Go East, my son


What to do, where to go. That is the first point on the agenda at the weekly TBIR board meeting on a Monday morning.

“Do you fancy Bury St. Edmunds v Lewes on Saturday then?” was my opening suggestion to the team.

“Hmm…I’m not sure” they answered. I could see the cogs in their mind working, thinking about the Greene King IPA that runs on tap like water..”We could do Calais…5pm kick off, £25 on the ferry AND 6 free bottles of Lambrini – that will be our wives Christmas presents sorted”. I wasn’t so sure. A trip across the water would mean I would have to drive, and I didn’t have the motivation for that, watching Mr Last et al quaff various French beers whilst I had a bar of Côte D’or for company in the car.

Then I had an idea – let’s go retro. Let’s start visiting some of the Football League clubs again. After all, when was the last time we were told were to sit, when to stand, what to say and so on? Well, apart from at West Ham a few weeks ago…oh and Wembley before that and then there’s Danny’s season ticket in the North Stand at The Amex..but you get my point. So we looked in the crystal ball and one name popped up – Leyton Orient.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the O’s since childhood. They were one of the few teams that thought about kit rather than shirt design. The classic Admiral number, up there with Coventry City’s famous brown kit had those red tram lines down the front that looked so smart. And during the 80’s they had a team and a half. Ralph “combover” Coates, ex-West Ham players Mervyn Day, Tommy Taylor, Billy Jennings, Patsy Holland (what modern player would get away with a name like that!) and Tunji Banjo. They even had room for Carl Hoddle, Glenn’s crap brother. But it was their dashing wingers that had people streaming through the gates of Brisbane Road. On the flank was Nigerian John Chiedozie, who had taken over the number 11 jersey from Laurie Cunnigham who went on to be a huge success at Real Madrid (being their first ever English signing). Exciting times indeed. Continue reading

Steel City Showdown


Ian Rands brings us the story behind the Steel City Derby last weekend.

A game played out beneath a raucous noise and a constant buzz of police helicopter, the Steel City Derby is a match not necessarily high on quality (which Derby matches are?), but usually provides passion and excitement. Sunday’s game was no exception.

After what was perceived to be a poor start to the season, Wednesday came into the match in the ascendancy. Second in the league and on a run of four straight wins, their direct style of play proving an effective, if less than eye-catching, means to an end.

United, sitting just outside the play off places, share that same end goal, but with purse strings tightened and some vastly over paid players to move on, Danny Wilson has a more difficult task than his Mandaric funded counterpart Gary Megson. Having started the season successfully and with a more attractive style of play a priority, fans were cautiously optimistic. However three defeats in recent matches against Huddersfield, Charlton and struggling Wycombe exposed defensive frailties and mistakes only too familiar to fans from last season. Throw in an experienced goalkeeper who is less than convincing when it comes commanding his area and a creeping negativity was taking over Bramall Lane. Unfortunately, those frailties were back to haunt Blades fans again on Sunday. Continue reading