With only one game still to be played, the Fourth Round of the Cupa României is almost complete. None of the Liga 1 teams have entered the competition yet. The Fifth Round, contested by the twenty-eight winners from Round Four, will determine who goes into the Round of 32; which is contested by the fourteen winners from Round Five and all eighteen Liga 1 teams. Got it? If not, here’s a screenshot from Wikipedia explaining the format:
The 30 year old striker has scored once this season.
The Liga 2 campaign for Snagov continues Sunday morning with a trip to ACS Poli Timişoara, with the match starting at 09:00 (GMT). With many of the Liga 2 matches taking place tomorrow, Snagov, who are currently 2nd place, will have an eye on the game between UTA Arad who are 4th and Academica Clinceni who are top of the table.
Snagov will be hopeful of a return to winning ways in the league with their opponents sitting near the foot of the table, and having won only one of their last five league games.
I am absolutely gutted for Kieran Lee. He is one of the most exciting players I have seen in the last decade or so at Hillsborough. His drive, energy, positivity and goals from midfield have not been replaced. When he plays, it’s almost as though our entire team move twenty yards up the pitch. His impact on the team is incredible. A five-man midfield of Bannan, Lee and Reach, with two wingers, would be something to behold. When news broke that Lee was starting in the U23s I think we all hoped this would mark the start of a gradual introduction back to the first team, but having left the game after just fifteen minutes it does not look good. I sincerely hope Kieran Lee comes back fit and strong but as a club I think we have to assume he will not. If Lee does come back, it will be a massive bonus.
BBC Radio Sheffield
In a move absolutely no-one saw coming (hmmm…) the BBC and Sheffield Wednesday have announced a deal to resume match commentary. I would love to know who blinked first in this negotiation. It is the most sensible move, in my opinion. It might not make the club as much money as they had hoped but there are things you cannot put a price on such as loyalty and maintaining a positive brand image. I posted before about how the club needs to treat certain things as an investment in the future of the supporter base, rather than trying to squeeze every last penny out of fans in the present. It can make more sense to accept slightly lower income now if that translates to more fans in the future. I’m thinking not only about radio commentary being freely available but also the extortionate price of replica kits for a second-tier English club that has fans able to legally drive that were not even born when we last played in the top-flight.
Stoke have only won one of their league games so far and will be disappointed to find themselves just above the relegation zone. The table does not mean much at this point, but it’s easy to make a habit out of not winning. The longer Stoke go without another win, the more confidence will suffer. Much is made of the advantage parachute payments provide to relegated clubs, but one only needs to look at Aston Villa, Hull or Sunderland to show that parachute payments are no guarantee of success.
The Stoke forums seem a bit of a mixed bag with a few posters predicting disaster and a few thinking Stoke will put The Owls to the sword. It’s also interesting that many of the posts I read seem to suggest they are already losing patience with Gary Rowett. I rate their manager and think with some time he will have Stoke pushing the top-six in the division. The thing Stoke fans must realise is that the Championship is very different to the one they escaped a few years ago. The quality in the division is increasing all the time. I would argue there is very little difference in quality between the bottom half of the Premier League and the top half of the Championship. This is a very difficult league to win promotion from and a very competitive league to maintain consistency in. Again, look at the difficulty Aston Villa have had in winning promotion back to the Premier League.
This Stoke fan is expecting the worst.
There are three clubs with Sheffield in their name; Wednesday, United and the legendary Sheffield F.C. Always makes me cringe a little when people refer to either The Owls or Blades as "Sheffield".
Another one that just makes me cringe. "Wendies". Is anyone actually offended by this as an adult?
This reply really made me chuckle though. Quality reply.
In many ways, I like Stoke as a club. I like how they punched above their weight and established themselves as a fairly competitive and stable Premier League club. However, those things I like are largely overshadowed by the fact I cannot stand Ryan Shawcross after he broke the ankle of Francis Jeffers in a match in 2010. I’ll not comment more on this, but simply leave a link to the following report in The Guardian:
I’m predicting a 2-1 win for The Owls in a very physical game. I would not be surprised to see at least one sending off.
For those Stoke fans travelling up for the game, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable day in Sheffield but that you leave disappointed.
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Critic. Writer. Thinker. Observer. Creator of nowwelive.com.