BBC BLOGS - Dan Walker

Archives for October 2010

Rip it up and start again

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Dan Walker | 12:01 UK time, Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Well last week was further proof that it's always dangerous to think you've got the show sorted on a Thursday.

I remember a few years ago, when I was a reporter on Football Focus, that the whole programme was ripped up on a Friday night when Big Phil Scolari decided to join Chelsea. The running order was changed completely and interviews were hastily arranged.

Last week we saw something similar. Our editor, Mark Cole, always leaves a bit of wriggle room but on Friday we were hit with the double whammy of the Wayne Rooney news and the latest palaver at Portsmouth.

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Ferguson v Rooney - compelling viewing

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Dan Walker | 11:14 UK time, Thursday, 21 October 2010

"Sorry it's so early but what do you know about Rooney?" was the text that greeted me at 0630 BST on Monday.

Thankfully, I had already been up since 0200 and my wife and I had been on the labour ward since 0515. Child number three eventually arrived at the perfect Richie Benaud time of 0222 so goings on in Wayne's world were the last thing on my mind.

The answer to the question is that I don't know much more about Rooney than has already hit the front and back pages of the papers. I interviewed the England striker three times last season and I must admit to being slightly surprised at what has happened over the last few days, given the content of those interviews.

Last November, I asked him if he would be tempted to leave Old Trafford when Ferguson eventually stood down.

"I love the club and am really happy," replied Rooney. "So, whether he goes or not, the very thought of leaving the club has never entered my mind."

Eleven months is a long time in football.

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Waddle waxes lyrical

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Dan Walker | 06:01 UK time, Thursday, 14 October 2010

We have all returned safely from our Football Focus expedition to Sheffield Wednesday. The Hillsborough trip bought back plenty of memories. I was a student in Sheffield in the late 1990s and used to pay £5 to sit in the uncovered wedge between the North Stand and the Leppings Lane end. Back then, Wednesday were in the Premier League.

As I mentioned last week, Wednesday were chasing league titles and reaching cup finals in the early 1990s. They also boasted a squad filled with internationals... and four of England's starting X1. But then financial mismanagement left the club millions of pounds in debt and controlled by the bank manager.

Players came in on huge wages with no clause in their contract to cover the club against relegation. When Wednesday subsequently dropped out of the Premier League, they were crippled by the wage structure and - like many - took another hit when they gambled on the new ITV digital deal at the start of the millennium.

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Lord Sugar on Sir Alex and the Special One

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Dan Walker | 10:28 UK time, Thursday, 7 October 2010

The football office here at the BBC is an eerie place this week. The vast majority of staff are working on the Commonwealth Games a few floors down at Television Centre so I am tempted to practice my off-spin in the large gap between the desks without the fear of my unreliable wrong 'un ending up in someone's face.

Anyway, preparations for this week's Football Focus show are bubbling away very nicely. We will be live from the home of Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday but I wanted to take this opportunity to mention the great response to the piece we broadcast on St Pauli last week. We have received loads of e-mails and tweets about the team from Hamburg, who have already been adopted as many people's second club.

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