Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Perils of Success

The way managers are getting treated this season makes me think of the slippery ironed forehead of Prime Minister as he repeatedly calls us to face reality.

In these times of austerity tough decisions need to made. And as we've learnt from the great puffed-up ponce, it's only the wealthy and financially secure folk who have the ability to make these decisions. I mean who better to tell you that you're going to have to lose benefits than a man who is heir to a wallpaper and fabrics empire?

And you know what, the best man to tell you how best to improve your bog-standard comprehensive school is the kind of posh grown-up schoolboy who would've ended up head-first in the nearest bin had he set foot in ours. (Michael Gove. Look him up if you've never heard of him and tell me if just one glimpse of that puckered arse of a face doesn't get your reaching for the nearest sledgehammer.)

And surely we must all admit that the man most qualified to tell Brian McDermott that his number's up is the son of a 'Russian multi-billionaire' (or, as the rest of the world would put it 'successful arch criminal')

Yes Anton Zingarevich becomes owner on January 21, when there are still ten full days of transfer window available. He gives his backing to a coach who earns himself the title of manager of the month. Then he sacks him a handful of games later.

McDermott, remember, took over when Reading were stuttering away at the foot of the Championship. He took them to the play-offs and then to automatic promotion the following season. This is a man who runs a club on possibly the smallest budget in the division. In the real world, he would be considered something of a success. In the harsh new world where we are all cold, naked and at the whim of a plutocrat in a leather armchair, he's a dud.

Has little Anton got someone in mind to replace the Bunsen Honeydew looky-likey at the Madekjski? Naaahhh! Course not. These sons of billionaires don't seem to have the first idea how to do things sensibly. I have visions of Anton in his playroom, throwing a few subbuteo players around and bawling "Me want new manager! Me want it NOW!"

Then he pulls out a Pannini sticker book from fifteen years ago and starts pointing at pictures until he finally lands on one who might be a manager.

I don't suppose Antone's studied comparable cases from last year, such as Wolverhampton Wanderers. There, a chippy successful businessman, Steve Morgan, took over the club and behaved like he'd never a run a paper-round before. He sacked Mick McCarthy, who had been doing pretty well on limited resources. Morgan then found he had no replacement and so turned to McCarthy's assistant Keith Connor, who watched from the touchline with all the assuredness of a labrador peering out from the back of a dogcatcher's van.

Connor was sacked and replaced by Solbakken, and the club has never looked forward since.

The ridiculous thing about McDermott's sacking - and I hope he's having a lunchtime ale with Nigel Adkins where they can discuss the perils of success and over-achievement - is that Reading were a team devoid of stars. Their only strength was their team ethic. That team ethic was built by McDermott over two or three years.

Whoever comes in is not going to be able to scatter a handful of stardust over Jimmy Kebe and Hal Robson-Kanu and transform them into the Messi and Ronaldo of Berkshire.

I mean am I insane or was it not that long ago that a desperate Newcastle United turned to a club legend to save them for the last nine games of the season? And far from proving a lifeline, Alan Shearer grabbed on to the nearest piece of concrete and went down with them.

The new breed of owners honestly seem to think that their sheer wealth will mean that any decision they make will be a good one. Perhaps they look at Abramovich and think 'well that smirking asssassin of an owner goes through coaches like a virus goes through the Queen's alimentary canal and he still manages to win quite a lot of things. Yes I shall run my club like I have lost touch with any humanity I once had.'

The Roman Empire currently boasts El Porquo as the temporary Maitre D. Here's a bloke who's got used to the rough and tumble of modern managerial and simply lines his piggy pockets and he trots from one abject failure to another. It seems strange then to be complimenting him on the way Chelsea played at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Wiser heads might tell you that had Eden Hazard on the pitch from the start, there might not have been so much to worry about. Chelsea have always looked a better squad on paper than United (that's if you allow for the fact that Chelsea only have one striker). On Sunday they were far superior for the last hour.

They were better with Lampard off the pitch. David Luiz looked a very sound defender and the identikit trio of Mata, Oscar and Hazard buzzed around United's defenders like flies around sleepy cattle.

United on the other hand were very poor, gifting back possession like a Dad with his five-year-old son in the back garden. It is a mystery how they have gained such a stranglehold on the Premier League this season. Van Persie has made a huge difference but Fergie's midfield still looks way short of top class and without Scholes to plod on to give it a bit of solidity the likes of Cleverley and Carrick get too easily overrun.

The Cup draw left you with that sinking feeling that the best game left in the tournament will be a semi-final and the final will be tediously one-sided. Personally I hope that Wigan can win it. It would be great reward for the club, the very good manager and in particular a chairman who has remained loyal and true to that manager.

It would also be a reminder that a bit of integrity and a bit of long-term thinking can reap its reward.



196 comments:

  1. Bloody hell, first!


    Jedi

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  2. And I read it first too! Totally agree, though I hope Reading don't go down the Wolves path (whatever they might deserve for this act of utter stupidity). They will be relegated after this, though.
    Don't know how this will go down with Bells(oo er!), but Rafa's substitutions changed the game on Sunday. Pretty good match overall, I thought.
    Hoping the Spurs loss at Liverpool was (as AVB said) just a blip. Think we played pretty well. The main summer transfer target has to be a good striker.


    Jedi

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    Replies
    1. My theory Jedi (similar to what Robbo suggested) is that he never starts off with all of the Magnificent Three so he can bring one of them on, they change the game and then he claims it is an inspired substitution.

      At the start of the season, they normally all three started and not only did we play 'decent' football the majority of the time- the results were better

      I will grudgingly admit the other two subs weren't bad.

      Anyway am off to match the very important Europa match on Thursday so can insult him in person

      Delete
  3. The managerial roundabout has always been an odd one Robbo. Still,as you say if Wigan can win it that would be grand.Good manager and an owner that doesn't panic.Look at Stoke,Fulham,WBA as examples.Well run clubs that don't panic at the first wobble.

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  4. Ah yes, Michael Gove. The man who once said that "too many schools were performing below average" thereby proving that the Secretary of State for Education doesn't know what average means.

    Colch

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    Replies
    1. Actually, it depends on whether you mean the schools or the scores. Think of the difference between 100, 49, 49, 49 (three schools performing below average); 0, 51, 51, 51 (one school performing below average); and 100, 75, 25, 0 (two schools performing below average).

      Sorta like teams in the Premier League. Man Utd perform below average too often but still end up like the first scenario, while West Brom has gotten this far with the second scenario. Chelsea prefers the final scenario.

      Right... since that was attempting to teach math-related content to people who probably couldn't care less, I can claim it as 'work'.

      Delete
  5. Would be nice if Wigan could win the cup (provided United aren't in the final) and Martinez has done himself no harm as Wigan will definitely be in Europe next season as long as they reach the final.

    Reading sacking their manager is ridiculous especially as Wolves are looking at going down again and Pinocchio has got Southampton no better off than when Adkins was there. In fact the only sacking that made sense this season was Mark Hughes at QPR although I still don't understand why it took 15 straight defeats rather than 9-10 to get rid of him.

    Reading down with Saints and Villa I'm afraid as Harry Houdini does it again

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    Replies
    1. I don't understand how any PL club cold take on Hughes as their manager period.

      Delete
  6. Sacking managers mid-season should be banned! There ought to be transfer windows for the boses as there are for the players. How can you expect loyalty and commitment from anyone if they could play in or manage another team within a week? There should be cup-tie clauses on all the transfers for the rest of the season...
    Go Wigan! For the final! I always admired Martinez and Wheelan for their integrity (rare breed) and straight-forwardness. Same goes for Stoke, Fulham, WBA and Swansea: so called 'small' clubs that look inward and play to their strengths rather than wait for a doggy benefactor with deep pockets.
    SashPie

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    Replies
    1. Does a doggy benefactor throw a club a bone? ;)

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Well blogged, RR.

      After a quick look at Readings stats you will find that they were not a particularly great team that over the last month had a few terrible results.

      They lost to Villa, who had previously won one in eleven, got tonked by Wigan at home, Wigan had only one won in seven previous and fell to Stoke, who's last win was ten games earlier.

      Their last defeat saw them plunge down to joint bottom, in this situation is it really that hard to believe he'd be shown the door........?

      In most cases, no, it would actualy be seen as the logical conclusion.

      But Reading is far from a regular case.

      They were in the relegation zone in the Championship when BMc took over, in his first season he took them to the play-offs, automatic promotion was achieved in his second.

      Who among us gave them raelisticaly an ice cubes chance in hell at staying up this season? Even the most optimistic of Reading fans wouldn't of put too many pennies on them being in the PL for more then a year. Yet against all odds he (BMc) had them playing and scraping for every point, every game. They came and they played football, never gave up and had a team that way outweighed the sum of it's parts. They very well may have gone down with BMc, but they certainly wouldn't of gone without a fight.

      Yes, they are in the relegation area, but that whole battle could go either way, I think it would take a brave man to wager on who will go down this term. But I think the Reading Chairman has unwillingly handed the advatage to his direct competition

      Delete
  8. Googled that Gove geezer.

    Does indeed have a most kickable boat.

    And a Barnet that looked like it's been fashioned by years of bog swirlies.

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    Replies
    1. H2H, Leave my team out of it.

      Spider

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  9. good stuff Robbo.

    Love the idea of a manager transfer/sacking window. December and June would make sense but February would be funniest.

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    Replies
    1. Good idea in theory. Only trouble w a manager transfer/sacking window is what happens if managers quit. Once you allow a club to bring in a new manager if the old one quits, Chelsea will find a way to encourage their managers to leave instead of firing them. If you require promotion from within in those situations, Chelsea will simply hire a backroom staff of managers to step in whenever needed. (As opposed to a playing staff of managers, which they have already.)

      Delete
  10. I guess the new look for the BBC homepage got the sacked only after a few hours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teehee..No. I'd never post under an assumed name.

      Delete
    2. 7A reporting in, Control.

      Definitely not Thee Infamous 'AH', but a complete LWC instead. I guess I should be polite and use a name that isn't hexadecimal at the end of my posts. But then again. it is fun to pretend to be a Dalek every now and then.

      M. Thrasher

      PS A-O-L, its how you spell 'Still Livin' in the 1990's" :-)

      Delete
  11. Great insights as always, Robbo.

    Though if Chelsea look better than Man Utd on paper and played better for a significant portion of the match yet still only managed a draw, what does it say about their manager that he couldn't pick up a win?

    Also, I'm a bit confused wby Di Canio's reaction to being linked with Reading. I thought he wanted a Premier League job.

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  12. As a lifelong Reading fan it does appear churlish to expect anyone to come in at this stage an save us from the drop. It would be easier to water into wine, so maybe that well known Reading local Paul Daniels could do us a favour if his garden isn't flooded. I just have a nagging feeling that with a Russian owner the Metz thing that will happen is we'll end up with Avram Grant.......could be worse

    Grit

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    Replies
    1. Sat in the Reebok watching Barca
      Grit

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    2. no, that's Bolton's reserves Grit, they just look like Barca.

      Delete
    3. barca were unbelievable H. ac milan just couldnt get the ball. and messi's a freak of nature he needs no room AT ALL to get a shot off. hes little but its like hes even smaller when hes about to shoot, if that makes sense. genius.

      Delete
  13. They’re going for it in the Nou Camp.

    Barca 2 up already.

    I think tales of their demise were a little premature.

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    Replies
    1. More fun watching Galatasaray stuff Schalke. I am bored with Barca these days, I was only hoping they were dropping off and would have to scrap for a change. Having said that, I see Sneijder can still fall over five yards off the ball and get a free-kick (leading to Gala's first goal).

      Delete
    2. clicked wrong button in reply above. not used to this nested view.i usually use a smart phone app which lists every post in the order it arrives so i apologies if anyone ever replies to my posts - i cant tell whos replying to whom < grammar innit

      Delete
  14. Finding it funny that Southgate, Keane, Chiles, haven't got any chairs and what can you say about those glasses

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  15. Great blog Robbo. I think this decision has condemned Reading to relegation. Unfortunately that may well help QPR escape. I'd love for them (QPR) to go down, but it looks like they're gathering momentum and have a favourable run of fixtures. I don't want to see a club disappear into financial oblivion, as that's where QPR will surely head if they are relegated, but I wouldn't mind seeing Harry going down with that particular ship. Not that he would, of course. He'd escape with the other rats.

    From the previous blog; yeah, a pretty resounding, although obvious result in the Falklands referendum. 3 people voted No, and there's around 10-15 Argies that live there and would have been entitled to vote, so even they don't want to be under Argentine rule. Personally, I didn't see the point in the referendum - it was an obvious outcome, and Argentina will just ignore the result, so nothing will change. I see the news reports coming out and how people back home think that this will change everything, and I think they're all pretty deluded.

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  16. Replies
    1. I know nothing about him other than he was a football commentator Trott, nevertheless RIP Tony Gubba.

      Delete
  17. I am sitting here under a canopy made of bamboo and plastic in 33 degrees heat while it is pissing down. I am dry enough but if I place my feet on the floor I will be up to my ankles in water. I am sure that by the time the JD and red (I bought it, I have no connections to the guy that turned water into wine although he would be a godsend now) have been polished off the water will be the last of my problems.

    ReplyDelete
  18. i think youre right robbo i think these billionaire kleptocrats look to the king of oil-stained oligarchs, romanov chelski, as a template for high-handed indirect communication.

    their apparently impulsive and irrational behviour cements their power through the organisation and without anyone having to say anything or often even being able to articulate the effect of these random summary dismissals and bizarre appointments, people who work for them understand - do what you're bloody well told, keep your head down, all the glory belongs to me and my money. its not about football, thats for sure, its about money and power.

    in the epigraph to kierkegaard's fear and trembling, theres a quote about one of the hated kings of rome, tarquin superbus (i know, he sounds like a gay bus driver) who indirectly communicates an image of power in the exactly the same way as the otherwise stupid and counter-productive dismissal of macdermott :

    "What Tarquin the Proud said in his garden with the poppy blooms was understood by the son but not by the messenger."

    this is the story of a king of Rome whose son, having become a military leader in Gabii, sent a messenger back to his father to ask advice...Tarquin doesnt trust the messenger so gives no direct reply but instead knocks the heads off the tallest poppies in his garden with a stick....the messenger relas this to Tarquin’s son who understands and executes the leading citizens of Gabii

    for kierkegaard its an indication not to expect easily understandable images or rational communication, nor should we expect it from the new, evil breed of parasitic football club entrepreneurs/money launderers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you say that now but wait till Vladimar Putin buys the vale. VP for PV.

      Delete
    2. true trott but that would be a justified teleological suspension of the ethical

      Delete
    3. wouldn't work as Pope would be exiled straight away for having some distant connection with Catholicism and in good Soviet tradition all his friends (team mates) would be executed or exiled.

      Delete
    4. Pope exiled and replaced by Pogrebnyak who would also be made captain of course.

      Delete
    5. probbaly Arshavin in as Wenger wants rid and Pogrebnyak has already been nicked by another russki

      Delete
  19. Even more amusing is the fact they don't have anyone lined up and aren't in a hurry as no game for 2 weeks after the United one.

    Should have left BMcD in charge for the United game which they are guaranteed to lose anyway and spend the week finding a replacement rather than looking stupid by having the youth coach take charge at Old Trafford

    ReplyDelete
  20. Di Canio on plans for management:

    My plan for now is only to watch the top level of football - Premier League and Championship - because the next step for me is important.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21750537

    ----
    Looks like I'm ready to go... and he's ready for Chelsea.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dangerous game being played by Arsene. He has obviously given up hope of winning against Bayern, seeing the team he has picked. Wants to focus on making top 4..nothing wrong with that of course unless he loses today and fails to make the top 4. Boy, will the boo boys be out in force then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okie..turns out Sagna and Podolski are actually injured...so maybe I've accused Arsene unnecessarily..still Kos instead of Vermaelen ???

      Delete
    2. TV not in the best of form, but even he would not have passed straight to Mueller in the Arsenal penalty area.

      Delete
    3. See what I mean. Stupid Arsene, playing Koscielny.

      Delete
    4. Very accurate stuff there AH.

      Looking for a job with the BBC?

      Delete
  22. Argentine named Pope Francis I. If they're going Argentine, why not for Pope Lionel? It must have been tempting...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21777494

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not the first time Argentina has been "blessed by the hand of god" Stephen.


      Jedi

      Delete
  23. good luck and God bless the new pope, just don't get any divine ideas about the Falklands.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Unlucky arsenal. Risky putting gervinho on. He couldn't hit his own forehead with a banjo.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Plucky performance, out but can hold our heads up. Not too many teams go to Bayern and win 2-0.

    AH, Kos is by far our best CB. TV has been pants all season, the only reason he's been in the team is because he has the armband. I hope Arteta wears it for the next ten games.

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    Replies
    1. p.s. Have you ever seen such an incompetant refereeing display. That guy was awful, not just for us but for ze Germans too.

      Delete
  26. McNumpty's take on the Arsenal result: "Splendid effort and very brave for Arsenal. Let's not forget, they got knocked out and another season without a trophy."

    What's the point in that comment? Incisive opinion as always from the BBC's number 1 sports man. Twat.

    Unlucky Arsenal - damage done in the 1st leg, but got a tremendous result tonight. I agree with you H, Kos has been your best defender this season by a long way, and yet is always dumped in favour of Mertesacker. Jenkinson also had a great game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Noel, mostly in favour of TV.

      Kos and Per are the strongest partnership.
      +++
      I wouldn't waste the steam off my piss on McNumpty.

      Delete
    2. H2H, I've heard of hot shit, but that's a new one.

      Delete
    3. you might change your mind if he pops in the Waggon Wheel for a swift half, H.

      Delete
  27. commiserations gooner nation. There's always next year, er, maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  28. no effin way, Rocky Santa Claus gets the winner to put Malaga in the last 8. Can't make this shit up.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Foghorn Leghorn: What's the big... I say, what's the big idea chasin' my worm? You're a cat, son. Cat's don't eat worms. You're takin' the food right outta my mouth! I don't go around chasin' mice! [punches cat]

    ReplyDelete
  30. Made me laff. Sorry, carry on.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The finest cartoon character of them all Blogidy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LCsiWL6gn0


    ReplyDelete
  32. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21775416

    Now that puts Beckham in the shade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. a Senegalese bloke scores a goal in South Africa and it's available on the BBC to UK users only! hmmmmmm

      Delete
  33. Trotts,don't go golfing in Illinois.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21781262

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep. Limestone bedrock, I'm surprised that North Florida is still on the map but Illiinois, who'dathunk it?

      Delete
  34. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21767527

    Very funny man.Must set the sky+ box for this one.

    And here's an old favourite....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt7h3CghJEg

    ReplyDelete
  35. Millwall knock out the chicken farmers making Michael Appleton the only manager to get knocked out of the FA Cup 3 times in the same season

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really looking forward to the Millwall-Wigan game, a but like Arsenal-Stoke with lot less talent on both sides.

      Delete
    2. Breaking News: Chelsea sack Benitez, hire Appleton

      Quote from source inside Chelsea: "We knew we wouldn't win any trophies this year and we would hire a new manager anyway, so we figured Michael should make it four. We'll hire someone else for our next match."

      Delete
    3. He really would be going for the record of how many times you can knocked out of the FA Cup in 1 season

      Would then get sacked after their 6th round replay defeat

      Delete
  36. Yesterday's game not too dis-similar from the Liverpool-Zenit game. Plucky display from the English team only to go out on away goals.

    I wish Arsene had played Jenkinson more often this season..had the perfect balance to my FFL team with him in the side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. your ffsl team is a bunch of glory hunting flash-in-the-pan one season whores with a degenerate manager. Do you qualify for a fantasy champs league after all this success?

      Delete
  37. barcelona eh. the mecca of football. wish i was going there this weekend. wait a minute, i say wait a doggone minute, I AM!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. have you changed the return ticket? Are you scouting for the Vale academy?

      Delete
  38. Venky's want Foghorn Leghorn to manage Blackburn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha, i say he'd fit, i say he'd fit right in. perfect candidate.

      Delete
    2. but do they want original recipe or extra crispy

      Anyway he's only any good as basketball

      Delete
    3. A Foghorn Leghorn shaped basketball would be pretty crap.

      Delete
    4. I don't know have you ever seen Space Jam?

      Delete
  39. Trotts,

    Try this one.

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a bad finish that one H.

      Something typically Arsenal about last night bud.Glorious in not quite getting there.I suspect Wenger would have made a fine Corinthian.

      Speaking of your manager,nice to see his words get twisted again by the meeja.You'd think he'd learn by now just to issue benign platitudes to these bottom feeding half wits (yes BBC sport I'm talking about you)

      Delete
    2. As Andy Ansah would say "Tekkers"

      Delete
  40. England squad announced.
    Squad:
    Goalkeepers: Foster, Hart, Forster.
    Defenders: Baines, Cahill, Cole, Dawson, Ferdinand, Johnson, Smalling, Walker.
    Midfielders: Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, Lampard, Lennon, Milner, Osman, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Young.
    Strikers: Defoe, Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BBC boards are full of people whining about Rio's inclusion. I think he deserves his recall on current form. He may not be quick but he reads the game well.

      Delete
    2. Bit of a strange selection there from Roy. I don't think Oxlade-Chamberpot has played a single game for Arsenal since the last England matches, yet he's in. Parker and Defoe have been very poor for Spurs, and Walker hasn't been much better, but they all get call-ups. Glad to see Dawson and Lennon in there though - both have been in great form for the last few months without getting the recognition.

      Delete
  41. every time you degenerates post a link to a youtube video, I get trapped in there watching all kinds of shite for hours on end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Trotts,

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlqU-pQMR74

      Frank Worthington Bolton wanderers V ipswich

      Delete
    2. yeah, we need Frank this weekend but I'm not getting lured into a 4 hour session on You tube. Back to the Tottenham roller coaster.

      Delete
  42. Evening all. Bale got booked in the first leg for diving and as a result missed tonight's match. So far two Inter Milan players (Cassano and one other) have dived in the area and haven't been booked. Someone more suspicious than me might suggest that there is a conspiracy against the British teams. Or maybe it's just that when a foreigner dives it's expected as it's "part of their culture".

    Colch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh look he's booked Kyle Walker for diving.

      Colch

      Delete
  43. Sepp Blatter says Euro 2020 will lack heart and soul

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21786199

    He would know, he's got neither. Still, I'm sure they can find a piano somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Chelsea and Newcastle through, if my ears did not deceive me. One wonders if Rafa wins and then leaves anyway, what combination of trophies would allow a manager to stay on at Chelsea. Clearly the Champions League and the FA Cup are unimportant, and the Premier League title wasn't enough before, either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Premier League and FA Cup double, perhaps? Oh, that's been tried too.

      The only trophy John Terry is interested in is a trophy wife. Preferably someone else's.


      Jedi

      Delete
  45. I think you can describe that result as Spurs scraping through. I'm always in two minds at this stage - I want us to do well in Europe, and I'm happy that AVB is taking this cup seriously (unlike a certain media-darling), but getting a top-4 place in the league is going to be a real struggle as it is, without the added distraction of Europe. Our squad is still a little thin to be fighting on two fronts at this stage of the season. But good to be involved in these European nights.

    As for the game, I don't know why Livermore gets playing time at Spurs. He's not quality at all. Gallas had a shocker, and playing Dembele on the right takes away his impact and influence. Defoe is too hot and cold and Adebayor is too cold. Everyone's been saying it for a couple of seasons now, but we need a top quality striker in the summer. Vertonghen is immense though. Arsenal missed the boat with him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dont know what is more shocking. The fact that Arsenal tried throwing Vertonghen at a boat or the fact that they missed it. Probably Gervinho try.

      Delete
    2. Damn fools gave me a shock of grey hair to go with the shock of grey hair I gained earlier in the week when my bike had an argument with the snow.

      Oh well, we're through and live to fuck it up another day.

      Seriously though, we could win this if we bring our A game to games.

      Yet again, last night has shown up the fact we desperately need some options on the striker front.

      That said, after the raping he's doled out in previous meetings, it was high time we gave Inter a chance by letting Bale get himself suspended.
      -

      James

      Delete
  46. papiss cisse, adebayor and torres scored important goals ... who would've expected that

    ReplyDelete
  47. BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on Pointless host Richard Osman


    As opposed to pointless host Colin Murray and pointless journalist Phil McNulty or Pointless (and jobless) manager Mark Hughes

    ReplyDelete
  48. Adam,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21789528

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    Replies
    1. I saw that on their website and it came as a bit of a surprise really especially with their new album that is due out in June being more dance oriented than Elysium which was decent but probably put out to satisfy a contractual obligation.

      The new one sounds a lot more like Yes and has Stuart Price producing it (Kylie's Aphrodite, Killers Day and Age, Take That's Progress and Madonna's Confessions albums are his best known) so it should be really good

      Delete
    2. No it shouldn't.

      And won't be.

      Delete
    3. yes it will.

      There is a promo on youtube called Electric and it is pretty good - Kraftwerk-esque in its elegance

      Delete
  49. If this blog is Perils of Success, maybe the next one should be Payrolls of Success?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Pope Francis I is a fan of San Lorenzo (the Saints). Wonder if he'll call on the hand of God.

    Even being Pope doesn't shield you from football rivalries, as one fan added that despite being happy the Pope is a countryman, "I'm with Boca and he's for San Lorenzo. I imagine this is the first international trophy they've won."

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130314/pope-francis.ap/?sct=sc_t2_a6

    ReplyDelete
  51. "El Porquo"? El Camarero Españoles Gordo, please!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Champions League quarter-final draw
    Malaga v Borussia Dortmund

    Real Madrid v Galatasaray

    Paris St-Germain v Barcelona

    Bayern Munich v Juventus

    ReplyDelete
  53. Europa League quarter-finals:
    Chelsea v Rubin Kazan,
    Tottenham v FC Basel,
    Fenerbahce v Lazio,
    Benfica v Newcastle

    ReplyDelete
  54. Not too bad a draw for Chelsea and Spurs.Bit tougher for Newcastle.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Not sure that Spurs will easily Brush Basel aside!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of the available teams left I'm sure they'd be happy with Basel.

      United crushed them last season....oh...hang on.

      Delete
    2. United crushed Basel??

      Your logic is Fawlty. ;)

      Delete
    3. Boom Boom!


      Jedi

      Delete
  56. Sad to read that Norman Collier has died.

    App...he wa..stru...ing..wi... a dod....mic..one,two,is this keyboard working? th....n't wo....ng.

    ReplyDelete
  57. PL clubs might not be up to their usual (high) standards in the CL, but they are rocking the EL. Three teams in the QF's is good going and it's good to see the teams in it are finally taking it seriously.

    I didn't see any of the games so I can't really comment on them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pissed earlier than usual H?

      Delete
    2. why let the fact that you didn't see the games cloud the issues? White Horse Cup Final was the best exhibition of football ever witnessed (or not witnessed).

      Delete
    3. It's Friday Jacks...........never too early

      Delete
    4. True story.

      I lived in Spain in the 80's and on TVE (spainish channel) they had Fawlty Towers, dubbed, They obviously were not amused by the original version as one of Basil's catchphrases became;

      "I'm so sorrfy, he's from Milan".

      Delete
    5. When I saw Fawlty Towers in Barcelona, Manuel was from Mexico H2?


      Jedi

      Delete
  58. Agree with Noel on Vertonghen. We should of got him a few seasons ago, he's an excellent all round defender.

    ReplyDelete
  59. TrotterUSA15 March 2013 13:14
    why let the fact that you didn't see the games cloud the issues? White Horse Cup Final was the best exhibition of football ever witnessed (or not witnessed).

    __________________________________________________

    I'd suggest the 1978 FA Cup final was the pinnacle of high quality football.

    Why not ask H?

    He was there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was the pincushion of.........

      '79 though, that was, in the vernacular of da urban yoof, the shiznizz,

      Delete
    2. I don't know I thought H2H would much prefer the 2011 League Cup Final vs Birmingham City along with the 2005 FA Cup final as the best examples of how to completely domninate a major final and somehow not bring home the trophy

      Delete
    3. We weren't that great against Brum, but I'll definetly admit that your lot overran us in 2005.

      Unlike the finals of the 70's, I wasn't at either of those though.

      Delete
  60. AND FINALLY

    It must be a slow news day in Turkey. A couple have made headlines after calling their newborn child Messi, full name Ali Umut Messi. Reports suggest the baby's father is a huge Barcelona and, obviously, Lionel Messi fan.
    Full story: 606 newsletter


    If it's such an unworthy story then why would you link it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're asking the channel that has McNumpty as its chief football writer H2.


      Jedi

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I know, daft of me I suppose.

      Delete
  61. Well Robbo, just found an example of a team keeping their manager despite results. India have just given Duncan Fletcher a contract extension, despite a 12 test streak under him (befre the start of the current series) of 1-1-10. In football terms that's 4 points out of 36!


    Jedi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well they are hammering the shit out of the Aussies now. Benefits of sticking with someone!

      Delete
    2. yeah, you shoulda kept Rafa and we shoulda kept er, well, er, Jimmy Armfield.

      Delete
  62. Jedi

    I was slightly mistaken (ttoo many disko bickies in the following decades) it wasn't Milan, it was Naples, still Italian though, but it seems we are both correct.

    From Wiki;

    Dubbing

    Sachs's less than flattering portrayal of the Spanish resulted in the character's nationality being switched to an Italian from Naples called Paolo for the Spanish dub of the show broadcast in Spain (and in The Anniversary, his desire to make paella is changed to lasagna). In the Catalonian TV3 channel, Manuel's origin was changed from Barcelona to Mexico and the character has a Mexican Spanish accent. The French version also gives his nationality as Mexican.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Big game of the day.

    Ipswich v Bolton.

    Good luck Trotts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep, good luck, may the best team win.

      Delete
    2. I thought it was bound for 0-0 Trotts.

      But goodness me we needed those points with everyone else winning.

      Delete
  64. AH, good luck this week in our matchup. But not too much good luck. We're actually close in Jacks Barbershop, but we're falling behind the other Stephen overall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a match between Liverpool and Southampton. Good thing I have Rodriguez... on my bench. Dropped Coutinho (for Walcott) and captained Suarez.

      Even Chelsea wouldn't hire me at this point.

      Delete
    2. At least you lacked my keen managerial nous. See how nicely I left Monreal on the bench? Not only on the bench, but the last of my 3 subs. You are well on your way to giving me my biggest loss of the season

      Delete
  65. A huge dick in my pussy,a warm wet tounge up our arse and cum and pussy juice all
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    ReplyDelete
  66. Can't work out if Anon is male, female or hermaphrodite.... I feel it might be male who has self-injected too much of his own product.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or alternatively, more bloody spam!
      We get one of these every week or so.

      Delete
  67. Jacks, can you explain what the hell this bloke is doing, going about undoing the hard work done by the likes of JT and Cashley in building up footballers reputations.

    http://www.offthepost.info/blog/2013/03/ipswich-towns-tyrone-mings-gives-tickets-away-to-cashless-fan/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you have top remember Noel is that time travel is possible.

      You go to East Anglia and you go back 50 years.

      Still living with Corinthian values there.

      Delete
  68. Happy St Paddy's Day.

    Have a drink on me.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Trying to figure out which match Anon was so excited about...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the look of it one involving Giggs and Terry.

      Delete
  70. OUCH;

    http://i.minus.com/iba88WdAqGnp90.gif

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that lad'll be gettin' a suspension!

      Delete
    2. Ouch is about right. Feel a slight twinge of the knee everytime I see that.

      What a fucked up FFL week..thankfully I'm unbeatable in the Robbo H2H or I'd be ending the season trophyless.

      Delete
    3. Beaten by a handball,also should have gone down to 10 men.

      No wonder Pardew was fed up.

      Delete
    4. To me it looks like it wasn't intentional but it is a shocker and certainly a red card.
      I don't understand how the FA can retrospectively ban the fella as the referee has obviously seen it from a certain angle and decided it was ok. (i.e. he fucked up). Now, if he had given a foul but not booked him then the FA couldn't do anything (as far as I know).

      I think that a review of the review system is necessary as it is a mess of incosistency. At the moment the FA can review a red card but not a yellow, can review a decision if the referee hasn't seen it (off the ball incidents, etc) but not if he has dealt with it at the time.
      They can't replay the time a team was without an unfairly dismissed player or the time that a player like McManaman was still on the pitch. They can't review shocking travesties of justice like the dis-allowed Swansea goal last week.
      What is so special about a bad, albeit unintentional, tackle that means the FA can review it?
      Either the referee's decision is final or it isn't. The only solution is banning TV cameras so that nobody can opine on such matters.

      Rastafairy

      Delete
  71. Arsenal just four points behind Spurs with a game in hand as the lily-whites, once again, shift into self-destruct mode.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I called it weeks ago Bo! Chelsea, City and Everton up next for us. No Aaron Lennon, combined with no strikers = no win. 5th place finish for us this year, and maybe a win in the Europa.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Spurs' remaining fixtures: Swansea (a), Everton (h), Chelsea (a), City (h), Wigan (a), Southampton (h), Stoke (a), Sunderland (h). I can't even see us getting 10 points from that lot.

    Compared to Arsenal: Reading (h), West Brom (a), Norwich (h), Everton (h), Fulham (a), Utd (h), QPR (a), Wigan (h). Arsenal should get at least 15 points from that lot.

    And Chelsea: Southampton (a), Sunderland (h), Spurs (h), Liverpool (a), Swansea (h), Utd (a), Villa (a), Everton (h).

    No reason Arsenal shouldn't get 3rd spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://twitter.com/jackloudon/status/313346475646124033/photo/1

      Delete
  74. Well, not too disheartened by the Saints demolishing us. Hopefully we win against the Toffees and Chavs to notch up a few wins against sides above us, but dont want to win too much and risk 5th spot and Europa next season. We dont have the squad to compete in Europe and the PL. I'll bet Everton fans feel the same, but they are mush closer to 4th and have to die trying. For their sakes, I hope they get either 4th or 6th.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Still pissed..who d be thought thered be a bar in Barcelona called stoke?

    ReplyDelete
  76. The charge ..west ham fans threw coins

    The defence....it was at jt. He wasn't even on the pitch (?) And he was celebrating.

    Must admit I found this funny though...

    Not one to shrink from a challenge he eyeballed the West Ham supporters abusing him and proceeded to perform a series of pointed exercises. He mimicked raising a trophy several times, and then turned to touch his toes leavings his backside pointing at the visitors.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I also read that some West Ham fans threw coins and hot dogs at Lamps when he got his 200th goal, I mean that their stupidity is just beyond comprehension. Do they not realise how expensive food is at The Bridge?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I heard they were real hot dogs, warmed up left overs from Battersea dogs home.

      Delete
    2. well with the meat scandal over here, its just as well they are not based near a horse shelter

      Delete
  78. McManaman to get 3 game ban when FA take retrospective action against him. Referee, Mark Halsey claims he didn't see the incident... why the fuck did he give a free-kick against him then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The game was held up for five minutes while Frenchman Haidara received treatment on the pitch before he was carried off on a stretcher.
      Play media

      But Halsey did not award a free-kick for McManaman's tackle on Haidara."

      No free kick Bo, maybe an uncontested drop ball?

      Delete
    2. The free kick was for a handball about 20 seconds later when the Newcastle player who picked up the loose ball tried to go past McManaman down the wing. Basically, nobody reacted to the challenge except the poor lad who got caught - not the ref, the other players or the fans.

      Delete
    3. thanks for the clarification, Anon.

      Delete
  79. just remembered, theres also a port vale in barcelona. parallel universe?

    http://www.aviewoncities.com/barcelona/portvell.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odd that.Whenever I'm in Burslem it often reminds me of Catalunya.

      Delete
    2. I'm off to Bolton for me Summer holidays, sorry, I meant to say the British Virgin Isles.

      Delete
  80. Rio Ferdinand pulls out of England squad. "He's out this time due to particular pre-planned details already in place for his programme."
    ---------------------------------------
    Whoever made that intricate plan and forgot to inform SAF (who confirmed on Friday that Ferdinand would indeed join up) and Hodgson, needs to be fired. Rubbish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is getting silly now. I was pissed at Hodgson for ignoring Rio, who has always been a loyal England player and is looking in good form. But this is just stupid - is he fit or not? This sounds like the club is preventing an important player from playing for his country using spurious reasons. Has anyone heard from Rio about this? He tweets enough.

      Delete
  81. Noel.

    I'm always pretty wary about the whole "easier run it" malarky, especialy where Arsenal are concerned. As we all know, footy is not played on paper, never has been. Last season we (not including West Brom on the final day) took 3pts from a possible twelve, which included a 3-3 home draw to Norwich and a 2-1 home loss to Wigan. Who are, coincidently, two of the teams in this years “easy run in” too.

    Theres'still many a twist to come before it's over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last season United lost to Wigan and City tried very hard to lose to QPR at home on the last day.

      Speaking of which, I still think there is case for Joey Barton 'throwing' the game last year - even Joey isn't that stupid.... It reminded me of Gerrard's "back-pass" letting Chelsea in to go on and win the title a few years ago. Bit obvious from the smirk on his face when they scored!

      Delete
    2. Yeah, no doubt there will be some strange results to come. The year we qualified for the Champions League, we played City, Chelsea and Arsenal and got either 7 or 9 points, when I expected us to get none. Wigan will beat anyone at this time of year, and have been a bogey team for us ever since we beat them 9-1, so I expect them to take points off us and probably Arsenal too.

      Delete
  82. Pick me pick me. Nah thanks.

    I think personally it's saf. Like keane was saying what he wants is control. I strongly suspect that past 28 he says play for England and you're history. from a selfish twat perspective it makes sense. Makes rio look foolish though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does indeed make Rio look silly. I know we aren't supposed to feel sorry for star players who earns buckets of cash for kicking a ball around, but I think he has been hard done by here.

      Delete
  83. Everything under heaven is in utter chaos the situation is excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Whelan told BBC Radio 5 live: "The ball was there. Young McManaman went in for the ball and got the ball as clean as a whistle,

    Blow on it..... I dare ya.

    ReplyDelete
  85. How long before Rooney joins this growing list.....

    United players who put club before country
    Park Ji-sung
    Captain of South Korean team, retired from national duty in Jan 2011 to give younger stars a chance.

    Wes Brown
    Played in three England qualifiers for 2010 World Cup but stood down in Aug 2010 despite being selected.

    Paul Scholes
    Turned back on England in Aug 2004 after repeatedly being played out of position in left midfield.

    Edwin van der Sar
    Represented Holland a record 130 times - retired from the Dutch in 2008 and again in 2010.
    Ryan Giggs
    Won 64 Wales caps. Stepped down in May 2007 to concentrate on United but captained GB at London 2012.

    Michael Carrick
    Fed up of being overlooked for England, said last year he no longer wanted to be ’bit-part player.’

    Nemanja Vidic
    Made Serbia debut in 2002 but snubbed national team in Oct 2011 after criticism from fans

    ReplyDelete
  86. Not all bad though is it (Wes Brown). And scholes never bothered much (also see: Rooney)

    ReplyDelete
  87. as above, Me n Mao's motto:

    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos the situation is excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Jacksofbuxom

    (Norwegian or Norwichian accent)

    John Wark, Alan Brazil, Sir Bobby Robson, Paul Mariner, George Burley, Farmer Giles, Matt Holland, Predator Arnie, Sly Stallone Goalie, your boys, yes your boys took one hell of a beating.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Good blog Robbo.

    ROBBO. PLEASE WRITE THE NOVEL.

    Ye know ye wanna.

    I will def part with my hard earned.

    Look to John Niven for inspiration

    ReplyDelete
  90. Former England striker Michael Owen announces he is to retire from football at the end of the season.
    -----------------------------
    I wonder what prompted that decision. Inexplicable, really.

    ReplyDelete