Sunday, 31 January 2010

Two Horse Race?

My lover and I, after chopping wood for the next 6 weeks, decided to flirt with the devil and go watch this at our football pub.

My son, Junior Gooner, lives about 2 miles away.

But I can hear him right now.

His boys have let him down.

They seemed completely unprepared for the ManUre's cheek and determination.

That will take some coming back from if the Arse are to remain contenders for the Premiership.

I wonder if Wenger is further regretting his choice to deprioritise the FA Cup.

Meanwhile, Benitez seems to be allowing his attention to wander elsewhere, with clear evidence he is developing an exit strategy.

I'd say we are increasingly moving towards a 2 horse race.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

I believe it is important to try to bring diversity on this blog to my loyal readers.

So I have scoured the papers for a range of football stories.

There is the on-going spat between Wenger and O'Neill.

And the Guardian article praising the talent of a certain Frenchman.

Not forgetting all the excitement in the build-up to the Arsenal ManUre match tomorrow, cranked up by a strident Gunner's manager.

So as I say a wide range of stories.

Difficult to find any others of note which do not in fact feature le monsieur.

Although I did find an obscure story about some England captain (at the time of writing at least).

No doubt, with such a great interest being paid to Arsenal's enigmatic genius currently, we can expect to see Arsene embroiled in matters Essex, before too long.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Radio Times

Is a British publication that goes back into our history for some years.

It's her lover tonight. GB is a bit pale and wan after a hard week of virtuous toil.

In other important news, you can hear her indoors and me on the radio talking about this, this and most importantly this, from three tomorrow.

Don't say she didn't warn you.


Thursday, 28 January 2010

Lazy Bones

Lazy Bones
Dreamin' of the sun
When you gonna get your bloggin' done?

You never get your bloggin' done
Dreamin' of football fun

Lazy Bones
Dreamin' of the sun
You're never gonna get that ol' post made

You never get those ol' posts made
Jus' thinkin' of football played

So says my lover.

What does he know?

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Calling All Eco Warriers

I've got a bit of "Eco-warrier" going on at the moment.

I have seen a couple of presentations recently on climate change which have really had an impact.

A light bulb moment.

One delivered by Mr Charlton Athletic in fact.

I've been a bit surprised at how much it has entered my consciousness.

Then, when we had the recent snow, I travelled to work on the train and found I rather liked the experience.

So I have decided to use public transport to travel around for the next couple of months to see how I get on.

I will then review the situation and decide if I could do without my car altogether.

What I like about travelling this way is the time it gives me to please myself.

I can look out of the window and wonder how the Foxes will fare in their next match.

I can talk to other people on the train, especially anyone wearing a football scarf.

Perhaps even get to know some people...........

OK. Maybe not.

I can read the copy of FourFourTwo or WSC I have taken to carrying around with me in my bag.

And who knows? If I travel around long enough I might bump into Bernie.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Back To Basics

So Uncle Gordon has decided to wade into the debate about football debt.

I'm not sure what he thinks he can add to a truth that the rest of us know is the stark reality.

So what is it going to take before change is brought about?

I suspect what it will take is some big names to go to the wall. Sadly.

And then the change will need to be a complete review of the huge expectations that underpin football at the top level. The driving forces that are more about money than the beautiful game itself.

Football needs to go back to its roots.

To remember where it came from and what matters most.

But like I say, I think there is some pain to come before people are ready.

Until then, we will continue to see the false trappings that surround the Premiership get in the way of staying in touch with the heart of the beautiful game.

Sometimes, as John Major once said, you've gotta get back to basics.

Even when it's tough, it can deliver the odd surprise.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Wayne Rooney's In My Dressing Room

I've been painting again.

With a little more success than last time I'm pleased to report.

This time it was my dressing room.

Yes - that's how posh this girl is. Her own dressing room.

Now with pink walls and the old-wardrobe-turned-dressing-table bedecked by recycled pink scarves and some pink and white fablon.

We are talking class here girls.

Anyway, the task gave me a great excuse to listen to the Talk Sport's live coverage of the ManUre Hull Premiership and 4th round FA Cup matches.

I had just started on the second wall when Rooney scored his first.

I was nearing the end of that wall for the second.

Downstairs washing the brushes for the 3rd and 4th.

Somehow I will always have an association in my head from now on between my dressing room and Wayne Rooney.

I just hope the awful memory of a 4 - 2 defeat to Cardiff won't linger in the same way.

Friday, 22 January 2010

From Donald Duck To Dude

I had a Donald Duck moment earlier this week.

You know, one of those times when it seems the whole world is conspiring against you.

When I was a hair-breadth away from doing this.

I won't bore you with a malfunctioning laptop story.

But the experience did make me slightly more sympathetic to this outpouring of frustration.

I loved the bit about hating that he doesn't hate Roy Hodgson.

I so know what he means.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Silent Stan

"Silent Stan" is apparently a nickname for Mr "I own 29% of Arsenal" Kroenke.

It conjures up this image.

But it is more to do with a lack of willingness to talk to the press it would seem.

He has at least one saving grace then.

Arsene seems pretty unfazed at the prospect of him taking over.

Other commentators express more concern.

Where will it all end?

A cause for celebration?

Or tears before bedtime?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Reach For The Stars

This post is dedicated to one I love.

She's not a football fan but I hope she will bear with me.

She is the sweetest of girls, with a kind heart and hugely talented in many, many ways.

She sets herself high goals and has the courage to put herself out there and take risks sometimes.

Today has not been the best for her.

One of the goals she has been working towards has been thwarted.

It was always an ambitious one.

And just as she does in all other parts of her life she committed to it and put her heart and soul into into it.

So the sense of powerlessness, failure and humiliation she feels is all the more intense.

And as someone who always encourages her to follow her dreams and fulfil her potential I have to stop and reflect whether that was the right and responsible thing to do.

Should I have prepared her better for a potential fall?

But the answer to that question has to be that I still believe that people with enough courage will find a pathway to succeed in life.

Failure makes you stronger. It makes you draw on your inner strength. It helps you learn more about yourself and what you are capable of.

You don't have to look far for inspiration.

Remember, according to the declared policy of our potential new prime minster, this woman is not fit to teach.

And the British Army turned this man down because he had poor eyesight.

This man learned that if you knock on another door it might well open.

Reach for the stars girl!

And if that isn't sufficiently inspiring, remember;

"Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle

Don't grumble, give a whistle

this'll help things turn out for the best......"

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

My Cup Runneth Over

A great footballing evening.

Pizza and salad in front of the telly watching a compelling match between Mancini's Mancity and the ManUre in the Carling Cup.

Whilst my local team Forest Green were battling it out at Notts County in the 4th round of the FA Cup.

And Tevez - oh Alex, you must rue the day you let him go.

A victorious night for the Argentinian and his sky blue team mates.

Sadly not the same story for the Blue Square minnows.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Turn, turn, turn

Is a song recorded by Pete Seeger in the 50's and later, recorded by a favorite band of mine, The Bryds. The song is a direct quote from the Old Testament.

Its the old bear tonight btw. She's out and busy.

The words from Ecclesiastes are these.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  1. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  2. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  3. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  4. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  5. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  6. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  7. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace
I'm tempted to say "wise words mate" but truth to tell, the song struck a chord within me after reading over the back pages of this weekend's games.

In one lengthy blog, I learnt that by 2012 at the latest, Uefa, have said Football Clubs have to stand on their own two feet. No more sugar daddies, or carpetbaggers.

Yesterday then, David Conn in the Guardian set out the position of the Premiership beautifully.

All things must pass ?


Saturday, 16 January 2010

Say What You Mean

Yes thanks I had a great birthday.

In particular I had a lovely evening with my children and my daughter's boyfriend who came round to celebrate.

Amongst my many gifts was a card, usefully offering a translation of the true meaning behind common expressions used by football commentators;

"He'll be disappointed with that" - That was crap
"Seasoned player" - Past it
"Loyal club player" - Nobody else will have him
"Dangerous in the box" - Scores own goals
"Goalie's weak on crosses" - Couldn't catch a bloody bus
"Terrier like" - Tries to shag a leg after he scores
"A natural leader" - A bossy git
"Good squad player" - He gets a game if they're desperate
"Competitive" - Dirty
"Very competitive" - Bloody lethal
"Good sound player" - Boring
"Creative" - Oscar winning injuries
"Two footed" - Crap with either one
"Good defensive outfit" - It's like watching paint dry!

I guess working on that principle some of today's matches would be described as follows;

"Chelsea managed to secure the advantage for most of the match" - Sunderland got turned over
"Liverpool were unlucky in the dying minutes" - Sloppy play and a mediocre performance by Liverpool resulted in Stoke gaining a point.
"Mancini's Mancity beaten by Everton's effervescence" - All that money and they still can't beat their humble neighbours"
"Swansea manage a home victory over Leicester City" - The Foxes was robbed.

Looking forward to the headline later;

"Gunners outplay trouble-hit Bolton" - Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Foxes Abroad

It's my birthday tomorrow.


I'm looking forward to opening the two interesting parcels my lover has wrapped up and put on the side.

And wondering if The Foxes will gift me a win.

Not an easy task away at Swansea.

There is the added disadvantage of going to a foreign country of course.

Although word has it the boys have been brushing up on their language skills

Thursday, 14 January 2010

A Broken Man

I allowed My Lover the privilege of posting on here yesterday.

It seemed the least I could do in the light of last night's events.

A night of mixed emotions for someone who loves Liverpool first and foremost but has a major soft spot for the Royals.

After an increasingly tense 2 hours of play, which threatened to surprise until the very end, I looked tentatively across at him to see what the impact would be.

"I'm sad but I'm glad", he said. "Now something will have to happen about the Liverpool situation. Action will have to be taken. Liverpool fans won't accept anything less".

I'm no fan of Benitez, nor his style of play, but I thought he looked a sorry figure last night in the post match interview.

He would say his most critical problem is injuries to key players.

It might be argued, however, that his over-reliance upon Torres and Gerrard have contributed to this through playing them when they were not fit and carrying niggling injuries. One might even describe it as exploitation.

I know there are issues in the Board room but Rafa needs to step back and take a long hard look at what is going on.

And whilst injuries might be a problem for him, he needs to remember there is always someone worse off.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Cold Comfort

It's been a cold cold day in the Ice Cave. Snow through the night forced GB and myself (HL) to stay home from work.

Normally, we're not here during the day and, as she's told you, we don't use the heating because, because, because.

If we're here in the daytime, usually, we're doing physical things, so we keep warm. Today, we worked from home and it was bloody cold sat at our separate laptops. Usually, of an evening, you'll find the girl and me holed up in front of the woodburner and this evening is no exception.

Tonight, we've the pleasure of my side, looking really second-rate against another team in whom I take an interest, The Royals.

I'm begining to think the problems that beset both Liverpool and Manchester United currently, are caused, primarily, by people whose love of money superceeds any stated devotion they may have to the beautiful game.

Surprisingly perhaps, both Ferguson and Benitez come from ordinary backgrounds. Seemingly, both of them thinking its quite ok to cripple sociologically important institutions in pursuit of Mammon.

Maybe, I'm too old to understand.

She'll be back tomoz !


Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty

You know how they say you are never far from a rat?

Well it seems the same can be said about a tax story in the world of football.

There was this.

And now this.

What could this mean for my beloved Foxes?

Not all rats turn out to be bad of course.

Innocent until proven guilty remember.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Mistaken Identity

I met up with Mr Charlton Athletic again today.

It took about 30 seconds to descend into conversation about the beautiful game.

"Who do you support?", MCA asked our neighbour.

"Manchester United" he said.

MCA and GB exchanged a meaningful look.

But then our new friend told us the tale of how he came to support the ManUre.

When he was about 6 or 7 he had an older teenage cousin (about 16/17) whom he thought was the coolest thing on the planet.

He came to the house one day wearing a beautiful silk football scarf.

Our friend duly pressurised his mother into buying him one and could barely contain his excitment when he got home to ring his cousin to tell him.

"I've got a Man United scarf now just like yours"

Sadly, readers, his joy was somewhat marred when his cousin explained he was a West Ham supporter and would no more dream of sporting a Man Utd scarf than fly to the moon.

But as our friend explained it was too late.

He was saddled.

He looked slightly embarassed as he went on to confess that he has passed this dreadful curse onto his children and other family members.

There really are some tragedies in football, aren't there?

Saturday, 9 January 2010

How Green Is My Football Pitch?

Ever wondered which football club is the greenest?



But other than The Arse and ManUre being held to draws (by the skin of their teeth), there is little else to think about, is there?

So, which football club do you think is the greenest?

Well yes, obviously none at the moment, (they don't make 'em like they used to), but in an ecological sense.

Dartford FC apparently

Whoever they are.

Still, they are not the only ones partial to a bit of recycling, so maybe there is something to be said for it.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Game On

My Lover is plotting.

Plotting and planning to introduce a huge flatscreen into our bijou living room.

What you need to know is that since My Lover and I started living together two years ago we have gradually developed a more alternative sort of lifestyle and home.

For example we hardly ever use the central heating. Only on the coldest of nights to stop the pipes bursting.

We have a little woodburner instead and go out foraging for wood to burn in it.

We have the odd luxury.

Our electric blankets, for example, are a source of constant joy.

But mostly we live fairly simply.

We do have a small TV and our lap tops.

But that is pretty much it as technology goes (apart from a couple of pairs of very wonderful Specsaver hearing aids).

So the arrival of a 42" LED screen to be mounted on the wall of our front room would have a significant impact.

I protested, of course, when he first suggested the idea.

For a considerable time in fact.

He tried various strategies.

I saw them all coming.

But then he struck below the belt, sticking his foot out Roy Keane style to trip me up.

"We would be able to watch football. Lots of football. Football every day if we wanted".

He must have spotted some sign of weakness because he maintained this tactic for a considerable time.

I started to have moments when I began to wonder if he had a point.

Then the final body blow.

"You'd be able to sit on the settee with an infra red keypad and mouse and write your blog with it up on the big screen"

Game over.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Steaming ManUre

Have you been doing any of this?

Me neither.

I've had my nose to the grindstone instead.

What's more, all this wintery weather has meant most football fixtures are being postponed, resulting in it being very sparse for those of us seeking the odd titbit or two to weave into a blog post.

My lover and I had been seriously contemplating a trip up the Fosse Way on Sunday to watch The Foxes and by pure coincidence possibly catch a glance of a certain fiery Irishman.

"It might be cancelled", said my lover, "unless they have a heated pitch at The Walkers".
"Yeah right", I laughed at such a flight of fancy.

But apparently such things do exist.

Presumably they don't need artificial aids at Old Trafford.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

To Be Or Not To Be

In an effort to raise the intellectual status of this blog, I have decided to post about some football philosophers.

No not that lot.

(By the way - take a second look at that video above - about a minute in. I swear the linesman on the right is Terry Wogan.....!).

But there really are football philosophers.

For example Alexander Conan Doyle;

"To give and to take, to accept success modestly and defeat bravely, to fight against odds, to stick to one's point, to give credit to your enemy and value your friend - these are some of the lessons which football should impart"

Bob Marley;

"Football is a part of I. When I play the world wakes up around me"

Leon Trotsky;

"The revolution will inevitably awaken in the British working class the deepest passions which have been diverted along artificial channels with the aid of football"

And Rupert Brooke - sort of...;

"There's some corner of a foreign field that is forever Ingerland"

Of course I am not averse to asking the odd searching philosophical question myself.

Maybe they will make a statue of me one day.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Thar' She Blows

The waters are definitely choppy around the good ship Pompey.

Those Portsmouth fans face challenging times.

They come from a city with a history of standing up at times of adversity.

Their war-cry is notorious.

The best quality exponents of the "stiff upper lip".

Lets hope they can dig deep and capture some of that to see them through.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Case Study

We are going go do a case study tonight girls.

We are going to focus upon one specific individual in the world of football.

Study closely their every move.

Watch their behaviour and make careful note.

Now before we start you will need to ensure you are comfortably seated, with a glass of champagne and a box of good quality chocolates.

OK. Now pay the closest attention to this clip.

Notice all the information you can.

Away we go.


Now, I want to focus on some very particular details.

Did you note how upright he always holds himself?

How he moves his head from side to side, watching the action before him?

And that distinctive voice and accent.

Do these things remind you of a certain other celebrity?

Come on.

It's on the tip of your tongue isn't it?

That's right.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Tales Of Heaven Hell and Doughnuts.

I don't pretend to feel pleased for Leeds but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying the drama of today's result.

Fergie's not happy.

Not happy at all.

Someone's gonna get blasted.

It's gonna get loud in there as he deals with each of the miscreants in turn.

They won't know what hit them.

Beware those who stir the sleeping dragon.

Those poor boys.

Their life will be hell.

What a contrast to the day I have had.

Sorting paperwork this morning.

Boring but satisfying.

Then to lunch at a friends with a whole group of people we barely know.

And spending the afternoon singing and playing together.

Now that's my idea of heaven!

Which reminds me of a dreadful joke my lover tells.

How did Bob Marley like his doughnuts?

With jammin' of course.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Ol' Nana Best Knows A Thing Or Two

We were sitting at our dining room table.

Me checking out for updates on Facebook.

My Lover reviewing the day's football results.

We had been immersed in them all afternoon as we presented our live radio show, following the action.

"Let's see how much your remember of today's results then", he said

"Tottenham Peterborough"

"Three Nil", I said, almost without thinking.

"Four Nil actually. A late goal", (we had missed the last 5 mins of the games live).

"Middlesborough Man City"

"1 0 to City"

Preston North End Colchester"

"7 0 to Preston"

And so it went on. I was there or thereabouts on all of them.

Spot on with The Foxes 2 1 win over Swansea of course.

My Lover said "You have a great head for football statistics. That is really important in a football fan. It means you build a body of knowledge you can access in the future. In ten year's time you'll be able to say "Gary Megson. You know that bloke who was at Leicester briefly then went of to find fame and fortune at Bolton, only to spend a year being jeered by his own fans louder than any opposition ones. In the wilderness for 8 years then rebranded and relaunched by the BBC to be the revolutionary new face of Match Of The Day. 2 months before it was taken off air"

I smiled at the thought, relishing the prospect of being the fount of all football knowledge post March 7th 2007 for my grandchildren and great grandchildren.

"Ol' Nana Best, she knows a thing or two about football", they will say.

Friday, 1 January 2010

I'll Drink To That

159 days to go.

I will be getting my diary out this weekend and starting to plan to ensure, at the very least, I can see all England's potential matches, and of course the semi-finals and final.

Before that of course all the excitement of the Premiership and the FA Cup.

And the Champions League.

2010 has all the makings of a vintage year.

I'll drink to that