Monday, 26 November 2007

This is the funniest thing I have seen at a football match

Adrian Chiles. We Don't Know What We Are Doing

Another quote:

this from the bloke who organises the Baggies coaches

"In about 1990 we played Newcastle at home midweek and we lost 5-1. Then we were playing Ipswich on the Saturday and I had so many cancellations I started to getting really, like, shirty with them. And when I was on the way to Ipswich I was thinking I'd just love to come here and win and that lot would have missed it. But we didn't, we lost 3-1."

...and here is a WBA related clip. They sing the Lord is my Shepherd a lot. (and there was me thinking they are a well and truly forsaken team)

Very Odd but quite cool

MyFC/Ebbsfleet stuff from last week

Thanks To B.T. being a little useless I was off line for a couple of days last week- but here is some of the stuff that I found about MYFC/Ebbsfleet which I thought worth posting

Here's a blogger's take on the project.
Here's a match report from last weeks mid-week John Ullman Kent Senior Cup match. From the official site
And here is another match report from the same match. (..according to this paper the Ramsgate manager was not there -so his brother stepped in - first time I've ever heard of that)
Ramsgate's website has a good match report. 'Tis a nice website ( and you should click on the HomePage just to see the brilliant advert which reads: "SEE RICKY (Hatton) IN VEGAS - at Southwood")
From last week but here's another blogger's take on the project.
Here's another (nicely laid out) blog from last week.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Roger Godsiff's Early Day Motion

This is the Early Day Motion by MP Roger Godsiff (Birmingham, Sparkbrook and Small
Heath) in the House of Commons today.


"That this House congratulates Croatia and Russia on qualifying for the European Football Championships from Group E; acknowledges that the Croatian team which beat England were far superior in technical ability, skill and commitment than the insipid and inept England team; notes that £747 million was spent on the new Wembley Stadium but the match was played on a surface similar to those used by Sunday footballers on council pitches; thanks the efforts of the Israeli and part-time players of Andorra in trying to help England by doing their very best against Russia; commiserates with the fans who have spent large amounts of their hard earned money following England during these championships; believes that the over-paid, over-pampered and over-hyped English prima donnas from the Premiership who took the field against Croatia disgraced the England shirt once worn by legends such as Stanley Matthews, Duncan Edwards, Bobby Moore, Nobby Stiles and Bobby Charlton; and recognises that they will no doubt be consoled by the thought that while they are watching the European Championships from their luxurious holiday destinations their celebrity lifestyles will be protected by them still receiving their vastly inflated wages, provided by Sky and Setanta television money, from clubs in a Premiership League which is nothing more than a money making machine for players, agents and entrepreneurial club owners which does very little for promoting the well-being of football in England either at the grass roots or international level."

...I thought Beckham and Crouch did pretty well myself - but it made me laugh.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Monday, 19 November 2007

Ebbsfleet. My Football Club. Round Up.

Here's some of the Stories from today about Ebbsfleet. It's not comprehensive but I hope its useful

We are nerds according to the Mail
The Sunday Times reckons that this means football is now part of the 21st century -(surely it was before - or at least the bits that were played in the last seven or so years)
This columnist from the Times is really against the idea.
This blogger puts up a pretty good defence of the whole idea.
I'm not sure if I posted this yesterday - it's from the Independent and , I think because they ran the story first, they seem to run more articles than anyone else.
This person has been inspired by the idea to suggest that Gurnsey should do something similar.
This is a match report from the Oxford game from a Kent news website.
This is an article from an Oxford Newspaper about the game last Saturday.
This blog just gives an overview of the whole idea - but it's from Malaysia so I thought I'd link to it.
This article is from the Telegraph

Adrian Chiles -We Don't Know What We Are Doing.

I am currently reading Adrian Chiles' "We Don't Know What We Are Doing" which is a study of obsession with Chiles trying to make sense of his, and others, dedication to West Bromwich Albion. I'll write what I think about the book when I finish it- (though I'm at pg 149 and so far Cress says yes).

What I'm going to do is write a few posts about the book as I read it quoting some bits that I liked and then follow it up with a YouTube Video that will have something to do with West Bromwich - but maybe not the club.


I need to give a bit of context for the first quote. Chiles' knows the man who usually plays WBA's mascot Baggie Bird and when this man says he cannot make the WBA - Pompey game Chile' volunteers to don the suit.

"Before the toss of the coin we line up for a photo. The Portsmouth Captain is Dejan Stefanovic, a Serb. Because my mum's from Croatia, I can speak Serbo-Croat, in which language Baggie Bird now says to him, ' Hello Dejan. Best of luck.' He looks at me, a little alarmed. I suspect he thinks he might be losing his marbles. (.......) he doesn't reply"

Phil Lynott was born In West Bromwich, which I did not know when I woke this morning - so I'm going to post Thin Lizzy doing Whiskey In The Jar.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Ebbsfleet MyFootballClub, Today's Stories.

I'm not totally sure about whether to do this -it feels like I'm cheating on Pompey - but as I am one of the shareholders in Ebbsfleet I will try to keep up to date with the news stories about Ebbsfleet (assuming the deal goes through) by posting links to the stories.

These are mostly from today I think

This is nice thread from the Ebbsfleet Chatroom
which shows where some of the Ebbsfleet fan's heads are at.
This is the man behind it all's take on the first match.
A rather cynical piece about the first game and the whole project by the Observer.
The Telegraph are also keen to focus on the disaffected Ebbsfleet fans
This is an optimistic piece about the whole project in the Independent on Sunday where the journalist keeps asking himself questions. Why? I don't know. Did I like it? Not sure. Some good facts about other similar projects at the end of the piece.

...and these are mostly from earlier in the week

A piece from the day of the announcement of the proposed take over from the Independent
and this is another one -they are sort of crowing about the fact they got the story first I think.
This from last Thursday is from Time Magazine no less. (I've been posting links to stories about Pompey in one of my other blogs for a few months now and I've never linked to Time Magazine before). I have however posted links to AP many a time and this is by them.
This is from the South Devon Press. The writer thinks the idea is flawed and he finishes with the line "Put their money where their mouse is" which , whilst not making sense in the context of his argument, is a cracking line.

Northern Ireland Against Denmark and Flower of Scotland

Considering that there was no team playing that I care about- yesterday was pretty exciting.

Despite beating Denmark 2-1 it is very unlikely that Northern Ireland will be going to Euro 08 next year (they have to beat Spain and hope Latvia beat Sweden). This is a shame because I'd happily listen to more commentary- with mad laughter, like this:

Some Observations.

1. Both Northern Ireland and Scotland had fantastic qualifying campaigns - (despite having to change managers) - but won't be going to Austria/Switzerland (short of a miracle in Northern Ireland's case) whereas England had a terrible campaign and are still in with a good chance. I'm pretty sure that if Scotland were in England's group they would have qualified, and so may have Northern Ireland.

2. Scotland are out because of the initial draw - (and the Belarus result). They have their best team for a generation and then get drawn in the same group as both of the last World Cup finalists. If they had been better seeded then this would not have happened but their poor seeding meant that they were still hamstrung by the legacy of Bertie Vogts. That is behind them now.

3. Lots of people in England are whining about how the amount of foreign players in the Premiership somehow undermines the national team.. This is rank nonsense - England have failed to qualify before when there were hardly any foreign players in the Premiership. More importantly- whilst England have better players than Scotland and Northern Ireland- those two countries, both of whom have a number of Premiership players, know how to play as a team - there ain't one self important gadabout amongst them - and it's that that nearly got them to the finals. If England could show the team spirit, work ethic and ambition of either Scotland or Northern Ireland then they could win in Austria and Switzerland.

...and England should get rid of their dirge like National Anthem- it just cannot compete with something like this:

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Russia hijack the Times. Boca Fans Graveyard. English Aggression and Man City.

The Times ran some silly campaign for English fans to send messages of support to Israel ahead of Saturday's Israel - Russia game. It seems that Russian fans hi-jacked the initiative (if that's the right word) and here are some of their charming e-mails.

The Guardian have run this article about Boca fans who now have their own graveyard.

The Telegraph argue that the English habit of getting stuck in is what has held us back as a team. Not sure I totally agree - they give the example of Barton - who has only played once for England (I think). What he has in common with the England players is not a desire to get stuck in but an over inflated sense of his importance in the great scheme of things.

Walt Disney may be interested in buying Derby (insert your own jokes)

Good piece in the Independent about Erikkson and Man City

Monday, 12 November 2007

Results That Seem Unlikely Today

Ipswich 6 Manchester United 0 (March 1980)

It may seem unlikely today but this was when Ipswich were probably at their best under Bobby Robson. I don't think they won any trophies in that season- but they had won the F.A. cup in 1978 and would win the Uefa Cup in 1981. I guess what was better about English football in those days was that it was possible for clubs like Ipswich, Nottingham Forest and Villa (and maybe even Watford) to challenge at the very highest level- usually as a result of having very good managers.

Part One

Part Two

This is About As Good as it Gets

...until this season maybe.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Fergie, Leeds, Manager's Loyalty, Racism, Pele in Sheffield, Beckham in US

A look back at Fergie's 21 years from the Times (with some nice YouTube Videos)
This is also from the Times - 50 reasons why Leeds are Leeds, and it's funny enough, but like most non-Leeds's fans-I just don't like them.
Here's sports writer Gabriele Marcotti in the Times on manager's loyalty, racism and the church of Maradona.
The Guardian's Fiver used Fergie's 21st anniversary as an excuse to have a go at him in a quite unpleasant way that I guess they thought was funny.
Here's the Telegraph's daily round up thingy.
Here's Pele on Beckham from ESPN.
A piece in the Telegraph about Staines FC who are playing in the FA cup this weekend. Their nickname is the Linos- because Staines was once a major manufacturer of linoleum.
Good piece from the Independent about how well Juan Pablo Angel is doing in the MLS
...and a short piece here about Pele going to Sheffield for the "Sheffield invented the game" celebration. (A claim more suited for Cambridge in my opinion)

Gerrard Shocker

All sorts of reasons have been posited as to why England probably will not be going to Euro 08 - but I'm going to blame MacClaren because of his selection of Robinson, of Lescott and also of Gerrard.
Gerrard's form has dipped recently- and even though England beat Estonia last Saturday this video shows that Gerrard probably needs a rest or a good slagging or whatever it is that managers do to get players to play better.

Couple Of Berbatov Clips

Seeing as he is in the news again today here is a very silly interview with Berbatov in his homeland

..and this is what he does best

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Various Stories-Bad Managers. BBC Deal. Football Rich List. Fergie

The Guardian have a list of six managers that they thought were really bad. (Only six?)

This is from the Telegraph and is about the BBC/Sky Deal for the Championship.- What I don't understand is this. TV has developed over the last twenty years with the launching of hundreds of channels and in some ways is more fragmented-whilst at the same time football coverage had become more and more about the big clubs and has become very rigid. (It's amazing how many papers write pretty much the same articles about the same subject every day). Now of course there are millions of people all over the country interested in the big 4 clubs- but there are also millions of people who are interested in their local clubs and whilst the local press and local radio know this- it seems that Telly coverage is always moving away from developing this local interest.
Surely- with the way Telly has developed over the last twenty years there is a space for detailed coverage and discussion about local football-for local audiences -which would be funded by advertising for local businesses. It won't be the big money spinner that the Premiership is- but why should it be- it is taking place at a lower level.

..and there endeth my business plan for the day.

..enough of the bottom feeders - here is the Football Rich List- from the Telegraph- (though originally from 4-4-2 I think)

This is James Lawton on Alex Ferguson's 21 years at Man Utd in the Independent.

Silly piece in the Mail about daft goal celebrations.

Monday, 5 November 2007

With Chris Hutchings being sacked is my list of the 10 managers who I reckon may have had the least impact in the Premiership.

It's not a definitive list- and by least impact I mean good or bad- getting your team relegated means that you did have some influence.

So here are the Nomarks

1. Chris Hutchings.
Wigan 2007/8 Season. Never really had a chance to make an impact.

2. Phil Neal.
Coventry. Sacked in 1995- he did lead the club to mid-table security in the previous season- but as the club slid down the table he was shown the door.

3. David Pleat.
Sheffield Wednesday. Sacked 1997. He did manage to win Manager of the Month- but other than that nothing much happened. Relegation became an issue and was he sacked before it happened.

4. Danny Wilson.
Sheffield Wednesday. Sacked 2000. A nice bloke by all accounts but took Wednesday nowhere. Strangely David Blunkett lead the calls for his sacking.

5. Steve Wigley.
Southampton. Sacked 2004 (after 14 matches in charge). He made virtually no difference to anything.


At all.

6. Paul Sturrock
Southampton. Sacked 2004. (after less than 6 months in charge- 2 of which were June and July). Another victim of the stable chairmanship of Rupert Lowe.

7. Stuart Grey
Southampton. Sacked 2001. (after less than 3 months in charge). Posh people should not really be chairman of football clubs. Or maybe they should as long as it's Southampton.

8. David O'Leary
Aston Villa. Sacked 2006. I imagine it was difficult to have too much of an impact in any club owned by Doug Ellis but O'Leary had a go- went on to achieve virtually nothing of note and then began to have a go at the fans.

9. Roy McFarland
Bolton. Sacked 1996. Really unable to make a mark- which is a shame because he was a great player.

10. Christian Gross
Spurs. Sacked 1998. He made little impact- chairman Alan Sugar blamed the press-and then sacked him.

Of course it is often the case that is not the manager's fault at how ineffectual they are- this table is as much a list of the strange work undertaken by chairman. From the evidence above it seems that unless Wigan's chairman makes a truly remarkable appointment- they are doomed.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Hibs Fans Singing Sunshine On Leith

A couple of years ago I saw the Proclaimers at the Junction - a smallish, though most excellent, venue in Cambridge. (It was the first gig I saw in Cambridge). They were good that night- I'd guess that there were about 700-800 fans in the audience and it was good to know that the band still had a fan base- were still selling records and were still writing good songs. It seemed to me that they had found a level which was enough to sustain them in their career. It was the least they deserve.

(North of the border they have always been a massive band)

Two years later and they played again in Cambridge - this time at the much larger Corn Exchange- which they had almost sold out to an excited and at times euphoric audience.

The obvious reason why their stock had climbed over the last couple of years was because one of their songs, I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), had been re- released as a charity single and had been to number one. But I don't think that was the only reason they were able to get such a large crowd at the Corn Exchange. All of their LPs are worth listening to- each one having songs that are articulate and personal reflections on love, sex or religion - and there are other songs that display a very articulate anger about hypocrisy, class or the fact that Scotland is part of the U.K. Many of these songs really get under the skin- and as such the twins have quite an intense relationship with a lot of their fans- a relationship that has quite rightly grown again over the last couple of years

Now if you mix that intensity with football and you get scenes like this:

Bloody marvellous say I.