Wednesday, 21 August 2013

First Impressions

So what have we learned after 1 game of the Premier League 2013-14?

1. Roberto Mancini will not be missed.

If you believe all the reports, Mancini treated managed men in the same way that sheepdogs manage sheep; lots of barking, bullying and the occasional bite on the backside (metaphorically, rather than Luisologically, speaking). Pellegrini has made more sense in one press conference than Roberto did in three years. The signings, and therefore the signs, are good. If the Chilean can get Dzeko looking like a potent goal-threat rather than the lovelorn giraffe of last season then he really is a capable man.

2. Jose Mourinho never left.

Seriously, I swear John Terry had a bit of pace in them there legs. Gone was the dawdle of a three-legged crab. Frank Lampard looked thirteen, and is still taking penalties in the same way he did when Jose first arrived. His strike-rate from the spot can only be down to the denseness of the average frontline goalkeeper. He goes to the right more often than UKIP party spokesman's oratory. Most memorable of all, Chelsea played lovely stuff and settled for a 2-0 very early. And some numpty in the crowd held up a sign that read 'We Are The Happy One's' proving once and for all that a lot of Chelsea fans need to go back to school.

3. Moyes may not be moved

Good start for Moe, but the stats suggested that Swansea weren't that far behind. Van Persie is a law unto himself, and his fitness is vital. He's exactly the sort of thing Moyes lacked at Everton. Welbeck has already got his one for the season - we shouldn't start imagining that the second means he's gone all cold-eyed assassin, anymore than we should think that age has rendered Ian Holloway's post-match comments into something credible.

4. Wenger's Days Are Numbered

Well now it's easy to get carried away with one result but Arsenal were utter drivel against Aston Villa. I mean shite. 'Spend, Spend, Spend' is all very well but on who, exactly? No one of a game-changing disposition wants to get anywhere near the Emirates. The latest player to get you Gooners hot under the collar...? Yohan Cabaye, that's who. Talented French midfielder who did bog-all last year. Still at least Arsenal are a bit short in the pint-sized midfielder area. Ahem.

In truth this perpetual scramble for fourth place is sitting at its last chance saloon. There's something pathetic about Wenger's attempts to claim this as a triumph - akin to a toddler being pleased to have managed to put a spoonful of slops into its own mouth. Again.

The only thing that'll improve Arsenal this season is a lack of Gervinho. 4th place depends on how quickly AVB assimilates the BRC into his Tottenham team. That's the Bale Replacement Corps. Latest reports suggests Will.I.An is joining the crew. The signings look good, and Palace, for all the huff n puff, could and should have been shredded.

Liverpool, too, may have a say now that Suarez is happy to let his child wave at Scousers. I mean I would never inflict that on a child.

5. My bottom three prediction is spot-on

I simply don't see how any of the promoted sides has a prayer this year. Even a bit of first-game chutzpah did nowt for any of 'em. Any Palace victory will depend entirely on whether Phillips can get on the pitch. They should be sponsored by Seven Seas Fish Oils. Hull are an assembly of recognisable unfulfilled talents. Cardiff may do best, but that's cos the manager's got his head screwed on.

6. The Whingeing Manager is back already

Pardew continues to put his team's problems down to nasty people asking about his players. 'We were just about to play and Arsenal said they wanted our player and then we couldn't play nicely after that' was how he put it. Sometimes I wonder if there are any grown-ups left playing professional football.

Ian Holloway's grizzle about Chadli's 'foul' - and by God in my day that challenge is fairer than a Nazi Youth rally - and the handball not being a penalty... well, please you great Bristolian berk, can't you at least start the season on Planet Earth? There's a long season ahead not least for lonesome Dwight Gayle, who was ran his little socks off but resembled a dozy terrier that keeps heading off after an unthrown stick. Poor lamb.

Meanwhile the Ashes come to a close with Darren Lehmann urging his fellow Australians to make Stuart Broad cry when he comes visiting in November. This is cos the lanky England bowler and, on occasion, first-class tosser, failed to walk after edging to first slip at Trent Bridge.

Now Australians never walk unless they're called Gilchrist so really you're suggesting that Broad should walk cos his edge was bigger. This is ethically a tad murky. I mean how big must an edge be before you must walk, eh? Perhaps we'll have Hawkeye telling us the angle at which the ball came off the bat and deciding that one nick is more worthy of departure than another.

Broad'll get his fair share in Brisbane anyway. We don't need Lehmann spiting the pips out of the sourest grapes in order to make that happen. It's not like England fans consoled Warner for twatting our baby-faced opener, is it now?

In the meantime England prove that they still know how to take a foot off the throat of an Australian by kindly picking two newbies for the last test. No. No. No. Tremlett should be in. Stupid.

Oh and finally. Mo Farah. That sprint down the home straight of his. Like I've always said, narrow your eyes and you can see the pack of lions hunting him down. And never quite catching him. Has there been a better British runner? Well, no. He's just marvellous.

306 comments:

  1. In answer to Trotts question on the last blog I'm not sure how many records it takes in Norway but I'm sure it's considerably more than 7.

    They also managed the following cahrt positions: -

    UK: 3
    Germany: 3
    Switzerland: 6
    Spain: 5
    Denmark: 2
    Finland: 5
    Czech Republic: 4
    USA: 26
    Hong Kong: 4
    Japan imports chart : 1
    Norway: 1
    Sweden: 11

    First btw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. chucklesome, wherever they reached #1 I'm sure you bought all the albums!

      Good stuff Robbo, 2 in 5 days, we all appreciate your prolific phases. Gunners will be lucky to get 5th without some dramatic transfer moves, Ox is fucked for a while, Theo and Wilshere probably not far behind. They should make a move for Ngog before it's too late.

      Delete
    2. What?? 26th in US ?? Don't worry, Trotts, Stephen and I are on it.

      Delete
    3. I don't think I have the energy to travel to Norway and Japan (or the cash) and buy that many albums - I got it on CD and Vinyl and that was it really. It's done well because its an out and out dance record

      Delete
    4. Not being arsed to read the post on the other blog, I take it it's not Rammstein we're talking about here, is it?

      Delete
  2. Spot on regarding the two pie chuckers... Both having a nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The young Lancs lad looks genuinely terrified

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    2. His nerves were interfering with tms reception, tommy.

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  3. From the Grauniad:

    4.45pm BST
    Sweden's Johan Elmander has completed a move to Norwich City on a season-long loan from Galatasaray.

    Thoughts, Trotts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shared my thoughts when Noel broke the news last night, keep up lad.

      Noel20 August 2013 23:21
      Elmander back in the Premier League at Norwich!


      TrotterUSA21 August 2013 01:44
      oh fuck. It'll end in tears. Still, they'll save a few quid on shirts, he can wear his old Sweden clobber and he plays better in yellow. Maybe they reckon he'll thrive away from all the bright lights and temptations of Horwich.

      Delete
    2. Terribly sorry, old stick.

      Delete
    3. be alright Tommy, shit moves fast around here since the enlightenment hit.

      Delete
    4. Wait, Trotts... the enlightenment? That hasn't come to Utah yet. When are we due?

      Delete
    5. Banned in Utah. Too overtly sexual. Also, anything containing the word "sex" is banned in Utah. Too overtly related to anything fun.

      For example, one might say: I went with Addalynn, MacKynzy, and Bracken (all real Utah names) to recruit new brothers and sisters in Middledoenotexistbeforemarriage and Esdon'taskevenafteryou'remarriedhe'lljustfigureitoutandyou'lllietherepassively in England.

      Delete
    6. ok, well, next time you're in New York, go to a hot dog vendor, one that looks overweight with a pleasant and calm expression might be best, ask him to make you one with everything. Then you'll have enlightenment.

      Delete
    7. Be sure to give the right money though, as he'll simply tell you that change comes from within

      Delete
  4. Whoa... two in relatively quick succession. Wasn't ready for that. Happy to get used to it, though. Not that Robbo has anything else to do, right?

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  5. To be fair, van Persie is exactly the sort of thing nearly everyone other than Man Utd lacks.

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  6. Great summary Robbo. The most surprising things for me were just how bad Arsenal were and that Liverpool looked decent (that hurt to say). Might be a few more teams fighting for 4th than I thought. Biggest question is what do Spurs do when the Bale deal falls through? Sell the silver maybe, oh wait !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Levy's too smart to let that happen. He's sure to have had the paperwork done and dusted and just kept everyone quiet while he went shopping.

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    2. To be fair if that is the case and they get 85 - 100 million for Bale I honestly think it will have been the best handled transfer window I have seen managed by a club. Would you agree?

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    3. Agree completely. I only wish we had someone sensible to have done the same with Suarez. Unfortunately, we have Ian Ayre.

      Delete
  7. Well, the PL is funny. After all the kudos being delivered to chelsea they required a blatant penalty not give, a yellow instead of a red to ivanovic and an arguable offside goal given to beat Villa 2-1. This season is far from decided.

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  8. Karim Benzema & Angel Di Maria: Arsenal target Real Madrid pair.Arsenal's only summer signing to date is the 20-year-old French striker Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer from Auxerre, but it is thought they could spend close to £100m by the close of the transfer window at 23:00 BST on 2 September.
    =======================
    Arsene saving the best for last ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It started as a sitcom ... Only Fools and Arsene, Fawlty Bids, One foot in the Transfer Market, Last of the Summer Transfer Window , the Unlikely Lads.

      But now it's Supermarket Sweep

      But it might still end well ...they might land benzema or even rooney at a last minute premium of course ...The Fall and Rise of Reginald Wenger, his clothes are on the beach as we speak...

      but christ on a Raleigh chopper that guy talks shite eg
      ...its like a poker game...
      are you any good at poker Arsene...
      no

      Delete
    2. Our current favorite at liverpool is Some Others Do 'Ave Em.

      Delete
    3. Blogs, Is it Supermarket Sweep or will Arsene get Trollied?

      Spider

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    4. He'll get trollies then look for love in all the wrong places with dale Winton who'll take him up the aisle

      Delete
  9. If only Bayern bought Balotelli...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23784416

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  10. Independent journalist Sam Wallace: Reliably informed that Gareth Southgate is to be appointed by the FA as new England Under-21s coach.
    -------------------------------------------

    Perfect. Just perfect.

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  11. You couldn't make this stuff up.
    --------
    West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka walks out on the Baggies, less than two months after signing for the club as a free agent, according to the Daily Telegraph.

    The former Arsenal, Chelsea and Bolton striker has reportedly cleared his locker at the club's training ground and may even retire from the game entirely.

    "Albion head coach Steve Clarke and technical director Richard Garlick have both attempted to persuade the former France international to change his mind but Anelka did not train on Thursday and subsequently walked out of the club,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Earlier, West Bromwich Albion confirmed that Nicolas Anelka will not be involved in Saturday's Premier League game at Everton.

      "The club have excused the striker from club duty on compassionate grounds," said an Albion statement.

      Delete
    2. Thankfully may not be so bad as first reported. His agent says it is due to a bereavement and he has not retired.

      Delete
  12. Sky Bet have re-opened the betting on Willian's future following reports that Chelsea are now in talks with the Brazilian. Sky Sports Sources understands that Chelsea have now entered the race for Tottenham target Willian and are in advanced talks with the Anzhi Makachkala ace.
    -------------------------
    Now you know how we feel. Dammit, there's always someone with more money than you - unless you're City. I would've added Madrid, but apparently they need no money, they can break the world record despite having no cash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not too fussed if we get him or not, AH. Don't know why, but I just don't think he's the player we want, as I said on the last blog. It's obvious to 'keep his options open' after having a medical with us that he wasn't happy with the wages offered. Lamela, for me, is the much better buy, if we have to spend that kind of money.

      There was even some talk of a new bid for Daimao, which I'd prefer as we still only have one and a half strikers, with Soldado and Defoe.

      Delete
  13. Al Jazeera America ?? Who'da thunk it?

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. For the next three seasons, Merthyr Town's home will be known as The Cigg-e Stadium after signing a "lucrative" sponsorship package.

    Expect mike Ashley will be on the phone 2 Benson & hedges

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  16. Just what we needed...possibility the railway paddock will be closed as a punishment for racist chanting v Bradford The club had taken a strong line on it, but I wouldn't be too surprised if the fa uses us as a soft target to make a point. Hope they do, really... stoke sadly has far too many tiny minded ignorant provincial racists


    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/punish-racist-chanting-port-vale-2209451

    ReplyDelete
  17. Police to monitor online fan interactions for abuse

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23796712

    I suppose that means a) we're being watched/read (welcome! enjoy! participate?) and b) some poor sap has been assigned to read McNumpty on a regular basis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its not yet too late to join the FFLs either.

      Delete
  18. Stephen, they've been watching for years, this is just their excuse to make it official. In fact, I thought you were a govt agent, if you are, please blow the whistle on David Ngog and Johan Elmander for posing as footballers in a Bolton kit.

    Have you become enlightened yet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Full Kosher enlightenment, thanks. Doubt it'll spread here, though. They tend to favor Armageddon preparedness foods in these parts. That, and stuff they shot while fishing, or however that works.

      Sadly, I no longer work for the government. Besides, you've seen what they do to whistleblowers. 35 years in jail.

      Delete
  19. Roy Hodgson spotted at The Oval. Your first team is worse off than I thought.

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  20. Didn't we have a professional footballer comment here recently? Played in Scotland? Would love if he'd share some insights on apparent match fixing...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23808606

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  21. Col u v Carlisle utd. Its amazing the crap you'll watch when there's a free ticket...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Do you think Bradley Manning is wise to state publicly he wants to be treated like a woman just before he's locked up for 35 years with a bunch of rapists?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's trying to get into the ladies prison and get some hot action each day of the 35 years he's in there.

      Delete
  23. Col U v Carlisle a good match as it turns out. Col u totally dominated but I was just saying to my mate that Freddy seers couldn't score if hr was locked up with Bradley Manning in a cell for35 years when he goes and scores to level like I was Lawro or sannink

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  24. Smug Portuguese braggart and windup mastro Mourinho is good fun and I'm glad he's back but dignified and classy he ain't. As likeable as Pieterson or Michael Clarke who I think established yesterday that like Millwall nobody likes them.

    If I'd paid £80 to sit and watch that shiite I wouldn't like any of them

    ReplyDelete
  25. Alistair Cook walks out to bat with Joe Root. Or is that Ian Bell.

    http://t.co/zC2NmOYzaT

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  26. Any nominations?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/a-oneway-ticket-too-tempting-to-ignore-165000-apply-for-mission-to-colonise-mars--despite-no-chance-of-them-ever-returning-to-earth-8782509.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. It all makes sense now. Willian's agent happens to be none other than Mr K Joorabchian.

    http://www.offthepost.info/blog/2013/08/chelsea-beat-tottenham-to-30m-willian-subject-to-work-permit/#more-34547

    ReplyDelete
  28. What the hell..6 pts from 2 games for Liverpool. Two unconvincing 1-0 victories both requiring last gasp heroics from Mignolet, but what the heck 6 pts is 6 pts. We had 0 from our first 2 games against Stoke and Villa last season, so I guess its not bad.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a horrendous start to my FFL seasons. Exactly as I suspected. Introduce an overall league table and all my teams will be out of the running within the first month. Wait til we add Champions League and Europa Cup. I might just manage to finish last in every league, at least amongst those who continue to pay attention the entire season.

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  30. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130824/millwall-sheffield-wednesday-jerseys.ap/?sct=sc_t2_a8

    Rumor has it Wenger plans to try this when Liverpool visit. If Suarez likes the kit, they won't let him change afterward.

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  31. Cardiff top Man City. At least there is a bit of unpredictability remaining.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23744629

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  32. Famous victory possible at the Oval...

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  33. He's won't just be forgiven, he'll be beatified St Kevin if he pulls this off.

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  34. Interesting. Very interesting. Can Woakes be the Anti-Kerrigan?

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  35. As you know the first football clubs were cricket clubs looking for something to do in the winter, now the sporting hierarchy is re-established (until tomorrow).

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  36. Is plummy dear old thing bumbling bond villain sounnd alike Blofeld (his dad was at school with Ian Fleming) the worlds only likeable old Etonian?

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  37. Ozzies chucking pies to stultify the run rate

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  38. Clarke imagining stygian darkness now

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  39. What a pile of shit. Ruined the fucking game. ICC wankers.

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  40. Is that the greatest anti climax in sporting history?

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  41. Cmon blogidy most of us were resigned to the fact that this will be a draw game because of below par scoring rate by England yesterday. The game became interesting only because Clarke decision to declare today and setup this exciting finish. No way umpires fault.. if light's fading in the light meter they will go off. Still you can enjoy 3-0 win over the once mighty Aussies.

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  42. oh well cricket eh winning doesn't matter cough cough

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  43. 4-0 would have been better, AS.

    Bet you the blazers in dubai change the rule, though

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  44. What did I say about the league being far from decided.

    This weeks blog will be about how Wenger has it all sorted out but Pelligrini's an idiot and Mancini will be missed. The only consistency is how Spurs and Liverpool look like they'll be in with a shout.

    FFL sucks.

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  45. @MrAncelotti : "I can't comment on Bale because he is not a Real Madrid player."
    ---------------------------------
    No shit Carlo.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Ok I've calmed down now. Just wanted to say... I luv cricket

    The rules are a work of genius

    ReplyDelete
  47. Spurs linked with Hulk now that Willian has signed with Chelsea. A step down in quality, and a step up in ego-driven salary demands. No thanks AVB/Baldini/Levy. Concentrate on Lamela, or Eriksen, or Damiao. Or Tom Pope.

    Blog, headlines over here say that Cook is causing the death of cricket with his negative tactics. Thoughts? If you can't win, then don't lose is what I'd say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cook is doing no such thing. He was ensuring they don't lose a game in the series. Several hundred before him have done the same and the game has survived remarkably well.

      Aussies are just pissed coz they got beat up so mercilessly.

      Delete
    2. Sour grapes, Noel - dont like being crushed, do they, the ozzies? maybe its all hype for the return match but england without ever hitting form with the bat (Bell excepted) were within 4 crepuscular overs of 4-0

      anyway tactics are about winning we were slamming the ball all over the place yesterday whilst clarke at the end of the game yesterday did everything he could to spoil it as a game- bowlers running up twice per delivery, long conferences, manic complaints. yes we would have done the same thing but seems to be a lack of grace in defeat which is always nice to see as it licenses us to gloat

      this is the latest bitterness from the ozzie press. im assuming it was a tribute to Monty :

      "A number of players including Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and Jimmy Anderson took it in turns urinating on the pitch to the cheers of their team-mates. This could be clearly seen from the outside overflow areas of the press box."

      Delete
    3. Absolutely. The Aussie press make Didier Drogba look like a respectful loser.

      Delete
  48. So who else is in for bale?

    Man u?

    Chelsea?

    Port Vale?

    anzhi makhalakachakalalala?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one. Spurs just getting Madrid to pay up and close the deal to avoid having spent 90 mil without selling Bale, and having to pay all those wages.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I think it's just a bit of gamesmanship from Levy.

      Delete
  49. I was at the test yesterday bloggy. All I can say is I've never anticlimaxed harder. Of course rules and regs must be rewritten, but actually looking back it was still one of the most exciting day's cricket I've ever seen. Bloody brilliant.

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  50. eh up, Rooney named on Chelsea subs bench.

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  51. Mata on the bench for Chelsea. Wow. Not as if he was Chelsea's best player last season...

    Add to that no Luiz, and I've made one of the worst-ever fantasy team selections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dont worry. Oscar's gonna get the hat-trick that I need for my FFL wins today.

      Delete
    2. I'm glad I stayed away from Chelsea players for this exact reason. Started the season with 2 wins on the trot. This time last year I'd already played my wildcard.

      Delete
  52. Jose Mourinho fresh off comments blaming Moyes' "Rooney is 2nd choice striker' comment for Rooney wanting to leave, now starts with no strikers for Chelsea. Isn't it awesome to be able to have Lukaku, Torres and Ba and play none of them, while also leaving Mata on the bench.

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  53. I see the traditional carding policy at Old Trafford hasn't been abolished since Old Whisky Nose has left to tend the legumes.

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  54. 0-0. No Mata. Very conflicted. I do want to win, but I'm uncomfortable with the "buy every attacking midfielder on the planet but don't play Mata" approach.

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  55. Tommy - I'm v jealous. I was practically climbing the curtains just listening to it on the radio.

    I was outraged (see above) with the way it ended but now I can see the rationality of it and can appreciate the way cricket ignores plebeian considerations like 'winner' and 'excitement' or 'pissing on someones head/wicket'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. on my radio they were defacating on the tomb of the unknown cricketer.

      Delete
    2. The Aussie papers are keeping me thoroughly entertained in any case. The gist of it
      Is that we're all meanies and bad sports and they should have won anyway and if KP hadn't pissed on the pitch after we turned the lights off they would have and boo hoo what happened to Ashton Agar... eh? eh? Stuart Broad punched him in a bar which he shouldn't have been in anyway and said no wasn't me it was Big Davey Warner lamped the choirboy boo hoo better side just you wait till you have to bat in a bouncy castle in Perth.

      It really is that coherent.

      Delete
    3. By the way, Trotts. Who killed Darren Pattinson?

      Delete
  56. Gareth Bale's refused to return to training with Spurs - obviously afraid he might trip on a blade of grass and lose out on his transfer to Madrid

    Fine him and then reject any bid from Real and send him on loan to Southend for the season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. United could never afford bale, spurs leaked the news of a 2nd clubs interest to push real madrid. Strategy! They have to break-even after going on a spree.

      Delete
    2. He's MLS or USL bound, or at least should be.

      Delete
    3. Spurs can't afford to do that, and Bale knows it. If there is a second bid PSG are more likely than ManU. If they make a decent offer I think Levy would do it. Madrid's arrogance has pissed him off.


      Jedi

      Delete
    4. It's not about the financial reality of the situation. It about wishing for once one of these overpaid ball jockeys would choose the challenge of building a 'era of winning silver' with a team over the trivial solution, going to Barca, Real Madrid, or the like. Few seem to remember how crap he was when he first arrived at WHL, especially him. Mr. Bale was clueless as a defender and no where near game fitness for that amount of money. I doubt he would have lasted long enough in that state to find himself professionally at any of the Big 4 styled clubs of the time. Had one of them had seen his future potential back then, he would have signed their contact.

      Delete
    5. 7a, I agree. Surely RSL could fit him in somewhere.

      Delete
  57. Aaah! The talismanic Robbo reappears with 2 in 1 week to brighten up a shitty week thus far. Keep it coming! Tottenham's splurging certainly suggests they're looking to offload bale. Spurs staring to look top 4 material. I'd be worried if i was a gooners man.

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  58. FOOTBALL
    BBC Scotland's senior football reporter Chris McLaughlin: Shakhter Karagandy boss Viktor Kumykov not ruling out sacrificing a sheep again before game against Celtic in Glasgow on Wednesday. Kumykov says 'shouldn't be too difficult finding a sheep in Scotland'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True - there are 60,000 of them in Parkhead every week and 1 in 3 scots - be worried if anyone in your family is a Celtic fan and running late getting home afterwards

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

      Delete
  59. Sterling, Smalling and Young have barely played at all yet seem to always make the squad. Agbonlahor has been the stand out performer but gets no luck. Nice to Barkley and Townsend in the squad, neither will probably step on to the playing field, but should be a good experience.

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  60. Very belatedly - nice to have you back Robbo, you have been missed!

    And as much as It is also lovely to have the Yummy One back, I am as bemused as everyone else as to why Mata doesn't seem to matter in his plans at the moment. He can make SO much difference to a game, especially teamed with Oscar and Hazard. (I do realise my rankings & football savvy as shown in the FFL may not qualify me to comment on this but it is truly bizarre)

    As for last nights dullfest, half the Chelsea players seem to think they should be playing some sort of (accidental) volleyball but a point away at OT is not tooooo bad a result.

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    Replies
    1. Since Rooney is now looking unlikely for you lot, you can have Suarez for Mata. Straight swap. Assuming of course Juan is as keen to get out of the CL as Luis is to get in. If he manages to get in today he could live his dream of playing Notts County in Round 3 of the League Cup.

      Delete
    2. Its a most generous offer AH but we do seem to be a bit short of mid-fielders so will hang on to him for time being (I hope)

      Delete
    3. Also good to see you back BHB. Obviously you're short of midfielders. Otherwise why would you gazump one of ours?


      Jedi

      Delete
  61. How ironic...Aly Cissokho..brought in as cover for the injury plagued Enrique, has to be taken off with an injury within 10 minutes.

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    Replies
    1. I know it's only Notts County, but Ibe, Sterling and wee Joe Allen looking good. Not sure about Alberto. Looks afraid to get his hands dirty

      Delete
  62. Apologies to any County fans, North Koreans or Svens reading for the condescending use of 'only' in that post by the way

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  63. Who knew Chris Kiwomya was Notts County manager? Wonder what Jason Dozell is upto these days?

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  64. Replies
    1. Having watched almost every minute of last season, I never comment on a Liverpool game till the game is over.

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  65. Seeing as they've come back from 2 goals down to level the score with 5 minutes left, it looks like we could use Mata.

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    Replies
    1. Seeing as we didn't score against Man Utd, it looks like we could use Mata.

      Delete
  66. Six year-old boy outscores father in village cricket.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-23849429

    His hero is Joe Root. So we can expect his first hundred by when he turns 10, which will be near the end of his next match, set to begin next weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  67. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-23849903

    I've figured out what I'm doing for New Years this year.

    Mata needs to sign for United or really anyone in the Champions League really. I wonder if Mourinho drops him all time time simply because Rafa used to play him all the time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Japanese and Norwegian fans will get all the tickets.

      Delete
    2. Nah it'll be the Germans, they've probably got their towels on rainbeds outside the ticket office already

      Delete
  68. Apparently Chelsea on the verge of signing Atsu (bless you). This is someone who Liverpool wanted but didn't think was worth 3.5m. Mourinho needs him, but Mata he wont touch.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Mandraxe scratched his arse and farted. Then what?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. by heck, there's been a lot of developments. It's good to catch up but two more years in suspense like that could kill me.

      did the bobby really have a genuine leather covered notebook? It wasn't pvc or faux cuir?

      Delete
    3. wtf he's gone again, as if by magic!

      Delete
  70. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez plays and scores in a training ground match against Port Vale.
    ========================================
    Have you got all your players back..just make sure he hasn't had any of them for dinner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. looks like he ate tom pope's scoring boots with some fava beans and a nice chianti

      read the article - vacuous fluff but whoever took the photos must have been playing in the bloody match

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2404369/Luis-Suarez-scores-Liverpool-training-match-Brendan-Rodgers.html

      Delete
    2. thanks for that, AH

      btw the score v Port Vale reserves was 2-2

      http://www.onevalefan.co.uk/content/luis-suarez-plays-vale-reserves/

      Delete
  71. More from new Chelsea signing Willian after signing a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge: "When the offer came I never gave a thought to anybody else, I said to myself that I would run here, and I'm happy to be here now. Chelsea was always my first choice.
    =========================================
    No shit. That would certainly explain the medical at WHL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to mention his initial willingness to go to Liverpool. Would £££££ have anything to do with this? He'll certainly play less at Chelski.


      Jedi

      Delete
    2. It is nice to be first choice amongst our signings, Eto'o once said 'I'd rather sell groundnuts in my village, than play for a pathetic club like Chelsea' -

      I can only presume that the wholesale price of nuts must have plummeted over the years ....

      Delete
    3. With the attitude he's shown, I'm quite glad he's gone to Chelski. We've really dodged a bullet there, methinks.

      Delete
  72. Looks like Spurs are moving in on Christian Eriksen, having missed out on Willian. Thankfully no one else seems interested in getting Moses on loan from Chelsea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't forget Lamela. Possible formations for select Premier League clubs this season:

      Tottenham: 2-7-1
      Man Utd, Liverpool, Man City: 4-2-3-1
      Everton: 3-5-2, uh, 4-2-3-1, er, 2-2-2-1-2-1
      Arsenal: 4-3-2-1... 0 results.
      Chelsea: Doesn't Mata.

      Delete
  73. Celtic, Celtic, Celtic, Celtic.

    ReplyDelete
  74. judging by arsenal youth team's thrashing recently by col u's youth team, somethings deeply wrong with the set up at Arsenal

    http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/arsenal-u21s-end-torturous-pre-season-with-5-1-defeat-to-colchester-united/

    ReplyDelete
  75. Liverpool drawn to play Man U at OT next round of Carling Cup, which incidentally will be Suarez's first game back if he's still here. He will probably be playing CB seeing if we have any more injuries in that position.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Suarez plays, I'll go with Liverpool to win by a nose. Vidic's, after Suarez bites it off.

      Delete
  76. Looks like the Gooners have beaten us on the big signings again. Spurs have Lamela and Chiriches having medicals, but Arsene has made his big move. Mattieu Flamini back on a free from Milan.


    Jedi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rest of the PL, be afraid, be very afraid.

      Delete
  77. Well for once City can't claim to be in the group of death.

    Grp F: Arsenal, Marseille, Dortmund, Napoli

    ReplyDelete
  78. Poor Celtic...after all those heroics to beat Karagounis or whoever they played, they get this =

    Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even I, a most optimistic bhoy think qualifying may be beyond us here. If we get to the Europa league it would be a top result tbh

      Delete
  79. Full Draw -

    Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad

    Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, Copenhagen

    Group C: Benfica, Paris St-Germain, Olympiakos, Anderlecht

    Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Viktoria Plzen

    Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, Basel, Steaua Bucharest

    Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli

    Group G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna

    Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic

    ReplyDelete
  80. RIBERY WINS UEFA AWARD
    Bayern Munich and France winger Franck Ribery is named the Uefa Best Player in Europe.
    --------------------------------
    Don't know why, but I really don't like this guy.

    ReplyDelete
  81. http://www.101greatgoals.com/gvideos/az-alkmaar-atromitos-europa-league-halted-due-to-technical-fire/

    And you thought Fergie had devious tricks to delay the end of a match.

    ReplyDelete
  82. One for Arsenal fans I think. It actually had me believing it was true for a few seconds!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDaubsq3mGs

    ReplyDelete
  83. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23878111

    Lots of technical info and questioning of whether 4G is better than 3G, Is Kevin Bacon's EE better than everyoen else's but still no answer to the burning issue surrounding 4G, EE and shed loads of data.

    When is Footloose 2 coming out?

    ReplyDelete
  84. As an effective procrastination tool, here are more predictions sure to be wrong...

    Champions League:

    Group A: Manchester United (1), Shakhtar Donetsk (2), Bayer Leverkusen (3), Real Sociedad (4)

    Group B: Real Madrid (1), Juventus (3), Galatasaray (2), Copenhagen (4)

    Group C: Benfica (2), Paris St-Germain (1), Olympiakos (4), Anderlecht (3)

    Group D: Bayern Munich (1), CSKA Moscow (3), Manchester City (2), Viktoria Plzen (4)

    Group E: Chelsea (1), Schalke (3), Basel (2), Steaua Bucharest (4)

    Group F: Arsenal (1), Marseille (4), Borussia Dortmund (2), Napoli (3)

    Group G: Porto (3), Atletico Madrid (1), Zenit St Petersburg (2), Austria Vienna (4)

    Group H: Barcelona (1), AC Milan (2), Ajax (3), Celtic (4)

    If all goes to plan, the final will be Chelsea over Barcelona. (Bias? What bias?)

    Europa League:
    Group A: Valencia (2), Swansea (1), Kuban Krasnodar (3), St Gallen (4)

    Group B: PSV Eindhoven (1), Dinamo Zagreb (2), Chornomorets Odesa (3), Ludogorets Razgrad (4)

    Group C: Standard Liege (1), Salzburg (3), Elfsborg (2), Esbjerg (4)

    Group D: Rubin Kazan (1), Wigan (2), Maribor (4), Zulte Waregem (3)

    Group E: Fiorentina (1), Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (2), Pacos Ferreira (3), Pandurii Targu Jiu (4)

    Group F: Bordeaux (1), APOEL (4), Eintracht (3), Maccabi Tel Aviv (2)

    Group G: Dynamo Kiev (1), Genk (4), Rapid Vienna (2), Thun (3)

    Group H: Sevilla (1), Freiburg (2), Estoril (4), Slovan Liberec (3)

    Group I: Lyon (2), Real Betis (1), Guimaraes (3), Rijeka (4)

    Group J: Lazio (1), Trabzonspor (3), Legia Warsaw (2), Apollon Limassol (4)

    Group K: Tottenham (1), Anzhi Makhachkala (4), Sheriff (2), Tromso (3)

    Group L: AZ Alkmaar (1), PAOK Thessaloniki (3), Maccabi Haifa (2), Shakhter Karagandy (4)

    If all goes to plan, the final will be Tottenham over Napoli.

    Analysis: when knowledge fails, pick chalk. Since I'm usually wrong, it could mean lots of upsets. After the group stages I'll pick again. And continue to be wrong.

    Blogs, what does your clairvoyant cat say? I'd like to see who does better between the two of us. Other predictive pet participation is welcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your prognosticating pet or other resident seer wants to join in, feel free.

      http://en.uclpredictor.uefa.com

      (I think the link works... it is the UEFA Champions League group predictor. Can't be too hard to Google.)

      Code to join: 177137-479685

      Delete
    2. Man Utd via Bayern Munich final with crying germans in extra time

      Delete
  85. Eee ...two new signings and neither of them a dratted midfielder. Lamela and Chriches both signing today.

    We've officially outspent Man City, if you ignore the fact we've more or less got our money back from selling Bale and Caulker.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hmm .... now what am I to do come deadline day? Used to be a given we'd be involved in trying to pull something good off but this year we've (surely) concluded our business now Bale's got the go ahead to bugger off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About now Perez pulls the ultimate prank, withdraws the offer and has to sell Bale to Man Utd or watch Spurs go bankrupt

      Won't happen but would be funny

      Delete
    2. That would be awkward for Bale seeing as he's decided to burn bridges by not turning up to train this week.

      Kinda surprised Barca weren't in the running for him to be honest.

      Delete
  87. Well nearly home/wine time, hope you all have a good weekend and would just like to say





    GO CHELSEA!






    ReplyDelete
  88. Mata not starting the Bayern match. I don't get it. I know these other guys are good and Mata might not fit perfectly, but what the hell, Mo?

    So he rots on the bench. What a waste. Might add a nice twist if any player of a certain age who doesn't average at least 15 minutes a match across all first-team matches can choose to terminate his own contract at the end of the season. (Maybe just domestic matches and/or a different number of minutes. But something akin to this.) Managers would have to rotate their squad or risk losing their fringe players. At least the fringe players interested in more than a paycheck.

    And Eto'o? Really? Just start Lukaku and let him have his growing pains.

    Next year we'll probably have the Cech-Courtois incarnation of Casillas-Lopez.

    Oh well. Win enough and all is forgiven.

    ReplyDelete
  89. hard luck Bells. Bring back Rafa.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Not a bad day in the transfer market.

    ReplyDelete
  91. That game convinced me that Chelsea are going to be verry hard to beat in the league this year.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Speaking of which...Soccer a.m. ....not a braincell in sight

    ReplyDelete
  93. Nice to see that I'm back to my usual FFL luck - thought City would batter Hull today so moved the C from Van Persie to Dzeko. He's just been subbed at halftime after contributing fuck all.

    Blogs, good luck to your boys today up against my second team, the not-so-mighty Wolves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dropped Mata for Silva, so apologies to anyone who has my current little Spaniard, as he won't be picking up more than three points in a match again until I drop him.

      Delete
    2. Don't worry Noel, there's a silver lining, you're playing me in both H2H leagues.

      Delete
  94. Last year, my FFL roll of the dice was Michu. After three weeks, he was on fire and I was near the top of the league. This year's gamble was Altidore. By week three, he doesn't even make the bench (possibly through injury). Thanks to Chelsea's week off (and no Altidore), I'm now conflicted over a 0-0 behind O'Shea, Ward, and Jedinak. Watch, this will be 9-8 with all three of my players sent off, yellow then straight red after being on for all the goals without scoring or assisting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure John O'Shea realized I was being facetious.

      Delete
  95. Not bombing Syria - does this mean we get to win the eurovision song contest?

    ReplyDelete
  96. Arrests after Port Vale v Wolves

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23915288

    How much of it was your doing, Blogs?

    ReplyDelete
  97. Rarely get to watch them these days Stephen, always a bit of a soap opera off the pitch at the vale tho and last few weeks looks like they've opened a living museum of 80s hooliganism.

    nostalgia's not what it used to be.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Phil Gartside should take a good look at what happened to Crystal Palace as soon as they let DF depart! Fuckin' rubbish. Still, an unbeaten run will start soon.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hi all.

    So, have we bought anyone yet? Ofcourse not, Sp*rs got them all.

    Got to laugh at all the so called experts hailing Spurs as serious title contenders because they splashed a few bob, no one can possibly know how all the new signings will settle, it may very well take a while. No doubts that they have strengthened the squad, but they are far from a team...... yet. I can tell you that their latest signing has the potential to be a very good player and is the one, I feel, got away.

    They have made Arsenal's (complete lack of) transfer activety look like gross incompetence from our management level. There will be a major backlash if there is a bad result in today's NLD.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Some talk of arsenal being near to signing Mata, H, which would put a different complexion on it. Who knows.

    Anyway I'm a Liverpool fan for the next 30 minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  101. I'm done with reading all the speculation, bloggs, it's beyongd tedious. I actualy lost interest the minute we were linked to Bitey McRacist.

    Watching Liverpool, I have no idea why they want to hang on to him. Signing of the season (for me so far) is Mignolet.

    ReplyDelete
  102. bloody hell....9 pts in 3 games...beat utd...4 wins on the trot..suarez (or hopefully his replacements) to be back in 2 games...3 FFL victories in both H2Hs on the trot..life's good.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Remember when Giggsy had to take out injunctions to ramain anonymous.

    ReplyDelete
  104. it's a sad day. One of our goldfish has died.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Sorry to heart of your bereavement, trott. Cheer yourself up with a serving of sushi.

    As for Moyes I expect him to be every bit as successful at man uterus as he was at Everton

    ReplyDelete