BBC BLOGS - Michael Gray
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Diary of a Championship footballer

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Michael Gray | 08:00 UK time, Thursday, 22 October 2009

Hi, we're in the middle of another hectic week in the Championship and I'm trying to get my head around the topsy-turvy fixture list.

On Friday we take on Watford in front of the live TV cameras and that will be the third game in a week after a fortnight off.

It doesn't make sense to me. The international breaks interrupt the flow of the Championship. We go from three games in a week now to three games in the whole of November. Squads in the Championship are not as big as the ones in the Premier League so maybe there needs to be a rethink.

Michael Gray in World Cup qualifying action for England against Bulgaria in June 1999

A few years ago teams outside of the top flight had the option of playing during the internationals if they didn't have three or more players on duty. I think it's something we should look at because, yes, there are international players in the Championship but are there enough in every team to warrant this fixture congestion? I'm not sure, but I think it needs looking at.

It seems strange to me that players are being asked to play three times a week. It hurts the fans because they want to see players play at the highest level. With the stop-start fixture list that is very hard to achieve and may be one of the reasons teams in the Championship are so inconsistent.

I don't like to moan and you just get on and try to do your best. You need your recovery through the week, and not just if you're 35 like me. So what does my week look like in one of these busy periods...

We had the Coventry game and I thought we played really well. Wednesday won 2-0 and it was really nice to get a clean sheet. We've scored plenty of goals this season, but we've been leaking a few at the other end and that needed to be addressed. Overall, the game went really well for us and I was really pleased for our captain Darren Purse. He's come in for a bit of stick and a lot of it's been unjust, so for him to score our first goal and have it backed up with a clean sheet was great.

There was an incident in the second half when Aron Gunnarsson, was fouled and ended up in a heap on the ground. I thought he was making a meal of it at the time and in the heat of the game I tried to get him off the floor. Obviously, I didn't realise he had a suspected broken leg and I felt really bad when I realised he was hurt. It was a genuine mistake and one that I have apologised for. I certainly felt a bit silly watching it back on television. It also came out in the media a couple of days later that I had made sick jokes when he was waiting for the stretcher but that's just a load of rubbish so I'll leave that one at that. I hope Aron is back in action soon and I wish him a speedy recovery.

Usually a day off, but because of the fixtures we had to go in for a light recovery session which was a bit of a massage and a 'cool down'. I drive across from Manchester, where I live, but the hour drive doesn't bother me.

Back at the training ground for a light session. We don't have too much time to prepare for Preston but we work on a few set pieces. After lunch at the training ground you usually try and stay relaxed for the rest of the day so you are feeling good for the next day's match.

Matchday again and I have breakfast, chill out for a bit and then get ready for the game. I put my suit on and head over to Sheffield to arrive for about 4pm. I go to a hotel for something to eat and just relax with a nice cup of tea. For home games we don't meet up for a pre-match so you look after your own means. At some clubs they have you in a couple of hours before your pre-match meal but I have been to as many clubs that don't do it so it's second nature to me - I just make sure I eat the right things. Then it's down to the ground at about 6pm for a massage and to get kitted out.

Everyone felt sharp and we were confident of getting another good result. Even in the warm-up the lads looked really sharp. You get that feeling sometimes. We had trained on Monday so we didn't see the 2-1 defeat coming.

We came flying out of the traps and played really well in the first half. I put in a corner for Jermaine Johnson in the first few minutes and how he missed I don't know. The delivery was perfect of course but JJ headed it into the ground and over the bar from close range. If that had gone in it would have given us a tremendous start and we probably wouldn't have looked back, but it was just one of those days when we wasted chances and their goalkeeper, Andy Lonergan, pulled off some tremendous saves.

It was a frustrating first half because it was probably the best 45 minutes we have played this season. It would have been nice to top it off with three or four goals because the chances we had were that clean cut.

You're not going to dominate for 90 minutes but in the first half Preston didn't look like they wanted to be on the pitch. They had one attack on our goal after we'd had six or seven at theirs but they managed to make it 1-0. It was gut wrenching but we got ourselves level with a fantastic goal from a young lad by the name of Gray. My goodness, it would have to be one of the best free-kicks you'll ever see!

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Darren Potter and I usually share the free-kicks between us but Potts had been nicking the ball off me when I've wanted to tale them in the last few games so I thought it was time to pull rank. If he'd stuck two away in the last couple of games I'd probably have let him take it but there was no way he was taking this one. I knew where I was going to put it and it was just nice to see it fly in the top corner. I take free-kicks in training, as I have been recently with our assistant manager Russ Wilcox, so when I scored I ran over to him to celebrate and of course I have had plenty of stick all the lads for that celebration.

We were still on a bit of a high at half time because of the equaliser despite the disappointment of not tucking away our other chances. But something happened in the second half and we seemed a totally different team. We sat back and seemed a bit naive. Teams don't seem to be working hard enough to score the goals we are conceding - we are making it a bit too easy for them. We've got to be tougher.

The gaffer came in at the end and said: 'I am gutted for you. You played well in the first half but your standards dropped in the second'. Our throw-in resulted in a goal for Preston and things like that can't happen. We ended up chasing the game so it was a disappointing and frustrating night.

Because it's three games in less than a week, Wednesday is a chill-out and recovery day. I don't do too much and just hang out with the family.

In the morning we will train ahead of the Watford game. It will probably be a fairly light session again with all these games coming thick and fast. We'll have a chat about the Preston game, looking at what we did wrong and what we did right. We'll then focus on the Watford game and get on the coach to travel down to the hotel.

We'll have breakfast then probably do something very light, just to get the legs moving and help get the journey out of our systems. We'll get a bit of sleep before the game too so we are as ready as possible for the match. Hopefully we will get things right so I can tell you about another win next week.

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is beaten by a combination of beachball and football against Sunderland

Beach Ball
Of course, being a Sunderland fan I can't help but mention the beach ball incident and I have to say that I loved watching it on Match of the Day! Seeing that big red ball and Darren Bent's shot going in off it against Liverpool was fantastic. I'm told there's a ruling that there could be a drop ball in circumstances like that but because I'm a Sunderland fan I don't care. I admit I would have been gutted if it had happened to the team I was playing for but it's just one of those crazy things that happens in football.

It was a Liverpool fan who smacked the ball on the pitch and I'm sure his mates who went to the game with him weren't his mates anymore on Monday morning. You can't stop supporters bringing these things into the ground but I am sure there won't be many beach balls being sold in Liverpool in the next couple of weeks!


  • 1. At 11:43am on 22 Oct 2009, LABSAB9 wrote:

    Good blog - Great goal!!!

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  • 2. At 12:18pm on 22 Oct 2009, theboyhaywood wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 12:21pm on 22 Oct 2009, intoTorres_goal wrote:

    As a Sunderland fan if the roles had been reversed i'm sure you would have been moaning, fair play to Rafa for not using it as an excuse I doubt Steve Bruce would have done the same!

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  • 4. At 12:25pm on 22 Oct 2009, SkyBluePete wrote:

    Your behaviour was a disgrace on Saturday, trying to pull Gunnarsson to his feet when he was clearly in pain. The way you acted Gray was shocking!!!!!

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  • 5. At 12:25pm on 22 Oct 2009, Rob wrote:

    Good blog Michael
    Is it just me or did the ball go out of play before the cross was put in for the first goal? (approx 44 seconds into the vid)
    I remember having exams in one of the gyms at Hillsborough when I was at Sheffield Uni, seemed like quite a good set up as far as facilities etc go. I'm guessing your commute from Manchester takes you across Snakes Pass, if so what are you going to do in a couple of months when they start closing it randomly for the bad weather up there?
    Keep up the good work

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  • 6. At 12:28pm on 22 Oct 2009, mikestar01 wrote:

    Great goal the other day Michael.
    Just wanted to ask, how much of a difference does a massage make to your recovery or does it have more of an affect the older you get?
    Also, do you guys still have to jump in the ice bath after games?

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  • 7. At 12:32pm on 22 Oct 2009, mikita2 wrote:

    Hi Michael
    What are you told to eat / not eat before a match? And how long before the match do you eat?
    Thanks for your blogs btw - I really enjoy them

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  • 8. At 12:37pm on 22 Oct 2009, cljuillet wrote:

    Why do professionals feel the need to complain about 3 games in 7 days, there are plenty of people working in real jobs still turning out to play for their local team twice a week. Try looking at life from a different perspective and stop being so self centred.

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  • 9. At 12:37pm on 22 Oct 2009, astroluxe wrote:

    As a Coventry City fan I was disappointed in your actions towards Aron and yes, on reflection you looked pretty silly on TV.

    Aside from that, your blog makes interesting reading and is a great insight on the professional games for fans like myself.

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  • 10. At 12:39pm on 22 Oct 2009, SerieA wrote:

    nice blog micheal but what do you guts actually do at a "light recovery" session

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  • 11. At 12:46pm on 22 Oct 2009, Mandy_Turner wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 12. At 12:52pm on 22 Oct 2009, Buckfast-Wine wrote:

    I would swap jobs and salaries with you any day of the week :-D

    Good blog.

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  • 13. At 12:52pm on 22 Oct 2009, SerieA wrote:

    hey y u guys giving him a hard time, at least hes accepted that he was in the wrong and apologized

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  • 14. At 1:04pm on 22 Oct 2009, Alpinebadger wrote:

    Hi Mandy.

    I love Michael Gray.


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  • 15. At 1:09pm on 22 Oct 2009, Geoff wrote:

    Mike, I didn't see the incident but I guessed it must've looked silly trying to get Gunnarson off the floor. But the real problem is that so many players are dishonest these days that you just don't know any more whether the injuries are real or not. Yesterday i watched Bordeaux v Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh was diving around everywhere - they must have been playing Barber's Adagio for Strings from the stadium PA system.

    It looks like, when there is a heavy fixture list, that only light activity is done and the players have lots of time on their hands. Is that the same at all clubs, or are some more strict/disciplined? Do you think all this free time contributes to players getting involved in drinking and gambling and going off the rails a bit?


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  • 16. At 1:10pm on 22 Oct 2009, mattccfc85 wrote:

    Michael, with regards to the Aron Gunnarson incident - are you accusing Leon Best of lying? Why would he do that? Do you two have previous? Or was nothing said at all?

    I'm sure you can clear it up rather than just saying it's a load of 'Rubbish'


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  • 17. At 1:10pm on 22 Oct 2009, stowyowl wrote:

    i never knew coventry fans moaned so much!! must be tough supporting a club that isn't going anywhere i guess

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  • 18. At 1:12pm on 22 Oct 2009, coaxingstar71 wrote:

    Interesting blog Mike, I was surprised that you only got to the ground at 6pm prior to the Preston game and you basically "look after yourself" during the day - has this always been the case?
    Also interested in the points you made in relation to the media; the criticism of Purse following the Derby game and the comments the media said you allegedly made. In the case of Purse, the manager publicly criticised the player and I wondered if that is a pre-empted decision on the managers part to get a reaction from a player (which worked in this case!) and how does that affect you as a player?
    In your case, the media alleged you had made some sick jokes and I wondered if there is a club policy on dealing with this, is advice given to you as a player on how to deal with it or are you left to decide whether to react or not?
    Are players given any training or guidance on how to deal with the media as you all seem to trot out the same phrases; i.e. obviously at the end of the day, it's all about the 3 points.

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  • 19. At 1:18pm on 22 Oct 2009, ramone78 wrote:

    As a Barnsley fan I hate Sheffield Wednesday to the core but actually enjoy the blog, well most of it! :P

    Just wanted to know if your apology was accepted by Aron Gunnarsson / Coventry City as your reaction to the horrendous challenge on the guy looked nothing short of 'Pathetic' on The Football League Show, but we all do stupid things in the heat of the moment!

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  • 20. At 1:18pm on 22 Oct 2009, LordThornber wrote:

    Michael, great blog again, very much enjoyed.

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  • 21. At 1:22pm on 22 Oct 2009, Skyblueboote wrote:

    I would like to say your blogs are interesting read and recent events and comments you have made have made me decide to write and respond.

    Firstly Michael i would like to apologise on behalf of some ccfc fans for some heated words which they will regret in the future (See previous blog). Although it was a poor way to respond to someone being in such agony i would like to say that apologising for it is the correct way forward and it would be good if other players were to do the same. I can understand with recent events such as Eduardo's dive making headlines that players are scrutinised for diving and play acting and as a football fan it is a high percentage of the time!

    I'm not sure if you will be recieving a hostile reception when you play at the Ricoh later on in the season i hope it will not be too bad.. and anyway i know that some boo's can spur players on!
    Finally i would love to play 3 times a week! bit cheeky that mentioning it haha.. it should be bread and butter for you anyway!!

    Another interesting read, and i will be reading throughout the season.. cheers.

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  • 22. At 1:33pm on 22 Oct 2009, snowJacuzzi007 wrote:

    Hi Michael.

    Great blog as always. I do like your down-to-earth style of writing, and the fact that you just write about what happens! No spin. Nice and refreshing.

    But, i do feel it's a bit out of order to complain about 3 games in 7 days. It's hardly taxing is it! When i was at uni, i had lectures until 6pm on a monday, then went straight to training for 3hrs, then home to do some studying. Tuesday lectures again until about 6pm, then i had 2 5-a-side matches, then i went to work in a bar for 5hrs. Wednesday was another day full of lectures, followed by a full 11-a-side game, then studying until about 3am. Thursday was a full day of lectures, followed by a 3hrs training session, and then another hefty shift at the bar until 3am. Friday we actually finished uni at about 4pm, but it was straight to the training ground for a couple of hours, then 2 5-a-side matches. Then at the weekend we had a full 11-a-side game on the saturday AND sunday, sometimes travelling on a coach all over the country. And 2 more shifts in the bar afterwards on a saturday and sunday too.

    OK granted, Uni football isn't as rapid as championship football, but the standard is still pretty high and the games are the same length. So most weeks during the season, I'd have 3 11-a-side games, 4 5-s-aside games, 3 official training sessions (and as many personal trips to the gym as my time allowed), 25-30hrs working in the bar to earn some cash for luxuries like food, approx. 45hrs per week at uni, then as much studying as possible on top of all of that. So you see Michael, you can't really moan about having 3 games in a week! It's a bit easy in all honesty! Forgetting the hectic uni schedule detailed above, you take into account doctors, firemen etc. They work horrifically long hours in a week. Sometimes over 100 no doubt. And they hardly ever get to see their families. Or what about the people who work night shift every day of the week? They never get to see their family as their partner is usuall at work during the day whilst they're sleeping, and at home in the evening whilst they're working.

    I do love your blogs michael, because they offer a great insight into the life of a professional footballer. And i'm sure 95% of the guys on these forums still dream of signing that elusive pro contract! haha.

    Keep up the good work, but maybe have a bit more humility about how lucky and sought after your job/life is.

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  • 23. At 1:38pm on 22 Oct 2009, HopeValliOwl wrote:

    It was a great goal on Tuesday - shame the others didn't go in. It was so frustrating watching you batter them and knowing in my heart of hearts that it wasn't going to be our day!

    Good blog and don't fret about the Aron thing - it's done, apologised for, now move on!

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  • 24. At 1:39pm on 22 Oct 2009, jamesedwardcox - save 606 wrote:

    i would be very surprised if he wasnt booed at the ricoh

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  • 25. At 1:45pm on 22 Oct 2009, aceowl11 wrote:

    great blog again mate... was at the match the other night and saw the goal from behind you (was sat in the lower end of the away stand) the ball didnt half curl!!
    Noticed theres a few not happy with your actions against coventry... but you have apologised so what more can people expect? go fluff the blokes pillows??
    and as for Mandy (whos comments i read earlier) the way she mentions this blog should be called "i love micheal gray" anyone would think its a blog named "the diary of a championship footballer"

    Keep up the good work, and for an old man i noticed you put in a good old shift on the field!

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  • 26. At 1:53pm on 22 Oct 2009, Owler wrote:

    Great blog again Mick, gives an insight behind the scenes of a pro footballer.

    As for Saturday against Coventry, yes you ended up looking a bit daft but its not as if you made his injury any worse or caused it. People need to get a bit of reality, 99% of the time, the player rolling round is faking it and I for one thought he was making the most of it from where I was sat.

    It seems to me Coventry and their fans are doing their best to turn attention away from a very poor performance where hey were completely out played.

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  • 27. At 1:53pm on 22 Oct 2009, Ydiss wrote:

    3. At 12:21pm on 22 Oct 2009, intoTorres_goal wrote:
    As a Sunderland fan if the roles had been reversed i'm sure you would have been moaning,


    He did actually say that in the blog and he never mentioned anyone complaining at all.

    So why post this?

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  • 28. At 1:57pm on 22 Oct 2009, derrysdouble wrote:

    Good god this is a great blog week in week out and a real insight into a professional footballers life, which I've never had before. Yeah of course it's going to attract some criticism, but I for one would hate it if Michael started censoring himself because he upsets a few opposing fans, at least he apologised.

    Keep the transparency I say and keep up the good work Mickey.

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  • 29. At 2:00pm on 22 Oct 2009, Jabba wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 30. At 2:00pm on 22 Oct 2009, Jim Greaves wrote:

    Another good read Mikey.

    It's a shame we didn't win on Tuesday after the first half display, I think most Wednesdayites who go to games will agree it's the best football we've seen since Big Ron was in charge and thats a big complement. I was so chuffed to see your free kick go in, what a sweet strike that was!!!!

    It's time to do the biz on Friday now and get us 3 points at Watford.

    I'll catch the Watford game in the pub, can't get there due to work etc..

    Good luck mate.

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  • 31. At 2:02pm on 22 Oct 2009, S13 Wizzzaaaard wrote:

    SUFC fan here - actually lik eyour blogs, interesting to read what you do on certain days and as someone asked seems weird you look after yourself on night match days with regards to food etc, oh with regards to the drive over from Manchester what car do you drive that makes you enjoy the drive !!!

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  • 32. At 2:03pm on 22 Oct 2009, stowyowl wrote:

    Have i misread it or is Michael not complaining about playing 3 games in a week but having 3 games in a week after having 2 weeks off? i.e. the disrubtion of training and resting etc in a routine gets affected which can affect your consistancy. That's how i read it anyway. I'm sure he knows how lucky he is to have had a fairly succesful playing career!

    Michael do you have any plans for when you retire? Obviously with the shifts you've been putting in thats going to be quite a while off yet!!

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  • 33. At 2:05pm on 22 Oct 2009, ryanboyd24 wrote:

    Decent blog, but I agree with the earlier poster who mentioned Gav Strachan's blog - it was far more insightful and entertaining. I think I'd like to hear more about what kind of training you do at the club, anything in the gym, what your routine is on match days - even your diet and what supplements you take if any. Sure most of the guys on here like me are amateur / semi pro footballers or gym goers and look for some inspiration from the likes of you. Got to be honest, you didn't half look an eedjit against Coventry for that Aron Gunnarsson thing! Look forward to reading more.

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  • 34. At 2:07pm on 22 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    Great goal on Tuesday matey, I sit 15 rows back on the kop so had a perfect view of it.
    Another interesting blog mate, it would be great to hear more about the characters in the dressing room at Hillsborough (and from previous clubs) that you've encountered and how is Potters Magic Tash coming along? We need more quotes like "eat an apple through a letter box" and "combed his hair with a toffee apple" and are does all your banter make reference to fruit?
    Please pass on support and apologies to Franny Jeffers for me on behalf of all the idiotic "fans" booing him as he came on. I don't care what anyone's opinion of him is while ever he's on the pitch for us (this goes for Darren Purse also) fans should support and back our players to the hilt and then have a moan after the game in a constructive manner if they feel the situation warrants it. How you can expect a player to want to do well for the side when his own fans boo and jeer him as soon as he steps on the pitch is beyond me.
    With regards to the Leon Best comments I find it sad that he felt a need to broadcast private comments that may or may not have been said (if you say you didn't say them I believe you). I personally hate sick jokes about people that have passed away but I find it hard to believe that the jokes don't go around every dressing room in the country same as they do most workplaces, best way to deal with them is not to draw attention to them not complain in the papers like a school boy telling teacher.
    You've been playing AND writing brilliantly this season mate keep up the good work!

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  • 35. At 2:10pm on 22 Oct 2009, Mellors Moobs wrote:

    Post 4.

    It was not a disgrace at all the Coventry players had been putting it on all day, plus by the way he reacted he didn't know how much pain he was in until he had a go back at Gray.

    Great Blog again, how wednesday didn't get anything out of Tuesday i dont know, wee by far the better side, should have been 4-0 up !

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  • 36. At 2:20pm on 22 Oct 2009, super_realist wrote:

    Footballers have it pathetically easy. Try doing a sport where a real level of athleticism is required (Tennis, Cycling, Swimming, Running) and you might have something to complain about. Footballers just trot about with the occasional sprint AND a 15 minute break. Wimps.
    All you are doing is 3hrs training and 3 games in a week. Not exactly difficult or demanding, and to top it all you get paid obscenely well for it, even if you stink the place out and lose all 3 matches.
    Get a grip.

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  • 37. At 2:27pm on 22 Oct 2009, Mandy_Turner wrote:

    My earlier comment seems to have 'moderated'. All I suggested was that trying to make a man with a broken leg stand up isn't a very nice thing to do.

    I don't know which is worse, you doing it or the Wednesdayites defending your actions.

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  • 38. At 2:34pm on 22 Oct 2009, fallybee wrote:

    I must completely agree with Geoffers1979. The Bordeaux "striker" was
    falling down like Ronaldo at his best! In fact he "Won" two penalties!
    What makes it worse for me is that I live in Germany and watch local TV.
    where the German TV experts dont even complain about diving- its so common hear and therefore accepted as "Normal" I think its an FIFA plan to turn football into an "No Contact sport" because you cant tell me that the normal Ref dosn`t notice when somebody "Dives" or are they really so useless?

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  • 39. At 2:34pm on 22 Oct 2009, Chupacabra! wrote:

    He's not complaining about the effort required by the fixtures. He's complaining because having so many games in a short period of time robs the fans of seeing players at 100%. Regardless of what your grandad might say, professional players CANNOT be at 100% for 3 games in such a compressed period. Certainly not when they get to Mickey's ripe old age anyhow!

    Seems fair a fair enough comment to me. Nevermind the expense that fans have to shell out in such a short space of time.

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  • 40. At 2:39pm on 22 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 41. At 2:44pm on 22 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    My earlier comment seems to have 'moderated'. All I suggested was that trying to make a man with a broken leg stand up isn't a very nice thing to do.

    I don't know which is worse, you doing it or the Wednesdayites defending your actions
    Never made a mistake then Mandy?
    "Let he without sin cast the first stone!"
    Most football players make a meal out of certain tackles or situations, Gray made a mistake, he's admitted it and apologised publically and privately to the player. That's it people need to forget about it now and move on.

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  • 42. At 2:47pm on 22 Oct 2009, gormo7 wrote:

    Mandy will you get over it, He realised he made a mistake and has apolagised for it. Things like this happen in the heat of the moment, especially as he had been play acting all game anyway!

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  • 43. At 2:47pm on 22 Oct 2009, Mandy_Turner wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 44. At 2:54pm on 22 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    43. At 2:47pm on 22 Oct 2009, Mandy_Turner wrote:
    That's what Nazi war criminals say
    hahahaha I'm going to take that as a joke because I know no-one in their right mind would compare trying to help someone stand up (not knowing the player was potentially seriously injured) to the Genocide of Millions of people.

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  • 45. At 2:56pm on 22 Oct 2009, idlewild wrote:

    43. At 2:47pm on 22 Oct 2009, Mandy_Turner wrote:
    That's what Nazi war criminals say

    Godwin's Law anyone?

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  • 46. At 2:56pm on 22 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    The problem is that its not a mistake from Gray, he has a history of it. You would have hoped he would have learnt his lesson after poking fun at Wayne Rooney - the result of which tells you everything you need to know about him. See BBC story below.

    Manchester United's Wayne Rooney was involved in an incident at a restaurant with Blackburn defender Michael Gray on Saturday, according to his spokesman.
    England striker Rooney, 20, was out with fiancee Coleen McLoughlin in Manchester when Gray, 32, is reported to have approached the group.

    A spokesman for Rooney claimed that Gray made offensive remarks to female guests of the England international.

    "Wayne asked him to go several times. It was a brief incident," he said.

    Rooney is suspended from club duty and has only just completed an international ban for his dismissal during England's World Cup quarter-final defeat to Portugal.

    He was out at the Panacea Bar and Restaurant in Manchester with his fiancee and some friends.

    The spokesman added: "Wayne and Coleen were enjoying a night out with three other couples when Michael came up to their table uninvited."

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  • 47. At 2:59pm on 22 Oct 2009, andy wrote:

    In response to super-realist, football is probably one of the most athletic sports there is in terms of physically, mentally, core fitness, strength, skill and supplenessm all are highly important. You have obviously never played football at a high level (or any level). This is why you talk about the ridiculous 'sports' you mention - Tennis!!!! Footballers are perfectly suited physically to doing what they do - playing football.

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  • 48. At 3:01pm on 22 Oct 2009, msadler04 wrote:

    Can i ask you about the Gunnarsson incident?? Im a season ticket holder at Hillsborough so see all the home games. During the first half on Saturday Gunnarsson got caught a little late off the ball, incidently by Leon Clarke, and went down like he'd been shot!!! Play didnt stop for him, rightly imo because you could tell he was faking, and when play did stop the 2 Coventry physio's came on and Gunnarsson immediately sprung up off the floor realising he would have to go off if he got treatment and waved them away.

    Was your reaction to the 2nd incident partly due to what happened in the first half, that you simply thought he was faking again, or was it simply a mistake on your behalf and you didnt notice/see the incident in the first half??

    Personally i dont have much sympathy for Gunnarsson, i dont want to see anyone hurt on the pitch obviously, from either team, but he play acted first half so you cant blame people for reacting the way they did 2nd half, he brought that on himself...boy who cried wolf and all that!!!

    Anyway hard luck Tuesday night, very frustrating sat behind that goal first half with all those chances, the Preston goal lead a very charmed life!!!!! Nice free kick though, its one of those when you're right behind it you know its in as soon as you hit it, shame we didnt go on and get 3 points, we need to get back on track Friday night, we're a better side than the table shows at the moment.

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  • 49. At 3:04pm on 22 Oct 2009, stowyowl wrote:

    How much training do you do outside the mandatory sessions? do you ever do fitness work down the gym or running or stay behind to practice crossing etc? how much and how often if you do?

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  • 50. At 3:19pm on 22 Oct 2009, bill40 wrote:

    Good to see your natural modesty shining like a beacon as always! Who was that kid who scored he has a great future in the game looked about 18 or so?

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  • 51. At 3:35pm on 22 Oct 2009, mattccfc85 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 52. At 3:39pm on 22 Oct 2009, tomefccam wrote:

    hey mike, i reckon ur bang on wrong about this international games thing, and dya know why? well i'll tell you why. because look at the lads who might stop wanting to go away for ints because thye might lose their place to another fella.

    when you were at zunderland, in the old division 1. and say thomas sorensen knew he was not gonna beat shmichael to the goalie jumper for danemark then he might say "listen lads i don't wanna go to danemark, i might not play and edwin zoetebeer might get the mackems jumper". then he maybe wont win all the caps he could have for his then the gaffer of danmarke will be fuming that he can't have a good keeper with us.

    might start a bigger club vs country argument

    Plus the internationalional magners might think i'll keep this lad for me, and the country can go up the jacksie cos they don't care about the country. Reidy might have said, look jan eriksson, you can't go with ur country pal, cos u will lose ur place here my son.

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  • 53. At 3:42pm on 22 Oct 2009, Rovers Return - HKR AWAY DAYS wrote:

    "You're up there with Nick Griffin after you comments during the game on Saturday in my opinion!"

    What is that then, honest?

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  • 54. At 3:50pm on 22 Oct 2009, Dunny Owl wrote:

    Good blog agin Michael. Makes my boring Thursdays at work a bit more enjoyable.

    And please could all 43 Coventry fans at the Ricoh not boo Michael. Gunnarson was diving all over the place like an extra from Platoon on Saturday, most players would have reacted the same.

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  • 55. At 3:51pm on 22 Oct 2009, SkyBlue_G wrote:

    u sheff wed fans are hilarious and deluded. To actually say aron play acts is unbelievable. he gets taken out on numerous occasions from the opposition every single game with silly and malicious challenges so it obviously takes its toll on him and as for saying he looked like he was play acting after leon clarkes tackle u must be mad. did u not see the disgusting tackle???

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  • 56. At 3:58pm on 22 Oct 2009, Craig wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 57. At 4:16pm on 22 Oct 2009, Chupacabra! wrote:

    I'm at a loss as to why we send people to Coventry when they have made a faux pas. Seems like the last place you should go after making an honest mistake as they seem the most grudgeful people in the country.

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  • 58. At 4:16pm on 22 Oct 2009, mattccfc85 wrote:

    "What is that then, honest?"

    No, it makes him a complete moron!

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  • 59. At 4:25pm on 22 Oct 2009, The TM wrote:

    Mr Beach Ball was Sunderland's 12th player vs Liverpool. Well, the ball wasn't offside otherwise the goal would have been ruled out. Nice.........

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  • 60. At 4:27pm on 22 Oct 2009, msadler04 wrote:

    @ 55 We're not saying he was play acting for the tackle where he got hurt!! It was a poor tackle, no one is denying that if you read properly

    But the WAS play acting earlier in the game, if you were there you would have known that

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  • 61. At 4:28pm on 22 Oct 2009, The TM wrote:

    46. At 2:56pm on 22 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    Hey, what are you on about? REALLY?

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  • 62. At 4:30pm on 22 Oct 2009, wednesdayfan1 wrote:

    Id love to hear the response of the Coventry fans if the ball was on the other foot. Yes the incident involving Michael was unfortunate and you genuinely believe his apology. What if a Coventry player were to make the same mistake, would you be getting at him like you are at Michael? Of course you wouldnt you're all over reacting, he's apologised for his behaviour so why don't you all stop moaning and concentrate on the fact that both Wednesday and Coventry need to start pulling out some results.

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  • 63. At 4:49pm on 22 Oct 2009, geezy98 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 64. At 4:57pm on 22 Oct 2009, Jlappy wrote:

    Good blog, very insightful. Also for people moaning about playing 3 games inside a week have obviously never played a high standard of intense sport. The strains of a championship football game are soo much higher than a local game, not to consider the preparation into each match certain tactics, set plays etc.

    Good blog Michael and hope you lose on Friday!

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  • 65. At 4:58pm on 22 Oct 2009, RedWhiteandermblue wrote:

    You touch on an interesting point which I, a new, or at least new-ish football fan, am glad to hear a bit about. In short, I always wondered how football classifies itself in terms of how often it can be played. My context is that in the US, you have baseball, where teams can and do play almost every day (Why not?--they sit for half the game and stand around the other half, except for pitchers, who only pitch once every five days), gridiron, which is never ever ever played more than once per week, hockey, which is played 2-3 times a week, and every once in a while 4, and basketball, which is more or less the same.

    It seems to me, knowing very little, that football should try to hold to a twice a week maximum. The wear and tear on players running for an entire game seems to me to warrant that. Granted, it's not quite as bad as gridiron, where most players spend a full day recovering from their bruises and worse, but it seems tougher than hockey, where, though players do have violent collisions, they play in shifts, only spending a couple of minutes on ice at the time. And there's no comparison, I think, with basketball, where players spend so much more time relatively still, and never have to run nearly as far.

    In short, I agree with your blog, that football needs to be less cavalier with its scheduling, not only to give the fans a better game, but to keep players from being injured needlessly.

    I also feel that in international competition years (every other one, for European players), the season is simply too long. I don't know an easy solution, but burning out the best players like this is no service to fans, let alone players, and prevents the most popular stars from playing better for longer.

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  • 66. At 5:04pm on 22 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    Mattccfc85 is right. we should focus on the awful comments Gray made about a tragedy as well as his attempts to hurt an opponent.

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  • 67. At 5:04pm on 22 Oct 2009, ClaireTheDonnyOwl wrote:

    Another great blog Michael.

    I find it interesting that you mentioned you worked on our set pieces the day before the Preston game cos quite honestly some of the corners were atrocious on tuesday night!! Most of em either went to the back post where we dint have anybody stood or went straight out of play. Something to think about....

    Keep up the good work.


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  • 68. At 5:14pm on 22 Oct 2009, Mrs David Hirst wrote:

    I was at the Coventry game and saw the incident from a decent position. Clarke was late with his challenge (let's face it with his weight and the laws of momentum it was always going to be hard for him to stop!) Aron Gunnarsson went down clutching his ankle but then spent the next minute or so arguing with Clarke and with Gray without an ounce of pain on his face. It wasn't hard to see why Gray thought he was play acting. Gunnarsson almost stood up at one point. Not the actions of a seriously injured man!

    I feel for Aron Gunnarsson and his injury as it is sickening to see a professional carried off the pitch but I can see why the Wednesday players thought it wasn't that serious (and by all accounts it's not as serious as first thought).

    I'm intrigued as to what Leon Best has had to say about it all.

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  • 69. At 5:15pm on 22 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    61. At 4:28pm on 22 Oct 2009, Gunner-Dem-ALL wrote:

    Mr Beach Ball was Sunderland's 12th player vs Liverpool. Well, the ball wasn't offside otherwise the goal would have been ruled out. Nice.........

    Sparkling humour.

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  • 70. At 5:22pm on 22 Oct 2009, nickyjtskybluearmy wrote:

    C'mon he has apologised and admitted he made a mistake, that should be the end of the matter. Why are fans and the media so obsessed with having someone to hate, we all make mistakes and in the heat of the moment Michael made an error. No big deal, life goes on.

    Good read Michael, keep up the good work

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  • 71. At 5:27pm on 22 Oct 2009, scu98rkr wrote:

    "It doesn't make sense to me. The international breaks interrupt the flow of the Championship. We go from three games in a week now to three games in the whole of November. Squads in the Championship are not as big as the ones in the Premier League so maybe there needs to be a rethink."

    This argument doesnt make sense. Basically sports league are a massive experiment in free trade and capitalism in work and the clubs that choose the successful paths will rise and thoose that dont will fall. The argument is players get paid what the club can afford to pay them which have led to massive wages will fair enought. But if the clubs need more player they will either need to get hold of money or pay more players slightly less simple.

    I know full well what will happen is the clubs will get hold of more money. But personally I'd like to see the clubs pay more players less money.

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  • 72. At 5:46pm on 22 Oct 2009, wednesdaymorgs wrote:

    Cracking finish Tuesday night.....few questions to put to you:

    1. Wednesday seem to be playing better than the league position suggests at the moment. Do you think it's a case of patience and the results will come or is there a plan B in the works when the passing game doesn't seem to work?

    2. I was wondering if maybe you could give an insight into Frankie Simek's recovery. He was a cracking player for us in the past and is still very much a fan's favourite but many are becoming alarmed at the fact that he still seems a fair way off playing week in week out. Obviously you're limited by professional courtesy as to how much you can divulge but maybe with Frankie's permission you might be able to don some insight.

    3. Finally, I'd be very interested to hear greater details about your training regime with the club and what Brian has you do (perhaps a basis for a future blog?). I've trained with a few non-league clubs in the past and am currently out training in France. One thing I have clocked is just how much better players out here are technically and how much more organised smaller clubs are. I've been particularly impressed by their infrastructures.

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  • 73. At 6:01pm on 22 Oct 2009, SkyBlue_G wrote:

    @ 62 the point is none of our players would ever react like that when someone is physically tackled so u cant say how we would act.

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  • 74. At 6:08pm on 22 Oct 2009, Twanger7 wrote:

    Not sure if anyone else has noticed but the caption about the picture at the top of the page is wrong! A world cup qualifying match in 1999, the year after the world cup and a year before Euro 2000!!! Was a European Championship qualifier!!!

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  • 75. At 6:09pm on 22 Oct 2009, GunnarMyHero wrote:

    Very interesting blog, and as Coventry fan I'm very glad you brought the Gunnarson incident up. I'm also glad you apoligised for what happened so nice one for that!

    Hopefully Aron will get back ASAP and all of it can be forgotten. Although I'm not sure every Sky Blues will view it that way...

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  • 76. At 7:23pm on 22 Oct 2009, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:

    It seems strange to me that players are being asked to play three times a week.

    No, now that just means you've lost sight of reality.

    When you earn in one week more than some of us earn in a year you lose the right to complain about having to play football a bit more than you'd like.

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  • 77. At 7:34pm on 22 Oct 2009, wednesdayfan1 wrote:

    "@" 73 how do you know that? Anyone can get caught up in the heat of the moment. Don't be so ignorant as to think your team is above human nature and above human emotions. I know exactly how you would react, exactly the same as we are reacting. The point is Michaels reaction has been so overstated by your fans. If you think that every coventry player is beyond reacting in a bad way you are mistaken, its human nature and its human emotion so dont fill us with rubbish that a coventry player would never do that it washes with no one.

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  • 78. At 9:44pm on 22 Oct 2009, sparklestevo51 wrote:

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  • 79. At 9:44pm on 22 Oct 2009, admarie1215 wrote:

    this is football and people should understand be respectful to others....

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  • 80. At 9:49pm on 22 Oct 2009, sparklestevo51 wrote:

    Please no more whining about the number of games to play, I live in New York City and have a keen interest in major league baseball, teams in the majors play 162 games in the regular season over five months, the vast majority of players have no off days and games are played to a conclusion no matter how long they go on meaning they play until they have a winner, no tied games. During the game the players are either in the field or at bat, no half time and nobody falls over when another player goes near them.

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  • 81. At 10:45pm on 22 Oct 2009, BlueCanoe wrote:

    sparklestevo51 - you're having a laugh? Baseball is 95% standing still, and 5% short-burst high-energy exertion. The only player who's really busting a gut is the pitcher and he never plays more than 1 game in 4. And nobody falls over, because it takes too much energy to lift their steroid-pumped bodies up off the ground again.

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  • 82. At 00:38am on 23 Oct 2009, GangwayF_Dan wrote:

    Hi Michael good blog!

    I was just wondering,.....

    How much fan mail players get per day? Obviously this depends on number of factors, the club size, player reputation, success etc.

    Do players like signing autographs, as some player’s don’t and are ignorant towards fans?

    Have you got any treasured pieces of memorabilia you keep on show from your career, England cap maybe?

    Cheers, take care and 'good luck' with your career.. apart from 17th April!!!!!!!

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  • 83. At 01:48am on 23 Oct 2009, used2beprofi wrote:

    i guess gavin's blog could have been seen as a little bit vanilla- err should i say SAFE. i don't think you will face that same accusation...good job and good luck...

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  • 84. At 09:38am on 23 Oct 2009, I am Berbatov wrote:

    3 games a week! My heart bleeds. Your season finishes in start pre-season in July. I wish i had holidays like that.

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  • 85. At 10:32am on 23 Oct 2009, KirkstallOwl wrote:

    Great blog Michael, very interesting to look into a pro footballers life - especially as a Sheff Wed fan.

    In regards to the Gunnarsson incident, I felt the same at the time. It didn't seem like a bad tackle - clearly seeing it afterwards and him stretchered off it was awful and everyone obviously wishes him a speedy recovery. You must have felt bad about your reaction, but you have apologised so fair play.

    As for the PNE match, well where do we start?! A few friends from uni came to the match with me and lets just say the jokes about our players not being able to finish their dinner havn't stopped yet!! I've never seen anything like those two JJ shots off the post, and Clarkes close range header had the majority of the North stand (ourselves included) celebrating for a full 10 seconds before realising that it hadn't gone in!

    On the upside, they admitted that you wouldn't see many better free kicks in the Prem, so well done!

    Good luck for tonight!

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  • 86. At 10:51am on 23 Oct 2009, scott wrote:

    I've just finished my 8th (12 hour shift) in a row nursing people with dementia so excuse me if I don't have any sympathy with you for having to play 3 football matches in a week.

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  • 87. At 11:30am on 23 Oct 2009, lotteryblog wrote:

    Great article, Michael. Its very interesting to read footballer's life. Playing 3 games in a week - Strange!

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  • 88. At 11:36am on 23 Oct 2009, danwhale wrote:

    People are taking Michael's comment about playing 3 games in a week out of context. You can't compare it to demanding and intense jobs like nursing, or self-imposed university schedules. Michael is talking from the point of view of the fans as much as his own. Quality will inevitably suffer after 3 games in 7 days, and football is an entertainment industry. As a fan, I would much prefer to see the fatigue factor taken away by avoiding unnecessary tight schedules and stupid kick off times such as Friday nights.

    But saying that, I will be there tonight, hopefully to see Wednesday on the receiving end of some good luck after Tuesday. I have never seen anything like the incident when Johnson hit the post twice.

    Michael - does your wonder strike against Preston earn you first refusal on all free kicks for a few weeks now? Is this something that Brian Laws will dictate to you in the dressing room, or do you and Mr Potter work it out between yourselves on the pitch? And is it different to penalties? I remember Steve Bruce getting very angry a few weeks ago because Darren Bent (Bruce's choice of penalty taker) let Kenwyne Jones take one out of sympathy so he could get a goal.

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  • 89. At 12:23pm on 23 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    The guy isn't asking for sympathy - yours or anyone elses. Three ganes in a week when there are such high stakes, a certain performance level and massive financial implications means that there is a lot of pressure to perform in these three games and is a big change from the norm which is his only comment. I work similar shifts and I'm not asking for anyones sympathy and I'm also intelligent enough to know where Gray is coming from. It's all relative.
    Are you a male nurse?

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  • 90. At 1:13pm on 23 Oct 2009, Worst_Firm_In_The_World wrote:

    Please no more whining about the number of games to play, I live in New York City and have a keen interest in major league baseball, teams in the majors play 162 games in the regular season over five months, the vast majority of players have no off days and games are played to a conclusion no matter how long they go on meaning they play until they have a winner, no tied games. During the game the players are either in the field or at bat, no half time and nobody falls over when another player goes near them.


    It's rubbish though isn't that rounders lark?

    Says it all that the English equivalent is played by school girls.

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  • 91. At 1:39pm on 23 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    when someone is "at bat" the rest of the team are sat on their ass on a bench!
    Why is a Yankee fan (I assume) reading a proper sports blog? Are you an owl btw?

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  • 92. At 1:42pm on 23 Oct 2009, db wrote:

    It seems strange to me that players are being asked to play three times a week.


    Why? Tennis player and athletes do it, for less money than most footballers. Maybe footballer should up their conditioning to a level where they can play more.

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  • 93. At 1:46pm on 23 Oct 2009, Worst_Firm_In_The_World wrote:

    How much fan mail players get per day? Obviously this depends on number of factors, the club size, player reputation, success etc.

    Do players like signing autographs, as some player’s don’t and are ignorant towards fans?

    Have you got any treasured pieces of memorabilia you keep on show from your career, England cap maybe?


    I like these question. Reminds me of Swap Shop.

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  • 94. At 1:54pm on 23 Oct 2009, blue_haze wrote:

    I thought it was funny that you tried to pick him up; obviously it's not funny that he broke his leg!

    Great toe poke by the way...

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  • 95. At 1:55pm on 23 Oct 2009, Irish Owl wrote:

    Good Blog again Mickey....

    A slightly frustrated owl again this week but looking forward to 3 points tonight. If we play like we did 1st half against Preston we'll be fine....the only thing that worries me is that we have looked like a "one half" team all to often this season (as with many seasons)....Barnsley, Piggys and Preston to name a few. I had a gut feeling at half time on Tuesday that we would lose the game cause we hadn't taken our chances. What did the gaffer say to you at half time? It was obvious that Preston would come out and stop us playing 2nd half and use the long ball into the channels, was this discussed at the interval....and how we would counteract it???

    Great goal by the way....pity the loss took the shine of it a bit for you.

    All the best for tonight.

    Irish Owl

    PS...3 games in a want to try 47 weeks a year in a mind numbing job mate!!

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  • 96. At 2:03pm on 23 Oct 2009, Worst_Firm_In_The_World wrote:


    What is your favourite cheese?

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  • 97. At 3:14pm on 23 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    This is a relatively poor blog from a poor footballer who has always shown disregard for the game and its supporters. Your actions against Coventry City were inexcusable and your apology pointless - I fail to see how you could possibly have thought the player was making a meal out of a tackle that bad, I would suggest you were simply trying to divert attention away from a red card offence - how would you feel if an opposing player (especially a no mark) showed you the same lack of respect. With regard to the alleged comments in the aftermath of the incident, I woud be inclined to advise people to take the word of Leon Best over yours - I have never seen him behave in a way to bring his character into such doubt. I am most disappointed that the BBC give you this platform you air your rather dull opinions. Less of this and more interesting stuff like the Gavin Strachan insights please BBC.

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  • 98. At 3:38pm on 23 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    If you don't like it dannyccfc33 don't read it and keep you're opinions to yourself obviously a poor player playing for Sunderland, England and Celtic to name a few. He could walk into any team in the Championship grow up and shut up bout the city game - haven't you got more important things to worry about?

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  • 99. At 3:43pm on 23 Oct 2009, brummywolf wrote:

    Seems like you are coming under a bit of stick Mr Gray. Haven't seen the incidents involved, but all I can say is that, in all your time at Wolves you acted like a complete model professional. You were a great model for the younger players that were there, a hell of a lot there were too. Bet you felt like a Grandad at the Molineux.

    Keep up the good work. Get Potts to sort himself out aswell.

    We Are Wolves!

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  • 100. At 3:50pm on 23 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    Wow. Celtic and Sunderland. Really? He must be a legend.

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  • 101. At 4:37pm on 23 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    why are you reading his blog then? Have you got nothing better to do than to pour scourn on people? How would you like it if he came to you Mcburger job and knocked the paper towels out of your hand and started giving you abuse?

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  • 102. At 4:38pm on 23 Oct 2009, Louisa wrote:

    Do you know what, all the negative comments are really boring now but in a way entertaining - how long will they all go on for? Football like baseball and tennis ... really ???? mmm, interesting ! For those who have blown the three games in a week thing out of proportion.. what was originally said is that for two weeks there was no game and then suddenly three in a week, that was the point ; not that they are feeling overworked. This weeks blog has really brought out the miserable so and so's in life hasn't it ? Is that all you have to do ? whinge and moan ?? Like you've been told, if you don't like the blog, don't read it ....

    I've loved reading the blog again this week , I find it really interesting. We are season ticket holders for Wednesday this season for the first time, and I have to say it's money well spent so keep these blogs coming and if there was a Michael Gray fan club then yep I'd be in it !
    Fingers crossed for tonight , can't be there but we do have tickets for the Bristol game next week.

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  • 103. At 4:48pm on 23 Oct 2009, tomefccam wrote:

    hey dannycfc stick your comments up your jacksie

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  • 104. At 8:27pm on 23 Oct 2009, collie21 wrote:

    3 times a week? If you lot didn't get paid so much and so many plonkers didn't subscribed to televised matches there would be only one game I assure you. You can't have your cake and eat it mate.

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  • 105. At 8:42pm on 23 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    2009, hellboy0628 wrote:
    why are you reading his blog then? Have you got nothing better to do than to pour scourn on people? How would you like it if he came to you Mcburger job and knocked the paper towels out of your hand and started giving you abuse?

    I think you might be be Gray's mum hellboy, you certainly know nothing about football.

    And with English like "you Mcburger job" I think it is clear that you could not even achieve the dizzy heights of burger flipping.

    Thinking about it, you are moronic enough that you might be Gray himself.....

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  • 106. At 8:55pm on 23 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 107. At 8:58pm on 23 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    Enjoying the Watford game.

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  • 108. At 08:16am on 24 Oct 2009, malaymac wrote:

    dannyccfc3. Your persistant whinging has become boring.

    You most certainly do NOT represent the views of the many mackems who greatly appreciated the many years of service Mr Gray gave to our club, Sunderland.

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  • 109. At 09:08am on 24 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 110. At 09:34am on 24 Oct 2009, davidjc34 wrote:

    Mikey, what are you doing to me? I have Sheff Wed as my defence in the Echo dream teams.....4 goals!!!! I am never going to get a point this week.

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  • 111. At 10:45am on 24 Oct 2009, mattccfc85 wrote:

    Dannyccfc33 is spot on, this drivel that is delivered by Gray is similar to his football...less than average. At least he is offering a different opinion to the other nonsense that is on this blog.

    I for one hope this blog is removed after the Leon Best interview, I'm sure the BBC are competent enough to investigate this.

    Hellboy0628 your comments seem similar to that of a child, you know nothing about football! And I deplore your racist comment towards Dannyccfc33 - "Monkey a$$". Grow up!

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  • 112. At 11:51am on 24 Oct 2009, dannyccfc33 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 113. At 1:03pm on 24 Oct 2009, Chris Eason wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 114. At 2:07pm on 24 Oct 2009, blue_haze wrote:

    mate you lot aren't playing with any belief or purpose. set out the season not believing you'll go up or down so the players only turn out when they need or fancy it. Championships there for the taking this year- just need to go on a run. The squads good enough just need ambition; something to work towards- take the lead & get these kids motivated. It's so frustrating being a Wednesday fan at the moment! I'd almost rather be crap & know we're crap than than being great one week but having to watch that/ derby/ vale etc! You're the old git of the camp- get involved & help sort it out!

    Believe in Brian owls fans; he's our man!

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  • 115. At 6:14pm on 24 Oct 2009, owls295 wrote:

    hi micheal
    great free kick on tuesday night we were unlucky not to get something out of that game but im just commenting to say how dissapointed i am about the friday night result. after such posotive performances and saterday and tuesday i was so dissapointed to see us throw it all away like that i know youve must have had all this from brian but id just like you to know how let down i feel after that result good luck against bristol


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  • 116. At 10:41am on 25 Oct 2009, grimsbybear wrote:

    Hi Michael;

    Any chance of a piece on managers bringing young players through etc..
    Am a Grimsby fan; I follow our fomrer prodigy John Oster who am sure you played with. I also remember Peter Reid plucking Gavin McCann out of Everton reserves for example. And your current boss is an ex-Mariners manager who became (in)famous for his 'rough diamonds' quotes.....

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  • 117. At 2:19pm on 25 Oct 2009, BlueRoo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 118. At 4:21pm on 25 Oct 2009, gfdsge wrote:

    liverpool win

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  • 119. At 5:19pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 1

    , shame about the result

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  • 120. At 5:22pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no3

    It was just one of those freak incidents that doestnt happen very often but like you say, it wouldnt be nice if it happend to your team.

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  • 121. At 5:24pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 4

    I can only apologise so much. I have said sorry for what i did and lets remember one more thing. It wastnt me who made the challenge.

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  • 122. At 5:27pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 5

    Yes we have a good set up now at the training ground aswell as at hillsborough.
    When the bad weather comes i use woodhead and that never closes. Thanx for the advice though, might use that for a day off sometime haha.

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  • 123. At 5:30pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 6

    yes its still ice baths and massage. we have great staff at the club who help with your recovery after games.

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  • 124. At 5:34pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 7

    Hello, I would say from waking up on the morning of games i would have a light breakfast then a pre match meal about 3 hours before a match. at the moment in having jacket potato and beans. lots of carbohydrate food to give you that extra energy for the game. and lots of fluid. water, energy drinks that kind of thing.

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  • 125. At 5:38pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 8

    Im not trying to come across in the way of a complaint. All i am trying to say is to play 3 games in a week and peform at your highest level in all three games is very hard. And we never want to short change the fans as they are the ones who are paying to come through the turnstiles. Hope you understand where im coming from.

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  • 126. At 5:39pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 9

    Thankyou very much.

    Keep reading and i hope aron is ok.

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  • 127. At 5:42pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 10

    A light recovery session would come the day after a game.
    It would be a game of head tennis and a light jog round the training groung for 15 minutes, then a stretch.

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  • 128. At 5:44pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 12

    I bet there are lots of people who say that. Its the game i love.

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  • 129. At 5:50pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 15

    Yes that could be the case.
    Light sessions are done at every club when a heavy schedule comes around.
    And the drinking and gambling would be dealt with at every club also.
    Players have to be so careful these days. All it takes is one person to take a picture of you in the wrong place or the wrong night and you could find yourself in trouble. I try to stay away from these places myself now.

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  • 130. At 5:53pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 16

    No i dont have anything against leon best and there has never been previous. All i know of him is that he is a very good footballer.

    I was always going to apolagise for what i did and didnt need anybody else to tell me to do so. I am an experienced player and i know when i have done something wrong.

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  • 131. At 5:59pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 18

    Diffrent clubs have there own preparation before games.

    for instance at blackburn we would all meet at the ground for pre match around 12. Some players like to do that but others dont. Its a lot of sitting around before a game as it only takes you ten or fifteen minutes to eat your meal. I prefer to look after myself and get to the ground and hour and a half before kick off. Then you can start to concentrate on the game.

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  • 132. At 6:03pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 21

    Thankyou for your comments.
    Im sure my reception wont be a very good one but i brought that on myself. But like you said it will only spur me on.

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  • 133. At 6:09pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 22

    WOW you certainly told me there.
    Im not trying to sound like i am complaining but when fans pay to come and watch you im sure they want to see you at your best. Maybe this istnt the case when playing 3 games. unless you win all three that is.

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  • 134. At 6:12pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 31

    Thanx for commenting. I drive a jeep so driving over woodhead every day is great.

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  • 135. At 6:15pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 32

    You have read my blog spot on.
    Ive got a few irons in the fire for when i eventually retire but im enjoying my football to much at the moment.

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  • 136. At 6:17pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 33

    I will try and let you know how we train through the week and what days we go to the gym etc.

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  • 137. At 6:23pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 34

    Potts tash is doing great. he will be curling it up at the sides in no time.
    As for franny and pursey, I think you have it spot on. They are representing sheffield wedensday and want to do their best every time they pull the blue and white shirt on. I cant tell every individual what ti do but i would have thought the end of the game was the time to boo. booing will never make you play better.

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  • 138. At 6:26pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 37

    Hi Mandy.
    We all make mistakes and i said sorry for what i did. Lets try and make this a friendly blog please.

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  • 139. At 6:32pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 49

    Yes i like to do extra training when im away from the club.

    Maybe go to a local gym or workout in my house. That little bit extra keeps you up with the younger players.

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  • 140. At 6:32pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 50

    haha glad you like the humour.

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  • 141. At 6:39pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 70


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  • 142. At 6:45pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 72

    The football we are playing at the moment has been great up until friday. Im sure the fans appreciate the way we are playing, we just need to start getting the right results and the confidence will flow through the team.
    frankie is ready to play and has looked very sharp in training but its the managers decision who he plays so i will leave that to him.
    Let you know what we do in training etc in one of my next blogs,

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  • 143. At 6:50pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 82

    Fan mail is always nice to receice. I try and do my best to reply to the letters i am sent. If you are a wayne rooney or john terry of this world im sure they receice sack loads per month. Lets hope they reply to as many as possible. Im sure they do.

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  • 144. At 6:55pm on 25 Oct 2009, Michael Gray wrote:

    reply to no 88

    I think when it comes to freekicks you work on them in training. sometimes you can take twenty and score none, then another day the opposite. I say practice make perfect.

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  • 145. At 6:04pm on 26 Oct 2009, OwlInLeeds wrote:


    Always enjoy your blog. I think you are a cracking player and can understand you defending your team mates but you have to admit that Wednesday are not as strong as last year in the defensive department. Last year we all thought this was the one area that we could rely on but this year that is definitely not the case. The only change is the addition of the captain Darren Purse. He's been shocking in some games and your heart is in your mouth every time the ball goes near him. I think he needs a few weeks out of the side to regain his confidence.

    Good luck at Bristol, get us back on track and above the Blades in the table.


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  • 146. At 10:47am on 27 Oct 2009, TutburySkyBlue wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 147. At 2:01pm on 01 Nov 2009, Wayne wrote:

    A great read as usual Mickey,

    Just wondering if, as a more experienced member of the team, you have ever questioned or influenced the Manager's decisions e.g. squad selection?

    The immediate thing that springs to mind is when you and JJ swap wings?

    Cheeers, Hinchi

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