Monday, 26 November 2012

Bewildering Benitez

I am starting to feel sorry for Fernando Torres.

Once upon a time he led the line like a footballing Legolas, fleet, flaxen and fatally good. Now he plods around like he's Legless. There's no pace anymore, his first touch seems to have been borrowed from Emile Heskey, and worst of all he glowers round the pitch like a grounded teenager who's had his X-Box confiscated. And let's face it the X-Box Torres is a far better player.

If Rafael Benitez has been brought back to revive ickle Nando then by golly he's going to need more than smelling salts and a common language. Abramovich landed the club with this folly-footed failure, just as he had with Sheva (not Shiva, destroyer of worlds, but Sheva destroyer of managerial reputations).

Benitez somehow has managed to get himself as a fifth head on the Anfield Mount Rushmore flag, and doe-eyed Scousers - the same ones that are presumably voting for that moon-faced bag o' shite Christopher Maloney in X-Factor - still revere that night in Istanbul when the Champions League was pulled out of the fire despite the manager, and because of Steven Gerrard.

Rafa repaid that miracle by sticking Gerrard wide right for a season. He also made the one decent purchase of his career in England by getting Torres. The Spaniard went on to terrify teams in the same way that Suarez does now (except for the odd leg-breaking lunge and the  racist jibe).

Benitez's subsequent career at Anfield was remarkable indeed. He spent shitloads on shite and blamed the lack of success on the chairmen, whoever the hell they happened to be, for not giving him even more shitloads. They won an FA Cup because Gerrard trumped a flapping defence. And when they finally got shot of him, he took with him a massive pay-off and the hearts of the Kop.

In short, the predominant quality Benitez had at Liverpool was luck. Ferguson suggested he'd got another dose by getting a six-month sentence at Roman's correctional institute (with John Terry playing Mr Mackay and Lamps as the kindly and earnest Mr Barraclough). I'm not sure Rafa will see it that way after the reception the Chelsea fans gave him yesterday.

The astonishing thing about Benitez's appointment is that Abramovich has replaced a whole-hearted man of Chelsea with someone who pretty much despised the club. (Why is the owner not getting his fair share of the flak for this maddening decision? Well cos ultimately he can take his ball home, in the form squillions of quid, so let's blame the Spanish Maitre D instead.)

It's laughable, too, that Rafa would want the job. You might think it shows an admirably thick skin. I think it's a choice made on the basis of pride and greed. He'll be well-paid whatever happens but if he thinks he can turn around opinion at the Bridge with a Torres tap-in he's living in the Land Where Reason Sleeps (which coincidentally is the tagline for an upcoming documentary on Chelsea Football Club).

Meanwhile Harry Redknapp returns to management at QPR, the Premier League's pit props. 'Course 'Arry does the press conferences very well - lots of talk of grandkids in blue and white hooped shirts, nice people at the club, working hard and running abaht. He's very good at making you feel you're just popping round H's for a catch-up or having a little chinwag outside the bookies of Monday morning.

It's hard to believe he lives in a massive fuck-off house in Sandbanks, home of the fourth most expensive real estate in the world, coz 'e's do dahn-to-earf!

Still the R's have got the best man available. Just ask the Ukraine FA. Harry was very tempted by their offer, he said. After all them Ukrainian fans are just loverly and Chicken Kiev is one of his favourite teas. But it was now or never for Fernandes to get the ol' geezer and you can't say it's the wrong decision. Indeed it as natural a fit as as Warnock and Leeds, or

But as with Torres's form, even Jesus Christ might be struggling to this squad to pick up its bed and walk. There were signs of improvement at Old Trafford, but as soon as United got one the game was up. It's not a coincidence, mind, that it was a QPR team lacking many of the expensive, needless bling that Hughes bought in.

'Arry's already stated he won't hesitate to cut out the dead wood and from what we've witnessed thus far he's going to need a chainsaw. Still it will come as bad news for the likes of Lambert, O'Neill and, increasingly, Pardew.

I like to think I had some influence on Newcastle's demise - I did after all reckon them coming fourth this season. The Barcodes have had injuries to irreplaceable players: Cabaye, Ben Arfa and Coloccini were cornerstones last season. But they've also suffered an utter relapse since Pardew was given a seven-year contract.

Symptomatic is Papiss Cisse who scored the best brace in the history of football at Stamford Bridge but this season couldn't score in a Stockton-on-Tees niteclub at 2am - and even Fernando Torres could manage that.

148 comments:

  1. Robbo there's a bit of a typo in that, one of your lines ends early, you've forgotten to include the rest of the words. It's this one...

    "and because of Steven Gerrard diving for a penalty."

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  2. I've never heard such utter shite in my life, and I'm a massive fan of this blog normally. But "He also made the one decent purchase of his career in England by getting Torres" is just bollocks.

    You're talking about the man who signed the following:

    Luis Garcia.
    Xabi Alonso.
    Pepe Reina.
    Daniel Agger.
    Dirk Kuyt,
    Fabio Aurelio.
    Craig Bellamy.
    Alvaro Arbeloa.
    Javier Mascherano.
    Yossi Benayoun.
    Peter Crouch.
    Lucas Leiva.
    Martin Skrtel.
    Glen Johnson.

    You're also talking about the man that completely re-built Liverpool's youth set-up, and either signed or nurtured the following:

    Suso.
    Martin Kelly.
    Jon Flanaghan.
    Jack Robinson.
    Damien Plessis.
    Chris Mavinga.
    Steve Sama.
    David Amoo.
    Jordy Brouwer.
    Daniel Pacheco.

    He did all of this, as well as getting Liverpool their 5th European Cup, then an FA cup, then getting them to another European Cup Final, and their highest premier league points total (a total that would have won the league in 7 of the years since.)

    He then left Liverpool with a "massive pay off" - and left the Hillsborough Family Support Group with a donation of £96,000, which you fail to mention. Is there any wonder he's still in the hearts of Liverpool fans when he does things like that, and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NLCnG3xQEg

    In short, think about what you're about to write, I know you're here to wind people up the wrong way, but at least do it with a bit of class.

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  3. The problem is he also sold them on as well.

    Getting rid of Alonso to try and buy Gareth Barry, selling Mascherano to Barcelona were both mistakes.

    Reina, Agger, Johnson, Lucas and Skrtl are still there but only Reina is really top 4 quality and that's the problem he signed a lot of mid-table players and that's where Liverpool are as a result

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  5. Firstly, everyone always uses that one point of "Barry for Alonso" as a smear on Benitez' career. What everyone forgets is that Alonso had two good seasons for Liverpool, his first, and his last was exceptional. The 3 in between, he was useless.

    Hodgson sold Mascherano to Barcelona.

    Agger and Skrtel were both chased by Man City this summer before committing to Liverpool, and Agger was voted best defender at the European Championships this summer - to suggest they're not even "top 4 quality" is ludicrous.

    Of the now top 4 sides in the league, I'd suggest that Kompany and Vidic are better than Agger and Skrtel, that's it, and they're both 27, so going into their prime as defenders.

    Rafa signed who he could, with his hands firmly tied behind his back by Hicks and Gillett. People say he finished seventh in his last season at Liverpool so deserved to go, but the only reasons expectations were so high at Anfield (and further afield) was because of his record. Souness, Evans, Houllier, none of them came close to doing what Benitez did, and since - Hodgson, Dalglish, and now Rodgers - haven't, or don't look like achieving what he did either.

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  6. Good stuff Robbo, some will cry over the truth therin and some will just have a chuckle.

    Any list of signings during Rafa's tenure, that omits David Ngog, must be considered suspicious!

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    1. and i'm sure there are others!

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    2. Ngog was bought cheap as a young promising striker, and then sold at a profit. He even scored some important goals along the way, none more so than against United. Do you think that the same United will make a profit on Bebe?

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    3. I could give a rat's arse if they make a profit on him, it's not my money.

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  7. Ando, i like the quality in your posts and i think you've put the argument very well. my only question mark would come with the squad that liverpool won the champs league. it was houlier's squad and not benitez's. maybe there's an argument to say would houlier have won it but at the same time we'll never know the answer to that...

    rs

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    1. Houllier did win the UEFA cup and 2 domestic cups in one season so I would say that his achievements were on a par with Benitez's while at Anfield

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  9. Well, maybe it was. But some fairly key signings got Liverpool to the final - Alonso was magnificent, and the goals against Juve and Chelsea from Luis Garcia certainly helped. Much like Di Matteo winning the Champions League with AVB's squad I guess...

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  10. Enjoyed it as always, Robbo.

    Also good that you pissed off someone enough to elicit a comment, as I don't recall hearing from Ando before. Could just be my bad memory, as I also cannot recall the names of former Chelsea managers. I keep mumbling "Pep, Pep, Hooray!" in the hopes he will come save us. Not that we were doing poorly, mind, just that once we have him we will have exhausted the supply of top-class managers willing to come here.

    Rafa's not all bad, but he's not all good, either. Maybe he worked at Liverpool, then again, maybe not. But at Chelsea, I hope he's no more than a stopgap. Which of course is really all any of them are, I suppose, except that I can no longer tell the difference between "gap" and "stopgap".

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  11. Whatever you think of Benitez, the Chelsea fans who booed him should really hang their heads in shame. Real supporters get behind their team, not berate their own manager before his team have even kicked a ball. To call themselves "supporters" is clearly a breach of the trade descriptions act.

    The result of all this moronic behaviour is more disharmony and instablity, leading to a trophy-less season. No manager with any self respect will be interested in taking the Chelsea job in the summer, and as for Pep - keep dreaming.

    Camel

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  12. Interesting take on possibilities of Pep at Chelsea from Peter Berlin (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_berlin/11/25/epl-sunday/index.html?sct=sc_t11_a0)

    "Yet it is precisely that willingness to fire coaches that should make Chelsea so alluring to Guardiola and his agent.

    When Chelsea fired José Mourinho he received a reported payoff of £18 million ($28.5 million at current exchange rates), Avram Grant received a reported £5.5 million and Felipe Scolari £12.6 million... AVB was on £5 million a year. Chelsea has reportedly offered Guardiola three times that amount. If he plays his cards right he could make out like a bandit.

    Guardiola should take the job, insult and drop John Terry and refuse to pick Fernando Torres. Guardiola wouldn't need to try to lose; he's probably incapable of that. With the unbalanced and turbulent squad he would inherit, he will inevitably suffer some embarrassing early defeats. Abramovich would lose patience. Guardiola could be back in Manhattan by Christmas. His reputation would be untarnished; everyone in soccer knows that Abramovich doesn't know soccer. His bank balance would be swelled by tens of millions of pounds."

    Short of bullying Pep into taking a job he probably doesn't want--though who wouldn't do just about anything for 15mil a year?--I don't know who else we'd hire. By 2016, there won't be anyone left!

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    1. I will point out that most world class managers already have humungus overflowing bank accounts, and don't really need to chase more wonga.

      However, for those who do, it has not escaped my attention that the most efficient way to make big bucks quickly is to fail early in the contract, get a big pay-off, then move onto the next big money offer. In this respect, Chelsea are the ideal club to manage, collect cheque, quickly out the door, reputation intact. Bingo!

      Other than that, why would any manager go to Chelsea? Abrahamovic buys the players, mostly picks the team, dictates the style of play, mollycoddles back-stabbing players, then fires the manager when it turns out shit. Can't be any job satisfaction at all.

      PS. Am I the only one to think that Mourinho's midweek press conferences sounded decidely like he was touting for the Citeh job?

      Camel

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    2. Good Point, Camel, Why, when reading your comment, does the name Sven Goran Erikson keep springing to mind!

      Spider

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  13. Benitez was a good manager back in the days when Torres was a good striker but he couldn't manage a Whelk stall now, his knees have gone.

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  14. Arsenal has a £40 million war chest. It's a fantastic chest, beautifully made and capacious with no debts outstanding on its manufacture. It's a war chest that other clubs will envy.

    Nowt in it tho

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    Replies
    1. more fake implants than Playboy magazine.

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  15. I am not in the habit of giving Chelsea fans anything but abuse but props to them yesterday for standing up and being counted.

    It is the equivilant of the Boro firing Mogga and announcing Keegan as his successor.

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  16. Hey, Keegan for Chelsea, why not, he's had Portugal, Italy, Spain, Holland, Israel and Brazil in the managerial hot seat, why not make an Englishman rich?

    Ray Wilkins can't go back since his tapping up of Wazza, it's gotta be KK or Big Sam!

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    Replies
    1. Fine, but I was hoping for a di Canio/Cantona combo.

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  17. Mark clattenburg was favourite to succeed rdm as Chelskis new shestyorka but turns out hes not racist. That thing with mikel...sounding him out innit.

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  18. I partially agree with some of the comments on here, especially the ones from Ando. RB is unfairly criticized (but it all aint as rosy as you paint it Ando, he did have some stinkers in terms of signings and decisions). What he did, he did with fairly average teams at his disposal (largely his own fault), which does make him a tactical genius. Winning those trophies, setting up his team to stop the other team playing and score a scrappy goal, out-mourinhoing mourinho 3 times (which eventually led to his sacking, you can call it resignation but it aint never that with RA, no wonder the man and the media who so loved the man hate RB)... Actually him kicking mourinho's egoistic butt is the reason I have even bothered to defend him.

    But to be fair Ando, he is limited in his ability as a coach and in his transfer dealings to the extent that he can only create average teams and win knock-out competitions but would never win the league. And this is the part you all forget and that's why he got fired and will get fired again by teams who have tasted trophy success but want the league title. But put him with an average team in a cup competition and watch him go. Atleast he always seems to have a plan to suit the occasion, but many times his signings are just not as good as he thinks so his plan fails.

    Now here's the shocker for the resident gooners, RB at Arsenal setting up the ream tactically with AW doing the transfer dealings... although even saying that leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but it makes sense don't it? Coz our team is average, sigh, and AW is too stubborn to change his tactics to suit the opposition (e.g playing a high line against teams like Barca, giving full-backs complete license to attack in away games...). I never have hope nowadays that we could win the CL with him. But with someone like Rafa, even this year's squad is capable of 4 matches against anybody and lifting the crown. But yeah it might be horrible to watch, the back four might stay in place for longer than just the few seconds at kick-off etc. etc.

    That said, I do trust AW to take us to 4th spot and have a fresh go at the CL again the next year, ...wouldnt trust Rafa with doing that with a combined machester squad coz he will just rotate RVP with balotelli and come up with some zonal running system for Toure ... you get where I'm going.

    Last thought: anyone else feel that we tend to discuss managers, who play no footy themselves, too much nowadays, and not the players or the game itself... just a thought.
    have a good day y'all.

    --BeeZee

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  19. Benitez is another Sven - Gets by on his early reputation and an effin' good agent. This thread also proves there's nowt as deluded as a Kopite.
    Benitez at Chelsea is the perfect match - no class either of them. You may disagree but you'd be wrong.

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  20. ...and I reckon if any of us were given £229m to spend on players in 5 years (ok might have been 6 or even 7, I don't really care), a) We wouldn't have bought 79 (count 'em) of the buggers, and b) Our grannies could've spotted Torres and Alonso and Mascherano and Reina were half decent.

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  21. Good stuff Robbo.

    Nando was broke a long time ago. Unsurprising really, he was never rested over a long period, season after season, plus WC's Euros and Confederation Cup, after the latter in fact he ws never the same

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  22. Guy.

    I'm afraid I disagree, if the Chelsea fans had any balls then it would/should be RA that they direct their ire at. Benitez didn't dump the "Chelsea man" and appoint himself manager, that was the mad rusky, plus RB was an out of work manager looking to get back into the game, he would of been mad to refuse the offer.

    But as it always is with totalaterian dictatorship rulers, its better not to make too much noise for fear of repercussions. The penalty being that this particular tzaar would piss off and take all his roebles with him leaving the chavs up a certain creek of excrement without a means of propultion.

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  23. Here's something to give solace to all you Chavites;

    http://until-rafa-goes.co.uk/

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  24. Some say it's all about timing;

    https://twitter.com/GarethDParker/status/272782313379729411/photo/1

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  25. Benitez and Torres to Swansea at the end of this season. Chelsea will let go of Benitez and bring in Laudrup, who will sign Falcao. (Or ten almost as impressive Spainards for the price of Falcao.) Benitez will be hired by Swansea after Torres promises to follow him wherever he goes next.

    Either that, or the two move to Wigan when Martinez moves to Chelsea. Or wherever. The point is, Benitez and Torres will be out after this season. I was going to phrase that in a pithy manner, but I missed the mark nearly as badly as Torres.

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  26. OR

    Liverpool sell Andy Carrol back to Newcastle for 15 million, then spend 10 million buying back Torres. Happy chairmen all round...

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  27. Philip schofield interweb guru tells me nandos knees were fucked and Liverpool knew it. Chelski bought him at the 11 th hour and didn't do a proper medical.

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  28. Green arrow there for roger T

    Have you.ever dome that when you're REALLY bored go onto the daily mail web-spite and green arrow all the unpopular posts and red arrow all the popular ones.

    Only takes a minute no need to read any of the bile and you're bound to be right 99 times out of 100

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  29. Hmmm as I thort. Joey Barton 'e eez ur fule

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3U-r8T31Ns

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  30. Had a look at Rafa's Liverpool signings, and some were pretty good. Seemed to go downhill towards the end of his time there (his last few big signings include Babel, Dossena, Aquilani, Riera, Robbie Keane, as well as Glen Johnson - jury's out - and Skrtel). Certainly, when he issued a "back me (in the transfer market) or sack me" ultimatum to Massimo Moratti at Inter, Moratti went straight for the Spanish Archer. Rafa's been out of work since (2 years or so), so you can't blame him for taking the Russian job. I'd guess Roman appointed him knowing he'd be unpopular, so Pep can come and "save the club" (if he's insane).


    Jedi

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  31. Joey Barton is a funny funny guy. And the biggest cnut the French side of Stamford Bridge.

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  32. that Joey, he's a proper funny frog fucker. Just needs a string of onions round his neck.

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  33. My fantasy team started out like a house on fire. Now we've realized there's nothing left to burn and we left all our valuables inside. Maybe I should sack myself as manager and bring in RDM.

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  34. Trott/noel/H/AH how's the yanky/ozzie/dutch English accent coming along?

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    Replies
    1. Can't really tell bloggy, no one around these parts speaks English.

      Weekday games are broadcast on ESPN, so I'm now off to see how Granero is 'quarterbacking' the QPR team.

      Delete
    2. eh youse spiken fer yerselfen mudda fukkin son of da windmill huggen barbie shrimpenwagen.

      Delete
    3. No Aussie in my accent yet, thank fuck.

      Delete
  35. Joey Barton's accent doesn't sound Frenchish to me at all, but most definitely comes across as apartheid-era Afrikaner/Rhodesian English with a touch of Aussie accent thrown in for good measure -- I know because I grew up in that part of the world and often get mistaken for being Australian.

    G'day mates!

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  36. Another cracking blog Robbo. Football is certainly throwing up plenty of blog-worthy topics at the moment.

    Loved Barton's accent, but it's not as good as Sscccchhhteve McLaren's Dutch one yet. Not sure that'll ever be beaten.

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  37. Platini admits that UEFA are thinking of scrapping the Europa league and extending the Champions League. Does that mean that the top 6 from the EPL will qualify for the "Champions" League?
    Here's an idea for you......only let the champions from each nation play in the Champions League or make it a knockout competition and call it the European Cup. Let the 2nd and 3rd place teams play in a knockout competition called the UEFA Cup . And let the Cup winners play in a knockout competition called the Cup Winners Cup. It will revolutionise european football and i'm fairly sure it's never been done before.

    Colch

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    Replies
    1. Not that it would ever happen as the big clubs wouldn't want to accept the risk of going out in the first round and only getting one game.

      Colch

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  38. Champions League is over rated...

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  39. Bonjour my leetle Eenglish chumz. Ay 'ave jurst read ze followeng 'eadline on ze BBC:

    Forest's Cox out for two months.

    eez a leetle cold in Nottingham for ziz kind of behaviour, non!

    Merde, Joeybartonitis eez very - 'ow you zay - contagious.

    Rastafairy

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    Replies
    1. they'll be playin' with blue balls then.

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    2. Careful or the 'keeper may handle them outside the box.

      Delete
  40. Joey's latest interview;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGNVU5ZjlgA

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  41. Blogs, I still have a bit of a Lahndan accent but I hardly ever speak english. Most (Dutch) people who meet me for the first time have difficulty telling where I'm from, they know I'm not a local, but I have a bit of a Haagse (The Hague)accent and I speak fluent dutch which really throws them off.

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  42. that couldve been me, H. as you know i lived in delft for a year or so in the beestenmarkt, loved it and wouldnt have left but my girlfriend/now wife hankered after olde englande god knows why she doesnt even like football or pies so decisions decisions here i am in rain sodden toff ridden divided deluded ripped off downtrodden sodding england and essex of all places how the hell did that happen

    not as rain sodden as holland tho, in my experience. it started raining in october and stopped the following april.

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    Replies
    1. It stopped?

      I must have missed that.

      Delete
    2. that explains it, you two could have been the Robbo double dutch representatives.

      Delete
  43. so baines and fellaine to arsenal in january? so who will they lose to man city this year?

    little clubs have big clubs
    upon their backs to bite em
    and big clubs have bigger clubs
    and so on ad infinitum

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  44. I'd take Baines and Fellini in a heartbeat, won't happen though.

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    Replies
    1. Oi, leave our players alone, you under-achieving Cockernee bastardios. You've got Arteta, that was heartbreaking enough!

      Delete
  45. I decided to shake up my FFL team this week and brought in Torres (as captain). I guess the next couple of hours will show whether that was an inspired or insane decision.

    Colch

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    Replies
    1. Ok so it was a stupid idea.

      Colch

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  46. is it time for an interim replacement short term temporary manager at the Bridge?

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  47. Good win for Spurs tonight, although another yellow card for Bale for diving. Really needs to get that out of his game. The press won't make anything of it though.

    Two matchdays in a row that Chelsea have been last on MoTD. That's when your team is really bad.

    Good win for your boys too, Trotts. Pulling away from the relegation zone and undoing all Coyle's work. And Blackburn dropping away from the promotion places, and undoing all Kean's work. Cracking.

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  48. Yeah we'll be flying up the league next month Noel.

    Apparently there was a dyslexic Yorkshireman at the Leeds game last night, he was wearing a cat flap!"

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  49. Whoa... crash and burn week for my fantasy team. Couldn't have done worse if I'd hired Rafa.

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  50. Finally tasted dirt myself with losses in both H2Hs. Spits supermarines accounting for 2 of my 4 losses this season. Still good enough to hold on to top spot in all 4 leagues for a 3rd week running.

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  51. Another week of general plodding for Thugton Rovers .... Got 49 points, which on the face of things isn't too bad for my lot ... still lost another H2H game though.

    Just as well the chairman's aiming for survival/mid table mediocrity really ...

    -

    James

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  52. Flintoff is likely to get his face smashed in in this pro fight.

    He can do what he likes of.course but I find it baffling that a bona fide sporting hero would want to do all this Carl pilkington/idiot abroad style celebrity humiliation shit.

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    Replies
    1. Flintoff never was the sharpest pin in the box, so boxing is a natural, if baffling choice.
      Gervais is an irritating one-trick pony so far up himself he can lick his own tonsils. Just thought I'd share that. :)

      Delete
  53. Karl Pilkington is a comedy genius.

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  54. now that Hatton's finally retired for good, there's a gap in the division. My money's on Geoff Boycott to beat the shit out of Manny Pacquiao and become the next world champ.

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  55. and SWP v Frankie Dettori in Manilla next Spring for the bantamweight division crown.

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    1. torres vs muhammed ali in kinshasa, but only to give me the opportunity to shout "its a jungle out there"

      Delete
  56. Mr Flintoff should hope he doesn't end up like James Cracknell.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No_z9NyIf8s

    Fast forward to 3.45

    Out like a light.

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    1. i hope i dont end up like james cracknell, jack, he has a serious and permanent brain injury not from boxing but from a blind truck driver who broke his skull with his wing mirror when he was cycling in arizona a couple of years back. i never saw this in the news at the time, i guess it didnt fit the blonde conquering hero media narrative.

      the message to flintoff is clear : stick to boxing. avoid bikes.

      Delete
    2. this would bring tears to a glass eye..
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/columnists/jamescracknell/9620237/James-Cracknell-Hopefully-well-get-back-to-where-we-once-were.html

      Delete
  57. Apparently, you Brits have very tolerant sportspeople but backwards fans. Here in the states we expect our athletes to be uberpatriotic, hyperheterosexual, semiracist, superreligious, and otherwise reflective of our general population.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20553795
    (which led to a couple other links)

    First thing I thought of when I read Lindegaard's comment was this, which if you read the lyrics, fits reasonably enough:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCOPuGBg_W0

    Long past time for liberal tolerance to seep into sports, from athletes to fans.

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  58. Next year we ought to have a comprehensive Robbo Blog fantasy football competition that spans Classic and H2H formats in the Premier League, Championship, Champions League, and Europa Cup, all via their official sites. We would have winners for each league in each format, plus a multi-league Classic winner, a multi-league overall H2H winner, and an all-league winner. The multiple-league tables would be based on average positions or points in the standings in the relevant leagues, depending on which we decide in advance.

    It isn't as if we don't all have enough free time to set up each squad and follow them until we are so far from winning at least one title that we give up and pretend we have something better to do.

    Even if only ten of us made it in to all the leagues, it could get interesting. Now all we need to do is remember this until all the fantasy leagues start again...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and cash prizes donated by the US Government?

      Delete
    2. we don't care where the money comes from as long as we get some before we get re-named the USA (R.O.C.)

      Delete
  59. Mad Mick seeing if he can continue his revival of my brave lads today.

    Away at Bolton.

    Good luck Trotts,

    but not too much....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well done Tractor boys, we're still shit, bring back Meggo!

      Delete
    2. To be honest I'm rather stunned.At 1-0 down I was preparing a gracious in defeat posting.

      Delete
  60. Milky Adams revisits bramall lane in the facup in search of catharsis

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought he wasn't adding to teh squad this year

      Delete
  61. Feel a bit cheated by this mayan advent calendar - only 21 little chocolates

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I want to know is when exactly does it all go tits up? Is it at the beginning or end of the 21st? I only ask, cos it's my birthday and I need to know when to book the pub...

      Delete
  62. Q. How do you know when an Essex girl is having an orgasm?

    A. She drops her kebab.

    ReplyDelete
  63. If emile Heskey can make a living as a footballer I see no reason why Flintoff can't be s pro boxer.

    NEWS JUST IN
    audley harrison to open the batting for England

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shouldn't that be Michaelowen?

      Delete
    2. could get Phil Neville to do it - he'd probably be better than half the team anyway

      Delete
  64. Q. What's a Essex girl's favorite wine?

    A. "awwww, why can't I go to Bluewater?"

    ReplyDelete
  65. eh, no jokes about Essex girls. My best mates' wife's from Essex and she gives great head.

    ReplyDelete
  66. NEWS JUST IN
    Catharsis signs for Southampton after much soul searching...

    ReplyDelete
  67. Great result for Bolton Old Boys F.C. brilliant! Rafa will take a lot of positives from the game though.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Wow. Chelsea boss the first half, fold in the second. West Ham deserved the win. Not sure I'd blame Rafa, though pulling Hazard was questionable, but they didn't need to sack RDM. They're slumping, but Rafa hasn't helped.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I've not seen a teamsheet, but I'm guessing Reading and man u are trying a revolutionary Gk-0-0-10 formation given 5 goals have been scored in 20 minutes.

    -

    James.

    ReplyDelete
  70. 49 points in the FFL, mainly scored by my midfield as my strikers can't hit a cow's arse with a banjo ... and in good old Thugton tradition I've got yet another player out on suspension lol

    -

    James.

    ReplyDelete
  71. -Only a fifth of a second ago you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon.
    -Maybe a long life has to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if its to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?
    -I do, Dunbar told him.
    -Why? Clevinger asked.
    -What else is there?

    ReplyDelete
  72. Don't know if you're still around tone but its good to se le fondle doing so well in the premiership

    ReplyDelete
  73. Chelsea have gone 3 games now without conceding a manager

    ReplyDelete
  74. Stoke on good run but my god they're ugly the team photo must look like a scene from lord of the rings

    ReplyDelete
  75. A cold wet Sunday in Essex.

    Hibernate. Emigrate. Locked in Syndrome. Buried Alive. Theres got to be a better way....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, pop over to Noo Joisey with your chainsaw and spend the next 6 months cutting trees, stacking wood and singing "I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok"

      Delete
  76. Only my broken arm lack of a chainsaw membership of Save the Trees and a deeply rooted hatred of lumberjacks and Michael palin stand in the way of me doing just that trotts

    ReplyDelete
  77. Then what's keeping you from Utah?

    ReplyDelete
  78. the trees are already down, your arm will soon be healed, there's a chainsaw here with your name on it (it says "this is Blogdignag's" on the 32" blade) we can change the theme song but not much we can do about MP. Would it help if he bought the Vale?

    ReplyDelete
  79. Well I was going to pop my head up from behind the keyboard on Friday to see if all the guffaws over Rafas appointment had settled down - but then I stupidly wait an extra couple of days only now to read that Mr Personality himself, Avram, is now apparently on the wanted list down at the Bridge.....

    On the plus side, I do not have a broken arm, I have my very own chain saw and I am not Michael Palin so all is well with the world


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. then you're ready for the massacre Bells, if they don't start winning soon! Nice to see you!

      Delete
  80. Why thank you Trotts, always good fun to be back reading your lots words of wisdom!

    I think I may have to do a little practice massacre, just so as not to be embarrassed when it comes to the real thing - I will keep you updated on how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The much pilloried Martin O'Neil will be looking forward to your lot visiting at the weekend, finally some relief is in sight for him.

      Delete
    2. The three most important questions for us now are if Rafa makes it to the end of the season, if we make the CL, and if there will be enough pull left to draw in Pep in the summer.

      I'm going with yes on all three. At least I keep telling myself that.

      Delete
    3. First two yes.

      Last one, I can't see it myself.

      I think that everyone is finally starting to twig on that RA is an egomanic and there will never ever be anyone who can leave up to his unrealistic expectations. But then again, money talks and RA isn't afraid of raising his voice.

      Delete
  81. Headline from The BBC Website:

    'Gay footballers 'would be accepted' - Southgate.'

    Headline from The BBC Website, immediately below:

    'Lambert rejects Bent speculation.'

    ReplyDelete
  82. and then....Jack Charlton gives up fags!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Rooney scores with beautiful bender

    ReplyDelete
  84. The chainsaw was invented by a Scottish doctor to speed up childbirth (by means of symphysiotomy).

    ReplyDelete
  85. Ola compadres! Have to say I agree totally with H's post from a while back - is Pep really that good? Yes I know he won a lot of trophies, but so did Rijkard when he was there and his managerial career hasn't been all that great since has it? The current manager, Tito Vallersomthing, ain't doing too badly at the moment is he, so maybe he's just as good as Pep? Until Pep proves himself with another club, then I'd be sceptical about putting all my footballing eggs in his particular basket.

    Cracking Test match finished yesterday between the Aussies and the Saffers. If anyone gets the chance to see the SA dismissals from their 2nd innings then do so. Mitchell Johnson was on fire bowling, catching in the field, and two amazing catches off his own bowling. Not too shabby a catch from Nathan Lyon either. Sad to see Ricky Ponting retire with his own personal performance being less than average.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Any coverage of this in your part of the world H?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20583970

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thats mental. i wont officiate youth football any more jacks, i came this far from landing one on an abusive parent and decided enough was enough hats off to the men in black with rhinocerous hides

      Delete
    2. That guy was never offside...

      Seriously though, shocking events which has pretty much stunned the nation.

      Expecting major inqueries, finger pointing, blame shifting and general sweeping under the carpet to follow.

      Delete
  87. England forward Daniel Sturridge denies speculation he has demanded £80,000-a-week to leave Chelsea for Liverpool. The Daily Mirror also claims the 23-year-old wants assurances he would play as a striker if he moved to Anfield.

    But his representatives Octagon say in a statement: "Daniel Sturridge does not conduct his business in public. He also does not make demands in any negotiation, with regards to salary or his playing position."

    so it's true then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge has demanded an £80,000-a-week salary to join Liverpool in January. The 23-year-old reportedly also wants a guarantee that he will be played through the middle rather than out wide.
      Full story: Daily Mirror

      ====
      Are you Feo, are you Feo, are you Feo in disguise?

      Delete
  88. Robbie Keane says to the L.A. Galaxy fans that he's a very lucky man to have gone there and won two championships and he hopes to give them a turd next year. WTF, I suspect that wouldn't be considered a very gracious gesture in Los Angeles.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Chelsea have adopted an unofficial policy of not criticising referees in post-match press conferences amid fears of a backlash following the Mark Clattenburg affair.
    Full story: the Independent
    ===
    They'll now falsely accuse them. of whatever, pre-match.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've tried blaming the refs. We've tried blaming the managers. Obviously we can't blame the players or the owner. Must be the fans' fault...

      Delete
    2. it'll fall upon the manager to blame the fans, usually happens about 4 days before he gets the boot. The only answer is to give the club to a fan who then becomes player/manager and will only have himself to blame.

      Delete
  90. I was hit on the head by a falling book this morning

    I've just got my shelf to blame

    ReplyDelete
  91. Thankfully, Chelsea have shored up their defense.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20596564

    In other good news, Man City miss out on Europa League spot. Maybe Mancini will be available for Chelsea at the end of the season...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's another thing they have in common with Bolton.

      Delete
  92. I just bet on three horses called Sunshine, Moonlight and Good Times. None of them won, I blame it on the bookie.

    ReplyDelete
  93. LOL benitez ses Torres ee ees ur great player....in defence


    Great news for you Bells... mourinininininho on his way back to chelseamanucity

    ReplyDelete
  94. I'm schizophrenic but I've only got myselves to blame

    ReplyDelete
  95. Apparently happiness is related to optimism. Optimists live longer than us pessimists; well congratulations you creepy bunch of happy smiling self deluded fuckwits, you're all going to be 120 yr old cabbages in a wheelchair be optimistic about that you cunts.

    On this basis, I have weeks to live.

    Fortunately the other major factor is the ability to discount bad news.

    Now this I'm good at. Not as good as Mancini, but good enough to ignore the fact that...what was I saying?

    ReplyDelete
  96. Radio 4 s book of the week is some shite called The Black Count.

    John Terry is a big fan, I'm told.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Pretty crap Citeh showing in the CL again, not even qualifying for the Yourhopeless league is a massive fail for a club who has spent a Magillion Squillion bucks (or however much it was).

    ReplyDelete
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