Five things you might have missed in the EFL
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.
Goal celebrations and GoPro’s
Jamal Lowe celebrated in style on Saturday as Swansea City edged Watford 2-1 in the Championship. The winger’s brace moved the Swans up to second in the table and Lowe marked his curling strike, which cancelled out Tom Cleverley’s opener, by wheeling away and pointing straight at Ben Foster’s GoPro camera positioned in the back of the net.
In November, the Watford shot-stopper feared he might have to take down his YouTube channel, which now has almost 250,000 subscribers. ‘The Cycling GK’, as it is aptly named, features in-game footage of Foster’s best saves and worst fumbles. However, the social media platform was found to be in breach of the EFL’s broadcasting regulations; in order to stop the governing body from shutting down the channel, he offered to make a donation to mental health charity Mind as a gesture of goodwill.
Hopefully he doesn’t delete the footage of Lowe’s celebration!
Dack back in attack
On the topic of being under the spotlight, Bradley Dack netted for Blackburn Rovers for the first time since November 2019, in a 2-0 victory over Birmingham City at the weekend. The midfielder has endured a lengthy spell on the sidelines, having sustained an ACL injury over a year ago and undergoing surgery on his knee.
It’s been a seemingly never-ending road to recovery for Dack, but the 27-year-old kept himself occupied in the meantime, starring heavily in fiancé Olivia Attwood’s new reality television programme, ‘Olivia Meets Her Match’. The ITVBe show followed Dack’s rehabilitation process, as he expressed his fears about going under the knife once again.
After the game against the Blues, Dack released a video on social media thanking fans for their support over the last year, and the Blackburn man will no doubt be firing fit in 2021.
Snowed under with fixtures
The start of the new year signalled the arrival of Storm Bella. A total of 13 fixtures across the EFL pyramid fell victim to the adverse weather, postponed due to frozen pitches, including Cardiff City’s visit to Rotherham United in the Championship.
However, the Bluebirds squad had already made the long trip up to South Yorkshire by the time officials deemed to the surface to be unplayable, and instead of rushing off back to Wales, Cardiff players engaged in a snowball fight at the AESSEAL New York Stadium. The perpetrators were masked as they enjoyed hurling snowballs at each other across the pitch before boarding the coach back to Cardiff.
In League Two, Forest Green Rovers opted to fulfil their fixture against Oldham Athletic, but thick fog settled over the New Lawn Stadium, with players unable to see the other side of the pitch by the break. The hosts had the lead until Oldham equalised on the stroke of half-time, and a 40-minute delay ensued before the game was finally abandoned.
EFL teams facing points deductions
Although Rotherham couldn’t control the weather, they were accused of attempting to skip out of their clash against local rivals Barnsley in mid-week. Despite five players and one member of staff returning positive tests, a depleted Millers side were made to play against the Tykes to avoid a potential points deduction or a fine.
Similarly, Wimbledon were ordered to fulfill their fixture against Lincoln City in League One on Saturday, despite both teams jointly seeking a postponement whilst playing staff awaited test results. The Dons slipped to a 2-1 defeat, with Wimbledon manager Glyn Hodges claiming the squad were “12 down” and counting. The boss was surprisingly open about the matter in his programme notes from the game, suggesting that football was “winging it” through the pandemic and the EFL was “in a mess” due to a lack of leadership.
Rooney makes a case
Saturday marked a year to the day that Wayne Rooney made his Derby County debut and although his team couldn’t cap his achievement off with a win, the former England ace boasts an impressive record from his spell as interim Rams manager. Since he took the temporary reins of the second-tier club, no side has conceded fewer goals than Rooney’s Derby. Prior to the Rams’ defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, Derby had leaked just three goals since November.
On Tuesday evening, Derby recorded their most emphatic win under the ex-Manchester United midfielder, seeing off Championship rivals Birmingham 4-0 as the 35-year-old made a serious case for the Rams job on a more permanent basis.
Follow Holly on Twitter @HollyHunt10
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