Adam Mitchell's a young kiwi footy player out there doing his thing with Bolton Wanderers and, being a good chap and all, he went and answered a few questions for The Niche Cache...
Some pleasant news to wake up to last Wednesday morning. Stefan Marinovic named to start for the Championship clash with bottom of the ladder Ipswich Town. Big Stef with the gloves on. Within a week of earning that contract after a brief trial, right on in there after one game on the bench.
Got him. Yes. Get in. After unsuccessful trials with Hull City and Rangers, Big Stef’s got his immediate future sorted with a deal at Bristol City that’ll take him through until the end of the season.
Whoever decided it was a good idea to play a game of football in these conditions probably shouldn’t be in charge of deciding about where games of football are played as the Colorado Rapids hosted the Portland Timbers in their opening game of the 2019 MLS season in the coldest temperature ever recorded for an MLS game.
The man, the myth. Christopher Grant Wood. They say that if you look closely enough on the Burnley club logo you can actually see his name tattooed into the palm of that random hand thing waving out from inside the shield. Because they knew, they always knew. And now the prophecies have come true.
Another win and Bordeaux are still frontrunners for third place in France with six more games remaining. 2-0 over FC Metz and that’s one more clean sheet for Footy Ferns keeper Erin Nayler ahead of the tour to Australia, bring it on.
The man scores goals, it’s what he does. Chris Wood went a fair while this season struggling to lock down a regular starting spot and struggling for that because the goals weren’t flowing but both issues have been well and truly taken care of lately.
At this point there’s nothing special about when Chris Wood plays at Old Trafford or Anfield or Stamford Bridge, etc… he’s done it all before. When he manages to score goals at those hallowed turfs of English football though, that’s another story.
Transfer season continues with the Flying Kiwis. This time it’s Katie Rood on the move, joining Lewes FC on loan for the rest of the season. This is a move that means a drop down from the Super League to the Championship division below it but for a player who has only played 106 minutes in the league this season (scoring a goal in that time, mind you), it makes a lot of sense.
60 minutes across three subs appearances in the first half of 2018-19 Eredivisie. Clearly something had to change if the 27 year old wasn’t going to spend his prime years riding the pine. And something has happened. He’s left.
A few weeks ago it was leaked from the club that Marco Rojas was available for transfer if the right offer came along. Last week Marco Rojas himself said that he intended to leave if the right offer came along. Now it appears that the right offer might have come along.
It was a bit of a shock when Marinovic was released from the Vancouver Whitecaps despite being the main starter for most of the season, but then a new manager and a squad overhaul is going to come with some casualties. So the question becomes: where to next?
Old mate finally bagged another goal last Flying Kiwis, his first in a couple months, as Burnley found some form in beating West Ham. Chris Wood found some form too because he’s now scored in three games in a row. It began with a trip to Huddersfield and what was a pretty crucial game for two teams deep in that relegation scrap.
It hasn’t been a fun time for Burnley fans, nor for Chris Wood recently. The festive season didn’t have a lot of festivity unless you were the team playing against the Clarets.
Chelsea made it eleven clean sheets in a row against Spurs, scoring twice in the first twenty minutes and then bossing their way to a 5-0 win in the end. That’s cool but what’s cooler was that Ali Riley was given her second start as a Chelsea player in this one…
Riley came close to scoring her first goal for Chelsea too but it wasn’t quite to be. Still, just playing at all so soon after flying literally halfway around the world was one heck of an effort. 40 hours mate, that’s gutsy. And she’s not the only one on this list who did that either.
We begin this week with the mighty Kauri tree that is Christopher Wood, whose Burnley side took on Newcastle United at Turf Moor on Tuesday morning NZT… delaying Flying Kiwis this week so as to include its headliner. Anything for The Woodsman…
Can you hear the echoes in the hallways? The house creaking and shuddering as if haunted by the silence within? That’s because it’s an international window for the male players and all the Football Ferns, while not in an international window, are away in New Caledonia for the Nations Cup.
Better slap on a raincoat and get your umbrella out because the drought is over, friends. Thrust back into the starting lineup for the midweek league game against Free State Stars and it took Jeremy Brockie less than twelve minutes to finally bust the dam.
Once upon a time West Ham vs Burnley would’ve been appointment viewing for any self-respecting kiwi footy fan. It sure was last season as Chris Wood scored late and he and Winston almost had a friendly tussle about it all tangled up in the goal net.
Marinovic ends his season with 24 matches played, earning three yellow cards and keeping those two clean sheets. He conceded 45 times in those 24 starts, making 65 saves. You know what else this means? Bill Tuiloma is the only New Zealander left in the MLS as the playoffs begin.
It was only a cup tie against a lower league team but Tyler Boyd is off the mark for the season with a goal in Vitoria’s 7-0 win over Valenciano. Old mate got the start and he cashed in.
Something odd happened this week: the Colorado Rapids won a game. While it’s long overdue and good for Tommy Smith finally breaking through after having been involved in every minute of the eight consecutive games without victory… it would’ve been nice if they didn’t do it against Michael Boxall, another kiwi comrade.
Liam Ridgewell got sent off last week for Portland in a nil-all draw at home against FC Dallas. That meant an open spot at centre-back and there’s one dude in this squad who’s made an impressive fist of stepping in as cover in that position: Billy T.
Some stuff happened here, mate. Very curious indeed. The Whitecaps were expected to build upon 2017’s playoff appearance but instead they’re lingering on the outside of contention, playing some annoyingly defensive footy and paying the price.
Poor old Winnie hasn’t played a game since he mangled his knee in a heavy defeat against Swansea City in early March. He’s only played four competitive games in 2018.
If Abby Erceg is a household name in Aotearoa then it’s because of her role as a catalyst in exposing the inequality in New Zealand Football’s treatment of our women’s national team. If Abby Erceg is a household name in Aotearoa then it’s not because of her club career and that’s a shame.
No, your eyes do not deceive you. For the second time in three seasons Abby Erceg has lifted the NWSL championship trophy, as captain no less. A 3-0 win over Portland Thorns did the trick.
These are odd times for Flying Kiwis with Ryan Thomas and Winston Reid both out injured. Tyler Boyd is on the way up but he had a week off this time, Abby Erceg always holds down the fort but her game was postponed. Ali Riley’s injured.
On comes Rosie White and she scores with her first touch of the ball, smashing it past the keeper after the deft assist from Aussie Sam Kerr, dropping it right at her feet. Bit of a trans-tasman connection over the in the dirty states, also Rosie’s first goal for Chicago after joining from the disbanded Boston Breakers in the offseason.
Burnley needed goals if they were going to qualify for the Europa League group stages. Lots of goals, at least two of them, after losing 3-1 away to Olympiacos in the first leg.
Another A-League season has come and gone and for the fifth time in their nine years (and third in the last four) the Wellington Phoenix will not get a game in the playoffs.
Andrew Durante's 200th appearance, a 'do-what-it-takes' win over Melbourne City and Phoenix generosity.
Good signs, but another stinker of a game from the Wellington Phoenix as they went down 3-2 to the Newcastle Jets ... who have made the Nix their bunnies.
FIFA said no.
Blake Powell was perfect, Hamish Watson impressive and the Nix held the fort admirably. It's been a long time coming folks.
Alex Jones was recently signed by the Phoenix but he's still chillin' like a villian.
This guy scored for Perth Glory, they beat the Phoenix 1-0 and the woes continue.
The Wellington Phoenix were once again reasonably average in their loss against Central Coast. There were a few youngsters though who offered some sort of hope and there's a new signing as well.
Melbourne City have Mooy, Fornaroli and a collection of fine football players who were simply a class above the Wellington Phoenix.
Ernie bruh, what's doing?
The A-League's leaders got shafted by the ref and our Wellington Phoenix snuck through a tricky encounter with a 0-0 draw. Chur.
Apparently you only get a yellow card for headbutts these days? Don't let that overshadow a very average display from Wellington Phoenix.
Moss let an easy one in, Riera got two yellows and Adelaide got three goals. Merry Christmas Phoenix fans.
Roy hit a pen, players wore #SaveTheNix warm up shirts and some Holosko fella scored a pearler in a 1-1 draw.
Brisbane handled the heat better than our Nix, who showed nice signs before they return to the fortress this weekend.
The pitch wasn't very good, yet that didn't stop the dazzling feet of Roy and Roly. Shout out to some rugged defence as well from the Wellington Phoenix.
Graham Arnold employed the Hack-A-Nix theory and the Wellington Phoenix escaped Sydney with a point. On to Auckland, the Melbourne Victory and hopefully some goals from the Nix #COYN #SaveTheNix
After leg one of the Sydney excursion the Wellington Phoenix are under the pump...
As the Wellington Phoenix and their fans wander down the path of an uncertain future, there has never been a better time to believe in the often used cliche 'only worry about what you can control'.
Michael McGlinchey scored, the Nix drew and scarves were scattered around Wellington as the support for #SaveTheNix stays strong.
Besart Berisha didn't wanna #SaveTheNix as he and the Melbourne Victory touched up the Nix.
#SaveTheNix and grow the A-League?
The Diggity Doc's turnt up about the FFA's rejection of the Wellington Phoenix in part one of his #SaveTheNix yarn.
Cheeky McGlinchey ripped a stunner of a free kick and the Wellington Phoenix put on a show against the Brisbane Roar.
We're on the board folks! Thanks to Vince Lia the ... great?
New season, same problems for the Wellington Phoenix as they went down 2-1 to Newcastle at home.
The Wellington Phoenix are back and we're all in on this Jeffrey Sarpong lad #COYN
Re-live the A-League final with Ze Phibber...
Two goal-filled semi finals and Ze Phibber predicts who will walk away with the bickies in the A-League final this weekend
The first round of the elimination is over and the semi finals have now been set.
Liverpool cannot win the title this season. It must not be allowed to happen. We cannot open that pandora’s box and unleash such hitherto repressed joy upon the world. You Liverpool fans have suffered enough already and that’s why you need to suffer some more, for all the rest of us.
Poor old Winnie hasn’t played a game since he mangled his knee in a heavy defeat against Swansea City in early March. He’s only played four competitive games in 2018.
All this talk about Jose Mourinho. Jose didn’t get the transfers he wanted, Jose’s fallen out with Paul Pogba, Jose says it’ll be a difficult season, Jose’s lost the dressing room, Jose’s picking on his players again…
Just when everything seemed to be running smoothly, they go and move the goalposts again. But we Premier League fans in Aotearoa are pretty used to that by now.
Going team by team through the lot of them ahead of the new campaign. Main men, key signings, what to watch for… all the stuff you need to know, basically.
Safe to say that it’ll come as no spoiler that there are City players littered throughout these teams of the season, particularly that illustrious first team.
Depends who you ask, to be honest. There are large portions of fans from five other top six teams who’d make a pretty virulent argument that The Red Devils aren’t getting much credit on account of how trash they’re playing.
Manchester City absolutely blitzed the field in Pep Guardiola’s second season in charge. They had one hand on the Premier League title before the turn of the year after a record 18 consecutive wins (and 22 unbeaten games to start the season) left the rest of them all eating dust.
Chis Wood hurt his knee just before Christmas, colliding with Hugo Lloris as he strove for an equaliser in the first half of a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham. After trying and failing to run it off he was replaced by Ashley Barnes and wouldn’t play again for a couple months.
It’s way too early to be calling the Premier League title race now, it’s not even Christmas yet. Victory in the Manc Derby puts Manchester City eleven points clear of Man United with their record fourteenth league win in a row but plenty of water has to pass under the bridge before the trophy gets engraved.
Apparently British managers don’t get a fair crack in the English Premier League. At least that’s the way the saying goes, although it’s hard to tell whether anyone actually still believes that.
There’s nothing quite like a massive transfer fee to hang over your head like a toilet seat. Especially if you’re being signed by Jose Mourinho, especially if it’s to play for Manchester United, especially if your name is Paul Pogba.
Slaven Bilic could lose his job soon. With Crystal Palace and Leicester City already having dumped their managers that leaves West Ham as the next likely candidate… after Ronaldo Koeman at Everton, of course.
Football managers are held to notoriously fragile standards but even for the Premier League seeing Crystal Palace sack Frank de Boer four games into the league season was a brow-raiser.
The defending champions and the team left out in the Europa League wilderness. You can understand Arsenal having some struggles given the state of things there but Chelsea just won the title...
Three different scorers combining for 16 goals, netted at four different clubs. Thanks to Woody’s recent move to Burnley those numbers are about to blow out big time so let’s celebrate the humble beginnings while we still can...
Key players, best signings, big questions and the ol' sack-o-meter. The Wildcard casts his dubious eye over the twenty teams trying to cash in on the latest English Premier League season.
Welcome, dear comrade. Perhaps you have walked these fabled halls before or perhaps this esteemed setting is completely new to you. It may be that you were invited, it may be that you have stumbled upon this place by accident.
If you need to place a specific blame on what happened last season, transfers are probably where you wanna start. So how is this window going?
He was supposed to be going to Chelsea. A triumphant return to the club he left to chase first team football a few years back... right up until he signed for Manchester United instead.
Most Premier League seasons there’s that one mid-table team that really clicks and pushes the Champions League usuals the whole way. In recent times it’s been Southampton, it’s been West Ham... but usually it’s Everton.
Pick a random rumour. Ignore the clickbait headlines and find the actual, tangible information/claims within. Take that info and ask yourself: Where did this come from? Who does it benefit?
The Premier League has become an especially feisty division lately. Blame Leicester City. They caught the lot of them sleeping at the wheel and the resulting wake-up call has seen pretty much every other title-relevant team snap to attention.
It was a season that began as open as any in recent history. New managers in Manchester, with Chelsea and Liverpool coming off terrible campaigns the time before. Spurs carrying the damage of their poor finish in the last title race...
They signed the right manager and they bought the right players. Even Michy Batshuayi, hardly a factor all campaign, was able to pop up with the goal that secured the title.
After a day off following Arsenal’s rather important 2-0 win over Southampton, we now enter some kind of Twilight Zone of football. It’s like stumbling into some eerie fantasy world where everything is just a little too perfect to be true.
A new stadium, an embarrassing European exit, selling their best player, lots of injuries, dodgy transfer returns, Premier League slumps, various formations, no right back, goalkeeping switcharoos, managerial pressure…
It won’t win them the league this week… but it’ll get them ever closer. Seeing Hazard and company tear up Everton last week, that was the last major hurdle. The last team that could beat them on their own terms.
A Manchester Derby and a London Derby are just the start. We've also got a few cheeky wagers, a fable about silly coloured goal nets, some classic N'Golo Kante tales and plenty of seasons crumbling into the rubble of shattered dreams.
Yeah alrighty then folks, seems we’ve got a title race on our hands after all. It was never a forgone conclusion, clearly, but most of the season it’s felt like Chelsea’s trophy to lose.