Is JJ becoming a bit of a non-starter for Megson?

Under fire: Jermaine Johnson has been criticised by his manager
Under fire: Jermaine Johnson has been criticised by his manager
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IT appears that Gary Megson could be the Sheffield Wednesday manager whose patience finally ran out over JJ (or Jermaine Johnson as Wednesday fans hardly call him).

Megson let it be known he was unhappy over Johnson’s attitude on being taken off in the recent FA Cup game at Morecambe.

There was no place in the squad last week for Johnson and with the loan signing of Sanchez Watt, a player of similar attributes, JJ may not be foremost in Megson’s thoughts any more.

There are many fans who still swear by the erratic winger. Usually those waiting for him to come back from another absence as they await, with great anticipation, future feats that will destroy the opposition.

Then the next speedy run down the wing ends with what sort of final ball? But then there’s always the next time.

Johnson’s is a remarkable record really. Of 147 league appearances, he has played a full 90 minutes just 39 times. In his 109 starts, he’s not finished 70 of them.

In four full seasons, his most successive starts is 17. In the last three seasons (excluding this one) he hasn’t started more than seven successive games.

Megson, a man not averse to his own stats, may no longer be counting on him in his long-term plans.

There was never much chance that the visitors to Hillsborough in the FA Cup next week would be Maidenhead United. Their defeat at Aldershot on Tuesday was expected.

But there’s another club in Sheffield who might be interested in making their acquaintance.

It’s Hallam. And anyone from there who heard the claim or read an article I did about Maidenhead may have shared my puzzlement.

The claim was that Maidenhead’s York Road ground was not only the oldest surviving ground to stage an FA Cup tie (not in dispute) but the oldest ground in the world to stage continuous football.

“That’s wrong,” I said to myself. Perhaps many, like me, are pretty confident this city has the world’s oldest football club and the oldest football ground.

After all, there’s a plaque on the entrance to Hallam’s ground up at Sandygate denoting it’s the world’s oldest.

Maidenhead’s claim is in their club description info. Which is probably how it cropped up on the radio and in newspaper articles, having been picked up by the respective journos.

Maidenhead say they have official word from the FA (received in a letter back in 1995) that their ground, first used in 1871, is the oldest.

Hallam have documented proof of Sandygate’s first game at Christmas over 10 years earlier in 1860.

So, why are Maidenhead confident about their claim? They say Hallam didn’t play there for six years during the 1930s because of a dispute. However, Hallam note that other clubs did use it in that time. Thus continuous use. What’s more, the Guinness Book of World records verified Hallam’s claim a few years ago.

Perhaps it all comes down to a choice of words.

Maidenhead’s claim is the “oldest continuously-used senior football ground in the world by the same club” (although the original club merged with another Maidenhead team to make United in 1920).

Hallam simply call Sandygate “the world’s oldest football ground”.

So, there you have it. Take your pick. I’ll go with Hallam.