Crystal Palace player Wilfried Zaha, has become the first footballer to publicly state that he is no longer going to take the knee before matches
In case you are not aware what the saying ‘taking the knee’ means it refers to an incident in America late last year, when a suspected criminal was arrested by police. He subsequently resisted arrest and was then restrained by officers using their knees. During this struggle very sadly the man died.
Outcry followed, which then resulted in all Footballers across the globe, taking the knee in stance over racism.
Though Zaha is publicly the first player to state this, previously other players and some teams have also said they would not be taking the knee.
Among them was James McLean, the Stoke City Footballer, his reasons were entirley different and related to his background and upbringing.
Zaha, has said he intends to stop taking the knee and Stand Tall, believing the protest is no longer sufficient and has become diluted.
Its a view shared by many others, who feel the same. Brentford’s players stopped taking the knee at the weekend after deciding football’s anti-discrimination gesture “no longer” has impact.
“The impact of the gesture had become diluted, comparing it to “a fancy hashtag or a nice pin badge”
Indeed, there are some people, who feel that the increase in Social Media Abuse, which itself is vile and unnecceary and most likely the end result of a bottle of scotch, or way too many beers, then hiding behind social media posts, is due to the taking of the knee.
While there are no statistics to show if this has caused an increase in the online trolling, what is clear, is that before the taking of the knee, there was not as much of this ‘hate’ as their is now
A survey by the Professional Footballers’ Association in December found there was still overwhelming support among players for taking a knee before kick-off.
On Wednesday the England manager Gareth Southgate, insisted the gesture was still hugely powerful in keeping the fight against racial inequality and injustice at the forefront of people’s minds.
Either way, it will be interesting to see how many players follow Wilfried Zaha’s stance and if the knee stops being taken
Reading missed the chance to extend their lead at the top to six points after a second straight defeat. Second placed Swansea drew with Brentford meaning Reading still have a three point lead. Bristol City and Cardiff bonce back from weekend losses with wins. Wycombe make it two wins in two and Prestons impressive away form continues as they make it four wins from five.
Swansea traveled to Brentford, the side that beat them in last seasons play-offs.
The Swans started brightly with Kyle Naughton and Andre Ayew testing the Bees Keeper David Raya. Brentford, however, took the lead in the 32nd minute as Ivan Toney turned in Mathias Jensens cross from close range. Swansea leveled through Ayew, who turned in Matt Grimes’ cross inside the six yard box. Swansea sit second after an impressive start whilst last years play-off finalists sit in tenth.
Swansea boss Steve Cooper thought his side deserved to win the game telling the BBC:
“We thought that we were comfortable in the game and Freddie (Woodman) didn’t have a save to make all game. Their keeper made two world class saves in the early stages.
“You wish after a performance like that coming here that it would have been three points instead of one”.
Thomas Frank told BBC Radio London:
“We didn’t play particularly well in the second half, but neither did Swansea. There was a lot of back and forth, but with their goal, we need to defend better”.
Bristol City, meanwhile, are back to winning ways after five games without one, coming from behind at Huddersfield Town. Josh Koroma gave the home side the lead two minutes from the break.
City turned the game around in the second half with goals from Jay Dasilva and Jamie Paterson. Huddersfield sit 15th in the table whilst Bristol City sit outside the play-off places on goal difference. This was a good time for Bristol to regain some form as they head to south Wales on Friday for the Severnside Derby.
Their host’s on Friday also got a win on Tuesday as Cardiff responded to Neil Harris’ criticism of them after Saturday loss to QPR. Neil Harris switched to a 4-4-2 starting with Kieffer Moore and Robert Glatzel. Junior Hoilett gave the Bluebirds the lead after four minutes skillfully bringing down Joe Bennett’s cross. Joe Ralls added a second just before the break from the spot after Harry Wilson was brought down. Wilson added a third on 77 minutes with a stunning left footed strike from outside the box. Cardiff move to 13th and Barnsley are 18th.
Sheffield Wednesday ended Bournemouth’s unbeaten start with a 1-0 victory at Hillsborough. The goal came from the spot after Josh Windass skipped around Begovic but was brought down by Steve Cook. Cook also saw a red card for the challenge. Barry Bannan calmly put the spot kick home. Wednesday held on to win despite Kadeem Harris being sent off for a rash tackle in stoppage time.
Norwich City were unable to break Millwall’s defence at Carrow Road as Millwall get a vital away point.
Przemysław Płacheta saw his effort just before half time smash the upright. Emiliano Buendia saw his effort saved by Millwall keeper Bialkowski. Norwich boss Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Norfolk:
“We created an unbelievable amount of chances with lots of possession close to the opponent’s box. We had 27 chances today. Can’t complain too much, the only thing we can criticise is our responsibility to finish”.
Elsewhere, Middlesbrough made it nine unbeaten as they drew at Blackburn 0-0.
Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire:
“Let’s hope there are not many games like that the rest of the season. It wasn’t nice to watch, I didn’t enjoy it. Lets take the point put it in the bank and move on”.
Neil Warnock told BBC Tees:
“The only regret was not getting three points but that’s the Championship, if you don’t win you’ve got to make sure you come away with a point”.
Another away win for Preston as they beat leaders Reading by three goals. Despite a missed penalty from Daniel Johnson two goals in four minutes from Scott Sinclair and Emil Riis followed by a Brad Potts goal in stoppage time gave Preston their fourth away win.
A high ball into the box was clearly chested down by Sinclair and slotted into the goal despite Reading appeals for offside. A quick counter saw Preston double their lead Emil Riis reaching a long ball and sliding his shot under the advancing keeper. Another quick break from Preston saw Tom Barkhuizen get behind Readings defence. His squared ball into the box was met by Potts who put the ball into the top corner.
Reading head coach Veljko Paunovic said after the game:
“I’m not disappointed but I feel the pain. When you lose a game, you have to absorb it. That’s what I’ve told the players.
“You have to bounce back and convert the pain into a positive energy for the next game”.
Preston boss Alex Neil said:
“This seems to be quite common for us on the road. We’ve been excellent on the road”.
A five goal thriller at Vicarage Road as Watford beat Stoke City. Stoke took the lead after 2 minutes, Steven Fletcher finishing a training ground corner.
Watford equalised after 28 minutes Tom Cleverley finishing off a lovely piece of passing play from Watford. Cleverley’s shot came off the bar and the ground to be collected by the keeper, after a brief wait the ref gave the goal after receiving a signal form the Goal Decision System.
Joao Pedro’s gave the lead to Watford after Sarr was brought down by Stoke Keeper Angus Gunn. Nick Powell leveled for Stoke with a right footed strike from the edge of the box on 81 minutes. But Watford weren’t done as Sarr found the net three minutes into added time.
Wycombe made it three unbeaten with a 2-1 win at St Andrews. Despite going behind to a Marc Roberts goal just before the break. A late second half fight back with Scott Kashket leveling the game on 75 minutes and an own goal in injury time from Kristian Pedersen. Wycombe after severn points in three games are not just a point of Coventry and getting out of the relegation zone.
Coventry lost out on a point to a 96 minute Lyle Taylor penalty as they lost to Forest 2-1. Scott Mckenna had given Forest the lead before Callum O’Hare squared things up. This was Forests first win in five and they sit 20th in the table. Derby lost again at Pride Park as QPR scored a late winner for the second game running. After a 91 minute winner on Saturday, Macauley Bonne’s late header gave QPR another three points. Luton picked up a good win away at Rotherham 1-0 with a goal from James Collins.
Another busy weekend of Championship action as Friday sees the Serevenside Derby between Cardiff City and Bristol City. Leaders Reading host Stoke in Saturdays early kick off, whilst Norwich v Swansea should be a cracker of a game.
Games are staring to come along quickly as the Championship rolls on. Readings good form continues as they lead the table. Bristol City remain second but there are just four points between them and 14th placed Huddersfield.
East Midlands Derby
Friday night saw the East Midlands derby between Nottingham Forest and Derby County. It was the 108th meeting of the long time rivals.
The two side were up for this game, Lyle Taylor shot forcing a good save from David Marshall. Marshall’s opposite number Brice Samba was also tested in the first half. Graeme Shinnies curling shot met by the diving hand of the Forest Keeper.
It was Derby who scored first after 30 minutes. Martyn Waghorn’s with a free kick the self-isolating Wayne Rooney would be proud to claim. Waghorn lifted the ball over wall and it clipped the inside of the bar to go in the net.
Derby thought they had won it when some clever footwork from Tom Lawrence allowed him to slide a ball into Jozwiak who found the net. Jozwiak wheeled off in celebration but the assistant’s flag was up. Waghorn in an offside position was deemed to be interfering with play.
Forest Manager Chris Hughton told BBC Radio Nottingham:
“I wasn’t too happy with the first half performance. I thought we needed to be better on the ball and our movement needed to be better against a team who were happy to defend in a really good shape”.
After seeing his side second goal ruled out Phillip Cocu told BBC Radio Derby:
“I don’t see any offside. The goalkeeper reaches for the corner where the shot goes, so the view is not blocked. The frustration is quite big here”.
Reading Go Five Clear
Championships leaders Reading won their sixth game of season clinically beating Rotherham 3-0. Reading took the lead towards the end of the first half though Yakou Meite.
The striker doubled the home side lead on 74 minutes, with an overhead kick. From a corner he control the ball with his chest before performing an overhead kick into the top corner of the net. A good win was finished in stoppage time with a Lucas Joao penalty.
Reading manager Veljko Paunovicsaid:
“What we saw in our team was the consistency of getting the job done, doing your job for the team. You also have to be patient, have a strong mentality and not get frustrated if our game plan is not working. And don’t ever give up”.
Rotherham drop to 18th place and manager Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:
“We were away from home against top of the league and had lots of possession in the first half and we were the only side that played on the front foot. We passed the ball really well without creating enough clear cut chances and obviously for them to score the first time they were in our box was a massive sucker punch”.
Mepham Saves a Point
Late drama as Chris Mepham’s 94th minute goal saved a point for Bournemouth. Watford had lead since the 12 minute from Stipe Perrica’s first goal for the club.
Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly was lucky to only see a yellow card for his poor challenge after just two minutes. Lunging in late on Ismaila Sarr catching the Watford player above the knee.
Watford’s goal came after Sarr’s ball across the box from the right was met a sliding Perrica who simply directed the ball into the net. Ismaila Sarr had the chance to make it too but his shot was stopped by a strong right hand from Asmir Begovic.
Begovic kept his in it again saving from Quina before quickly pushing the ball away from Pedro. Bournemouth pressed for an equaliser but found resilient Watford defencing and a in form Ben Forster.
Josh king saw his late header turned over the bar by Forster. However Bournemouth got their reward from the corner. Forster punched the ball away but the return ball in the box was turned in by Mepham.
The draw means Watford stay in 3rd and Bournemouth 4th.
There were away wins For Blackburn (4-0 v Coventry), Luton (1-0 v Sheffield Wednesday) and Preston (2-1 v Huddersfield) on Saturday.
Coventry were reduced to 10 men after 14 minutes with Michael Rose receiving a straight red for a push in the box. Adam Armstrong scored from the spot. Armstrong got a second after 49 minutes getting on the end of Brereton’s though ball. Harvey Elliott made it three on 62 minutes assisted again from Brereton. Rovers wrapped up a fine display with a fourth on 88 minutes from Sam Gallagher.
Sheffield Wednesday remain bottom after a 1-0 home defeat to Luton. Wednesday’s Joost van Aken saw red for a reckless high challenge. The hatters took advantage of the extra man to get the win with Pelly Ruddock scoring on 74 minutes.
While they can’t win at home Preston are still unbeaten on the road. Frazier Campbell’s 8th minute goal gave Huddersfield a half time lead. A curling effort from Alan Browne levelled the game on 51 minutes. Just two minutes later Browne found the net again. This time looping a soft punch from the keeper back into the goal. Naby Sarr got a red card for pulling down Riis Jakobsen.
Stoke up to 8th
Stoke stormed into a 3-0 lead after an hour. A free head for Steven Fletcher after nine minutes, was followed by a James McClean low shot into the near post. On the hour mark Tyrese Campbell made it three cutting inside to the edge of the box and curling a shot into the far corner. Brentford pulled two back thanks to sub Marcus Forss but Stoke held on to take their unbeaten run to seven games.
Norwich got their third straight league win after beating pointless Wycombe 2-1 at Carrow Road. Timo Pukki gave Norwich the lead early on. Scot Kashket got the goal that got Wycombe level after some poor Norwich defending. Wycombe may have thought they had their first championship point but there was late drama. Mario Vrancic 91st minute free kick went straight into the top corner with the Wycombe wall seamingly rooted to the floor. Adam Idah was shown a red card for appearing to push Joe Jacobson to the floor.
Middlesbrough left Cardiff with a point on Neil Warnock’s first visit to Cardiff City Stadium since leaving the Bluebirds. It was a classic Warnock display from Boro’ who set out early to slow the game and frustrate Cardiff. The visitors took the lead with George Saville’s header lopped in the Cardiff goal. Cardiff took the game to Boro in the second half but could not find the final touch. Their hard work did get them level with Sheyi Ojo second goal since signing from Liverpool.
Jamal Lowe smashed in on 51 minutes to give Swansea the lead at Ashton Gate. It was his second goal for Swansea. Putting it in off his left foot turning towards goal. Bristol City equalised from a Nahki Wells penalty. Conner Roberts judged to have brought down Semenyo Antoine just inside the area. A soft penalty but dispatched down the middle with power from Wells. The result sees Bristol City remain in second and Swansea in 6th.
At The Den two goals in two minutes at the end of the first half saw Millwall and Barnsley share the points. Alex Mowatt stunning volley from the edge of the area gave Barnsley the lead. Just a minute later Jake Cooper rose above everyone else to head home for Millwall.
A goalless draw at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as QPR met Birmingham City. Scott Hogan did find the net for City but was ruled offside. QPR are 16th while Brimingham are 17th.
The championship rolls on to Tuesday and Wednesday again this week with Blackburn hosting leaders Reading and Bournemouth v Bristol City as the stand out games.
Reading moved to the top of table after their win on Tuesday. The Royals with their fifth win of the season sit three points clear of Bristol City. City suffered a 1-0 defeat on Tuesday evening going down to Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough.
Wednesday night saw Bournemouth earn at point at Cardiff, a home win for Watford and Brentford win at Sheffield Wednesday. Bournemouth remain unbeaten so far and are currently fourth. Watford’s win sees them in thrid spot three points behind leaders Reading.
Reading won at the Madejski thanks to a Lucas Joao goal on 64 minutes. A long ball from the back was taken down by Joao with his back to goal. Turning past two Wycombe defenders he then fired low into the net. Another clean sheet for Reading who have the best defence in the division. A sixth defeat for Wycombe, and having managed only one goal puts them in a difficult position in their first ever Championship Campaign.
Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said after the game:
“Defensively, we’re looking solid so far but we have to keep working to improve going forward and game by game, we’ll keep building and progressing”.
Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth, meanwhile, had this to say:
“I think six defeats on the spin is a first for me and it’s not a nice feeling. We need to get a win on the board and I’m sure that’s just around the corner”.
Bristol City dropped to second after gifting Middlesbrough the winning goal at Ashton Gate. Playing out from the back Bristol defender Luke Moore got caught and lost the ball to George Saville who then slotted it past the advancing keeper.
This was Bristol City’s first defeat of the season, manager Dean Holden told BBC Bristol:
“We were nowhere near the level we were at previously, we didn’t have a shot on target during the game and our performance levels were well below where we’ve been”.
Neil Warnock’s Boro are 11th and the veteran manager told BBC Tees:
“We were always dangerous going forward, we just couldn’t get the bit of luck and we get a goal like that, we worked on closing down and George Saville did exactly that and it’s nice when you get your reward”.
Millwall moved into a Play-off place courtesy of a 2-0 win at home to Luton. A Cranie own goal in first half stoppage time and a stunner from Connor Mahoney. Mahoney’s shot form the edge of the box going in off the post.
Derby’s poor start continued as they lost at Huddersfield by a goal from Juninho Bacuna. Its four games unbeaten for the Terriers. Derby have now lost five of their six games who are in the relegation places.
Swansea remain in the play-off places following their draw with Coventry City. Jordan Shipley after 19 minutes gave Coventry the lead. Andre Ayew equalised on 41 minutes.
Nottingham Forest and Rotherham United shared the points after a 1-1 draw at the City Ground. Daniel Barlaser with a penalty for Rotherham after 51 minutes was cancelled out by Sammi Ameobi goal on 79 minutes. Norwich made it two wins in a row beating Birmingham City by a goal to nil. Mario Vranic with the goal on 87 minutes.
Watford moved up to third after a 3-1 win over Blackburn. A lovely piece of passing was finished by Pedro to give Watford the lead after just 13 minutes. Ismaila Sarrs’ skilful control gave him the chance to shoot, his shot was saved but fell to Tom Cleverley who headed in an open goal. Rovers hit back before half time when Brereton brought the ball down with his chest and volleyed into the bottom right corner from outside the box.
Watford restored their two goal lead just after the restart. A cross from the Watford left was turn into the Blackburn net by Darragh Lenihan. Blackburn had a lifeline to salvage something from the game on 69 minutes when Lewis Holtby was brought down in the box. Alex Armstrong took the spot kick putting it to Ben Forsters right. The keeper went the right way and pushed the ball wide.
Bournemouth dropped below Watford after drawing at Cardiff. The Cherries lead at half time thanks to a Dominic Solanke goal on 35 minutes. Jack Stacey’s cross from the Cardiff left found Solanke free inside the six yard box to tap home. Cardiff had chances in the first half, Harry Wilson shot from the edge of the box zipped just past the post.
The Stacy-Solanke combo almost made it two nil if not for a stunning close range save from Alex Smithies. The game was wide open and Harry Wilson struck the bar from a free kick as Cardiff looked to level. Will Vaulks saw his header from Wilson’s corner tipped over by Asmir Begovic. Cardiff did get level on 62 minutes. Hoiletts’ low ball across the box missed Robert Glatzel but went to Harry Wilson who sent his side footed shot into the corner. Stanislas struck the bar from a free kick, as Bournemouth press for a winner. Cardiff held on to get their first home point of the season.
Two goals from Ivan Toney either side of a Callum Patterson goal gave Brentford all three points at Hillsborough. The win sees Brentford one point behind sixth placed Swansea. Wednesday still have a navigate points tally of -4 which leaves then 7 points adrift of Barnsley.
Barnsley twice lead at Stoke with goals from Elliot Simoes and dominik Frieser. Stoke leveled first though Tyrese Campbell and then Tom Smith. Stoke’s Nathan Collins saw red for an off the ball incident with Frieser.
Preston continued their good away form with a 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers. Daniel Johnson with a first half penalty and Scot Sinclair with another in the second half. Preston top the table on away form so if they can fin some form at Deepdale they could really challenge towards the top this season.
Indeed, the window for signing stars overseas such as Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho may have closed this week, but the domestic transfer window will remain open until October 16. In other words this allows a further 11 days for domestic clubs to strengthen their squads.
The Premier League confirmed this in a statement which says:
“During this window, clubs will only be able to trade with EFL Clubs (either loans or permanent registrations)
“No transfers can take place between Premier League sides in this period.”
Certainly Premier League clubs such as Burnley, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United could do with some more additions, however, this begs the question, who maybe on the move to the Premier League before the second transfer window deadline:
The Algerian 24-year old set the Championship a light at times last season, scoring 17 times and providing nine assists. Benrahma joined the Bees from Nice in the summer of 2018 for just £2.8 million and has subsequently been capped by his country.
In addition, Benrahma was nominated for the Championship Player of the Year award, and plays primarily on the left flank. He proved a timely reminder of his talents in the Carabao Cup victory over Fulham by scoring two of Brentford three goals in their impressive 3-0 win.
Ismaila Sarr (Watford)
The Senegalese international winger is a reported target for the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool. Sarr’s speed, his direct running and ability to play on either flank certainly would make a valuable asset, particularly to the likes of United who missed out on adding Jadon Sancho to their ranks.
According to 2019/20 stats, Sarr completed 52 successful dribbles compared to the Red Devil’s Welsh winger Daniel James’s 28, however, the former Rennes player could cost in the region of £45 million pounds.
An added complication, however, would be that Sarr would not be able to play in European competitions due to the registration of squads being on October 6th, but he would be able to play in domestic competitions.
Todd Cantwell (Norwich City)
The Canarias’s highly rated 22-year old is a reported target for Leeds United, however, due to the Yorkshire club’s signing of Michael Cuisance on loan from Bayern Munich the likes of Burnley or West Ham United could potentially move in for Cantwell.
Cantwell has been left out of the two most recent match day squads due to speculation, he certainly impressed in the Premier League for his boyhood club last season, scoring six League goals, which was more than a fifth of Norwich’s entire goal tally.
Joe Rodon (Swansea City)
The 22-year old centre back has attracted interest from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
Indeed, Spurs have already in talks to sign Rodon for a reported £18 million pounds.
The likes of Danny Higginbotham and former Manchester City defender, Andy Hinchcliffe have already compared his game to former England internationals Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.
“What I love about him as an individual is that he’s his own worst critic. He is willing to take responsibility.
“After the Preston game in February, where he’d made his first start for three months, it looked as though he hadn’t even been away and he was the best player on the pitch.”