Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I'll Be Burgered

When does humorous chanting in football stands become offensive?

It's a tricky one. And one that inevitably causes continuing debate.

Not least because society's understanding of the issues is changing all the time.

Take for example the continuing row about the 'Famine Song' popular with a number of Rangers supporters. I can guarantee that if the song related to skin colour the sense of general outrage would be louder and more coherent. Somehow though because there is less clarity of definition about racism when skin colour is taken out of the equation as in this case, whilst some, such as the Strathclyde police I am pleased to say, are clear that this is just as serious a breach of the rules of decency, others seem less sure.

It's the same with homophobic chants. It's just a bit of fun after all isn't it.............?

I'm not trying to deny the complexities. One person's banter is inevitably another person's abuse. But we do have to find a way to draw some clear lines if we want to be considered a civilised society.

As individuals we need to make our own moral decisions on such matters. My personal view is that you somehow have to develop a 'contract' with whoever it is being teased which ensures you both understand it is done with a kind heart and in fun, not to hurt. That 'contract' may well be unspoken. It might be defined by the nature of your relationship. It might simply be the context in which it is done.

For example, I read a funny article in the most recent copy of FourFourTwo, which highlighted a number of funny chants, my favourite being the one aimed at Dean Gerken, the Colchester goalie (to the tune of Guantanamera):

Stayed in a burger You should have stayed in a burger Stayed in a burger You should have stayed in a burger

Harmless, funny and inventive.

So, to sum up before stepping down from my soap box, I guess what I am saying is you can be funny, edgy and ironic without causing pain.

Unless we are talking about anyone connected with Leeds United of course in which case the rules of decency probably don't apply.

Monday, 29 September 2008

A Dog's Breakfast



It's been a dog's breakfast of a weekend for some in the footballing world.

There is Arsenal's bizarre loss to Hull.

Rob Styles' ridiculous decision to award a penalty to Manchester United when even a ... well dog .... could see it was at best Renaldo trailing his legs and at worst an outright dive.

Man City beaten by Wigan.

Tottenham's continuing downward spiral

Not forgetting Newcastle - a dog's breakfast, lunch and tea some might argue.

And as if all that wasn't enough Liam Lawrence caused his own dog to bring up its breakfast by tripping over it, injuring himself in the process.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

My lover and I went down to our local pub last night to watch the Arsenal match.

Only to find a Crystal Palace fan and an Ipswich fan sitting side by side watching their respective teams play each other on the big screen.

It's probably just as well. Watching the Tigers beat those lovely boys would have been torture.

My son kept me posted by text.

Text 1: watching the match on setanta. 1 - 0 to the gooners!

Text 2: s**t. 1 -1!

Text 3: oh f**k. 2 - 1 to hull.

Poor lamb.

I hope he doesn't read this post. He'll live it all again and be retraumatised.

Nor this message from Phil Brown to Arsene Wenger.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Rabid Fox

I had a nice surprise this week.

Do you remember recently I had an email from a correspondent from Nike who promised to send me a book?

Well you know how it is with these things. I only half expected to receive something.

Imagine my joy then when I got home on Thursday evening to find a card from the postman to say there was a parcel for Georgina Best waiting for collection.

I got up extra early on Friday so I could go to the collection depot on the way to work.

As I arrived I jumped out of my car and rushed towards the office.

And then it suddenly struck me.

I needed ID.

Except of course I don't have any. Not as Georgina Best.

What was I to do? There was my book waiting for me and no way of claiming it.

I looked at the man serving behind the counter as I waited in the queue. He looked tired and fed up but was trying to put on a brave face for the customers.

There's only one thing to do, I thought.

Rabid Fox.

I stepped up the counter and took a deep breath.

I said, "This is going to be complicated"

As I saw his shoulders drop with an "Oh please no. It's 7.30 in the morning" look, I knew I had him on the run.

"You see I write a football blog in the name of Georgina Best and someone from Nike wrote to me and they are sending me a book but I'm not really Georgina Best because its a made up name and so I haven't got any ID in that name but I can prove I live at that address and I can confirm it is a book although I did ask for some pink football boots but I probably didn't get them so I'm sure its a book and ...."

He sighed.

"Just sign here"


I skipped out of the office with my book and smile.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Who Are Ya? Who Are Ya?

We play Hartlepool tomorrow.

At home.

So what sort of people are Hartlepoolians? (???)

Well they like a good dance it would seem.

And some of their residential areas are much sought after.

Despite the fact that, somewhat bizarrely, the town appears to be devoid of people.

I'm not sure about some of their fans' celebration routines though.

At the end of the the day, none of this probably matters.

We're gonna stuff 'em anyway!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

I'll Name That Toon In One

So the Foxes managed to wobble through to the next round of the Johnstone Paint Trophy last night.

Not the most heart warming performance I gather but nevertheless a creditable win on penalties.

Unlike the Arse's babies who - not to put too fine a point on it - completely stuffed the Blades.

And in other news - Venables for Newcastle?

Well they are the Toon army after all.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

I defy anyone who loves football to say they did not admire some of the beautiful play displayed by the Arse at the weekend.

I know there are times when they can appear quite mediocre and don't quite get it together. But when they do they really do.

You will probably think I'm going over the top but when I see them play like that it is truly like watching beautiful choreography. The skilled anticipation of their team mates' positioning, the cheeky little skills such as a flicking the ball backwards and dancing around their opponents.

I talked a few posts ago about the need for love in a team to be successful. Wenger clearly understands that, not just in relation to individuals but for the collective group.

The Guardian claims to have a copy of a memo written by Wenger, in which he demonstrates that being a manager is much more than simply developing technical ability.

What stark contrast then to the reported comments of Bolton captain, Kevin Nolan following that same match. He says he instructed his defenders to give Theo Walcott a "little kick" and defends his position by adding;

At the end of the day, it is a physical sport. We don’t want to be like basketballers........ We are in danger of losing that side — the roughing up of people"

I guess that's the difference between ballet shoes and wellies.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

When is a goal not a goal?

When it didn't go between the posts maybe?

Unless you are Nigel Bannister of course.

Reading's 'ghost' goal has been blocked on YouTube by the FA, although I did mange to find this. A copyright issue apparently.

A moral dilemma then for the Reading players and management team.

Shame that not one of them was moved to 'own up'. Maybe they were scared no-one would believe they had seen a ghost.......

It's disappointing. I remember a very sporting gesture from Leicester this time last year when they replayed the match against F****t during which Clive Clarke had had his heart attack. That won the Foxes wide acclaim and at the end of the day did not disadvantage them at all.

Of course, these days the high quality of the Foxes means we don't need to cheat. 3 -1 without the need for any spooks, phantoms or other apparitions on Saturday.

Winning is not paranormal for us. Just everyday.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Battle Of The Ponytails

It's funny how football can become such a part of your life.

I don't just mean how it drives you to get up at some unearthly hour on a Sunday to watch Match of the Day because you missed it last night (as my lover and I did this morning).

Take for example the conversation I had with my lover after a visit to the supermarket yesterday lunchtime to buy food for the meal we were planning for friends last night.

What you need to know is that both my lover and our friend John have long ponytails. Now obviously I adore my lover and as part of that I love his ponytail. But a girl can look if you know what I mean and I can't help but notice that John's rich dark locks are fairly spectacular.

When I reminded my lover that the evening held the prospect of the battle of the ponytails he looked a little crestfallen. But as I explained to him, its like the Liverpool Stoke fixture. You don't expect Stoke to win but you have to give them credit for turning up and having a go.

And as it turned out of course Liverpool were held to a draw. Amazing what you can achieve with a good brush and a bottle of conditioner.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Georgina Gets Her Indentures

Georgina has come of age.

Having done my apprenticeship, I think it is fair to say I am now a fully qualified football fan.

That's not to say I think I know everything. Far from it.

But I now know the basic skills of my trade. I have demonstrated my ability to;

  • Follow my team through thick and thin (in my case largely thin)
  • Wear my football shirt every Saturday (home strip when we are at home, away strip when we are away like today)
  • Sing in the stands
  • Have an opinion
  • Despise Leeds United in a random but deeply felt way
  • Eat pies
My credentials are proven.

I have secured my indentures.

I've got Leicester City tattooed through me like a stick of rock.

Bye bye foxy girl.

Hello foxy lady.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

We Don't Want A Cover Up

I do hope Topps Tiles aren't hit by the recession.

It's not because I am particularly wedded to tile manufacturers.

But looking around the various teams, the other sponsorship logos are disappearing at a fast a furious rate.

West Ham have had to 'cover up' after their sponsor XL went to the wall. And West Brom haven't even been able to find a sponsor. Even the great Manchester United had their worries earlier in the week until the American government moved in to prop up AIG. And of course last season Newcastle United just escaped having to hide their Northern Rock sponsorship logo.

Of course like every challenge, losing a logo can also present an opportunity.

Imagine if the club could chose a sponsor which had some meaning for their particular team.

Arsenal ("I didn't see anything")





No doubt you can do better.................................

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

It's So Unfair

Does anyone else get fed up of Fergie's whingeing?

I mean I know he has demi-god status in British football but come on.

The change in the way managers talk about referees is noticeable.

They say things like "It did seem at the time to be an outright sending off but I'm sure it looked different from the angle the referee saw it at"

Or "It did seem a harsh decision but that's football and the referees do a good job"

All managers that is except Fergie.

He's claiming diplomatic immunity and committing all sorts of crimes against the rules of the Respect campaign.

Yes I know he is a successful manager. Yes I know he has a reputation for misusing hairdryers. (I think that's what it is anyway).

But you'd think with that sort of experience he would recognise we all need referees.

Don't we girls and boys.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The Return Of The Maddog

I see Martin "Maddog" Allen has resurfaced. I did wonder how long it would be.

Coming to nearby Cheltenham Town. A quick glimpse at various forums seems to suggest the local fans are quite pleased.

I will be interested to see how he gets on, given the mysterious circumstances in which he left Leicester last autumn.

Meanwhile the Foxes are gearing up to their match on Saturday. Although last weekend's result was disappointing we are still 6th in the league with a game in hand.

I know every win is important but I do hope we manage to get something from the match. The last thing we need is to start a pattern of losing again.

Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt.

Anyway, that's enough from me for today. I've got important things to do. It's my lover's birthday tomorrow

What have I got him?

Well I'm not going to reveal the detail in case he reads this before the morning.

But I do have a special little treat planned for him this evening..............................

Yes you guessed it - sitting down with me to watch the Champions' League.

What more could a man want?

Monday, 15 September 2008

Taken By Surprise

Derby County called in emergency help today after finding themselves in crisis following yesterday's win over Sheffield United.

A spokesman for the club explained:

"After almost a year without a win, we suddenly realised we had forgotten how to celebrate"

A source close to the club told us how the problem began when club officials realised they had no champagne on ice. In fact no champagne at all.

Players changed out of their kit as staff were hastily dispatched to Tescos to purchase celebratory drinks, but the tone in the dressing room was muted.

"They just looked bewildered" said one witness.

Paul Jewell tried to raise their spirits with a rousing chorus of "We Are The Champions" but his team could barely manage the claps in between the words.

In desperation he rang Eileen Drewery

She spoke to us today in an exclusive interview, explaining;

"Poor little lambs. They were quite at a loss what to do. Even after 24 hours, the best they could manage was 3 hip hip hoorays and a round of party poppers"

Jewell is said to be shocked by the situation and has vowed to ensure celebratory rituals are built into the training schedule from now on.

Just in case they are ever needed again.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Qu'ils Mangent De La Brioche

Newcastle fans are revolting.

A statement which some might argue is true on more than one level.

For the purposes of this blog though, and so as not to upset Mosher, lets pretend we are just talking about the scenes of protest yesterday in the city and outside St James Park.

Better still, the protests were virtually trouble free, ensuring attention was not distracted from the power of the collective voice.

And they are not the only fans mobilising. Liverpool fans have grouped together to form "Spirit of Shankley", Britain's first ever supporters' union.

It's a fascinating and important development in the sociology and history of football in my opinion. The reason why most of us put up with the consequences of capitalism and the free market economy and allow the bulk of wealth to be kept by a few is because we mostly get just about enough of what we want.

It's when that balance is tipped in some way that the world changes. Those who think money can buy them anything may be right up to a point. Until they aren't.

Beware the likes of Hicks and Gillette. Look out Mr Ashley.

Thinking you can keep the masses in their place whilst you pursue your own ends could well in tragedy.

Just ask Marie Antionette.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Who Said What

Keegan said.

Ashley said.

Keegan said.

Ashley said.

Benitez said.

The Arse said.

Shrewsbury said.

Reading said.

Georgina said "B****r, we lost today".

Friday, 12 September 2008

A Listening Ear?

My lover has a kind heart.

Which is probably why he recently bought me "The Little Book of Football" and accompanying DVD at Aldi for £2.99.

I won't go into great detail about the circumstances in which I read the book but lets just say I do a page or two every morning.

Anyway, this morning I came across the following passage;

"In an era of so many talented individuals, it was a puzzle that the national side did not do better"

The team - England

The era - late 1930s.

"Hello" I thought. "That's familiar".

The words could have been spoken by any of us up until Wednesday night.

So what on earth happened? How did Capello and his boys find the magic ingredient at just the right moment?

Well I have a theory about this. Let me share it with you.

It's just after Saturday's match against Andorra. Capello is hopping mad with Joe Cole and Wayne Rooney for not following his instructions and playing out of position. The conversation starts to get heated. The dressing room doors are slammed shut and they are in there together.

And it all pours out. The frustrations. The resentments. The hurts. Everything.

And the players tell Capello "You need to listen to us. We know where we play best. We are English. We need to play English football in English positions. You need to trust us and believe in us. Then we will believe in ourselves."

And Capello does listen. He says "OK - prove it to me."

It's a big game. They can't afford to underperform.

But the players have something to prove. They believe they are in the right positions. They believe they can be outstanding.

And the rest - as they say - is history.

Fanciful? Maybe.

At the end of the day who cares. 4 -1 is 4 - 1.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Well If You Don't Ask..................

Do you remember me telling you one day I'm gonna be famous?

Well I nearly am. Sort of.

Yes well OK I've had an email from someone at Nike who has been reading the blog. She was very kind and even invited me to the launch of their new campaign this evening about women in sport and the challenges they face.

Sadly I can't go as I live too far away and have a guitar lesson (I'll probably be washing my hair too but it didn't seem polite to mention this in my reply).

Plus the fact I'm a bit worried about being rumbled. I don't know how the world is going to react when it finds out my bum cheeks are not quite as cellulite free as my picture on the top left suggests.

Anyway the campaign centres around some videos which are pretty groovy. You can check them out here. Worth a revisit after the launch too because there's going to be some more stuff on there.

My favourite so far is the Delphine Desalle video. She's so like me you know........................

My correspondent has kindly offered to send me a free copy of the book that goes with the campaign.

Thanks Rachel.

Oh and if you do read this - I don't suppose there's any chance of a pair of footy boots is there? Size 6 in pink?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Lets Hear It For The Boys

My new heros!

Against The Odds

Sorry I didn't get to post yesterday. One of those days where my feet didn't touch the ground (or my fingers the keyboard!).

Of course there has only been one real football story the last couple of days. The Croatia v England match tonight.

It makes me laugh really. Being a girl still fairly new to football I listen to as many commentators as I can to improve my knowledge and understanding. But I can honestly say listening to the radio over the last couple of days has done absolutely nothing to help me make an informed prediction about tonight.

I've heard everything from a fatalistic belief that we are going to get badly turned over, to an analysis of one of Capello's speeches that clearly demonstrates he is going for a draw, right through to a vehement announcement that we are going to pummel the Croatians.

So the honest truth is I haven't a clue how the game will turn out. Looking at recent past performance and the last two clashes with Croatia however (both of which they won), I think a win would be against the odds and a draw a creditable result.

Come on Ingerland!

Monday, 8 September 2008

That's Entertainment


I get what it is about Alan Shearer.

Did you watch SportAid last night? I thought it was great entertainment.

And yes, much as it pains me I have to say I suddenly realised why everyone goes on about AS.

I have never seen him play before but he has got something a bit special.

I suspected there must me more to him than the shallow drivel he delivers on MOTD.

And talking of entertainment, what a week it was last week.

Multi-billionaires suddenly appearing on the footballing landscape, like knights in shining armour coming to rescue Manchester City. Drama at the eleventh hour as the transfer window closed. Nail biting moments when we all wondered if England would even manage to score against Andorra (which apparently has the same population as Berwick - on - Tweed).

Today seems something of a slow news day in comparison.

I wonder how long that will last.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

The Kiss Of Death

Having just sat through England's pretty unconvincing performance against Andorra I can only conclude that there is some mysterious law I am unaware of banning actually running with the ball, as opposed to just kicking it and hoping.

I was surrounded by about 20 England fans at the pub where we watched the match and I would describe the mood as subdued resignation. Mirrored by the conversation between Capello and Pearce just before half time when Capello asked Pearce a question with a baffled look on his face (maybe something like 'what shall we do now?') and Pearce responded with a shrug and equally baffled look.

2 - 0 sounds good on paper until you remind yourself that the players in the Andorra team have day jobs. It's like Forest Green Rovers vs England and they can only manage 2 goals.

I would be much more surprised if we qualified than if we didn't.

And Capello seems to have inherited the same sense of gloom and bewilderment as his predecessors and his team. Maybe it's true what they say that becoming the manager of England is the kiss of death.

Not so becoming the manager of my beloved Foxes though it would seem. Whatever you might think following Allen and Holloway, Mr Pearce is not only doing the business but has been recognised for it by being awarded League One Manager of the Month.

I'm so proud of him. He's up there with the greats.

Like Sven-Goran Eriksson (August 2007) and Avram Grant (April 2008).

And .... er ..... look where they are now.....................................................

Friday, 5 September 2008

Long Arm Of The Law

So football 'bad boy' Joey Barton has received his 'sentence' from the FA for his attack on Ousmane Dabo.

A 12 match ban, 6 of which are suspended until the end of next season. The latter will only be enforced if there are any more violent conduct within the footballing setting.

I have to say when I saw him saw him playing last weekend I did not form the impression I was looking at a changed man. That view was reinforced when within moments of coming on the pitch he was squaring up to a player in the opposing team with some pushing and shoving.

I'm not the only one who has doubts that he has reformed. He was apparently snapped jumping a red light on the way to see his Probation Officer.

It's not that I don't believe people can change. As an ex-Probation Officer I have a number of stories about people who have turned their lives around. But what I also know is that change only happens when people are ready.

I'm prepared to keep and open mind about Mr Barton for now. Although he certainly has some 'issues' to overcome.

And he is not the only one who might find himself in court soon.

Newcastle United has announced its intention to sue King Kev for the £2million compensation his contract says is due if he quits. Presumably his defence will be constructive dismissal.

It will be interesting to see how that one untangles itself.

And lets not forget Ashley Timms, another footballing figure who has recently found himself at odds with the law. Jailed today for trying to blackmail a Premiership footballer by threatening to sell video footage of him in flagrante.

No - there's no doubt about it. Football is by no means beyond the reach of the long arm of the law.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

You Decide

It's eviction night in the Newcastle United Big Brother House.

Up for eviction are Kevin Keegan, Dennis Wise and Mike Ashley.

Here is what each of them have to say about why one of the others should go:

Kevin Keegan: Wise has to go. Once described as a man who could start a fight in an empty house, he played dirty when he was a footballer and he plays dirty now. I would love it - love it - if he got the boot.

Dennis Wise: You can't work with someone that much like Keith Chegwin. You can take the perm off the man but inside the scars of artificial curls remain. He is the weakest link and has to go.

Mike Ashley: (Belches). Who knows. The fans love Kevin and I've got a shirt with his name on now so I don't want to waste that. On the other hand Wise is a dude - or at least that's what he tells me. Oh f**k. Just give me another beer.

Who should go?

You decide.

Who should go? You decide
Kevin Keegan
Dennis Wise
Mike Ashley
All of them
Who cares? Just give me chocolate

View Results

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Little Miss Fickle

Go on then.

Ask me how we did in the Johnstone Paint Trophy match last night.

Oh yes - thanks for asking. We beat Hartlepool 3 - 0.

I think I may be falling in love with Nigel Pearson.

Well can you blame me? After such a dismal season last year I had kept my expectations pretty low to avoid disappointment.

Dear Nigel has brought joy into my heart once more.

Bless that man.

And the players of course.

I'm even feeling more kindly towards Mandy.

Oh how fickle we football fans are.

Like thefans in the picture above at Maidstone FC last weekend, showing their 'appreciation' for their underperforming goalie.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

It Will All End In Tears

What do you suppose 500 billion pounds looks like?

No I can't imagine either. I think I can confidently predict I am unlikely ever to find out either.

Unlike Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim who heads up the consortium that has just bought Manchester City. For that, apparently is the extent of their wealth.

I do understand why City fans are so delighted. And you can't help but have a wry smile at the thought of Abramovich's face when he found out Robhino had been stolen from under his nose last night.

But I do have a sense of foreboding too. I am not economist but from a lay person's point of view I look at crashes in the housing market when the whole thing has been distorted by so called 'market forces. I look at the current 'credit crunch' brought about by people trading in a kind of virtual world, moving debts from one place to another until the music finally stops. And I can't help wondering what dark forces have been unleashed on the world of football.

It's not simply about what power Man City now have. It's about what others might do to try to compete.

It will all end in tears some day you mark my words.

A bit like being manager at Newcastle - allegedly.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Painting The Town Red? Or Blue?

We don't need no Premiership.

We don't need no Champion's League.

We've got - the Johnstone Paint Trophy competition!

This will be the first time we have ever had the opportunity to compete as it is only open to Leagues One and Two.

And of course, as we know, this is the first time EVER we have been outside the top two tiers.

So I'm looking forward to our first match against Hartlepool tomorrow night.

Let's hope we can play some "Dulux" football and move a step closer to claiming the "Crown".

Yes alright I know that was lame. But in truth it is hard to get excited about anything called a paint trophy isn't it?

Far more exciting is the drama emerging around Mr Berbatov. Following Man City's late bid today I wonder what he will decide.

Imagine Fergie's face if Sparky wins the day.