Outside the Box: Boring old Arsenal Ladies to clinch ninth title in a row

 

Any Arsenal supporters fed up with not having had a trophy to acclaim for more than seven years should get along to Boreham Wood FC this afternoon, where their Ladies team have every chance of furthering what is far and away the most successful record in women's football.

A single point against Doncaster Belles will bring a ninth successive league title and take the total number of major trophies won to 37 in 25 years. At present the team, now managed by Laura Harvey, lead Birmingham by six points with only two games to play, so if Birmingham do not win today another championship will be secured anyway.

The top two are due to meet in the League Cup final in 10 days' time and Arsenal are still in the Champions' League too; on Wednesday they beat Barcelona 3-0 in the Mini Estadi next to the Nou Camp.

But there will not be a clean sweep this year – they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea in May.

Isle be there, says Zico

Like Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue", the Guernsey FC midfielder Ryan-Zico Black, named after his father's favourite Brazilian player, has had to put up with a few jibes in his time.

Now he is having the last laugh after being invited to take part in the annual charity match played in either Rio or Sao Paulo between Friends of Zico and a Stars of Brazil XI.

He has already received a visit from the Brazilian TV network Globo, who presented him with a signed Zico shirt and a video from the great man.

Guernsey are effectively a representative team of the whole island, whose president is Matt Le Tissier, with his brother Mark as club secretary. Founded only in 2011, they won the Combined Counties League First Division at the first attempt and last Tuesday went to the top of the Premier Division with two games in hand.

Mills is hot property

September has been a busy month for Danny Mills, the former England full-back who finished a close second to writer and actress Emma Kennedy in the final of Celebrity Masterchef last week but had to postpone taking part in the London Triathlon and a charity cycle ride from Leeds to London because of gastroenteritis.

Not something he ate, apparently; Mills has been a keen cook since his early teens and his duck starter, sea trout and chocolate fondant and orange sorbet went down well with the Masterchef judges. He has now recovered sufficiently to play in a match at Harrogate Town today (3pm) in aid of Bliss, who help families of premature babies, and Shine, the spina bifida charity.

The Mills team will include fellow former Leeds United men Nigel Martyn, Dominic Matteo and Eddie Gray, plus Colin Cooper, Gareth Southgate and members of the Emmerdale cast.

Bittersweet rumours

Perhaps it was not surprising that Michele Ferrero, Italy's richest man and owner of the eponymous confectionery company, should have been so quick to deny reports that he was about to make an offer for Silvio Berlusconi's troubled Milan.

With so many supporters of big rivals Internazionale and Juventus around the world, a possible boycott of such brands as Nutella, Kinder Eggs, Tic Tacs and, of course, Ferrero Rocher would hardly make the sort of commercial sense that has made Signor Ferrero worth £11 billion.

Ken Bates

Last week's item about Leeds United accusing Chelsea of poaching two young players in 2006 mistakenly suggested that Ken Bates was chairman of Chelsea at the time. He was, in fact, chairman of Leeds by then.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; twitter.com/@stevetongue

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