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FA Cup first round draw: Hyde United (eighth tier) host MK Dons

  7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes.  7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City.  7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football.  7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw!   7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017   6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact.   Image     Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom   Edit Selected Crop... Caption:   Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist:       Edit...   Delete     “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable.  Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football.  The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4  Credit: AP  What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm.  When will the matches take place?  The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season  Credit: Getty Images  Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition.  Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to  National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969.  Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw.  FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN  67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED

FA Cup first round draw: Hyde United (eighth tier) host MK Dons

  7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes.  7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City.  7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football.  7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw!   7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017   6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact.   Image     Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom   Edit Selected Crop... Caption:   Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist:       Edit...   Delete     “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable.  Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football.  The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4  Credit: AP  What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm.  When will the matches take place?  The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season  Credit: Getty Images  Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition.  Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to  National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969.  Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw.  FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN  67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED

FA Cup first round draw: Hyde United (eighth tier) host MK Dons

  7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes.  7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City.  7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football.  7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw!   7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017   6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact.   Image     Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom   Edit Selected Crop... Caption:   Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist:       Edit...   Delete     “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable.  Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football.  The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4  Credit: AP  What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm.  When will the matches take place?  The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season  Credit: Getty Images  Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition.  Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to  National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969.  Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw.  FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN  67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED

Paul Merson claims Arsenal would win league title with Harry Redknapp's 'tactical nous'

Paul Merson has invited ridicule once again for his latest comments. The Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal midfielder believes Arsene Wenger could land the Premier League title again at Arsenal - if he had Harry Redknapp's tactical nous. Merson played under both Wenger and Redknapp during his career at Arsenal and Portsmouth, but believes the Englishman deserves more credit for his managerial abilities. "People say he's a wheeler-dealer and it's so disrespectful," Merson says in an episode of Sky One's panel show A League Of Their Own. "Tactically, he's one of the best I've worked with. If Arsene Wenger had Harry Redknapp's tactical nous, Arsenal would win the league." Merson played under Redknapp at Portsmouth While Wenger has recently celebrated his 21st anniversary at the north London club, Redknapp is out of work again having been sacked by Championship side Birmingham last month. Redknapp resided over six straight defeats in all competitions and lasted less than five months in charge at St Andrew's.  Merson, however, remembers fondly one match where Redknapp's influence changed the course of one particular match. It was at Crystal Palace back in 2002/03, a season that Portsmouth went on to win the Championship as 33/1 outsiders that stays with Merson. "We won our first game at home and I thought we'd be alright and then went to Crystal Palace. We were 2-0 down at half-time and it could've been 10-0. I thought 'what have I done coming here - this is going to be embarrassing.' "Harry came in at half-time and took three men off, put three at the back, five in midfield with three rolling attackers and we won 3-2. "That's when I knew he was a great manager." Merson, meanwhile, is set for a return to football on the pitch with Welsh fourth-tier side Caerau. The club are awaiting international clearance for the 49-year-old to appear against Pontyclun next Wednesday, October 18. Caerau secretary Dai Hooper got to know Merson at a function several years ago and texted the former Walsall manager to enquire about his services. When asked in an interview on BBC about Merson's match fitness, Hooper replied: "He's looking okay on the box (television)."

Paul Merson claims Arsenal would win league title with Harry Redknapp's 'tactical nous'

Paul Merson has invited ridicule once again for his latest comments. The Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal midfielder believes Arsene Wenger could land the Premier League title again at Arsenal - if he had Harry Redknapp's tactical nous. Merson played under both Wenger and Redknapp during his career at Arsenal and Portsmouth, but believes the Englishman deserves more credit for his managerial abilities. "People say he's a wheeler-dealer and it's so disrespectful," Merson says in an episode of Sky One's panel show A League Of Their Own. "Tactically, he's one of the best I've worked with. If Arsene Wenger had Harry Redknapp's tactical nous, Arsenal would win the league." Merson played under Redknapp at Portsmouth While Wenger has recently celebrated his 21st anniversary at the north London club, Redknapp is out of work again having been sacked by Championship side Birmingham last month. Redknapp resided over six straight defeats in all competitions and lasted less than five months in charge at St Andrew's.  Merson, however, remembers fondly one match where Redknapp's influence changed the course of one particular match. It was at Crystal Palace back in 2002/03, a season that Portsmouth went on to win the Championship as 33/1 outsiders that stays with Merson. "We won our first game at home and I thought we'd be alright and then went to Crystal Palace. We were 2-0 down at half-time and it could've been 10-0. I thought 'what have I done coming here - this is going to be embarrassing.' "Harry came in at half-time and took three men off, put three at the back, five in midfield with three rolling attackers and we won 3-2. "That's when I knew he was a great manager." Merson, meanwhile, is set for a return to football on the pitch with Welsh fourth-tier side Caerau. The club are awaiting international clearance for the 49-year-old to appear against Pontyclun next Wednesday, October 18. Caerau secretary Dai Hooper got to know Merson at a function several years ago and texted the former Walsall manager to enquire about his services. When asked in an interview on BBC about Merson's match fitness, Hooper replied: "He's looking okay on the box (television)."

League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

Soccer Football - League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town - The Banks's Stadium, Walsall, Britain - October 7, 2017 Walsall fan gestures Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

Soccer Football - League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town - The Banks's Stadium, Walsall, Britain - October 7, 2017 Walsall's Jon Guthrie handles the ball from Shrewsbury Town's Stefan Payne headed shot resulting in a penalty Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

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League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

Soccer Football - League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town - The Banks's Stadium, Walsall, Britain - October 7, 2017 Shrewsbury Town's Stefan Payne scores their first goal from the penalty spot Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town

Soccer Football - League One - Walsall vs Shrewsbury Town - The Banks's Stadium, Walsall, Britain - October 7, 2017 Shrewsbury Town's Stefan Payne scores their first goal from the penalty spot Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Exclusive interview - Craig Shakespeare: 'Taking over from Claudio was the hardest thing I've had to do'

It was a Premier League game against Liverpool where it all began for Craig Shakespeare. He won that match in February - his first as Leicester's manager - but as he prepares for a reunion with Jürgen Klopp on Saturday, even he cannot have envisaged the drama of the seven months that have passed since. Shakespeare has endured the ultimate crash-course in management after succeeding Claudio Ranieri, a chain of events for which the best coaching manuals can never prepare anyone. As he settled into a chair in a suite at the King Power Stadium on Friday, he is still struggling to take in the tumultuous 23 games which have flown by since Ranieri's departure. “That first Liverpool game feels ages ago now and when you sit down and analyse everything that’s happened in that time, it can be frightening,” he says. Ranieri and Shakespeare won the league together but it did not stop rumours from circulating last season that Shakespeare had stabbed the Italian in the back Credit: Nick Potts/PA “We’ve had loads of things to deal with – there was me taking over from Claudio, the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my career because of the circumstances. “People had their ideas of who the villains were and my family were hearing about me being the man who knifed Claudio in the back. It didn’t really get to me because you have to be resilient in football.  “I was still an employee of the club and I didn’t want them to be in the relegation zone. That first result [a 3-1 win] was massive for everyone but it was still nice to walk my dog the following day and return to normality.” His 11-year-old chocolate Labrador, Alfie, must be one of the fittest dogs in Lichfield, for Shakespeare has spent much of this year striding on the parks near his home in periods of reflection. After securing top-flight safety he was whisked away to Monte Carlo by Leicester’s owners and offered the job, but those hopes of normality disappeared over the summer. Talking tactics: What Leicester did differently last season 02:08 First, there was Riyad Mahrez, who put in a transfer request and then spent deadline day hopping around European airports in a bid to force a move.  “I was sitting at home and got a phone call from Jon [Rudkin, director of football] saying the Algerian FA had given Riyad permission to miss the game. It was a real knife-edge time and we were in the hands of other people. We understood he wanted to move because he’d made it clear but the owners wanted a realistic price.  “Dealing with that was another moment in the managerial experience. He came back to training after the window closed and we were calling him Tom Hanks out of The Terminal.” And then there was Danny Drinkwater - another key member of the title-winning squad – who demanded to leave, eventually getting his wish with a £35m move to Chelsea. It was a moment which still rankles with Shakespeare. “Sometimes players see the opportunity to move to a bigger club and the financial rewards that might bring. Danny made it clear he wanted to move and didn’t want to be here. The relationship we’d had up to that point had been very good.  Nigel Pearson remains a strong influence on his former assistant Credit: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy losing one of my best players. The big disappointment is I didn’t want to sell him for any price and ultimately I have to abide by people above me because they run the club.” Finally, the biggest head-scratcher of all. Sporting Lisbon midfielder Adrien Silva was targeted as Drinkwater’s replacement and though a £25m fee and terms were agreed, Leicester were 14 seconds late filing paperwork. Silva, and Leicester, are still waiting for the green light from Fifa to ratify the deal. “You can do all the courses in the world but I’ve never encountered this before. How can you call Sir Alex Ferguson, for example, and ask him about that one? “Legally somebody might tell me I’m not allowed to talk to him but the human side says you want to find out how he’s feeling. He’s a footballer in limbo through no fault of his or mine. You want to make him feel appreciated, which is why I invited him into the dressing room to see the players on Tuesday night [after the Carabao Cup win over Liverpool].” Despite all the turmoil, Shakespeare – or ‘Shakey’ as he is more commonly known - has adapted impressively to management after spending most of his coaching career as a No2 under Nigel Pearson and Ranieri. His reputation on the training field is exemplary, temporarily earning him a place on Sam Allardyce’s England staff, while he is also a shrewd tactician, spooking Atlético Madrid in last season’s Champions League quarter-final by switching to three at the back at half-time. Pearson, who returned to football on Friday by joining King Power owned OH Leuven, remains a major influence.  “Nigel has not only been a work colleague but someone I’ve grown up with during my football development. I’m really pleased to see him back in. “We stayed together at Hull, came back here and I would say Nigel has been my biggest influence from a coaching point of view. “He’s just a nightmare to get hold of. I must have about six phone numbers next to his name, but even then you can’t get him. He’s either walking up a mountain or somewhere with no reception.” Shakespeare’s other influences may surprise you. He was a left-footed midfielder as a player and Tommy Coakley, his manager at Walsall in the late 1980s when the club won promotion from the old Division Two, and West Brom’s Bobby Gould figure highly.  “They both taught me a lot. With Bobby, I’ll never forget when we went to Shrewsbury on the last day of the season with 4,000 fans there. He wasn’t a popular choice and we’d had an average season. We had a pre-match meal in the hotel and he suggested we take the 10-minute walk to the stadium instead of getting on the coach.  “We got recognised quickly and the fans were carrying mock coffins with Bobby’s face on the side. I was thinking: ‘Wow, he’s got a real thick skin.’ But it was about him saying we could deal with anything. It was about team spirit and togetherness, it really stuck with me.” Has Shakespeare changed since becoming a No1? “The job does take up a large chunk of your life. I switch off in the summer but during the season it’s difficult, I don’t want to let anyone down. “I quite enjoy my own space at times, but I don’t want to change. As an assistant I loved being just under the radar. As a Premier League manager you can’t do that so much. But you know what? That’s part and parcel of it and if you don’t like it, don’t do it. “The only thing that would probably surprise people is that I once got to the last 20 of the England under-16 volleyball trials. “Win, lose or draw against Liverpool, I’ll be walking the dog on Sunday.”

Exclusive interview - Craig Shakespeare: 'Taking over from Claudio was the hardest thing I've had to do'

It was a Premier League game against Liverpool where it all began for Craig Shakespeare. He won that match in February - his first as Leicester's manager - but as he prepares for a reunion with Jürgen Klopp on Saturday, even he cannot have envisaged the drama of the seven months that have passed since. Shakespeare has endured the ultimate crash-course in management after succeeding Claudio Ranieri, a chain of events for which the best coaching manuals can never prepare anyone. As he settled into a chair in a suite at the King Power Stadium on Friday, he is still struggling to take in the tumultuous 23 games which have flown by since Ranieri's departure. “That first Liverpool game feels ages ago now and when you sit down and analyse everything that’s happened in that time, it can be frightening,” he says. Ranieri and Shakespeare won the league together but it did not stop rumours from circulating last season that Shakespeare had stabbed the Italian in the back Credit: Nick Potts/PA “We’ve had loads of things to deal with – there was me taking over from Claudio, the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my career because of the circumstances. “People had their ideas of who the villains were and my family were hearing about me being the man who knifed Claudio in the back. It didn’t really get to me because you have to be resilient in football.  “I was still an employee of the club and I didn’t want them to be in the relegation zone. That first result [a 3-1 win] was massive for everyone but it was still nice to walk my dog the following day and return to normality.” His 11-year-old chocolate Labrador, Alfie, must be one of the fittest dogs in Lichfield, for Shakespeare has spent much of this year striding on the parks near his home in periods of reflection. After securing top-flight safety he was whisked away to Monte Carlo by Leicester’s owners and offered the job, but those hopes of normality disappeared over the summer. Talking tactics: What Leicester did differently last season 02:08 First, there was Riyad Mahrez, who put in a transfer request and then spent deadline day hopping around European airports in a bid to force a move.  “I was sitting at home and got a phone call from Jon [Rudkin, director of football] saying the Algerian FA had given Riyad permission to miss the game. It was a real knife-edge time and we were in the hands of other people. We understood he wanted to move because he’d made it clear but the owners wanted a realistic price.  “Dealing with that was another moment in the managerial experience. He came back to training after the window closed and we were calling him Tom Hanks out of The Terminal.” And then there was Danny Drinkwater - another key member of the title-winning squad – who demanded to leave, eventually getting his wish with a £35m move to Chelsea. It was a moment which still rankles with Shakespeare. “Sometimes players see the opportunity to move to a bigger club and the financial rewards that might bring. Danny made it clear he wanted to move and didn’t want to be here. The relationship we’d had up to that point had been very good.  Nigel Pearson remains a strong influence on his former assistant Credit: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy losing one of my best players. The big disappointment is I didn’t want to sell him for any price and ultimately I have to abide by people above me because they run the club.” Finally, the biggest head-scratcher of all. Sporting Lisbon midfielder Adrien Silva was targeted as Drinkwater’s replacement and though a £25m fee and terms were agreed, Leicester were 14 seconds late filing paperwork. Silva, and Leicester, are still waiting for the green light from Fifa to ratify the deal. “You can do all the courses in the world but I’ve never encountered this before. How can you call Sir Alex Ferguson, for example, and ask him about that one? “Legally somebody might tell me I’m not allowed to talk to him but the human side says you want to find out how he’s feeling. He’s a footballer in limbo through no fault of his or mine. You want to make him feel appreciated, which is why I invited him into the dressing room to see the players on Tuesday night [after the Carabao Cup win over Liverpool].” Despite all the turmoil, Shakespeare – or ‘Shakey’ as he is more commonly known - has adapted impressively to management after spending most of his coaching career as a No2 under Nigel Pearson and Ranieri. His reputation on the training field is exemplary, temporarily earning him a place on Sam Allardyce’s England staff, while he is also a shrewd tactician, spooking Atlético Madrid in last season’s Champions League quarter-final by switching to three at the back at half-time. Pearson, who returned to football on Friday by joining King Power owned OH Leuven, remains a major influence.  “Nigel has not only been a work colleague but someone I’ve grown up with during my football development. I’m really pleased to see him back in. “We stayed together at Hull, came back here and I would say Nigel has been my biggest influence from a coaching point of view. “He’s just a nightmare to get hold of. I must have about six phone numbers next to his name, but even then you can’t get him. He’s either walking up a mountain or somewhere with no reception.” Shakespeare’s other influences may surprise you. He was a left-footed midfielder as a player and Tommy Coakley, his manager at Walsall in the late 1980s when the club won promotion from the old Division Two, and West Brom’s Bobby Gould figure highly.  “They both taught me a lot. With Bobby, I’ll never forget when we went to Shrewsbury on the last day of the season with 4,000 fans there. He wasn’t a popular choice and we’d had an average season. We had a pre-match meal in the hotel and he suggested we take the 10-minute walk to the stadium instead of getting on the coach.  “We got recognised quickly and the fans were carrying mock coffins with Bobby’s face on the side. I was thinking: ‘Wow, he’s got a real thick skin.’ But it was about him saying we could deal with anything. It was about team spirit and togetherness, it really stuck with me.” Has Shakespeare changed since becoming a No1? “The job does take up a large chunk of your life. I switch off in the summer but during the season it’s difficult, I don’t want to let anyone down. “I quite enjoy my own space at times, but I don’t want to change. As an assistant I loved being just under the radar. As a Premier League manager you can’t do that so much. But you know what? That’s part and parcel of it and if you don’t like it, don’t do it. “The only thing that would probably surprise people is that I once got to the last 20 of the England under-16 volleyball trials. “Win, lose or draw against Liverpool, I’ll be walking the dog on Sunday.”

Exclusive interview - Craig Shakespeare: 'Taking over from Claudio was the hardest thing I've had to do'

It was a Premier League game against Liverpool where it all began for Craig Shakespeare. He won that match in February - his first as Leicester's manager - but as he prepares for a reunion with Jürgen Klopp on Saturday, even he cannot have envisaged the drama of the seven months that have passed since. Shakespeare has endured the ultimate crash-course in management after succeeding Claudio Ranieri, a chain of events for which the best coaching manuals can never prepare anyone. As he settled into a chair in a suite at the King Power Stadium on Friday, he is still struggling to take in the tumultuous 23 games which have flown by since Ranieri's departure. “That first Liverpool game feels ages ago now and when you sit down and analyse everything that’s happened in that time, it can be frightening,” he says. Ranieri and Shakespeare won the league together but it did not stop rumours from circulating last season that Shakespeare had stabbed the Italian in the back Credit: Nick Potts/PA “We’ve had loads of things to deal with – there was me taking over from Claudio, the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my career because of the circumstances. “People had their ideas of who the villains were and my family were hearing about me being the man who knifed Claudio in the back. It didn’t really get to me because you have to be resilient in football.  “I was still an employee of the club and I didn’t want them to be in the relegation zone. That first result [a 3-1 win] was massive for everyone but it was still nice to walk my dog the following day and return to normality.” His 11-year-old chocolate Labrador, Alfie, must be one of the fittest dogs in Lichfield, for Shakespeare has spent much of this year striding on the parks near his home in periods of reflection. After securing top-flight safety he was whisked away to Monte Carlo by Leicester’s owners and offered the job, but those hopes of normality disappeared over the summer. Talking tactics: What Leicester did differently last season 02:08 First, there was Riyad Mahrez, who put in a transfer request and then spent deadline day hopping around European airports in a bid to force a move.  “I was sitting at home and got a phone call from Jon [Rudkin, director of football] saying the Algerian FA had given Riyad permission to miss the game. It was a real knife-edge time and we were in the hands of other people. We understood he wanted to move because he’d made it clear but the owners wanted a realistic price.  “Dealing with that was another moment in the managerial experience. He came back to training after the window closed and we were calling him Tom Hanks out of The Terminal.” And then there was Danny Drinkwater - another key member of the title-winning squad – who demanded to leave, eventually getting his wish with a £35m move to Chelsea. It was a moment which still rankles with Shakespeare. “Sometimes players see the opportunity to move to a bigger club and the financial rewards that might bring. Danny made it clear he wanted to move and didn’t want to be here. The relationship we’d had up to that point had been very good.  Nigel Pearson remains a strong influence on his former assistant Credit: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy losing one of my best players. The big disappointment is I didn’t want to sell him for any price and ultimately I have to abide by people above me because they run the club.” Finally, the biggest head-scratcher of all. Sporting Lisbon midfielder Adrien Silva was targeted as Drinkwater’s replacement and though a £25m fee and terms were agreed, Leicester were 14 seconds late filing paperwork. Silva, and Leicester, are still waiting for the green light from Fifa to ratify the deal. “You can do all the courses in the world but I’ve never encountered this before. How can you call Sir Alex Ferguson, for example, and ask him about that one? “Legally somebody might tell me I’m not allowed to talk to him but the human side says you want to find out how he’s feeling. He’s a footballer in limbo through no fault of his or mine. You want to make him feel appreciated, which is why I invited him into the dressing room to see the players on Tuesday night [after the Carabao Cup win over Liverpool].” Despite all the turmoil, Shakespeare – or ‘Shakey’ as he is more commonly known - has adapted impressively to management after spending most of his coaching career as a No2 under Nigel Pearson and Ranieri. His reputation on the training field is exemplary, temporarily earning him a place on Sam Allardyce’s England staff, while he is also a shrewd tactician, spooking Atlético Madrid in last season’s Champions League quarter-final by switching to three at the back at half-time. Pearson, who returned to football on Friday by joining King Power owned OH Leuven, remains a major influence.  “Nigel has not only been a work colleague but someone I’ve grown up with during my football development. I’m really pleased to see him back in. “We stayed together at Hull, came back here and I would say Nigel has been my biggest influence from a coaching point of view. “He’s just a nightmare to get hold of. I must have about six phone numbers next to his name, but even then you can’t get him. He’s either walking up a mountain or somewhere with no reception.” Shakespeare’s other influences may surprise you. He was a left-footed midfielder as a player and Tommy Coakley, his manager at Walsall in the late 1980s when the club won promotion from the old Division Two, and West Brom’s Bobby Gould figure highly.  “They both taught me a lot. With Bobby, I’ll never forget when we went to Shrewsbury on the last day of the season with 4,000 fans there. He wasn’t a popular choice and we’d had an average season. We had a pre-match meal in the hotel and he suggested we take the 10-minute walk to the stadium instead of getting on the coach.  “We got recognised quickly and the fans were carrying mock coffins with Bobby’s face on the side. I was thinking: ‘Wow, he’s got a real thick skin.’ But it was about him saying we could deal with anything. It was about team spirit and togetherness, it really stuck with me.” Has Shakespeare changed since becoming a No1? “The job does take up a large chunk of your life. I switch off in the summer but during the season it’s difficult, I don’t want to let anyone down. “I quite enjoy my own space at times, but I don’t want to change. As an assistant I loved being just under the radar. As a Premier League manager you can’t do that so much. But you know what? That’s part and parcel of it and if you don’t like it, don’t do it. “The only thing that would probably surprise people is that I once got to the last 20 of the England under-16 volleyball trials. “Win, lose or draw against Liverpool, I’ll be walking the dog on Sunday.”

Virgil van Dijk makes forgettable Southampton return in heavy defeat to Aston Villa under-23s

Virgil van Dijk made his long-awaited comeback this evening but looked anything like the most valuable defender in world football after his lack of match fitness was fully exposed by two Aston Villa teenagers. Having being forced to stay this season at Southampton despite acrimoniously handing in a transfer request, Van Dijk made what was his first appearance for the club since January in an Under-23 fixture at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium. Van Dijk’s inactivity was then fully evident in a 4-0 defeat that included three goals in which he was at least partially culpable. He was caught out after just 13 minutes for the first when he stepped out for an attempted interception but was side-stepped by Jordan Cox who then fired a low shot past Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. The 18-year-old Cox was then again too quick as he controlled the ball to Van Dijk’s and then left smashed his finish past McCarthy. Van Dijk gets to grips with Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia Credit: ASTON VILLA FC Van Dijk was blameless for the third after Richard Bakary’s underhit backpass was exploited by Corey Blackett-Taylor but the 26-year-old again looked rusty for the fourth when he stood off another 18-year-old – Callum O’Hare – and allowed him to finish past McCarthy. Regardless of the result and performance, Southampton will just be relieved to see Van Dijk back out on the pitch. He attracted interest from a series of leading clubs this summer, most notably Liverpool, and is valued well in excess of the £54 million record defensive fee that Manchester City paid for Kyle Walker. Van Dijk was not involved in Southampton’s first team training and matches until the transfer window closed amid concerns about his commitment and focus. It meant that he has not played competitively since seriously injuring his ankle against Leicester City eight months ago but manager Mauricio Pellegrino invited him back into first-team training last week and now wants to again involve him in the senior team just as soon as he has recovered his match fitness.

Virgil van Dijk makes forgettable Southampton return in heavy defeat to Aston Villa under-23s

Virgil van Dijk made his long-awaited comeback this evening but looked anything like the most valuable defender in world football after his lack of match fitness was fully exposed by two Aston Villa teenagers. Having being forced to stay this season at Southampton despite acrimoniously handing in a transfer request, Van Dijk made what was his first appearance for the club since January in an Under-23 fixture at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium. Van Dijk’s inactivity was then fully evident in a 4-0 defeat that included three goals in which he was at least partially culpable. He was caught out after just 13 minutes for the first when he stepped out for an attempted interception but was side-stepped by Jordan Cox who then fired a low shot past Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. The 18-year-old Cox was then again too quick as he controlled the ball to Van Dijk’s and then left smashed his finish past McCarthy. Van Dijk gets to grips with Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia Credit: ASTON VILLA FC Van Dijk was blameless for the third after Richard Bakary’s underhit backpass was exploited by Corey Blackett-Taylor but the 26-year-old again looked rusty for the fourth when he stood off another 18-year-old – Callum O’Hare – and allowed him to finish past McCarthy. Regardless of the result and performance, Southampton will just be relieved to see Van Dijk back out on the pitch. He attracted interest from a series of leading clubs this summer, most notably Liverpool, and is valued well in excess of the £54 million record defensive fee that Manchester City paid for Kyle Walker. Van Dijk was not involved in Southampton’s first team training and matches until the transfer window closed amid concerns about his commitment and focus. It meant that he has not played competitively since seriously injuring his ankle against Leicester City eight months ago but manager Mauricio Pellegrino invited him back into first-team training last week and now wants to again involve him in the senior team just as soon as he has recovered his match fitness.

Walsall v West Bromwich Albion – Pre-Season Friendly – Bescot Stadium

(Martin Rickett/PA)

Walsall vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly

Soccer Football - Walsall vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly - Walsall, Britain - July 26, 2017 Tattoo on West Brom's James McClean Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/Files

Spotter’s guide: 20 things to look out for in the new Football League season

Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa’s John Terry in action against Walsall and Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell.

Walsall vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly

Soccer Football - Walsall vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly - Walsall, Britain - July 26, 2017 West Brom's Boaz Myhill in action Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Walsall vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly

Soccer Football - Walsall vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly - Walsall, Britain - July 26, 2017 West Brom's Hal Robson-Kanu in action with Walsall's Amadou Bakayoko Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Walsall vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly

Soccer Football - Walsall vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly - Walsall, Britain - July 26, 2017 West Brom's Sam Field in action with Walsall's Adam Chambers Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Fred Bakewell: Northamptonshire’s lucky survivor

Alfred Harry ‘Fred’ Bakewell was born November 2, 1908 at Walsall, Staffordshire.

Fred Bakewell: Northamptonshire’s lucky survivor

Alfred Harry ‘Fred’ Bakewell was born November 2, 1908 at Walsall, Staffordshire.

Reading v Walsall - FA Cup Fourth Round

Football Soccer - Reading v Walsall - FA Cup Fourth Round - Madejski Stadium - 30/1/16 Walsall's James O'Connor in action with Reading's Hal Robson Kanu Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Redding Livepic

Walsall v Chelsea - Capital One Cup Third Round

Football - Walsall v Chelsea - Capital One Cup Third Round - Banks's Stadium - 23/9/15 James O'Connor after scoring the first goal for Walsall Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic

VIDEO: YouTuber Releases Clip Showing 'Smallest XI vs Tallest XI' on FIFA 17

​As you can probably imagine, a game between the smallest and tallest possible sides on FIFA 17 is a rather ridiculous spectacle. But it's an entertaining one, as proven by YouTube channel 'Daily Trading Tips FIFA 17', who released a video revealing what happens. What happens is not far off what you'd expect; think Pep Guardiola's Barcelona vs Tony Pulis' Stoke (without the obvious quality difference). There aren't many household names in either side, although any Walsall fans will probably...

VIDEO: YouTuber Releases Clip Showing 'Smallest XI vs Tallest XI' on FIFA 17

​As you can probably imagine, a game between the smallest and tallest possible sides on FIFA 17 is a rather ridiculous spectacle. But it's an entertaining one, as proven by YouTube channel 'Daily Trading Tips FIFA 17', who released a video revealing what happens. What happens is not far off what you'd expect; think Pep Guardiola's Barcelona vs Tony Pulis' Stoke (without the obvious quality difference). There aren't many household names in either side, although any Walsall fans will probably...

Celtic defender O'Connell joins Walsall on loan

The Irish defender has moved south of Glasgow in search of regular first team football with the League One side

Sunderland's Papy Djilobodji Slams Former Club Chelsea for Never Giving Him a Chance

Sunderland summer signing Papy Djilobodji has slammed his time at Chelsea, stating the Blues never gave him a chance during his brief spell at the club. Djilobodji signed for Chelsea last year from French side Nantes, for a fee believed to be in the region of £2.2m. It's safe to say the defender made very little impact at the club as he managed only a single appearance; coming on as a last minute substitute during Chelsea's 3rd round match of the Capital One Cup against Walsall. He was loaned...

Sunderland's Papy Djilobodji Slams Former Club Chelsea for Never Giving Him a Chance

Sunderland summer signing Papy Djilobodji has slammed his time at Chelsea, stating the Blues never gave him a chance during his brief spell at the club. Djilobodji signed for Chelsea last year from French side Nantes, for a fee believed to be in the region of £2.2m. It's safe to say the defender made very little impact at the club as he managed only a single appearance; coming on as a last minute substitute during Chelsea's 3rd round match of the Capital One Cup against Walsall. He was loaned...

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