Motherwell FC News – Oct 2000
Motherwell FC News
Tuesday, October 31
A few more details have emerged regarding the proposed link-up between Motherwell and Aston Villa. Apparently the move to “develop players and commercial activity” was proposed by John Boyle, and Villa’s directors will discuss whether to form the link-up at the club’s next board meeting. The English side’s secretary/director Steve Stride said:
“Mr Boyle approached us a couple of months ago to suggest possible mutual commercial and player opportunities. We were invited to Motherwell for their match last Sunday when the idea was discussed further. Now it is a question of thinking over what was said and then making a decision.”
When asked about the proposed link-up, Pat Nevin said:
“Doug Ellis is friendly with our chairman John Boyle and I know their coach Tony McAndrew. One of the proposals we were discussing was the possibility of their younger players coming here on loan.”
Plans are underway to arrange a friendly between Motherwell and Workington at Borough Park, with the winter shutdown a likely time.
The SPL have announced plans to introduce Pay-Per-View coverage of games, starting in February 2001. A deal between Scottish Premier League clubs and Sky Television will see Sky broadcast a Premier match on Saturdays at 12.30pm, with fans wanting to watch having to pay up to £10. The full story is available from the Evening Times website.
Monday, October 30
Speaking about last night’s game, Billy Davies said:
“We came out and had a real go. I felt the players were magnificent, playing against a quality team who are on a roll. But we were very fortunate with the Mjallby effort that wasn’t given, no doubt about it. I certainly thought their third goal was a bit fortunate. It wasn’t the best strike in the world from Jackie McNamara, let’s put it that way. Once again I think we showed by coming back from goals behind we’ve got good character. Overall I’m delighted with the players. We played an excellent side tonight, we tried to score goals and create chances. I’m delighted with the end result.”
Ricky’s report of the Celtic game is now available!
Sunday, October 29
Motherwell and Celtic fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Fir Park this evening. Celtic took the lead early on when Woods flapped at a cross ball and Mjallby scored from close range, but Derek Adams equalised a few mins later when he bundled the ball over the line. We took the lead after 53 mins when Lee McCulloch bulleted home a free header from a corner, but poor defending allowed Valgareren to make the score 2-2 with a close range header. McNamara was then allowed to waltz through the defence to put Celtic in the lead, but Motherwell grabbed a deserved equaliser when Ged Brannan scored from the spot after Don Goodman was bundled over in the box. We got off the hook when a Celtic “goal” was disallowed despite the ball being clearly over the line, but we certainly didn’t deserve to lose the game and while a point apiece was probably about right, the feeling amongst ‘Well fans after the game was that Celtic were there for the taking. Still, I suppose this only goes to show the progress we have made in recent weeks. Overall it was another excellent team performance, with Benny Kemble my man of the match. He had Larsson in his back pocket for virtually the entire 90 mins.
Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis watched tonight’s game from the main stand. Apparently plans are underway to establish a link between Motherwell and Aston Villa, although no further details are available at present.
Saturday, October 28
Plans are underway to hold a party to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Motherwell’s unforgettable cup win in 1991. The Centenary Suite at Fir Park has been booked for Friday, 18th May 2001 and the organiser of the event, Matt Johnstone, is looking for suggestions as to how the night could be made extra special. If you have any ideas, or might be interested in attending, then mail him at email@example.com.
Friday, October 27
Scott Leitch is hoping to recover from his knee injury in time to face Celtic on Sunday. Speaking at yesterday’s press conference, he said:
“Yesterday was my first day back in full training and if there is no reaction then the manager has told me I will be available for the squad for Sunday. It was great to see the boys doing so well in my absence over the last few weeks. We are after all a squad where the atmosphere has been good all the way through the season. It has been a bit of a bonus getting these back to back wins and I suppose this is a good time for us to meet Celtic. We are more concerned with getting three in a row ourselves, than stopping Celtics great start to the season. I have had a good record against Celtic over the years when I played for Hearts but it is totally different now. Different manager and different players and it has to be said they are flying just now. Even so when you get right down to it, it is just another three points, but three points we are desperate to get”.
At the press conference, Stuart Elliott was asked on a personal level how his move to Scotland had been so far. He replied:
“I was slightly apprehensive about the move over here. My wife Laura Lee and my 2½ year old son Nathan have made the transition easier for me. One of my biggest concerns was finding a church as I am a committed Christian but it has all went very well. Being a Christian really helps me keep my feet on the ground and on top of that everyone at the club and all the people around have been very helpful”.
When asked the usual loaded question of whether he was a Celtic or Rangers fan and more directly how he felt about the troubles in Northern Ireland. Stuart replied:
“Actually I was very keen on Liverpool and even used to go to see Everton sometimes and as for the troubles I really dont go into the sectarian question other than to say I wish everyone could just live in peace.”
For Sunday’s game we will be without long-term casualties Kevin Twaddle and Paul Harvey. Andy Goram also misses out, although he will return to full training on Monday.
Tickets for the Celtic game will be on sale from the Chapman building until 4pm today, then 10am-1pm on Saturday and 12noon-5pm on Sunday. The ticket office can also be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Under-21s next fixture is against Celtic on Monday, October 30 at Almondvale Stadium, Livingston. Kick-off is at 2pm.
The entire first team squad apparently had an enjoyable time on Wednesday night when they went paintballing. Footage from the night out may well be screened on Sky Sports tonight.
Thursday, October 26
Motherwell are once again being linked with Blackburn Rovers duo Burton O’Brien and David McNamee, who cost the Ewood Park side almost £1 million when they signed from St Mirren just over a year ago.
Wednesday, October 25
The Under-18s next fixture is against Hearts this coming Saturday at the Olivebank Stadium in Musselburgh. Kick-off is at 11am.
Stuart Elliott claims that Motherwell can still qualify for Europe, despite our poor start to the season:
“The lads just missed out on playing in Europe last season, and getting into that competition is our aim this time around. But to achieve that target we know that we have to be more consistent. If we can finish in the top six in time for the split in April, who knows what might happen. We are all looking forward to the game against Celtic, we’ll work hard and we could take something out of the game.”
Tuesday, October 24
The Under-21s beat Dundee 1-0 at Fir Park last night courtesy of a goal from Brian Dempsie. Derek Townsley played as sweeper while our old friend Tony Thomas (remember him?) played for the first 45 mins at right-back.
Motherwell based referee Hugh Dallas will take charge of Sunday’s game against Celtic.
Monday, October 23
Billy Davies is set to be fined by his players for his foul language which provoked an angry response from Dundee boss Ivano Bonetti at Dens Park on Saturday. Fir Park players are set to haul Davies before their next kangaroo court to punish him for his antics. Players and management are fined for offences ranging from posing for ridiculous photographs to giving embarrassing interviews. Meanwhile, Pat Nevin claimed the row was down to a misunderstanding:
“Billy’s language can be a little colourful at times but he assured me it wasn’t directed at Dario. Ivano claims he heard quite a lot of swearing but he doesn’t really understand our culture.”
Stuart Elliott has played down the numerous challenges from Dundee players which left him requiring treatment three times during the match.
“It is just physical challenges I suppose and it is part of the game. With me being a winger, players will not want to give you too much space. It is part of the game so judge for yourself if you think the challenges were fair or not. I will just get on with playing football.”
Ricky’s report of the Dundee game is now available.
Sunday, October 22
It has been revealed that Dundee’s assistant manager refused to shake Billy Davies’ hand at the end of yesterday’s game, insisting that BD had hurled abuse at him throughout the game. Davies said:
“I was a little bit disappointed that the assistant manager did not shake hands at the end there. I thought that was very unsportsmanlike to be honest but we were delighted with the win.”
Saturday, October 21
Another victory! Yep, we beat Dundee 2-1 at Dens Park this afternoon. Stuart Elliott got us off to an unbelievable start by scoring twice in the first 5 mins, although Dundee pulled one pack shortly afterwards. However we continued to have the better of the game and squandered several good chances to kill the game off. Not to worry though, as we held on to claim all three points. It was an excellent team performance all round, with Elliott, Hammell and McMillan particularly outstanding. Bring on the Celtic!
Friday, October 20
Looking forward to tomorrow’s game, which will see the home debut of Claudio Caniggia, Billy Davies said:
“We will be considered underdogs for this one, but although it will be a tough match it will be a good one to play in. It’s not just about Caniggia, they have a good side and they have gelled very quickly. It’s not going to be an easier or more difficult game than the one we had before. Outside the Old Firm there is not a lot of difference between the teams. We set our standards and know what we are looking for. We have got to work harder than Dundee and try to get three points.”
On the importance of the win over St Johnstone last week, Davies added:
“As the weeks went by without our first home win it did get a bit concerning, but I have never been concerned about the overall ability or confidence of the squad. The atmosphere has been good and although we all know we haven’t turned any corners yet there are a number of encouraging signs. Players such as Spencer, Brannan, Adams and Stuart Elliott are now looking fully match fit and sharp for the first time. We had to bring some of these players back too soon after injury, when in an ideal world we would have given them two or three outings for the under 21s. Needs must however when you only have a small squad to work with.”
Stevie McMillan, who has recovered from a knee injury and is added to tomorrow’s squad, is relishing the prospect of coming up against the former Argentina international:
“I remember him scoring against Brazil when he took it round the ‘keeper, but it’s a different ball game he’s playing in now. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. He’s done everything and played in the World Cup, so obviously it’s going to be a difficult game for us. We don’t have a good record against Dundee, but things like that have to change some time.”
For tomorrow’s game, we will be without long term casualties Kevin Twaddle and Paul Harvey, while Andy Goram and Scott Leitch have yet to fully recover from their operations. Benito Kemble serves a one-match suspension after his sending-off last week.
Thursday, October 19
Steve McMillan has recovered from injury and is added to the squad for Saturday’s game against Dundee. Ange Oueifio is back from suspension but Benito Kemble misses out after his sending-off against St Johnstone last week.
Remember that Saturday’s game is all-ticket!
Tuesday, October 17
The club are reported to have begun negotiations with Don Goodman in an attempt to extend his contract. Originally it was thought that a clause in Don’s pension would force him to retire at the end of the season, but he appears to have found a way around the problem.
Monday, October 16
Ged Brannan and Lee McCulloch will be at the opening day of the new Big W store in Glasgow on Thursday, 19th October. They’ll be there (at the Forge Retail Park) from 2pm – 3pm signing autographs and helping give away signed merchandise for all fans. Contact email@example.com for more details.
Sunday, October 15
Billy Davies was understandably delighted with Motherwell’s performance yesterday:
“The application from the players both individually and collectively was magnificent. We are still missing a lot of quality players but I’m delighted the way that we worked and the number of goals that we scored but we realise we still have a long way to go.”
Davies singled out Northern Ireland international Stuart Elliott for praise, and added:
“I was pleased and delighted to see him come back after two tough international matches, produce that kind of performance and claim two goals.”
Ricky’s report of the St Johnstone game is now available!
Saturday, October 14
We recorded our first home win of the season this afternoon when we thrashed a very poor St Johnstone side 4-0. Motherwell dominated right from the start and took the lead in 20 mins when Saints’ Darren Dods diverted a cross into his own net. The second goal followed shortly afterwards when a corner was not properly cleared and Lee McCulloch scored with an overhead kick from virtually on the goal line. Despite being totally in control of the game, we had to wait until 64 mins for the third goal when Ged Brannan headed home from a corner kick. Stuart Elliott added a fourth shortly afterwards but then Benito Kemble was ordered off for a second bookable offence, although the match was long since won. St Johnstone were never in the game so there’s not much to say about them. In fact, Steve Woods only had one save of real note when he tipped over a free-kick late on the the game. All in all it was an excellent team performance with Stuart Elliott particularly outstanding, and even the much maligned Derek Townsley did well, especially when he was moved back to centre-half once Kemble was sent-off.. A few more performances like this and we’ll soon be back on course for a top six finish.
The club have denied speculation that they have hired an agent to identify a replacement for Billy Davies.
Thursday, October 12
Motherwell have signed Newcastle midfielder Jamie McClen on loan for three months. Billy Davies watched the 21-year-old in reserve games for the Magpies and immediately added him to the squad for the St Johnstone game. Davies said:
“Jamie is an attacking midfielder who likes to link up with the front men and get among the goals. He will come up for a couple of months to see over the place and give us a chance to watch him in training and in action.”
Today’s Motherwell Times reports that an unnamed French midfielder is currently on trial at Fir Park and could play against St Johnstone on Saturday. Scott Leitch could also be back to face the Saints, but definitely missing will be Ange Ouiefio (suspended), Andy Goram (hernia), Kevin Twaddle (broken wrist), Steve McMillan (knee injury) and Paul Harvey (hamstring injury).
The club are running stadium tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, costing £1 for adults and £1 for concessions. Phone the club on 01698 333333 for more details.
Wednesday, October 11
Today’s Daily Record reports that Andy Goram has survived a major surgical scare after his routine hernia operation went wrong. The Goalie underwent surgery to cure the troublesome injury at Glasgow’s Nuffield Hospital on Monday, but after the operation he developed a massive haematoma in his groin after suffering heavy internal bleeding. Goram was expected to go home on Monday evening, but last night he remained in hospital and was being kept under close observation. He is still having the leaking blood drained from his body and was under heavy sedation. Motherwell were initially hoping to have Goram back within a fortnight, but it now looks like he could be out of action for up to a month. Billy Davies said:
“I spoke to the doctor who completed the operation and he wasn’t too worried about Andy’s condition. Normally, you can be back playing in 10 to 14 days after this type of hernia surgery, although we will just have to wait and see.”
Tuesday, October 10
Newspaper reports suggest that Ged Brannan is close to signing a new 3-year contract with Motherwell. Ged opened negotiations last week about extending his current contract, and the club are apparently ready to confirm that the 28-year-old will be staying on until 2003. Brannan said:
“I’m really happy here and want to be part of the future.”
Our game at Dens Park a week on Saturday will be all-ticket. Briefs, priced £16 and £9, go on sale on Monday.
Monday, October 9
Would you be interested in joining an Internet branch of the Supporter’s Association? If so, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, October 8
Today’s News of the World reports that Ged Brannan is keen to sign a new 3-year contract with Motherwell.
Check out our new ezboard Message Board!
Saturday, October 7
Would you be interested in attending a Mailing List / Internet Fans night out over the Christmas period? Please let us know by voting here. Even if you aren’t interesting in going, please let us know anyway!
Stuart Elliott played from the start in Northern Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Denmark this afternoon.
Friday, October 6
According to Teletext, Billy Davies is stepping up his hunt for a “midfield general”:
“We are looking for a quality player who will lead by example and performance and not be afraid to say his piece.”
In this morning’s press, Steve Woods claims that he’s ready to take over from Andy Goram as Motherwell’s No. 1. Goram is facing up to six weeks on the sidelines while he undergoes a hernia operation, and Woods says:
“You should always be trying to better yourself and I stayed on here so I could learn from Andy. I’d like to think I’m now ready to take over from him and I’ll be giving it my best shot. Whether that’s due to what Andy has taught me or what I knew already I’m not sure but I’d like to think it’s the latter. Anyway, I know it’s Andy’s ambition to play on here until he’s 40 but I want to be No.1 at this club and give the manager as big a problem as I can by the time Andy’s fit again.”
Two English clubs are believed to joined the race for the signature of Billy McKinlay. However, The player’s agent denies that Motherwell have been in contact with him.
Thursday, October 5
Confusion surrounds the injury to Andy Goram. Today’s newspapers are reporting that The Goalie is facing surgery on a hernia and could be out for six weeks, however rumour has it that there could be another reason for his absence. When asked about Goram’s omission from the Hearts game, BD would say only:
“I got a phone call to say he was ill – end of story.”
In today’s Wishaw Press, Billy Davies is quoted as saying:
“We are still waiting on a phone call with regards to Billy McKinlay and I am also hoping to hear about enquiries for another couple of players. I am hopeful we should have at least one new face in the starting line-up against St Johnstone.”
Stuart Elliott is in the Northern Ireland squad for their games against Denmark in Belfast on Saturday and Iceland in Reykjavik on Wednesday.
Hearts are the latest team to be linked with Billy McKinlay. It is believed that one other English Premiership side are also interested in the Blackburn midfielder.
Wednesday, October 4
The Under-18s have a match against Celtic at East Kilbride Juniors Park at 11am on Saturday.
Tuesday, October 3
Motherwell are facing competition from Aberdeen for the signature of Billy McKinlay. The Pittodrie side held a board meeting last night to discuss a move for the Blackburn Rovers midfielder.
The Under-21s lost 2-1 to Hearts at Fir Park last night. Derek Adams scored Motherwell’s goal and Paul Harvey limped off with what looked like a hamstring pull. The team was:
Connolly, Lasley, Ramsay, Townsley, Dempsie, Wilson, Harvey (Pearson), J Davies, Miller (Trialist), Adams (Fallon), Nicholas. Subs not used were Ewings and MacDonald.
Speaking in this month’s FourFourTwo magazine, Lee McCulloch reveals he would love to play in England one day.
Andy Goram will find out tomorrow if he requires a hernia operation. Apparently that’s the reason he missed Sunday’s game at Tynecastle.
Ricky’s report of the Hearts game is now available.
Monday, October 2
Speaking after yesterday’s game, Billy Davies said:
“I felt we started the game well but obviously after the sending off we had a mountain to climb. We are making suicidal mistakes which are causing us games. You only have to look at the two goals we lost. The young kid (Steven Hammell) made a very bad mistake and we know he is still learning the game so we expect that sometimes. But I certainly feel my more experienced players should not be making such mistakes. The players must take individual responsibility when you look at the two goals we lost in the first half.”
Davies also mentioned that he is still hopeful of bringing former Scotland international Billy McKinlay on loan from Blackburn, and Rovers’ official website also reports that the move is still on with terms of the deal likely to be sorted out tomorrow.
Andy Goram missed yesterday’s game as he was apparently suffering from ‘flu.
Sunday, October 1
I made it back from my holiday just in time to watch us suffer yet another gubbing at Tynecastle this afternoon. Don’t know why I bothered. Without Goram, McMillan and Leitch, we got off to the worst possible start imaginable when an innocuous tussle in the box between Ouiefio and Kirk resulted in the referee awarding a penalty and sending off the Frenchman for being the last man. Quite how the ref could see the incident clearly is up for debate as he was around 30 yards behind play at the time, but it was only the first of many bizarre refereeing decisions made this afternoon. Steve Woods saved the resultant spot kick, but our joy was short lived as Hearts took the lead shortly afterwards. Despite having our right-back ordered off, Billy Davies delayed introducing Corrigan as a substitute and when Kemble was drawn across to the right-hand side of the pitch, Gordon Durie was left with a free header to put the home side ahead. Motherwell then had a good penalty claim of their own turned down when McCulloch was brought down in the box, but this was one of our rare excursions into the opposition’s half as the home side continued to dominate. Hearts’ second goal came when Stevie Hammell, who was torn to shreds by Juanjo on the left-wing, got caught in possession and allowed Kirk in to score. By this stage the game was dead and buried, and it was really a case of damage limitation in the second half. As it turned out, the Jambos only managed one more goal, when Durie was given a free header at the back post following a corner kick. Yet again we offered very little in the way of a goal threat, and Hearts’ goalie Niemi was a virtual spectator. It’s all very well to blame the referee for today’s defeat, but I’m afraid that doesn’t tell the whole story as I doubt very much if we’d taken even a point from today’s game had all eleven players remained on the field. Surely it can’t get much worse than this.
Billy McKinlay has rejected a 3-month loan move to Motherwell from Blackburn Rovers. Meanwhile, Billy Davies is reported to be interested in Blackburn’s Burton O’Brien and David McNamee, who were both formerly with St Mirren.
Kevin Twaddle is likely to be out for up to three months after breaking his wrist against Rangers.
The Under-21s went down 4-1 to Rangers last Monday, and had John Davies sent off. Stevie Nicholas scored our goal.
Ricky’s report of the Rangers game is now available.