” – John Weldon.
“As an Everton fan, I can only welcome the news of the sponsorship of Hair Transplant Clinic (the commercial offer of the day yesterday). Forget about winning the league. But finally it will be possible to see all the team, manager and coaches all sporting local double Mohicans, perhaps reintroducing a rear mullet and possibly knee-length beards, assuming the magic hair pomade works on the chins. all dyed tastefully blue and white, of course. That’s what we’ve all been waiting for. Although I wonder if they’ll ditch the club crest for a bald eagle before and after? Surely Crystal Palace would have something to say about it” – Steve Malone.
“If you don’t give Noble Francis one of the positions you recently advertised, can you at least give him an award?” The poor boy writes every day and has to be emptied when the day’s letter goes to someone else. Maybe we Fiver readers could kick things off and buy him a copy? – Morgan.
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our Letter of the Day, which also wins our latest copy of Jonathan Wilson’s Two Brothers, which is also available for purchase here, is…Steve Malone. Sorry Noble.
GOAL OF THE DAY
There’s downtown and then there’s downtown. Aaron Herrerafor Real Salt Lake in their 2-1 friendly loss to Mexican team Atlas.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
More than 1,700 Liverpool supporters who suffered injuries and trauma during the near-disaster in Paris last season have registered for potential claims to sue UEFA.
Fifteen members of the Spain women’s team have made themselves unavailable due to their worsening emotional state while Jorge Vilda remains as head coach. The Spanish FA are as masculine as you’d expect in their response, blowing that the players won’t play again until they ‘admit their mistake and apologize’.
Gareth Southgate remains loyal to Harry Maguire, whether you like it or not. “It’s important to support our best players. Whatever reputation I have, I put it on [the line] there,” the England boss honked, perhaps overstating the importance of Nations League matches.
Mansfield have changed the Saturday kick-off time for next month’s game against Walsall from 3pm to 1pm due to the ongoing energy crisis. “[This] will allow the club to discern if significant savings can be made on the use of floodlights,” one suit said.
Manchester United’s wage bill hit a record high of £384.2m, with the club’s summer spending of £200m on bright new players not helping.
And despite being sent off harshly in the win over Wales, Roberto Martínez is still focused on how to spread those upbeat Bobby M vibes in the Belgium camp. “It may have been yellow, but never red,” he yelped. “[Eden Hazard] told me that in Belgium you have to pay for a dinner with a red card. I will do it.”
THE MURAL CORNER
A photo of Pep Guardiola painted on a house near the Etihad Stadium has been defaced with ‘MUFC’ graffiti, a day after it was completed. Meanwhile, Jürgen Klopp’s massive face has been engraved on the pinion of perhaps the last remaining terraced house at Anfield which had yet to receive the scouse fresco treatment. “Klopp is the next best thing,” honked the owner, who said she would have preferred to have Kevin Keegan on the side of her gaffe.
WANT EVEN MORE?
Form, training and Phil Foden. Jacob Steinberg addresses the easily alliterative issues Gareth Southgate faces ahead of the Human Rights World Cup.
Barney Ronay looks at the ongoing England illusion against Gareth Southgate.
Speaking of which, here’s Pete Pattisson on the dire situation of migrant workers in Qatar.
And if that’s your thing…you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT TOO!