Monday, 31 March 2008
So Mr Discipline is having a bit of trouble with the rules. The rules of the law in this case.
Of course I'm not making any judgement about culpability. It may all be a terrible mistake. He does seem to come to the notice of the authorities from time to time though.
Oh and I have found out something else about Mr Capello. For it would seem that his first speech on becoming England manager was not all his own work. Still, you can see where the disciplinary influence comes from.
His approach is not all 'stick' . He is also trying some 'carrot', teaching football through art - allegedly. He's certainly a force to be reckoned with when he gets cross about something though.
I can't help thinking there is more to him than meets the eye. And I know there are others who have questions about him too.
I guess we will simply have to wait and watch and see.
Sunday, 30 March 2008
Never mind worrying about the risk to players of injury through reckless tackles.
What about the dangers faced by football fans?
Lee Weston, a lifelong Foxes fan, gave himself a heart attack when he got over excited in a match recently.
He is not unique. Research has shown a surge in heart attacks amongst football fans during pressurised situations.
No danger of getting over excited watching this afternoons Liverpool derby though I have to say. Pretty uninspiring really. I wish I'd watched the Tottenham/Newcastle match instead. Never mind - we've still got MOTD later.
In the meantime I'm sure you will join me in wishing Mr Weston a speedy recovery.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
It's a sad day for Derby fans. I can hear them crying from here.
They are out on the streets protesting as we speak.
Engaging in mindless violence.
Not that I'm being too smug. Delighted as I am that we won today, I also know we are not safe yet.
Good win for the Arse too. Delighted they beat Bolton. Looking forward to playing Mr Megson and his gang next season.
Man U still on fire. Sunderland dancing in the streets. Reading relieved to have at least secured a draw, especially after having a man sent off.
I'd like to say I am sitting down to watch MOTD later but I've had a better offer.
Anyway, lets spare a thought for Derby.
Friday, 28 March 2008
So then - Scunthorpe tomorrow.
What do we know about them other than that they are fighting relegation, like us.
Well for a start they have only been Scunthorpe United since 1958, when they changed their name from Scunthorpe and Lindsey United.
Since then then have only ever been above Division 1 once - which is of course this season.
And they treat their players like real celebrities. Inviting them to do important this, such as opening a new Travelodge. I mean prestigious or what? Or touring the beautiful sights of their home town on an open top bus.
Those 'scunnys' are also known for their brilliant chants - or so they claim.
Of course not everyone is quite as respectful. In an interview with Posh and Becks, Ali G seemed to suggest that maybe they don't have quite the class of some other teams:
Ali: Now Beckham, do you reckon the better the footballer you is, the fitter the girl you go out with?
Ali: So, you is the best at football, ya know. So you gets Posh. So does Sporty Spice go out with someone from Scunthorpe United?
You can indulge yourself further here.
It's not right to disrespect someone else's team (unless they are Leeds of course) but I can't help thinking, if we don't beat them at home tomorrow, relegation starts to become an almost inevitable reality.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
Needless to say there has been lots of talk about the England football team and their performance last night.
My lover and I have just been chatting about it and we are agreed that people are probably over-egging the negativity. Capello is still new to the set up. He needs to try things out. And what better time than during a friendly. I mean isn't that part of what they are about. A sort of formal practice.
Anyway, now seems a good time to share an idea with you. Its one I have had in my head for a while. I've shared it with a few people but I would like to test it out on you.
I should warn you that its pretty outside the box. So you need to suspend belief for a bit to listen to the concept. All I ask is that you don't dismiss it immediately. Try to assume it is a good idea and try to think how it might work.
My idea, then, is that you create an additional team in the English football league. That team would be the England squad. They would have a name - maybe the English Lions or St George United.
They would be owned by a small group of businessmen with an interest in promoting England as a brand. Not just one or two but not too many either. Just enough to have an effective decsion-making team.
They would enter the league at the end of a season and join the playoffs in the Championship. They would have to win their way through to a place in the Premiership. If they failed they would have to stay in the Championship for however long it took them to move up to the next tier.
Once in the Premiership they would play like any other team. Week in week out they would be competing against the best in the world.
As they rise (hopefully!) up through the table, they will not only be developing as individuals, but also as a team. If they reach the top they will probably be the best team in the world.
And completely stuff everyone when they play at international level.
There - you can unsuspend your disbelief and see where it leaves you.
If it ever happens, remember this.
You heard it here first.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
I'm deliberately not going to mention the you-know-what game tonight. It's simply too depressing isn't it? And Becks yellow carded too.
Anyway, like I say, I'm not going to mention it.
Instead I thought I would tell you about Joanna Trollope.
In addition to being an author of some renown, she, like me, is a girl who has come to football late in life.
The downside of course is that she is a Chelsea supporter. Not all of us can make good choices I guess.
Being a girl football fan is not as unusual as some lead us to believe either. In fact if you scroll down to section 9 in that last link, you will see that in 2001 Leicester City had the largest proportion of female fans in the top flight.
Like I said I make good choices.
And the myth that girl fans are somehow better behaved than boys is soon dispelled when you get to see some of their antics.
Drinking only serves to make things worse.
So then, what have we learned tonight? It seems to be that being a foxy old trollope with a bit of life in you and a passion for football is a good thing.
I think that's where we ended up anyway.
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
David Wheater (who bizarrely looks as if he could be Ian Dowie's son) has been called up for the England squad. The Middlesbrough player is said to be delighted at his selection and has promised to take his autograph book to get David Beckham's signature.
According to teammate George Boating he is renowned for being a bit star-struck;
"He comes in with these autograph books and asks players to sign. I say 'Go away, I'm your colleague now'".
And his manager Gareth Southgate fears it may all go to his head;
"He deserves it. I haven't seen him yet - I think he is on an open-top bus in Redcar."
My lover and I have got a little bit of "I wanna be famous" going on. Not masses - just a bit. In fact tonight we have been to find out about broadcasting a radio show on our local community radio, which has just got a licence.
We will be developing ideas for a show over the next couple of days so if you have any suggestions we would love to hear them. Of course I will ensure that Leicester City get the odd mention. It might even present an opportunity to convert some more girls to the beautiful game.
Don't worry though. I promise not to stop 'blogging' even if I get famous. How else could you keep up to date with the whirlwind that is football?
Monday, 24 March 2008
I've been to Hay on Wye today with my lover.
For any of you not familiar with the town, it is famous, amongst other things, for its bookshops.
The other thing it is famous for is having its own, self declared king.
It has been a weekend that has smiled on those of royal descent in the football world too. King Kev celebrates his first win at Newcastle. The Royals got a much needed win against Birmingham. And Becks is back in the England squad (Revision tip: Becks is a god).
Maybe that is what Leicester is lacking. Some royal blood.
Do you think maybe if someone kissed Ollie, he would turn into a handsome prince?
Sunday, 23 March 2008
I feel as if I have been completely engulfed in football one way or another this weekend. I've lived and breathed it.
Today, sustained by only three and a half pints of beer, a packet of mini cheddars and some scampi snacks my lover and I sat down to watch this afternoon's marathon.
We were at the pub at the bottom of the road of course. Watching it on the big screen.
I got chatting to a bloke at the bar at half time during the first match;
Bloke at bar: You don't see many Leicester City shirts round here (I was sporting mine of course - well you can't watch football without it can you?)
Me: Who do you support then?
Bloke at bar: Liverpool. I was brainwashed by my dad
Me: They aren't playing very well are they
Bloke at bar: No. I don't care as much as I used to. I used to get worked up because I was brainwashed by my dad
I felt sorry for him. I wouldn't have wanted to be a Liverpool fan today. They were woeful. And as for Mr Mascherano, it's a shame his dad didn't brainwash him into having better manners.
I got a bit fidgety during the second match (I'm not good at sitting still for long periods of time). I wanted the Arse to win but it wasn't to be and I think on balance Chelsea did deserve the victory.
All hotting up at the top now though isn't it.
As for the man at the bar today, he might have wished he wasn't a Liverpool fan and blamed his dad but I wonder what would have happened if my dad had worked harder at brainwashing me.
I'd have ended up as an lover of egg chasers and missed out on the ....er ... joy of supporting Leicester City Football Club.
Life could have been so much less painful........................................
Saturday, 22 March 2008
The sun was out - the shirts were blue
There wasn't a cloud to spoil the view
but now it’s raining - raining in my heart
The Foxes needed to win today
But they went and gave the game away
and so it’s raining - raining in my heart
Oh, misery - misery
we're only just clear of the bottom three.
I'll tell those blues put on a show
Or else my tears are bound to flow
'cause it’s raining - raining in my heart
It’s raining - raining in my heart
Yes, it’s raining - raining in my heart
Friday, 21 March 2008
In accordance with my pursuit of broadening my learning about the beautiful game, I have been to see a Conference League match today.
My local team is Forest Green Rovers, who were at home to Woking today. So off we trotted, my lover and I, my lover wearing a pair of my purple tights under his trousers (should I be worried I wonder?)
I thought at one point I might get in for free when the car park official mistook me for Stuart Fleetwood's mother. He rumbled me though when he spotted my Leicester City shirt.
The experience was a bit confusing in some ways because although FGR are my local team, we met up with three friends of my lover, led by Luton Andy, who are Woking fans. So I found myself in the away supporters end.
I think it would be fair to say it was not quite like a visit to The Walkers. For a start off the pitch was just a few feet away. Indeed, the warm up period was something of an ordeal, with the threat of a wild ball heading your way at any moment. These fears proved well founded when at half time a stray ball hit a woman carrying a pie, a cone of chips and two coffees. Strangely, she did not seem to find the spectacle of these items flying into the air and landing on the floor nearly as funny as the rest of us.
I was treated to a running commentary from behind by a Woking fan, who clearly missed his vocation as the team manager. Expressions such as "They need to do something with the ball once they have got it" and "Make space, make space" rang in my ears.
And then there was the referee. Who was a girl! Despite the fact that all the players were bigger than her, the Woking team in particular (blimey what do they feed them on Surrey?), she took no messing.
There is something a little bit sexy about bossing all those boys about whilst you run around in shorts don't you think?
Anyway FGR won with a creditable 2 -1 final score. As we left, a lone female steward stood facing us with her back to the pitch, presumably to stave off a mass pitch invasion from the 50 or so Woking fans who had made the trip.
The rest of the day was spent with my new friends, talking about - yes you've guessed it - football. And other stuff too of course. It was a great opportunity to watch boys 'doing' football up close though. One of the three football musketeers, Bruce Grove, told a great story of how years ago he watched Jimmy Greaves score an amazing goal. Several years later Greavesie was signing books at a local shop and he took the programme from the game and got him to sign it.
Now that really is up close and personal!
Thursday, 20 March 2008
Have you noticed how small print these days is getting smaller? And even less small print is getting smaller? In fact I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that lots of things in the world are getting harder to see.
What do you mean go and get your eyes tested Georgina? Are you suggesting it might have something to do with my age?
Well I can understand why you might suggest that. But you see I have good evidence for thinking its not just me.
We have been aware for some time that Mr Wenger and Mr Ferguson are struggling. Even Avram Grant has succumbed.
And we all know that there are a significant proportion of referees with sight deficiencies.
Now I'm a girl who believes in celebrating diversity and I am passionate about finding ways to enable people with disabilities. But if you have this much trouble at home, should you really be refereeing a football match?
It would be good to think there can be a place in sport for those with eyesight problems. Already we have linesmen who sometimes pick up the wrong flag on their way to the match. And the Blind World Cup Football tournament is proof that anything is possible.
They say that disability is made by those around us. If we all only had one arm we would structure our world around us to respond to that. But because the world is, in the main, geared up for so called 'normal' people (if such a thing exists) those who are 'different' have to somehow try to fit in.
So I have been giving some thought as to how we might 'enable' some of these football managers and referees to be able to operate better in the football world.
Maybe it is a colour issue. After all one symptom of this condition is the ability to see fouls by the other team but not your own. Presumably then if you managed a team in a different colour, the problem would be solved. For the managers at least.
Or perhaps players should be fitted with a tackleometer which is able to give instant feedback on how hard they have been hit and where. It could have the double advantage of deterring some of the divers as well, who obviously present a trip hazard to those less able to see what's in front of them.
In truth, I'm not sure how you decide if it's you or the rest of the world. After all, there is every chance that when this or this happens, you are blissfully oblivious.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
As I write this post, Man U and Bolton are slogging it out (2 0 to Man U at the moment), whilst Chelsea and Tottenham are battling it out in London (2 1 to the Chels).
The interesting thing about football is that it is so ... erm .... interesting.
For example, with the drama of those two games tonight a fan could be forgiven for focusing all their attention on those arenas.
Yet there are all sorts of other things going on too.
Such as the intensifying speculation about who will be in Capello's next England team. Becks and Walcott are rumoured to be strong candidates, with Lampard and Terry expected to join them having returned after injuries.
There is the Swansea assistant manager who has been arrested for assaulting a Bristol Rover player last night. The raid on Birmingham by the police.
But best of all, there is the voice of God.
Mateja Kezman is planning to become a monk when he leaves football we understand. It is hard to fathom how a shaved head and vow of chastity could be seen as the obvious next career move but ... hey ... who am I to judge?
So I shouldn't be surprised then that sometimes it is hard to settle on just one thing to post about.
Good job I'm a girl and can multi-task.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
I have never written to an Agony Aunt before but I think I may have a problem and I don't know who to talk to.
It started about a year ago. It was a joke to begin with, as these things often are. I was just experimenting. I thought I could stop at any time and would always be in control.
And for a while I was. Some days I hardly got involved at all. When I did I always had lots of other things going on to prevent me becoming too hooked.
But recently I am finding I have started to think about it more and more. Even when I am not actually 'doing' it, thoughts about it creep into my mind.
For example yesterday I went to see a great band. They were really rocking. And yet all I could think about was what was going on in the Newcastle/Birmingham match. It got so bad I sent my son an emergency text begging him to give me an update. Fortunately he responded fairly quickly otherwise I don't know what I would have done.
And tonight, instead of coming home and dreaming about what delicious delicacy my lover is going to cook me up for my tea I couldn't wait to get on the computer to find out the latest football news.
I have started to have panic attacks at the thought of Leicester getting relegated. I yell out loud when I am watching football on the television. I plan my weekend activities around what time various matches are on. I even dreamt that I was playing in a match the other night and scored a goal and everyone loved me.
My lover is getting worried too. He says arranging vegetables on my plate in a 4-4-2 formation is not normal behaviour. He got very cheesed off the other day when I suggested a penalty shoot out to decide who's turn it was to make the bed and has point blank refused to consider the possiblity of changing ends halfway throught the night.
Worst of all, even though I am writing to you, I don't really want to stop. If anything I want more.
Please please can you help me? I need to know if this is normal when you are a football fan or if I am going to need some sort of therapy.
Monday, 17 March 2008
It's a big night tonight for some. Namely Newcastle and Birmingham.
Newcastle, apparently, do not have Thierry Henri playing for them, but do have Michael Owen, who apparently needs his team mates to do their bit in order to score. Presumably then Henri could win games on his own.
I'd be down at my local watching it for sure if I didn't already have tickets to see this lot.
At the moment I feel as if I am surrounded by people who support teams under the looming threat of relegation. Me and all my fellow Foxes fans. My lover and Reading. Mosher (you feel like an old friend already) and Newcastle. I guess those of you who have been around for a while would say that is what being a football fan is all about - living with the downs as well as the ups.
I do wonder what will happen if Newcastle lose. Although I am not a big KK fan and feel Big Sam was badly treated, I also recognise that when the rot has set in it takes a while to turn things around (as at Leicester City). You wonder if the Board will feel they have no choice but to take action if tonight does not yield the desired result.
As for the Foxes, I hope Steve Howard's view that we are finally on the up is borne out in our performances over the next few weeks. The alternative leaves me with a sort of sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I must hold my nerve though. Imagine if I lost it and it drove me to this.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
Isn't it amazing how football can change your mood. Almost turn it on a sixpence (or five pence piece if you were born post-decimalisation).
I began yesterday feeling like this, wondering how the Foxes would fare, knowing how desperately we needed a win.
I was half expecting to feel like this by the end of the day. Or possibly this. A really bad loss might even had resulted in this.
Instead, when I heard we were 2 - 1 up I began to feel like this. Our third goal brought this reaction. And number four this.
I still have a smile on my face this morning.
Friday, 14 March 2008
You'll all be relieved to know I am back.
It's like I always said. Give a Reading fan a blade of grass and they take a football pitch.
Thanks to those of you who have been leaving comments. I was beginning to think I was at an Arsenal match it was so quiet.
Anyway, one of these comments by a new reader, Colin Randall, himself a football blogger, challenged my fervent Foxes fanship (try saying that when you've had a few) on the basis that I show too much interest in and favour towards other teams.
It made me think about a conversation I had with my lover recently about the prawn sandwich brigade, some of whom (allegedly) change allegiance on a regular basis (only amongst the top four clubs of course).
The sort of think a member of the "prawn sandwich brigade" might say is:
"I think I'll support Chelsea next year. It will be nice to watch a team playing in a different colour for a change."
"I chose Manchester United because the parking at the ground is easier than at Liverpool"
As you know I am fairly new to football and have only been a Leicester City fan for about a year. You might wonder therefore how deep the roots of my loyalty really go. I have to confess to asking myself the same question with the threat of relegation looming so large.
I jokingly suggested that if they are relegated I would choose a different team. As I did so I had this really weird feeling. Like guilt. As if I had committed adultery or was at least contemplating it. I quickly realised that I could no more support another team than change sex. Even after such a short time and all the trials and tribulations, I'm a Foxes girl through and through.
But my journey has been about learning to love football and that has included learning to appreciate good football. So inevitably I have watched other teams play and bizarrely (although I don't believe for a minute I am unique in this) have found myself forming opinions and a level of allegiance on the scantiest of evidence.
None of these views would stand up to much scrutiny or analysis but here is my take on the Premiership teams:
Arsenal: I have a love for them because sometimes they play really really beautiful football. I don't like the persona Wenger presents in public but I do think he is a great and passionate manager. And of course my son loves them so I have an understandable affinity
Man U: How could you not love the football they play? I am much less keen on Fergie though even though I know he is a god in many ways.
Liverpool: I feel less pull to them although I love Crouchy
Chelsea: I can't love them Mourinholess
Newcastle: I'm sorry Mosher. I can't love a team who think KK is groovy and look like a packet if mint humbugs
Reading: I have to like them because my lover does. I do sort of - they have an underdog appeal don't they
Everton and Blackburn: Like 'em a bit. No idea why
Sunderland and Tottenham: Well there's Roy Keane and Ramos - yum!
Man City: I have to confess to finding Sven just a little bit sexy..........
Birmingham, Aston Villa and West Ham: No feelings either way
Portsmouth: Not sure really. Harry is a bit too much of a wide boy for my liking
Middlesbourgh and Wigan: Seem a bit dull
Fulham and Derby: I'm sorry. You can't love the unloveable.
Bolton: May they die a horrible death
Yet despite these strange affinities, I couldn't support any of them. Not like Leicester.
No - there is no doubt about it. Given the choice between a pie and a prawn sandwich I'll take the pie every time.
Thursday, 13 March 2008
GB is still away. Off on an important conference in Torquay. I'll say a little prayer she doesn't mention the war.
George will be back tomorrow.
In football news, Mr Chimbonda missed a penalty in the UAFA Cup last night. I don't know much about this guy, but he's hated on the media ?
Could it be that he's a fan of these items. And all those Macho boys think its not manly ?
I'm sat here listening to 5 live and the Bolton Match. It's nil nil at the moment. Imagine, Mr Megson (he who did the dirty on you Foxes) may be our (England) sole rep in that competition after tonight. He's put the reserves out too.
I hope they win. This means their attention to the Prem may become diverted. This means the Royals may survive. I pray they do. Been worried since Christmas. I hardly dare talk about it.
Just to finish up, driving home from work this evening, I heard on TS that Alan Brazil was nicely warmed up in the TS Hospitality Unit. There is a book being run on whether he'll make the morning show tomorrow. He sounded rough this morning. God knows what tomorrow will bring.
I think Alan is a very able and warm broadcaster. I imagine people worry about him privately. He has three lovely children apparently.
Sadly, I see trouble ahead and, in my head, this tune is playing.
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Georgina is away playing. When I say playing, I mean she is playing her guitar with her music teacher. Her lover, is deputising on here tonight.
The guitar is a great instrument. Georgina has built on her knowledge of playing a violin as a child and remembered hard-won muscle memory and honed her voice into becoming a bit of a country diva. Her guitar teacher, George is a self -deprecating man of talent and energy. They play together really well. Better, probably than Georgina and the Bear play together.
This means I'm allowed to talk about football for a bit.
So, I love it that there are four teams from England in the quarter finals of the Champions league. Despite everything ; hardly any English players, tantrums, too much money and silliness.
I'm sad Leicester lost last night. I haven't read a match report but it's a sorry tale to hear about at the moment. I want them to do well for my girl's sake ! When I've been to The Walkers, it's always been rocking.
Do people believe in Holloway anymore.....please say ?
I'm happy Reading seem to be picking up a bit. Mr Madejski (despite what you may have heard) is an ok dude and a man who is business first.....and.....football madness....comes.....a distant second.
Measured passion. The best sort ?
I'm sad Georgina doesn't get to see this guy so often. Whenever she thinks of him, it goes straight to her head and heart. Oh no...sorry....wrong Jose'
To all you people who read this, keep visiting. George loves it when you comment.
Finally, and just because I can, I wanted to show you this.
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
I have to say I am someone who believes you should face up to your responsibilities and the consequences of your actions.
For example, if you are going to infer that a referee is not just incompetent but bias, then you must be prepared to justify such a slanderous allegation.
You have to be willing to stick to your decisions, even if it means you are freefalling down the Premiership.
Or steel yourself for a blasting from Alex McLeish if you choose to attack one of his players.
And of course if you are going to make babies, you should be prepared to sacrifice even the most important of matches to be at the birth.
Not that there aren't times when people speak up and appear to be showing courage but in fact the sub-text reads something different. Like when your Board make a public declaration of support for you. Then you know you really are in trouble.
Monday, 10 March 2008
I've been to Aldi's today (see how exciting my life is) to buy some shelves.,
"What's that got to do with football?" I hear all you eager girls (and maybe some boys) say.
Well I think we can make some use of the theme of shelves don't you?
Such as who will be left on the shelf at the end of the season? Who are the managers who have been sent packing this season and haven't found a new club to love them?
Well there is Mad Dog Allen, who appears to have left the party all together. Iain Dowie may well find he is still attracting dust as he patiently waits for someone to ask him to dance. Martin Jol may well need to consider taking up knitting unless he has a miraculous change of fortune. And a club that doesn't mind their players eating a few pies.
Talking of pies, there's Big Sam of course. Mourinho is still not working either but he has been courted by many so that doesn't count.
And what about Hicks shelving his talks with the Dubai group?
Or Barnsley's and Cardiff's top shelf performances this weekend? (or should that be top drawer....)
Anyway, that's enough of that. I think it is time to shelve this topic.
I'm off to clean my cupboards.
Sunday, 9 March 2008
What a weekend it has been.
"Surprising Saturday" and "Day of the Underdogs" are two of the descriptions I have heard.
As if Barsnley's heroic win over Chelsea wasn't enough yesterday, Cardiff have made it a double by beating Middlesborough, who looked a complete shambles. Even Portsmouth's triumph over Manchester United was against predictions.
You have to wonder what on earth is going on. Is the gap between Premiership and Championship football narrowing? Is the passion for the FA cup competition and all it represents burning far stronger in the second division and below?
Whatever the reasons, everyone is saying it is one of the most exciting FA competitions ever.
I think there's something quite exciting about the football underclasses rebelling against the status quo.
Let's hope they don't lose their heads like the last leader of a peasant's revolt.
Saturday, 8 March 2008
I have to say if I was a Barnsley fan this evening I would be feeling very proud.
It's not just the fact that they won against all the odds. It was the spirit with which they played.
You could tell at various points in the game that they lacked the skill of a Premiership team. But they more than made up for this by their shared hunger, determination, self-belief. They played as if their lives depended upon it.
My lover is celebrating too because Reading pulled off a desperately needed win.
I hope he is feeling benevolent as a result. I'm in desperate need of some TLC after another disappointing result. We need to start playing for our Championship lives.
Hopefully both Ollie and my lover have some tricks up their sleeves to soothe my troubled soul.
Friday, 7 March 2008
I have to confess to being a bit worried about things in The Foxes' camp at the moment, particularly after reading Ollie's column this evening.
There is quite a lot open to interpretation if you read between the lines.
For example, his response to the enquiry about his relationship with Milan was a little evasive I thought. And although I am not unsympathetic to his comments about luck, there is a touch of desperation in them in my view.
Inheriting a problematic situation can bring excitement. It presents challenges to be overcome and the opportunity to prove your worth by achieving success. But it can also be a poisoned chalice.
That Ollie inherited a problematic situation is not in dispute. Performance was consistently poor, there was an apparent lack of both fitness and motivation and the team had been effectively rudderless for a number of months.
He is clearly working hard to a plan to bring the team up to scratch. There have been signs too that they have the potential to become a good side.
There has also been a lack of consistency in the impact of these changes to date however.
And all this places Milan in an invidious position. Leicester City have never been outside the top two tiers in the league. To drop to League One would be unthinkable. On the other hand, the rot is deep and you can't turn that around over night.
My fear is that Milan will conclude he has no option but to sack the current manager, either when the risk of relegation becomes even more imminent, or if the worst happens. Yet probably in his heart he knows that Ollie did the best he could - that anyone could have done - in those circumstances.
It's easy to sit on the sidelines and pontificate. I'm very glad I don't have to face some of the hard decisions that present themselves to the Boards of football clubs.
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Although, as you know, I am quite new to football , life has not been the same since the Special One left the Premiership.
I mean how could you not adore a man with such a sweet little dog?
It's not that I think about him all the time (honest!), but reading the headlines today rekindled all those warm, earthy feelings in me.
In a nutshell, Jose Mourinho is sexiness on legs.
There I have said it.
So just what is sexiness? It is a hard quality to define and subjective, and yet it is something more attributable to some individuals than others. This writer thinks she has nailed it and you could certainly argue that Jose has all of these qualities in abundance.
I'm interrupting this post for a moment because I just need to share something with you. When I am preparing to delight you with my daily submissions I use search engines to help me find interesting articles, videos, images etc. Just now I put in "sex on a stick" because for some strange reason (!) that is what I had in my head. This is where it took me. I mean ...... what??!!
So how do I measure up? Well fortunately I managed to find a website where I can find the answer to just that question. My result was as follows:
70% Your Sex Appeal Is: Extremely High You're very sexy. You just have that certain something that takes over a room. You know how to attract, entice, and keep whoever you want. You are truly appealing.
I'll be interested to see how you fare. Those with a score less than mine need not bother to reply.
Anyway, back to Jose. I can't say I entirely agree with this set of ratings in respect of his sexiness. I am willing to forgive what I consider to be frugal scoring, however, as the site has a fantastic set of pictures of the man.
I need to stop typing now because my palms are a bit sweaty.
Think of me with my eyes closed and a smile on my face, dreaming of you know who...................
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Funny thing pressure.
I mean it is one of those words that has lots of meanings that all mean the same. It is certainly a word we hear a lot about in the world of football.
There is the scientific definition;
"The force applied to a unit area of surface"
(such as that applied to Eduardo's leg causing it to break)
Pressure as an action;
"The act of pressing; the exertion of pressure"
(such as that applied by the forwards of a football team hungry for a goal)
Pressure to be attended to;
"The state of urgently demanding notice or attention"
(like our proximity to the relegation zone)
"The somatic sensation of pressure"
(like the hug Rooney gave Renaldo last night when he scored)
The 'may the force be with you' sort of pressure;
"A force that compels"
(such as the twelfth man provided by a good football crowd)
And of course, the pressure we feel from others;
"To cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means"
(how many managers have 'resigned' in the face of that one?)
Pressure is often seen as a bad thing of course. Associated with stress and anxiety.
It can be a good thing too though. Peer pressure, for example, can be a major contributor to creating an effective team. And you need pressure to create change - whether in the environment or internally.
And of course, without pressure, what good would a whoopee cushion be?
Zikes! Holy handballers Batman!
Those daring crusaders fought off the world last night. The Mancunian Devils nibbled french fancies until they were just crumbs. And The Gunners blew those spaghetti-eating soccer boys out of the water.
But hang on. Counfounding Foxes and Oily Ollyisms! We took our eye of the batball for too long. While we were watching those Europeans take a pounding, our arch enemy, The Joker, was making mischief at The Walkers. 1 -0 to Preston.
This is going to take more than a swift getataway in the batmobile.
And as if there isn't enough dastardly duplicity, I have discovered where one of our other enemies is storing his boots.
In the dingy depths of Fulham something smells fishy. The Penguin is back.
Monday, 3 March 2008
"He's got no skills and walks like Heather Mills"
..... is the chant that has been ringing out on the terraces about Eduardo.
Now this is a girl who is not averse to extracting the urine if you know what I mean. In fact I have been told I am bad for it. By my lover for one.
And I love some of the funny chants fans make up sometimes.
But somehow it seems to become slightly more distasteful when chants are personalised.
I mean how would you feel if you were Andy Hunt?
To the tune of 'When The Saints Go Marching In'...
'Oh Andy Hunt, is good up front,
Oh Andy Hunt is good up front,
He's got a name that rhymes with fanny,
Oh Andy Hunt is good up front'.
He can't help his name after all. (Well actually he could if he was a friend of my son who changed one of his friend's names to "Daddy Fantastic" as his birthday present and now he can't get a job)
Or Sammy Lee when they sang;
'He's fat, he's round,
His arse drags on the ground,
Sammy Lee, Sammy Lee.'
I mean its hardly his fault he was horizontally challenged. (Even if he was a bit of a pie eater).
And as for the suggestion Wayne Rooney can't score goals.......
"He can only score in a brothel
Score in a brothel"
......... well it's just nonsense.
Anyway back to the Eduardo chant. I can see a glimpse of humour way off in the distance but it just doesn't feel funny.
What do you think?
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Happy Mother's Day!
They say, don't they, that no matter how ugly or awful someone is, their mother probably loves them. And in most cases I am sure that is true.
Despite the heartaches it is a real gift to be a mother. It is certainly one of the joys of my life.
It won't surprise you to know, therefore, that mothers are often an important feature in the lives of footballers.
For example, there is evidence to suggest that Arsene Wenger's mother is responsible for steering him towards the Gunners rather than any other team as a child. I mean look what she named him for goodness sake!
And even if they have not influenced them in a particular direction, footballer's mother's can sometimes provide us with an insight into what has inspired their offspring. Kevin Keegan will certainly be hoping Berbatov's mother's belief her son has Newcastle running through his heart will help him attract the Bulgarian player to the club in the summer.
And the theory that a love of football can be inherited seems to be proved by the fact that Frank Lampard's aunty is married to Harry Rednapp, and their son, Jamie, Frank's cousin, also has a career in the beautiful game.
Of course, the maternal influences have not all been good necessarily. There is a rumour, for instance, that Wayne Rooney's mother is responsible for his distinctive facial features because she fed him too many sprouts as a child. If that is the case, then maybe if I had put more pressure on my children to eat up their greens, one of them would now be a footballing god too. How we mothers let our children down!
And isn't it heartening to know that even one of the most famous football manager's in the world at the moment, Fabio Capello, is still the subject of his mum's worries, not least because she is concerned he may do so well that England triumph over Italy.
At the end of the day, there's nothing like a mother's love.
Saturday, 1 March 2008
We've got some friends coming over for a meal later.
They are both Everton fans apparently. They don't know it yet but we plan to play the Talk Sport Football Quiz with them. Its on DVD and interactive so we can play as teams.
We bought it in the pound shop a few weeks ago. Each round is introduced by one or two of the Talk Sport presenters. It's as cheesy as they come of course but stretching and funny.
Of course, being Saturday I have had my ears tuned to the football world. After listening to the Talk Sport commentry on the Fulham/United match I excitedly awaited the full time results.
And what a day;
Newcastle lost. It can't be. You are in quick sand Kevin. They can't afford to wait. You are about to sink.
Tottenham - what a kicking! What on earth was going on at St James' Park today?
And I hear there were fights on the pitch at the Chelsea match as Avram Grant and his team put two fingers up to his critics.
Oh and I do fear for Arsenal. A narrow miss and only a draw in any event. I have a feeling the Red Devils are going to get the better of them again this season.
Meantime, both my lover and I are celebrating 1 - 0 wins, although the Royals are still languishing in the relegation zone, whereas we are looking a much healthier 17th.
Our guests will of course have to wait before they find out about their fate against Portsmouth tomorrow.