Dec 25, 2006

IE7 display glitch

Merry Xmas, etc.

Just noticed that IE7, for whatever reason, is displaying code on the previous blog entry 'How hard can it be?'.

IE7 screengrab:

So if you're using IE - sorry. Use Firefox instead. Its way cooler.


Dec 24, 2006

How hard can it be?

Well, Mr Levy. Let me take this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas. I’ll hold back on the Happy New Year for the time being.

Another year is about to end, and a new one will be born. And still, you wear angelic clothing to disguise your satanic morals fooling the White Hart Lane faithful into believing you are guiding us towards the Promised Land of silverware and success.

But you are not fooling me. No amount of court injunctions or electronic tags will result in my campaign for the truth being shut down. Fact is Mr Levy, you are slowly but surely destroying the very fabric of this club and you are doing it with subtle and sublime genius. I applaud you and respect you for your underhand tactics, for you are Moriarty to my Sherlock Holmes. And I am certain we are heading towards the Reichenbach Falls. Though geographically, it might be best to meet up at Bruce Grove for our final battle.

You have quite obviously mastered the art of perception. As the Spurs faithful still believe the club are moving in the right direction. But I will not fall for your David Copperfieldesque tricks.

Your subtle genius is to simply allow things to continue as they are, using UEFA Cup victories as a way to disguise the obvious lack of progression.

Last season, we almost finished in the 4th spot. We almost ousted Arsenal from their yearly excursion to the Champions League. Instead most of the players fell ill on the day of reckoning. Which reminds me. Did you ever receive the bowl of fruit I sent to the club hotel the night before the West Ham game? It was meant as an apology for the incident in your front garden. I had no idea sixty-one cockerels would leave such a mess. But anyway, that was back at the end of last season. Its now almost Christmas and turkey is in the offing in more ways than one.

Instead of moving on up, we have stagnated. Yet, I don’t hear disenchantment from the stands. I see no protests. And it staggers belief that the club shop has not fallen victim to any boycotts. I’m sure if we still had Carrick this wouldn’t have happened.

I’m not going to talk about the UEFA Cup or our home form. Neither will I mention the fact we are in the Carling Cup semi-final. Nor will I discuss the birth of a new bigger and blacker version of Glenn Hoddle. I simply want to discuss our form when travelling and the fact we have achieved just one victory away from WHL in the Prem.

Firstly, Martin Jol. He has recently quit smoking, which has quite obviously affected his rationality and thus forced him to make dubious selections and tactical decisions. How about you stop smoking those Cuban cigars around the club and show some damn solidarity. Although it maybe an idea to speak to him about his current dress code on match days first. We all know he is manager of Tottenham. He doesn’t have to wear an Ossie Ardiles style cap that stats ‘Spurs’, just in case we forget. Or is this part of your merchandising advertising campaign to have the manager and players wear clothing and accessories that are available in the club shop? Very shrewd Mr Levy, it’s all about the benjamin’s, isn’t it?

Anyway, let’s take a look at our Premiership results away from home:

Bolton L 2-0
Man Utd L 1-0
Liverpool L 3-0
Aston Villa D 1-1
Watford D 0-0
Reading L 3-1
Blackburn L 1-1
Arsenal L 3-0
Man City W 2-1
Newcastle L 3-1

Due to the court order, you pretty much survived an avalanche of mail that you would have received from me after each of the above-mentioned defeats. Especially a certain game played in the red part of North London. On four occasions now we have conceded 3 goals in a game.

Which begs the question, how we can go from being decent away from home last season to pulling our trousers down and bending over backwards, with KY at the ready this season?

Bolton – Gutless and soft
Man Utd – Two sitters missed
Liverpool – Jenas sitter, then collapse
Watford – How can we not score against the bottom club?
Reading – Gutless and soft
Arsenal – Disgraceful
Newcastle – Textbook collapse at St James Park were we allow the Toon Army the one performance of their season where they look world class.

I can’t help think there’s an underlining conspiracy at play here. One that you are conscious of, but refuse to do anything about.

Sure, we have played 3 of the top 4 away from home but whereas last season we claimed some decent points and performances at those clubs, this year we have lost them all. As for picking up one point from the two promoted sides, that’s again down on last year. Bolton and Newcastle away are testament to the quintessential ‘away-day’ performance we have had to endure.

We have never been decent away from home. No matter the manager or players at our disposal. And yet now we have a better manager compared to the past 15 years, with probably the best set of players we’ve had for 15 years (which, lets face it, isn’t that difficult of a comparison to make), we still put in a soft apologetic type of performance on our travels – yet at home, we can perform well enough to beat Chelsea for the first time in years and take Southend to extra time.

I’ve done my research, and I think I have some relevant info on why we just don’t perform away from the Lane.

Touching on the fact we have had to play the top teams away before Christmas, this may point to a potential David Dein/Football Association pact to give us the hardest possible fixture list. This wouldn’t surprise me in the least as Dein obviously has the power to do evil and would also explain how the referee’s performance in the Arsenal away game was directly responsible for our player’s poor display on the day.

Then there’s the finanical side of things. Makes me wonder if we are not offering a big enough incentive for the players when we play away from home. What’s the win bonus like for three points on our travels? Are you being a scrooge, Mr Levy? It’s not exactly easy for them to have to go up to places like Blackburn or Newcastle and they deserve to be compensated for the effort.

A number of our players wear gloves, which may suggest you have financed transfers for footballers that are struggling to adapt to the cold chilly weather of the marshes and moors of middle-England. Perhaps sub-zero training will aid them better for the future.

Then we have Lasagnagate. After the West Ham defeat at the end of last season, our players probably no longer have the confidence to eat when they travel to an away game leaving them weak and hungry and unable to concentrate on the football. No food and the added handicap of playing in a chocolate coloured shirt is enough to make anyone self-conscious to the point of embarrassment.

Away ticket allocation is also a problem. As we have the nosiest and easily the best away fans in the country (and probably Europe), its quite obvious to me that other clubs (especially Arsenal) allocate few tickets as possible or place us in the part of the ground that has poor acoustics thus the Tottenham Roar™ cannot be heard. If the players out on the pitch can’t hear us, then how can they possibly perform well? If Huddlestone can’t hear the cry from the fans to shoot, the boy will be lost for ideas. We had to leave the North London Derby at the Emirates 20 minutes from time, as it was impossible for anyone to hear us sing.

All this helps add up to sloppy casual play, without spirit and fight resulting in players like King and Dawson being part of a defence that can concede three goals with relative ease.

Seems negativity breed’s negativity. Take replacing an injured Defoe with Danny Murphy instead of Mido. Perchance, does this have something to do with everyone having a crush on Joanna Taylor? Cause I think of any other reason of fielding him.

Take a good hard look at some of the players you have purchased. Take Zokora. Box to box midfielder who can’t attack or defend. I think someone mis-took his World Cup form to mean he has quality worth investing in. How dare he fails to settle into the English game with immediate effect. Transfer list him now. Our left back isn’t good enough to even offload to West Ham United and we have problems elsewhere too. King isn’t a true leader and should be stripped of the captaincy. Give it to Robbo. The shot-stopping England’s number one will inspire the rest of the players more so than Ledley ever can leading to faultless displays. When Jenas is fit again, play him in the middle of the park in order for us to regain some composure. I mean, come on Mr Levy. If I’m able to ascertain all this from the 3-1 defeat at St James Park, then surely you are able to do so too?

When you add on top of this the fact that Martin Jol lacks Premiership experience and the willingness to drop players, then I’m afraid our problems are even more so evident. We are no better than a team with Ruel Fox and Andy Sinton. Mid-table mediocrity. Good in the cups, sh*t in the league.

Three defeats in twenty-one matches and three months is just not good enough I’m afraid.

Fact is, as chairman, you should be making it your priority to work out why it all goes wrong when we leave N17. But then again, that’s the conspiracy. The fact you can see it, but do nothing to stop it.

Looks like that duel is still on for Bruce Grove then.

Anyway, must dash. I’m cooking Christmas dinner this year. Couldn’t get any turkey, so we’re having cockerel. Not sure how that will go down with some cranberry sauce, but then again….never red.


Dec 21, 2006

I lost my toes at White Hart Lane

Bloody hell was it cold tonight. I had to endure extra time before seeing Spurs progress into the semi-final, and to be quite honest, hardly cared enough when it happened as I was losing blood circulation in my feet and legs. Only Spurs can turn make something that should be not-so-difficult into a hard evening's work. Though credit to Southend for being....well, for being as good as us on the night.

I see Chelsea are through, and with the usual controversy following them. Just a couple of things. Yes, Robben was fouled and it was a free-kick, but Robben mid-air arching of the back or whatever you want to call it, for extra dramatics is exactly the type of thing that makes Jose seem a tad hypocritical when he claims other players dive to earn penalties.

As for the free-kick itself. Thats some nice movement of the ball before it was even kicked. Made it nice and simple for Drogba to score claim the Toon. But then, when is a freekick ever taken from the exact position the foul took place? I guess people only notice when Chelsea 'move' the ball.

Anyway, I've got my fingers crossed for Wycombe in the semi. I'll be there with any luck, wrapped in a portable electric blanket. Mmmm toasty.


Dec 20, 2006

The Ashes

Yes. I did purposely forget to post about the 3rd test. Not a lot to say really. 3-0 pretty much sums it up. Many a wasted night watching Sky Sports. Hours that I will be unable to reclaim. Lets hope (and pray) that England manage to reclaim some much needed pride in the remaining tests.

5-0 is something I don't want to be reading about in the coming weeks.


Dec 18, 2006

It ain't grim in Stoke, ok? (Part 1)


As some of you may or may not have noticed, Stoke City have crawled their way up the championship table to a healthy 7th position.

After our away game at Wolves on the 23rd of September we sat in the rather worryingly 22nd place, and with just 1 solitary win the doom merchants were in full flow. They where calling for Tony Pulis’s head and even planned a “Red card protest” in an aim to oust the “new” gaffer. Pulis had rejoined the club after being sacked at the end of the 2004/05 season. He then had a 1 season stint at Plymouth.

But then 'it' happened.

The first loan mercenary arrived, in the form of Aston Villa outcast Lee Hendrie. He was the target of several Championship clubs, including Crystal Palace and QPR, but he opted to stay in the north, and he arrived at the Brit just in time for the home game with Preston.

We drew 1-1, but it was evident the confidence Hendrie had bought to the squad. We were unlucky not to take all 3 points against an in-form North End.

The next 2 saviours weren’t far behind. Rory Delap from Sunderland and Salif Diao of Liverpool were installed just in time for the away tie at Elland Road. Nobody, including myself expected to get anything from the game. But we did. We beat a lacklustre Leeds 4-0, and it should have been more. Happy days.

We brushed aside Sunderland in our next game, lost against Southampton at St Marys, then absolutely demolished Norwich 5-0 the weekend after.

Our next game was against Leicester on the 31st October. Stoke started brightly, as Ricardo Fuller gave us an early lead, but we were undone by 2 exceptional goals towards the end of the match. Confidence was still high though.

Liam Lawrence was signed on an emergency loan from Sunderland. The last of the mercenaries … for now, surely? Nope, we signed Patrick Berger on deadline day. Wtf!

In our next 7 games against Coventry, Palace, Hull, West Brom, Cardiff, Coventry and QPR we dropped only 2 points and conceded none. Zilch. Zero.

7 games, none conceded. We had broke a record that had stood for over 50 years.

In my 20 or so years as a Stoke supporter, I have never seen the style and quality of football we are playing now, so forgive me if I get a little over excited at times. But I think this could be our year.

Obviously it all hangs on what happens in January. Hendrie and Berger will return to Villa, as will Diao to Liverpool. Liam Lawrence is a done deal and I have high hopes of seeing Andy Griffin back in the red and white. So its a possibility that I'll be crying into my pint glass in a month's time as we slide down the table. The Championship is a rollercoaster and everyone seems to yo-yo up and down the table. I just hope the board know that they need to finish off what they have started. Otherwise, what's the point?

Part 2 in late Jan 2007. Hopefully titled 'Stoke's drive towards the Premiership'.

Wish us luck.


The name's Huddlestone, Tom Huddlestone

If I hear or read one more 'Is Huddlestone the new Carrick?' thread I might consider DOS attacking the forum in question and laying to rest the irrelevant comparisons once and for all.

Tom can pass the ball. Not very well, but wonderfully well. And because of that, he's being compared to Carrick and Hoddle - because for some ridiculous reason Spurs fans think that the kid has to go up against this benchmark.

There will never be another Hoddle. And as for Carrick, its always been debatable just how good of a player he is. Ask some and they'll tell you he's the best passer of the ball in England and never has to tackle because he reads the game so well he gets to the ball before the need to slide to it. Others well tell you he's just over-rated.

Because he left Spurs in the summer, the instant knee-jerk from the fans who miss him is to latch onto the idea that Tom Huddlestone is some kind of direct prototype replacement and thus has to fill the void Carrick left behind. Well no. A good midfielder should be able to pass the ball and pass it well. How exactly does that make him the new Carrick?

Tom is a player with quite majestic vision and touch. A player comfortable and composed on the ball, so much so, you forget his tender age and inexperience in top flight football. He's an excellent passer of the ball and enjoys a good olde crack at goal, usually from distance. However, he lacks pace and mobility and due to his inexperience he also has to improve his general conducting from the central midfield position.

And Carrick?

Majestic vision and touch. Check.
Comfortable and composed. Check
Excellent passer. Check.
Cracks at goal. Well, no.
Lacks pace. Check.
Mobility. Check.
Conducting. Check.

Take that above list and then take the 'playmaker' or the 'player who pulls the strings' from any of the top sides and you'll find that these are simply the necessities of a good midfielder. Some will have more pace others will score a ton of goals. But everyone is an individual and although they may fit into a type of 'mould', they still retain their own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.

Huddlestone is not the new Carrick. He's Tom Huddlestone. And simply allowing him to develop on his own accord (with help of course from his coach) rather expecting him to mimic departed players is the way to go.

As for the Hoddle comparison - thats just unnecessary. Hoddle was nothing like Carrick and vice versa, so placing Huddlestone alongside either of them has no logic. Yes - they are all midfielders. Yes - they are all wonderful passers of the ball. Yes - they all lacked pace. But Hoddle and Carrick are two very distinctively different footballers. Not too long ago Spurs fans were asking, 'Is Carrick the new Hoddle?'.

Tom Huddlestone has yet to clearly define the type of player he will become. What is ironic is that Carrick's depature has given him a chance to shine, and suddenly the £14M to £18M or so banked from his move to Man Utd is looking even more like the deal of the season. Not for Utd, but for Spurs. Lets hope he isn't dropped when Jermaine Jenas returns from injury.

The only comparison that will ever matter is that in 20 years from now Spurs fans talk about Tom the same way they talk about Glenn. In 2 or 3 years time, we might be in a position to predict if that will ever come close to happening.


Dec 17, 2006

Drogba's class pains Fergie as he's kicked to the Curb

Apologies for the title. Play-with-words isn't my strong point after a few afternoon cold beers. Today, The Premiership took another wonderful hiccup of a twist as Chelsea brilliant came from behind twice to break the hearts of 'The People' in Liverpool's blue territory while Alan Curbishley sent 'ammers fans into delirious celebrations as the new dawn at Upton Park rained points for the home team, as the battled superbly to defeat Manchester United.

You have to love football. This time last week Alan Pardew was in charge of the Claret and Blue Army, and a week on, Curbs manages to guide WHU to a much needed moral boosting win and, ironically his first against Man Utd in 16 attempts. And back onto the irony again, Nigel Reo-Coker scores the winner.

See, NRC apparently wants out of WHU and hasn't been the most popular player amongst the Chicken Run faithful this calender year. Makes it all that more interesting when an unlikely hero sends the home crowd back into the pubs to celebrate what they hope will be a progressive move up the table.

If West Ham play like this every week, then their fans have nothing to worry about. Though relegation is a word only ever used by other fans as a wind-up. And great to see Edward Sheringham coming back to haunt Fergie.

Earlier in the day Chelsea beat Everton. Wonderful entertainment. But lets just talk about the 'Harvey Dent' of Chelsea's season:


One player, brilliant and in possession of match-winning abilities and 'holy sh*t' goals. The other, brilliant in Milan but distinctively average and lacking in self confidence in London.

Place aside the dramatics and the mis-controls of previous afternoons, but anyone who claims Drogba 'isn't that great' needs to shrug off the bitterness and admit that he has the class and is consistently proving it week in week out.

Shevchenko on the other hand is player who on form, would rip the opposition to shreds, but instead just apologetically coughs in their direction.

There's no doubting his proven quality. Some players don't adapt to the game over here in England, others take time. What Utd fans (and the rest of us) should consider is that if Jose keeps the faith and Shevchenko doesn't look to return to Italy - god help us all if he hits the form he is capable of.

This season, the two-horse race that it is, continues to provide us with some wonderful sub-plots and shocks.

All hail the Premiership.


Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells....

....jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to see Tottenham win away!

From the beeb (Lawro's Predictions):

I saw the corresponding fixture last season and Spurs were excellent.

Manchester City's record at home this season has been exemplary, with only one goal conceded, but I suspect they are due a defeat there.

Spurs just need to get an away win from somewhere which they have obviously struggled to get so far - this could be their chance.

Match preview

Prediction: 1-2

Almost Christmas, which makes it staggering that today marks Tottenham's first 3 away points. Open bus parade scheduled for tomorrow. Though Mark Lawerson getting a prediction right is probably an even bigger miracle than Spurs winning away from home.


Flying the Flag

Arsenal, with immediate effect, have banned all national flags from the Emirates. Having visited the quaint stadium (less said about the day the better) I noted countless Cypriot flags - which isn't surprising considering the amount of Greeks/Cypriots that follow them. Apparently they brought these for show/protest AFTER another gooner displayed a Turkish Republic of North Cyprus flag.

If you're wondering what the political fuss is about, in a nutshell, the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus inst recognised by anyone other than Turkey, as Cyprus since 1973, has been occupied (and thus split into two - the Turkish bit at the top and the Greek bit at the bottom). Its a tad more complex than that, but I suppose the point is - if the 'Turkish Republic' are not recognised then why the hell should should all of Arsenals Greek Cypriot supporting community recognise this one bloke and his pretend flag? Whether he waves his flag or not, he's still gonna believe in what he believes in.

The act of complaint has only resulted in ALL flags being banned from the ground. So now nobody can be patriotic.

Football and politics, that doesn't happen often, does it....


Dec 16, 2006

Dec 14, 2006

Why didn't he start?

Monty Panesar became the first English spinner to take a five-wicket haul in Perth as England grabbed the initiative in the third Ashes Test.

Enough said. Should have played from the start. Lets hope tomorrow morning I can follow up this entry with a big fat smiley face.

EDIT(friday morning):

THIRD TEST, PERTH, DAY TWO: Australia v England

Australia were turning the screw as they attempted to regain the Ashes after racing to a 100-run lead on day two of the Perth Test.

England were dismissed for 215, a deficit of 29 on Australia's first innings, and the hosts reached 71-1 with an hour's play left.

Matthew Hoggard made an immediate impact bowling Justin Langer for a first-ball duck.

But Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting were taking the fight to England.

Oh bollocks.

lack of blogs

I'm hangover, over-worked, and not been home long enough to blog. Will return with vengence in the next day or so.


Dec 12, 2006

Quote of the Day

"They were just seconds away from winning the FA Cup final and Alan Pardew would have been in West Ham's history books forever and a day.

"That is scary, how fine the dividing line is that we all live by. We all hang by a thread, all of us." ~ Glenn Roeder

Its a rollercoaster is football, more so for WHU fans than anyone else. And maybe the 'ammers in the past were always happy to yo-yo between divisions or simply be a team that plays entertaining footie but only ever manage mid-table before relegation. But the current board may be looking to buck the trend.

If there was no takeover, I doubt Pardew would have been shown the door. Seems more obvious that the new owner wants to make an impact and a dramatic one at best. Curbs will do a wonderful job there. Then again, we said the same thing about Pardew. And if you look at his achievements at Upton Park, compared to some, he hardly disgraced himself. Which makes this game impossible to predict, and leaving the managers all hanging by a thread.


Dec 10, 2006

How many facts do you know about Theo Walcott?

1) He plays for Arsenal

2) He was in the England World Cup squad, rather controversially, but never made a single minutes worth of appearances

3) He's amazingly fast

4) His girlfriend is blonde and cute, and probably not legal

5) He scored a 'chipped' goal for Southampton that Sky Sports love to showpiece time and time again

6) ..........

And that, is apparently, enough for him to claim the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.


Dec 9, 2006

Another nail in the coffin.....

Once more, it seems we football fans are not allowed the freedom to do what we are best at. And thats take the piss out of opposition players we love to hate. This delightful piece is taken from the Arsenal website:

As you will know, the Club consistently sells out its allocation for away matches and the support from the fans has been tremendous both domestically and across Europe. Your commitment to Arsenal Football Club is very much appreciated by the players and everyone associated with the Club.

Those of you attending the above match on Sunday will know there are a number of actions planned against individuals at Chelsea by a small minority of Arsenal fans. The Club would like all supporters to be aware that anyone found to be bringing in inflatable mobile phones or fake bank notes will be either refused entry or ejected from the ground. Arsenal Football Club would like to stress that it does not tolerate any foul or abusive behaviour and we are working closely with both Chelsea Football Club and the relevant authorities to ensure that Sunday’s match will be played in a safe and positive environment.

We urge all our fans to focus their attention on supporting the team during Sunday’s important match and maintain the impeccable behaviour associated with supporters of Arsenal Football Club.

Your support is invaluable to the team, get behind them on Sunday - your positive support really does make the difference.

You can't drink, smoke, stand or even swear at grounds (the 'no swearing' signs up at some grounds makes me laugh out loud). Seems a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to the football will soon be akin to going to the theatre. But then income from tv rights probably gives the clubs more money than the bods turning up through the turnstiles on any given game. And we all know clubs have 'money' as their number one priority.


Dec 8, 2006

'I think I am going to get booed badly'

Ashley Cole comes face to face on Sunday with the fans he deserted for £5,000. Well actually, he probably wont have to face them as such as they will be boxed into the corner behind the goal, where some of them wont even be able to see the pitch from their seats.

On the one afternoon a year where Arsenal fans actually out sing the opposition home support, we are in for a lively afternoon of football and abuse. The gooners who introduced chef hats to football grounds have printed fake money with Ashley's mug on it. Classic stuff, classic. There's a Nick Hornby in everyone of them.

To be fair, like Sol Campbell before him, Ashely Cole should have been up front and honest about it all. And not manufacture some bullshit story about not getting the money he asked for. Campbell, was always going to leave Spurs, but always denied he would. Difference here is that Cole knows and accepts what he's in for. Sol still thinks he didnt do anything wrong. But let's not bring up that olde chestnut again.

Seems the whole dymanic of loyalty is a distorted one. Cole claims its all about not being made to feel wanted. £5K's worth of not feeling wanted. But as players are on a journey of the ego, and you cant blame them for wanting a quick-fix, leaving Arsenal for Chelsea means he is more likely to win honours. Much like Teddy left Spurs (as much as he loved the club) he knew going to Utd would result in silverware to compliment his class. Maybe 40 years ago, Teddy would never have left. In fact, calling it a quick-fix is probably a tad bitter. You can't blame a player for leaving a club and joining one that he considers to be 'bigger' or 'potentially more successful'. But you'd think theres a better way of making the move to avoid looking like a c*nt.

We live in an age of vanity. And the only loyal people are the fans, who at the best of times are fickle and disillusioned. So all cameras on Cole this Sunday. Sure, in the eyes of gooners, he deserves it. And whether he's dressing up as a twat for glossy magazine photo spreads or XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXX XXXX, Cole is a bit of a twat at the best of times. I might even consider boo'ing him.

I've still stuck £5 on him bagging the first goal.


Dec 7, 2006

You happy with your team?

Nine points separate 17th place and 3rd place in the Premiership.

points separate the 2nd place team with the 3rd place team.

Most clubs this season are having away-day blues. Everyones form (except Man Utd's and Chelsea's) is patchy at best.

from glory-glory (regarding my team, Spurs):

Given that we seem to be having a, shall we say, "slightly less than satisfactory" start to our PREMIERSHIP season, here's an interesting thought i've had to perhaps soften the blow...

Last season we had taken 20 points from the teams we've played so far this season. Up to today, it's 22 points (i've tried to pair up the promoted/relegated equivalents). So we're 2pts up on last seasons performances.

However, as pointed out in the same thread the above stats were taken from, we are almost half way through the season already. Everyone seems to be on par with each other, which either means the quality is very good or the quality is a tad average. I'm going with the latter. Question to ask is if anyone can string a decent run together, because at this stage, 3rd and 4th spot is well up for grabs.

The most open Prem season ever? (discounting the top 2 of course).


pound-for-pound, best league in the world?

Just caught this thread/debate on 606:

Technically, the EPL isnt up there with, the Italians or the Dutch - but for sheer blood and thunder football, its probably the best. But La Liga does blood and thunder pretty well too, and some of their football is better than ours (though they tend to ruin it with their diving).

Its an age old argument. And probably one with no definitive answer.

~Discussion Here~


Quisessential Football Story of the Week

Now don't get me wrong.....boys will be boys. But I have never seen the point of pulling out my playmaker and sharing a busty blonde with my mates while others look on and film it.

Maybe its because I'm shy. Or maybe I suspect that if its on film, it will end up being watched by people who I'd rather didn't see my thrusting movements and hairy arse. For example, the Interweb community. Or my girlfriend. Or maybe its the fear that at some point in the evenings proceedings the worst thing that could happen when in a room full of naked men...happens. No, I'm not referring to mistakenly sitting on a mobile phone. I'm talking about someone taking aim and missing the intended target. Much like Sunderlands forward line-up when playing in the Prem. But even more messy.

Whats quite non-eventful about the 'Sunderland Players in Orgy Shocker' headline, is that the three 'stars' mentioned are either leaving the club or already elsewhere. I'm more interested in why they apparently do this each week. Call me old fashioned, but sex with one woman in a bed is a little more appealing than having your mates watch and listening to 'Match of the Day' style commentary as you get your end away. I'm a traditionalist and proud. That and the fact I dont earn £40,000 per week.


Dec 6, 2006

'We're too good to go down'

So says Eggert Magnusson.

The 'ammers have slotted themselves into the 3rd from bottom position. On paper, they are not as good as the team of 2003. Who, by the by, were also too good to go down. I suppose, you could argue that WHU do have quality and once the excellent Ashton returns they might begin to get results that match their performances. There's something missing from their play at the moment (take the defeat at Everton where they were the far better team). Tonight against Wigan was another night of frustration. And with Bolton and Manchester United up next, its looking like a gloomy Christmas for the boys in claret and blue.

Anyways, this is silly talk. The season's only 16 games old. Plenty of time for recovery. All they need to do is aim for 40 points or so and they should be safe as houses.


Dec 5, 2006

The Genius of Sepp Blatter


It must be hard being Sepp Blatter. He must wake between silken sheets in the morning, after yet another boozy, foie gras-soaked evening banquet, look at his “to do” list and wince.

1- Pick up dry cleaning
2- Pay chef (gold bullion in safe)
3- Accept “donation” from dubious character.
4- Say something outrageous to assembled world sporting press.

Normally, he does it quite well, so that he comes out like a cross between a mental retard and a slightly eccentric uncle. But yesterday he scored a fabulous coup. “Change the European football season to February to November and play through the summer”, the fat-jowled loon wobbled to the press, all gratefully licking their pencils in choreographed stereotype.

Even by Blatter’s standards (tighter shorts for female footballers, has he ever watched female football?) this was guff of the highest order.

On the most obvious reason why this is a bad idea, I’ll just point out that the leagues deliberately run August/September to May to avoid the worst of the summer heat, because it is too hot to play.

First up, there is the small matter of the, erm, lickle old World Cup. Playing this in the winter are we? It would be one way for the suits of FIFA to make sure it never came back here I suppose, supporting all those claims of anti-England bias. It would be even worse for the European Championship, because at least the WC could be held in a southern hemisphere country.

The weather plays another crucial factor, one which makes you wonder if Blatter has ever played football. Charging around on a hot August afternoon is bad enough most of the time in Blighty, I can’t imagine how much fun it wouldn’t be to go on an away game to Sevilla or Malaga in the middle of summer, or AEK, or Palermo for that matter. Even Munich in the summer would not be pleasant.

You only have to look back at the recent European World Cups to see the effect of playing in summer heat. OK, France and Germany both produced some good games, but they were surely all the ones played at night.

Ok, ok, maybe then, all the games could be played later, so it is cooler. A great idea for some parts of the world. But though La Liga plays a lot of games at night for this very reason, will all the other leagues want to change to play all their games after dark?

Sky might be quite happy at this, but in the UK the police are sure to object on the grounds that people will have had more of a change to tank up on a large scale, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Going back to Spain, Italy, and others, it will still be pretty warm late at night, and if you ask players whether they would like to play on a muggy July night at 11pm or a balmy October/November, I hope most would make the obvious choice.

- Ewok

Blog entry added to forum - click here

Christmas Blues

Girlfriend: You do know I wont be seeing you on Christmas day because I'm having to spend it with my mum and sisters.
Spooky: That's okay, we'll still see each other in the week leading up to the New Year.
Girlfriend: Yeah, but not in the week leading up to Christmas day. You know I'm working and I've got plans, I explained this to you.
Spooky: Yeah, yeah...I remember.
Girlfriend: So what are you going to do?
Spooky: Do?
Girlfriend: Yes. If we are not seeing each other Christmas day then when are you going to see me?
Spooky: Christmas Eve?
Girlfriend: No, I told you, I'm working.
Spooky: When do you want to see me?
Girlfriend: I think you should come round and spend Boxing day with me and my mum.
Spooky: (shrugs) Yeah, I suppose.
Girlfriend: (not impressed) I'm telling you, if you dont come round on Boxing day.......
Spooky: What?
Girlfriend: All I'm doing is asking you for one thing.
Spooky: I know, but I need to check something.
Girlfriend: Check what?
Spooky: I think Spurs might be playing at home.
Girlfriend: Spurs? You're going to blow me out for football?
Spooky: But I've got a season ticket, I've already paid for the match.
Girlfriend: Okay, you do what you think is right, okay? You do what you think is right for us.
Spooky: Its Villa at home.
Girlfriend: Where are you spending Boxing day?
Spooky: (thinking)
Girlfriend: (waiting)
Spooky: (thinking)
Girlfriend: Well?
Spooky: Can I goto the match and then come round to see you?
Girlfriend: (just stares)
Spooky: I'll be spending Boxing day with you and your mum.
Girlfriend: Okay, I'll let her know.

Spooky. Pwnd. I've had another conversation since this, and she keeps saying 'go to the football and then come round'. But the way she says this with rather brash hand movements and loads of pointing suggests she wants me to do the opposite of what she's giving me permission to do.

I hate to say it, but I'm technically under the thumb.


.....and then I woke up to this

Australia 513 & 168-4 beat England 551-6 dec & 129 by six wickets

Australia won the second Ashes Test by six wickets and went 2-0 up in the series after bowling England out for 129 on day five in Adelaide.

England lost nine wickets for 60 in 43 overs, with Shane Warne taking 4-49 and key batsmen playing some poor shots.

Chasing 168 to win, Ricky Ponting (49) and Michael Hussey (61no) shared a third-wicket stand of 83 in 16 overs.

Ponting and Damien Martyn fell in quick succession but Michael Clarke joined Hussey to win with three overs left.

No team in history has lost after declaring on a higher total than England's 551-6 batting first in a Test.

Staggering. My football team is shit. My cricket team is shit. Hasn't exactly been the greatest start to a month. Boro at home tonight. If we dont score at least 5 goals, I plan to riot.


Dec 2, 2006

I'm guessing I can't blame the lasagne?

Right. Okay. How should I start this? Oh yeah, with a joke. That always works.

Spurs need to use an A-Z next time, because they quite clearly failed to turn up at the Emirates today.

<- insert tumbleweed here ->

I'm not going to hang onto such excuses about Poll fucking up twice, for both penalties, because lets face it - even if you take away the two dubious spot-kicks, Arsenal still deserved a 3-0 win. They had a stupendous amount of possession and always looked likely to score going forward.

Quite how the Spurs lot struggled to bring any pride/desire/urgency/courage to the game is beyond me. Sure, play well and lose - and you can still take something away with you. All I took away was the bitter taste of a luke-warm pint that cost me £3.20.

I mean, ffs, its a fundamental necessity of most games - but especially North London Derby's - to turn up and match the nemesis on every level. Arsenal turned up. We didn't. And the game was lost in the opening 20 minutes or so when they won every ball and were around 1000% more sharper and faster than any of our players.

We were stuck on pause, while Arsenal were in fast-forward. It was VHS v Betamax.

We looked over-whelmed, and before you think I'm about to pull down the shorts of Arsenal and pucker my lips - I don't think they were particularly out of this world. They simply wanted it more. They wanted to win. And moving all the bias in the world to one side, I have not a single excuse/reason to throw back at any of my gooner mates.

Sure, the atmosphere in their new home wasn't exactly electrifying, but neither was the away support. I did manage to spot 5 Cypriot flags in the crowd which was a little game I played pre-kick off. Tbh, the stadium is quite majestic. Very impressive and definitely the way forward with regards to what stadia should look like......if you want some room for the co-operate mob and the gloryhunters ( shot). But I actually miss Highbury. That place was unique, even if was full of 'them lot'. A proper old-skool ground. But remaining attached to the past is probably what stops most from moving forward.

There were pockets of 'noise' from about three areas in the crowd, but for a NLD, it wasn't that great. Though the blame is firmly on the Spurs players for not making it a contest. And historically (what with living in a Library for many years) the Emirates was never going to be a cauldron of hate. More of a bowl of distaste.

Do I really have to go back to the match? I guess I should.

Well, from what I could see from my impossible to rip out and destroy seat we were pish. Apart from maybe Robbie Keane who run around a lot and looked like he wanted to play football - but even he had lapses of giving the ball away. The rest were pants. Lennon looked like the boy he is. Not sure what the little skip and shrug was all about when he lost the ball (which he did on a number of occasions).

Lennon! You're meant to actually try and win it back mate. You know.....the ball! Utterly over-whelmed. Maybe the pretty stadium was too much of a distraction.

You know what, there's not much point really in going into some detailed analytical breakdown rant of player and tactics and what went wrong. No point. But I can manage some bullets:

  • Jol got his selection wrong
  • The players should be ashamed of themselves
  • Arsenal deserve credit for their commitment
  • Poll made up for his 'mare' at WHL against Chelsea (sorry, another cheap shot)
  • We got what we deserved. Fuck all.
  • MIA: An away goal scored from open play

A bit of a waste of an afternoon really. Not that much more to add. Anyone who was there or watched it will agree, that even though Poll got it wrong twice, Spurs were never at the races. Not for a second. I'm sure Spurs fans reading this are probably waiting for me to say at least one thing to make them smile.

Well, I could, for arguments sake, laugh out loud at the way Arsenal fall over (like today when a certain someone rolled around got up and then fell down and rolled around again) or play the percentage game with 'tricking' the ref to hand out pens. Or I could laugh at the way the Arsenal fans are happy to accept this as part of their teams makeup. But everyone knows this already and thats why Arsenal are wankers (3rd cheap shot.....just let me have it please).

But this doesn't change a thing. Its not relevant and it doesn't matter. Teams at the top (even though they are hardly the same team of 2/3 years ago) have that certain element of being c*nts - and yes - c*nts win things. Look at United and Chelsea. But the whole 'do anything to win' argument is one for another day. We just haven't mastered the art of buying the referee.

All that matters is:

  • We haven't scored away from home in the league, from open play
  • Its December 2nd, and we haven't picked up 3 points away from home (I'm sure thats obvious from the first point)
  • We need a new fullback and centreback (fullback, because apart from Chimbonda, the rest are utter gush - even though Chimbo had a mare today - and a centreback cause lord help us if we lost King or Dawson to injury)
  • For a North London Derby, this was a non-contest - and thus a waste of the 80 quid I paid (best not tell the girlfriend she cant have that Gucci Pink perfume for Xmas now...)

Can't even laugh at Liverpool and their away record, as they've managed to net 4 goals before half-time at Wigan.

So. Might as well wrap this one up. We've had better days. I'll leave it at that.


Dec 1, 2006

So, the new FM patch was released last night....

Go take a look at the SI Forums. How they put up with the moaning whinging eight year olds that cry like a pimps bitch who hasnt had her fix of crack is beyond me.

"I've played the patch for 10 seconds and I've already found 13 bugs!!"
"Should I download the patch or not? I'm so so scared"
"I'm still getting too many injuries after installing the patch...the patch is terrible and has nothing to do with me being utterly crap at training my players"
"Gaga goo goo"

What a bunch of tools.