Thursday, 19 April 2012

20 Things I Hate About You.........

So with The Premiership twenty seasons old this week, we @ It's a Football Thing thought we'd take a look @ twenty reasons to hate top tier in England.........hold on to your hats here we go!
(In no particular order)

1 - The Untouchable - Sir Alex Ferguson
Can this man do anything wrong? Flashing back to when he jumped wildly in the air against Sheffield Wednesday, when United won their first Premier League title, to almost retiring a few years back! This ageing Scotsman just keeps getting better and better!

2 - Going Down - Diving
Simulation if you like, back in the day you actually had to be touched before hitting the deck and even if you were namby pamby enough to go down you'd get straight back up again for a bit of vengeance!

3 - Shit Kits
I remember not so long ago, when a kit would last a few seasons! Now it's all change every year! The problem is, a lot of the kit manufactures are running out of ideas, and the kits are looking shitter and shitter! Take the Kappa skin tight kits, not the best fit for pub crawling wanderers like ourselves! Now add to that a random colour!.. well infact they come in every bloody colour under the rainbow! From Newcastles orange and yellow sherbert mix, to Spurs Brown disaster and United's famous Grey mess!

4. Shake on it! - The Pre-Match Handshake
I walk into work in the morning and the first thing I do is shake my fellow workers hands..... no I put the kettle on and have a cuppa! Why on earth do we insist on the players shaking hands before the game?  I wanna see 11 grown men play a fair, full on contact game of football, then congratulate each other after the game with a proper handshake and a pint! The handshake before a game means nothing! They all end up trying to get each other sent off!

5 - The Men in Black - Officials
No longer in black, in fact every colour but! In a premier league we surely deserve premier referees and 'assistants'. But week in week out they get it wrong, whether they run the line or blow the whistle when are we going to get professional match officials??

6 - Off or On - The Offside Rule
Just get it sorted! All this second phase bollocks!

7 - Can I Kick It? - Multi coloured boots
Once upon a time, boots were black. Then they were white, now they are every colour of the rainbow, some players have been known to wear one of each colour!
It's another example where advertising and fashion have now taken hold of the modern game.

8 - All Weather - Games being called off
Oh no there's a bit of snow! With all this health and safety bullshit meaning more and more games are getting called off, whats the point of the orange/yellow ball anymore? Fans love a snow ball fight on the way to a game!

9 - Show Us Yer Tackle - Football is a contact sport
Along with diving, the major evil of the today's game. Football is in danger of turning into a non contact sport! Whatever happened to the sliding tackle? Obviously we don't want decapitation, but if you get the ball - One footed? Two footed - does it matter??

10 - Ronaldo
I could write 20 bloody points on this knobhead! The face, the diving, the step over, the cheating, the tan, the fact that he got Rooney sent off during the 2004 Euros, and then to top it all off demanding a move away from United to play for Real as he claimed La Liga is far superior than the English game....

11 - Take your seats - Modern Grounds
As teams look to make more dosh, the first thing they look at doing is tearing down their historic ground, and then creating a swimming pool like arena, an arena with no atmosphere, no identity, no sound! Just look @ the Emirates

12 - Bloody Foreigners! - The Rise of the Footballing Import
Now we're not talking about all foreigners, after all where would we be without Klinsmann, Bergkamp or little Frankie Zola. But then opened the floodgates, with every Thom, Rickard or Henry coming over here doing our jobs and stealing our women! The latest fashion accessory it seemed was a foreigner in your side and who could forget Brolin, Boogers & Veron!?!

13 - The Big Four - Over emphasis on the top teams
Every weekend, it's the big four this, the big four that! Who's says their the big four? Only Sky and what do they know? Do we really need it forced down our throats all the time? And don't get us started on them manipulating the fixtures to give us "Showdown Sunday" or " Armageddon Tuesday"

14 - Sweet FA - The Demise of The FA Cup
With the rise of The Premiership we've seen the fall of the FA Cup, with Man U bowing out completely one year for the World Club Championship. Do we need to remind you that this years final kicks off @ 5:15??

15 - Are We The Champions - The Rise of The Champions League
The Champions league, a league for winners! Why not give 2 places to the league (1st & 2nd) and then the FA Cup & Carling Cup winners should be given the other 2 places! Because @ the moment finishing 3rd or 4th means more than winning a cup!

16 - Club v Country - The Downfall of England
One of the fall outs from over emphasis on winning the Premiership & The Champions League is players taking a sickie when the International call comes. Not only that, but with the influx of players from abroad how are the youngsters expected to come through the ranks? Joe Hart England's Number One great 'keeper that he is, is really unopposed, where are our young goalies??

17. - Because I'm worth it...... - Adverts
It's all about how much players can make it a short amount of time, from Pepsi max to Pringles, to phones or even airlines! Grow some balls lads! Advertisement has gone mental! Shame no ones done an advert advertising diving hey!

18 - All Change - Player Loyalty
One team players how many in The Premiership Years have there been? Matt Le Tiss? Ledders @ Spurs? Donkey Adams @ Arsenal. There are a few others, but we are talking only a handful. With the promise of a fast buck players, with the help (or hindrance) of their agents will jump ship @ the drop of a hat! And it's not just the players...........

19 - Leeds
The last winners of the old first division, and the real first financial disaster in the Premiership, In the late 90's early 2000's Leeds had it all, England internationals, a great ground, history, a strong fan base, Champions League football and then over night it went all tits up! Placing their bets on Champions League qualification, Leeds over spent and we all know what happened next..... After too many years out of the top flight it would be fitting if our old pal Neil Warnock could guide them back to the Premiership next season!

20 - The Prawn Sandwich Brigade - The rise of the corporate fan
Back in the day it was a pie and a Bovril on the terrace. Now, it's a fiver for a warmed up burger and two quid for a KitKat! True fans are being priced out of the game in favour for big businesses 'entertaining' clients in boxes............where's the fun in that??

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Unsung Hero - Giorgio Chinaglia

From Italy to Wales, back to Italy and then America. How many players paths have taken this route?
Giorgio Chinaglia was truly a global footballer, but for a majority of people upon hearing of his passing this week would have said Giorgio who??

Born in Italy, his career started in Wales of all places with his Father seeking work there after the war.  Impressing as a schoolboy he was signed by Swansea Town. Although he won honours with the club his lack of discipline and attitude towards training saw him shown the door. He put his lack of motivation down to a need to challenge himself, saying that when he was nine he would play against the bigger thirteen & fourteen year old to push himself.

A combination of Italian National Service and a lack of interest from any other domestic club saw him return to Italy, where he went on to join Lazio. He was voted by the fans as Lazio's greatest ever player and it was once Tommaso Maestrelli became manager that he really hit his stride. His goal scoring prowess saw him help The Eagles of Rome win their first League Title in 1974.
His International career was cut short though in typical temperamental style after being subbed for Italy he stormed off the pitch; giving the manager the finger on the way before getting to the dressing room and smashing glass water bottles against the wall! He was also the man who set up former England boss Fabio Cappello for his goal against eventual employers that help see Italy record their first victory @ Wembley.

A showman, maverick and prolific goal scorer, the first player to join the Soccer Revolution in America while still in his prime and the highest goalscorer in NASL history. This of course was the Seventies and at that time along with the game came the fame, women and playboy lifestyle.
Seen as the bad guy of US Soccer, he called himself the "anti-Pele" when "©the greatest player in the World" arrived for training in New York late & overweight Chinaglia simply remarked "He's just another player I'll have to carry until he gets fit,"  another outburst was alleged to have left the great man in tears after the Italian criticised his positioning on the pitch!
He was a legend though in both Italy and America, with the New York club proclaiming him as their "one of the most exceptional soccer players to ever play in the United States and the New York Cosmos' greatest player ever".
trailblazer of the American game it's re-emergence today is a testament to the great man.