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Question of the Week

Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?



Nationwide Round-Up: Week 4

By: Richard Lord
Date: 02/09/2002

THERE are certainly some funny results doing the rounds in the First Division just lately. Sheffield Wednesday winning, for instance - but hang on, they were playing their rivals Sheffield United after all.

Home > 2002-2003 Season > Round-Ups > Week Four

Anyway, enough of the Sheffield teams for now; we'll come back to them later. Top of the table is looking interesting, especially as Portsmouth are there. And Norwich. Everyone knows that when you fail in the play-offs, you do bugger all next season.

Having just missed out on the play-offs last season, Burnley appear to be carrying that particular mantle. They are doing a very good job, denying Town bottom spot. However, they did pick up a point yesterday at home to Palace.

The Claret and Blues have a game in hand over the Mariners, but they are just as unconvincing in front of goal as Grimsby. Their only goal of the season so far was a last minute strike by defender Lee Briscoe on the opening day.

Back to the other end of the table, and Norwich are really on form. Watford's defence is about as unreliable as the British weather. They collapsed like Lisa Riley's deckchair against Roberts and Co. to concede four against the Canaries.

Now when has that happened before?

One minute Leicester look extremely unconvincing, playing like an amateur Luxembourg side against Ipswich, and then the next thing you know, they're third in the table after beating a highly resistant Gillingham side.

A Gillingham side that are now dropping like the proverbial stone, or just like Town did last season after topping the table. You know the case, winning a load of games 1-0 and then losing your form altogether.

Rotherham are another team to be slipping. They suffered their first defeat of the season at Bradford. The Bantams are a team I can't work out. They looked almost as boring as us in front of goal, then they win at Ipswich and put four past the Millers.

Wimbledon are the other team to confuse me. Just like Bradford they drew against Town 0-0 and looked dull, yet they can put three past an impressive Wolves side (although they're not that impressive if they can't beat Wednesday at home).

Derby are showing some inconsistency after their latest win. They have the ability to lose 4-1 at home to Wolves, who have the ability to lose to Wimbledon, who have the ability to draw 0-0 with Town, who couldn't beat Derby in the first place.

Nott'm Forest have crept up to sixth in the table after a good win at Coventry. The Sky Blues are experiencing a dip in form lately and they currently sit in eighth position just behind the Gills, before today's game involving Ipswich and Preston.

Walsall have lost another home game but they already have enough points to distance themselves away from Town for now. It was a good win for Reading at the Bescot Stadium, their third victory of the season, which puts the Royals in the top half.

But this week we have to end with Wednesday and United, the most likeable and laughable teams in the league. Warnock and Yorath don't appear to be leading their respective teams anywhere.

For Wednesday, they've just hit their peak. They've won a derby game (and their first of the season). It's now downhill for the rest of the season, or at best, mid-table mediocrity.

As for the disillusioned Blades, they must now start to wonder who they can and can't beat. They must be the most unpredictable side in the First Division. But unfortunately their manager is all too predictable with the end result, a mid-table placing and three goals against the Mariners.

Steve Claridge Nicky Law Top players this week are Claridge (left, 36 and still knocking them in, although they were against Town I may add), Michael Tonge (for being the best player in a desperately dire and average Sheffield United squad), Lloyd Owusu (top, for scoring just one minute into his debut) and Nyron Nosworthy (for having a comical name - obviously his parents didn't like him).

Top manager for this week is Nicky Law (Chesterfield, right). Obviously from playing Town he's given all his players a kick up the backside, beating two previously unbeaten teams.

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