Saturday, 29 November 2008
Oh dear, oh dear!
Have you heard?
Things are looking just a little bit worrying at Sunderland.
What's going on I wonder?
They're in the drop zone you know.
Who would have thought it?
Mosher will be happy.
How are they going to turn it around?
And who will mop poor Roy Keane's tears?
Friday, 28 November 2008
Who would ever have thought that the world of football could be likened to Disneyland?
Well Joe Kinnear for a start.
So if Mickey Mouse is a metaphor for referee Martin Atkinson, what other characters might we identify?
Who, for example, might Sam Allardyce be?
And who would I be?
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Did you know..............
Ronaldo is the 9th most fouled player in the Premiership, despite being injured for the first month of the season
Kevin Davis of Bolton has the current record (serves him right for playing for Bolton I say).
Nicholas Anelka is the highest scorer in the Prem this season
Kevin Nolan of Bolton has had the most red cards in the Prem (see what I mean?)
Well now you do.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Things I like about Wayne Rooney are:
- His work rate on the pitch
- His total commitment to his team when he plays
- The way he looks to Fergie like he's his Daddy (very endearing!)
- He looks a bit like my step-son
- He's a great footballer
- He's hot tempered
- He sets a bad example to young fans on occasions
Not because I think diving is a good thing to do.
He could have simply said nothing though.
I know what you cynics are saying; it was blatant, they had not choice but to say something.
You may be right. But I can think of a few managers who would not have spoken out.
A few who might not even have seen it......................
Too busy appointing a new captain probably.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
I've got something important to tell you.
There's something exciting going on in the Hornet's nest.
My girl's intuition tells me that Mr Brendan Rodgers is a bit of a dude.
True he has not managed a football team before.
But he's knows a man or two who has.
During his time as coach for the reserves at Chel$ea, I'm sure he learnt a thing or two.
And he has brought a bit of wisdom into his team in the form of Frank Lampard Snr.
What impresses me most though is his air of quiet humility.
His description of his new colleague FLS offered a dignified respect;
"He is a football man, an honest man and a loyal man and those are the key qualities you want in someone as a mentor."
I'm telling you - he's the man.
You heard it here first.
Monday, 24 November 2008
I don't know about you but I'm starting to have one or two 'incy' doubts about the Blackburn manager.
It's not just the team's plunging form. It's just hard to feel confident he is on top of the job.
Take this weekend for instance. Apparently he was involved in a bit of half-time argy-bargy in the tunnel with 'Arry's number two.
He's quick to criticize other managers too.
You might argue with a name like Paul Emerson Herbert Carlyle Ince he has always been destined for great things.
I'm just not sure. Something does not feel quite right.
Two things are certain though.
One is he is unlikely to make quiz champion of the year.
The other is he will never be manager of West Ham.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Do you have a pre-match ritual you undertake to try to create good luck for your team?
According to a new study, almost 2 million of us do in this country.
The most popular ritual, indulged by 35 per cent of superstitious fans, is having a lucky pre-match drink (like we need an excuse). Lucky clothing is the next most popular, including certain socks or pants. Others include using the same parking spot every time, praying and even having sex.
I'm not particularly superstitious I have to say but isn't there a bit in all of us that thinks "Well what have I got to lose"?.
So I think I might try a few of these out before our home match against Crewe on Tuesday. Just in case.
I'll leave you to imagine which ones I choose.
Saturday, 22 November 2008
Well it's been a busy and interesting day in the Football League.
A win for the Foxes. A shocking defeat for the Arse. Chelsea held to a draw at home by Newcastle and the come back kids Hull holding Pompey to a draw.
The thrills and spills of the football world never stop do they. Especially for those directly involved
Unless of course you are a WAG who chooses to opt out of mainstream society for a bit and go into the jungle.
Have you been watching "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here"?
I have to say reality TV is not really my thing usually. But against my better judgment I have been drawn into the fascinating dynamics of this series.
Carly Zucker (wife of Chel$ea player Joe Cole) and Nicola McLean (fiancee of the Posh's Tom Williams) have been strutting their stuff. Carly has made less of an impression but Ms McLean has shown herself to be quite a woman. In more ways than one.
She is clearly gutsy and determined. And has the most amazing pair of - as they like to call them on Talk Sport - "lady lumps" (no jealousy there of course).
So while her lover's team was winning 2 -1 against Colchester, she was far more interested in just how much juice does spurt out when you bite into a whichetty bug.
Those things they eat............... Crocodile penis. Fish eyes. Kangaroo testicles.
Please remind me if ever I get famous not, under any circumstances, to be tempted to go on that or any other such show.
Friday, 21 November 2008
So Mr Gallas has lost his captaincy and place in the team as a result of telling tales out of school.
Good decision I would say.
Despite the fact that, if we are honest, most of us are probably secretly fascinated with knowing what goes on behind closed doors, our sense of moral reasoning usually tells us that we all have a right to a degree of privacy.
Breaching that right is only really justified in a whistle-blowing situation in my humble opinion. And this was not that. If I was Wenger and the other Arsenal players I would feel very betrayed by Gallas' actions.
Of course none of this applies to a behind-the-scenes peek at Leicester City FC ..............
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Sulky pants Gallas has got himself in the news again.
This time he is criticising his younger team mates for being - well essentially wimps.
Apparently he is fed up of taking the blame just because he is captain and so has decided it is time to speak out.
This the man who had a major strop at the end of the fateful match with Birmingham last season when Eduardo was injured.
Why has he spoken out now? Well a more cynical person might suggest it is because he has a biography being published in France tomorrow.
I have spoken to my reporter in the field (i.e. my Gooner son) who agrees with me.
Gallas needs a slap.
And Arsenal need a new captain.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
One pearl of wisdom I gleaned from my management course is that every threat is also an opportunity.
Of course a cynic might argue it's a head game to get you to face horrible things.
I guess you'll have to make your own mind up about that.
Applying this theory to England's friendly international against Germany this evening, the lack of Gerrard, Ferdinand, Rooney, Heskey, Walcott et al should be seen as an absolute gift from God (God not having far to send that gift at the moment as he is in Scotland).
All those little wannabes - pretenders to the throne - finally getting their chance.
And Papa Cappello watching on.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
It's a rare thing to be in the presence of a deity.
Which perhaps makes it all the more surprising that Terry Butcher has refused to shake Maradonna's hand - or indeed touch any other part of his body.
Clearly a man who bears a grudge.
And after all, as the holy one explained, whats a little bending of the rules between friend?
It's all a question of perception.
For example what about poor misunderstood Drogba? Given a 3 match ban for throwing a few coins into the crowd.
And Ramos, a man of few words, whose quiet brooding manner was interpreted as not grasping the English language or forming any sort of relationship with his players.
It's a tough old world when people don't understand you.
Monday, 17 November 2008
I was very sad to learn that Geoff Horsfield, who played for The Foxes for a while on loan last year, has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. At 35 he has been told his career is at an end and he has to have an operation.
Brave of him to come out in public and tell people in advance of that in my humble opinion. Dealing with an illness such as cancer is a very personal matter and I do admire people in the public eye who use their experience to try to provide hope and comfort to others.
Talking of comfort, it seems some have very little. For example, Tony Adams is already having a paddy. It's not so much he is stating his position - it's just that I don't see how doing it publicly helps with internal relations. I should have thought criticizing your Board was something you only did out loud as a last resort. At the end of the day they are the ones with the power to sack you.
Somehow I don't expect him to last to the end of the season.
Nor Mark Hughes.
Not so Nigel Pearson though who does seem to have a sense of what needs to happen to ensure we resume our rightful place in the Championship next season. His dignified comments make a refreshing change from Hollow Way's empty chatter.
Which reminds me - apparently HW is hot favourite to become Swindon manager.
All I can say is, after nicking 2 points from us on Saturday, they probably deserve each other.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Football can be a dangerous game as we know, whether injuries are caused accidentally or deliberately.
Of course it is not always possible to distinguish between the two. When does firm tackling become reckless? When does assertive play become aggression?
There has been a debate raging all week in about the head injury sustained by former Foxes star Iain Hume. Whilst I am sure Chris Morgan did not have the intention to break Hume's skull, it sounds as if his behaviour was slipping beyond the acceptable even before the incident.
It's not always such a grey area of course. Sometime physical contact is a deliberate attack.
I wonder if girl footballers are this much trouble.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Today was a stark reminder of the joys of playing in League 1.
Looking around me I came to one conclusion. The County Ground ain't The Walkers Stadium. Not by a long way!
As usual we took a good contingent of away fans - so many they had to spread us between part of one of the stands and the open section (where my lover and I were).
After fantasizing about having a nice pie to warm me up when we arrived, I was pretty gutted to discover they had nothing for vegetarians. The veggie somosas and veggie burgers were out of stock. Can you believe it? I did get a small cupful of chips but its not the same.
First half was really scrappy. The wind was against us and we didn't really string much together. They managed to scare us a couple of times, including a disallowed goal, but we did look slightly the better team.
The second half was much more entertaining and the goals from Oakley and Fryatt a delight. How disappointing then that in the last 15 minutes or so they managed to score twice. Not helped, in my view, by a degree of complacency once we were 2-0 up.
After the elation of being in front, the shock of having it snatched away has left me a bit deflated. But a draw is a draw as they say. And we are back on the top of the league.
Even if I didn't get my pie.
Friday, 14 November 2008
Today marks 50 years in football for Sir Alex.
50 golden years in the beautiful game.
I've posted before about the key part chewing gum has played in him managing his stress.
Mind you, I do think he is a little obsessive about it.
I wonder if he has any regrets.
His split with Becks maybe?
His infamous 'hairdryer'?
More to relish than regret though I suspect.
Happy Anniversary Fergie.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Have you heard the rumour that the Special One might be coming back to England?
It seems he has fallen out of love with the Italian press - or rather they have fallen out of love with him - despite his team being top of Serie A.
Anyway, the gossip is he will come back to manage Manchester City.
Although Mark Hughes seems very unsure about that.
Hard to imagine anyone falling out of love with Mourhino really.
"But what about your lover?" I hear you say.
Well fortunately I have been researching some Mourhino style tips for him.
It might be a challenge though for a man who has vowed never to wear a tie again for the rest of his life.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
It's a shameful thing to admit, but I haven't been to a Leicester match yet this season.
The good news, though, is that I have just purchased my tickets for Saturday's match against Swindon (away).
When I rang to order the tickets I was delighted to learn that they only cost fifteen pounds each.
"Bargain", I thought. "There are some advantages to being in League 1".
My pleasure was short lived, however, when the woman who sold me the tickets added "They're not under cover".
I'm not put off going by this of course. I am a proper football fan after all.
But I can't help hoping that there will be a good supply of hot chocolate and pies to keep me warm as I watch the Foxes stuff the home team.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Big match for the Foxes tonight. At home.
We are playing Yeovil in the League and having one game in hand, if we win we go top of the table.
How good would that feel?
So what is the quality of the opposition?
I think this will tell you all you need to know.
Monday, 10 November 2008
As I was driving home this evening, I listened to a debate on "Talk Sport".
They were talking about an incident at the weekend. Apparently at virtually all the football matches at the weekend a two minute silence was observed.
The exceptions, apparently, were Aldershot, who forgot all together (shocking for a town so central to the Armed Forces!), and Celtic.
According to the report Celtic had 2 minutes applause, for fear the silence would be disrespected. And a small group of fans walked out (or at least threatened to) in protest that the moment was being acknowledged at all.
The tenor of the discussion was that this minority were behaving outrageously and in a racist manner.
It made me thoughtful.
There is no doubt that the Irish (who of course were the original Celtic fans) have had raw deal from the English over the years. Indeed they have at times been oppressed and persecuted by us.
The question is how do you balance moving forward and healing old wounds, with ensuring things don't get forgotten?
It reminded me of the DVD I watched with my lover last night (free with the Sunday Telgraph). It contained graphic scenes from World War 2 and a vivid reminder of the atrocities that occurred during that period.
Is it right to continue to hold German people accountable? By the same token, is there a danger that by not revisiting awful memories we will forget, or worse still repeat the same mistakes again?
We will have a black man in the Whitehouse very soon. Does that mean the era when white people enslaved black people is now at an end and we should simply draw a line under it as an episode in history?
I don't claim to have the answers. Just some measure of the complexities involved.
I am a great believer, though, that we should always seek to make good come from terrible events. Find a way to learn from it for the betterment of mankind.
And never forget.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
I don't know if I have mentioned it before but my lover and I have a show on a local community radio station. We broadcast every other week and the show is two hours of music and chat.
It probably won't surprise you to know that lots of the chat is about football. We try to find out about local sporting events but also chat about the latest stories in the wider footballing world.
Anyway yesterday I took great delight in putting my lover on the spot on air.
I said to him "Put your hand on your heart"
After a bit of moaning he did.
"Now look me in the eye and tell me Steven Gerrard didn't dive" (referring to the so called penalty earlier in the week against Atletico Madrid).
It was one of those rare moments when my lover is lost for words.
It was a shocking display though wasn't it.
Gerrard - or "Saint Stevie of Me" as he is known in our household - is on record as criticizing players who dive. Ruining the game and all that.
Hard to credit someone can be that hypocritical.
Maybe it's called something else when he does it.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
I've had a bit of a nagging feeling for a while now.
A sort of slightly guilty feeling in the back of my mind.
Why? Well I am conscious that my footballing education to date has taken almost no account of Scottish football.
I have of course dabbled around the edges. When Glasgow Rangers 'came to town' in May for example. And the occasional "faux pas".
A couple of things this week though have inspired me to start looking a little deeper. One is that we have a new guy working in the office at the moment. He is a Hearts fan and I have had several conversations with him.
The other is coming across this blog, the author of which is, spookily, also a Hearts fan.
Should I read something into this strange coincidence? Is someone telling me I need to add another team to my watching brief as a way to keep in touch with the Scottish Prem?
Maybe I should just in case.
So what of all my boys this weekend so far then?
Leicester an excellent 3 - 0 win over Stevenage (YIPPEE!)
The Arse triumphant over the ManUre (HOORAY!)
Reading a 3 - 0 thrashing of Derby (WELL DONE!)
Luton only managed a 0 - 0 draw, but hey at least they didn't lose.
A 1 - 0 away win over St Mirran.
That'll do for me.
They are now officially on my tacking radar.
See ye later!
Friday, 7 November 2008
Turn my back for a minute and my lover behaves like a mouse when the cat's away.
Well he needs to look out 'cos I'm back - claws sharper than ever.
Actually he's lucky because he is in my good books tonight.
We had my son and daughter over for supper. It's the first time my boy has met my lover so it was a big night.
My lover was on his best behaviour - to such an extent he managed to last almost the whole evening without saying one bad thing about Arsenal. His one little slip was forgivable, given the high quality of the food he cooked.
Anyway, one of the things we talked about was that I promised to buy my son an Arsenal top. Trouble is he can't decide whether to go for home or away. I offered to buy him the other for Christmas but that doesn't work for him.
Sometimes life is so tough.
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Georgy has had a hard day being important. She sends her apologies to her loyal and interested readers.
This is her Lover.
I'm hoping Liverpool will win the Prem. I'm hoping Reading will be promoted. I'm hoping the Foxes get a chance to show what a great Premiership team they are.......in a few years.
Got lots to look forward to. Even, maybe, a shout at the World Cup. I'm an optimist.
Wouldn't you be if you had Georgy for a girl ? :-)
She'll be back tomorrow after a visit from her Arsenal supporting son and Athiest daughter.
Hope you're all well ? Mosh, latic, Derek, Andy, etc etc
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
As you know I am quite new to football. Indeed those of you who have followed this blog since the start or have tracked back will know that I was initially very unenamoured (I'm not sure if that is a real word but this is my blog so I'm allowed some artistic licence) with the beautiful game.
My journey into my love affair with the world that surrounds this size 5 ball was arguably a little contrived. Which is one of the reasons I am always keen to find out how other fans came to support their teams.
Some, like my son, just see the beauty in it for themselves.
But what I hear mostly is that someone in a fan's childhood led them into that world.
Sometimes it's friends. Sometimes an older sibling.
But often it is a father or grandfather.
What made me think of this today was seeing some publicity about the "Grandparent of the Year" award.
Age Concern and Specsavers are running the competition and want people to nominate a grandparent for the award.
If I'd had a grandad - or grandma - who had taught me to love football, I would definitely have nominated them.
What better gift could you give a child?
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
There are some people with pretty cool names in football.
Like Arsene Wenger being called after the team he manages
On the other hand, there are definitely names you can wake up in the morning and feel really glad they're not yours.
Like Dean Windass (Hull City player)
Talking of things to be glad about, keeping your job as a manager seems to be something to aim for at the moment.
Ramos. Ternent. Boothroyd.
Question is will I be feeling glad at the end of tonight's Johnstone Paint Trophy against Rotherham?
Monday, 3 November 2008
Do you remember the story of David and Goliath?
You know the one where little David beats the mighty giant Goliath using just a sling.
Well in case you hadn't noticed, there is a modern version of David in the Premiership.
He goes by the name of Rory Delap.
Slayer of Premiership giants such as Aston Villa, Tottenham, Sunderland and now the Arse.
Looking at other stories about giant killers such as David and also Jack (as in Jack the Giantkiller) they have a tendency to end up with someone's head getting cut off.
Talking of which, despite his team's win this weekend, I could predict at least one head in the Premiership I think may well roll before too long.
Fingers crossed eh!
Saturday, 1 November 2008
The day after Halloween, there were a few frights and scares for some in the League.
The Foxes, who went 0 - 1 down to Bristol Rovers in the 61st minute but were then rescued by Matty Fryatt in the 87th and 90th minutes.
The ManUre, who despite dominating their match, had to fight of a challenge from the indomitable Hull City.
And a few horrors for others.
The Arse getting duffed up by Stoke.
Liverpool being beaten at the 11th hour by Tottenham.
And a humiliating defeat for Sunderland at the hands (or should that be feet) of Chel$ea.
Seems there must have been some powerful magic around....................................