Friday, 31 August 2007

My Precious

We are orphans. Abandoned fox cubs. How sad is that?

Not so Plymouth, our opponents tomorrow. They have Ian Holloway to look after them.

3 fairly interesting things about Ian Holloway are:
  • His nickname is Olly or Gollum
  • He featured in a BBC Documentary "Stress Test" where he publicly addressed his anger management problems
  • When he was manager of Bristol Rover FC he refused to sit in a red chair because it was the colour of their arch rivals, Bristol City
3 fairly strange things Olly has said are:

  • Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi."
  • "If is a big word. If I had long hair, I could be a rock star"
  • "I feel so unlucky at the moment. If I fell into a barrow of boobs I'd come out sucking on my thumb"
We can only hope he doesn't get to do a post match interview tomorrow. With such a poetic style he will dazzle the viewers and put our win into the shade.

Did I say win? I think I did.

Come on you blues!!!

See you at the match. Row T.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

You Heard It Here First

I have hot inside information that our next manager is going to be Gary Megson. I have tried telling them on Talking Balls but for some reason they don't believe me. Obviously I can't reveal my sources, but time will tell.

So Gary Megson. What do we know about him?

Well for a start he is ginger. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing of course. Despite the views of some on the subject (a prime example of which is here).

But it does carry its own hazards. For example, did you know that ginger people are more likely to feel pain? And are in danger of extinction?

And then of course there is the worry for us non-gingers of saying the wrong thing and causing offence. There is some useful advice on this here.

Anyway, gingerness aside, he successfully managed West Brom between 1999 and 2004, taking the team into the premiership twice. His later stint at Nottingham F*****t was less successful and it would seem he was essentially drummed out by the fans after disappointing performances.

So when he is appointed - just remember you heard it here first.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

An Axe To Grind

It's not often I post twice in one day but ... blimey... Milan's only gone and sacked Martin Allen!.

The official story of course is that the parting is mutual but no-one believes it. What is not clear is what the real reasons are.

There have been rumours of a rift emerging between the two men recently and speculation that Allen was going to be sacked. Given how many rumours float around the world of football though no-one seems to have paid much heed. At least not judging by the comments on the message boards.

There are a few dissenting voices but in the main there is overwhelming shock, surprise and anger from the Foxes fans about Milan's decision. Some are talking about boycotting the match against Plymouth on Saturday. Others of showing their fury with Mandaric who they feel has ignored the wishes of the fans.

I have to say I do feel very disappointed myself. I have had real faith to date in MM so I really hope this is about what is best for the club, not his ego.

Anyway, you'll be pleased to know I will be in a prime position to report on what happens at the match. My tickets are on their way.

See you on Saturday if you are going. I'll be the one in the LCFC shirt.

Clive Clarke

What a terrible shock for Clive Clarke and his family.

For anyone who doesn't know, Clive collapsed at half time in the Foxes match against Nottingham F*****t last night. Latest reports are that he is stable, although his heart stopped twice before he was taken to hospital.

If, as seems likely, the collapse was caused by a heart attack, the first 24 hours will be critical.

You can't help wondering how someone that fit could suffer from a heart attack, so often associated with lifestyle issues. Well apparently, if you have an underlying heart problem, which might not be manifest, exercise actually increases the risk.

My best wishes for a speedy recovery Clive.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The Prodigal Son

How long should someone be punished for taking someone else's life? Does it make a difference if the act is deliberate or reckless? Is it right that someone can serve their punishment and move on when the lives of so many others will be scarred by their loss forever?

These are some of the questions raised by Lee Hughes return to league football today. I don't pretend that the answers are easy.

Hughes was involved in a car crash in 2003 following a drinking session. He was driving and 56 year old Douglas Graham was killed. He ran away from the scene, only handing himself in 36 hours later.

In 2004 he was jailed for his crime and has served 3 of the 6 year sentence before being released on parole.

I heard him read out a statement at a press conference today as he announced that he will be playing for third division Oldham. OK it was a scripted statement, which might well not even have been written by him. But presumably he agreed the content. I thought it offered a balance between respect for his victims and a courageous facing of the world.

During his speech he mentioned that he had met the father of his victim. Whatever you may think of Hughes' crime, that takes guts.

Nothing can put back the clock or bring his victim back. But he can use his talents to bring pleasure to others. He can use his fame to act as a positive role model to others. He can try to draw some good from the awfulness of what he did.

It won't be easy but I wish him well on his journey.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Mud, Beer And Cartwheels

I've been away for a long weekend. Here doing this again. Great beer, great parties and great trails. Yesterday's was particularly good with lots of shiggy and a beer and coleslaw down down for me.

It's a bit like entering an alternative universe for a few days. I had little contact with the 'real' world until I received a text from my lover informing me that Leicester had beaten Watford 4 -1.

I looked suspiciously at my beer. Had I had too much already? Could that really be true?

So as soon as I got home today I looked on the Talking Balls message board. Here are some of the reactions:

Alex: I feel like dancing. What a result
Melton Fox: Brilliant second half performance
Homer: Feckin' wonderful stuff
Mike Hunt Smells: Excellent performance, I've not left the Walkers feeling that buzzing for a hell of a long time

So the fans are quite pleased then.

As for me. I'm doing this.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Spice Up That Anthem

I turned the radio on this evening at 8pm just in time to hear this and then this.

Now it may be because I am an atheist republican but the English national anthem really doesn't do it for me. In fact to me it sounds more like this. I know there are some who would prefer this. But I'm afraid I don't like that either. Smacks too much of imperialism.

Question is what to have instead. Well I don't dislike this. In truth though I am probably not the best person to choose. I simply don't have that 'national' thing going on.

If it did have a hand in what was played at the start of an English football international though I would definitely rock things up a bit. Here are some suggestions:

Imagine one of those ringing out at the next world cup.

There are of course those who think football and rock should never mix.

I can't say I agree. I think it just needs a little creativity and imagination.

What about a WAGs performance of this to put the wind up the opposition? Led of course by our very own Mrs Beckham.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

In The Family Way

There have been suggestions (which I am prepared to neither accept nor deny) that I am the love child of George Best. Suffice it to say that there is some evidence that football runs in families.

Don't believe me? Well what about Manchester City's goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel and his dad Peter? And then of course there is Gavin Strachen of Peterborough and his dad Gordon. Not forgetting Ian Wright who has two sons in the football league, Shaun and Bradley. Finally of course there is Steve Bruce, manager of Birmingham City and father of Alex.

Nature or nurture? You decide.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Tonight Matthew, I'm Going To Be .........

........ anyone but Rob Styles.

Everywhere I have been today there has been talk of him. On my Roberts as I was straightening my fringe this morning. On the car radio as I was driving to a meeting. In the newspaper I read at a motorway service station on the way home.

Why? Well it would seem that he made a slightly dodgy decision yesterday. Actually major gaff would be a better description. As a result he has been dropped as a referee for the coming weekend.

Which leaves me with some questions I have to say. Is his ban a punishment? If so then do we assume he did it on purpose? If it is not a punishment then we can assume that the incident is the result of incompetence. In which case how is a one match ban going to improve his performance?

My advice to him is to use the time to undertake some refresher referee training. And if he is short of the registration fee, I reckon he would stand a good chance of getting some sponsorship from these people.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Singing The Blues

I was listening to a discussion on Radio 5 Live on Friday about depression. There was also an article in the Independent about it. It was triggered by a comment by a leading psychiatrist who had said that too many people are being diagnosed with clinical depression. The counter argument is that early diagnosis can prevent a worsening of the symptoms, which is some cases can lead to self harm and suicide.

It is a subject quite close to my heart as it has touched my life in a number of ways. It is also a condition that is more likely to lead to suicide in men, not least as they are less likely to ask for help than women.

Not surprising then that it has features in the world of football, with all its stresses and strains. What is helpful is that some are prepared to speak out about their experiences, like Graham Souness and Mark Bosnich.

The good news is that football can also offer help. Schemes such as this and this , that aim to use the importance of football to men have got to be a good thing.

Of course we all get times when we feel blue. According to this research the end of the football season or when our team is not doing well can be triggers.

Of course, being blue is not always a bad thing.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

A Christening Gift

I haven't been able to devote as much attention to football today as I might have wished. Especially after our rather shaky start to the season. Away at Crystal Palace today. We were in the lead until stoppages time, then they equalised to make it 2-2.

Lots of unhappy bunnies on the LCFC message board of course. Some cross with the team. Some with Martin Allen Some with those who were criticising them for losing the faith so early.

I feel a bit detached from it today as I have been otherwise engaged. I was at my granddaughter's christening so I did have a good excuse. I do feel disappointed though. A win would have been good. Seems as if our defence let us down again.

I didn't abandon the cause totally though. There are quite a few footy fans in the family. Chatted to one of them, John, who was interested to hear I supported The Foxes. He even managed not to make too many disparaging remarks. Mind you he is a Bristol Rovers fan so he'd have been on dodgy ground.

Anyway despite the horrible weather it was a lovely day (thanks for asking). And of course when no-one was looking I took my little granddaughter to one side and whispered "Leicester City till we die" in her ear. She is only 7 months old but it's never too early is it. What better christening gift.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Football At The Sharp End

I went to the hairdressers this evening to have my roots done. As you do.

Anyway for those not accustomed to the intricacies of disguising the odd silver thread it involves having the bottom inch (closest to your head) of your hair painted all over then "cooking" for about 35 minutes.

I reached for the copy of Cosmopolitan as I had forgotten to take my book as intended, when without warning my hand developed a mind of its own and I found myself holding a football magazine.

Eek! How did that happen?

My hairdresser said "Oh football" in a very surprised voice.

I said "Yes - are you interested?"

She said " A bit"

I said "Who do you support?"

She said "Arsenal. How about you?"

Now here is the dilemma. There is a woman standing behind me with a pair of very sharp scissors. Within seconds she will be going to work on my hair which has been growing into a longer style in the last 15 months with considerable sacrifice on my part. Do I tell her who I support? Does she look as if it is a subject of passion for her? Or do I deny my team?

I said "I support Leicester City"

She smiled politely but there was no sign of aggression.

Actually I'm not entirely convinced she had ever heard of us. How cutting.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

"A Bloody Poof"

I've got a new football hero.

Justin Fashanu.

I was just surfing the net trying to decide what to post about tonight when I started reading about him. And I have to confess to being very moved by his story.

For any of you who don't know, Justin, brother of John, was a talented man. He hit the headlines in 1981 when he transferred to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, becoming the first £1 million black footballer. All the more miraculous as he came from a disrupted background, the product of a Barnado's children's home.

His relationship with Clough was not a happy one, however, and the manager bullied him because he believed he was gay, referring to him as "a bloody poof". When he finally 'came out' he was vilified by the football world, the black community and even his own brother John.

He stood proud in the face of the world, declaring in a television interview, "People need to know the truth. It's okay to allow yourself to express your sexuality"

Sadly it wasn't "okay". His life spiralled downwards, ending in tragedy following allegations of a sexual assault against a 17 year old youth. Justin hung himself in his garage in April 1998.

I think there are few things sadder in life than a person reaching such depths of despair and emotional loneliness that they can see no way to end the pain other than to take their own life.

I'd like to tell you now that his death was not in vain. That his legacy was a sea change in the world of sport and in particular the world of football. That being gay does not preclude you from being a world class footballer or result in you being abused. But it would not be true.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 men are gay. How many gay premiership footballers can you name?


Rest in peace Justin.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Real Men Don't Go Shopping

Roy Keene. Shy and retiring. A man who keeps his head below the parapet and avoids trouble and controversy.


This former Manchester United Player earned himself a 5 match ban and hefty fine after admitting in his autobiography to deliberately injuring Alf Inge Haaland in a dirty tackle that is said by some to have effectively ended that player's career.

The assault was in revenge for an incident some time before when Haaland had allegedly been taunting Keane through a match. Keane decided to trip him up, lunged at him, missed and damaged his leg which resulted in him being out of active play for nearly a year. What incensed him was that Haaland accused him of faking the injury. 4 years later he exacted retribution.

In his book "Keane - The Autobiography" Keane says;

"I'd waited long enough. I f****g hit him hard. The ball was there (I think).
Take that you c**t. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake

He also said;

"Even in the dressing room afterwards, I had no remorse. My attitude was,
'f**k him. What goes around comes around. He got his just rewards. He
f**ked me over and my attitude is an eye for an eye."

Wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of him would you?

Anyway, today he is once again in the headlines. This time he has spoken out - shock! horror! - against the WAGS! Says they are emasculating their men (although he doesn't use that word of course - it has 5 syllables). Rumour has it Victoria Beckham and buddies are furious. They have even considered ambushing him with their Prada handbags but decided not to in the end in case they break a nail.

He does seem to be one of those characters you either love or hate. Or just write songs about.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Accrington Stanley? Who Are They?

Snotty nosed kid: "Got any lemonade?"
Other snotty nosed kid: "If you want!" (he takes a bottle of milk from the fridge)
1st snotty nosed kid: "Milk.....Ugh!"
2nd snotty nosed kid: "It's what Ian Rush drinks."
1st snotty nosed kid: "Ian Rush?"
2nd snotty nosed kid: "Yeah, an' he says if I didn't drink lots of milk, when I grow up I'll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley!"
1st snotty nosed kid: "Accrington Stanley? ... Who are they??!"
2nd snotty nosed kid: "Exactly!"

1st snotty nosed kid tries to get to 2nd snotty nosed kid's milk.

2nd snotty nosed kid: "Nah, gerroff!"
1st snotty nosed kid: "Gimmie some!"

That was when they were just snotty nosed kids. 2nd snotty nosed kid is now a star of course.

I wonder if The Foxes drink milk. I hope so. They are gonna need some bottle

Monday, 13 August 2007

Completely Quackers

You'll never believe what! I've only been labeled a "Dime Bar"! Worse than that - on the LCFC message board for all the world to see. How humiliating! You can probably feel my cheeks glowing red from there!

It's always a danger when you enter a new world of course. Tripping over an acronym or phrase that everyone else knows - or at least seems too.

Most of the time I manage to blag my way through life. Looking as if I know what is going on. Fooling people into thinking I am up on whatever the current subject is.

On this particular occasion my "faux pas" was not knowing what LGCP stands for. I saw it on an LCFC fixture list and despite Googling it could not find what it stands for. Assuming it was some obscure technical term I posted on the message board to see if there might be a well informed fellow fan who could help. Turns out it stands for League Cup and everyone else knows it or could at least guess.

Its not the first time recently I have fallen down such a hole. Recently I was reading an article in a magazine at the hair dressers when I was having my roots done. It was all about first dates and the difficulties of leaping into bed with someone if you have put chicken fillets in your bra to enhance you figure.

Now call me old fashioned but I did struggle to understand why someone would do that. Seems a risky old business to me. And there wasn't much detail. I mean do they use them raw or cooked? What if it was a particular hot day? They might start to smell.

It was only during a conversation with my fairly new neighbour that the truth finally dawned upon me. Sadly not quickly enough to prevent the look of disbelief and astonishment on that fairly new neighbour's face. For it would seem that the chicken fillets referred to are these rather than these.

Clearly I have some work to do if I am to survive in the world of football conversations. In the meantime I will just stay quiet - at least until I have all my ducks in a row.

Quack quack!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Measuring Up

I listened to quite a lot of footy on the radio this afternoon as I was doing my wench-type chores.

Didn't hear much of the Arsenal/Fulham match though, although I did hear Laurie Sanchez speak afterwards.

He's a bit full of himself isn't he? There he was yesterday busy slagging off Arsenal, saying they stand no chance this year. Went moaning on today after his team lost saying it was all down to Arsenal diving and how his players hadn't and how it was all unfair.

Boo hoo.

I can't bear a bad loser. As Martin Luther King said:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

From what I heard of you Mr Sanchez - you didn't measure up.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

You Know When You've Been Tango'd

It would be fair to say that today has been a day to remember. Sadly not all the reasons are good.

It started this morning. I got up about 6.10am and went downstairs to make a cuppa, accompanied by Daisy my cat as usual. I could hear her at the bottom of the stairs, scratching the carpet, which I promptly told her to stop. Then she was skitting about on the floor chasing something. All of a sudden she made a really strange sound. I knew straight away something was very wrong and as I approached her she was laying on her side, took one more breath and was dead.

Heart attack - but what a shock at 6.20 in the morning. At least she didn't suffer though.

After I buried her and said my goodbyes I went out and about on my Virago to keep busy. Stopped for a bit in Marlborough where I was due to meet my lover. Went in to buy a coke, wearing, of course, my LCFC shirt (having changed out of my leathers).

Man behind the counter: "Oh you're the other Leicester supporter."
Me: "Why- do you support them?"
Man behind the counter: "No but his dad does" (pointing to young lad washing dishes)
Me: (to young lad washing dishes) "Your dad's got good taste. We should win today and we're going to do well this season"

Given the start to my day I should have guessed my optimism would not be rewarded.

1 -0 to Blackpool. I mean Blackpool! The Tangerines!

Reckon those Foxes were tango'd today.

I know how they feel.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Don't You Wish You're Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?

Someone chopped Denis Wise's balls off. At least so he claims.

Responding to the vote which upheld the FA's decision to give them 15 penalty points he said:

"It's laughable. Not only have they taken my arms and legs off, now they've cut my balls off as well."

A number of comments spring to mind but some things are best left unsaid don't you think?

I'm just relieved I did not inadvertently select Leeds to support in those early days when I was choosing a team. What a narrow escape.

If I had done I would not have discovered just how hot it is to wear a Leicester City shirt out and about. Like yesterday.

There I was walking around the local town wearing my new shirt.

"Beep beep!"

I looked around and some bloke stopped his car and seemed to be signalling to me. I looked to see if I knew him and he shouted something. I looked again and he pointed to his shirt, pointed to me and put his thumb up. I concluded that either he was expressing some sort of approval for my chest (quite likely) or indicating that he was a Leicester City fan (very likely). I smiled and put my thumb up back in a cool, sort of "f**k I don't believe it, sort of way.

Shortly afterwards I was shopping in Waitrose (I try to avoid Tescos as that is where Leeds fans probably shop) when this other bloke said;

"I don't believe it. A Leicester City fan. In the middle of Waitrose in the middle of this town. And this season's shirt too!"

I found out his name is Jim Atkinson and he is something of a lapsed Foxes fan. I reassured him that we are on the up and encouraged him to return to the fold. Told him we had made some great buys including DJ Campbell and Stephen Clements. If you're reading this Jim - get your shirt and car sticker ordered today!

When we had finished the conversation and moved on my lover said "You blagged that well". Cheeky s*d!

So my advice girls - don those shirts and get out there and strut!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

If I'd Known You Were Coming I'd Have Baked A Cake

One thing I am learning about football is that when you start digging there is invariably more to find around any particular subject. For example, the relationship between football and food.

I've posted about food and football before of course. Well pies anyway.

But surprise surprise that only touches the surface. Food has always played a big part in stadium activities. Right back to the Romans who nibbled on the the odd dormouse at half time when watching gladiatorial sports in the Coliseum. Don't believe me? Here is the recipe - in Latin then translated into English for the Leeds United fans who obviously will not have had the sort of education that would have resulted in any consideration of the classics:

"Glires: isicio porcino, item pulpis ex omni membro glirium trito, cum pipere, nucleis, lasere, liquamine farcies glires, et sutos in tegula positos mittesin furnum aut farsos in clibano coques."

"Stuff with a forcemeat of pork and small pieces of dormouse meat trimmings, all pounded with pepper, nuts, laser, broth. Put the dormouse thus stuffed in an earthen casserole, roast it in the oven, or boil it in the stock pot."

In 1998, Colman's Football Food Guide ranked English football clubs according to their catering facilities. Leicester came 34th . Apparently the authors scoffed 323 pies, 185 hot dogs, 291 burgers and 144 portions of chips. Now that is devotion to duty.

One commentator remembers 'fondly' how things were 30 years ago:

"Washed down with a weak and tepid Bovril, the 70s pie was a sad affair devoid of any genuine meat with traceable ancestry, and with a crust that could take the enamel off your teeth."

Of course these days with the middle classes moving in on football in ever increasing circles, there is a need to cater for a variety of tastes. I'll leave you to decide which is the corporate hospitality menu for each club and which for the 'ordinary' fans.

Aston Villa

Duet of smoked and fresh salmon on a crab tartare with cucumber salsa.
Supreme of chicken with mousse de foie gras, brioche croutons and a madeira and brandy glaze.
Vanilla panacotta with hot blueberries.
Selection of cheeses.

Chicken balti pies, steak and kidney pies, burgers, hot dogs, pasties, pizzas, chips.

Bolton Wanderers

Whisky and treacle-cured fillet of salmon with blini and truffle emulsion.
Tranche of turbot set on roasted vegetables, pancetta and white beans, edged by a Sauternes sauce.
Chocolate gallette with praline mousse and honey ice cream.

Meat and potato pies, steak and kidney pies, sausage rolls, hot dogs.


Timbale of halibut and seared scallops wrapped in smoked salmon with a herb and citrus dressing.
Pan-fried seabass with thyme-infused fondant potatoes, wilted spinach and chive buerre blanc.
Plum and Armagnac flan with Chantilly cream or chocolate torte with strawberry sauce.

Burgers, pizzas, hot dogs, pies (including vegetarian balti), fish and chips.

Norwich City (Delia's territory)

Curried parsnip and apple soup.
Pepper-crusted monkfish with a red pepper relish.
Passion fruit brulee.
Cheeses from the Neal's Yard Dairy.

Pies (steak and kidney plus, on a rotating basis, pork and apple, cauliflower cheese, lamb and mint), burgers, pizza, chips.

What would Jamie say? Not "pukka" it would seem.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Tips And Tricks

Now it may be that you are considering taking up football girls. Which is to be encouraged of course.

To help you out, today's post will be tips and tricks for budding footballers - girl style!

Rachel Yankey, England and Arsenal player, will assist me (see video links on right hand side of web page).

Passing and controlling the ball
  • Use the inside of your foot to control and pass the ball
  • Stay on your toes
  • Make an 'L' shape
  • Move into space

  • Use the inside, outside and sole of your foot
  • Bend your knees
  • Stay low
  • Head up
  • Use both feet
  • Control the ball
  • Vary your speed
  • Once past the defender speed up

  • Use the laces part of your shoe to kick
  • Use your whole body
  • Shoot at the corners of the goal
  • Aim across the goal
  • Watch the ball

  • Keep your eyes on the ball
  • Move feet quickly
  • Knee over the ball
When you have these mastered you will be able to move onto various 'tricks', such as the Cruyff Turn and the Stepover.

Sounds pretty straight forward to me. Off you go and practise.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Dark Little Secrets

I'm very excited. I got my LCFC shirt through the post today. And a sticker for my car. I'm really in business now.

It's an important thing you know - this loyalty business. I probably couldn't claim to have Leicester City stamped through my bones like some of the fans but I could not imagine swapping my allegiance now. Those little Foxes really do seem to have won my heart!

So it is perhaps not surprising that I get a bit miffed if I think someone is taking the p***. Such as in this Guardian article for example. A real 'snake in the grass' attempt to smear our beloved leaders, without of course any real substance. Disappointingly, it is by a woman, Anna Kessel.

Well let me tell you darling, we don't need your insinuations about 'sinister whispers' and snide inferences that Martin Allen's biggest impact has been on the flower beds. If you want a decent story about dodgy dealings and shady pedigree, try Manchester City or Leeds United. You won't have to try hard. Just saves you having to make it up.

Meantime, in other much more interesting news, I had lunch with a friend today. During the course of our conversation it emerged that she is a lifelong LEEDS FAN!! Can you imagine! Talk about nearly choke on your white chocolate and gingerbread ice cream! Still I suppose we all have our dark little secrets - apart from Milan of course.

"Milan, there's only one Milan"

Sunday, 5 August 2007

It Ain't What You Do

I have to confess to some initial disappointment when I heard that we lost 1-3 against Portsmouth at The Walkers yesterday. You know how it is. The optimism and excitement of a new season looming, not to mention the general sense of expectation about the Mandaric/Allen partnership.

But then I remembered that Portsmouth is a Premiership Club - finishing ninth in the League last season. And when I read the match report on the official Leicester website it did seem as though there had been some good play on our part and that the score did not truly reflect the match. Indeed, David James, the Portsmouth goalie, is described as making "world-class saves" against Hume, Campbell and Wesolowski in the second half, (Hume having scored our first goal early in the match).

Of course ultimately the play will be judged by the fans. In the words of the wise one, Fitz, on Talking Balls;

"at least this time out the squad he is playing with are actually a bunch of 'footballers' and not a bunch of wankers who couldn't care what the team does"

I guess that proves this to be true.

Saturday, 4 August 2007


The definition of Oblivion is: " The condition or quality of being completely forgotten".

The meaning of Oblivion is this song.

Oblivion is a form of electronic masturbation.

The Oblivion Society is a book about the end of the world.

There is a rocking ride at Alton Towers called Oblivion - scary but fun!

Best of all though, with 15 points taken away from them before the season even starts, Oblivion is the place where Leeds United are heading.

Bye bye Leeds!!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Here's Looking At You Kid

"Roo kid on the block" was the 'imaginatively' titled headline in The Sun of the story about a nine year old Australian boy, Rhain Davis, who is being hailed as a child football prodigy.

Apparently his grandfather sent a DVD of him playing to Old Trafford and now he has been offered a place in the Manchester United squad for little people, the Red Devils.

He is not the first child to be hailed as a future superstar. In 2005 it was a lad called Jean Carolos Chera from Brazil.

Of course it is no guarantee that they will develop into top flight international players. As one football agent says:

"A lot of kids have talent but it's an overrated attribute. When you get older, other things come into play like attitude and stickability."

Joe Cole of course was one such child and he is doing alright.

It's not always a happy ending though. Take Sonny Pike. He hit the headlines as a seven-year-old and was invited to train with Ajax's renowned academy. He was subsequently overwhelmed by the pressure, however, and suffered a nervous breakdown before abandoning professional football altogether. He is now studying for a psychology degree at Dundee University.

Let's hope Rhain has better support around him to protect him.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Beat It

Leicester City will play Blackpool in their first proper match of the season on 11th August.

Much like their famous roller coaster, Blackpool has a long history of ups and downs. They have ranged from periods in the top flight of football through to a season when they finished just four places above the bottom of the whole league. In their heyday they had a number of international players, peaking in 1953 when four of their players lined up in the England squad against Hungary. The match made history, although unfortunately for all the wrong reasons as it ended England's unbeaten run of home wins since 1901.

Blackpool are nicknamed Pool, The Seasiders (how original) and The Tangerines, due to the colour of their strip. According to this website, they have a short life under hot ambient tropical conditions. We can only hope things get a bit steamy at the Walkers Stadium Saturday week.

My assessment, albeit based on limited information and even more limited experience, is that we should beat them. They only just scraped up from Division One at the end of last season following the playoffs and if we are to trust Mr Mandaric and his team, our team should be rocking. It is early in the season though and their captain is Michael Jackson . When asked how he saw the outcome of the match he offered this warning.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Congratulations And Celebrations

Can a player over-celebrate if he or she scores a goal?

I'm sure this is the sort of question that vexes you, like me, from time to time.

FIFA rules state that "While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive."

Things for which you can be cautioned when celebrating a goal are:

  • Climbing on the perimeter fence
  • Making gestures which are provocative, derisory or inflammatory
  • Removing one's shirt over one's head or covering one's head with one's shirt.
Poor Arjen Robben of Chelsea FC has just got himself into trouble for hurling himself into the crowd when he scored.

Of course there are those who would argue that celebrating a goal is an art form in itself.