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The Week That Was

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

International news dominated the start of the week with Wales’ chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup effectively ended by consecutive 2-0 home defeats to Finland and Germany. Craig Bellamy’s brutal assessment of his own team is either a refreshingly honest change from the bland platitudes footballers usually spout or a needless attack on his teammates which would’ve been best left in the dressing room.

England had a more successful week with Saturday’s comfortable 4-0 friendly defeat of Slovakia followed up with a crucial 2-1 victory over the Ukraine. This led to much debate within the FSF. No, not on whether playing poorly and winning is a good or bad thing. Rather, just why do people say THE Ukraine? It’s not THE England, or THE Wales, is it? We demand to know why. And a version of the Crouch robot dance returned (this time pretending to pull rope…) on the back of James Cordon’s Comic Relief sketch that we’re sure you’ve already seen. If not, it’s pretty funny and the squad actually appear to have developed the ability to laugh at themselves. Oh, and Sven was sacked in Mexico.

Scotland’s week was mixed, hammered in THE Netherlands (again, why THE?), they kept qualification dreams alive with a hard fought 2-1 win over Iceland. But it was Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor who caught our eye, after being dropped for a drinking session post-Dutch defeat they spent the game against Iceland on the bench, apparently sticking their fingers up to photographers like naughty school children.
 
Meanwhile in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s remarkable home form continued with a slender 1-0 win against Slovenia sending them to the top of Group Three maintaining their hopes of reaching a first World Cup since 1982.

Back to club football and Southampton’s future appears in serious danger with reports suggesting the club’s parent company is to go into administration. The authorities are currently trying to untangle the financial web that now seems to go hand-in-hand with any football club.

Speaking of Southampton, a little known ex-Saints youth player appears to have taken over the reigns at Newcastle. We’d not heard of him, Shearer or something? Apparently he’s pretty popular on Tyneside though. In all seriousness, it’s lining up to be an amazing end to the season down the bottom of the Premier League and if anyone can inspire Newcastle, we’re guessing it’s Shearer.

Meanwhile in the media world you might want to catch up on the FSF’s weekly Daily Mirror column featuring Wigan chairman Dave Whelan’s prediction that at least one Premier League club could run into serious financial difficulties. The FSF’s Steve Powell also appeared on crime-busting-ice-skating Donal MacIntyre’s Five Live show discussing football corruption in (THE!) Ukraine in the build up to their co-hosting of the 2012 Euros.

Just to show that the FSF is closing in on world domination other guests included Jonathan Wilson (regular tfs contributor) and Declan Hill, an expert on corruption in the game who we interviewed back in tfs 14 (see pages 16-17). Be warned, the Five Live link will self-destruct in 48 hours and be replaced by something else from the latest Investigations with Donal MacIntyre.

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