Thursday, 19 August 2010

It'll All Come To A Sticky End


Is it my imagination, or is there an increasing polarisation between clubs in the football league? There are those seeking to grow at a pace in line with their means, such as Blackpool, Aston Villa and Arsenal. Those who have Sugar Daddies and so disconnected from the real world. And teams which see borrowing on the promise of future return as the road to success, such as Manchester United, Portsmouth and Liverpool?

Are the teams working to the more modest approach being over-cautious and risk averse?

What happens when the Sugar Daddies move on?

And are the gamblers simply reckless and heading for a fall?

It makes me think of three people sitting opposite each other.

One is sucking an old fashioned toffee.

One is filling their mouth with sweets.

And the third is blowing a massive bubble gum bubble.

Bigger and bigger and bigger.

Until..................................

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Here Come The Boys



I'm looking at a bunch of Spurs fans on the screen on my living room wall.

HD certainly shows up every tiny detail of those miserable little faces as their men get a kicking from the Young Boys.

No doubt City's manipulation of the situation with Craig Bellamy to prevent any other Premiership team getting the benefit of his talents, whatever the attitude problems that come with that, feels particularly galling to 'Arry this evening when he could have done with a solid performance from the Boy Wonder.

I have mixed feelings about Manchester City.

I can't warm to Mr Mancini, but there are quite a few players there I really like - Tevez, Wright-Philips, Hart, Adebayor.

And Eastlands was one of the stadiums we visited on our recent travels.

Probably my favourite one. Nice design and I really liked the circular external towers. I felt grand, but not too ostentatious (right photo).

Unlike Old Trafford, which I think reflects the international nature of its following; big, powerful, masculine but lacking something personal somehow.

It didn't feel part of the surrounding environment however.

Other than a row of very tacky shops, all painted red (right photo), just around the corner, the stadium sat alone.

Anyway, back to the trials of 'Arry. His boys are now back in the game with a couple of goals.

Onwards and upwards!

Monday, 16 August 2010

I Don't Believe It!


Welcome back for the new term everyone.

I have so much to tell you.

We are just back from a caravan holiday in the North West.

And visits to lots of football grounds.

From the Theatre of Dreams to lowly Chester's ground, rising like a phoenix from the ashes.

Combine that with the season kicking off, I'm like a pig in clover.

So much to think, talk and write about.

But of all the drama and stories of this new season - the departures of Martin O'Neil and Steve Coppell, the change of ownership of Leicester City, the 6 -0 pounding of WBA by Chelsea to name but a few - the best has to be the fairy tale start for Hollow Way's brigade.

We visited Bloomfield Road.

It's ..... erm .... all looking a bit nip and tuck over there at the moment.

Builders crawling all over the place, and the ground exposed to the world due to a gaping hole due to become a new stand. (actual photo from ML's phone-taken about 10 days ago)

On Saturday afternoon, My Lover and I listened with one ear phone each to the Five Live commentary of the Wigan Blackpool match on my mini radio, as we enjoyed a lovely cruise across Lake Windemere.

We can both already perform a creditable imitation of IH in a press interview. The trick is to include at least one reference to his wife and one to his dog to sound authentic.

And a bit of "Oooo Arrrrrr" going on of course.

We cheered when Blackpool scored first, to the amusement of our fellow passengers.

We looked at each other open-mouthed when the second went in.

The third merited a punch in the air.

And the fourth was followed by much chanting and whooping with laughter as we drove back to our campsite.

Top of the Premiership, if only for a few hours.

I bet Mr H is covered in bruises from pinching himself the next day.

It's all about as believable as their ground being finished on time.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Lets See If It's True


Is a great line from this song.

And tomorrow is when it all starts.

This time tomorrow I'll be in a field somewhere need Chorley, Lancashire, with My Lover, playing guitars.

We are going to explore the local sights of course.

Bury market.

Old Trafford.

Anfield.

Eastlands.

And maybe even a "Kiss-Me-Quick" in Hollow Way country.

There'll be fish and chips.

Banter, Beer and Busking.

It doesn't get better than that!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Last Chance Saloon?


HL again this evening.

In my opinion, one of the recurring themes of this blog seems to suggest the idea that simple, one dimensional solutions to problems do not work. And that football, like many other aspects of modern life, is often victim or martyr to public opinion, public outcry or public condemnation.

Often such open debate is characterised by passion, hatred, biased-opinion, love, gobshitery and outright foolishness.

Never more so than in the current shambles surrounding Marlon King.

Ask yourself, is it OK for a man to attack a woman, be found guilty in a Court of law, go on to show little remorse for his crime, serve 9 months in custody and arrive back in the community to the open arms of the good people at Coventry City?

Me ? I'm not sure.

Let's see what GB thinks...........

..............

GB here.

My view?

Well I have a fundamental belief that anyone can make a change if they really want to and have the right support.

I also know there are some who don't want to.

I don't think there's much doubt about which camp Mr King sits in.

What a crazy world we live in.

So much better in the good ol' days, when people knew how to deal with a problem once and for all.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Silly Season

Football has taken a low profile in this house over the last few weeks. A few brief moments of interest for me.

Roy Hodgson's arrival at Anfield, subsequent welcome to Joe Cole too.

It's HL tonight btw.

GB is still alive and kicking, I've not done away with her.

She may have something to say if I prod her hard enough, however. Let's see!

"OK! OK!"

I probably can be coaxed out momentarily.

Not least as I have been shamed by Sandy for my recent poor performance.

"I looked at your blog", he said.

" Oops!", I thought, "I've been rumbled".

"I've just felt a bit disengaged with it all. After the World Cup and everything", I said feebly.

"Never mind", he comforted, "only 3 weeks until it all starts up again. I've had all my telly's serviced ready".

And somehow, I believe him.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

My Ding-a-ling


"You've fallen out of love with football haven't you?", said My Lover a few days ago.

I was shocked by his question but denied he was right.

It made me think though.

Unable to face posting on my blog for days at a time (first time in the 2 and a half years I have been writing it). Not wanting to even think about it.

Even Sandy has not been able to engage me in discussion.

I felt the end of my blog may well have arrived.

It's been a joyless time.

But as I walked to my train this evening, I made a firm decision to write a post this evening.

Isn't that what true love is all about about?

Fidelity and faith.

I would do nothing less for my lover, my children and my guitar.

And in my heart I know, football too.

So lets get at it girls.

And to kick off, what's the difference between Sepp Blatter and a boy's favourite toy?

Not much it would seem.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

It Is Now!


It's HL tonight. GB is still reeling from the aftershock of her first failed World Cup campaign, the loss of Fox's manager ( a man in whom she believed) and, worst of all, living with a bloke who believes LFC are going to win the Premiership next season.

So, it's all over; the big 4 yearly adventure, Fabio's Folly or, as it's become known in our house, the cultural event that must not be talked about.

For it is like a death of many cuts. The TV adverts are still in place. Red and White displays proliferate supermarket shelves and BBQ's have become fashionable again. Every foray outside the house brings one into contact with our national failure. Broken roads and public cut-backs to (now) sporting disaster and broken hearts.

Those in charge (as ever) say lessons need to be learnt. Fresh blood, new structures and a different approach called for.

Frankly, I'm bloody fed-up with it and I have other fish to fry.

Until the next time of course.

HL

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Sure As Eggs Is Eggs


I feel the need to indulge in a little self flagellation.

That's better.

Meanwhile, back with Laurel and Hardy.

What's that?

Time to move on?

You're right of course.

Time to start thinking about My Lover's simmering excitement at the appointed of his royal Hodgsonness to his beloved Liverpool.

He hasn't yet said the immortal words "I think this will be their season. Georgina, prepare to witness the renaissance of the Liverpool football team".

But he will.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.", Martin Luther King, 1963

"The ultimate measure of a football blogger is not whether she posts in times of triumph, but the quality and frequency of her writing in times of trouble", Georgina Best, 2010

One of us managed to live up to our ideals......................

To be fair though, (as they say in footballing circles), I do have good reason to be miserable.

Like English fans everywhere, I am left feeling cheated and somewhat bewildered by our dismal performance. Which we watched here.

Which reminds me;

Q. What's the difference between a tea bag and the English football team?

A. A tea bag stays in the cup for longer

Boom Boom!

Then, woe is me!

Our beloved Nigel has deserted us.

It's all enough to break a girl's heart.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

We Thought It Was All Over............................


Apologies for being absent for a few days.

For the first couple of days this week I found I just couldn't bear to dwell too long on our World Cup prospects.

I had to work yesterday afternoon so was not able to watch the match live. The truth is, though, I wasn't that sorry. I watched the match when I got home, in the safe knowledge that we won. I think the anxiety of watching it live would have been just too much!

My friend Sandy, despite being Scottish, has been very understanding and supportive of my pain.

Every day we discuss the recent matches, the England gossip and forthcoming ties.

He rang me immediately after yesterday's win.

"I think England will go on to win the World Cup now", he said.

Who am I to argue?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

How Very Dare They


As I write this, I am somewhat distracted by the sight of Adebayor on my 42", looking very hot.

Surrounded by a very much less hot - indeed positively luke warm, Alan Shearer and Alan Hanson.

Talk about a rose between two thorns.

Emmanuel, the man who managed to do well at Manchester City, no less.

Unlike Robinho, who is clearly performing much better at international level.

And spare a thought for Kaka. Victim of an outrageous disgrace.

Talking of outrageous disgraces, how did Graham Taylor ever get to be manager of the England football team?

I heard him on the radio today.

The best he had to offer was a one-dimensional analysis of the England team's performance to date in the World Cup.

And then I hear the English FA have announced that they expect Capello to resign if we get knocked out at this first stage.

How very dare they?

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Keeping Up Appearances


Is what GB and I have been doing since last night.

Regular readers will be aware GB has, at times of worry and stress, the capacity to think about other things. An almost obsessive compulsion to be cheerful, bury her head in other issues and to carry on. Very English indeed I'd say.

England, by common consent, were bloody awful? Off the pace, lacklustre and seemingly out of kilter with playing a team game. The consensus in this house? A team frightened to express itself and be creative. A team not willing to take risks, yet creating risk situations by very clunky football indeed.

After the match, GB and I just sat on the sofa a bit stunned. After a while she said to me, "I'm going upstairs to read my book.

Sat here, Saturday evening, watching the footy again, she's sat beside me, still ensconced with Stephanie. A radio show behind us this afternoon on Stroud FM has not dented her distraction.

The girl is not happy, dreading the next match, but (as always) keeping up appearances.

I feel the same. Sometimes, it's hard being an England football fan.

HL

Friday, 18 June 2010

Feeling Lucky?


I have a good feeling about the match tonight.

Why?

Well it all started this morning, when I went to the dentist.

I received a letter a few weeks ago, informing me the dentist I have been to for the last 25 years, has retired, and I would be seeing his replacement.

Anyway, I was very impressed when a very handsome man called me into his room.

I entered to find another man, equally handsome. And looking quite similar.

I was handed a pair of goggles, and put on a rather undignified blue plastic bib.

Then they worked together to give me a nice little polish.

And a tissue to wipe away the spit.

Not forgetting the mirror so I could see to wipe away the little bit of polish on my lips.

I think its going to feel a long six months until my next visit.

So, now you can see why today feels lucky.

I wonder why I'm still feeling scared too?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Out Foxed


Tonight, girls and boys, I have been taking part in a football tournament.
.
At an event entitled 'Nosh and Becks'.

An evening of lager, nibbles and a round robin table football competition.

My Lover and I only managed 1 win out of 5.

We were encouraged to wear our home strips.

Surprisingly, I was the only Leicester City fan there.

Anyway, there was a photographer there, and she gathered all those wearing footy shirts together for a photo.

A mass of red descended - two Liverpool fans and a Manure loving girl. Plus a Cheltenham Town fan, a Hereford supporter, and a man wearing a shirt with a picture of a rowing boat, suggesting he supported Crewe Alexandra (??).

"Leicester City?", said one of the Liverpool fans. "What have you ever won?".

He then proceeded to reel off a long list of trophies and championships won.

"When did they last win something?", I asked, quietly.

"5 years ago", he responded, apparently expecting me to be impressed.

"Time for some Fox action", I thought.

The photographer gathered us together.

They decided I should go in the middle, being the only one in blue, and because I had a scarf.

And that's when Foxy struck.

I gave each end of the scarf to the two Liverpool fans, and they were forced to hold it in front of us stretched out.

And smile.

Leicester City 1 Liverpool 0

Game over.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

This 'N' That


Someone sent me a great email today.

This is how it goes;

Ladies….Imagine you are in Primark, queuing in single file ,the girl in front of you doesn’t have her purse. To your dismay you then realise that you don’t have your’s either.

A solution is that your friend towards the back of the queue is offering to throw her purse to you. You can’t queue jump until the purse has been thrown to you….once the purse has been thrown, you can quickly dodge the lass in front then confront the assistant on the desk.

That’s right Girls……that’s THE OFFSIDE RULE in a language you understand….

Good huh?

I've got Brazil vs North Korea going on in front of me.

My lover by my side.

Oh and I'm pleased to report my tinnitus is better.

Drowned out by the vuvuzelas.

Monday, 14 June 2010

World Cup Fever!


My interest in football goes back to the late fifties. Liverpool were on the telly a lot and so I supported them. 1966 came and went. I was thrilled we won, but I was just a boy.

(it's HL tonight btw-She's out doing good works promoting young talent ? in the community)

Anyway, a boy who had a crippled Father. A crippled Father who, before his physical abilities left him, was a County standard footballer and cricketer.

So my attempts at joining in with other boys, were not always successful. Confidence in myself was not always high. My eyesight was poor. Measles caused it.

I joined the military, still supporting the reds. Lots of men played football but didn't really talk about it to me that much. My life was taken up by one of these for a while.

And, for nearly 15 years, my head was turned by blokes who did this.

Then

I left the boys in Airforce Blue behind and became a.........Probation Officer

Gradually, through being a bit cerebral now, I got to thinking about the idea that football is actually a really important sociological thing.

A way for people to come together in conflict (with rules) without killing each other.

About 4 years ago. GB and I, fell in love. She didn't know very much about football but a chance conversation about Theo Walcot confirmed she was interested in the soap opera side of it.

I filled in a some of the early gaps and now, 48 months on, she's made herself a reluctant expert on the modern game.

As I've said before on here. I'm glad now to proclaim Girl's can do football. I was wrong. GB has proved this so.

Meanwhile, and a few years on, I'm retired now. I'm basking is a new-found freedom from tyranny,and have enjoyed most of the games on our media system whilst GB slaves away being a CEO.

At half-time in one match, I changed channels and was fascinated to see this guy teaching people how to sell personal treasures for the most money they could get.

My personal treasure is the fact I have a girl who loves football, plays guitar like this and understands the importance of a well-cooked meal.

I wouldn't sell that for the world.

She's gonna be linked to a big site soon. Watch out for further news.


HL

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Many Heads Of A Football Fan


I've had a day wearing a number of heads.

This morning, donning overalls with My Lover, to take building rubble to the local reycling centre.

Then back home for beard-trimming, showers, plaiting hair with ribbons (My Lover's), and putting on makeup (mine).

Afternoon tea here, with the odd Knight and Dame of the realm.

Home to water the garden and sing a few tunes.

Moules and frites with our fingers at the dining room table.

And watching the Algeria Slovenia match we had the foresight to record earlier.

My favourite role?

Football fan, of course.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Letting Off Steam


It's a melange of emotions in our front room this evening.

Delight at My Lover's return.

Laughter at the ridiculous bunting and flags adorning our house.

Frustration and amazement that ITV managed to miss a second critical goal - this being the first.

Horror and compassion for Rob Green.

Pride in the way our team performed.

Stunned that their great display did not result in a win, which in my view they deserved.

Yes I know there were mistakes.

And I heaved a sign of relief when Heskey went off for Crouchy.

But overall I thought they did us proud.

What to do with all that emotion?

I need to think of a way to let of steam.

I'll see if My Lover has any ideas.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Faith, Hope And Hearing Clarity

I am bedecked!

The house is suitably festooned.

Our front room bears its own decorations.

We have flags. We have bunting. We have badges. I have my shirt (My Lover does not consider himself to be a football shirt wearer!).

I am ready.

Plans in place to have my hair done tomorrow morning, then collect My Lover from the airport, visit my father for his 70th birthday, then home to beer, bubbly and a night of passion.

Football passion I mean, of course.

Oh and I have been back to see my hearing clinician, whose equipment, I am pleased to report, is now working.

So I now have nicely balanced, (if slightly pointed), ears to listen to all that wonderful commentary.

And the Match of the Day team.

Which means I have all the time in the world now to concentrate on the only thing that matters for the next few days or weeks.

It's like I said to a work colleague today; I am so excited - so looking forward to it. Even though I know it is almost certain my heart is going to get broken sometime in the next 4 weeks.

Just imagine that pain lying ahead.

Where does the pain come ?

It's a bereavement of course.

A death.

The death of Hope.

A test of Faith.

But we are not there yet.

We are watching those two seedlings grow and flourish.

Every game won will be food to their roots.

So I think it's time to water those plants with a couple of beers.

And put me feet up to watch France struggle against Uruguay.

Have a nice evening!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Don't Look Ethel


Something odd and unexpected has happened since the installation of our super duper, encased cables, up the wall, big screen and Sky affair.

As expected, watching football and all things associated forms a large portion of our viewing.

But that is closely followed by a surprising number of cooking programmes.

Not really your Gordon Ramsays and your Jamie Olivers.

More your Master Chef and Come Dine With Me.

Both hideous in their own ways.

Both utterly compelling.

With Master Chef, its like living a ground hog day every time the judges taste the food.

Not content with offering their wisdom within a limited vocabulary, resulting in the same or similar phrases being repeated ad nauseam, the most revolting sight imaginable has to be them tasting the food.

And yet I can't take my eyes off them.

Come Dine With Me, on the other hand, never ceases to amaze me.

I mean, I can understand the first few contestants getting involved without realising how ridiculous they would end up looking.

And yet, we all know now what it is about and it seems to be on all the time.

Celebrities. The weird and wacky. The faux-posh and the sadly deluded.

And tonight, a bunch of ex-England football players.

Frank Worthington. Someone called Razza, who walked around wearing only an apron, Fashanu and Carlton Parker (who won).

I won't go into detail - but glamorous it was not, ladies and gentlemen.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Here We Go, Here We Go, Here We Go


I've been away for a couple of days.

Although you already know that of course, having had a visit from My Lover in my absence.

Thanks to him then for keeping the show on the road.

A class act - like Billy Elliott, which I would thoroughly recommend by the way.

And talking of class - lets get back to the matter in hand.

The serious business of learning about football.

I heard a helpful discussion on Talk Sport today.

In amongst the dross and Alan Brazil's irritating, anti-social views.

They were making the point that although we have injury-related difficulties, which have reduced the quality of the raw materials we are starting with, other teams are facing set backs too.

They are even talking about the French being surprise fallers in the first round.

I feel as if Saturday is galloping towards me.

I can't wait.

And Saturday will be wonderful for another reason.

My Lover returns to the warmth of my bosom.

Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Hasta La Vista Baby


Is a phrase used over here of course. Over here, being Tarifa.

GB is in London with Mum. She's gone to see this little thing. So I've hi-jacked her blog tonight and just want to say the following.

1 Happy about Rafa
2 Think Rio's departure is a blessing in disguise
3 Think Frank will do a great job as Vice Capt

Finally...... I liked this.........not a lot....good old Guardian....always there ready to put the boot in.

Luton Andy. That ones for you.

Normal service resumed shortly. I'll see ya!

HL

Friday, 4 June 2010

Reach For The Stars


......and another one bites the dust!

Or several actually if you look wider than the England team.

I feel sorry for Ferdinand himself of course.

And we will feel his absence at the back, even though I don't believe he is in particularly good form.

But I do think Gerrard will make a better Captain.

As long as his heart is in it.

And who to select as Vice-Captain?

Tricky.

It won't be Terry for sure.

King perhaps? James, if he is the favoured goalkeeper, although I think that may prove to be Joe Hart?

It's like the most wonderful drama unfolding before our eyes.

And nobody yet knows the script.

I feel as if my heads are going through the clouds to gaze at the stars beyond.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Something To Tickle His Fancy


I'm home alone.

The Bear is travelling.

Well, he's gone to Teriffa for 11 days.

And nights.

I am delighted he is going to have a lovely holiday.

Although I hope he does not neglect his studies whilst away.

This would be of interest to him, for example.

And knowing how much we both experience the jaded Match of the Day format as tortuous, I'm confident this will draw a nod of approval.

His reward for such diligence?

A gift from his daughter.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Crank It Up


What did you make of this afternoon's performance then?

Don't worry - I am holding my nerve.

I do realise Capello had set them clear tasks and ways of playing and was assessing their ability to deliver against that.

And particularly for those fighting for the final three places in the England World Cup squad, the challenge of not just demonstrating their ability as individuals, but that they can create a positive influence on the performance of the team.

So who would I leave behind?

Walcott
Heskey
Huddlestone
Bent
Dawson
Upson
Baines

Tuesday morning we will know for sure.

Time to crank up the preparations.

Which is why the flags are now adorning My Lover's car.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

We Shall Go To The Ball


So we rank 8th in the latest FIFA rankings for the World Cup.

That means Capello's contractual target of reaching the quarter finals is a stretch but achievable, based upon performance to date and assessment of potential.

So anything less will mean they have under achieved and failed expectations.

But how to achieve more?

How to exceed not just expectations, but to create a performance greater than the sum of its component parts?

Some special, additional ingredients required, methinks.

For one, there have to be no critical injuries in the first team players and no key players seriously impacted.

Secondly, they need to get the rub of the grass when it comes to refereeing decisions.

The third positive influence will be found amongst the various personal agendas, driving people to perform with belief and desire for their own reasons. The Gerrards, Ferdinands and Terrys who have the prospect of this potentially being their last world cup. The Walcotts (if he goes), Wright Phillips' and Cashleys who manage to rise above the criticism of their performances and play to their strengths. The team of goalkeepers, who could surpass expectations and provide us with a generation of talented and consistent ultimate defenders.

Fourthly, the team spirit, sense of common purpose and understanding, and ability to predict and respond to each others play and act cohesively, is critical.

And finally, a sprinkling of Fairy Godmother Capello's magic dust.

And then, dear readers, we shall go to the ball!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Distracted


I need some distraction.

It's half time.

We've had 45 minutes of lamentable defending, a lack of planning and lack of possession.

One well taken goal, one decidedly dodgy one.

And one conceded.

Gerrard is running around like some character out of Dad's Army.

Walcott is proving to be England's version of premature ejaculation.

I'm not unduly worried.

Capello has a track record of experimenting in the first half of friendlies, and even some of the qualifiers. I fully expect him to change things around in the second half.

He may bring on Hart, although Green has had a reasonable game.

I don't get a sense of Rio leading.

And Gerrard seems somewhat absent.

Mind elsewhere maybe?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Vroom Vroom!


My engine is gradually moving from gentle idling to revving up.

In terms of the World Cup I mean.

My pistons are starting to fire after reading the Four Four Two supplement, profiling the teams.

I've checked my indicators, and the dates of all the matches have been transferred to the calender.

My protective kit is planned, with a T-Shirt sporting the "Ingerland" logo.

I'm warmed up and ready to ride.

Bring it on!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Football Saves The Day


We sat amongst the wires and flashing lights, my hearing consultant and I.

He was trying to connect my Phonaks to the computer to balance them to my prescription with special software.

"Computer says 'no'", was the response.

"Do you like football?", I ventured, to fill the space.

"Yes I do", he responded.

"Looking forward to the World Cup".

His response to the affirmative was followed by ten minutes of the life and times of Tranmere Rovers and Leicester City. John Alderton and Gary Linnekar. Flasks of tea and how it feels to lose when you are actually at the match. The highs and lows of striving for promotion or struggling against relegation. How so many people you ask who say they like football support the big four. What they miss. And how they can only exist because of all the lower tiers and their supporters.

Upshot is, I've got to go back because the software let us down.

But I left feeling I'd had a good experience.

Good job you can depend upon football to save a situation.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Top Secret


Ssshhh! Over here.

I have to keep my voice down because what I have to tell you is dynamite.

Well not tell you exactly.

It's all too sensitive you see.

I'll just give you a few clues and you will have to go off and do your research.

So - the clues.

Well, take a member of the Liverpool squad and his wife, a sixteen year old girl, a Derby County player.

Put them together and you have a rumour.

A very widespread rumour it would see.

Whether there is any veracity to any of it, only time will tell.

But if it does turn out to be true, remember..............

You heard it here first!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

A Right Kettle of Fish


Tonight, GB is out with her Mum watching The Yeoman of The Guard.

The old boy is at home looking after stuff and watching Millwall and Huddersfield in the Div 1 play off semi's.

Currently, at a very heavily policed New Den, the home team are two up. This means they'll meet my mate P's side in the final.

P is a bloke I met before I retired from fully active service. He's a police dude and knows a thing or two about keeping trouble away from footy.

Millwall have a bit of previous of course and, presumably, have a local Police Service well used to the rigours of Bermondsey. I think Danny Baker is a fan.

Hopefully (from my perspective) Robins win the Final although they may then go on to Championship Oblivion unless the Country Ground gets a much needed re-vamp.

Because I used to work in the Swndon Community, I feel strongly for the town who has a great and proud tradition, strong and enduring footballing culture and a burning desire to play hardball with the big boys again. As always, money needs to be found.

They could though, with finance, follow their bitter enemy's example and become more successful?

Good Luck to them anyway.

To end, I don't think GB is aware of this kettle of fish yet.

I wonder what she'll make of it all?

HL

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Dark Forces At Work


They say evesdroppers seldom hear good of themselves.

But sometimes, it seems, it is the 'evesdroppee' who ends up worse off.

Like this.

There is an argument for saying that when the private becomes public there is always going to be trouble.

And I believe there are strong moral imperatives for respecting people's privacy.

The question is, where do you draw the line?

At what point does it become in the public interest for someone's privacy to be breached?

Not that I feel sorry for Mr Triesman.

Irrespective of the validity of his comments, they were inappropriate by any standards.

What I do question, however, is the motive behind they way the story has been handled.

The incident could, for example, have been reported to a higher authority. The Committee to whom Mr T was responsible for example?

And then, some way agreed, privately, for him to resign without this becoming a very public issue.

Not because I care about him.

But I fear for the damage this may do to our World Cup 2018 bid.

Which brings me back to my point about motivation.

There are dark forces at work methinks.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Disgrace


I never thought the day would come, when I would find myself agreeing with John Terry.

When you see it in HD, you realise the depth of the disgrace that is our national pitch.

It's like a mouldy shreddie.

The players must dread playing there.

How awful is that?

Sad to see Portsmouth have to face the almost inevitable outcome of a Chel$ea double.

The first in the Club's history.

Highlight of the match for me?

David James, (looking pretty in pink!).

Friday, 14 May 2010

It's All Gone Quiet Over There.


GB that is.

14 hour days coupled with a very hurtful defeat in the Play-offs has rendered the girl reflective and without football inspiration seemingly.

So it's me tonight. HL (Her Lover)

Anyway, Wednesday evening presented the Best household with a dilemma. With family and friends coming round to watch football and eat pizza, should we not present them with a choice of viewing and, by democracy, decide whether we watched the UAFA Cup, or The Foxes try to gain entry into the Prem?

Everone through the turnstile of our front door voted and, thankfully for GB, we watched Leicester and "Sky-Plussed" the Fulham game.

Midweek saw us with 6 seats arranged in two rows staring at disaster. Half way through the match, GB's step-son (Chel$ea fan) said to her rather archly, "I think it'll go to penalties, it'll be good, it'll allow you to feel the tension"

Anyway.........as I say, it's all gone a bit quiet over there. I think she may be building up her strength in getting ready to further her lingering love of the FA Cup, indulgence of Portsmouth and respect of Avram Grant.

Through the gloom, I did note, however, a certain frisson in her manner this evening (over tea) when the topic of David Beckham's presentation to Sepp Blatter was being discussed on C4 News.

Lot going on there, I'd say.

HL

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sweet Sensations


So how many of my 23 did not make the 30?

Wes Brown isn't there. As My Lover predicted.

But I was right to stick to my guns about Leighton Baines.

Got the goalies right too.

Not bad for a girl who three years ago knew nothing about football.

I can feel the juices starting to flow.

My taste buds are tingling to savour the sweet sensations of the World Cup.

And I have my first world cup event in the diary.

A table football tournament against local solicitors, with a prize golden trophy to compete for.

Replica shirts actively encouraged.

Hope that extends to the scarf, mug and LCFC cushion I plan to take with me.

Monday, 10 May 2010

The Last Straw.


Is a metaphorical expression often heard in the English language suggesting a breaking place in a person. A point of no return. It's also the name of this little band.

That point was reached in myself this morning as I heard Beeky discussing the latest drama to beset my beloved Liverpool FC. (Obviously, its the old man tonight-GB is out making Stroud a groovier place)

I know, I know, I know. I'm always on about Rafa. But please, he has to go soon.

I fear, however (as I've said before) it'll need to get worse-quite a lot worse, before it starts to get even the smallest bit better.

And then Prem.....you'd better watch out, because the reds will return to glory. Won't they?

Just to say btw, really good luck to The Foxes on Wednesday Night.

As GB said last night, we've got a tribe coming around and I'm on Pizza. I believe with the amazing Steve Howard back, you will prevail. Then it'll be you lot V's Hollow-Way

From what I saw of the Walkers match on Sunday, it's far from over.

World Cup soon too. Fab !

HL

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Reasons To Be Cheerful


There's a somewhat subdued air in the Best household this evening.

It's not miserable. It's not despondent.

Just a bit flat.

After watching Blackpool ride high in the first leg of the first semi-final Championship playoff yesterday, I was hoping we might secure at least a one or two goal home win to take us to Cardiff on Wednesday.

Now we will have our work cut out, against a team with a good home record.

It's not over yet of course. Unlike the Premiership.

And whilst at an intellectual level I think Chel$ea deserved the title, I can't feel pleased about it.

They are Chel$ea after all.

Like I say though, it's not all over.

And Gooner Junior, my Chel$ea loving stepson, and one or two other friends are coming over for beer and pizza on Wednesday whilst our fate is determined.

Do know, I'm already feeling more chirpy!

Friday, 7 May 2010

I Vote For Football


Did you vote?

I did. I'm a great believer in the democratic process, cumbersome and imperfect as it is.

I even spent a few hours delivering leaflets for the local Labour and Co-operative candidate, who has served as the local MP for a number of years, and is genuinely respected for his achievements by all sections of the community - young, old and of all political persuasions.

It's a great reminder of how the big is created by the small, and that true power, if we can recognise it, always lies with the local.

For me, it reinforces what I observe in the sociology of football.

What makes football so wonderful - so universal - is that anyone can do it.

Babies. Women. Street kids.

And it's that passion that permeates upwards to create the global phenomenon that is our beautiful game.

So, of these two worlds in which I have an interest, politics and football, which is the one that is going to stir Georgina's local passion do you think?

The colour of our next prime minister?

Guess again.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

How Did You Celebrate?


In The Guardian, Spurs' enjoyed their success.

The Telegraph declared English managers are as good as any.

The Sun chose to run with the headline "Harry's in the Damp-ion's League".

Talk Sport?

They auctioned the suit!

As for Georgina - well, what else for a rock and roll chick?

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Nice One 'Arry!


Spurs in the Champions League then.

Seems their manager must bring a little something more to the party than non-alcoholic beverages.

Just over a season in post and he's already a Tottenham legend.

And to top it all, an iconic television moment.

Nice one 'Arry!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Stairway To Heaven


I've just returned from a wonderful 4 days with My Lover on an isolated caravan site in Dorset, in our little portable love shack.

Apart from the invigorating effects of the clear fresh air, and the joy of playing and singing together outdoors, one of the greatest parts was having more time to indulge in our shared passion.

No, not that sort of passion.

Listening to the scores as they happened on the radio en route to the site.

Yelling at our little tranny (no, not that sort of tranny) in response to the ever- ridiculous pontifications of the Talk Sport crew on football, life and everything in between.

And as we sat at our plastic table, adorned with an eggcup filled with daisies, celandines, ragged robins and apple blossom, we talked for hours of playoffs and relegations, sacked managers and ones we would like to see the back of.

Now tell me that's not the stairway to heaven ? No, well maybe this one then.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Mission Of Mercy


Is what GB is on tonight. Taking her Mum to the Hospital to visit her dad. Who has been....er.... re-wired. Long story and GB will explain if she feels able, I'm sure.

I'm sitting in front of the media centre at home, waiting for Fish and Chips to be brought in by GB at 9.30pm.

Anyway, we're off to Dorset tomorrow. The Premiership being settled, whilst GB and I sample the delights of this place.

As a Liverpool fan, I'm a bit sick about last night. Loyal readers will be aware I have posted many times on here saying "I've had it with Rafa"

The tipping point reached, when he ruined Robbie Keane's career because of his silly ego.

Over the years Rafa has been in charge I've been reminded of a little man with high ambition, little talent tbh and an amazing self-belief in something or other. His deeply-seated emotions (the emotions of a man blagging it badly) drive him to make stupid, irreconcilable and ego- driven decisions. A man who I will be glad to see go.

Please the Lord we get someone a bit better.

A man who recognises the history and tradition of LFC. A man who is a great tactician. A man who can make ordinary footballers into real team players and get them believe in an idea, a sociology, a tradition.

Like a lot of armchair pundits, I have rejected quite a few.

José
Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho being the first candidate........because it would be about him and, whilst he's a great guy, I want more down to earth.

Martin O'Neil is the next one on the death list. He's magic, but I think the pressure would be too much for him.

My hope is Roy Hodgson will be asked to have a go. Is he the man for this job ? Is he the man who can perfom a Mission Of Mercy?

I think he might be. Particularly, if it encourages more of this sort of thing.

HL

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The F Factor


Don't you just love a little " Feelgood Factor" now and again?

An evening at this restaurant, where Mr F himself recently sent a film crew. The meal was outstanding - I would highly recommend it.

Then home to the closing stages of a historic victory for Fulham.

That's Roy Hodgson for you.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

When The Levee Breaks!


Tells of a time in America when, instead of the dust bowl, rains fell causing the Mississippi Levee to falter and break, causing death and destruction across a huge area. Unless you believe this couple.

Anyway, as with famine or feast, boom or bust, instead of the dearth/poverty/shortage of football experienced last night with only Bayern v's Lyon on, tonight we have GB's favorite Manager playing up to the Camera in way, only he can. What about that Barcelona Stadium !

Sounds of fighting and a man's voice whining.
Georgina here.

I can see I'm going to have to change my password.

So, a match with plenty of drama.

A soft red card, a plethora of yellows, and histrionics enough to fill half a season - and all in 90 minutes.

And centre stage, of course, looking more like a filmstar than any filmstar known to woman, The Special One.

Breaking the rules by coming out of his technical area and talking pitchside to his players.

Pulling faces and making gestures.

Taking on the world and afraid of noone.

(With one exception).

10 minutes to go, and Barcelona are like an army battering a beseiged castle, whose inhabitants successfully repel them each time.

And Mourhino cannot lose.

If his team are defeated they will have put up a brave fight against impossible odds in the face of terrible injustice.

And if they win, he becomes an even greater legend.

It's 90 minutes now and into injury time.

Barca pushing forward yet again.

Inter defending, working as a team.

Barca even have their keeper up.

Oh no!

Oh yes - disallowed.

I'm a neutral. How come my stomach feels so tight?

One and a half minutes left.

Barca throw in.

Ball's out. Barca corner with just seconds to play.

It over!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dustbowl Ballads


Are a collection of songs by Woody Guthrie. These heartfelt ballads depict a time in Middle America when things were tough. The 30's. A dearth of rain across many of the mid-western states. People starved and died.

It's HL tonight BTW. GB has been catching up on paperwork.

In our house, we're well-fed fortunately. The only sense of emptiness felt, at the loss of English representatives in the Champions League. Tonight, only Lyon and Bayern Munich to keep our hearts lifted.

Hey ho, better things on the horizon.

HL

Monday, 26 April 2010

Cymru Am Byth


Gareth Bale, it would seem, has the makings of a Spurs legend.

Although he has only scored 2 goals in 15 starts, he has shown increasing poise and flair in recent matches.

Sadly he is not in the running to form part of the 'dream team' I have to come up with who will be playing Brazil in the final of the World Cup.

A challenge set by My Lover a few minutes ago.

So here's my team.

Rob Green in goal.

Glyn Johnson, Wes Brown, Matthew Upson and Ashley Cole at the back from right to left.

David Bentley, Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole in the midfield.

Shaun Wright-Philips, Wayne Rooney and Bobby Zamora up front.

On the bench, Crouch, Walcott, Lampard, J. Hart, James, Terry, Bent, Ferdinand, Baines, King, Neville and Barry.

Like I say - shame we can't find a way to slip Mr Bale into that line-up.

Cymru am byth.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

A Moment Of Passion With Luton Andy


"I'll look at the blog to see what Georgina thought of it", said Luton Andy, in his email to My Lover today.

So I'll tell you.

Firstly, it was a radically different experience to the one I was anticipating.

In many ways.

For one thing the crowd was completely different to one you would see at a football match.

I am struggling to put my finger on quite what the different features of the two demographics are, but my new environment reminded me of my days doing this.

And then there was the pitch. There was so much extra turf around it. And whilst the game was going on, people are playing on the sides, doing warm ups and I don't know what.

There were people loafing at the edges. People running about in daps. Cameramen (or camera operators as the PC police would have it) here, there and everywhere.

They even had people running on with drinks bottles whilst play was going on.

I half expected one of the players to answer a mobile phonecall at some point.

The other thing that astonished me, having only ever seen rugby on the television, with screenshots usually no more than a few men wide, I had not appreciated that for much of the time, most of the pitch is empty, and all the play is happening in a line.

My highlights?
  • Soldiers abseiling from the top of the stands with Cross of St George flags
  • Meeting up with Luton Andy, family and friends beforehand for sausage and mash, arranged to resemble a rugby goalpost, complete with chocolate egg
  • Pre-match and half time entertainment (a step up from The Walkers where people trying to kick a ball through the window of a Wicks shed passed for half-time entertainment)
  • The lush pizza I had on the way home.
  • Seeing Gareth Malone crossing the street
But the weirdest thing of all, the thing I really couldn't get my head around, was that lots of the crowd spent much of the match chatting. About all sorts.

That is what shocked me most.

And when I was talking to Luton Andy at the end, we agreed that Rugby was nice to watch.

But Football is where our passion burns.

A poingnant moment.

We both understood without having to explain.

Friday, 23 April 2010

It's Life Jim, But Not As We Know It!


Tonight sees the old bear starting off as the warm up act but GB following quickly up the rear.

Turns out, whilst we're trolling through our newish media system this evening, on a channel called CBS Action, old re-runs of Star Trek are being run. GB to my (very recent) knowledge, is (it seems) a huge fan. So much so, she recognised Spock's Mum in a heartbeat, and then proceeded to tell me the plot of the episode that was on the screen.

GB then let it slip she was in love with Cap't James T Kirk. Groovy huh?

Suddenly then, I'm in love with a fan of serious telly.

Anyway, She's here now.

.....................................

He's getting far to fond of posting on here that old bear.

Anyway, I've a surprise for you.

Well more of a shock really.

Tomorrow, when my boys are playing Preston North End, I will be at Twickenham.

Watching this lot and this lot chase the egg shaped ball.

It's Luton Andy's birthday.

It's a ball game Jim - but not as we know it.