Friday, December 29, 2006

The Sun Is Having The Day Off

Gosh it's dark - it's pitch black outside, not even the slightest hint of dawn despite that fact it was practically daylight this time yesterday. I had to double-check the clock to make sure I hadn't inadvertently got up a couple of hours early (sadly I hadn't). Still, it's Saturday tomorrow and a good old-fashioned lie-in is on the cards. Excellent.

Not much news at all so far today - looks like everyone else is still convinced it's night-time - so maybe an update later if anything happens...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Shivering At The Gates Of Dawn

Still no snow, but plenty of cold air. I used to love winter when I was younger, now I suspect it's best confined to Christmas cards. Perhaps I just need a new coat or to move somewhere else in the office so I've got a view of something other than a stick-like leafless and lifeless tree shrouded in fog.

Yet another muscle injury affects the team for Saturday's match up in Sheffield - this time it's a thigh strain which will keep EA25 out of the match. You have to wonder quite why we're picking up so many of this sort of injury ATM - perhaps it's the Emirates pitch? I'm hoping we'll see The Beast get a start at the weekend, he sounds like he's champing at the bit and he's looking far leaner and meaner now than he did when he joined us.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Wrong Kind Of Cold

Plenty of cold air, no fluffy white stuff :( Oh, well, never mind, I daresay we'll get some before too long. Fine Christmas all round, particularly a couple of pleasing football results for the Gunners and a nice Christmas surprise served up by Reading and Chelski.

Things are looking a little less rosy for Liverpool fans ATM, with news that the proposed takeover is nothing more than an attempt to make a short-term financial killing. Whether the news will make the Liverpool board have a rethink remains to be seen.

More later, my hands are too cold to type right now.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Christmas!

A happy Christmas to all of you, whatever your religious/political views on life. And may you see the New Year as a chance to move on. All the best.

Friday, December 15, 2006

CL News

We've got PSV in the first knockout round. Could have been worse, I reckon. Chelski get Porto, which could be fun, ManUSA face Lille and Celtic have got a winable tie against AC Milan. Liverpool have got Barcelona, which has just drawn a hearty groan from my Liverpool-supporting colleague.

The fixtures start in late February.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Good Enough, I Reckon

So we've picked up 3 points tonight thanks to a superb pass from FF4 and a cool finish from the increasingly excellent EA25. Add that to Sunday's well deserved point down the Fulham Road and I feel we're doing pretty well at the moment, thank you very much. The weekend could be interesting, but again no predictions...

On another tack, why do people think murdering prostitutes is somehow not as serious as murdering anyone else? We had the same argument over Sutcliffe, of course, but then if we ever learned the lessons of history we'd have nothing exciting like arms industries, wars and politicians. Good luck to the fellow leading the chase to catch whoever's responsible, he (the policeman, not the perpetrator) seems like a decent guy. Hell of a job, I know I couldn't hack it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

RIP James Kim

The story of James Kim's tragic death attempting to save his family (who thankfully survived) has touched a lot of people's hearts. Mine too. May he rest in peace.

Elsewhere, we're through to the knockout stages of the CL following last night's pretty dire draw against Porto. I'm not sure, but I think both teams may have come close to breaking the existing record for most consecutive passes during the last quarter of an hour. Still, points make prizes as Brucie is wont to say, we only needed the one and we got it. What's to moan about?

PM-in-waiting Gordon "The Moron" Brown has yet again shown his contempt for those of us who dare to live in rural areas by whacking up petrol costs again. Quite how this is a "green" policy when we have no choice but just to pay the additional costs (there being no alternative after years of New Labour transport "policy") and he's seen no need to put any extra burden on those who *choose* to drive quite unnecessary gas-guzzlers is beyond me. But then most of the things he does make fuck-all sense to me.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Blair Insane, Weather Unchanged Too

I used to wonder if Tony Blair could actually get any more detached from reality, I don't any more and haven't for a while. Just let him play in his PC little garden with his safe PC fluffy toys 'til he hands over to the power-crazed Scot who's never had a job. Let's just hope we still have a country left come the next election...

Have a fine evening my friends.

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's Grim Out West

What a crap week. I've been running around like the proverbial blue-arsed fly (why do only blue-arsed flies rush about, I wonder?) and seem to have achieved absolutely naff all. The fact that it's Friday isn't even cheering me up any. Mind you, the weather's hardly helping, it's dank and dark down here and is showing no sign of improving. That's Somerset for you, it'll be like this til next May. Oh joy.

The scum tomorrow. No predictions from me (see comments in the last post). TH14 looks likely to miss the game. Let's just hope the rest of the team turns up.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hang On, You're Going Too Fast

I'm having trouble keeping up with this week, it's rocketing by and leaving me trailing in its wake. Still, there you go, something to do with getting old I suspect.

The weekend followed a fairly predictable path with us getting mugged by Bolton as usual and the Mangled Wurzels providing a superb night's entertainment at the Charlton. Sunday was, predictably, approached with a slightly less than clear head and so it was that I dozed through most of the Clash of the Titans. Can't say I minded missing it too much and the result is the best we could really have hoped for as we've only dropped a point against the pair of them: that's recoverable.

Fulham tonight. Now we *need* a result. Come on you Gunners!

UPDATE: Bollocks. We'll be back and I'm going to stop doing the "we need a win" thing as I'm coming to the conclusion I'm jinxing us.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Weekend Preview: Bolton And The Mangled Wurzels

I'm not too sure which is the least attractive prospect, to be honest. The Bolton game has turned into an annual horror show, though I still reckon we'll get a result tomorrow. We're certainly due one, after all. TR7 is out, as is WG10. Thankfully the latter would seem to be making a speedier recovery than was originally anticipated. RVP11 is suspended. Whilst I'd love to see The Beast get a start I suspect we'll see EA25. Come on you Gunners!

Meanwhile, back in Shepton, the Mangled Wurzels are appearing at the Charlton Inn on Saturday night. I appreciate that most people would view going to see a Worzels cover band as a clear sign of insanity but I have to say they provide a bloody good night out. Perhaps I've been down here too long. Perhaps living next to Europe's largest cider factory has done for me. Who knows, anyway I intend to be there.

UPDATE: TH14 is out of tomorrow's game. As good a time as any to give The Beast a start, I think. Some people are suggesting TW32 but I'd rather not see Bolton have a whole game to kick him around the park.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

And Number 7 Is Liam Brady

The campaign to get Perry Groves' autobiography to outsell C***ley C***'s - proving jolly successful, BTW - has now reached the pages of the BBC website, who're running an "Ask Perry Groves" feature. Pop along to the football section and ask what you will of the Ginger Genius. Oh, and buy the book...

Bolton for us at the weekend. Away. Surely it's time we finally got something out of this truly wretched fixture? Still, The Beast is back and he's just the sort of fellow you want in this sort of game. Bring it on, I feel a win is there for the taking - we really need one, too, since one or both of Chelski and ManUSA *have* to drop points on Sunday...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Boy And The Beast

I'm back from the internet-access-free wilds now, so it's time to play catch up. Saturday's result was hardly encouraging but there you go, at least we didn't lose. I've still got a good feeling about our Premiership chances this time around; time will tell if I'm justified or just deluding myself.

Last night's 3-1 win sees us with a toe in the door of the CL knock-out stages - we just need a point at Porto (who, as it happens, also only need a point). TH14 will be out of that game having yesterday collected his third booking of the first stage.

Looks like I'll not be seeing the OJ programme as it's been pulled: its broadcast was stopped as it was deemed in "poor taste" - surely that it would so be must have been bloody obvious at the planning stage? Oh well, no doubt in due course it'll find its way onto the 'net.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

November Is A Surprisingly Long Month

Maybe it's just the weather, but this month is looking interminable. Having an utterly pointless international friendly in the middle of it probably doesn't help, either. Last night's game was truly dire. The match pitched an absolutely hapless England "team" against an almost completely disinterested collection of Ductchmen. It wasn't fun to watch and it's certainly done nothing to alter my opinion that McClaren is the wrong man for the job. Meanwhile, both Russia and Croatia won in real qualifying games, pushing England down to third in their group. If England carry on playing as they are they'll be lucky to stay that highly placed...

The whole OJ Simpson thing is going from weird to weirder to just plain incredible at a rate of knots. I think I may have to see if I can find some way of getting to watch the "hypothetical confession" interview that's due on one of the major US TV networks in the next day or so.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

An Even Older Trout

Well. The Boss's 44th was a truly roctastic beerfest with some very fine curried goat and jerk chicken thrown in. Everybody had a great night (and I suspect a hangover of some considerable quality the following day) and I reckon the excellent Queen's Head is now firmly back on the map (if you're trying to find it on said map - and I'd recommend doing this and then visiting in person, particularly for the orgasmic cauliflower cheese at the Sunday carvery - then try Fishponds Road, Bristol, just opposite Eastville Park). Congratulations to publicans Carol and Bill on the very fine job they've done with the place since taking it over a mere few weeks back.

The evening's entertainment started off with Ned's superb acoustic set - a fabulous choice of songs beautifully sung. There were a few women looking for drier underwater after his efforts, I suspect. Bastard :)

Bristol's newest Rock 'n' Roll stars, Mister Savage, gave us a couple of superb sets, aided and abbetted by/handicapped by a couple of guests (your author included). They were *bloody good*, let's just be clear about that.

You should, if you're lucky enough to be around Brizzle, get the chance to see them over the next few months. Give it a shot, you'll have a great night. Top Tip: their versions of "Play That Funky Music" and "No More Heroes" are to die for.

Kate made sure she kept up the family tradition...

Caz had spent the day in the kitchen and produced some absolutely wonderful food - curried goat, jerk chicken, rice and peas et al. I didn't get to eat any as I'd got rather tied up with other things when they started serving and it'd all gone by the time I'd finished. Since she'd catered for over 100 people I guess this suggests the food was popular :)

There's a lot to add to this post (and I will as I get more photos in), so please call back from time to time...

Head Now Clear Enough For The Weekend Roundup

And what a splendid weekend it was too. Saturday was the day of The Boss's birthday party, of course. Many people got spectacularly and happily drunk. Very cool. So cool in fact that many repeated the experience on Sunday. Hence no post yesterday... Full report on the bash in a separate post.

A fine win on Sunday against a still-out-of-sorts Liverpool. We played very well, I thought, (though Liverpool didn't - still, you can only beat the team they put in front of you) and it's nice to see goal scorers popping up from all over the team. WG10 seems to do everything with a huge grin on his face ATM: compare and contrast this with the scowl now permanently etched onto Cashley C***'s phisiog. He he.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What A Difference A Day Makes

Gosh, I have a day off sick and loads of shit happens... Dubya loses control both US houses, Britney Spears files for divorce (at last) and ManUSA lose to Southend. Wow. Looks like I've got some reading to do or I'm going to be way behind.

Last night saw EA25 take us through to the last eight in the Carling Cup with a late goal away at Everton. More Graham Poll controversy, apparently, too. A good result and a game that saw MP21 get his first game for us as a second half substitute for MA24 who'd taken a knock earlier on.

More later, there's gossip to be studied...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Carnival Week: Bah Humbug

West country carnivals may well be a great and popular local tradition but their seeming reliance on another great local tradition - inept local government planning and traffic control - sticks in my craw somewhat. Everywhere quite needlessly grinds to a halt as the council choose to use absolutely the least sane spots to park the various carnival floats and close roads with a seemingly wilful intent to make life as difficult as possible for local residents and workers.

Congratulations to the Scum for helping make our defeat at Upton Park somewhat less disastrous than it might have been. Liverpool next (if you're not counting the League Cup, and most people don't, though I have to say I always enjoy it) - surely we can beat a team that seems hell-bent on losing at every opportunity?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Arsenal vs CSKA Moscow

Well here we are then. We can't guarantee qualification with a win tonight whatever the other results - CSKA can. A win, though, realistically should do the job for us. Expect an Everton-style game from CSKA. With any luck we've learned enough from recent games to deal with this. Come on you Gunners!

Team news: WG10 in the middle at the back with KT5. Cool.

HALF TIME: 0 - 0. Extraordinary. We've utterly dominated this game and have managed to miss a number of absolute sitters. This is worrying. Good to watch, but only if you're a neutral I suspect. Man of the half? Well I would have gone for TR7 until his miss (even worse than FF4's), so I'm going for JL1 who did what he had to do when he had to do it despite being a spectator for most of the half. Come on you Arsenal, we need this!

FULL TIME: 0 - 0. What a weird game. We played them off the park, but couldn't score despite loads of chances. As in the first half, JL1 was there when needed. This sort of thing happens and we played really, really well so I'm not going to lose any more sleep than the wretched bug demands.

West Ham next. That one we *do* need to win.

Wednesday Team News

Ruskies in London? Surely not... It now looks as if JH31 will be fit for tonight's match against CSKA, as will GC22. No one else is back though, so we'll once again be without FL8, EA25, JB9 et al. We need a good performance tonight, and so does football in general after last night's playground romp in Barcelona.

It's been a fine sunny morning down here in Somerset, let's hope the rest of the day goes as well.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More Tea Vicar

Tea. Wonderful stuff at any time, particularly fine when, as I do now, you need a bit of a kick to get through the day. Bring it on. Lots of it.

Chelski are away at Barca on the box tonight. I imagine I'll watch it though my mind will, I feel, be on tacos. Lovely, lovely pork, gorgeous soft corn tortillas, tangy salsa... I'm decidedly hungry. Colds will do that to you, mind.

No arsenews at all today, but no doubt there'll be some team news to mull over in the morning. Til then, then...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Today's Headache Is Not Brought To You By Beer

Which is a shame, since if it were at least I'd have the memory (if only partial) of an entertaining few hours. As it is I merely have the (complete) memory of another night's sleep interupted by the demands of the latest cold bug. Still, things could be far worse: consider the case of Luton's Sol Davis who's suffered a stroke at the age of 27. Thankfully it looks as if he's expected to make a full recovery and to be back playing in six months or so. Best wishes to him.

Not the greatest result for us at the weekend, though for a quite a while it looked like it might be rather worse. We need to pick the pace up again with a win against CSKA on Wednesday but there's hardly the cause for panic the ususal doom and gloom merchants are coming up with.

Photos of the weekend's festivities in (surprisingly for the time of the year) sunny Kent to follow in due course.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Bug's Back

Well, that or it's another one - either way I'm sniffling and coughing like a good 'un. I still feel better than I did with Monday's hangover, though, so that's some mild relief.

Cracking games in the Carling Cup last night - good result for us (and many words of praise from the Baggies' boss), dreadful result for the Hammers (who, for some reason - usually the wrong one - are appearing rather too often in this blog) and an unfortunate one for Doncaster. Brainiac won't be best pleased, I suspect.

Crewe vs ManUSA tonight, and Blackburn vs Chelski. I'd rather watch the latter but it's not on, so it'll be the former for tonight's entertainment. Let's hope it is.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tuesday Already?

That's what a Sunday in Brizzle'll do for you I guess, yesterday was a complete write-off as far as I was concerned. Great day Sunday, mind, particularly as FF4 did exactly as I'd asked in a previous post and played a blinder. Great result, really good to watch, too.

Defoe's Tysonesque assault on one of those West Ham Argies is dominating the Red Tops' back pages ATM - hardly surprising IMHO as it's both funny and appalling. The FA have leapt into inaction as usual, but it's hard to see how they can fail to do something about this incident, particularly as the referee has categorically stated that the bite wasn't punished by him at the time.

League Cup stuff tonight, which I have to say I always rather enjoy, not least because we get to see a few of the up-and-coming and fringe players get a run out. I'm sure it'll be on the box on some or another channel so that's my evening mapped out. Cool.

Oh, and by the way, my copy of John Nicholson's book "Footy Rocks" arrived yesterday. Corking stuff, you owe it to yourself to nip off to Football365 and order it.

UPDATE: It's just been announced that KT5 has signed a new long-term contract to stay at Arsenal. Excellent news!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Not A Good Day For The Surgery To Forget Your Prescription

Ah ha! Cool - FF4 has signed his new eight-year deal, his agent has announced. This is cracking news. Let's hope he celebrates with an absolute stormer against Reading at the weekend.

In other new, FisherGate continues apace. More news on this later, I hope.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

If You Have Any Spare Sleep, I'd Like It Please

Because that bug has left me absolutely hanging. I'll not be losing any sleep over last night's result, though. I thought we really didn't get it together at all in the first half but looked far better in the second and that the draw that TH14's perfectly legitimate but disallowed goal would have given us would have been the right result. This sort of thing is going to happen with a young team - particularly one forcibly reshaped after yet more injuries - and if it is going to happen then I'd rather it happened in a game like last night's which, with any luck, won't count for too much at the end of the day.

Roll on Reading at the weekend.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ooh, Is It Raining?

Of course it's ****ing raining, this is bloody Somerset. It's absolutely teeming it down, just as it was yesterday and the day before that...

Some unknown (but virulent and apparently very popular) bug has had me laid up for a day or so, hence the lack of posts. But here I am now, back at work and wishing I was still in bed.

Good result for us on Saturday and good to see TW32 get a start. We've got a lot of good-looking options now and the roll goes on, long may it continue.

Best wishes to Petr Cech for a speedy and thorough recovery from what appears to be a very nasty injury indeed. He may play for Chelski but he's a human being (and by all reports a fine one at that) and football *is* just a game. Some things really are more important.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Bad Day For Templars

And not such a good one for us either as it looks like we've lost EE27 for a month or more with knee ligament damage and both FL8 and JB9 look likely to be out for a couple of games, too. Still, we've got a stong squad these days and I'm hoping for a decent result (well, alright, any sort of win) at home to Watford on Saturday.

Friday night is beer night and all that, but since illness has decimated my pool of potential drinking buddies I think I'll be spending the evening in attempting to relearn the guitar ahead of a possible appearance at The Boss' birthday do next month.

Chaos at work once again...

Have a cracking weekend!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Off With His Head

A mite extreme? Possibly, but no less likely a fate for the wretched Steve McClaren than the sacking he very richly deserves but won't get either. With five months before the next meaningful international (if that's not a contradiction in terms, at least where England are concerned) now would be as good a time as any for the FA to admit what many of us have been saying all along - that they chose the wrong man - and get rid of him. They won't, of course, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't.

Yesterday's was a horrible, horrible performance - so awful that Citizen Neville's strike was actually an England highlight for me, the only bit of the display that brought a smile to my face. Sure, England aren't as good a bunch of players as they're sometimes hyped-up to be and there are a few injuries about. However, these are still good players and there are others out there (Beckham, Bridge anyone?) who can do a very good job at this level. The problem lies squarely with McClaren. It's time for him to go.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Plot Completely Lost On Korean Peninsula

North Korea are now saying that any US (specifically US, they don't appear to be bothering with the rest of the world) sanctions will be considered an "act of war" and will be met with a "physical" response. WTF are these people on?

Young TW32 had a great night last night, coming off the bench to net a couple of fine goals for the England U-21 team. Good on him and a good result for England. A better result, I suspect, than the senior team are likely to achieve this evening.

There's a bit more in the news today about the West Ham takeover saga - it now appears that an Icelandic gentleman with a history in football administration is interested for around the £75 million mark. This deal looks (a) more likely to happen and (b) far more likely to be in the interests of the Hammers as a club than the Iranian chap's proposal...

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea Detonates Nuclear Device, USA Declares War On Lettuce

In a puzzling and rather worrying break from their usual policy of brinkmanship North Korea have detonated a nuclear device in an underground test facility in the north of the country. I have no idea where they're going with this, but it's unlikely to be anywhere good :(

No Arsenews today of note that I've been able to find, but at least it looks as if we've got halfway through the international break without picking up too many injuries. FL8 limped off against Spain with a calf strain and is doubtful for the next international, but otherwise we've come through unscathed so far. Keep your fingers crossed.

The West Ham takeover looks back on the cards again, and there are reportedly a couple of consortia interested. A price in the £100m region is being mooted. More news on this as and when.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Night Is Beer Night

Which comes as a very very great relief as it's been a bloody awful week.

The internationals mean there's little football news of interest ATM, but JL1 is reportedly eyeing a new Arsenal deal when his current one expires at the end of the season (it had originally been looking likely he'd be moving back to Germany). If he continues to play as he has been then I really hope we can keep him for the extra year.

That's your lot, have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Halfway To Nowhere In Particular

A bit of encouraging Arsenews today: PS6 and GC22 both played in last night's 2-1 reserve team win at West Ham. PS6 played the whole game, GC22 just the first half, but that was the intention from the start rather than any problem with his recovery. With these two back - and I suppose that the international break is good news for them, giving them a bit more time - we've now got real competition for places all over the pitch. Good news indeed.

It looks as if the proposed takeover of West Ham by some Iranian wannabe isn't going to happen after all. I have to say I think it's in the best interests of English football if this sort of corporate takeover - done purely for profit rather than a love of the game - doesn't happen at all. Difficult to avoid, I suppose, when the majority of clubs are publicly quoted companies but the West Ham deal in particular had a very noxious odour to it.

UPDATE: The BBC is reporting (as I daresay are others) that David Dein has been appointed Chairman of the G14 group. It would also appear that the West Ham takeover bid isn't actually dead in the water yet, but that the board is going to give the Iranian chap a "put up or shut up" order. Not a good time to be a Hammers fan, I suspect.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's Shaping Up To Be An Awful Day

Another school shooting in the US - in an Amish community, of all places - has so far left five kids, and the shooter, dead. North Korea have now publicly announced their intention to test a nuclear device "in the future", whatever that's supposed to mean. Al is back in hospital. Al, if by some bizarre chance you are reading this, get well soon, mate, we're all rooting for you here.

The Stevens report might really have been announced as "Panorama 2". There was little solid announced, though this is hardly surprising at this stage, I would imagine there's no chance of names being named unless charges are going to follow. His next, presumably final, report is due in December. Yawn.

Looks like JL1 is going to be offered a new one-year deal. This is good news, indeed, IMHO. Apparently, "according to sources", AW is also considering bringing in Le Mans' young keeper Yoann Pele (about whom I know nothing whatsoever) which makes some sense as we do need to invest in a long-term goalkeeping prospect.

Monday, October 02, 2006

War On Spinach Won, RVP11 Scores Goal Of The Season

Not least because it looks better/less believable every time you see it, I can't imagine there's going to be a likelier candidate for goal of the season than RVP11's second strike on Saturday. Awesome, truly awesome.

A good game, too, as it happens. Charlton certainly look a lot better than their position in the table suggests and a win there was a fine result, IMHO. We're really on something of a roll at the moment, so we'll just have to hope that the season's second interuption for internationals doesn't stall us. Quite why we've had to put up with two of these international breaks already in a season that for us is only 6 games old is beyond me, it's simply ridiculous.

Meanwhile, the War On Spinach is over it seems, and it's safe to eat the stuff again. Well that's a relief. Mind you, with the exception of the presumably fictitious Popeye, I don't think I've ever actually seen an American eating spinach.

Lord Stevens is due to deliver his report into questionable transfers, etc., at 16.30 this afternoon. Some comment on this tomorrow, I imagine.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Quick Team News

It looks as if WG10 may well play against Charlton tomorrow, which would be excellent if it happens. If it's not him then JD20 will play, says AW.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thank You

It's Arsene Wenger's tenth anniversary with Arsenal today. From all of us, a truly heart-felt "Thank You".

My favourite Wenger moment? Has to be seeing him holding up the Football365 "Comical Wenger" TShirt at Highbury when we really had gone through the season unbeaten.

My favourite Wenger thing? He's shown us all that you can achieve success whilst still being an honest, decent human being. If that were to be his legacy then it's one of which he could be utterly proud, IMHO.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Passing The Porto

Another win last night, and a good one too if style's your thing (and it should be, IMHO). The team's starting to gel nicely now and they're playing with smiles on their faces - they really look like they're enjoying themselves and that's great to see. TR7 really does look the business ATM.

The only downside from last night's action was an injury to the once-again very impressive WG10 (can anyone now doubt we got the better out of the Cashley C**t fiasco?) who looks to have pulled a hamstring. Thankfully the next three games he could have featured in are a premiership game against Charlton and two Euro qualifiers for France, so things could have been far worse, at least for us, timing-wise.

Chelski and the Pool on the box tonight. Probably a good night to clean the drains, but I imagine I'll end up watching anyway.

UPDATE: WG10 is reported today (Thursday) as saying he's hoping to be fit for France's Euro qualifiers, so it looks like his injury - now being described as a thigh strain rather than a hamstring pull - isn't as bad as at first feared. Excellent news.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Wonder If He Has Marmite Soldiers?

Whilst it appears North Korea are going all out to detonate a nuclear device, the UK press this morning is rather more concerned with claims that Robin Hood was in fact Welsh and with what Prince Charles does (or doesn't do) with boiled eggs. I can see that these two stories are probably more interesting than the Labour Party conference but I find the lack of concern for more world-affecting issues rather troublesome. Nothing new there, then.

Champions league again this week. We're playing Porto tomorrow night. Come on you Gunners...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bid Laden Possibly Not As Dead As Recently Reported

Goldstein, sorry, Bin Laden may not be dead after all. Well he will be one day, death and taxes being the only certainties, as they say. Mind you, if Gordon Brown becomes PM there's a fair chance the former will be outlawed to ensure an increased pool to pay the latter. It's all going horribly wrong as Bob would have said.

Well not *all*, we got three points at home for the first time this season. Excellent, we just need to keep it up and let the others play amongst themselves for a while. Newcastle vs Everton on the box this afternoon - I'll be rooting for the Magpies as Al's made the trek up there and I can't face the idea of him looking miserable all week if the scousers win.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Not That I'm Counting

But it's only 50 minutes until beer time according to the Beer-O-Clock plugin on my browser. Given that beer time only comes once a week by this widget (it needs some tweaking, I feel) this is certainly an event forward to which one should look. I might even pop into the Charlton on the way home.

Tomorrow's game against the Blades is far more of a must-win game than last weekend's, IMHO, so I'm approaching it with some trepidation. TH14 and RVP11 should both be available for selection, apparently. Come on you Gunners...

BTW, there's been no further update on the War On Spinach, which is worrying as Dubya, desparately needing some sort of success, is now likely to escalate...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Posting Comments

The Duffmeister pointed out earlier today that there are problems posting comments to this site. This appears to occur, as far as I can tell, if you've got your own Blogger account that isn't using the Beta version of Blogger. No doubt it will be fixed in due course.

In the meantime, this site does accept anonymous comments (though they are moderated to help avoid blog-spam) so just use that option. I think we'll all be able to guess your indentities...

War On Spinach: Latest News

CNN reports: "Federal and state investigators on Wednesday focused their hunt to nine farms in California's greater Salinas Valley, said Dr. Mark Horton, the state public health officer. They also were checking processing plants, said Horton, who called the bag of tainted Dole baby spinach the "smoking gun" in the case."

Looks like here may be one war the US can actually win...

Not a lot of news on the football front, once again. The general opinion of those who saw the Panorama bung edition seems to be that the whole thing was unsubstantiated conjecture, but time will tell.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Welcome To The War On Spinach

Apparently spinach is the latest threat to the good ol' US of A. When on earth will it all end?

One of the joys of having satellite TV is that I rarely watch it. There's way too much on and pretty much none of it is anything any rational being would want to watch. Thus it was that I missed last night's Panorama programme in which Big Sam, to the likely surprise of no one, was revealed as a serial bung-taker. Cool. Chelski caught tapping-up again, on tape, too. Sounds of urgent carpet-lifting and sweeping at the FA, no doubt.

No real Arsenews today and the weather down here is dreadful. There's a hurricane on the way, apparently. Yipee.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tuesday Comes Around Again

Excellent weekend, not least the very welcome - and deserved - result at Old Trafford. Now, perhaps, we can start to build some momentum.

Not a lot going on today, though the sun's decided to put in an appearance, which is nice. I'm bloody hungry, as it happens, so it could well be tacos for tea. Yummy.

UPDATE: Not such a quiet day after all: it would appear that a Coup D'Etat is taking place in Thailand ATM. News is a little thin on this right now, but it would appear to be bloodless. To my shame I know sod-all about Thai politics, but the hints in the reports suggest the Coup may be no bad thing. Check out CNN and the Beeb (unless you're in Thailand, where apparently these are currently blocked)...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday. Just Thursday.

What an odd day. Good result last night, couldn't see it as I was stuck in a pub with a load of ManUSA types - I didn't even get to see any highlights. Three points in the bag though, which is what matters. Sunday could be interesting, though I for one am not going to regard our season as over if we don't even get a point. A win would be nice, mind.

House-sorting is at last coming along, so I'm not feeling quite so guilty, but I did watch the scum on C5 so I guess I'll have to go and stand in the corner for a while.

Have a good 'un. I'm off to sleep.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Return Of The Gnome

Having dismally failed to get my house organized last night, I may have to dig out the rather bizarre Sky Gnome thing to provide sound coverage for tonight's match whilst I make up for yesterday's laziness (actually having a drink [1] with Mr W before his departure for pastures new).

No team news this early in the day, but good news in that FF4 is set to sign a new *eight-year* contract! In odder, pub-quiz-fact news we will be wearing shirts emblazoned with "Dubai" tonight as Hamburg share our sponsor and apparently it isn't allowed for both teams to wear shirts bearing the same sponsor's logo. Hamburg will return the favour when they come to London. This issue has never come up before, it seems. Quite why it's an issue at all is beyond me, I have to say.

[1] Quite a few, as it happens.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Plenty Of Clouds, Silver Lining Conspicuous By Its Absence

TH14 is out of tomorrow's CL clash with Hamburg with a foot injury, it's being reported. No other unexpected injury news, however, so with any luck we can kick-start our season with a win in the Fatherland.

The Cashley Cole saga rumbles on, with each passing day he's looking more and more of a prat - something that didn't seem possible, but there you go - and now he's calling Jose Moaninho a liar. Nothing like making yourself popular with your new boss, perhaps he's hoping to follow the last year's stint on the Arsenal injury list with a year in Chelsea's reserves. I've really no idea what this guy's agenda is at all.

Weather dank here and some mystery illness - which I suspect is "I'm-getting-pissed-off-with-this-place-itis" has left work looking like the Marie Celeste. We're in for a lot more of this, IMHO.

Friday, September 08, 2006

New Mobile Number

I've got a new mobile number, which you'll find in my GMail sig file. Should be active from tomorrow. Please update your records, etc., etc.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bollocks, It's Shed Fest Time

Chelski are now after Nicklas Bendtner, it seems. You'd have to say it's really looking like deliberate provocation now. I really, really can't see what their agenda is here - it's not like anyone, even their own fans, thinks their recent behaviour has been reasonable. How much longer this can all go on before the FA *have* to consider charging them with bringing the game into disrepute?

England were dire again last night, I thought, although there is something rather amusing about the very real possibility that Peter Crouch may become England's all-time leading goal scorer. Good on you, Peter, but you're still a fucking giraffe.

BTW: Tender Engine (Ben's band) are appearing tonight in the Battle Of The Bands at The Barn in Wells. Starts around 19.00 and apparently you need to take your passport if you want to get a drink. Don't ask me why, I don't understand Wells.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Just Go, Tone

So. President Blair is going on a six-month tour of Britain to cement and celebrate his "legacy" before standing down next May. What an arrogant, pointless waste of time and money: pretty much Blair through and through though. Just go now and let us get on with the task of fixing our country up again. Pillock.

Not a lot on the footy front once again, it (once again once again) being an "international week", though it's nice to see that Chelski's latest outburst has been greeted with near-univeral opprobrium.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Well Said, William

WG3 on Chelski's latest petulant outburst: "All this is very, very petty on behalf of Chelsea. But at the same time, coming on behalf of the club's new leaders, it does not surprise me. Even if Chelsea have plenty of money, the new leaders lack class." Quite.

SNAFU at work ATM. I'm all for care in the community, but I'm not entirely convinced about putting them in charge of large offices. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Mr Tuck

It's Kev's birthday today - with any luck he'll have recovered by now from Friday night's celebrations. Kev moves up to the next level on the "please indicate your age" tickboxes on surveys and such, which I'm sure will cheer him up no end.

Not a lot else going on in the world, or at least in Shepton. It's making a half-arsed attempt to rain and is looking generally a bit gloomy. No footie news to speak of, either.

UPDATE: Ooh, some football "news"! Chelski are claiming they had to let WG3 go because: "He went on to threaten that if he was forced to play, or if he was disciplined and financially punished for his breach of the rules, that he could score an own goal or get himself sent off, or make deliberate mistakes." Yeah, right. Chelski are suddently looking more than a little bit vulnerable, they may well - indeed do - have some great players but if the club's internally unstable (cf the Moaninho/Kenyon debacle recently reported) and then this sort of paranoid and needless sh*te then they're in trouble. Good for football in general, I'd have said.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Perhaps Now We Can Just Get On With It

The transfer window's finally shut. JAR9 and AC3 are now finally gone and we've got Gallas and The Beast in exchange. Potentially good business - well, getting rid of C***ley C*** at any price is good business - as long the new fellows' attitudes are OK, Baptista in particular doesn't come across as overly happy at his move.

Time will tell. Bring it on!

UPDATE: Apparently we've also signed Brazilian Under-19 midfielder Denilson and Pascal Cygan has gone to join Bobby Pires at Villarreal.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Last Chance Saloon

Exactly twelve hours of the transfer window left and no real sign of any action. Updates later if anything does actually happen.

Meanwhile, consider the following from The Guardian: "Corinthians are partially owned by the mysterious Media Sports Investments company, in which Roman Abramovich is said to have a significant holding. It has also been reported that MSI owns the contracts of both players and can therefore block moves to, say, clubs likely to rival Chelsea for domestic or European glory".


UPDATE: It's 21.50 UK time ATM and there's no confirmed news about anything, but it looks like JAR9 is being swapped for The Beast and Cashley **** is being swapped for Gallas. More tonight if there's anything solid published, otherwise I'll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No News, Some Light Rain

It's one of those days. There we are, all waiting with baited breath for some transfer news and there isn't any. There are a few rumours, mind. A couple of Argentinians, a Scottish kiddie and Buffon may all be on their way. Or, rather more likely, they aren't.

Further news later if there is any, otherwise we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Normal Service Now Resumed

I'm back from my stint acting as carer for The Boss. She's doing fine now, which is excellent. Respect to anyone who cares for people on a full-time basis, respect too for those being cared for, I suspect it isn't exactly easy for them either.

A nice sunny day for my return to work, which sees Sod's Law in action yet again as the weather's been bloody awful for the last week or so.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


As you can see I've changed the colour scheme for the new season and I've got rid of the advertising. I'll carry on the prettying-up process over the next week or so in the hope of making the place look a little less template-like, though I have to say it's a perfectly nice template IMHO :) I'm not sure about the ads yet, they don't actually generate any money so I guess they're a little pointless, perhaps I'll look into adding some more picture/video goodness and that sort of thing.

Still no transfer news, the only footie news at all ATM relates to this evening's entirely pointless England friendly.

It's A Partridge Sort Of A Day

In that the repetition is starting to make it all rather meaningless. Apparently AC3's "autobiography" may be shelved if he ends up staying at Arsenal - quelle surprise! I wonder just how he's feeling about the whole fiasco right now - if he thought Arsenal have shafted him (by doubling his wages) then WTF does he make of Chelski's current behaviour? Perhaps a year in the reserves will give him a chance to reflect on it all.

No further news on the JAR9 front, apart from EA25 joining in the fans' chorus of "let's just get it over with".

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Plan So Cunning...

So AC3's *still* there... the new season starts on Saturday (though the transfer window's still open until the end of August) and Chelski still haven't signed him. No one else appears interested. This is now getting quite interesting as we don't look to be willing to budge on price and the Ruskies aren't prepared to pay it. C***ley stays with us, therefore, and Chelski have real problems at left back. All rather interesting, but we'll no doubt hear at lunchtime that he's gone down the Fulham Road for the price of a tin of beans such is the power of my predictions...

More later if there's anything to report.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tis The Week Before Kick-Off

Here we are then in the home straight before the new season gets under way. Still no more incoming transfers, and the fates of AC3 and JAR9 remain undetermined. It could well be a busy week, I suspect.

Good to see Chelski get off to a losing start yesterday, beaten by a Peter Crouch header of all things.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Slightly More Than No News At All

Well, on the football front, anyway. Plenty going on else in the world, very little of it good. The AC3 saga rumbles on with rumours suggesting that he'll be off any day now for around £20m. Sounds good to me.

In JAR9 news reports are suggesting a swap deal involving Baptista. This one has promise, although at least one of the red tops suggests Baptista still doesn't have a European passport - I thought one of the reasons he'd stayed in Spain last season was that he was due to get one during that season - which could well mess things up as he'd be unlikely, I suspect, to qualify for a work permit on the basis of his international appearances.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Spiders On Cider

Mr Fisher has another outlet for his artwork, which you can now get on mugs, t-shirts, "trucker hats" and all manner of other stuff. I've ordered some fridge magnets, so some of you may be getting early Christmas presents...

You'll find the stuff here. Give it a look!

Half Way There

A splendid result in Zagreb last night which sees us take a 3-0 lead into the second leg of the CL qualifier at the Emirates Stadium. You'd have to think it's enough, surely...

AC3's still there, JAR9 is still there (though only on the bench last night) and there's no hint of any incoming transfers. Time (and it's running out) will tell.

Liverpool are on the box tonight in what is on the face of it a foregone conclusion of a game, but I think I'll give it a look unless there's a Vicar Of Dibley repeat on.

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Week Goes By Like Nothing

Urgh. I've spent most of the week in bed with some or other bug. No fun. Not much fun in the world of footy either: we've still got AC3 and now JAR9 wants to go to Madrid. Actually, I've a lot of sympathy for him, he's clearly never settled in England but nonetheless he's always tried his damndest for the club and for the fans. I hope he gets his move - and I hope we bring in someone half-way established to keep up the numbers.

Friday, July 28, 2006

It's Friday

For some unknown reason all the nutters come out on the phone on Fridays. Trying to clear up all the stuff they've put off all week before the weekend starts, I guess, but it can make for a tiresome day. It also seems to be the day IT engineers reserve for breaking things, which hardly helps. It's bloody hot again, too.

Arsenal have admitted they've been talking to Chelski about AC3, though no deals have been mooted yet, so with any luck it's only a matter of time before he's off. No news on anyone coming in, though.

We've got either Ekranas or Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League qualifiers, both potential banana skins but you have to say we should be OK. Shouldn't we?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Absolute C*** Take Note

Mr Tweedy might want to consider SC23's graceful parting with the Arsenal. Says the Big Man, on the BBC site, "The more we spoke the more we all realised that the situation was actually good for both parties. They realised it was best for me to move on. There was no wrangling. It was all amicable. It was nicely done but that is Arsenal. They do things in a proper, gentlemanly manner."

A bit more on the charmless AC3 from PopBitch: "Ashley Cole might have employed over-the-top security to keep ordinary folk away from his wedding, but it seems he wasn't so bothered on his stag weekend. Some English girls on a hen weekend in Marbella got talking to Ashley's posse. They said most of the lads were very nice and friendly, especially Rio Ferdinand, and happily signed autographs. Except for Cole himself. His only contribution was to ask the bride-to-be why she was bothering to get married, "As it would only last a couple of years anyway.""

The sooner the blingy one takes his book, his ho and his wage demands to Chelski the better. Good riddance.

It rained a bit last night, but it's still infernally humid. A thunderstorm would be really, really welcome right now. Ah, now a Test Match has just started...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I'd Really Like A Good Kip Right Now

AC3 to Chelski for £30m? Good business if we can do it, it really is time to get rid of the annoying little twat. No real hints as to who, if anyone, will be coming in. Surely someone will be? Please?

Today's weather will be either the hottest on record or very wet, depending on who you listen to. ATM it's fucking hot so my money's on the former. Thankfully I've got the water back on at home.

Work situation chaotic, so no change there then.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

That's The Way To Do It

The thoroughly crap managerial career of none-too-popular former Gunner David O'Leary has plumbed new depths with his departure from Aston Villa. He takes somewhere between £500k and £2m with him to add to the £4m he got when he left Leeds. There's something wrong here, surely?

Not a lot of footy news, as has become the norm. There are more reports that AC3 is off to Chelski, if this is going to happen then I suspect it'll be pretty soon, what with the mercenaries off to the USofA next week and all. Looks like Buffon is staying at Juve, which is good news for JL1 who really doesn't deserve to lose his place IMHO.

UPDATE: In today's "You Couldn't Make It Up" news, FIFA have banned the retired Zinedine Zidane for three games. Brilliant.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Too Darned Hot

Hence not so many posts of late. Here in Blighty we're in the grip of a heatwave. The roads are melting. According to The Sun, people's brains are melting. I'm just sitting here dreaming of cold beer and tacos.

Friday, July 14, 2006


And what an odd week it was, too. I feel a few beers might be needed tonight to put a glaze of normality back on things. Talking of this evening, the outcome of the Serie A match fixing investigation is due around 18.00. Early reports suggest that Juventus, Fioentina and Lazio will be relagated to Serie B whist AC Milan will avoid relegation but be thrown out of the CL. We shall see...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thanks. For. That.

Chaos at work yesterday, hence no post - evening posting ruled out by alcohol :/

Today we have a sort of "goodbye and thanks for all the fish" session, which promises to be (quite literally) an absolute riot.

Not a whole load of footie news today. FF15 will be FF4 next season, which I think is pretty cool. TW32 may or may not be off on loan to WBA in an attempt to swing a deal for Curtis Davis - if this were true it would add credibility to the rumours that we're about to sign Saviola.

Still nothing about the Serie A debacle, which I suspect (given the timescales involved for CL involvement/appeals etc) may mean they've all got away with it. This would be disgraceful, if unsurprising IMHO.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Sun Has Got His Hat On

But I'm not coming out to play, Mr Sun's erratic behaviour of late has left me way too short of sleep. Not a lot sane going on in the world today that I can see, particularly in India ATM so I'll avoid being frivolous if I can.

In footy news there's still no word on the Italian scandal and FIFA have announced an enquiry into the ZZ sending off. What on earth for?

More later, or tomorrow indeed.

Monday, July 10, 2006

You Need Shoes

Oh yes indeedy. Or perhaps Sandals? If you're in the market for a pair of Size 5 Black Leather Ladies Sandals - and let's face it, most of us are - then you could do a whole lot worse than to buy these.

Actually, if you contact the seller you'll probably be able to get other colours and sizes too, just tell 'em I sent you :)

Normal Service Resumed

With the World Cup out of the way for another four years it's back to business as usual. Not too much news so far today (the Serie A match-fixing findings may well be out later, in which case an update is in order).

FF15 states he's happy at Arsenal and isn't about to slope off to Real Madrid; that absolute arsehole (not the real) Ronaldo is now behaving as badly off the pitch as he does on it in order to manipulate a move to Real or Barca. Good luck to ManUSA in getting a good price for him, even they don't deserve to have to put up with the wanker any longer.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

World Cup Final 2006

And so here we are: The Final. Italy vs France. Might well be a very fine game. I'm rooting for the French, not least because there's talk of an absolutely disgraceful "pardon" for the four Italian Serie A clubs accused of match fixing (etc) if Italy win. I also think ZZ deserves if - what a note to retire on! Allez Les Blancs!

FULL TIME - That was all pretty weird. ZZ sent off (apparently via video evidence, we'll hear more of this no doubt [1]) for a blatant head-butt, TH14 and PV4 off injured, France lose on penalties. Shame, they'd looked the better team in the second-half.

OTHER NEWS - SC23 is off, it's been confirmed. He may not have been much use for a while but he was a giant (in a positive sense) for a few seasons. At least our last memories will be that trademark header in the CL final and not the walk out against the Hammers. Let's not forget, either, the many very fine performances he put in in an England shirt. The very best of luck to him in whatever he chooses to do next.

[1] FIFA deny this and say the fourth official brought the issue to the referee's attention.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Lampard To The Tower

Well, he'd have expected an MBE if we'd won the thing, so I think some sort of "award" for pretty much single-handedly getting us knocked out of the competition seems only fair. Honourary mention to the petulant Granny Shagger, though I have to say that twat Ronaldo would wind up a saint. Respect to Beckham, and congratulations (and thanks) to Hargreaves for a great performance.

So the party's over for another few years - but let's look on the good side, it's been a great few weeks and your liver could probably do with a rest right now...

Friday, June 30, 2006

Day Twenty-Two

The nation awakes to the headline "Lampard Injured" but sadly falls asleep again at this false dawn and comes round to the news that he's "Expected To Be Fit For Portugal". Bollocks. No disrespect to the man, but he's playing like a complete wanker ATM and is taking up a place that could be occupied by a real footballer.

The first two quarter-finals are today - I'll be rooting for the Germans this afternoon...

More later, perhaps.

UPDATE: Germany are through! JL1 is the hero! Cracking entertainment, I have to say, and a great result for the competition. Italy vs Ukraine is boring the living daylights out of me, but one good result a day is cool by me. Mark Lawrenson has just come up with "can't wait to see Shevchenko in the Premiership, he's a real winner". If Chelski can follow the man's example and get beaten 3 - 0 every time he's "this good" then that'll be fine AFAIAC.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Day Twenty-One

Bit of a wasted day yesterday, three hours sitting around railway stations, five and a bit hours on trains all to attend a meeting that had been cancelled by the time I arrived (on time) for it. I also had possibly the worst Burger King Whopper with Cheese ever made (well at least since the last one I had at the same outlet at Paddington Station). If Burger King have a QC department they might want to take a look at that place - burgers aren't difficult to make and can be truly awesome but if you use ingredients that are clearly several days past their "best before" dates the resultant item is likely to be fairly horrid. And it was. Oh yes indeed.

Nothing at all going on on the football front, maybe someone'll make some news up tomorrow...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Day Eighteen

Well the World Cup street party goes on for England and I have to say, England football performances aside, it's been absolutely great so far. Yesterday was no exception, no traffic on the roads during the game then kids and adults alike out waving flags and partying late into the night. Wonderful stuff!

The game itself? Better in the second half, I thought. Rooney had a fair stab at playing the lone striker role, but which really doesn't suit him at all. Otherwise I thought England, with the notable exception of the frankly abysmal Lampard, looked a fair bit better than in previous games. I'm still not convinced by Robinson, who seems to be gaining weight in the heat rather than losing it, but the alternatives are no more convincing so I guess we'll have to keep on with him.

Roll on Saturday!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Day Fourteen

Horrendous day at work, but then that's what I'm paid for so I won't moan. Not too much, anyway.

Cracking game this evening - Australia vs Croatia - a real cup game and if this is a taster for what's to come then I can't wait.

In other news, the Italian match-fixing scandal investigations are coming on apace. This one could have very, very wide ranging repurcussions, I suspect. More on this in the morning, I have chicken [1] to cook right now.

[1] A misleading description. This stuff came from Tescos and appears merely to be some form of unidentifiable organic matter (and not much of it) suspended in water (lots of this). If I have to add much more oil to cook the stuff I'm in danger of inviting an American invasion of Shepton [2]. Note to self: you really must shop somewhere else in future.

[2] Yes, I am aware that Shepton prison was an American military prison for some years and that they carried out executions there (every executed man being black, IIRC). This, however, isn't meant to be a political blog...

UPDATE: Re [2] above, "their racial mix was :11 African American, 3 Latino and 4 white and it is thought that their average age was 21.5 years" - this is taken from an article you can find here. You may also find this interesting, too.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

England vs Sweden

Well here we go again. We really do need at least a point. Rooney and Owen up front, Hargreaves and Lampard in midfield, Carragher at right back. I have to say, with the exception of Citizen Neville for Carragher and Gerrard for Lampard this is the team I would have picked. Go for it lads!

1:00 Owen appears to be in agony, he's rolled off the pitch, looks like his knee's gone. Lewin's immediately called for a substitution, Crouch is coming on.

10:00 England look OK. The straight 4-4-2 makes sense and the midfield certainly looks better than it has in the last two games. I reckon we'll win this one but any more injuries or cards could play havoc in the next game.

15:30 Fine cross from Joe Cole, Crouch couldn't get to it (too high!). This looks like a Premiership game and England are playing, as you might therefore expect, well.

19:00 Owen's off for a scan tomorrow, looks like it may be just a twist rather than ligament damage. Still won't help Sven explain his extraordinary choice (and use) of strikers if we don't win the thing. Not that he'll then care, I expect. Never mind the quality, feel the pay packet.

23:30 Another chance for Crouch either to go for goal or to set someone else up, as against Trinidad & Tobago he did neither.

24:30 Good chance for Rooney contrived by Beckham, well defended.

31:00 Sweden coming forward. We look so much more solid with Hargreaves in the team - perhaps today's performance (if he keeps it up) will persuade the IN-GER-LAND lager crew that there's more to being a good international footballer than playing for Chelski.

33:10 Enland score! Joe Cole! Great goal, whacked in from miles (and no this doesn't justify the Chelski thing).

38:10 Absolutely great tackle in the area by Ferdinand on FL8. Ferdinand's having a fine game: the new formation is helping a lot, methinks.

39:30 Over the bar from Lampard. Unusual...

41:50 England corner. Half-heartedly cleared a couple of times resulting in a Rooney shot over the bar.

Half Time: 1 - 0 to England. Good performance so far, standout players for me are Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves. Lampard is now looking out of his depth in what is otherwise a genuinely world-class midfield. To be fair to the man he's trying very hard but he's just not up to it. If we play the same lot in midfield next game with Stevie G taking Lampard's place we'll really be getting somewhere.

No Half Time changes, off we go...

50:03 Sweden score! Good header from a corner, defending none too clever, came close to the goal and you have to wonder what the keeper was up to. Not catching the thing, that's for sure.

54:00 Off the English crossbar! Swedish corner... eventually goes out of play in our favour but we're on the ropes ATM.

55:32 Ferdinand limps off, SC23 on. This ain't great news either, though at least SC23 scores from time to time.

58:49 Another Swedish shot clips off the bar. We're looking in trouble now.

60:00 Rooney's looking tired - what on Earth does Sven do now, having been forced to use two subs? Frankly I'd like to see TW32 on, we need strikers on the pitch but we really don't need the Granny Shagger injured/knackered. This is the sort of decision that separates the managerial men from the boys, but it's also the sort of decision Svennis tends to bottle. Time to stand up and be counted, IMHO.

61:50 Great tackle in the area by SC23, the big man's playing well.

68:30 Svennis brings on Gerrard for Rooney. Makes no fucking sense to me but then I'm not paid several million quid a year to screw England's chances of progressing in this tournament.

71:09 Cleared off the English line by Gerrard. If our luck continues like this we'll have a good chance despite Svennis.

74:30 AC3 clears on the right. He's doing a lot of this. Where the fuck is Carragher? I quite like Brainiac's idea of playing Lennon in midfield and Beckham at right back. Think about it...

76:02 There's no one upfield at all for us when Sweden have the ball in our half. What started so well is looking horribly wrong now and it's just down to inept substitutions. Mind you, we only started with a good team by accident.

84:44 England score! Gerrard, great header! I have to say though this puts a false gloss on things, we're still not looking convincing and Lampard's getting worse as the game goes on.

89:47 Sweden score! Well no surprise really; Larson gets it after some awful defending.

FULL TIME: 2- 2. Well we got what we needed, if not what we wanted. Plus side? We're not playing Germany in the next round and Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves looked very good indeed. Down side? Svennis' decision to take two unfit strikers looks to be backfiring and Lampard looks more of a liability than an asset, which wouldn't be so much of an issue if you didn't know Svennis won't drop him. We really could win this thing, thanks to Svennis I don't think we will. I hope I'm wrong.

Please Feed The Loony

No doubt you've got a mobile phone, or indeed several, and look at the thing from time to time thinking "I wish that logo screen were a mite more surreal". Up til now there's been little you can do about it... Hurrah for Mr Fisher! Visit his all-singing-all-dancing mobile wallpaper site here for more weird backgrounds than you could shake a ferret at. You know you want one...

Day Twelve

England vs Sweden tonight. The Carne Asada's festering away in the fridge, the beer's chilling and the sun's looking like it might put in an appearance. Not a lot of news this early in the day, but there's an (oddly out-of-focus) picture of the new Arsenal home strip on the official website. Looks pretty good, 70s style retro which should appeal to Geoff. You can preorder from mid-July, if you do this your shirt will come with a free DVD of last season's 7-0 dubbing of Boro. Sounds like a deal.

UPDATE: Well we now know who England will get in the next round: a win or a draw tonight will see us play Ecuador, defeat will leave us facing the Germans. Let's not lose, eh?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Day Eleven

Great weekend, thanks very much, how was yours? Slightly muzzy head again this morning, I think it's something to do with Brizzle opening hours.

BBQ Time, Somewhere near Bristol

A couple of interesting results over the weekend, particular highlights being the Ghana and USA ones. Togo vs Switzerland is on in a moment or two - not that I'll see much of it as I have my back to the screen. More later, perhaps.

UPDATE: No surprises in the early games but Spain vs Tunisia is currently rather fun, it being 0 - 1 after 65 minutes. FF15's been brought on... Raul's get Spain back in it with a knock-in after the keeper parried FF15's shot, 72 minutes gone... Well that should do it, Torres has scored, set up by FF15 with a very fine pass... Spain are looking like a very good team now, FF15 has made a vast difference, as has Raul... Another fine pass by FF15 and Torres fucks up a sitter, they get a corner out of it though... Penalty to Spain, Torres held down jumping for a header, Torres takes it himself and scores, though the keeper got a fair bit on it, Torres was decidedly lucky... And that's it. The scoreline flatters Spain slightly, in that they had a fair bit of help from the Tunisian keeper, but that's not going to show up in the record books. If the Spanish coach has the bottle to start a game with the team that finished this one then they'd be a force to be concerned about, IMHO. Something tells me he'll go back to Plan A for the next one, though. We shall see.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Day Eight

Another England performance of excruciating ineptitude, another three points. We're through to the next round, at which stage we are likely to be making our exit unless Svennis and his lads can come up with something more closely resembling a performance by a team of top-flight footballers than that of a Sunday morning pub team after a particularly good Saturday night.

The Charlton Inn, Shepton

Friday today (just to remind those confused by having to live by numbered days) which is a good thing, IMHO.


UPDATE: Mexico 0 Angola 0 What a fantastic result! 10-man Angola get their first ever point in World Cup Finals football (well it is their first time in the tournament)! Man of the Match: the Angolan 'keeper, great, great game! It's this sort of game that makes this competition so very wonderful. Roll on Saturday (that's Day Nine to you)!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Day Seven

England play Trinidad & Tobago today. Loads of people at work in England shirts today, excitement abounds. We'll be watching the match in The Thatch tonight I think, general opinion has it that The Charlton is going to unbearably full. Best I phone the bank for a loan, The Thatch isn't exactly cheap.

Latest news on the Granny Shagger is that he's going to be examined by an independent medical bod some time today. It's all getting very silly. The Beeb site is joining in with a build-up page which is basically various journos and managers engaged in a will he/won't he debate (well not really a debate, more a listing of opinions).

One player who won't be taking part is Citizen Neville, who's out for 10 days. This gives Svennis the chance to piss the nation off by picking the ever-popular Hargreaves to play out of position again. I wish he'd give the poor guy a full game as a holding midfielder so everyone can see what he's actually about. Good for the team, too.

UPDATE: Rooney has been passed fit to take some part in today's game. I have a strange feeling that one way or the other it'll be a short appearance, but then I'm very often wrong.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Day Six

A fine evening drinking in Brizzle has left me somewhat muzzy-headed this morning and it's busy here to boot :(

Very very little on the footy gossip front today, the red tops seem to have given up making things up. It looks, though, as if Sven won't be picking the Granny Shagger tomorrow in case he gets sued by Man USA. This is getting ridiculous.

Spain vs Ukraine is first up today, might be a good 'un, methinks.

UPDATE: Three really entertaining games today, IMHO. The excellent quality of the refereeing is helping a lot, I think.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Day Five

Not sure how long I can put up with this "numbered day" malarky, but everyone's doing it so I think I'll go with the flow for the moment. There's a bit of Arsenal interest today with TH14, PS20 and JD36 involved in the France - Switzerland game and EA25 likely to be turning out for Togo.

Under the simply appalling headline "Don't Do A Gazza Wazza" the Sun wonders if the Granny Shagger is in danger of a "G8"-style self-inflicted injury. I have to say that if he doesn't put a lid on it there's a very fair chance that his next appearance will be a very short one, either as a result of said self-inflicted injury or through a red card. I guess the latter option would at least keep Sir Red Face happy.

Not a lot of other news so far, maybe some updates later :)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Day Four

Just watched the Czechs beat the USA very comfortably. Rosicky was great and scored a couple of very, very good goals. A fabulous buy for us, I have to say - I'm not surprised AW was keen to sign him before the competition began.

Being ancient I lack the stamina to give you the full run down on every bloody game, the very fine Mr Prior can provide this service, though, so check out his site at World Cup Nutcase.

Weekend Round Up

Well England made it, if somewhat unconvincingly. Never mind, it's three points. I'm more than a little concerned that the Lampard/Gerrard thing really isn't working - personally I'd opt for Hargreaves/Gerrard but I don't suppose I'll be in the majority on that one.

The Bell, Shepton

Not a whole lot else has really caught the eye, I have to say, though Marquez for Mexico was superb and the Angolans brought a smile to the face.

The Bell, Shepton

Great weekend, good company, loads of beer and good food. What more could you want? Check some of it out at the excellent Hardcore Booze.

Have a great week!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Day One Round Up

Exciting, isn't it :) There are certainly going to be a few goals, the new ball looks well weird. Flies fine, but bounces like a "normal" ball on AstroTurf. Goalkeepers aren't the only ones who need to worry about this ball...

Germany 4 Costa Rica 2

Hey! Goals in an opening match! Entertaining game, unless you're a German defender.

GunnerWatch: JL1 had a decent game, particularly if you consider what's in front of him.

Poland 0 Ecuador 2

The pundits would have us believe this is a "bit of a shock result", which suggests they've seen Poland since the '70s about as often as I have. Thoroughly deserved result, even if Poland's use of the new "super-accurate ball" suggests they've been practicing hitting the woodwork.


I think it's been a fine first day. I've been particularly impressed with the refereeing, which I think has been both competent and sensible. I had thought we might get the usual glut of "FIFA says I must" cards, but, no, the men in the middle have done a very fine job. If their colleagues can keep this standard up then we're in for a good tournament.

'Ere We Go

So the World Cup starts today. Cracking stuff!

I'll be watching tomorrow's England game in The Bell, so if you fancy a jar or three I'll see you there.

Come on England!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

By George, That's Tacky

The flags are up. They do look more than a little tacky, I have to say, which is how it should be. We can't find anywhere to stick up our wall-planner thing, though...

The Mighty Foot has been scanned, no news yet on the outcome, there may well be no news before the morning. Yawn...

UPDATE: Well he's gone back to join the squad. The decision on whether he should go would appear to have been something of a close call and the best that anyone who knows what's going on has come up with is "there's a good chance he'll be ready after the group stage". This doesn't sound to me anything like "he's fully fit" and I really don't think risking him is in England's or his, for that matter, interests.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday Update

Well, there isn't one really, since there's not been too much going on on the footy front. We're in a sort of lull-before-the-World-Cup-storm at the moment and even the transfer speculation has dried up.

I believe we're stuffing flags up in the office tomorrow. Cool.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

England vs Jamaica

Svennis' last match on "home" soil. I wish I were there, the atmosphere before the game looks really great and I'd love to have a go at some of that Jamaican BBQ stuff they're all cooking up. It's got all the makings of a fun game in the summer sun. Bring it on!

On the footy side, we're back to 4-4-2. National sigh of relief? This looks like his first choice XI barring the absence of Citizen Neville and The Granny Shagger - Carragher's in for Neville, as good a second-choice as you could have, he'd be a first-choice in most sides. On paper this is a very good team indeed.

Owen really needs to get his act together today. He's up there with Crouch, which realistically should suit Owen down to the ground. If he fucks up again, though, will Svennis drop him? Actually, I think he might...

BBC coverage is so far crap as usual, why the fuck do I have to pay money for this nonsense? [1]

Here we go! Rock 'n' Roll!

2:00 Well Jamaica are playing well, look like they're up for it and certainly aren't taking prisoners. Might not be a bad idea to take Owen off now?

8:10 England in control but achieving very little. It's hot out there, too, could get interesting.

9:15 Free kick to England. Central and about 25 yards. Beckham, straight back out again.

10:47 Goal to England! Lampard. Well taken, following on into the area. Made it look easy. Shame he can't do the same thing from the penalty spot - if Beckham's not going to take them (and let's face it, he shouldn't) then AC3 would be my choice: knocks them in as cool as you like.

15:00 Joe Cole fouled, fair engough but he made a real meal of it. He really has got to watch that. Beckham free kick...

15:30 Goal to England! Good free kick, looks like an own goal.

20:45 Fine chance set up for Owen by AC3. Owen falls over. He really seems out of luck ATM.

22:00 Robinson rescues Terry from a rare lapse in concentration. There is a certain arrogance about the man (see my comments about the Hungary match) that he could do with losing. He may be good but I don't think he's as good as he thinks he is and that, I suspect, is a view shared by a few of the truly-world-class strikers he'll have to deal with in the World Cup. Nothing that a good bollocking wouldn't cure, however, he's certainly got the ability.

26:00 Crouch is everywhere ATM, doing a TH14. Good for him, he's way up in my Brownie Points league over the last couple of games. Is Owen still on the pitch?

28:04 Great knock back up Crouch, corner results.

28:10 Goal for England! Possibly RoboCrouch, possibly an OG, but we got the dance anyway. I could grow to love this man...

29:54 Great move, Owen yards offside. I know I keep knocking the man, but he's lost it, he really has. Give us TW32 at half-time so we can have a sensible comparison.

31:00 Goal for England! Owen, making hard work of an open goal. He's still not convincing me.

31:30 Terry off, SC23 on. Tight hamstring for Terry, apparently. Beckham's been looking like he's uncomfortable but he's still on.

34:47 AC3 off (tight thigh), Wayne Bridge on.

35:39 Shelton really should have scored for Jamaica. Shelton and Euell went through the revamped England defence like it wasn't there. Cross-shot went wide.

37:00 Jamaica may be 4-0 down but they're currently comfortably the better team.

40:51 Good run forward by Carragher, corner. England looking comfortable, having got their shape back. Corner cleared easily.

45:59 Shot by Shelton for Jamaica, over the top but a fine effort.

46:47 Another fine shot by Jamaica, wide.

Half-Time. 4-0. Can't argue with the score, whilst it looks a bit harsh on Jamaica, England have clearly taken the foot off the gas. I can't see that you can judge anything from what happens here, but at least it gives the team another chance to play together. Man of the Match so far? Peter Crouch by a country mile.

James on for Robinson for the second half. Makes sense.

50:30 Good break from Lampard, poor cross though. Corner nonetheless.

51:50 Crawford yellow-carded for a fairly awful tackle on Lampard. His moaning about it may well have got his card upgraded to red in a meaningful match.

54:42 Fine move by England (Beckham/Lampard). Corner. Cleared without too much trouble.

55:40 20-odd yard shot from Joe Cole. Not bad, but didn't bother the keeper either.

57:56 Jamaica attack. Good cross cleared by Carragher. Corner.

58:40 Corner cleared by Ferdinand for another corner. This one cleared easily.

64:00 It's all gone rather quiet. It's about SvenSub time, but there's not much sign of activity. Shot from Joe Cole, well saved.

My commentary is likely to suffer for the rest of this game from my need to deal with the kids visiting my neighbour. Obnoxious brats.

67:00 Goal for Enland! RoboCrouch! Great cross on the ground into the six-yard box from Carragher.

73:00 All a bit lame now. England are pretty much in control and are just attempting pot-shots. Jamaica certainly haven't given up, but they're running around a lot to no great purpose.

76:00 England have one substitution left. I'd really love Svennis to take Owen off and put on TW32 but he's taking off Gerrard and putting on Downing. Again fair enough, but I'm starting to worry about his reliance on the currently useless Owen. Sure, the guy needs games to get fit but the World Cup isn't the place to give him them. I'll probably be proved wrong by little Micky getting a hat-trick in each of the group games but when this doesn't happen I reserve the right to say "I told you so".

80:00 70k in attendance today, apparently. Great. I still think England matches should continue to go on a "road show" round the country, it's been really popular and gets crowds for England games we'd never get if they were all held at that place in Middlesex.

81:00 Penalty to England. Owen floored. Crouch to take. Gently put into row Z. Has he been talking to Beckham? Shame, though, he deserved the hat-trick. [2]

83:45 Free kick to Jamaica. High, though not that much.

89:00 Goal to England! Absolutely fantastic goal from RoboCrouch! Very, very well deserved hat-trick. If that's not enough to get him a start in the first group match then I may well have to introduce Svennis to the joys of vegetable marrows myself...

Full-Time. 6-0. Fair result, Crouch the Man of the Match easily. Everybody else pretty good though I have to say Terry and Ferdinand (though the latter wasn't so bad today) need to realise it doesn't just come on a plate and they do have to work from time to time.

[1] I appreciate there's more to the BBC than football (and indeed TV), comments via the "comments" bit perhaps?
[2] That's two missed in two games. Do we practice these? CF the Arsenal vs ManUSA cup final shootout...

Friday, June 02, 2006

When In Brighton

Don't stay at The Malvern Hotel. No, really, just don't. It's so bad it's gone all the way through "so bad it's funny" and out the other side to "just fucking awful".

What's wrong with it? Well it's in a fairly horrible state of disrepair, paint, plaster and wallpaper peeling and questionable electric fittings, but that would be almost excusable if it weren't filthy. By filthy I mean uncleaned toilet and vomit stains on the wall in the room I was in amongst other delights. The crack is, the place isn't cheap at all: £65 pp per night, in our case. Good quality chain hotels in the same area of Brighton are £10 - £25 per night cheaper... The place exists, of course, because there is an endless stream of foreign tourists in Brighton who don't know they're being ripped off. This sort of thing needs stamping on, it's little short of a national disgrace the way we allow visitors to our once fine country to be treated.

We should have figured out something was up when I called for directions on the way in:

Me: "We're heading in from the West on the A27, please would you give us directions?"
Chinese Woman who runs the "hotel": "You will be here by half-past eight".

It traspired that this was intended not as advice but rather as a demand (we ended up having to buy a map to find the place and in retrospect sincerely wish we hadn't).

Just so there's no confusion, the place I'm talking about is:

The Malvern Hotel
33 Regency Square

Just say no.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

England vs Hungary

Here we are at the last-but-one chance Svennis has got for one of his England sub-o-rama fiascos. Let's hope that this time he employs some common sense and lets his first choice eleven get a bit of practice, and lets hope we see a team we can believe in.

Come on England!

We're playing 4-1-3-1-1 with Carragher in the holding role and Gerrard trying to do a DB10. Fuck knows if this is a good idea, it's certainly not what I'd have gone for but then I'm not a Swede with a propensity for shagging secretaries [1].

5:00 Where is Gerrard supposed to be playing? Perhaps someone should tell him, he's all over the shop atm.

8:43 Gerrard clipped over just outside the box, no foul given (nor I think committed, he looked to have lost the ball). Sod Rooney, this guy is probably our best player but I wish he'd stop trying to play everywhere, we're hardly in the last couple of minutes of a match that matters...

11:00 AC3 clattered, free kick. Beckham to take, straight back out again.

England are playing fine and are in control but I think we're seeing the "Curse of Svennis" in that no-one knows whether they're in or out so they're tending to play for themselves rather than for the team.

16:00 Hungary would appear to have got their heads round our rather eccentric formation and are now, predictably, crowding us out of midfield. They don't look ludicrously dangerous but then they really don't seem to be trying too hard.

20:00 Corner to Hungary. The England formation is looking increasingly nonsensical and we're coming under some pressure now.

26:00 Nice bit of work by Joe Cole, but it's all individual stuff. There's just no plan. Free kick to England, though, and Beckham to take. Cleared without undue effort.

31:00 This really does need some fresh thought. Beckham and Gerrard are both trying to play central midfield when they really should be somewhere else. Why we can't just play a formation these players are familiar with is beyond me. I'm starting to see the clamour for Rooney in a different light - at least he can score in a brothel.

34:00 Corner to Hungary. Cleared by Beckham.

36:00 There's a worrying arrogance to England's play. A better team than Hungary - and there are plenty - would be a couple of goals up by now.

38:12 Joe Cole hacked down (not for the first time tonight he made the most of it - something he may well have learned from Drogba but which he needs to unlearn by the World Cup if he wants to stay on the pitch), reasonable free kick.

39:55 Penalty to England. Gerrard down (dive, he didn't get caught), though Owen should have scored from the chance that immediately preceded it. Lampard to take... saved, well as it happens. Lampard certainly hoofed it. At the end of the day it was probably the fair result, given the award.

42:00 England are starting to dominate... Joe Cole header off the post, defender clears it off the crossbar. We can consider ourselves unlucky, IMHO. The team's starting to develop a shape, though I don't think it's the one Svennis intended.

45:51 Corner to England. Nothing comes of it, and now it's half-time.

England are flattering to deceive, we surely won't win too many competetive games playing like this. Awful. Good points? Neville's doing his usual fine job (much though it pains me to say it), Beckham's put in a couple of decent balls and Joe Cole looks like he's playing for his life, let alone his place in the team. Otherwise, Gerrard looks like a fish out of water, sadly, and Lampard is being bypassed. Wake up Svennis, let's have Carrick and TW32 and give it a proper English go.

Oh wow, England substitution: Hargreaves for Neville. Fucking hell.

BTW, I sincerely hope I can watch the World Cup games on a channel other than BBC, I really don't think I can take another Motson/Lawrenson evening...

46:13 Goal to England! Gerrard, very nicely placed header.

51:00 Goal to England! Terry from a fine Beckham free-kick.

54:04 Goal for Hungary. Fabulous out-of-the-blue shot, Robinson couldn't get near it. It's fair to say it was against the run of play, England certainly have had the upper hand since the first goal but we're still far from convincing.

60:00 I'd be expecting to see some substitutions now (I'd particularly like to get the injury-prone Owen off the pitch under his own steam) but there's no sign of anything.

64:36 Gerrard and Owen off, Crouch and TW32 on. TW32 now England's youngest-ever full international. Good for him, let's hope this is just the first of many.

69:18 TW32 takes off like a missile on speed, decent cross aimed at Crouch, cleared.

England are starting to look like a team, at least going forward. The midfield still looks rather confused defensively.

75:00 All a bit aimless at the moment.

75:30 Terry off, SC23 on. Hungary bloody nearly scored whilst he was coming on, England had gone to sleep.

76:45 SC23 booked for taking his man out whilst trying to recover from a dire ball to him.

77:26 Fine save by Robinson.

83:03 Looks like a foul on Crouch in the area, but not given.

84:00 Goal for England! Crouch, very fine cross shot (even better in the replays). He seems to be working well with TW32, whose movement has been very good. They played together at Southampton, of course. Perhaps this is the real "Plan B" - Owen looked really out of sorts whilst Crouch and TW32 look not only right up for it but fit, too. Give them a run together on Saturday?

87:56 Shot by TW32, pretty good though the cross-hit effort went wide. No way is this boy out of his depth.

88:54 Beckham booked. Committed challenge, though hardly a nasty one. Do these bookings count for anything?

So there we have it. "Plus-point" performances: Beckham, Joe Cole, Neville, Crouch, Gerrard (if he sticks to a role) and TW32. "OK" performances: pretty much everyone else on the night, though I'm not fully convinced by Ferdinand or Robinson (can't see any real alternative to the latter however). "Oh Dear" performances: Owen. Give up on the man, he's just not up to it at the moment.

[1] Calls for Prezza to be next England manager will, I hope, fall on deaf ears.

The Groovy Chicks Rock Devon

And didn't they just! Cracking day out, wonderful food and very fine company. Margaret Groovy's 75th celebration provided a true invitation to over-indulge that was gratefully accepted by all who attended. Great to see four generations enjoying themselves together, reminds me of the Old Days. Gosh I'm getting old...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Back To The Rooney Saga

Well it's not healed. Not exactly surprising, I'd have thought. It's now "officially" accepted that we won't make the group stages. That being the case I have to say that IMHO taking him at all is lunacy.

There are only three other strikers in the squad atm, one of which is the inexperienced TW32 who really isn't likely to start any games, and another of which is Peter Crouch. The third is Owen and if he survives all of the group games he'll have played more consecutive games than he's probably managed for Newcastle this season.

It's time to give up on Rooney and call in another striker, giving him time to get used to being part of the set up.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Goodbye Bobby

In today's "Oh really?" news, RP7 has signed for Villarreal.

Good luck to him, and thanks - no doubt from us all - for the very fine work he's done for the Arsenal over the last few years. He'll be fondly remembered.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

That's Us Out In The Group Stages, Then

It's been announced that England will have a Victory Parade through London on 11th July to celebrate winning the World Cup. There'll be a national holiday too (somewhat bizarrely also given to the Scots).

Talk about counting chickens... this particular SNAFU comes courtesy of the FA rather than the Home Office, though at the moment it's not too easy to tell them apart...

Welcome, Tomas

We've signed Tomas Rosicky, a fine 25-year old Czech midfielder (old news by now, but I plead illness for failure to write this yesterday).

Fine news. Welcome and good luck.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Rain In England Falls Mainly On Shepton

Well it's raining. That's hardly news here, to be fair. The only "news" of any sort are a few reports that Fenerbache want SC23 and are prepared to pay quite a lot for him (whether as a fee to us or as his pay package isn't clear): good business for us, but possibly nowhere near as good for the player.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

What Fantastic Madness

If our friends over the pond ever need to point to one thing to justify not understanding Europeans the Eurovision song contest would be just that thing. What lunacy! Last night's could well be the best since ABBA won...

The sheer insanity of 37 countries voting for the best song from amongst 24 which mixed national musical quirks with attempted rap, cellos, national dance and that infamous euro-beat was just wonderful to behold. The fact that it was won by a Finnish death-metal band dressed as orcs was just the icing on the cake.

Bring back It's A Knockout...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Four More Years

Fantastic news! TH14 will be leading out the team at the Emirates Stadium next year as we'd all hoped. The love affair goes on...

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Well the general opinion at work - from non-Gooners, to boot - is that the best team lost. I'm not about to argue, I entirely agree. The team can feel justly proud, IMHO, they were fantastic.

I wish we could get the TH14 thing out of the way so we can just get on with the World Cup, but he's always said he'd take his time so I guess we owe it to him to give him it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Champions League Final

OK, here we go. Gosh, I'm more than a little nervous. Geoff's called from the ground, the lads are to the left of the goal at the Arsenal end on the second tier. Perhaps they'll wave. I hope to fuck they're cheering at the end...

Come on you Arsenal!

2:35 Ooooh... Close by TH14, fine chance...

3:05 Fine shot from TH14...

11:52 Ronaldinho free kick's gone wide. Good game so far. Not that I care about quality, I just want the right result...

17:33 In the net from Barca. Goal disallowed, but JL1 sent off for taking down Eto'o outside the area. Technically right? Probably, but rather harsh, why not just let the goal stand? JL1 first man ever sent off in a CL Final. I'm sure he's chuffed about that, I don't think any sane person would fault him for going for the save though. MA24 on, RP7 off. Free kick wide. We're down to 10 men in the CL again. I hope AW wasn't joking when he said we practice for this.

36:10 Free kick to us, right side of their box.

36:50 Goal! 1-0 to the Arsenal! SC23, thumping header!

46:24 MA24 brilliantly pushes Eto'o's fine shot onto the post.

47:43 TH14 on his own... row Z...

Half Time: Barca 0 Arsenal 1. Cracking. I'm really not sure how much longer we can hold out like this, but come on you Arsenal!

And here we go again. Edmilson off, Iniesta on for Barca. No changes for us. Let's face it, we can't now waste subs.

47:51 Deco shoots, held well by MA24.

50:44 Yellow card for TH14 who was chasing back. I have to say the cards, or threat of them, all seem to be going one way.

54:36 Free kick to Barca just outside the area. Fair free kick (we'll ignore the one we didn't get a few seconds earlier) but the card Barca are calling for would have been unfair, and one isn't presented as it happens. Ends up in a goal kick.

57:01 Another good piece of work by MA24. We're under a fair bit of pressure now.

59:30 Corner to Arsenal. Cleared comfortably.

60:20 Larsson on, Van Bommel off for Barca.

62:28 Fine move from Arsenal, ending in a shot wide from AH13.

65:06 Arsenal on the break again, TH14 into the box but the ball slightly over-ran.

66:25 Great break by FL8, corner. Taken by FF15, cleared easily.

69:45 Another chance for TH14, keeper did well. Pretty much immediately followed by a shot from Ronaldinho which went wide.

70:54 Belletti on, Olegurer off for Barca. That's their last sub.

71:57 Dive on the edge of the box from Eto'o. No card, of course.

73:26 Corner to Arsenal. FF15 off, MF16 on. Cleared comfortably.

75:56 Goal to Barca. Eto'o. Bollocks.

Now we're in trouble. Not only are we playing with 10 men but having to bring on MA24 has meant we've only got one sub left. We can't now win this by defending, so let's bring on DB10 :)

80:30 Goal. Barca again. Belletti. We're probably fucked, but, hey, faith is a good thing. Now give us Dennis...

84:21 AH13 off, JAR9 on.

92:11 Oh, he's finally booked a Barca player.

Full Time: Barca 2 Arsenal 1. Very game performance from us, and difficult to say anyone's underperformed under the circumstances. If you play the self-styled "best team in the world" with 10 players you're going to find it difficult. Well done Arsenal, you've done us proud.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


There's yet another bug about and I've got it. I'm not enjoying it, as it happens. Cracking FA Cup Final, well done Liverpool (and Stevie G in particular). Shame anyone had to lose it, as they say.

It's the biggie tomorrow. Come on you Arsenal!

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Silly Season's Just Got Interesting...

I suspect the investigations into "sporting fraud" in Italy's Seria A could well have a significant bearing on what happens in this Summer's transfer merry-go-round. Who'd now want to move to Juve, AC Milan or Lazio? How many of their players may end up available on the cheap?


Warming Up For The FA Cup

I love the FA Cup, I really don't give a toss whether it's trendy or not. The beer's in the fridge, there's spicy chicken stuff to be prepared and I'm ready for the fun.

Whilst I number a fair few 'Pool fans amongst my friends I'm going to support the Hammers tomorrow (a) because every neutral loves an underdog (b) because they're from London and (c) because we owe them one for last Sunday.

I've a feeling that, for once, this one could be a corker...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

After The Lasagne Comes The Humble Pie

A fitting end to the whole S***s with the s***s fiasco would be for the now entirely exonerated Docklands Marriott hotel to sue the WHL scum for defamation. It's highly unlikely to happen, sadly, as I can't see a fairly well-respected hotel group sinking to S***s' puerile level.

UPDATE: It gets stranger by the minute. S***s are now saying that only one player has been shown to have had a virus prior to their stay at the Marriott. This one could run and run, if you'll pardon any pun.

UPDATE: S***s have gone all quiet again. However, Paul Downing, the general manager of the Marriott concerned has at last joined the fun: "I'm not demanding an apology from Spurs but it would be the right thing to do. Nobody should have to go through what my staff and I have been through in the past few days". Too bloody right it would be the right thing to do. So on past performance I guess we can assume they won't do it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

UEFA Cup FInal

Thought I'd try a different approach with this one, with the CL Final in mind...

10:00 A reasonable start from Boro, though Sevilla have had a couple of decent chances. Boro certainly don't look over-awed.

23:00 Pleasant enough to watch but not exactly exciting - both teams are keeping their shape and they're just playing swap-ball in midfield. Sevilla possibly marginally ahead on points, but there's really bugger-all in it atm. One of the Boro defenders keeps slipping over, which makes you wonder about his footwear choice - let's hope this doesn't cause a real problem before they can fix it.

25:59 Goal to Sevilla. Good move, fine (headed) finish. The Zorro-masked Schwarzer stood no chance whatsoever.

HT Boro 0 Sevilla 1 You can't argue with the score, Boro finished the first half very much on the back foot and really do need to up it a lot if they're going to win this. They're starting to look nervy, too...

OK, here comes the second half and Boro have brought on Maccarone. Good luck, chaps!

60:00 One good chance to Boro but despite that, and the fact that Boro are pushing forward, Sevilla still very much have the uppper hand. Boro are also playing a very tiring game so extra-time wouldn't be too good (though better than where they are atm, of course)...

70:00 Well we're not into the two-minute drill but already Boro are out with the Hail Marys. They've got four forwards on now but sadly there's still no real penetration (titter ye not, Mr Howerd).

74:30 Should have been a penalty to Boro for a shove on the Pie Eater, IMHO. Not given though.

77:45 Goal. Another for Sevilla. Good goal, though the keeper was a little unlucky. I suspect the fat lady's getting ready, sadly.

83:34 Goal. She might as well come on now 'cause it's another to Sevilla. Yet another good 'un, even if it took a deflection, but the score's really now not fair to Boro who've had far more of this game than 3-0 suggests. Of course, it's only the score that goes in the books...

88:40 Goal. Blow the whistle, Ref, this is getting unfair on Boro. Sevilla's fourth was from Kanoute, FWIW.

FT Boro 0 Sevilla 4 The right team won, for sure, but I think the final score was a little harsh on a very game Boro side. Let's hope they'll be back before too long.

Toxic Seats - S***s To Blame?

According to the Beeb we've been sitting on cadmium-laced toxic seating for the last few years. Not sure what the symptoms of cadmium poisoning are, but if they include bouts of hysterical laughter every time anyone mentions the current behaviour of the lot from WHL then I'm clearly affected.

I'll be cheering on the 'Boro tonight, I just hope they decide not to give the opposition a three-goal start this time as I'm trying to save up my resistence to heart-related stress for the CL final.