Championship Chatter

WHATEVER happens on Sunday, Colchester United have already been outstanding achievers in this year's FA Cup.Of course the Mighty U's have no chance over the Special One's Chelsea - they are, after all, runaway Premiership leaders and one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

By Derek Davis

WHATEVER happens on Sunday, Colchester United have already been outstanding achievers in this year's FA Cup.

Of course the Mighty U's have no chance over the Special One's Chelsea - they are, after all, runaway Premiership leaders and one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Even with a scraggy pitch and one eye on their Champions' League game with Barcelona and a couple of suspensions or injuries to worry about, they are far too good for Colchester.

But I wonder.

I was a wide-eyed schoolboy filled with awe when the awesome Leeds United arrived on an equally inhospitable Layer Road pitch as the old Division One leaders with Europe and bigger things, on their minds - and they went home with a 3-2 beating.

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It would be a brave man to have a few quid on 'The Meticulous One' Phil Parkinson's side but stranger things have indeed happened in football.

One man smiling whatever happens is the shy but influential chairman Peter Heard, who will see his dreams of a new stadium if not come to fruition but certainly financed in the next couple of weeks.

The £265,000 television fee will be added to the £60,000 prize money they have already won. The winning side on Sunday gets another £120,000, and even if Chelsea don't sell out Stamford Bridge, the U's share of the gate money should be around £500,000 - so, all in all, not a bad day out.

The 6,000 allocation of tickets to United fans has already been sold out and the lads won't lack backing by visiting supporters, and the vast majority of the neutrals, who will be looking for that upset.

IT was only right and proper that the Football League's 'dubious goals committee' credited Danny Haynes with the winning goal at Norwich City.

The amazing thing was that it even needed to go to a panel. The game was widely shown and there are screens throughout Carrow Road so it should never have been put down as an own goal in the first place.

WITH another batch of World Cup tickets going up for general sale yesterday excitement mounts as the world's eyes start to look to Germany.

If you know your football history, you will know that this will not be the first time the Germans have hosted the World Cup, although it will be the first as a unified nation.

It was an incredible side of West Germans that hoisted the trophy in 1974 but what was less apparent was the lack of harmony in the country at the time and not just because there was a huge wall separating east and west.

In German Football: History, culture, society, all is explained and a whole lot more. Written by Alan Tomlinson and Christopher Young, the book charts in a very deep and intelligent way, the whole essence of what makes Germany Germany, when it comes to its football.

Our stereotype is one of a hard-working and relentless machine that does well on the world stage while failing to excite.

Not surprisingly, there is a lot more to German football and this book explores the tradition, or lack of it, at club level, deals with hooliganism and the complex relationship between the industrious and bleak eastern clubs and the perceived snobs from the west, all with a boot-load of Nazism and racism thrown in.

It looks at what reunification meant and the effect of Kirchmedia's demise on the game's economy at home and abroad.

This is not your average football book filled with facts or shallow opinion, but a well-researched and interesting study of the reality of German football and in many ways - life.

To win one of the six copies we are giving away simply answer this question.

In which three countries have Germany won a World Cup final?

Usual competition rules apply. Send your answers to: German Football Competition, Championship Chatter, EADT Sports Desk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

Or e-mail The competition closes at midday on Wednesday, February 22.

FICKLE football fans never fail to make me smile but it appears Crystal Palace boss Iain Dowie is losing patience with his lot.

A relatively paltry 17,550 supporters attended the London derby match against QPR, which Palace won 2-1 to cement their place in the top six, but Dowie was hoping for a few more, and said so in no uncertain terms.

It is clear that the people of south London have forgotten that they were squirming uncomfortably in fourth-from-bottom when Dowie took over as manager and guided them, first time, to the finals at the Millennium Stadium and onto the Premiership.

So, they were instantly relegated, no big surprise, but they have a more than good chance of repeating their promotion dream and deserve a lot more support, and a lot less complaining too.

SUFFOLK boy Terry Westley is in the market for a new striker after on-loan Tottenham forward Mounir El Hamdaoui fell victim to injury.

The caretaker manager at Derby County was hit again when El Hamdaoui sustained a groin strain while opening the scoring during the 2-2 draw with Leicester at the Walkers Stadium.

Not much point in Westley looking at his old club Ipswich for help, though.

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