Football: That Was The Weekend That Was: Barnsley upset by toilet talk

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The Independent Online
Barnsley returned from Old Trafford last night guaranteed an FA Cup windfall - but unsure on how best to spend it. The Yorkshire team's share of gate receipts from the customary Old Trafford full house is expected to add up to some pounds 300,000 with a further pounds 150,000 to come from Sky TV.

But they face a tricky decision over whether Danny Wilson should have the cash to try to keep Barnsley in the Premiership or whether it should be directed towards ridding the club of its persisting cloth-cap image.

Wilson has already spent pounds 6m in the transfer market, where chairman John Dennis acknowledges: "We have been more active than we might have imagined."

And while stressing that the board would consider any player Wilson might have in mind, Dennis and his colleagues have been irked by comments that appeared in print on Merseyside after Everton's recent visit to Oakwell.

"Oakwell is undoubtedly the land that time forgot," one writer observed. "Locals, familiar with prevailing conditions, adhere to a quaint custom when visiting the open, brick out-houses which serve as toilets. They never stand to the right of gentlemen already using the buildings because the raw wind rips from left to right through Oakwell and those that ignore the rule get their feet wet."

Given that the ground has smart, modern stands along one side and at one end, with planning permission granted for another, this is an unbalanced view. None the less, the traditional main grandstand does indeed feature roof-less urinals - right next door to the snack bar.

With pounds 450,000, Dennis could install a suite of luxury loos and tell disrespectful visitors where they can stick their rude remarks. On the other hand, bottom of the table with only 13 games left, there is no manager more desperate for relief than Wilson.

FAMILY

TREE

It would be unwise to suggest that Iain Dowie's Northern Ireland qualification might in any way be questionable, despite a birth certificate that indicates Hatfield, Hertfordshire, as his home town.

Apart from risking the displeasure of the 6ft 1in striker, there are facts to consider. His late father, Robert, played professionally for Bangor and Distillery. It is a heritage Iain and his brother, Bob, acknowledge by returning once a year to coach youngsters in Northern Ireland.

Bob, who recently resigned as Harrow Borough's manager, has been a central defender for non-League clubs in the London area for 20 years. Currently he plays for Leighton Town, and is also county coach for Hertfordshire. Although 35-year-old Iain's career has taken him to Luton, Southampton, West Ham (twice), Crystal Palace and Queen's Park Rangers - for whom he scored his first goal on Saturday - his career path has crossed his year- older brother's three times.

"We both started in Hatfield Eagles Under-11s, which our mum ran," Bob said. "We were in the same St Albans team that won Division One of the Isthmian League and also played together at Hendon".

Both live in Harpenden with their respective families. Bob's eldest daughter, nine-year-old Natasha, is cutting her playing teeth with Hertfordshire girls Under-11s.

Norwegian feels sinned against by Saints

Disillusioned foreign imports are by no means confined to the wealthier parts of the Premiership. Stig Johansen, the Norwegian striker who joined Southampton from Bodo Glimt in the summer, felt his career was truly taking off when Dave Jones, the Saints manager, picked him to play in front of 55,000 at Old Trafford in only his second match.

It was a short-lived dream. After eight appearances, the 25-year-old's stock steadily fell. "I thought I had done all right, but clearly the manager felt otherwise," he said. "The more I think about it, the more I get mad."

Last week, he was turning out before 200 spectators for Southampton's reserves. Little wonder he was delighted when Bristol City stepped in to sign him on a month's loan last week, a second chance he intends not to waste.

"I don't have much time to settle in and prove myself but I hope it won't take me long," he said. "I would be happy to play football in the First Division next season and I'm sure that is where Bristol City are going to be, otherwise I would not have moved."

John Ward, the City manager, has clearly done his homework on Johansen, who may have had a minimal impact on the Premiership but boasted a useful scoring record in Norway, with 68 goals in just two and a half seasons.

He will want to see quick results, however, before meeting Southampton's asking price of pounds 200,000 to make the deal permanent. And he will have hoped Johansen's debut on Saturday might have gone better.

Short of match fitness, Johansen failed to solve City's current goal crisis as Ward's side, who have taken just two points from the last five matches, slipped up at home to Gillingham.

Missing...

David Rocastle

(Chelsea)

Will a new manager mean a new chance for David Rocastle? Does Gianluca Vialli even know who he is? Without a first-team start at Chelsea since October 1995, no player can be more desperate for a break than the 30- year-old former England international. Signed for pounds 1.25m by Glenn Hoddle in August 1994, he never felt he was given a chance under Ruud Gullit, despite proving his fitness in the reserves, where he is still a regular. Spent two months on loan at Norwich last season and nearly three at Hull City this season - when his first appearance brought his first senior goal for three-and-a-half years - but neither club could afford to take him on full-time.

Richard Naylor

(Ipswich)

The 20-year-old Leeds-born striker might have made a name for himself already had he not been struck down with tendinitis in both knees last March. Highly-rated by manager George Burley, Naylor made his first appearance of the year and only his fourth this season against Huddersfield on Saturday - and was on the scoresheet within 10 minutes.

A Hot Chocolate revival? A hot Dion Dublin revival, more like. After an England debut at 28, the Coventry striker may well believe in miracles. Has he been borrowing the comeback crooner's longevity pills? Or do he and Errol have something more in common?

Rumours

Fact and ction from the Sunday papers

Rumour and counter-rumour abounds in the wake of Ruud Gullit's departure from Chelsea.

The Mail on Sunday says Feyenoord, the club he holds most dear, are ready to lay out the red carpet for the dreadlocked one when current coach Leo Beenhakker's contract runs out at the end of the season but that the Dutch FA is ready to pay him pounds 700,000 a year to take over as national coach after the World Cup.

The News of the World reckons he could instead end up at Crystal Palace, reporting that Palace director Mel Goldberg, who wants to take over the South London club, has met Gullit's agent with a view to offering him a job as player-manager, believing his prospective appointment would clinch the backing he needs to oust Ron Noades.

The Mirror speculates that Gianluca Vialli's first target as Chelsea's new manager will be Arsenal's David Platt, with whom he developed a close friendship in Italy. Platt, they say, could become the Italian striker's deputy.

Elsewhere, the People reports that another troubled soul, Aston Villa's disaffected Yugoslav Sasa Curcic, may give up football altogether after seeing a proposed move to Crystal Palace break down, believing he could make a living instead as a professional magician.

The Express, meanwhile, says Rob Lee is keen to make himself disappear from St James' Park in the summer, convinced that Newcastle will not make him the contract offer he wants. And they reckon there will be another name on Kenny Dalglish's payroll this week when German defender Markus Babbel signs for pounds 4.5m from Bayern Munich.

Liverpool could solve their defensive problems by signing Chilean international Javier Margas for pounds 3.5m, according to the People, while Leicester will have to pay more than that for Southampton striker Egil Ostenstad, if the News of the World's information is correct.

The People says Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn are keen on Parma's pounds 5m-rated Argentinian striker Hernan Crespo.

The First XI

Eleven teenagers, Michael Owen apart, who played in the weekend's top matches

Steve Simonsen (Tranmere) 18

Alan Maybury (Leeds) 19

Rio Ferdinand (West Ham) 19

Michael Ball (Everton) 18

Lee Naylor (Wolves) 17

Gavin Strachan (Coventry) 19

Frank Lampard (West Ham) 19

John Oster (Everton) 19

Damien Duff (Blackburn) 18

Harry Kewell (Leeds) 19

Lee Hodges (West Ham) 19

FA CUP TEAM OF THE WEEKEND

MARK BOSNICH ASTON VILLA

STEPHANE HENCHOZ

BLACKBURN

ADRIAN MOSES

BARNSLEY

JOHN McGREAL

TRANMERE

GEORGE BOATENG

COVENTRY

JOHN McCARTHY

BIRMINGHAM

ALESSANDRO PISTONE

NEWCASTLE

EMMANUEL PETIT

ARSENAL

PAUL KITSON

WEST HAM

CHRIS SUTTON

BLACKBURN

ROD WALLACE

LEEDS

GOOD BOYS . . .

THE PREMIERSHIP'S

LEADING SCORERS

Andy Cole 21

(Manchester United)

John Hartson 19

(West Ham)

Kevin Gallacher 17

(Blackburn)

Michael Owen 17

(Liverpool)

Dion Dublin 16

(Coventry)

Chris Sutton 16

(Blackburn)

. . . and BAD BOYS

THE SEASON'S RED AND YELLOW CARDS

Leeds United 54 3

Coventry 51 5

Arsenal 53 2

Derby County 54 1

Bolton 48 4

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