Thursday, 23 December 2010

Tis the Season to be........

So, it's only one and a bit days till Christmas. A time to eat, drink and be merry. It's also a time to take in a Christmas game, but every season and it seems after every World Cup exit, the subject of a winter break rears up it's frosty head.
The festive footballing program has been a fixture of the beautiful game since......well... since fixture's began and is still a tradition held onto by fans, how many clubs have a song that features the words "and we will fight for ever more because of Boxing Day"? I wonder.....
If we have a Winter break we are going to miss out on so much stuff........ standing (sorry, I mean sitting, after all we never stand anymore do we?!) on a freezing terrace, early kick-offs, trying to watch a game through a hangover, swapping crap Christmas present stories with the bloke you sit next to, the "winter timetable" on the Buses and Trains and even a nice warming cup of (now) overpriced Bovril (if your club still sells it). Do you mean to say we should give all that up just to make sure games actually go ahead and players get to indulge in the same frivolity as us mere mortals (are we mad in thinking that players don't partake in any of the Christmas spirit anyway?) It's also means that the season would be extended and go on into June........I mean come on who wants to go to football matches in shirt sleeves, bathed in sunshine (not that it makes any difference to fans of the Toon of course)

So no Mr FA, I say bah humbug to you! You can stick your winter break where the sun don't shine, give me tradition any day! :)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Must try harder............

So we've reached the half way stage in the season and as far as the Premiership is concerned how has it been for you?
We started the season off of England's abysmal performance in South Africa and a World Cup in general that had been....well...ok I guess, a few decent games, the drone of the vuvuzelas and a ball that for some reason meant there were few decent free kicks.
The start of the season saw a few players still carrying injuries they had taken to the World Cup with them, Torres and Rooney had both had, for different reasons quiet ones (we would find out more of Rooney later in the season!).
This was to to be the first season for Man City with Mancini in charge from the off and much had been expected from the blue side of Manchester, some even considered them title contenders, Spurs also were looking to capitalise on breaking into the top four for the first time and had the Champions League to look forward to. We had Ian Holloway's Blackpool too, surely a six pointer for everyone there?
Chelsea were fastest out of the blocks, now even they were in the shadow of City as far as spending went, but they were demolishing teams at the start and looked to be running away with it, Man United still undefeated, have so far not been quite as convincing as some seasons. The same goes with Arsenal where Wenger has brought in some new young blood to varying degrees of success. Man City as some predicted have maybe started to implode, with so many players on so much money it's not difficult to see that ego's would start to get in the way of team selection and now the Tevez saga; is he home sick? If so, he'll go back to Argentina come January obviously.....
What surprises me is that it surprises managers and fans that players with the track record they've had dealing with previous clubs should act in any other way! Gone are the days of loyalty (maybe a few home grown players are an exception) and if a player is going to move to your club for a huge wage packet then you can be damn sure he'll go somewhere else if someone says they'll double or triple it! Why not? Don't tell me you wouldn't be tempted to leave your job if someone else offered you more??
I think to a certain extent with certain players fans just have to except that "we" only have them for a while and to make the most of the time with have with them, yes contracts mean nothing but it's been going on for a while and you're not going to leave your prized asset in the reserves to rot when someone is offering you money for him? I think honesty from the player is more respected than anything.
Okay rant over! Tottenham Hotspur are still there or thereabouts, although some have said that their league form has suffered as a result of some fantastic performances in the Champions League it is still so close at the top that another run-in like they had last season could see them even improve on that historic feat.
Maybe more enjoyment for the neutral has come from those usual mid table teams all now vying for a Europa League spot, with Bolton the pick of the bunch under Owen Coyle playing more attractive football than the supporters at The Reebok were used to under Big Sam and showing that some teams are looking to more than Premiership survival at the start of each season and why not?
And for a breath of fresh air who'd have thought shy and retiring Ian Holloway would have become the star manager in the Premiership, I hope that he and his team are around for a few more seasons at least and that the cynicism and pressure of the top league doesn't spoil it for him, we need more people like Ollie in the game.
We've also had Liverpool, I for one excepted the invitation to the "Liverpool relegation party" on Facebook at the start of the season, but it now look's like I can rip that RSVP up. I think given time Roy will turn it around, but as we've seen at Newcastle & now Blackburn time is something that owners want to spend on their clubs.

And that along with player loyalty and off field affairs has been the theme so far this season, owners buying clubs and tinkering away like it's Championship Manager come alive!

Personally I'm still waiting for the season to ignite on the pitch, I want to Champions (whoever they are) to finish with a flourish and not creep over the finish line with a whimper!
And one Christmas wish? You see that spherical object that you footballers kick around the pitch? Let's make the game more about that please...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Money power pride loyalty

A Quick Sunday night overview!

The early 1990's are my first memories of football, Money had started to be pumped in to the sport, sponsors branding everything, kits started changing every 2/3 seasons, the Premiership had just begun, and sky started their world wide domination of British Football! Teams would at most trade only a few players, Squads were settled, players played for the shirt, the love, the fans, if you were lucky you would get an autograph on your (£1) programme!

20 years on, Kits change every season, sponsors change every season, players are on hundreds of thousands of pounds a week! and players move clubs at an alarming rate! as soon as they seem to settle they want more money, or become unsettled by a big club and then they are off on the move! Spare a thought for the fan, They get the short straw over and over again, Like Newcastle have shown again this week!

The fans get it from the owners, the players, the managers! an average fan spends at least £100 on his or hers club a year just on memorabilia! And at least £200 extra on tickets! What do they get back in return? There favorite players being sold, ticket prices increased! Being told they can't boo if their team puts in a shocking display!

Money is a powerful tool, and is splitting our game in half! Teams are chasing a quick quid, look at Pompey, Crystal Palace, Hull!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

What's Black & White and Red all over....?

The latest twist in the soap opera that is Newcastle Utd shocked many yesterday. Chris Hughton, the man who had steered the Toon Army back to their rightful place in the Premiership had been sacked. After relegation last season the club seemed to have realistic ambitions this time around and knowing how hard it can be staying in the elite league, a mid table position would have seemed sufficent before building upon that in the seasons that followed.
They hadn't started that badly, beating Arsenal at the Emirates as well as thrashing bitter rivals Sunderland 5-1 at home. The players too had stepped up, Williamson at the back, Gutierrez showing flashes of form, Nolan of course a very underrated player even back in his Bolton days had showed that he could still perform at the top level and the revelation of Andy Carroll the much heralded "old fashioned centre forward" causing defences no end of problems.
So why has Mike Ashley now decided to try and run before he can walk?
Everton, Tottenham, Manchester City & Newcastle all supposed "sleeping giants" have had there fair share of managers and players over the years bought in to try and turn their fortunes around. But Everton apart they have all lacked some stabilty which is needed to build on. There have been rumours of Mancini going and while Spurs now have Redknapp and some success in place, come 2012 they too could be looking again for a manager.
Football managers are sacked without being given the games they once were and it's a results game, but Ashley's descision is bizarre. The rift that Ashley and his "cockney mafia" had created may not have been healed but it had been a bit quiet recently with hostilities spared now the fans had a manager that had got them somewhere and happened to be a decent unassuming bloke at the sametime.
But obviously being a glutton for punishment the owner has now decided he needs someone "with more managerial experience". Well Mr Ashley how do you become experienced if someone sacks you after barely two years?? And why not appoint an experienced manager in the first place??
With that remit in mind, who is about to take on the Newcastle job? Martin Jol? 14 years a manager, won the Dutch Cup twice and got Spurs to fifth, Martin O' Neil? More experience sure, but what has he won? A League Cup and the inferior Scottish Title or Alan Pardew possibly?? Pardew's honours? Erm.......................

One thing you can be sure of just like all the decent soap operas this one will run and run!

Monday, 6 December 2010

FIFA and Twatter

So we've had a bit of time to swallow our pride, and swear left and right towards FIFA! But have politics played a part in ENGLAND not getting the 2018 World Cup? It's all about politics and money, very much like the day to day world we live in! Ok so it's great for Russia, but did they really have the better criteria? Stadiums such as Wembley, The City of Manchester, blow any supporter, architect away, our transport links be it they run late, get you to the entrance to many a stadium across the UK!

Our fans are among the most passionate in the world! We all live and eat football, be it a supporter of Oxford, or a supporter of Liverpool, we all live and die by the badge, Look how we picked ourselves up after South Africa, we got behind our national team! Could the fact we asked for goal line technology have got FIFA'S backs up?

It's a shame as i feel i will never witness a world cup in ENGLAND in my life time! and that in itself is a crying shame!

Oh and one last thing FIFA! Russia didn't even qualify for the last world cup!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Old Habits......

So this Saturday sees the first North London Derby of the season in the Premiership. Once again old wounds are opened and scores are there to be settled.

The Tottenham Arsenal rivalry goes back to 1913 when the Gooners moved north from Plumstead and landed on the doorstep of White Hart Lane. Being so close a neighbour is always going to create a rivalry, as twitching curtains and extravagant Christmas lights prove on many a suburban street. But it wasn't until 1919 that things escalated as Arsenal came up from the second division at the expense of Spurs amid rumours of underhand dealings (it's seems in football such things went on even back then!)

It seems that every year some pundit will claim that the gap of the supposed quality between both teams is narrowing. Yet baring a win at The Lane at the tail end of last season, a 5-1 trouncing in the Carling Cup Semi-Final and coming from behind in a blistering four all draw, Tottenham are still without a win at Arsenal's place since 1993.
And maybe for Spurs this is where the problem lies, Arsenal are Tottenham's bitter rivals, but for the Gunners? Well they have bigger fish to fry and have had some ding-dong battles at the top half of the league against Man U & Chelsea in recent seasons.
Is the North London Derby therefore just another game to them and maybe to a lesser extent the supporters?
You only have to look toward the East End of London where if you were to ask any West Ham supporter what would be considered a good season, nine times out of ten the answer you'd get is to get one over "the Spuds", while Tottenham look northwards in envy.
Is the historical rivalry drilled into the Spurs players and new signings more so than of those at The Emirates where the more pressing mission is to win the league?
But having said that it's two teams of professional sportsmen where winning should be utmost in their minds and maybe with the self imposed burden on them, Spurs should take a leaf out of their rivals book and just treat it merely as a game of football?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Who'd be a Spurs football manager...

With the North London Derby fast approaching and Spurs now at the most buoyant they've been arguably since the F A Cup Final win and subsequent rescue act by the Sugar/Venables dream team of 1991, it's still not all wine & roses for Harry Redknapp.
With his recent comments on the White Hart Lane crowd following last week's draw against Sunderland Harry's popularity is (along with the potential move to Stratford) THE hot topic on the Spurs' message boards. When he was first appointed he spilt opinion, the majority of opinions being he's "West Ham & a bit dodgy", but having turned the season around with the much quoted feat of keeping Spurs up when they only had two points from eight games, some of these misgivings were forgotten. This was only marred when Spurs played a weakened team in the UEFA Cup when Premiership status was obviously the main priority.
One season on and Champions League football was secured with some fine displays against Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City. The Champions League campaign has been the roller coaster one would expect from Tottenham, with the now legendary displays by Gareth Bale both at the San Siro and back at The Lane expected to be replayed and drooled over for years to come.
But for a team in their first foray onto the Champions League stage their Premier League form has suffered and it seems that whenever this happens the old wounds are reopened. Harry, always outspoken, had publicly criticised Spurs fans over the whole Sol Campbell chant affair, he even claimed that he would consider bringing the ex-Gooner back to Tottenham.
His newspaper column that has been used to criticise the players in the past (something Arsenal manager Wenger with his selective eye sight would never do!) or even overpraise them (Huddlestone is the next Franz Beckenbauer?) hasn't helped his cause and nor does the fact that every time the England job is mentioned Mr Redknapp is the first name mentioned (even by himself!)
He may not be the most unpopular manager Spurs have ever had (step forward Mr Graham) but popularity has never really counted for much in football (Martin Jol anyone?) but it seems that by being his own man and saying exactly what he thinks Redknapp could end up cutting off his nose to spite his face.
And names being banded about on these message boards as a possible replacement? Moyes, Murinho, Klinsmann and the man who could really do no wrong in the eyes of Spurs supporters? Glenn Hoddle??

Saturday, 13 November 2010


What a first half down @ the lane, Pav missed two sitters then scores a screaming header, great play by wide boy Bale, Pav then made his way to the fans and gestured an apology to them for the earlier f**k ups. City & Birmingham has been dull, Birmingham have set their team out well, and city just can't find away through although Carlos did have the ball in the net but it was abit of that hand of god shit going on in the build up, Bolton started strong, but have since just been playing with what can be only described as a hot potato no one has taken the game by the scruff of the neck!

Saturday afternoons in a working class living room

The chair is warm, remote in one hand with the laptop on the arm of the chair, flicking through channels and websites simultaneously looking for the latest updates, news with regards to the afternoon fixtures, will Rooney ever return to the first team? Lampard injury set back! Holloway makes 11 changes! all this information that to anybody else is pointless, but to the football fan, knowledge is power, Its like the first time you found out you could walk! A little tingle rises up inside.

Early kickoffs on a saturday, today it happens to be United & Villa. In our house we have the radio tuned into talk sport, just sitting in the back ground, just incase sky digital for some strange reason decides to turn it self off, or freeze! I once had to look at that chap from this morning on itv for an hour as Sky decided to freeze, the panic that i was faced with! it was like a death in the family,

So as we draw closer to kick off time around the country, who right now is sat remote in hand, with the misses making a cheeky cup of tea, and looking forward to the next 2 hours of great british football!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Ian Holloway

What a start to the season for Blackpool, Yet Holloway still find's himself at the end a stick, although this time its from the men @ the F.A you know them people that point and shout but know sod all about the sport

Mr Holloway stands firm, as the F.A try and flex their muscles over last nights actions, Mr Holloway said: "I am working within their rules and I went into that game last night believing we could win. You will have to ask Mick why he said those things when he went to Man Utd, because that's a totally different scenario." Have some of that you suited and booted twats!

Asked if he still intended to resign should the authorities get involved, he added: "Absolutely. What's the point? I am paid to be the manager of Blackpool Football Club, to bring in players and utilise them in a 25-man squad. Go on my son!

Mr F.A man whats the point of having a 25 man squad? "I didn't play anyone outside of my 25. Phillips is in my 25, albeit he is only a 19-year-old. I don't understand what they're talking about. They should judge my team on how it played. If we had lost 10-0, then maybe I played a weakened team.

"I'm trying to move my squad forward, to see who is good enough and who isn't good enough. I believe they all are, I wouldn't have signed them otherwise.

"I am not having anyone tell me who I can play. My chairman doesn't do it so why should the Premier League? And who the hell are they to tell me, with the greatest respect, who I have signed, are they good enough or not before they have even had a chance to play?" BOOM!

What about if we just enjoy football! all these rules and regs are ruining the game we love


Barton lands the first Punch, the look on his face it was enough to make a grown man cry! (of laughter) "I hold my hands up, I reacted badly to the situation on Wednesday night and I deeply regret it.

"I have been working very hard to keep that side of my game under control and I think it has showed in the way I have been able to get on and enjoy my football this season.

"I look forward to trying to get back into the team once my suspension is over and helping the club maintain its good start to the season."

How much is he on a week? i mean the bloke needs to be locked up!

Barton will be available for selection to Newcastle manager Chris Hughton for his side's trip to West Brom on 5 December.

Allardyce a bruiser back in the day, and Pedersen the ice man decided against adding their two penny worths, personally i would of hit that twat smack bang on the face!


After a short while on the subs bench we are back! Ian Holloway's sticking it to the FA, Barton's punching above his weight and West Ham are lucky they have a player like Scott Parker

Monday, 23 August 2010

Hammer blow??

Zola out, Grant in but not much has gone right for the Hammers this term, a home defeat to Bolton must of been hard to swallow for the Hammer fans.

Hammers boss Grant is desperate to sort out his attacking options after seeing his side score just once in their first two games.

Grant has been frustrated in his attempts to bring in a new striker with his bid to sign forgotten City star Caicedo put on the back burner for now, lets just hope Grant has told the player that, he may be at home thinking his on his way to the capital!

Obinna has now come onto West Ham's sights with Inter tempted to loan out the young Nigeria international, although at what cost could this deal come? Can anyone name me the last player to come on loan from Inter to West Ham? i'll give you a clue his name was Jimenez...........

Roy of the Pool!

Liverpool manager Roy The great Hodgson has confirmed he would love to have some funds to strengthen his Reds squad even more.

The Merseysiders have been overly busy in what has been a quite transfer market for most this summer with the likes of J.Cole, Poulsen (the axe man) Brad Jones, Danny Wilson, Milan Jovanovic, and Jonjo Shelvey all joining.

However, Mr Hodgson knows that with just one week left before the transfer window slams shut for everyone, he needs to get busy if The Pool have a realistic chance of catching Chelsea this season

"I'd like some money to spend if I could research where that money could be spent wisely and with the idea that it will improve our team and turn us back to where we belong, these fans have suffered too long, the priority at this club should be a trophy at the end of the season" said The big man

Alex give us a wave

Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his surprise that The Legend that is Giggs did not take United's penalty against Fulham.

The Red Devils had a glorious chance to clinch the points at Craven Cottage when they were awarded a penalty while leading 2-1 late on although in fairness it was never a pen.

However, Nani stepped up instead of the Legend and saw his effort saved by Cottagers keeper and what a save it was! priceless the look on Nani's face.

The miss proved costly as Hangeland-man smashed home a header it was a late leveller and Alex knows United should have converted their penalty.

But on the plus side, its nice to know we all make mistakes! tip top alex

Untied or united?

Newcastle United legend Malcolm Macdonald believes Fabio Capello should be watching Andy Carroll and not Bobby Zamora. *In fairness to the mighty Zamora he has proven that he can do it week in week out, its a bit early for anyone to say Carroll deserves a place in the England set up over Zamora But anyhows on with the story, The England head coach missed Andy Carroll's bish bash bosh of a hat-trick in a 6-0 demolition job against the villa on Sunday as the Italian was at Craven Cottage taking in Fulham's league clash with The other United where Bobby Z played a blinder, holding the play up, keeping the ball under pressure. Bobby Z was in England's squad that played Hungary following the summer retirement of bruno after the World Cup finals. Carroll had a blinder him self over the weekend, but it was against a poor villa team, if the lad can do it week in week out then the future is bright for Newcastle & for England

tevez shocker!

Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez has claimed that former Arsenal defender William Gallas has made enemies in moving to Tottenham Hotspur from north London rivals Arsenal, however, the Argentine international believes the French international can handle the pressure that comes with such a high profile switch.

Bit lost why Tevez is given his voice on this matter? no stranger to such controversy having himself moved across another great divide when he chose to leave Manchester United, where he had won two league titles, the League cup and the Champions League, to join fierce big spending rivals Manchester City. The Argentine believes the rivalry between City and United had no impact on him as he is a professional, and the former Red Devil believes that Gallas will be able to handle the transfer having played for Chelsea before Arsenal. Despite this, Tevez does warn Gallas he will have made a number of enemies by completing the switch. Tevez said: “I have played for United and now I am in City, and it has no influence on me. Gallas has joined Spurs after playing for Chelsea and Arsenal, and because of that he has made many enemies. “But he needs to focus on the future.He fills he has joined a club heading in the right direction We’re professionals and this is our job. I understand the fans’ love for their colours, but it is necessary to respect the decisions footballers make as he will want to get one over his old team and guide Tottenham to a trophy.” Tevez also voiced his concerns over the amount of players that are coming through the city door! with spaces at a premium in the 25 man squad Tevez fills he merits a place in the starting line up week in week out


sky sports news why!

THE NEW SKY SPORTS NEWS LAYOUT IS SHOCKING! TOO MUCH GOING ON WITH THE GRAPHICS THE FONT SIZE IS TINY! WHY CHANGE A GOOD THING IN THE FIRST PLACE! Why do we always try and improve things that don't need improving or re-designing? The layout is to complicated, the graphics make reading the info almost impossible, the size of the font, and the font itself, becomes unreadable unless you have an 80" screen, the fact that the reporters are now acting like c-list celeb's what was wrong with people reading news the normal old fashion way, half this reporters couldn't name you the list of teams that have won the world cup let alone explain the offside rule!