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All Things Footie | Monday, August 12 | Jordan

Anyone for a Maccys?

I'll try to sum up the ludicrously titled FA McDonalds Community Shield (would they get a bigger trophy if they payed 30p extra?) as succintly as possible.

Sterling Buy

On the subject of the last point, Arsène Wenger can certainly claim to have dealt very shrewdly in bringing in Gilberto Silva. A World Cup Winners medal, an impressive pre-season, a very tidy first 45 minutes of Premiership level football and a goal to boot; all this from a defensive midfielder. Sometimes I think they call themselves ‘defensive’ midfielders in Brazil just to sound different. Perhaps a youth coach screaming ‘you can't all be strikers dammit!’ is responsible. The partnership that the World Cup Winner forms with (previous World Cup Winner) Patrick Vieira will be an interesting one to watch.

Another member of the Brazillian team that triumphed in Japan and Korea had a less enjoyable weekend. Middlesbrough's golden boy Juninho sustained a cruciate ligament injury in a friendly with Italian side Modena. There's no clue yet to the severity of the injury, realistically it could mean anything from two to nine months.

Talking of injuries I may be calling in a bet I had with a friend, that Rio Ferdinand doesn't play at Elland Road this season. What initially started out as an injury that will keep him out until the first week of September has now been extended an extra seven days or so, meaning he will (conveniently) miss out on United's visit to Yorkshire on the 14th of the month. I bet he's gutted.

Going Down Gracefully

In the first and probably last of a short series, all things footie will be taking a quick look at last seasons relegated clubs' progress in the Nationwide league. First off, worst team in the history of the Premiership Leicester got off to a winning start in the Walkers Stadium, beating Watford 2-0. A fabulous attendance of 31,022 were there to witness the first competitive game in the new ground (the highest since Leicester beat Man U 2-1 in 1976) and it was a day for Record Breakers.

Brian Deane (the player to score the Premiership's first goal in 1992) scored the first goal (and incidentally, the second) in the new home of the Foxes. Arguably Leicesters best player was winger Nicky Summerbee, incredibly playing for free — putting theirselves in the shop window. As likeable Leicester boss Micky Adams says, there are upsides and downsides to the situation…

“I am asking two players to put themselves on the line and risk serious injury and not get paid for it. As a manager you feel slightly embarrased by that but I understand the club's financial situation.

“…I gave them the facts. There is no money chaps but do you want to sit at home watching the teletext or go out shopping with your missus, or do you want to come and play football?”

I want to play football Micky!

East Midland rivals Derby also got off to winning start, Fabrizio Ravanelli starring in a 3-0 demolition of newly promoted Reading. Malcolm Christie also underlined his importance to the side with £30m worth of debt and a £17m wage bill. The unfortunate (for Derby fans anyway) situation is that the club would be delighted to lose both of those players, Ravanelli to cut the wage bill (he's on £40,000 a week) and Christie to bring in a lump sum. My tip is to keep an eye on the Rams' young midfielder/striker Lee Morris, he just gets better and better.

The best side to get relegated and the only Nationwide side playing in the UEFA Cup (via the Fair Play ticket), also started promisingly. The Tractor Boys of Ipswich beat Walsall 2-0 in a fairly uninspiring game, though they are my tip for the first division title.

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