Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Real-ity Bites

It is difficult to know what came as the biggest shock at Old Trafford last night. It was a rum one, that's for sure. Rooney wasn't selected. Mourinho was humble (but it's an arrogant humility, isn't it?). Fergie sent Phelan up to talk to the press - although part of me wondered whether he wasn't back in the home dressing-room slowly spit-roasting the ref over the flames of his fury. And most alarmingly of all, a United player was sent off AT OLD TRAFFORD!

I actually cannot remember that ever happening. It's as rare as a Blair apology. Or a Prime Minister in Primark. It wouldn't happen in the Premier League, but maybe these Turkish officials don't know the rules.

As for the facts, well, I don't think there was much in it. I wouldn't have given him a yellow cos there was no malice in it. Peter Crouch pretty much kicked Matt Taylor's head into the top tier last weekend and no one seemed bothered. Nani was clearly a tad concerned which was why he stayed down like a roped steer for a good two minutes. Arbeloa made the most of it and despite being
the least gifted footballer on the park, managed to make the most significant contribution to the game by getting kicked.

Roy Keane was adamant that the decision was correct. He insisted that a lack of malice is neither here nor there, which is presumably why Roy's challlenges were always malicious. I mean you might as well break a limb if you're going to get sent off anyway. Strictly speaking, Keane was right. And to be fair his punditry makes a pleasant change from the lukewarm feyness of Southgate and Townsend.

Townsend was at his worst last night. If there was a missed opportunity it was down to a striker not quite hitting when he should, or taking the extra touch, or NOT taking the extra touch. Still when you remember the lethal strike rate that Andy mustered during his professional carrer you'll realise how much wisdom he has on the subject. It's like having a jumped-up public schoolboy tell you how to run your state education. Townsend is the master of instantaneous hindsight. It's not a compliment to say he makes it seem like anyone could do his job.

It's hard to feel sorry for Ferguson - and yet last night I did. It felt a bit like shedding a tear for an old silverback who's been terrorising the jungle for years. But nevertheless the red card was pivotal and you could understand his rage.

In the first half, United looked pretty comfortable and Welbeck, for the first time I could remember, looked a like grown man, rather than the gangling foal I'm used to seeing.

Ronaldo looked becalmed, as if deference to the place where he learnt his trade was inhibiting him. Vidic looked back to his best. Rafael belied his childlike, almost Pokemon-like apearance with bags of energy and authority, and Madrid didn't look like much really.

Of course the red card ignores the fact that after Ramos had poked the ball past Diego Lopez - a kind of Spanish refuse collector with dustbin-lid hands - Real picked up the pace of things and looked very like having the rest of the match. Nani's dismissal deprived United of a dangerous counter-attacker, and the Portuguese was having one of those mights when he looked more likely to threaten the oppostion net that the fans behind it.

So England will not have a representative in the quarter-finals unless Arsenal can call up Derren Brown for the away leg in Munich. And it's fair to say that just about represents where the standard of the Premier League is now. While we like to go on about it being the best league in the world, it doesn't produce the best teams. United wouldn't be winning the Premier League at a canter if the quality was high.

At times it produces the dourest football. Stoke City fans will tell you they like to keep it on the deck. They do. They keep it on the top deck, somewhere around Crouchy's eyebrows.

Germany and Spain look like they've got much better club sides - with far more natives in them - and with far less money shelled out by the fans to watch them. In other words the Premier League is pretty shoddy value at the moment.

As for Wayne Rooney, well... it's been coming. He's very good, Wazza. Very good. But when he lines up with a true great like Ronaldo or Van Persie, you realise that his very best is not going to beat that. Of course the thing is, when he terrorised teams at the age of 16, we assumed we'd got an utter genius. And what's worrying about the lad - apart from the hair which looks like it's been removed from a horses arse and just stuck on there - is that he is not a vastly better player now than he was in 2004.

You could say that the lad has been played in all sorts of positions since Fergie bagged him from Everton. I think that he's never going to be the great of the game that we hoped he might be but I'd stick him in the Scholes role (the original one, not the relaxed armchair one he has now) and forget about him being an out-and-out striker.

I've no doubt his future at United is secure.

Which is not something I could say for a certain Turkish referee. Hopefully Sir Alex is coming to terms with defeat this morning. But it makes me cross. How could he do that to Fergie. He's an old, frail man. As if.



175 comments:

  1. First - but who cares?

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  2. Second... and I care. Far too much.

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  3. Not the first time Manutd lost in Europe because of bad decisions. Not a mention of the red-card incident on uefa.com match report, Like they never saw that happen.

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  4. Insightful as always, Robbo. I listened to some of the match on UEFA's radio broadcast so while I missed out on your commentators, I still had a heaping helping of Schadenfreude.

    "Germany and Spain look like they've got much better club sides - with far more natives in them - and with far less money shelled out by the fans to watch them. In other words the Premier League is pretty shoddy value at the moment."

    Took a bit of an issue with the above paragraph, though. Germany and Spain have more natives in their league, but their natives are also better than yours. Remove the foreigners from England and you have a league that resembles Rooney... pretty good, until compared with 'great', with flashes of brilliance but possibly overrated and nowhere near the intelligence required to be in the top tier.

    That, and the overall quality being better there... Spanish and German league tables don't necessarily bear out the competitiveness argument, if that's what you mean.

    Club Pts Club Pts
    Man Utd 71 Barcelona 68
    Man City 59 At. Madrid 57
    Tottenham 54 R. Madrid 55
    Chelsea 52 Málaga 43
    Arsenal 47 Valencia 42
    Everton 45 R. Sociedad40
    Liverpool 42 R. Betis 39
    Swansea 40 Rayo Vallecano38
    West Brom 40 Getafe 38
    Fulham 33 Sevilla 35
    Stoke 33 Levante 35
    West Ham 33 R. Valladolid34
    Norwich 32 Espanyol 32
    Sunderland 30 Athletic 29
    Newcastle 30 Osasuna 28
    Southampton27 Granada 26
    Wigan 24 R. Zaragoza25
    Aston Villa24 Celta 23
    Reading 23 R. Mallorca21
    QPR 20 Deportivo 16

    Club Pts
    FC Bayern Munich 63
    Borussia Dortmund 46
    Bayer 04 Leverkusen 45
    Eintracht Frankfurt 38
    SC Freiburg 36
    FC Schalke 04 36
    Hamburger SV 35
    1. FSV Mainz 05 34
    Borussia Mönchengladbach34
    Hannover 96 33
    VfB Stuttgart 29
    Fortuna Düsseldorf 28
    1. FC Nuremberg 28
    SV Werder Bremen 28
    VfL Wolfsburg 27
    FC Augsburg 21
    1899 Hoffenheim 16
    Greuther Fürth 14

    (English sides have played 28 matches, most Spanish sides 26, and German sides 24.)

    Yes, you do pay more money to watch the games, but the gaps between places in the top division suggest the PL is just as competitive as the other leagues. In fact, there's arguably less competition at the top in Germany than in England and Spain, with more of a fight at the bottom in England than elsewhere. I left out the goals, differentials, etc., because I'm supposed to be working now and while I'd rather dig into this, I could easily spend all day immersed in the numbers.

    Of course, I may have misinterpreted the intent of that paragraph, so please do set me straight.

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    1. Ugh... those tables are much harder to read than they were supposed to be. Here they are again, in a clearer format.

      England (28 matches)
      Club Pts
      Man Utd 71
      Man City 59
      Tottenham 54
      Chelsea 52
      Arsenal 47
      Everton 45
      Liverpool 42
      Swansea 40
      West Brom 40
      Fulham 33
      Stoke 33
      West Ham 33
      Norwich 32
      Sunderland 30
      Newcastle 30
      Southampton27
      Wigan 24
      Aston Villa24
      Reading 23
      QPR 20

      Spain (26 matches for most, a couple at 25)
      Club Pts
      Barcelona 68
      At. Madrid 57
      R. Madrid 55
      Málaga 43
      Valencia 42
      R. Sociedad40
      R. Betis 39
      Rayo Vallecano38
      Getafe 38
      Sevilla 35
      Levante 35
      R. Valladolid34
      Espanyol 32
      Athletic 29
      Osasuna 28
      Granada 26
      R. Zaragoza25
      Celta 23
      R. Mallorca21
      Deportivo 16

      Germany (24 matches)
      Club Pts
      FC Bayern Munich 63
      Borussia Dortmund 46
      Bayer 04 Leverkusen 45
      Eintracht Frankfurt 38
      SC Freiburg 36
      FC Schalke 04 36
      Hamburger SV 35
      1. FSV Mainz 05 34
      Borussia Mönchengladbach 34
      Hannover 96 33
      VfB Stuttgart 29
      Fortuna Düsseldorf 28
      1. FC Nuremberg 28
      SV Werder Bremen 28
      VfL Wolfsburg 27
      FC Augsburg 21
      1899 Hoffenheim 16
      Greuther Fürth 14

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  5. rooney in the old scholes role... ive been saying this for nigh on 5 years now.

    until he starts playing that role, he will continue to look mediocre at best, when being compared to rvp, cr, etc...

    great blog robbo

    r.s

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  6. More top stuff Robbo. Stephen, I think Robbo is suggesting that the quality of play in the PL doesn't compare with that in La Liga or the Bundesliga, but I could be wrong (just as that of the English national team doesn't compare with Spain or Germany). The EPL tends to be more competitive than Spain because of the collective TV rights deal. Spain has negotiated individual deals, which means that Barca and Real have about 4x the income of the next team (Valencia, I think). It's why Atletico are always a selling club.

    I think lowest price EPL tickets are about 4x that in Germany, although those tend to be standing tickets. It's probably more expensive to watch Boro than Borussia (Dortmund)! Sorry Robbo!

    Thought the red last night was a bit harsh, especially as United have never benefitted from a dodgy decision. Who'd have thought it? Assuming Celtic go out tonight, the Gooners will be the last British team left in the Champions League? Admittedly only because they play a week later.


    Jedi

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  7. A great blog as ever, Robbo - grateful thanks for every one of them.
    I thought the sending off perhaps a shade harsh, but just about a red. Full marks to the Ref for not going through the usual thought process "That's a red card! Oh, hang on, I'm at Old Trafford - the whole team plus that old dick with the red face will be screamning in my face if I give a red."

    And sure enough we saw all of that, especially at the end when several United players, not just the appalling Ferdinand, were right in the ref's face, almost to the point of assaulting him.
    Ferguson has always encouraged this behaviour from his players (well, there's certainly no evidence of his ever discouraging it) and it is ruining football at every level. Sure, teams other than MU do it, but they do it more consistently and get seen doing it by kids more often. And so the kids do it themselves and so on.

    No respect for officials is ruining the amateur game, even at under 9 level. And it's going to carry on in that direction until the flabby old FA sort it out once and for all and instill the kind of respect and behaviour towards refs that rugby (a sport I detest, apart from this aspect) has.

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  8. Following on from Robbo's post last week, I think we need to consider why do we watch football. It is entertainment, yes, but one in which there is room for the unexpected because it is not (supposed to be) scripted. There is nearly always a favourite in every match, but when you have 11 guys playing 11 others, the chances for the less favoured side to do well mount up. We have seen some great entertainment this year and as a U*ited supporter I have had my share of edge of the seat stuff, even though we are 12 points ahead in the Prem. That's what we watch for - excitement in each game so I don't think there is any way we can compare the prem vs La Liga etc. - it comes down to each match not the cumulative results.

    That said, you do want it to be fair and most of what we get upset about is when we feel aggrieved by a poor decision or when a ref has been connned. Yes, U*ited have had their share of decisions go for them over the years, but last night was hard to swallow for all except the most one-eyed ABU's. I felt the same for Chelsea after their semi against Barca. That was another complete disaster from a refereeing standpoint - and it happened to a English club against a Spanish superclub. I'm sorry but if there are any strange coincidences here it is that Spanish clubs get more than their fair share. [Not to harp on about it, but Evra was pulled down at the Bernabau two weeks ago and the ref didn't even give a free-kick because he would have had to send the Real player off. Most fans accepted that a sending off would have spoiled the game, although a free kick would have been nice.]

    And U*nited's last player sent off? Johnny Evans at Old Trafford against City in that 6-1 loss - Sorry Robbo, U*ited don't get special treatment at home.

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  9. It's not so much Fergie I felt sorry for but the poor man he literally pushed past in his haste to get from his managers seat and down the steps to harangue the fourth offficial

    If I was a Man Poo supporter I would be incensed at the apparent injustice of it but as I am not, I'm not and can only hope that on Sunday we have a ref with the same penchant for sending off their players as Mr Turkish Delight

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    1. I actually found myself feeling sorry for ManU. I must be ill. I'd go and see a doctor but he'd simply say that I'd got ManU-flu and tell me to stop smoking, stop drinking beer, stop eating curries and chinese and take more exercise or I won't live past 50. When I tell him I am past 50 he accuses me of being a liar and throws me out!

      The reason Fergie wasn't giving an interview after the game was that he'd thrown out the hair-dryer and was looking for the flame thrower - to use on the ref!

      Looks like you'll have to wait a bit longer for the return of the Yummy One, BHB.

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    2. Not sure about that last bit. JM's behaviour after the game looked like a job interview. ManU do have an issue when (or if) Baconface retires and gets made a director (as he will). The next manager has to be a really strong character, who can tell the Beetroot "this is MY team", or, maybe, just maybe, you transition through an interim manager.

      In fact, I can think of an ideal candidate for the Interim Manager's job. Has relevant experience, has won a Champions League, and serves good coffee. What more could you want?


      Jedi

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  10. Nice one RR.

    This year's CL has been a bit of a weird one for PL clubs.

    Chelsea found a way to fuck themselves out of it. Man City, in an admitedly strong group, titanicaly under achieved. Arsenal were Arsenal, did OK but were blown away by one of the favourites, but are not out of it yet though (Huge clutch at straws) Man U had the best chance, as tough a draw as RM was I thought they would prevail.

    Putting all senses of Schadenfreude and utter mirth aside, I thought they were screwed out of a place in the next round by dubious officiating. I don't know or care what any of the so called experts said on the matter, luckily my sports channel doesn't do that shit, they just show the games with one commentater, when the game is over another begins, no anaylisis, no bullshit, just football games. I saw the incident with my own eyes and in my opinion that was never a red card.

    Clumsey? Yes..

    Should he of been aware at what was around him? Maybe, but debatable.

    Malicous? No, not in the slightest and that for me makes it a yellow card offence at best.

    To say the booking changed the game is the understatement of the year, until then there was only one team who looked like they were going to win and that was not Real. I'm not saying that the Spainiards couldn't have won the game, we will never know, but it looked about as likely as Arsenals name being in the hat for the next round (damn it.). Funny how once again it's a PL club who's on the wrong side of a bad referee decision or performance. IOU fans; Chavs and we Gooners know exactly how you feel. Even more worrying (if you like the whole conspiricy thing) it's always when you're up against La Liga club that these "decisions" fall. *cue sinister music.

    To use this years CL as proof of the demise of the PL is imho a bit wide of the mark. Man U should of beaten Real, Barca are trailing to Milan, so how does that make La Liga stronger? Chelsea, admitedly poor this time, are still the current champions. I'll give you Germany though, but Spits, Tone and myself have been saying that that was one of the strongest leagues in the world for quite a few years now, so that comes at no surprise to us. The PL has been overrated for years. As a marketing force they are well up there with Coca Cola, as a spectacle it's good stuff, there's always something going on. What makes it globaly sellable is the diversity of the players, it truely is an International league full of charachters. Love him or hate him, players like Suarez who bring controversie in whatever he does are necassary to keep the punters enthralled. Basically, nowadays, the PL is footy meets Soap Opera..

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    1. As for value for money, spot on, the PL sucks donkey balls in that department. Player wages are just fucking stupid, dross like Milner and Lescott earn fucking millions. A one cap international like Andy Carroll got sold for 35mill only to be loaned out to a newly promoted club, Theo Walcott held his club to ransom until he got a 100,000 quid a week deal while all the pundits just nodded and said "well that's what he's worth" and "Arsenal will be damned if they don't sign him" Why? What makes these lads so great?

      Absolutly nothing, it's only their Englishness that gives them any real value, it's only in England that these mediocre players would be considered "stars". Proof of that particular pudding is in the achievements, or more correctly lack of, of the England team. It's the whole "we play for the top teams in the best league in the world" attitude/perception that fuels the player power that has got ludicrusly out of control.

      The things that made the PL great are slowly killing it. More global awereness, means more advertising money and bigger tv deals, but this in turn generates greed on behalf of their players and their agents, pushing up entrance fees to ridiculous levels, it can't go on much longer without the bubble bursting and the whole house of cards colapsing in on itself. I've been reading on fan forums that supporters that have been going for years are unable to renew their seaon tickets due to the astronomical prices. Once you start freezing out your loyal followers you are on a downword spiral that will not end well. I watch all Arsenal games on the box and everytime the attendence flashes up it tells me that the stadium is sold out, the swathes of empty seats, especially in the corperate areas, tells a different story. The PL may very well be in a golden age, but the warning signs are already there that this can't go on much longer..

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    2. Great Article H2H, which hits several nails on the head. When Robbo ascends to that great stadium in the sky you can pick up the mantle. TBH the PL is pretty mediocre this year. Man U are only so far ahead because the "challengers" keep falling down like they're Grand National also-runs.

      Do you realise that an anagram of the ref's name: Cuneyt Cakir is "Crikey, a C**t (sorry BHB)

      Spider

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    3. that's brilliant, thanks for that Spider.

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  11. good stuff Robbo but can you be a bit more long winded please? The posts are longer than the chuffin' blog!

    In other news : Thomsons have cancelled 86 Holiday charters from Manchester to Turkey this Summer.

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  12. Great Blog as ever Robbo,and yours too H2H

    Watched the tackle live on TV,and initially thought red card ,but then having seen it being scrutenised from every which way ,it was at least yellow,the ref only sees it once.Had he been 2or3yards either way,his decision might have been different

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  13. Stephen, not sure of the point you are making, ref La Liga or Bundesliga, I can only repeat what H, Spits and I have said before certainly as far as DFB is concerned, check out the following stats, 10000 average higher over the whole season, and ALL,yes ALL Bundesliga(and BL2) games are televised live by SKY.de, entry costs much much lower, and the fans travel much greater distances eg in the north HSV,H96,Werder, and in the south FCB, 1FCN vfB or FCA approx 600-800km, they tend to make a enjoyable weekend of it, win or lose

    http://www.stadiumguide.com/the-201112-season-in-attendances/

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    1. Maybe more people come because it is cheaper? Are the stadiums bigger, too?

      But I don't think there's more quality in the other leagues, even if you get more for your money, relatively speaking.

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  14. Let's face it, it was hilarious.....and good for the soul.
    Never have I exchanged so many joyous texts in such a short space of time with so many footy fans as during the final 25 minutes of last night's game.
    And on poor Ryan's 1000th appearance too. He probably got over it by shagging one of his in-laws after the match.

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    1. What I find even more hilarious is when you say your name real fast... only pity is that your first name isn't Isaac...

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    2. I think WH is from the North East as saying it with a Geordie accent makes it crystal clear.

      Spider

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  15. A lot has been made about Fergies selection.

    Personally I thought the decision to leave Howard Webb on the bench was what cost him the game.

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  16. Good work from our man in Holland

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  17. Don't forget Comic Relief next week. A £5 donation can help a disabled African tell the difference between his girlfriend and an intruder.

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  18. Not that anyone here knows more than SAF, but surely you play your form players in big games. Kagawa just scored a hat trick but didnt even make it off the bench.

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  19. Did NOT think that one through..I'm going to Barcelona next weekend and the team is at home v Rayo Vallecano, but kick off is late on Sunday just before I fly back.

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  20. arbeloa is the clever one, he saw nani's leg up to get the ball, he knew that it's dangerous play ... so he went for it, crashed his chest to nani's boot, rolled around in agony, and wait for what happened next... a red card, just as expected! ... ha ha

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    1. Hit the nail firmly on the head there!! Exactly what happened. Arbeloa has form for doing that. In fact all La Liga teams do it. Sergio Busquets is the worst offender.

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  21. Best league? The fakts... Champion league winners country since 1993.
    Spain 6
    Italy 5
    England 4
    Germany 2...
    France/Portugal 1

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    1. Wayne Rooney shagged my Nan7 March 2013 at 13:24

      Most European trophies by club (excluding Super Cup) makes for interesting reading too:

      =1/ Barcelona 11
      =1/ Real Madrid 11
      3/ AC Milan 9
      4/ Liverpool 8
      =5/ Ajax 6
      =5/ Bayern Munich 6
      =5/ Inter Milan 6
      =5/ Juventus 6


      Down in the second tier of clubs we find man u alongise Valencia & Porto with 4.

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    2. Old Sir Purple-Nose's one Euro trophy every 9 years with such a superpower of a club is clearly a remarkable achievement.

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    3. How many clubs have won the Champions League twice since 1993?

      AC Milan
      Barcelona
      Real Madrid
      Manchester United

      How many teams have appeared in 4 finals

      AC Milan
      Barcelona
      Manchester United
      Barcelona
      Bayern Munich

      Doesn't look as bad as you make out when you put in into context doesn't it.

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    4. Ryan Giggs fucked my missus7 March 2013 at 16:54

      But why restrict your selection to only 1993 onwards? The European Cup existed prior to the Champions League, just like the top flight of English League football existed prior to Sky rebranding it the Premier League, not that anyone would have you believe that were the case these days. Funny how only the richest clubs have had any chance of regularly winning anything these last 20 years.....oh for the ultra-competitive days of old when teams like Forest and Derby and Villa and Ipswich could win titles home and abroad and teams like QPR and Southampton challenged for the title. We'll never see those days again. Far less of an achievement to win anything major these days as there's such limited competition and trophies are reserved for those that can afford to challenge for them.

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    5. The re-branding of football through Sky and the extended Champions League has led to an imbalance in top flight football.Nobody gives a toss about either of the cup competitions,and Spurs this year seem to be the only top team to have taken the Europa League seriously.(I know teams like Fulham and Stoke gave it a go,but to them it was a bonus).So what do we now have?It's more important to finish 4th?Middle teams like the aforementioned Stoke and Fulham making sure they get 40 points and any thing else is a bonus?Money goes to teams already with money,the same teams in the CL last 16 every year.The major European leagues dominated by the same 2/3 teams.I remember very well my team being in contention to win the league,winning the FA Cup (sorry H),winning the UEFA Cup.What has it led to?Quite sterile football,all teams spending money on foreign players rather than trying to develop a decent home built squad,stupid transfer fees for any English players (although most of them can trap a ball further than I can kick it).The only answer is to follow a team not in the Premier League.So that makes me,Trotts,Colch,Tone and Blogs the only REAL football fans on here......

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  22. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-21687292

    Un**ed fan calls the police over Nani red card.

    Please note the location of the call.

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    1. I think moron is the correct term to describe him!

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  23. Yeah, that's classic! I'm a ManUn**ed fan, living in Northumberland. Everybody here is a Toon... It was similar back in my od home, supporting Red Star Belgrade, but from some 180km away. Someone said it then that Red Star were a team of 'stars' and therefore had a wider, 'global' audience, whilst both Partizan and OFK, also from Belgrade, had the core local support. For MUFC, I suppose it goes back to the times of one George Best, the very first pin-up 'super-star', hence now the support comes from Surrey and Malasia, and a few other places, outside of M62. There's nothing wrong with that, in my opinion: united all by the power of football!

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  24. id like to make a contribution to this debate and as i havent read any conspiracy theories, heres one i just made up : nani plans to leave man u for chelsea and was paid by Emperor Romanov to do something stupid and lose jabroni style to make Real look the better team and thereby humiliate man u and at the same time promote the cause of tyranny and plutocratic despotism around the world

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  25. Another conspiracy theory

    Chelsea intentionally play crap(thats novel!!) Rafa bites the bullet, twat takes over, Ash shoots him goes to prison pardoned on appeal because of his good deed, Lamps installed as new player-coach, and Christine gets the catering contract

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    1. i think you forgot to put JT somewhere in that conspiracy theory ... perhaps along the catering plot ..

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    2. I thought twat covered it quite well

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  26. What does best league mean, anyway? Most competitive, top to bottom? The point spread suggests England. Highest quality players? Though few are English, I'd still say England. Best top few clubs? Okay, Spain looks good for that one. Highest attendance? Germany, but are their stadiums bigger? Best value for money? Okay, well, not England there. Ask the players in which league they prefer to play, they'll probably pick the EPL.

    If you aren't satisfied with your league, take in some MLS matches. Those top European leagues are so close that you may lose sight of how much better they are than every other league in the world.

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  27. Anyone else noticed how Galen Bale is scoring more goals now that he isn't diving as much? He hasn't been booked in the prem since Christmas and he has scored 11 in 9 games now hasn't he?

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  28. So it's your fault that he gets booked for diving tonight, and is now banned for the return leg??!!

    Great win for the mighty Spurs tonight. Job half done, and the rest for Bale in the next leg will be much needed.

    And what the fuck were Chelsea up to tonight?

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  29. He was booked for diving tonight, anon

    How shit were inter ?

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    1. Oh crap! Bang goes that theory!

      Didn't see the game - was following on-line, but they sounded crap even on live text! Is this what happens to a team when Mourinho is followed by Rafa as your manager? I hope not for BHB's sake.....

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  30. Galen Bale booked for diving.

    Simianulation?!?

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  31. Not a fan of MMA, but an interesting story nonetheless.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mma/news/20130307/fallon-fox-profile/?sct=hp_wr_a1&eref=sihp

    Never mind parity, how would the EPL handle this?

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  32. Good performance from Newcastle last night as well.Very solid.I've always rated Pardew as a decent manager.Perhaps Wenger should take not,fill your team with decent French players and you've cracked it.

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  33. Yeah, Inter were poor, but Spurs were also pretty good last night. Cheer up Gooners, you can have a go at the "easier" Europa League next season (unless R*f* f*cks Cheslki's season up worse than even I thought he could).


    Jedi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just because R*f*s career was in limbo for the last couple of years, he seems to have taken it literally to see 'how low can we go'

      Didn't watch match last night as (as said before) too tight to pay for ESPN AND Sky, so don't know how mediocre to shit we played

      Delete
    2. Uncanny, Bells. "Mediocre to shit" is about right from all the match reports. How did you know?


      Jedi

      Delete
    3. that's unfair Bells, he was giving a presentation in Dubai when Roman called him. It's a bit rude to abandon the photocopier sales conference but "in limbo" is below the belt.

      Delete
  34. What has happened to Inter? They seemed to have sold their old team and replaced them with academy players. Yet they are in 4th spot in Serie A.

    I think our poor run against Spurs is going to continue. They look ominously good now. Perhapds Levy should replace AVB with Rafa.

    ReplyDelete
  35. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21713687

    Sad news for Colch's team.

    ReplyDelete
  36. it's all falling into place, Rafa for Arsenal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes please!!


      Jedi

      Delete
  37. Thanks from Ballynahinch ;)

    Here is my web site - paper heavier grades

    ReplyDelete
  38. AVB admits to being happy that Bale will be suspended for the second leg v Inter?

    "With this result we would have asked him to get a yellow card to be clean for the last eight," said Villas-Boas.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21712782

    ----
    I agree with AVB, but are they supposed to admit it? Didn't everyone throw a fit when managers asked their players to get booked to reset bookings in the past? Was it Real Madrid, Barcelona, or both?

    ReplyDelete
  39. It happened with Real and with England and there were sanctions applied in both cases

    ReplyDelete
  40. A little gem from Fergy;

    On Rafa Benitez, he said:

    "I'm not going to kick anyone when they're lying down. It's not my style."


    Boo ya, be-atch!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shouldnt find that as funny as I do ...

      Good luck to all your teams at the weekend, especially us Chavs as I have sneaky suspicion we may need all the luck (and/or dodgy decisions we can)

      Delete
    2. Can see Nani and Rooney playing to get Wednesdays frustration out of their system. Main worry is that Rafa may play Demba Ba instead of Torres and actually give us a problem

      Delete
    3. Well I would imagine your defenders are quaking in their boots at the thought of Torres playing up front ... but fear not he may take it easy on them and miss open goals galoe to make them feel less inadequate

      Delete
    4. In fairness to R*f*,he could say the same about the Govan Beetroot.

      Delete
    5. well he could if he had won on Thursday but Rafa is too busy doing an Arsenal.

      Unlike Roy Keane who was just being one on Wednesday

      Delete
    6. Without wishing to do this top death Adam,the point that Keane made "Did I give the referee the chance to send me off" applies here.How many times in European football do you see fouls given for foot up which is routinely accepted in the premier league.Nani gave the referee the chance to send him off.

      Delete
    7. That's true Jacks, but Govan Beetroot has basically got one trophy in the bag whereas R*f* - having spent years in the Dubai desert as a photcopier salesman - seems to have forgotten the idea is to actually win matches

      Delete
    8. Dear God - I am actually 'defending' Fergie, must be home and wine time

      Have good weekend one and all

      Delete
  41. One game on the bench due to a ( whatv seemed at the time a sound) tacitical formation change and all of a sudden there's a media feeding frenzy speculating where Wayne Rooney will be playing next season.

    We're been told who he could play for, who could afford him and then hearing that those clubs that do want and could afford him actually saying that they don't really want him or couldn't afford him anyway.

    But luckily, even though he had never suggested that Rooney's position at the club was in any kind of jeopardy whatsoever, SAF has came out and said that Rooney would still be there next season.

    I bet they're all glad that they were able to work out all the problems that they never had.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep and Chief Shit Shoveller McNugget was at the heart of it. Scumbag.

      Delete
    2. Is he Chief Wiggum's replacement?

      Delete
    3. he's a chief of something...

      Delete
  42. Are Snake and Fat Tony in the Simpsons much any more (haven't seen any new episodes for a while)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. blind bambi (no idea) it's been many years since I saw The Simpsons.

      Delete
    2. Chelsea to feature in upcoming Simpsons episode: Rolling in D'oh!

      Delete
  43. Bale to be honoured with statue @ Shite Hart Lane;

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BEyOkjDCUAAREOf.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  44. Call me a one-eyed ABU if you want.... I didn't see the Un**ed v RM game nor the red card incident but I think it was the right decision to give Nani his marching orders.

    I watched the NLD yesterday on Fox and although we were beaten I felt we played well enough to have won the game. Our back four, although reasonable players, are tactically naive, trying to play the offside trap when the opposition have no pressure on them resulted in two easy goals.

    Bale is the player of the moment in the PL and deservedly so. He is in brilliant form and seems to be able to score goals at will. I think it is going a bit far to put him in the same class as Messi though.... if Messi is the measuring stick Bale would maybe reach his chest (Rooney reaches his knee).

    In Wilshire, we have our own class player in the making (a few years away yet though.) Each time I have seen him he has noticeably improved. Whereas Walcott if a bit fortunate to be selected for his country, Wilshire deserves his place in the England squad and probably the starting eleven.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yo Bo. I reckon WilshEre is as good as he's gonna get unless the supporting cast improves. If it doesn't, like those that already left, he'll be looking for a move to a club that can "challenge for trophies" (Wigan for example).

      Delete
  45. This is how the works will end with some mad bastard who can't tell the difference between crancked up political rhetoric and reality.

    And as north Korean politics is this Weeks blog topic, (here's young 'un mad bastard Kim Jung-un looking at things http://kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com/ ) I'd like to draw my digital pseudo friends' attention to the golfing prowess of his father, mad bastard the elder who was ill for a loooooong time, hence his name Kim Jung-ill. This from his official biography...

    Kim was also a star of the sporting arena.According to his biography, he first picked up a golf club in 1994, at North Korea's only golf course, and shot a 38-under par round that included no fewer than 11 holes in one. Satisfied with his performance, he immediately declared his retirement from the sport.

    There are also reports that he completed all 18 holes at one golf club in only 17 shots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gives a whole new insight to the name "Crazy Golf".

      Delete
    2. the cups were 400 yards in diameter.

      Delete
  46. We should be careful about making fun of North Korea.............

    They've already wiped East and West Korea off the face of the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  47. We're up against Yoo and Hoo's army, H.

    North Korea is just a side show. A distraction. We need to remember who the real enemies are.


    The French.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Those sneaky bar stewards, luling us into a false sense of security by either losing, surrendering or not bother turning up to every war ever.

    Cunning frogies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Their rugby team's pretty crap at the moment as well. I know you're not that interested in the oval ball game but their game against England was an object lesson in crap substitutions. On the hour mark, the French coach took off his three best players (I thought), replaced them with three numpties and France then fell apart. It would be like Woy taking off Rooney, Gerrard and Wilshere and replacing them with Crouch, Henderson and Shelvey.

      Spider

      Delete
  49. captain cook does it again. Will be the greatest English cricketer by the time he's through. top centurion already, he'll beat goochs run total easy, and might even beat tendulkars 51 centuries. He's nearly half way with 10 years to go.

    As for Rooney who everyone thought was going to be the greatesd English player ever, but has turned out to be just very good, I just wonder, did Coleen castrate him at some point?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. perhaps that place already been taken by certain sir becks who now with the french

      Delete
  50. Arrows from skeletons and pork chops from pigs but watch out for zombies which spawn in the dark, exploding creepers and hills you can fall off. Minecraft ...my kids love it bit I've no idea why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. me neither, graphics are rubbish, can't really see any storyline to it - just don't get it

      Delete
  51. Tooth replacement in prospect after scientists grow teeth from mouse cells

    fine if you don't mind having tiny sharp teeth and an insatiable appetite for cheese

    ReplyDelete
  52. Wigan thrashing Everton. 3 goals in 4 minutes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they look like the next Barcelona, world domination for Wigan starts today.

      Delete
  53. They have been superb Blogidy.

    Good manager as well.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Bloody hell...playing against a full strength Smell My Cheese with only 7 players in my team. Hiding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's me mate. Only had to make one change to put out that XI too. Just a shame I gave everyone else a three month head start before I got my team sorted.

      Delete
  55. Moyes v Martinez for the opportunity to turn down the Chelsea job.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Port Vale 2-0 down at home again.

    Relegation form Blogidy.Not good.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Dont like to see it, but ever since the Pope retired!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Not that we are doing any better against the Ford workers and down to 10 men

    ReplyDelete
  59. Come on ye Whites, scraped through for another victory!

    There's only one Degenerate Fireman!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Yep the wheels have come off jacks my mates a southend fan n'all very not good.

    ReplyDelete
  61. And no white smoke at vale park tone. Yet.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Ooops. There's only two Degenerate Firemen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not too bad really. Bolton 3 points off the play off positions and above Boro. Last time I checked they were 7 points off relegation. Freedman to Chelsea then.

      Delete
    2. yeah, but 8th place in the Championship isn't quite as good as 8th place in the prem so Brenda for Chelsea should be the cry!

      Delete
  63. Breaking News: The following list of preferred managerial candidates has been leaked from a source close to Roman Abramovich.

    10. Avram Grant
    9. Paolo di Canio
    8. Pep Guardiola
    7. Highest Bidder
    6. Gianfranco Zola
    5. Sir Alex Ferguson
    4. Jose Mourinho
    3. John Terry
    2. Robbo
    1. Roman Abramovich

    In a related story, bookmakers have taken the extraordinary measure of only accepting bets on which one will not manage Chelsea for one or more matches next season.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Another world record to messi .. Scoring in17 consecutive matches. Never been done before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Previous record jointly held by Casanova and Wilt Chamberlain.

      Delete
  65. this could be the first game I've ever wanted Blackburn to win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never actually seen full 90 minutes of a Millwall game before, but boy are they a physical team. I would actually have liked to see how they fared against Arsenal (and vice versa). People accuse Stoke of playing Rugby, what price Millwall then? Aussie Rules ?

      Delete
  66. Bloody hell..of the 7 players I have playing this week, Grant Holt chooses to get a yellow and miss a penalty. This could be the week it all fell apart for A-HA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried to be a smartarse, make the changes and take the hit (20 points deduction)

      With 17pts picked up yesterday it's safe to say that the gamble hasn't paid off................. yet, still got a few to play.

      Delete
    2. you two experts will know the answer to this, I made 5 transfers but am only getting a 12pt deduction, I thought it should have been 16. What's the rule?

      Delete
    3. If you didn''t make a transfer last week then you'd be entitled to make 2 free transfers in stead of the usual 1.

      Meaning five transfers (2 free 3 x -4) -12 pts.

      Elementry my dear Trottson.

      Delete
    4. My fantasy team is playing about as poorly as Chelsea this weekend.

      Delete
    5. Suarez, Bale and Sissoko have doubled my points

      Delete
  67. Fuck me.

    IOU two up in just over 10mins.

    Rafa's done enough in his Chelsea tenure to have been sacked three times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woah, the chavs' have pulled it back.

      SAVE RAFA

      Delete
    2. contract extension for Rafa then?

      Delete
    3. Rafa extended his contract to next week. To be honest, I'm not giving Rafa too much credit, but I don't blame him for everything, either. The players seem to run the show on a day-to-day basis, beyond what Abramovich does. If they fail to progress Thursday, John Terry might just take over for the rest of the season.

      Good comeback, no clue when the next match will be, though. This will make fantasy selection interesting.

      Delete
    4. frustrated is an understatement - how do we going from being 2-0 up and looking like it will be 4 or 5 to hanging on like grim death at the end. It always seems to happen when Nani goes off

      Delete
  68. Bugger, looks like I still managed to get the better of Noel thanks to Suarez, Bale and Sissoko. Good shit.

    Fantastic performance from Liverpool...to come from 1-2 down against a team who haven't been beaten in 12 PL games is a big step for us. First win against a top 6 team, and getting ourselves into the Top 6 at the expense of the Toffees (who have a game in hand).

    Gooners,Chavs - you are welcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't so much a fantastic Liverpool performance as Spurs shooting themselves in both feet when well on top. A dreadful back pass of Zubar-esque proportions from Walker (Trotts will know where I'm coming from) for the equaliser, then, from a Reds corner, Defoe chests the ball down and toe-pokes it straight back into his own box resulting in a penalty when Assou-Ekotto bundles over Suarez - just when it looked as if Spurs were going to do the Gooners a favour!

      Spider

      Delete
    2. Spider my man..we've been doing that all season too. Just how the cookie crumbles. The performance wasnt fantastic I agree, we've played much better and lost/drawn, what was fantastic was that we played poorly and won, something that hasn't happened in ages.

      Delete
    3. yeah and Daniel Sturridge's team benefits again!

      Delete
  69. FA CUP SEMI FINALS
    Millwall/Blackburn v Wigan
    Manchester United/Chelsea v Manchester City
    -----------------------
    So one of Millwall/Blackburn/Wigan to play the Europa League (unless of course Chelsea make it to the finals and win it but drop out the top 4).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well, after all the hard work, great leadership, commitment to the fans, battling to hold on to their best players, it would only seem right that the Venkeys get rewarded with a spot in Europe.

      Delete
    2. Do you watch the games on Fox, Trotts? Does Warren Barton annoy you as much as he does me ?

      Delete
    3. yep, I hate listening to his shite. The commentator today, "Gus" something, is also crap and shouldn't be allowed near a football stadium. Excitable and clueless.

      Delete
  70. Sick to death of listening to lawro and Hanson describing what I can see perfectly well for myself as if it were insightful analysis.

    compare lee Dixon.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Absolute nightmare. My FFL team, despite having 11 players (although 2 were unused subs, so scored 0 points) I still lost both H2H matchups. And I lost both because of captaincy choice - I had Suarez as captain but changed last minute to Bale. Those extra 8 points would have won me both my games.

    As for Spurs, I stand by my earlier prediction of a 5th place finish. It showed today how much we miss Lennon, especially against Liverpool who he has tormented the last three or four times we've played them. I don't know why, but we've never had a back-up for him (not counting Bentley), but when he doesn't play, we look so lobsided and never play as well. But we were our own worst enemies today, the second and third goals were both very soft to concede. Individual errors costing us. Nevermind.

    ReplyDelete
  72. liverpool already above everton, but arsenal still below spurs

    so it's not yet business as usual then

    ReplyDelete
  73. 47 points in the FFL ... not bad considering I only fielded seven players and one of them scored zero for an own goal. lost my H2H but oh well.

    -

    James

    ReplyDelete
  74. Not a bad week FFL wise either. Was worried someone might run away with the league seeing as I (like many) had only 7 players on board, but no one really did. Slid a couple places down in the classic leagues but within striking distance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gotta massive 61pts................

      With an enormous 20pts deduction.

      Enough to move up in every league except the Robbo HtoH where Jacks got the better of me.

      Delete
    2. Stephen...see that strategy really works. I strongly suggest you take a 20pt deduction this week.

      Delete
  75. Another one bites the dust;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21748762

    I suppose he could always go back to starring in Bottom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What can we learn from Chelsea and Reading?

      Not to go Russian into managerial changes.

      Delete
    2. Its kinda nuts. Too late for anyone to come in and change anything and he was probably the best option to get them back up to the PL again anyway. Take a look at their squad. He did awesome just to be in with a chance of promotion.

      Delete
    3. He can hold his head up high, just like Nigel Adkins before him.

      Both did great jobs, both were treated like shit.

      Delete
    4. are Reading making an offer for 'arry?

      Have all the grandkids got new Reading glasses yet?

      Delete
    5. H2H: "both were treated like shit."

      Flung from the monkey cage?

      Delete
  76. Given the title of this blog post, I'm a bit worried that Robbo caused this story (and video) to buy himself more time to think up his next one.

    http://tracking.si.com/2013/03/11/wild-animal-interrupts-swiss-soccer-match-bites-player/?sct=sc_t2_a6

    ReplyDelete
  77. chuckle-some:
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-winger-stewart-downing-gets-1751490

    --BeeZee

    ReplyDelete
  78. The sacking of Heston Blumenthal by the Fat Fuck makes no sense at all and those butternut bavarois pies at Reading were to die for dahling

    ReplyDelete
  79. il Duce de canio favourite to take over ....

    ReplyDelete
  80. Another job for 'arry 'oudini?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-21749312

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely John Terry's first managerial appointment but only if they've all got husbands or boyfriends

      Delete
  81. rafa has lined up a switch at the end of the season back to Interim Milan.

    ReplyDelete
  82. BREAKING NEWS Chris Hume has persuaded Vicky pryce to serve his sentence for him.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Rather,all the applications keep running in the background although in
    a low power state,utilizing both processing power and
    memory that leads to a lower battery life. Remove other nearby
    wireless devices, such as a cordless or cellular telephone and
    make sure the mouse is at least eight inches away from a wireless keyboard.
    For the first generation, you'll need to release the back cover from the unit by running a shim along the edge of the unit to release all of the clips holding the backing on.

    Here is my weblog - http://www.jiayin-jp.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. McNumpty forgot that his sources can be anonymous, but he needs to sign his own work.

      Delete
    2. wish tech support would put this in context or talk about something interesting like football or 80s synthpop.

      Saw a really interesting set of books about the London Underground worth reading

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Buttoned-Up-London-Penguin-Underground-Lines/dp/1846145686/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362691541&sr=1-1

      Delete
  84. The people of the Falkland Islands have voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining a UK overseas territory.

    Of 1,517 votes cast in the two-day referendum - on a turnout of more than 90% - 1,513 were in favour, while just three votes were against.

    There's a shocker!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah.

      Against got a whole three votes.?!?!?

      Delete
    2. they were the three Argy fisherman who've been livibg on their boat and got stuck in the harbour

      Delete
  85. Juventus have been fined £3,500 for racist chanting by their fans which was directed at AC Milan's Mario Balotelli earlier this year.
    Full story: Tuttosport


    That'll teach 'em.

    Such a hefty fine will.....................

    Oh.........

    ReplyDelete
  86. Jamie Rednapp;

    'Surely only one thing can stop Luis Suarez from being voted as the Players' Player of the Year...his fellow players.'

    No shit, Sherlock!

    ReplyDelete
  87. This is a topic which is close to my heart... Many thanks!
    Where are your contact details though?

    Here is my web-site ... cheap computer desk 2011

    ReplyDelete