Holly Hunt reviews the lesser-spotted talking points you might’ve skipped over from this gameweek’s action across the Championship, League One and Two.
Peterborough United summariser’s blunder:
AFC Wimbledon made history last week when they recorded their first win since returning to Plough Lane against Peterborough United. However, former Posh defender-turned-broadcaster, Gabriel Zakuani, almost missed kick-off after mistakenly turning up at the wrong venue! The 34-year-old, who enjoyed two spells at Peterborough between 2008 and 2016 before retiring in September this year, was covering the fixture for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire but the station was almost without a co-commentator after Zakuani went to Wimbledon’s former home instead.
He was bewildered when he arrived at Kingsmeadow to find the lights were out and nobody was home. Luckily, Plough Lane is just a short drive from Kingsmeadow and he made it in the nick of time!
Accrington manager in the festive spirit:
Many of us have taken to decking out our homes somewhat early this year, given the current climate. Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman is getting into the premature festive spirit, too. The 58-year-old burst into song mid-way through his pre-game interview on Friday, belting out a chorus of Elton John’s Christmas anthem ‘Step Into Christmas’. He even managed to hit the high note at the end!
Coleman’s mood at the final whistle was just as joyful, after his side got back to winning ways against MK Dons, with a 2-1 victory. Unfortunately the boss didn’t give the press a rendition of another Christmas classic at full-time. Instead, Coleman dedicated the result to his late father who passed away 20 years ago last week.
However, we’re expecting a full album of Christmas hits to be released in due course… perhaps with the players singing back-up vocals!
Millwall supporters under scrutiny:
As lockdown came to an end, 34 teams across the EFL were allowed to welcome fans back through the turnstiles this gameweek. However, one set of supporters were widely criticised for booing players taking the knee. Millwall hosted Derby County in the Championship on Saturday afternoon, and prior to kick-off both starting XI’s took to one knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Jeering sounds from a section of the crowd can be heard over video footage, which caused many football fans and journalists to take to social media to express their discontent. Millwall defender and Antigua and Barbuda international Mahlon Romeo told press in his post-match interview that the incident had rendered the game “irrelevant” in his view.
Incidentally, clubs also backed the Rainbow Laces campaign this weekend, with players across the divisions sporting multi-coloured laces and armbands to send a message out to the LGBT+ community and make a statement about the inclusivity of football.
McCall makes managerial landmark:
On the surface, Carlisle United’s 1-0 win over Bradford City in League Two seems nothing out of the ordinary. However, for Bantams boss Stuart McCall it was quite a big deal. On Saturday, Carlisle became the 69th different EFL side McCall has faced in the league during his managerial career with his respective clubs. City were managed by McCall when they drew Carlisle away in the semi-finals of the 2009/10 Football League Trophy, but this was the first time that the West Yorkshire-born boss met the Cumbrians in the league.
So far in his 20-year-long managerial career, McCall has overseen four different clubs, including a temporary stint at Rangers as caretaker coach and acting as Neil Warnock’s number two at Sheffield United when he was first finding his feet. But it seems all roads lead back to Valley Parade!
Neil Warnock on the rampage:
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock was enraged after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at the weekend – but not for the reason you’d think. He ranted to the press in his post-match interview about the hospitality facilities that Boro were provided with upon their visit to Staffordshire. He called the makeshift dressing room a “disgraceful pigsty” after Stoke shut their opposition changing room to help away teams to social distance and prevent the spread of the virus. At the end of the interview, he added: “There’s no way we’re giving them a dressing room when they come up our place. If our chairman won’t, I’ll pay for a portacabin!”
However, Stoke’s local media hit back and Warnock was even described as a “Poundland Arsene Wenger” by Stoke City reporter Peter Smith in an article published in the Stoke Sentinel!
Follow Holly on Twitter @hollyhunt10