Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Test is Best


Test Cricket. Well, there are those of you who think that it’s about as dull as sport gets but I tell you, that’s garbage. It’s still the acme of the sport.

In a brilliant article earlier in the week Simon Barnes described the long form of the game as being like a novel. I’d prefer to say that the Test Match is the tantric version. One-day cricket is a back of the alley knee-trembler and Twenty 20 is a quick Sherman before you leave the house of a Friday night.

But like Barnes I like to think I have the intellect, the stamina, the discretion to enjoy something that lures you in, that ebbs and flows, that has its apparent doldrums and its mighty storms, and be able to appreciate it for its full and glorious nature.

I don’t mind your abbreviated snack-food stuff but it feels like it’s been structured for the goldfish-memory, sound-bite generation.

To back up the analogy of the well-told story, the latest instalment of Test cricket had more sub-plots than a Swedish crime novel.

First, take a look at the characters involved:


the Little Master, Sachin Tendulkar – as refined a piece of batting machinery as has ever set foot on to an outfield. A living legend destined to fulfil the arithmetical nicety of scoring his 100th international hundred in the 100th Test match between the two sides and the 2000th Test match of all time. Only actuaries would have believed that this meant that it must happen.

Then there was Stuart Broad, a lanky prep school pretty boy with a temper shorter than Shaun Wright-Phillips; a man who could hardly buy a Test wicket and whose place seemed to belong to the less media-friendly face of Reliable Old Tim Bresnan. Broad bowled like a genius, arcing devious deliveries in and out and off the pitch like Glen McGrath had supped from the fountain of youth and found a decent haircut and an English accent.

There was Rahul Dravid, who like Sachin had never quite mustered a hundred at Lord’s. He’s nicknamed The Wall is Dravid because of the stoutness of his defence, unlike Martin Keown who has a similar moniker cos it’s very much like talking to one. Dravid struggled manfully to three figures despite the consistent excellence of England’s bowlers.

Dravid’s doggedness was to be expected, however, unlike that of one Kevin Pietersen (remember him? He was very big in the noughties).


KP’s innings was precisely the sort of grind that would’ve left most superfast broadband customers thumping holes in their laptops. Such was his bind of self-restraint that at times he resembled nothing less than a fat lass sat in front of a never-ending conveyor belt of treacle puddings. But he held fast, did KP, until finally with 150 to his name he gorged himself on his just desserts.

There was, too, Matt Prior, a sort of NCO of the England XI, marching busily to the wicket in the wake of some pretty meek batting from the top order. With help form the rejuventated Broad, he tonked the ailing Indian attack to the four corners of Lord’s with such assurance that it almost looked inevitable.

England were very indebted to an injury to Zaheer Khan a bloke who hoop a delivery around like a Ronaldo free-kick when the force is with him.

The last day’s play was marvellous, not least cos the ground was packed out with fans who could barely believe they were there. Swathes of Indian fans attempted to get a touch of Tendulkar as he went to his nets, as if he were the cricket equivalent of the Blarney Stone.

Dravid and Laxman, another wondrous batter, were at the crease. Jimmy Anderson, at his best a promiscuous bisexual of a bowler in that he really swings it both ways, was ready at one end. At the other there was Chris Tremlett, built like a tower of brick shithouses. To come was Broad and Graeme Swann, the best spin bowler in the world.

Slowly but surely they chipped away at the Indians like four men trying to upend a boulder with the trunk of a tree, until eventually the rock shifted and the whole cliffside caved in. You needed patience to understand it. To understand the stoppered rage after Broad’s plumb lbw was turned down by the umpire Billy ‘Oooh look at me, aren’t I quirky!’ Bowden.

To understand the agony of Dravid’s lame waft and nick behind, or Laxman’s pull to midwicket, or hothead Harbhajan’s brainless waft to mid-on.

Let’s be clear. There is nowt wrong with this whole yarn taking five days to unveil itself. Long may it continue, especially cos as a Sky Sports refusenik I enjoyed most of it on Test Match Special on the radio. To me TMS is as much a part of the English summer as sheltering under trees during a thunderstorm and getting botulism from a not-quite-cooked piece of barbecue chicken.

Sometimes the private school and chummery and vowels more fruity than an Innocent smoothie have me reaching for my Teesside Book of Working-Class Outrage but the advent of Tuffers and Vaughany seemed to have redressed the posh monotony. (Although hearing Tuffers give good counsel to Test Match batsmen is a bit like Peter Stringellow starting up a line in Marriage Guidance.)

And there’s always Boycott. Straight-talking no-nonsense Geoffrey. I bet he’s never done a cryptic crossword. Or changed the font on his computer. Cricket is bloody obvious to Boycs. Not so much a tantric week of sensual love as a steady straightforward me-on-top shag with the missus. Not a rambling saga but the Haynes Manual to the Honda Civic. What a cracking pundit he is.

"I'm off down the Corridor of Uncertainty to the Bar of Utter Truth for a glass of Simple Fact"

Despite all that, I’m gagging for the footy season to begin, particularly if Balotelli continues to entertain so royally. The lad’s head must rattle from all them loose screws.

422 comments:

  1. Wooooooooooohooooooooo!!!! I've never come first before. Well at least not posting on Robbo's blog. If you asked Mrs Colch she'd disagree.

    Colch

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  2. Gotta love TMS and playing Boyc's Bingo.

    I tell ya, I wish I could play half as well as his Grandmother could have done!

    Number 1 in the World? Wouldn't bet against it! I would bet that it wont happen for the football team however! Football though I'm happy with mid-table obscurity - though there is a buzz about Hartlepool this summer, I heard we'd sold more season tickets than your lot!

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  3. was well good, innit.

    Test match does have a certain charm. enjoy it, meself.

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  4. Good blog Robbo!!!

    Good show by England. They were also benefited by some poor Indian fielding. Obviously Zaheer was missed... but still think with the batting line-up we possess we should have batted out the 5th day. Nevertheless looking forward to 2nd test match starting Friday and I hope to have Virender Sehwag back.

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  5. Twas indeed a great cricket match, as H2 would wholehearted agree.

    SS..I think Sehwag is only back from the 3rd test, and I would have thought that Yuvraj would have been a better player than the opener you currently have with gambhir and dravid opening.

    Spits...you can have lucas if you'd swap walcott. and we'd throw in poulsen and ngog for free.

    Speaking of which, where is our local Ngog..havent seen him around in months.

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  6. Lurkers,Robbo and Andy Smart.


    www.premierleague.com

    robbo blog league 120130-41350

    robbo blog h2h 120130-41415

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  7. Indeed I wholeheartily agree, AH, well I would if I had watced, or, eerrrr, listened to it...
    Cricket is exciting on the radio??? Really??? Who knew, not me that's for shizzle.

    Anyways, thanx for the excellent summary Robbo and cheers for throwing in two names I recognised (Keown and Balatelli.

    +++
    AH, I'm lead to belive that Ngog got a different job, where his internet accesss is restricted, still no excuse for not popping in when he's at home though. ;p

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  8. Hartlepool? Thats where they hung the bloody monkey!

    (c) mark steel

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  9. If balotellis brains were semtex it wouldst be enough to blow his hair dry

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  10. http://www.twtd.co.uk/news.php?storyid=18826

    A new player Jacks, I hope he does well for ya. He's got bags of potential, but he lacks application.
    If Paul Jewel can get him to work hard then you've signed a real talent.

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  11. I've seen footage of the new boy H2 (courtesy of Herr Spizenfire) and he does look the business.

    Tall,2 footed,pace,power (I'm turning into Alan "Noun" Hansen).

    Mind you,Balotelli is the same.

    *wonders if we've signed a nutter?*

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  12. JET: If Myiuchi and Gervinho hadnt arrived, I think he might have stayed on for a season in search for a break but think its for the best that he plays regular football.

    Wish him well.

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  13. As for Ngog,he and his other half have just bought a house together,so I suspect he may be busy doing other things.

    Wallpapering,painting,choosing carpets,all that load of old toot.

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  14. Another one bites the dust, well it was nice knowing him.(In a, we never really met, kinda way)

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  15. Dont know if the rest of you have noticed it, but looks like they have changed one rule in the FFL to allow us to make some money by selling players whose value has increased since Purchase. They mustve heard me cursing them last season.
    ------------------------
    The price shown on your transfers page is a player's selling price. This selling price may be less than the player's current purchase price as a sell-on fee of 50% (rounded up to the nearest £0.1m) will be applied on any profits made on that player.

    For example, if you buy a player for £8.3m and when you transfer him his price is £9.0m, his selling price will be £8.6m.
    ------------------------------------------

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  16. You been reading the fine print, AH? Nice one. Wouldn't make a jot of differance to me as I only meddle with my team while inebriated, thus my mathmatical powers are not at their sharpist.

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  17. I have been reading the fine print on everythign H2, ever since I figured out the marriage license did not have a 14-day full refund on it.

    In other news, little Nicky turns 2 today. Woohoo.

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  18. Dammit..we now have 21 teams in the Robbo FFL..that is a significant blow to my chances of a repeat of the top-20 performance from last time.

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  19. great to see the once almighty ozzies so desperate; the selectors have chosen a teenage groundsman, a net bowler, a talented schoolboy and a "bloke we met at a barbie"

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  20. Evening all
    I love cricket me, especially when theres no footy on. I found the best way to understand all the rules was to spend a summer on the dole with a large bag of funky green stuff, and stare blankly at the screen and let it all sink in. Its like Keanu learning kung-fu in the matrix.
    Ok so i had eyes like sheep cunts but it worked for me. Admittedly that was in the early 90s when it used to be free on the beeb. Ive no idea how the kids get into test cricket these days.

    Boycott is a total legend. One of my heroes. I know he is also a massive twat, but being a Yorkshireman mesen its par for the course. And he really does know what hes banging on about, unlike a lot of younger sports pundits in the media. Like that irish fella who does the channel 5 footy, my dog could do better than him

    Korgull

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  21. AnfieldHopeful said...
    Dammit..we now have 21 teams in the Robbo FFL..that is a significant blow to my chances of a repeat of the top-20 performance from last time.
    --------------------------------

    Don't worry Ah, I've entered a team so as long as no more join you're guaranteed a top 20 finish.

    Colch

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  22. Let's not forget that football is the bastard offspring of cricket, promoted by all them posh geezers and expats with nothing to do except exploit the proletariat during the winter months

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  23. AH - that rule about the 50% sell-on was in force last season. It was still a pain in the arse last year and I grumbled about it fairly often. For example - you buy Gareth Bale for 8m, he rises to 8.6m, but then gets injured for three weeks. You sell him for 8.3m and buy someone who ain't as good. Then when the little monkey boy regains fitness, he costs 8.6m to buy back, so you lose out on 0.3m, or (like me), your budget is so tight that you can't afford to buy him back at all. As happened to me last year, I had four or five players out injured at the same time, but I couldn't afford to sell them and make that loss, and then get quality players in, so had to play with 9 or 10 players each week. I guess that's just a rule that you have to get around.

    Thanks to Jacks for setting up all the leagues too. Good job sir.

    Noel

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  24. Good blog Robbo, one I totally agree with for a change. Test cricket is second only to football for mine. I didn't get to see the last day.

    Still haven't got the internet, I'm using the daughters at the mo.

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  25. Thats the thing about internet, innit.

    We use it and use it and it just keeps growing and growing.

    amazing.

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  26. well Spit, the more you use things the bigger they get.... sometimes anyway

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  27. Europe's top clubs threaten Fifa revolt
    • 'Now is the time to intervene' declares Rummenigge
    • Call for revolution against football's top leadership

    :...........

    About time

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  28. Ah...I just read the article (guardian) and rumeniggge is talking about even more power for the top clubs . the corruption of fifa has made them weak against this kind of attack. Blatter is like a cancer

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  29. The wealthier clubs will continue on their merciless path to autonomy over the game.

    The rest will be the chaff blown away as rules are invented to protect the few.

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  30. ...while fifa separates the wheat from the chaff, and keeps the chaff

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  31. blooming chavs, they ruin everything

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  32. its in the nature of all oligarchies to divide the city into two cities, a city of the rich and a city of the poor, as thucydides observes in his critique of Spartan power during the pelopponesian war

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  33. http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/srmjXFdzX2XLnu-gq4P-KHg/view.m?id=15&gid=football/2011/jul/26/europe-top-clubs-fifa-revolt&cat=most-read

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  34. jacksofbuxton said...

    Lurkers,Robbo and Andy Smart.

    robbo blog league 120130-41350
    robbo blog h2h 120130-41415
    ----------------
    should've posted it on PMCN blog. Also, lets keep H2H league restricted to 20 teams so that we go in sync with PL gameweek and each team faces other only twice.

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  35. Fuck me. Looks like City have got Aguero. I wonder if him being there will make Tevez feel a little more at home, seeing as he's unsellable. These greasy dago Argie cunts like each others' company. City have got some serious attacking quality now - just a shame that Mancini only plays with one attacking player at any one time.

    Noel

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  36. I bet Edin Dzeko's really glad he signed for City now

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  37. The worst thing is that all these players are getting paid 150k a week and more, so they now think that that is what they're worth, or what their agents tell them that they are worth, and so won't sign for another club if it means taking a pay cut. They'd rather be paid well then play regularly. No other club is willing to, or can afford to, pay these vastly inlated wages, and so Man City becomes a cesspit of overpaid reserves.

    Noel

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  38. City need to sign some help for Silva in the mid, behind their front 3.

    Nasri perhaps?

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  39. You must be forgetting about SWP Spit. He's an England International, so he must be quality.

    Noel

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  40. I havent forgotten about SWP. I chose not to remember. There's a difference.

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  41. With an attack partnership of that quality, noel, I expect man city to invade the Malvinas any day now

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  42. If Tevez doesn't like it in Manchester, then he ain't going to like it in Stanley.

    Noel

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  43. Blackburn manager Steve Kean believes the Ewood Park outfit can make it into the Champions League in four years.
    ---------------------------------------

    Drug test for Mr Kean I think.

    Colch

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  44. Newcastle and former Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton says Mario Balotelli is "off his barnet" following the Italian striker's latest antics.
    ------------------------------------

    Mr Pot I'd like to introduce you to Mr Kettle.

    Colch

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  45. The final Fifa world rankings before the 2014 World Cup qualification draw make bad reading for Wales.
    Despite climbing two places to 112th, Wales have been overtaken by the Faroe Islands and will be among the sixth and last Uefa seeds in Saturday's draw.
    That means Wales will be grouped alongside the likes of Liechtenstein, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra and San Marino.
    ------------------------------------------

    Makes me glad I'm English. Welsh football is shit!!!!

    Colch

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  46. Went throught the entire season without figuring that out Noel. I was under the impression that you only got what you paid for the player, whatever his current value was. Not that it really made any difference to the end result.

    If citeh get nasri, then their lineup of yaya toure, silva,nasri, adam johnson, tevez, aguerro making up the front 6 and a decent back 4 wiht hart in goal would be really scary. Thankfully,as Noel says, Mancini would never put a side like that out to play.

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  47. We'll come to know soon what side Mancini puts up on the show for Community Shield match.

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  48. Seeing how much Dzeko cost and the hype surrounding his arrival, he will probably only get a start if tevez is injured(or sulking) and aguerro is injured and balotelli suspended. He is probably the most expensive bench player in the league.

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  49. AH, City have got players on their rooster that cost the amount of a small countries GNP that won't even be included in their 25 man squad. Over the last few seasons they have managed to distort the market even futher then the likes of Chelsea, IOU and Real, probably their biggest achievement ever.

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  50. With renaming of the Eastlands stadium to Etihad, they are trying to say they have enough cash sources to help fund their transfer targets. Hopefully UEFA are not going to get fooled by all this and all their transfers and player wages are scrutinized and hope they miss playing in Europe next season onwards.

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  51. I'm willing to bet that UEFA and Platini are not going to be able to do anything about the Etihad deal. And honestly, I think they shouldnt either, or Madrid will buy all the good players and win everything. I dislike them just as much. Thankfully barca are going broke. One less team to dislike.

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  52. I read the Karl Heinz (57 varietiess on ways to bitch about Fifa) article, for some points you have to agree with him, but he loses credibility when he turns around and makes it about his clubs interests when it comes to releasing players for international duty.
    ====
    Futher about Fifa, last night on their home page they had an article about Xavi pleading Arsenal to let Cesc come to Barca, how the fuck is that not tapping up? They've now taken the article down, but seen is seen, they did it last season too. A blatent break of the laws that they are supposed to be inforcing.

    All I can say is Fick Fufa.

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  53. I hope you're right SS, but I seriously doubt it.
    AH's probably right that they won't be able or to or just simply not bother doing anything about it. Citeh can become a major force now and atract the better players and more importantly to Fifa they have literaly cash to burn. Global interest will widen as will their brand (cass in point Chelsea when Roman took over) that will mean more exposure and in the end once again Fifa will indirectlt benifit.

    Spit posted a link to a great article on Swiss Rambler a few posts ago, I'd suggest you have a look if you havn't alredy, it shows how smart the guys at City really are, covering themselves by investing in youth and community projects.

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  54. How Barca's DNA works;

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/columnists/annie-eaves/Annie-Eaves-Barcelona-DNA-Alexis-Sanchez-Cesc-Fabregas-Sergio-Busquets-Xavi-article776502.html

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  55. Birmingham are struggling to pay their bills and could be forced to sell more players to survive after owner Carson Yeung's assets were frozen in the Far East pending his money-laundering court case.
    Full story: Daily Mirror

    =====
    Yet another feather in the cap for the guys who look into the "fit and proper" owner rules.

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  56. haha..that was a genuinely funny read h2. loved the bit about poor old 'arry at the end.

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  57. Indeed AH, who'd of thought it? In The Mirror of all places?

    Next thing you know The Star or The Daily Fail might print something vaguely interesting or true.

    Nahhhh, that's a bit too far fetched.

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  58. Kate price on the creative process behind her - gawd help us - best selling novels....


    "After I've come up with the plot, I start to design the cover. I like
    two-tone colours because they look good on the bookshelf and help it to sell. Then I buy an outfit to match and start promoting it."

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  59. someone else actually writes the bloody things, obviously

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  60. Hahaha. Last line about JT was damn good. Funny.

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  61. Wasn't sure who you were refering to Blogs, so I googled Kate Price, but I thought that can't be right, so I googled the quote and was led to site with Jordan (thats Kate with I in it, ooo-eeer)

    Fsir play to her, at least she admits to it;

    "Unlike lots of other celebrities, I've never lied about the fact that I don't physically write my books but I do sit down with the author, Rebecca Farnworth, and come up with all the plots. This time The X Factor was on, so we started the book off with that in mind, plus Britney was trying to make a comeback so it fitted the plot."

    Class.

    I didn't think her outfit matched the book cover though, except the belt which basically was the book cover;

    http://www.mrpaparazzi.com/image/688f81a4-c/Katie-Price-dons-a-catsuit-as-she-attempts-to-break-a-

    Class.

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  62. Apologies for.mentioning Jordan, H. Always a conversation stopper. Her favourite novel is the story of the little Nazi boy who never grew up, The Tit Bum by Cunter Ass, sorry, the tin drum by gunter grass

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  63. I'd like to think you'd be right too SS, but like H2H pointed out, that article that Spit posted is well worth a read. The rules of the financial fair play don't include businesses set up around the football stadium, so by City claiming that part of (but not stating which part, or how much) this 400mill deal is for training facilities, hotels and shops set up around the stadium, they have basically opened up a black hole where they can pour billions of pounds into and claim that it's balancing the books in the eyes of the fair play committee. You'd hope that UEFA can see through it, but seeing as we all can, you have to suspect that they won't.

    Noel

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  64. It's not really a matter of whether eufa can see through it, of course they can, its whether they could legally enforce the letter of their rules to stop it. I very much doubt it but we'll see .

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  65. That's what I meant innit blogs. It's just not what I said. Cos I'm fick and stuff.

    Noel

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  66. I think what City have done will be just a start as to what bigger clubs (with even more global consumers) will do in the coming years.

    I believe we'll see a sponsorship deal worth a billion within the next 5 years.

    The rules are stupid.

    For example the club can have other 'businesses' where it must not indicate where the investment comes from but may keep its profits.

    Other countries and clubs have been doing it for years, not at such scale obviously. Bayern Munich, for example have a catering and event management subsidiary, all profits of which go to the club accounts etc. etc.


    uefa's stupid rules means they'll go all in.

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  67. Morning.

    My understanding of UEFA Financial Fair Rules Policy is that it should look only at club's profitability where INCOME = in terms of how much gate money it incurs, how much do the clubs earn from TV rights and earnings from merchandise and league earnings which is equal to actual club income per season.

    And then EXPENSES = player wages, player transfer fees and match fee penalties over hearings and other stuff etc.

    With these categories they should apply basic PROFIT formula = INCOME - EXPENSE.

    Then we'll see which clubs are appropriate to qualify for Champs League.

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  68. noel didn't mean to be pedantic mate

    And the good news is Fat Cunt has conceded that goal line technology is inevitable .... enjoy his difficulties in s. America in the link below. I seem to remember the argie wankers with an axe to grind were saying the English press , the FA were liars etc. I haven't heard an apology yet?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/international/8666757/Sepp-Blatter-insists-reforming-Fifa-will-take-nine-months.html

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  69. That article quotes scudamore as saying goal line technology will be introduced in 2012-13, WHEN the IFAB ok it this autumn

    about ferking time

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  70. what really pisses me off is that the 8 member committee that has the 'right' to change the rules of have 4 permanent members that are the 4 british FAs.

    So its as easy as that the brits could practically say, fuck FIFA, we are making a new WFA and there'll be plenty of countries that would join them.

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  71. the wc in Qatar has to be reconsidered surely. are we expected to believe haman bribed for the fifa presidency but was squeaky clean for the bigger prize?

    if it goes ahead we should boycott it. wed go out on penalties in the quarter (qatar) finals anyways

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  72. is a jaffa cake a cake or a pie?

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  73. walcott injured again. the new Michael Owen

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  74. I think the english speedster's poor reliability has forced wenger to buy a japanese speedster that's equally quick but far more reliable and economical.

    common sense really.

    but he's a frenchy, so cant seem to grasp the sense of a defence that works.

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  75. So Fat Cunt has probably wrecked fifa ....

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/sewBjj2BO5Sx84VZglbJ_Zw/view.m?id=15&gid=football/2011/jul/27/european-clubs-breakaway-fifa-uefa&cat=most-read

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  76. Joseph Heller
    >
    Quotes

    >
    Quotable Quote




    "When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don't see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy."
    Catch-22

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  77. the definition of a true English man is .... born within the sound of somebody moaning

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  78. mornin' lads from sunny Noo Joisey. Nigel reo Coker, probably the best footballer on the planet.

    I saw in Asda that they now have jaffa Cake bars so a jaffa cake pie isn't far away.

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  79. El-Hadji Diouf slapped with five-year Senegal ban
    ---

    does this mean someone will be slapping him for 5 years straight?

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  80. Stoke manager Tony Pulis has tipped his new centre-back Jonathan Woodgate, 31, for an England recall.
    ---

    its the same type of recall when toyota did for its vehicle that had faulty components.

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  81. Ha Ha Spits, they should of recalled him years ago.

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  82. Breaking news is saying that Bendy will be unvailed as a Sporting Lisbon player over the weekend......

    That is ofcourse subject to him not missing the plane.

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  83. There's always birds about wherever there are footballers;


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/14311230.stm

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  84. Manchester City's new £200,000-a-week signing Sergio Aguero has vowed to revolutionise the club, calling himself the Che Guevara of football.
    Full story: Metro

    New things to do at Citeh next season;

    Play CL football
    Liberate Cuba

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  85. Pray silence and loosen your beards.

    Mr Andy Smart has signed up for the FFL.

    Just need Robbo to do the same.

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  86. Think Andy might have to do that for our resident smoggy too.

    Dont think Robbo ticks all the boxes for IT expertise.

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  87. I don't seem to tick the boxes either `Spit, because I can't log in anymore either.

    I thought it might have had something to do with my laptop, but I'm now operating from an Apple (don't hate me guys) and I still can't get in.... Boo Hoo.

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  88. Hold up....

    Now I'm in again, what a 'tard.

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  89. Dammit..27 teams now in. I liked SS's IPL league best..was guaranteed a top-10 finish.

    So liverpool have 2 wunderkids called Buenos and Nachos...haha..doesnt buenos nachos mean goodnight ? hopefully that doesnt mean anything for us. it could well be good night if we dont get that left back soon.

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  90. Ha Ha AH. almost mate, although sometimes watching Liverpool does make me yawn ;p

    It actually means good nachos, all you need now is to find a player called Guacomole Dip.

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  91. Some say that you have to be a bit mad to be a keeper, but this guy's taking the piss;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0m07K6vLVw

    ReplyDelete
  92. 27 teams? I thought there were 7 of us on this blog

    ReplyDelete
  93. It's a bit like the Tardis or a womens handbag there's more to it then you expect.

    But 27, wow, we's famous innit.

    ReplyDelete
  94. we're legends in our liquid lunchtimes, h

    ReplyDelete
  95. I've put 19 of the teams in.

    Who's the other bugger?

    ReplyDelete
  96. Well that's a long time, if you consider how much time ~I spend consuming "liquids" bloggs.

    Persnally though, I don't do lunch, brekfast either, I have however invented a new liquid mealtime I like to call beerunch.

    ReplyDelete
  97. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/28/phone-hacking-sarah-payne

    Just when you thought the phone hacking couldn't get any worse.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Germany's very own England.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordstrand,_Germany

    ReplyDelete
  99. NHS delays operations 'as it waits for patients to die or go private'

    .............
    I thought them 17 year waiting lists were looking suspicious.

    Doesn't it make you proud to be British?

    ReplyDelete
  100. £34 million for Mata (who he?) and jagielka? Arsene could have bought a really good player for that much.

    ReplyDelete
  101. And that completes my review of the papers. Now they're not allowed to phone hack its all just made up any way.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Morning.
    £35 million - Yes. Thats what the news says that we are going to spend to get our two players. Thats smashing club record transfer fee.

    Well, I won't rejoice till its actually happened. Fookin unbelievabel, i tell ya.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Top of the morning to ya, SS.

    Trott, Bolton making some useful signing , Chris eagles now

    ReplyDelete
  104. Hey blog,
    How is weather in Nottingham? India are already 2 down... I hope no talk of Sachin's 100th hundred today... the more we talk, the less are his chances.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Overcast, SS, high cloud cover, bit of swing, watch out for jimmy Anderson

    ReplyDelete
  106. the trotters are arming themselves for a launch at bigger and better things.

    ReplyDelete
  107. ENG 85/5. Now comes the man, who according to me was the best player of 1st test - Matt Prior.
    Get him out quickly - Come on!

    ReplyDelete
  108. FOOTBALL Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has labelled Manchester City's recruitment policy as "unfair", reports the Press Association. "It's unfair. I think it's pretty clear that they are building a squad to fight for the title," he said
    ---------------------------------

    Eh what? It's unfair for to build a squad to fight for the title? That's whats unfair? Something lost in translation I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  109. the question is, what IS unfair?

    is it unfair that hte sheikhs just happen to be born in to the tribe that happened to be at the right place where shite loads of oil is?

    is it unfair that Pique has won the CL twice, spanish league 3 times the spanish cup, the european cup the world cup AND she gets to bang the hips that dont lie?

    I mean, who's to say what IS and what isnt unfair.

    its just on of those things in the life, innit.

    ReplyDelete
  110. A Chelsea boss crying about another teams expenditure?

    Now I really have seen it all.

    ReplyDelete
  111. I wonder whats stopping them for paying barca a 100 mill and buying Messi. They surely have the money. If not they could get it from Etihad Airlines for sponsor rights to the players shoes and socks.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Messi's release clause is 1 billion euros.

    BUT that does not mean the city owners cant pay up

    ReplyDelete
  113. Test match nice and evenly poised. I have to say thus far, this has been the best test series in a long while. Hopefully the weather wont play spoilsport.

    ReplyDelete
  114. The Spanish bank which stumped up the dosh for kaka and ronaldo now claims them as gilt edged collateral.. the economics journo who wrote this knows his football..

    "It is not known whether the ECB imposed a haircut on the collateral, though it is thought unlikely the Portuguese winker would have consented without advice from a professional stylist."

    ReplyDelete
  115. This is quite a funny piss take of tendulkar hero worship, but the response eg in the comments is fucking tragic

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/sport/jonathanliew/100018018/sachin-tendulkar-underachiever-flat-track-bully-phone-hacker-demolishing-the-myth-of-his-greatness/

    ReplyDelete
  116. Wenger said: "There are two categories of club - those who travel with sweat and
    those who travel with petrol. We are those who travel with sweat."
    ......
    His car must fucking stink then

    ReplyDelete
  117. And that concludes my review of the papers

    ReplyDelete
  118. Its 'sweet' blog. Arsenal run on sweets. You know, plant based sugars. the ethanols and likes.

    environmentally friendly, or whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  119. The former Arsenal captain Thierry Henry, who will play his second game as an opposition player at the Emirates tomorrow, predicted yesterday that Arsenal's new £11m striker Gervinho would have a major impact. Henry said: "He's skilful, versatile and you'll see that in one-on-one situations, he's going to kill a lot of defenders in this league. He's fast, has great vision and everything to succeed at Arsenal.

    --
    O boy.

    can we see that he doesnt come in contact with ashley cole or balatoli so he doesnt ge the idea that firing things on other humans is not really legal here.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Been away - just read your blog Robbo, and I have to say that's probably the best piece of writing you've ever done old chap! Right where's the Pimms, there's 8 hours of TMS to enjoy...

    ReplyDelete
  121. I went to day 1 of the 1996 Test between England and India at Trent Bridge. Possibly the worst day of cricket I've ever sat through. I don't think England even took a wicket, just Tendulkar and the other opener batting throughout the day. Highlights would have been the streaker, (even though it was a bloke, he livened things up), and being on the big screen as the camera panned around the crowd. I was hungover to fuck and had to run over to the petrol station opposite the entrance gates and throw up my breakfast before I puked on the bloke in the queue in front of me. Happy days.

    Noel

    ReplyDelete
  122. The funniest part of the comments blogs, is that several of the posters seem to realize it is satirical, well spoofish almost, in nature and yet go on to assail the author.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Gerrard to miss start of season
    ----------------------------------

    Now you know why we have so many midfielders.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Now that was a great day's cricket between the two best sides in the world. If this series doesn't do it for you then you're not really a sports fan are you?

    ReplyDelete
  125. Great days cricket. Pity I missed it.

    World cup...
    Group I: Spain, France, Belarus, Georgia, Finland
    Group H: ENGLAND, Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, San Marino
    Group G: Greece, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Latvia, Lichtenstein
    Group F: Portugal, Russia, Israel, NORTHERN IRELAND, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg
    Group E: Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Albania, Cyprus, Iceland.
    Group D: Netherlands, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Andorra.
    Group C: Germamy, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan.
    Group B: Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Armenia, Malta.
    Group A: Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, SCOTLAND, Macedonia, WALES

    ReplyDelete
  126. Hart
    M Richards - cahill - jones - cashley
    Gerrard - wilshere - young
    Johnson - Carroll - rooney

    Res .....
    Foster
    walker/gibbs, cahill, jagielka, baines
    Milner-Carrick - walcott
    Lennon - sturridge - welbeck

    that should see us through to Brazil and the Russian gulags

    bollocks to Qatar we should take out ball home for that one

    ReplyDelete
  127. nostalgia, I guess, spit . Ok drop gerrard, replace him with Beckham

    ReplyDelete
  128. So Ricardo Teixeira is angry with English claims that he's a fat corrupt cunt and to disprove this far fetched claim he's going to make it "really difficult" for the England team if we qualify

    what's he going to do? Sit on rooney? Send cashley a couple of dancing girls? Make us play all our matches in the stadium car park?

    Tex, when even Blatter thinks you're an embarrassment, it may be that you are living in the past

    ReplyDelete
  129. http://m.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jul/29/sepp-blatter-pele-ricardo-teixeira?cat=football&type=article

    ReplyDelete
  130. Cesc Fabregas is planning to release a recorded goodbye message to Arsenal fans as soon as his protracted move to Barcelona goes through. Fabregas has agreed a £3m-a-year deal in principal with Barca, who have raised their offer for the midfielder to £34m.
    ---------------------------------------------

    £3 million a year. That's less than £60K a week. He'd get 4 times that much to go to Man City and probably 3 times as much at Real Madrid so I guess it's not always about money with professional footballers.

    Colch

    ReplyDelete
  131. after playing for arsenal for x years colch he's so desperate to win something he'd probably play for nothing

    ReplyDelete
  132. Test Cricket: what scandal today.

    My position, Bell was out and should have gone for his unprofessionalism alone (not waiting for umpire signal) BUT the indians shouldnt have appealed.

    And once they had done that, Straus shouldnt have requested Dhoni to rescind the appeal since I dont trust he would have rescinded it had the match been played vs. Aus or in India.


    I assume we are all a bit sadistic arent we? living off of the controversies in life.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Well done to India a great team who play the game in a great spirit.

    You couldn't expect that from Australia, bunch of savages, or Pakistan of course, unless someone had had a bet on it.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Fisherman chases fish (grey mullet)

    ReplyDelete
  135. G'day all

    Still no internet and I'm sufferin... I'm having to amuse myself which for me aint easy.

    Not missing much in here so I see.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Morning...

    In the true spirit of the game, MS Dhoni also decided to leave third man area vacant for most of the 2nd innings to allow England build a sizeable lead and thus conceding the #1 rank.

    ReplyDelete
  137. With two days to go SS, it is still open. If India can shoot England out quickly in the am, they are still there with a chance.... althoughy at the moment you would have to favour England.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Also double standards by English press - no one seems to be asking questions of Ex-captain Vaughan how he alleged VVS of applying Vaseline on to the bat.

    ReplyDelete
  139. India had harry lime at third man

    ReplyDelete
  140. If England need batting practice, they can play both days. They can strike a deal with MS Dhoni and in true spirit of cricket he will let Bresnan and Broad bat for 2 days.

    ReplyDelete
  141. 478 to win. Come on India, show the spirit!!

    ReplyDelete
  142. its not looking good for india...

    Dravid is off.

    ReplyDelete
  143. 1149: FOOTBALL - England manager Fabio Capello vows to provide a memorable finale to his troubled reign by winning Euro 2012. "I think my last year will be very good, I hope so. I try to make everything better," Capello said. "I study, I prepare, I focus. I hope that at the end of my career we will win a trophy."
    ---

    priceless.

    utter bullshit but priceless words.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Capello - Beaker is a bit of a noob is he not?

    Cricket - I've just been chatting with a female Aussie mate who claims to care not one jot for cricket, and didn't know who Glen McGrath was when introduced to him at a charity dinner. When I asked what she thought of him, she praised his charity work and remarked "oooh, and isn't he tall?"
    Women - you gotta love 'em!

    Is it too early to nominate MS Dhoni as Overseas Sports Personality? What a gent. You can't imagine Punter doing what Dhoni did can you?
    As for the game, I've got a feeling Sachin will finally get his 100th century, but end up on the losing side.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Only a few hours to go now...




    ... and then England will be world #1 in Test Cricket.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Few good shots from Sachin...

    ReplyDelete
  147. India aint even putting up a fight...wonder whats gotten into them this series.

    ReplyDelete
  148. 55/6 - Falling like 9 pins :(

    ReplyDelete
  149. I'd much rather the Indians put up a real fight than capitulate like this, it's getting embarrassing. Still I suppose you can only beat what's put in front of you.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Joey Barton is available on free.

    Would you have sex with a woman you knew would give you herpes?

    ReplyDelete
  151. ...only if you were a collector of STDs....

    ReplyDelete
  152. In Barton's case it would be a prostitute. A quite talented prostitute since he knows what he's doing on a football field and has the talent for it.

    but its not worth it, innit?

    ReplyDelete
  153. and he's gone....

    Sachin tendulkar is gone....

    ReplyDelete
  154. Number 1, Number 1, ...Number 1, Number 1, Number Wuu--uun, etc etc

    ReplyDelete
  155. hilarious that arsenal, with a near full strength team, even came third in their own emirates cup

    ReplyDelete
  156. sorry SS but your boys are proving to be a bit of a disappointment ... nice guys but we know where they come ... let's hope they turn up for the penultimate test

    ReplyDelete
  157. Herpes.....Greek God of STDs.

    ReplyDelete
  158. WHAT'S green and yellow and eats nuts


    Gonnoreah

    ReplyDelete
  159. I see joseph bartons agent says he should now be in demand. does he mean 'remand' ?

    ReplyDelete
  160. 2210: CRICKET - India captain Mahendra Dhoni admits that failings with the bat and ball were the reasons behind his team's 319-run defeat to England at Trent Bridge.
    ---------------------------------------

    No fucking shit, Sherlock. What the Indian team needs is to recruit Barton into the team.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Just to throw a slight spanner into the works,we've plenty of cover in the fast bowling and wicket keeping departments,but who'd come in for Swann or one of the batsmen?Not quite as strong there I think.

    Even so,it's still good to watch a great test team.Shame the cricket world is all about T20 now...

    ReplyDelete
  162. Also not impressed with The Times yesterday,I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the upcoming season (starts on Saturday!!) the buggers have tipped us to finish 18th.

    Twats.

    ReplyDelete
  163. Jacks,

    if thats what the experts at Times think, things can only be better cant they?

    I dont think whoever wrote it had a clue whats been going on at Ipswich or any idea of football at all.

    In Championship, of all places, teams that have a stronger attack seem to consistently challenge for promotion.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Things can always get better that's very true.

    They don't at Portman Road,but you never know your luck.

    A good start and lots of goals,plus a miserly defence will do.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Manchester City are ready to make a £22m bid for Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri in the next 48 hours.
    --

    accept it wenger. get in someone who actually wants to be here.

    ReplyDelete
  166. things can only get worse at the vale. I'll be satisfied if we manage to stay solvent this year. promotion? forget it

    ReplyDelete
  167. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14367357.stm

    2nd cheapest place to go.

    ReplyDelete
  168. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14367362.stm

    More expensive at The Vale than Portman Road.

    ReplyDelete
  169. http://www.wsc.co.uk/content/view/7453/38/

    ReplyDelete
  170. a horror scenario jacks.


    end of club football as we know it.

    it would be like america where the owners ups the club/team and takes it along to anew state or city whenever he pleases.

    ReplyDelete
  171. I enjoyed the demolition of India, looks like the team are starting to get that winning mentality ala Australia of the past, bullying the tail etc.

    On a more footie based ting. I reckon Man U should snap up Barton on a free. I have seen on some forums Utd supporters going mental about the link and some being incredulous that a man of such morals could play at their club. Granny shaggers and sister in law shaggers anyone? and a weak midfield.

    He is a decent player and appears to have moved on from the past. Tee-total and a pregnant wife and seems settled and an ounce of personality. Maybe Arsenal should have a sniff?

    Mostly redundant

    ReplyDelete
  172. http://www.weblocal.ca/caplan-industries-inc-delta-bc.html

    Have a look at the zip code.

    ReplyDelete
  173. MR (what happened to the not redundant bit?)

    I like Barton as a player,and he has calmed down.He'd make a good player at most places,Arsenal would be a great fit for him.

    We've taken on Lee Bowyer,who was an enormous toss face,but he seems to have calmed down as well.

    ReplyDelete
  174. Yes, I'd take any free transfer. Is Jose Enrique also put on free transfer list?

    ReplyDelete
  175. Unfortunately unemployed again Jacks, hard times. A new junior MR on the way which is great!

    Thats Leeds team did produce an incredible amount of toss faces though. Everyone should have a second chance though.....or three or four in Barton's case.

    Seems odd how Newcastle stuck by him in the hard times and are now releasing him when he is in the form of his life. Something behind the scenes methinks

    ReplyDelete
  176. Took me a minute to work that one out Jacks!

    MR

    now to sort out this profile thing

    ReplyDelete
  177. Its spelled Yarm. And its not working. Nobody's working there.

    ReplyDelete
  178. Yarp is a colloquialism of the south west for 'Yes' Spits

    ReplyDelete
  179. How the fuck did you do that MNR???!!! I've been trying to get my profile working, I even created a whole new one, only for it to continue to call me anonymous. Congrats on the future MNR JNR too.

    Barton made to train on his own today. He's certainly not shying away from speaking his mind on twatter.

    Noel

    ReplyDelete
  180. Noel,

    are you chosing your profile from the 'comment as' option box underneath the comment box?

    ReplyDelete
  181. Port Vale have signed the Pope

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/14365621.stm

    OK: Its not 'the' Pope.

    ReplyDelete
  182. The Pope

    from the cheapest club to one of the more expensive in Div2,
    Blog you could have given us a few bob for him

    ReplyDelete
  183. Joey Barton available on a free transfer. Liverpool FC have bid £15m.

    ReplyDelete
  184. That cannot be true Jacks. Our bidding starts at 20 mil.

    Reports in that ManU have got Sneijder. That has got to be the most dangerous wide-player duo in the league. Nani and Sneijder.

    ReplyDelete
  185. Citeh will out bid the Mickeys anyway, so it matters not.

    Afternoon all.

    ReplyDelete
  186. Jacks.

    A bit harsh of them to put Ipswich finishing at 18th, a bit daft too, considering the managers pedigree.

    Experts eh? They've probly just guarenteed you promotion.

    ReplyDelete
  187. I've been tinkering with my FFL team today, I still can't get in directly from the home page, only after being rerouted through other pages , anyone else with the same problem?

    I'm also finding it hard to put back in to place the team I ended the season with. Most of the players prices have gone up by quite a high margin.

    I blame Citeh and Liverpool.

    ReplyDelete
  188. "If he was playing for Arsenal last season, they'd probably have won the title."
    ------------------------------------------

    Nope that's not Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi or Iniesta that's being talked about. This quote came from.........Joey Barton's agent.

    Colch

    ReplyDelete
  189. Same here H2..am having to add people like gyan and brunt to my team to meet the financial fair play requirements. No one's coming in an at the 5.5 - 7 mil range. wonder if this season will throw up (wrong choice of words) any surprises like carroll, meireles,gyan,hernandez etc.

    ReplyDelete
  190. Spit, yeah I try to select my google account profile from the 'comment as' box, but it just posts as anonymous instead. I've tried going through my Google account, via that dashboard thingy, but it still doesn't seem to recognise me - old or new profiles.

    I'm having no problems with my FFL page, H2H. I had last season's page bookmarked and that link didn't work anymore, but I just changed it to this year's home page and I have no problems getting through there now. My problems start when I get to my team page, cos the team on it is pretty shit. Like AH was saying, not many bargains around this year. Last year Carrol, Bale etc were reasonably priced at the start of the season, even though they were decent players already but this year there doesn't seem to be any bargains like that available - players are either good and therefore expensive, or shite and cheap. I've plumped for Ramsey hoping Cesc will fuck off and he'll get plenty of game time and shoot up in price.

    And turn the fucking page.

    ReplyDelete