Football: That was the weekend that was

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Exit beckons for Dalglish Mark II

THE OTHER half of the Dalglish connection with Newcastle United looks about to be severed.

Despite the messy and acrimonious dismissal of his father from the manager's office, the 21-year-old Paul Dalglish was left behind but had been looking forward to building his own career at St James' Park.

However, the new manager, Ruud Gullit, has shown little faith in his ability and has limited him to a three-minute appearance as substitute at Coventry on Saturday in spite of some impressive pre-season form. In Gullit's first three games in charge, Dalglish junior did not even make the bench.

Kenny Dalglish aroused some controversy when he used his position to intervene in his son's career last season, signing him on a free transfer from Liverpool and handing him a three-year contract with the Tyneside club.

He then farmed him out on loan to Second Division Bury. The move seemed to work to Paul's benefit since he returned to Newcastle this summer looking a much better player for the experience. But Gullit, preparing to ship out up to a dozen members of Dalglish's squad to finance his own plans, has not been impressed and is reportedly ready to send Dalglish junior back to East Lancashire.

The Second Division club, managed by the one-time Norwich boss John Deehan, have offered pounds 250,000 for Dalglish or pounds 500,000 to take goalkeeper Steven Harper as well. Kenny Dalglish turned down pounds 400,000 from Huddersfield for Harper during the summer.

After the heavy spending indulged in by both Dalglish and his predecessor, Kevin Keegan, Gullit knows he must raise cash through sales in order to fulfil his own ambitions and is likely to see pounds 500,000 for two fringe players as good business.

Shipperley seeks some stability

NOTTINGHAM FOREST'S manager, Dave Bassett, may have unknowingly taken a substantial risk by agreeing to take on the striker Neil Shipperley in his bid to keep the cash-strapped East Midlands club in the Premiership.

Not that he should doubt Shipperley's ability to put opposition defenders under pressure - at 6ft 1in and almost 14st the former England under-21 international has made his physical presence a key part of his game.

It is just that even during a relatively short career, Shipperley's presence seems to have had a somewhat negative effect on the job security of a succession of managers.

Having begun his career at Chelsea, he spent just 21 months at Southampton, for instance, but in that time had three managers - Alan Ball, Dave Merrington and Graeme Souness. He moved to Crystal Palace, where he played under five managers in less than two years - Bassett himself, followed by Steve Coppell, Ray Lewington, Attilio Lombardo and Terry Venables.

"I always seem to end up at clubs only to see the manager go somewhere else or be sacked. Including stand-ins and caretakers, I must have had about 15 managers so far," he said.

Undeterred, Bassett, who tried to sign Shipperley for Wimbledon as a schoolboy, is prepared to give the 23-year-old his third pounds 1m-plus move, subject to tests on a groin injury. All Shipperley wants is the chance to settle in somewhere.

RUMOURS

Ecclestone motors on to football scene

THE FORMULA One impresario Bernie Ecclestone makes his way into the football columns of the News of the World and the Sunday Mirror, although the rival reporting teams are at odds over what he is doing there.

The Mirror says the 67-year-old multi-millionaire is the money man behind Media Partners, the group that wants to set up a European Super League. The News of the World, meanwhile, reckons Ecclestone is planning to top Rupert Murdoch and BSkyB with a pounds 700m bid for Manchester United.

The People also reveals a pounds 700m bid for United - from American TV giants CNN - part of Murdoch's rival Ted Turner's communications empire.

If Alan Shearer leaves Newcastle, will it be for Aston Villa, reported by the News of the World to want both the England striker and his Tyneside team-mate David Batty? Or will it be for Chelsea, whose manager, Gianluca Vialli, is prepared, according to the Mirror, to trade Dennis Wise, Dan Petrescu and Tore Andre Flo? Or maybe Juventus, who the Mirror says have overtaken Internazionale as the chief Italian bidder?

It will not be anywhere, according to the People, where Ruud Gullit is said to be preparing a pounds 9m offer for Chelsea's Flo in order to pair the Norwegian with Shearer.

If Villa do not land him, both the Mirror and People agree that their manager John Gregory will go for Andy Cole, offering pounds 10m.

Nottingham Forest are in the hunt for the Paris St Germain's Vincent Guerin (News of the World) and Bolton's Icelandic international Arnie Gunnlaugsson (People); Celtic could make the pounds 2.5m Norwegian World Cup midfielder Vidar Riseth their first signing this year (Scotland on Sunday); Sheffield Wednesday have lined up a pounds 6m move for the Peruvian forwards Jorge Soto, of Sporting Cristal, and Flavio Maestri, of Universidad de Chile (People).

Missing... making it... and mistaken

Deon Burton

Derby County

THE 21-year-old Jamaican international striker has returned from his World Cup experience in France to find himself no closer to a regular first-team place than last season, when his appearances as substitute outnumbered his starting games by 17 to 12. Limited to one Premiership appearance to date this season and now sidelined with a sprained ankle picked up in reserve team action.

Dean Crowe

Stoke City

A YEAR on from his senior debut for Stoke City, the 19-year-old striker has acquired double value to his manager, Brian Little. On the one hand, the Stockport-born player's five goals in 10 appearances have helped Stoke to go to the top of the Second Division. On the other hand, he is already attracting the attention of a number of Premiership scouts and could net Little a juicy transfer fee.

GETTING LUMBERED with players signed up behind his back by Sky could be the least of Alex Ferguson's worries if he gets wind of their attempts to hire Juventus's Marcello Lippi as coach or is it Paul Newman.

KEY NUMBERS

5

The number of minutes it took Fredrik Ljungberg to score on his debut for Arsenal yesterday

26

The number of competitive games since Sunderland last lost at home

200

The milestone in career goals reached by Matt le Tissier on Saturday

500

The milestone in Everton games reached by Dave Watson on Saturday.

I TOLD YOU SO

"We're up there with the big boys and I think we can stay there."

- Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear before watching his side beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1. Who would argue with him?

THE WEEK AHEAD

Today: Blackburn Rovers, a shadow of their former selves so far this season, attempt to put matters right against a Chelsea side yet to engage top gear.

Tomorrow: Second round, second leg Worthington Cup matches: no "fancy Dans" required by Sheffield Wednesday (0) at Cambridge United (1), or by West Ham (0) at home to Northampton (2) for that matter. Wimbledon (1), too, have a deficit to overturn, at home to Portsmouth (2).

Wednesday: More Worthington Cup and tricky ties for Everton (1) against First Division high-fliers Huddersfield (1), struggling Southampton (1) against Kevin Keegan's Fulham (1), not to mention Derby (1) away to Manchester City (1). Tottenham (3) ought really to see off Brentford (2).

Thursday: Manchester United v Liverpool in moved-for-tv drama.

Friday: What do you in Tranmere on a Friday night? Watch the Rovers at home to Swindon.

Saturday: In the Premiership, first (Aston Villa) meets second (Derby) at Villa Park, Newcastle bid to extend the Gullit revival against goal- shy Nottingham Forest and George Graham gets the chance to run his eye over Tottenham when Leeds visit White Hart Lane.

Premiership Team Of The Week

STEPHEN CARR

Tottenham

LARS BOHINEN

Derby County

JASON EUELL

Wimbledon

EDDIE YOUDS

Charlton

DAVE BEASANT

Nottingham Forest

NIKOLAOS DABIZAS

Newcastle United

ROBERT LEE

Newcastle United

HAMILTON RICARD

Middlesbrough

GARETH BARRY

Aston Villa

JOHN ROBINSON

Charlton

ALAN KIMBLE

Wimbledon

Manager of the week: Jim Smith - reaping the reward for shrewd transfers as Derby go second Performance of the week: Newcastle - rediscovering the ability to score goals under Ruud Gullit

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