Monday, 16 September 2013

Diving off the Deep End

Of all the low-down divers in the low-down dive that is the den of iniquity they call the Premier League, Ashley Young is lowest, downiest, diver-iest of the lot.

First of all, he's English, and Englishmen don't dive. We leave that to oily, slippery folk from hot countries. That's right. You know who I'm talking about. Michele OwenInho, Gareth Baleiovic, Stevio Gerrardini - untrustworthy sorts, I tells ya.

Second of all, he plays for Manchester United, one of the most upstanding of names in the world of international sport. United players have a history of never falling over to win a penalty. Like ever. (And unlike Evra.)

Thirdly - and perhaps more to the point - Ashley Young doesn't actually dive properly. While many prefer to indicate the slightest of ankle-taps has thrown him off-balance, Young attempts to simulate that he's been wiped of his feet by someone wielding the trunk of a recently sawn-down redwood. He doesn't so much fall as throw himself into an invisible tumble-dryer.

Having said that, he is at the forefront of a new and subtle variation in the art of diving. Falling over when no one has touched you can make you look a bit silly. Ashley counteracts this by kicking his opponent's leg before going over. This has caused all sorts of confusion for the regular pundit who will tell you that 'if there is contact he is entitled to go down'. Given that football is a contact sport, we are in serious danger here of losing the plot entirely.

The Young approach is akin to the old joke of the police officer's report that states that 'the suspect repeatedly smashed his face into my boot for a good ten minutes' before he confessed. The fact that Ashley has been warned about this appallingly blatant somersaulting before just adds to a sense of frustration about the player. (That and the fact that he's another of these England internationals who is promising at 22 and NEVER GETS ANY BETTER AFTER THAT).

The referee did well to book Young on Saturday. The irony is of course that the same player won a penalty kick a little later on as a direct result of trying not to fall over. If you watch the incident again you will see Young's feet start to stutter and stammer as he tries to overrule his now natural inclination to try a couple of Nadia Comaneci flick-flacks as he makes his way into the box. Dikcagoi makes a clumsy effort to get the ball, but nothing much more than that, and Young goes down anyway in the inelegant heap that would have happened even if the Palace man hadn't nudged him.

But this is the problem with these serial offenders like Ashley Young. I'm told that practice makes perfect; that the way a sportsman becomes very good at something is through repetition of tedious routine until that action becomes automatic.

You can't tell me that Young hasn't been practising. He has a little trigger, a muscle memory if you like, so that his inevitable response to going past someone in the penalty area is to cartwheel through the air like a bit of tumbleweed. He can't actually help it. Much like a batsman can't help lolloping a short ball down long leg's throat, or a golfer tends towards the draw in a tee-shot.

Except in football it's what's known as fucking cheating. So we wonder why Ashley Young can't just stop fucking cheating. And we find that the answer might just be to penalise the little bleeder severely until he unlearns his sinful little addiction.

So how do we do this?

Well first of all, as David Moyes has done, players and managers (and fans) need to condemn it whole-heartedly. A goal has been scored through the overt deceit of your player, your teammate. And not through the incompetence of the officials. And yet too often you get club representative shrugging their shoulders, grinning wryly and muttering the tired old maxim of 'winning some and losing some'.

The Crystal Palace chairman says the ref should give a red card for diving. Yes, mate. If he's absolutely certain, then he should. Especially if it is an attempt to win a penalty. However more often than not there's an uproar precisely because the bloke's got away with it. And in that case, you're a goal down and the punishment has to be retrospective.

Now to anyone but those folk who believe that the world spins on a stick of celery and is rotated twice a day by a giant marmoset with sticky hands, the idea that the FA haven't yet been able to introduce serious retrospective bans for simulation is simply gob-smacking.

It is the most obvious thing that can be done NOW, straight-away, to say that anyone found guilty of successfully conning the referee into awarding a penalty kick shall be given a three-match ban minimum. If he does it again, double the ban. So what if that means that Luis Suarez never plays another game of football? It would work.

Me, I'd go further. Humiliate the cheating little bastards. If you want to be a diver, you've got to dress like one. Ashley Young should play the next match in body paint and budgie smugglers. If he transgresses again, he plays his next match in snorkel and flippers (and he MUST be selected in both instances).

While said player is missing games he plays an important role in the half-time entertainment - a large paddling pool is pulled on to the pitch and small children take turns pushing the little sneak into the water. Then we strap him to a cart and he is given of lap of dishonour during which fans may boo, hiss and jeer, throw half-eaten pies, to their hearts' content.

If that weren't enough, I would make them explain themselves on national television, like disgraced Japanese businessmen sometimes do. Hell, let's get Piers Morgan to interview them. Let's see the contrition.

As it is, the FA lie motionless like basking seals, barking out the odd complaint but doing, appropriately enough, FA. It is ridiculous.

I don't really know anyone who has anything but contempt for the falling-over brigade. Ashley Young couldn't be less popular if he became an estate agent in his spare time. This is actually a very straightforward issue. Ban the Divers. Properly. Outside of the marital bed, there's no place for simulation.













218 comments:

  1. Finally a first ...!

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  2. Half eaten pies Robbo?

    NEVER!!!!

    As for dressing to fit the crime,I quite like that.It could be taken further of course.John Terry would never wear the official Chelsea strip again.

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  3. Half eaten pies Robbo?

    NEVER!!!!

    As for dressing to fit the crime,I quite like that.It could be taken further of course.John Terry would never wear the official Chelsea strip again.

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  4. Yep good stuff RR.

    The cheats need to be called out, it's literaly ruining the game. Referee's get taken off the roster when they make mistakes, but it's players like Young that are making a tough job even harder, so why can't they be suspended too?

    Let's take a Poll;

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2421457/GRAHAM-POLL-Young-cheat-banned-matches-stop-conning-referees.html?ICO=most_read_module

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  5. Is it true that Ashley Young is taking lessons from Tom Daley?

    Spider

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    Replies
    1. I thought Ashley Young was giving Tom Daley lessons.

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  6. Just read the Poll piece. We is singing from the same hymn sheet. And really it is so flaming obvious it makes me weep for the state of our game that nothing's happened before now.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed.

      Forget all the vid tech and what nots, just let common sense rule.

      Apparently not as easy as it sounds.

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  7. The ref must have caught sight of old purple nose sitting in the stand and felt obliged to give the pen and red card. Let's face it....only at old trafford.

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    Replies
    1. Yawn! What was Fergie going to do? Scowl at him?

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  8. He's hardly the first to do the kicking yer opponents leg thing. Pires perfected that many years ago. But agree entirely otherwise!

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  9. good stuff Robbo, first reaction was same as Jack's, what a waste of a perfectly good half eaten pie that would be.

    If Moyes is being honest, he can impose his own non-selection ban. So can any other manager who has the interests of the game at heart. Problem is they don't because the plot has already been lost!

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  10. Good stuff Robbo, except for one thing. NOT Piers f**king Morgan, please. Can't agree with anything that gives that smug self-satisfied p1110ck any more exposure on TV or anywhere. And anyway, Piers is under investigation for phone hacking, which is illegal and so a type of cheating.

    Oh, and you wouldn't want to throw half eaten pies at Rooney. You know what would happen.


    Jedi

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  11. Never liked the fuckin turd anyway! Suarez also has a penchant for diving. It spoils the game, especially if a penalty is given & converted.

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  12. That half eaten pie probably worth a couple of pounds Robbo, #priceoffooty etc. That's two bucks more than worth spending on Young.

    Speaking of price of things, having watched the first 4 games they've played so far, what the hell did Pellegrini see in Fernandinho that convinced him he was worth 30 million ? 30 fucking million ? He is a fitter Mikel. Why didn't anyone, Liverpool included, want to spend the 11 million on Eriksen that Spurs eventually got him for. Given his skill, that's bargain basement price. Hell, we spen 18 mil on Sakho, when we had 4 other center backs (most of them are almost always crocked admittedly).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Erikson is the only player that Spurs bought that I would of liked to see at Arsenal.

      A very, very good player. Was the stand out guy at Ajax, in fact even in the whole of the Ere Divisie over the last few years. 12 mill (euros) is an absolute steal.

      Delete
    2. Well, you didnt really need him though, you got Flamini. Teehee.

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    3. Aargh.this is what I get for being a smart ass. Wanted to avoid Giroud's fee going up in the FFL owing to his performance this week, so went and transferred him in before the gameweek ended, only to find out he's probably going to be out injured for a bit.

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    4. Yeah, we got some guy called Özil too, but he probably wont work out. ;)

      ps Giroud should be OK, according to his own tweets.

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    5. Eriksen certainly looks a good signing (esp at £11.5m for a 21 yo with that much experience), and, based on the NLD, Spurs needed someone like him. I still think the Gooners didn't need Ozil (even though he'll improve the team), and I can't understand why United didn't go for him. They're crying out for some creativity in midfield.


      Jedi

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  13. wouldnt go for bodypaint, more a ballet suit in club colours and whenever he goes down its a free kick for the opponents
    i have no idea what budgie smugglers are

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    Replies
    1. Aussie for Speedos

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    2. aka stomach churning, depending on who is wearing them.

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    3. Obviously not if worn by the Yummy One (Easy, Bells, easy..... just don't go there)

      Spider

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  14. Another insightful blast of Robbo-isms. Missed most of this week's matches due to being away from television and internet. Scary, that. Not recommended. Not as bad as watching the dive, as I might have gone apoplectic had I seen it live.

    ----

    For those of you in need of more fantasy leagues, all via UEFA's official website...

    Champions League: 177137-474903
    Europa League: 177137-503195

    Champions League Group Predictor: 177137-479685
    Champions League Match Predictor: 177137-481473
    Champions League Combined Predictor: 177137-482622
    Europa League Match Predictor: 177137-482627

    The first two will count toward the overall fantasy table and involve picking actual fantasy sides.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind offer Stephen but in view of my positions in all the FFL leagues, I may have to decline there is only so much humiliation I prepared to take :)

      AH - am I only 150points adrift? Possibly picking players because of their names was not the best tactic but hey ho and I should just like to add



      GO SWANSEA

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    2. Okie, I'm lost. What does Batley Townswomen mean Stephen?

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    3. What do you make of Moses being loaned out BHB? Good for all parties concerned ?

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    4. Btw..aint nothing wrong with the picking based on names alone. I just did that for Stephen's CL and EL fantasy leagues.

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    5. Well you must have a better judgement of names than what I do AH! :)

      As for Moses loan, hopefully it wont turn out too well for you ! but beats him just warming the bench for us and don't think he would have got many chances to play for Chelsea this season.

      On subject of loan players, despite his god awful penalty in the (not very) Super Cup I actually would have like to see how Lukaku played/developed for us.

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    6. AH: The Batley Townswomen's Guild do some very accurate historical reenactments.

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

      BHB: C'mon. You know you want in. I picked my players the same way AH did. You can ignore the predictors if you want; I probably won't keep up with them after a couple matchdays of getting everything wrong. But other than our combo of BPL/CL/EL, where else can you pick a bunch of mercenaries from Manchester in three different leagues through the course of one season?

      Delete
  15. ok but what about scenarios like welbeck's yellow card for diving when it should have been a penalty what post hoc humiliation should the ref suffer. the problem is how you establish mens rea (nothing to do with joey barton's newfound? interest in manlove) and then it starts to get complicated

    i think you can end up over complicating what is basically the simple game with panels, complex sanctions, video replays, airconditioned desert stadia, truth and reconciliation councils etc etc etc when basically you KICK THE FECKING BALL live with honest mistakes and get on with the fecking game

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  16. Well there's the problem that yellow cards don't get overturned even when they are patently unearned. It seems fair enough to me that players should have cards rescinded if it can be established that the player did not dive. the difference is simply that a ref is making a honest mistake. If a player wins a penalty and it is obvious that that player cheated then ban the li'l fecker. Not a problem.

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    1. Robbo, somewhere at the back of my mind (admittedly a very scary place) isn't there some UEFA/FIFA regulation about say, the FA not being allowed to impose penalties different from other member countries? I think that was what scuppered the yellow card points totting up system (1 for tecnical offence up to 4 for trip, heavy tackle etc. 12 points = 1 match ban) I thought that was a good system because it differentiated the severity of the offence. No doubt if I am barking up the wrong tree (instead of just being plain barking) one of the regulars will enlighted me. Anyway, to cut to the chase, the FA won't do anything because they're shit-scared of the Prem League throwing their toys out of the pram.

      Spider

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    2. I've never understood why red cards can be rescinded but not yellow. The argument has been that red cards cause players to miss games. Well, so do 5 yellow cards, so isn't the premise essentially the same in both cases ?

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  17. Maybe if we just banned all the players we disliked. I'll sit on that committee.

    Or if you are caught diving for a penalty, you are sent off and your opponent is awarded a penalty, instead.

    Or retroactive diving punishments that erase points from teams whose players cheated.

    Or decapitation for repeat offenders.

    Not sure any of those are severe enough, though.

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    Replies
    1. Not a bad plan, though John Terry and Luis Suarez would probably never play again (scrap that: excellent plan).


      Jedi

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  18. Fucking Michu!! But probably typed at the other end of the emotion scale than when AH just typed it.

    Yep, spot on with your thoughts Robbo. Rugby League has it right - anything that players get away with in a match is just taken as human error on the part of the ref, they can't see everything etc etc, but then the match review committee (a committee that review matches) look over every game and hand out punishments retrospectively. Points are accumulated and bans handed out when certain point levels are reached. Weightings for previous offences, severity of injuries caused (a contentious issue) and nature of offence. Clubs have the opportunity to challenge any discipline points. If successful then the points are taken off, and if the challenge is unsuccessful, then more points are added. I don't think a system which everyone agrees on will ever be implemented, but this system works very well in rugby league.

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  19. Well, at least I get to lose to AH in all leagues. Fantasy leagues, anyway. No matter how poorly I do--and I'm doing my damnedest--at least Chelsea will always be ahead of Liverpool in the real thing.

    Oh crap.

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  20. aaaaaaaagh ok. So somebody has to try and defend this b0llocks so I will give it a shot otherwise your comments will be as dull as a Chelsea play book.

    Cheating has been part of the game since - well forever. I remember Joe Jordan breaking a forwards jaws when the ref was not looking. So if its "well hard" that makes it ok, but if its a bit sissy (like diving) that makes it worse?

    Armies of fans shouting 'hand ball' to try and con the ref - is that different? Well ok yes fans don't get paid squillians to show us their skills but still - it is a tad hypocritical.

    I think what folk in the UK are saying is that pathetic cheating should be met with the death penalty, whereas skillful arty or violent cheating is part of the game? Or am I misreading the nations mood?

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    Replies
    1. Nik, I agree that cheating is part of the game. But so is policing cheating. Increasing monitoring of cheating makes the cheats up their game (of cheating). Keeps them honest, so to speak.



      You have to learn to dive somewhere. I know I've posted this before, but for those of you who haven't seen it yet...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj6Onp_Hxt0

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    2. I think it's more to do with the way the FA seem to arbitrate retrospectively on such things. If you twat someone like Joe Jordan did then you won't get away with it after the game anymore. But diving - which granted is a more effete way of cheating - is not subject to the same rigour from the FA but is just as bad (if you overlook the broken bones issue). There seems to be no good reason why Young shouldn't get a red card for his blatant cheating or at least have it upgraded to a red by the FA on reviewing it. Except it is the FA, so... don't hold your breath.

      Delete
    3. Nice video, Stephen. First thing I thought of when I read the blog.

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    4. Robbo, you are right about Young and the whole nod-and-a-wink diving culture that supports them. They, and the polluted water they swim in, should be flushed.

      But I don't know why you expect the £A (like the nice new logo I've done for them?) to do anything about it. Does the culture of committing fouls actually cost the £A anything? No.

      Allowing cheating actually makes them money! It massively increases the controversy content of every match, generates media interest and fan rage (=involvement). In showbusiness, there is no such thing as bad publicity - unless it affects revenue.

      So they won't do anything until it costs them money.

      It wasn't until terrace violence got financially problematic that they did anything about that. Ditto racism - the smell of big fines and legislation burning under the grill got the useless bastards out of bed before noon for once.

      So what can be done?

      Well, about 20 years ago an Italian sports rag mischievously printed a whole season of Serie A tables adjusted to take account of cheating, i.e. removing the results influenced by penalties and scoring free kicks achieved by diving.

      This was a lot of fun - and increasingly different from the actual table as the season went on - but it could also prove very useful.

      If we had a major media player providing such a resource on a weekly basis (TheTrueScoreIndex.com anyone?), not only would we have a shaming example we could point to, but the results couldbe used by those poor unfortunate people who DO have financial interest at stake and whose customers and business DO suffer as the result of the FA allowing an inferior product to thrive.

      Yes, there is an entire impoverished but vocal and legally active minority community who are prepared to fight for their and our right to fair football.

      That's right, I'm talking about the bookies. Want more people to bet on football? Right. Make it visibly clean then. Who bets on WWF for fuck's sake?

      So can we convince the bookies to start taking the £A to task for allowing cheating to continue?

      Can they refuse to pay out on games where Ashley wins it on his artistic merit points?

      Horse race betting survives because their cheats are smart enough to stay invisible. Any appearance of slacking off in the last hundred metres is swiftly and harshly dealt with.

      Only football lets them away with it in broad daylight.

      To the barricades! Or to the bar, then....

      Here are some helpful pub discussion points:

      If they started letting jockeys stop for a pint in the last furlong would there be even more charity shops in your high street?

      How is in-game cheating radically different from match fixing where both teams have an attempted fix in?

      The betting markets hold the key...

      Delete
  21. Good on ya cobber;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24122625

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  22. Divers should be beaten to death by a giant sticky handed marmoset wielding a stick of celery that'll learn em

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    Replies
    1. Ah Bloggidy. It's you who started that creation myth. I knew it was one of you.

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  23. DISCLAIMER

    no that's definitely one of yours Derek!

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  24. A large finger should be wagged at anybody caught diving. After that divers should be forced to go down on Nora Batty (second offence). If that doesn't work, water-boarding, followed by electrocution and ultimately execution by half eaten pies.

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    Replies
    1. How's that going to stop Rooney taking the plunge?

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    2. More like encouragement, H2!


      Jedi

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  25. Ban all the bastards. With all the A teams out on the sidelines, the b-teams made up of the great unused England youth which is becoming the ruin of our national team might get an outing and gain half a clue as how to play when they get called up.

    There, all crises solved in one fell stroke.

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  26. As a United fan, one born and bred in Manchester, there are a few, but exiled to the land of American football for my sin,s I have another solution.

    All cheaters have to undergo one on one training sessions in a small room with the likes of Norman Hunter of Leeds fame, Tommy Smith ex Liverpool hardman, or for those too young to remember them, Brian Robson, Roy Keane or even Terry Butcher. Don't remember them then I give up.

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  27. I remember in the seventies when a certain Mr. Shilton had been caught in the back of a car with a lady. A picture of a bottom was in the news. Anyway, the next week Forest were playing Liverpool and in the second half Shilton was at the cop end.

    Suddenly, the whole cop started throwing underpants shouting "oi you forgot these".

    Shilts enjoyed the joke (true leg-end) but he never did it again. So maybe at the next game the away fans should throw speedo's at Young - if that happens enough the shame might be enough to stop him?

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    Replies
    1. My brother went to that game and said they were also chanting 'Peter Shilton Peter Shilton, does your Mrs know you're here' Polite.

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  28. That might be a bit subtle for him. Flippers (not the dolphin) or scuba gear might do it though.

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  29. This Chelsea squad rotation is not working.

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  30. Missing Rafa muchly? Wonder how he's getting along in his home game against last year's runners up, who have won 5/5 in the bundesliga this season.
    Oh.

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  31. I guess you were at the Tour of Britain today Jacks? How was it? Very jealous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was offered VIP tickets for the Grand Depart Noel,but to be honest they only roll out and start racing about 5kms down the road.Seeing as I wouldn't see any physical racing,I declined.

      However,the hotel is already booked for the Tour in Yorkshire next year.

      Delete
  32. BHB, do us all a favor and sweet talk the The Especially Confused One into taking the shackles off. Go with handcuffs if he likes restraint, but keep all the bullshit out of the team selection. Yes, it worked before, but this is a different Chelsea squad.

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    Replies
    1. Heard Maureen being interviewed this morning.He's suggesting that the squad isn't mature enough.

      I know he spouts a load of old toot at times,but that's hilarious.

      Delete
    2. Time to start a "sack Jose, bring back Rafa" campaign, I reckon.


      Jedi

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    3. I don't know which way to go with that Jedi.

      Yes,because it would be funny,

      or,

      No,because he's a bloody good manager.

      Delete
  33. Don't know whether to laugh or be disappointed about the Chelsea result - it's funny in a way because everyone mocked United when we drew with Basle at home and lost away and now we see them turning over this season's supposed title favourites at home.

    Disappointed a bit as it affects England's UEFA co-efficient

    Main worry is Liverpoo are top of the league and the idea of that smug prat Rodgers lifting a trophy at the end of the season is enough to make anybody sick

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    Replies
    1. Coutinho out for 6 weeks and Suarez going to probably take just a little less than that to get back into form will take care of that Adam, no worries.

      Delete
  34. I'd go for laugh, Adam (sorry Bells). And I shouldn't worry too much about Liverpool. Top 6 or 7 but the only trophy will be a cup.


    Jedi

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  35. Given The Yummy Ones obsession with eggs, Om-letting you off with that Jedi. Mr BHB thinks Mourinho is more of The Special Needs One at moment.

    Still early days and at best you can think last nights match was a successful start to the campaign (of retaining Europa Cup that is)

    Not entirely sure why teachers pet Lampard seems to be indespensible at the moment, he has his place in the team but don't think it warrants him playing as much as he does. Really don't know what the problem is with playing the fantastic Three Amigos together as much as possible, not only were they successful added a bit of flair to the games.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe he isn't all he's cracked up to be.

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    2. Addled thinking? Or doesn't he think Mata is hard-boiled enough? Bells, if you want flair, you don't want Mourinho. Simple.


      Jedi

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  36. I think he just doesn't like Mata

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  37. Chelsea need to buy a couple of midfielders.....15 clearly isn't enough.

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  38. Absolutely nothing to do with football but for those of you with young children whos birthdays are coming up, here's an idea for a present

    http://www.firebox.com/product/3916

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you trying to traumatise all kids forever?

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    2. It is probably for the best I don't have children Adam :) but seriously the by-line of They've gone to Teddy Heaven amused me a LOT

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  39. Looks like they're playing in Winter now ...... fucking joke and don't try telling me cash didn't trade hands when they awarded it to Qatar KNOWING they couldn't possibly pull it off in the summer.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24160879

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    Replies
    1. the only way we will ever win it again is in a winter competition. they're all knackered or injured in the summer. we know its all corrupt but personally i cant get too upset about the prem's tv schedules being messed up.

      Delete
  40. In other news, Andorra and Sam Marino might finally get a beatable opponent in qualifying ...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24158900

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    Replies
    1. Does this now clear the way for the Falkland Isles to set up a national team? I'd love to see that, just to piss Argentina off.

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    2. they've already got scotland, star

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    3. We have one. They're worse than useless.

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  41. no egg puns yet. who's going to be the first to crack?

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    Replies
    1. I was going to poach a few off you Blogs

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    2. Cmon Bells, I'm sure you can scramble some on your own.

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    3. I did my best to ovoid them.

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  42. Your boots made an excellent stay to their defence of the Europa cup last night bells

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  43. Autocorrect is the bean of my life

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  44. been on a golf trip, played crap, news filtered in of Chelsea's result, that garnered a chuckle (or was it a cluck). But fuck me, we need a laugh in these bleak days of the fight for Championship survival. It's a cruel world. Has Di Matteo got a job yet?

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  45. We are playing football in the winter in a desert.

    A man who cost one hundred million squid to play wont be there.

    Alcohol is not allowed OUTSIDE the ground but could be allowed inside.

    All of this because of the $hit of dinosaurs.

    And they say drugs will mess with yer mind !

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  46. This from a retort on the Swansea/Valencia match....

    Before the match Valencia's full-back Andrés Guardado had, like José Mourinho, been talking eggs. The difference is that in Spain the word for "eggs" is also slang for testicles. 

    So mourinho its saying his squad is a load of Bollocks?

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  47. Valencia were certainly bollocks last night. Brilliant result for Swansea (and fully deserved, with some good football). I remember when the Mestalla was a fortress.


    Jedi

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  48. Why does the Tour of Britain bother with a King of the Mountains jersey? Shouldn't it be King of the Hills? All but a couple miles of the Tour of Utah took place at higher elevation than Ben Nevis. I know, I know, incline. But look at the climb on this stage...

    http://www.tourofutah.com/2013/stages/panguitch-to-torrey

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  49. Ought to call it King of the Roadhumps here Stephen ... I lost count how many times I've been driving and found myself up against hors-categorie road humps in the middle of the bloody road.

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  50. It's nearly wine time on a Friday afternoon so have good weekend everyone

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  51. BHB must have shared some wine with her Special One.

    "I don't like the way Chelsea were playing in the last couple of years. The club doesn't like it and we want to change," Mourinho said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24177905

    Would those be the years Chelsea won the Champions League and Europa League? It wasn't always pretty, but it sure seemed effective. Not as if he's going to have us playing the beautiful game, either.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Told ya. Without coutinho and Suarez we're screwed. Atleast McBite is back next game on. This is why we should've spent 11 mil on Eriksen instead of 15 on Sakho (who is pretty good I must say, but not our priority seeing as we had 3-4 others in that place).

    ReplyDelete
  53. So who's going to get sacked first then; Dougie Freedman or Paolo di Canio?

    ReplyDelete
  54. A tight race, that is Noel, we should know very soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. diggin' his own grave with shit like this.....Bolton boss Dougie Freedman said:
      "I think my job is very safe. I don't ignore speculation surrounding my job but I don't feel the pressure of it.
      "When you've been in the game for so long you learn to deal with speculation about being sacked. It doesn't faze me at all and it's my job to take the blame away from my players.
      "I understand more than anyone exactly what we have to do to turn things around. We need a couple of players in on loan and time to gel as a team."

      Delete
  55. we should chip in and get him a trophy.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Apparently, Rodgers misunderstood what his goal for the season was. In an interview he was quoted as saying "They said top after four, well, we were top after four".

    ReplyDelete
  57. So, di Canio won the sack race.

    I thought it was a risky appointment in the first place, but to be honest, he did what he was brought in to do and that was keep Sunderland up last term. They then gave him free reign to bring in literaly an entire new team, on and off the pitch, only to kick him out after just five games? That seems almost Abromovich like ridiculous to me.

    Yes, he was different, but we all knew that already, a guy who always refers to himself in the third person is pretty much teetering on the edge of what many refer to as insanity, but they needed a big jolt to the system that's why they hired him in the first place. I personaly don't endoarse the way he criticised his team in the media, but its not like they're made of glass (bless) and maybe some of them actually deserved it.

    I saw his team take on Arsenal last week and they played some good stuff, with a bit of luck they may very well of taken something out of the game, there are a lot of new faces in there maybe given time they would of improved.

    All I can find now is that he was sacked due to players not liking him, That seems a pretty poxy reason to me. Which players didn't like him? Most of them have only been there for a few weeks and were broughtin by him. Why have these players have the power to be able to influence the board into sacking the gaffer? Just because he called them out in public? That can't be right.

    All in all a bit of a mess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. he seemed to think he was mussolini, H. that pantomime at the end of the match made we wonder if he was the full ticket - talking to your fans like they were children - keepa your chin up! - what a load of pony. you cant criticise your team in one breath then in the next say youre trying to keep the pressure off them. it makes no sense. it was all about him and his silly italian ego.

      Delete
    2. Agread Blogs.

      But that's who he was. I don't remember any Mackems complaining when he was dancing with them after beating the Geordies, nor none crying too much when he kept them up, even though they were shit then too.

      He was dipped in contreversy, from his facist salute to his own self importance, what you saw is what you got, it's not like he changed over the last few months because he was a PL manager, he was always that geezer and that's why I think the blame must lie at boardroom level.

      You knew it, I knew it, anyone with even a little knowledge of him could see it would most probably end badly..... Why didn't they?

      Delete
    3. It's what did for Roy Keane at Sunderland teh poor little players being told off when they lose and criticised if it was their fault. Six Managers in 5 years tells its own story and clubs that do that will never be successful.

      Arsenal may not have won anything for ages but that may still have been the case if they chopped and changed and their stability has been a good thing as it was at Man Utd. Chelsea seem to be the only team who can sack a manager every season and still win stuff (strange though)

      Delete
    4. That's only because of the financial doping that Abromovich has brought with him.

      Delete
  58. No one going to comment on last weekend's top, but only over the last three years, massive derby?

    No? O.K, I'll do the honours....

    Holy shit, United got manhandled, for the first 50 minutes they looked a second rate team, midtable at best...............Oh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. arsenal have been the butt of the jokes for a year two now it's united's turn. as i predicted ... moyes a pale ginger reflection of the ferguson template

      anyone think saf would have retired if he thought he had a premiership winning team? nah me neither

      man city the team to beat this year plus whoever lands rooney in january (ie chelsea or arsenal)

      Delete
    2. We were rubbish and he'd better start winning games as 1 point from 9 against teams in the top 6 is crap.

      Welbeck is not United quality and needs to be binned along with Ashley Young andHernandez given more chances and Lingard and Janujsz (think that's how you spell it) brought through swiftly.

      One question that puzzles me is why get Nani to sign a new contract then not play him as he is far better than Young or Valencia

      Delete
    3. and Smalling isn't good enough, Rio and Evra are near the end of their great careers. Still, 150-200 million quid will fix everything

      Delete
    4. I don't think you quite need that much.

      Solutions are

      Keep Phil Jones fit and play him at centre back
      Garaly from Benfica - £15M
      Luke Shaw from Southampton - £18M
      Play Nani instead of Young - free
      play Janujasz - free
      Juan Mata - £30M
      a world class central midfielder - £40M
      Make Fellaini into a solid defesive midfielder - free
      Use Jesse Lingard and Nick Powell instead of loaning them out places (free)
      Sign Lukaku £20M

      Sell Ashley Young for £15M
      Sell Welbeck for £15M
      Hit Cleverly round the head until he remembers what a midfielder does

      Smalling and Evans are decent back up defenders so would keep them

      Net spend £93M and we would have an outstanding team.

      Delete
    5. don't forget.....buy David Ngog for 57million.

      Delete
  59. Di Canio had it coming the moment he signed up Borini on loan. That had to be the last straw. Too bad though. If he had stayed on till Jan, we mighta been able to get rid of Borini mark 2 (viz. Aspas).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I come out in a rash if I have to watch Liverpool play football I can't speak first hand but, living in Vigo and having seen Aspas play the last two seasons I'm surprised to hear he's not doing so well on Merseyside. He was way too good to stay at Celta and I was disappointed when he went to Anfield. Anyway, as a Gooner I don't mind if he turns out to be rubbish for Liverpool, just feel a bit sad for him if it doesn't work out. Still, his bank balance will probably make it easier to take for him.

      Rastafairy.

      Delete
    2. Unsurprisingly it was oustandingly disciplined British footballers like Phil Bardsley, Comor Whickham & Adam Johnson that did for DiCanio. Also the idea of selling a player that got arrested for drink-driving when he should have been at the match wasn't well received (not sure why though) - maybe they shouldn't have sacked Steve Bruce.

      Oh well I guess Tony Pulis to the rescue it is then

      Delete
    3. Actually, I'm being a little unfair on him seeing as he's only started 3 games so far, maybe needs a little time to gel. Early signs are troublingly similar to Borini - excellent movement and positioning, horrible finishing. Unfortunately for him, Sturridge does not pass, so even when he gets into an ideal scoring position, instead of getting the pass all he can do is watch Sturridge shoot at goal from an impossible angle.

      Delete
  60. Yeah Blogidy, you and me both on Moyes.

    SAF was one of a kind, an Ubermanager, he squeezed evey last drop of talent juice out of his players, Moyes is not necessarily a bad manager, but it was always going to be a hiding to nothing for whoever took over from his Sirship.

    I noticed a major difference in the two yesterday, with United all but beaten in the early throws of the second half, Moyes looked resigned to their fate, slumped lifelessly in his padded chair. Can you imagine Fergie doing that? Fuck no, he'd of been prowling the touchline, jedi mindtricking his players into performing better while chewing out the fourth officials ear about, well, whatever. Fergie could literaly will his team to win, I'm not sure Moyes can do the same, but it's early days yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fergies mental powers wre legendary but I agree demeanour is important and if the manager appears resigned to a defeat the players will too.

      If he is furious with the defeat then he needs to drop certain players for the next league game. Welbeck out for Hernandez as he's scored his 2 for the season, Nani in for Young and Anderson in for Carrick or Fellaini as I think we always look a bit better with Anderson in the side. Could go 4-2-3-1 with Anderson and Carrick/ Cleverly holding, Nani & Valencia on the wings with Kagawa behind Rooney if RVP not fit.

      Delete
    2. Relax, you're next game is against us. We'll probably be playing all 6 center backs this time, seeing as playing 4 against soton didnt work.

      Delete
    3. Anderson will never be any good either. Kagawa should get an extended run.

      Delete
    4. Nothing to do with me, H2.


      Jedi

      Delete
    5. I bet you wish it was though, eh.

      Bringing down the Evil manc Empire, you'd be the hero of the galaxy. ;)

      Delete
  61. No one likes to see Man Utd struggling heh heh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my mate, Scouse Phil, seems to like it. A stream of expletives interwoven with raucous laughter emenated from his gob yesterday.

      Delete
  62. As for Arsenal, I'm not going to get overly confident yet, but we have reacted well to the awful start against Villa. Joint top with Sp#rs, is great after five games, but like them, the only team that we have played from the traditional top six clubs are each other, we scraped that one, but that could of went either way.. I don't think either should be judged untill we have gone up against the Mancs, Chelski or Liverpoo.

    That said, the neighbours will probably improve the more they play toghether, although Andre Village idiot really shouldn't complain about how many fixtures his poor little lambs are to be subjected to, if he wants to be a manager at a top club, then he has to accept the burden of competing on many fronts, afteral, he is aiming to get into the top 4 and with that comes CL football which is a step up from the competition that they are in this year, plus he has bolstered his squad considerably so I'm not really sure what he's bitching about.

    Arsenal are looking like a team that is not short on spirit, I think we're finaly starting to see the fortitude and mental strengthen that Le Boss is always harping on about, Ozil is a great addition, he brings something that we have been missing,especially at set pieces, Giroud is also doing well. The revelation, which brings me great joy as I always had faith that he would come good after almost having his career cut short, is Ramsey. What a player, he has worked unbelievably hard to be where he is today and had to endure quite a lot of stick from certain sections of the support, that he come so far is a testiment to him and the manager for keeping faith.

    Many say our downfall will be a lack of depth, they may be right, but with Arteta (almost) , Diaby (never), Oxlade Chamberlain, Rosicky, Podolski and Santi Cazorla to come back in, I think we may be OK. Add a striker in January and we may just be in with a shot at something. ( *whispers)

    ReplyDelete
  63. My gut feeling is that AVB was making his excuses early, and wants to field a second string team (we have Chelski at home on Saturday, which is more important). So far, we seem to be "doing a Gooners" and not conceding goals, which is a useful place to start. The goals do look like coming too.

    Ozil always was going to add some class, even if I think the Gooners needed cover in other areas more urgently. We shall see how long it lasts. A lot depends on your defence staying together: not sure how much cover there is. And Giroud will stop scoring at some stage: happens to all strikers.


    Jedi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think our defence is that shabby, only prone to the occasional brain fart.

      I think Spurs are in the same boat, as I feel your defence is your weakest link and wasn't strengthened. Lloris, I feel was very lucky only to get just a yellow card from two handlings of the ball outside the box in the last two league games, still a very very good keeper though.

      Delete
    2. I just noticed that AvB has been at it again, moaning about the Villa fixture claiming it would be "impossible to win"/ I was efering to his comments last week when he had to put out a team in the Europa League.

      Delete
  64. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says the striker is "really champing at the bit to help the team" after his ban.
    ==========================
    Rather unfortunate turn of phrase from BR. Unless of course, it literally is true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He can't help himself can he?

      Last week he was giving it;

      "But now we are just churning out wins and if we can't win we are drawing games with resilient performances, like in the last 25 minutes against Swansea."

      cue defeat to southampton.

      He just keep quiet and get on with it, or legaly change his name to David Brentan Rodgers

      Delete
  65. Ooh ..Rafa's got Napoli top of the Serie A. Wins against Dortmund and AC Milan within 4 days. Got to give credit to the man. I'm glad he got a chance to manage a good but relatively low profile team.

    On PdC - I think everyone agrees it's not a shocker that he was sacked. Stupid to let a manager that you werent sure about bring in 14 new players and sell one of your best attacking players.

    ReplyDelete
  66. On this AVB moaning about fixtures thing - he's not moaning about having to play all these games in a week, he's moaning about having to play two days after a previous game, as he's found some scientific proof that the second day of recovery is the most dangerous in terms of a player injuring himself. So when the League Cup has games on the Tuesday and the Wednesday night, he doesn't know why we were scheduled to play on the Tuesday, instead of the Wednesday after last playing on Sunday. Man Utd, for example, played Tuesday-Sunday-Wednesday whereas we play Thursday-Sunday-Tuesday. That's his complaint, not that we have to play too many games.

    Also, how we have added depth to the squad - we signed 7 players but also released 8, although one of those was David Bentley, so let's call it an even 7.

    But as Jedi said, it's just an excuse as he's going to field a weakened team.

    Agree about Lloris too H. A yellow was fair last week as there were covering defenders, but a very lucky boy this week.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Re:Ar***al.

    I suspect that the quiet resigning of Flamini has made all the difference thus far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. He's the player they've needed since.... well, since he left.

      Delete
  68. He is part of it, Jacks, and Noel, yes, he left a hole that we never really replaced. But, if you look at the final third of last season, or start at Bayern away, then you'll notice that this form has been going on a lot longer then from the second game of this season.

    I believe that the win at the Allienz was the catalyst, not the new arrivals. (although they certainly have helped)

    ReplyDelete
  69. sunderland have to employ an italian as di canio brought in so many italian staff the dressing room must look like a hairdressing convention but they cant afford to sack them all. so how about berlusconi? bellendatelli? and are all italians a bit mad?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Well, if I ever meet Monica Belluci, I hope she is really, really mad.

    ReplyDelete
  71. couldnt agree more Jacks, the team looks much more balanced now, hope Wenger does not rotate him with Arteta now that he is fit.

    --BeeZee

    ReplyDelete
  72. it'll all go to shit soon enough. We sarted with mancs good and liverpool good, gooners shite, chelsea good, spurs crap, City crap, now three or 4 weeks later all that was shit is gold and all that was gold is shit. The only team that was shit and became more shit, is Bolton. Beware the ides of September.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i thought the term is shitter ... shit and shitter

      Delete
  73. It's like the good book says trot, they that were good shall be shit, yae verily down unto the third generation, for many are shit but few shall be unbelievably ubershit

    ReplyDelete
  74. First book of the bible is Genesis and Phil Collins is pretty shit, so your theorey is indeed correct.

    ReplyDelete
  75. yay though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Fat Sam I shall fear no Evil, for Ngod is with me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Long walk Trotts. Big Sam casts a big shadow. Ngog would still miss it, though.


      Jedi


      Jedi

      Delete
  76. Aston Villa Boas shouldn't have bothered crying the sp%ds destroyed the midlanders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but with both teams playing virtual second string XI's. All it proves is that Spurs have a stronger squad (which I think we'd suspect, given the summer activity).


      Jedi

      Delete
    2. I thought that second string looked more then decent, better then most first strings you've had over quite a few years.

      Now stop mindtricking me into complimenting them, ;)

      Delete
    3. I think it's fairly obvious that H is a closet Spud.

      Delete
    4. They call him King Edward in Holland.

      Delete
    5. Harsh Noel! By way of return, the Gooners youth team did OK last night. One from the "words I never thought I'd hear" Dep't: Gooners' season depends on keeping Giroud fit.

      Not from the "words I never thought I'd hear" Dep't: Bendtner still can't hit a barn door.


      Jedi

      Delete
  77. How a new signing can lift a team;

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/pictures/mesut-ozil-shows-off-his-magical-powers-by-making-laurent-koscielny-levitate-via-not_motd/

    ReplyDelete
  78. I wonder how much you can base purely on statistics -
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Liverpool record since Luis Suarez's ban:
    - Games: 10
    - Won: 7
    - Drawn: 2
    - Lost: 1
    -----------------------------------
    In a pure footballing sense, his racist biting not being considered, it would appear based on that statistic that we are better off without him in the team. That is very clearly not the case though, at least for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AH, if they lose 7, draw 2 and win 1 of the next ten games with him in the team will you change your mind?

      Delete
    2. I probably will. If we do lose 7, draw 2 and win 1 it will probably be a moot point anyway, as he would be off to greener pastures.

      Delete
  79. Rodgers is giving it all he can with our best 11 starting. No excuses for a loss. Moyes has played it well by fielding a mix of non-regular starters in there. If he wins, he's a hero. If he loses, well, can't play our best 11 all the time can we, gotta give the young ones a chance, thats what the mickey mouse cup is for.

    ----------------------------------
    Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Smalling, Evans, Buttner, Jones, Giggs, Nani, Rooney, Kagawa, Hernandez.

    Liverpool: Mignolet, Toure, Skrtel, Sakho, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Suarez, Moses, Sturridge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Manure still have to factor in the CL, Brent can go wild.

      For the record, I think you're a better team without Chompy MacBlackhater. With the emphasis on team.

      Delete
    2. Don't see Man U getting very far in the CL: QF tops. Serious lack of creativity in midfield will be exposed later in the comp.


      Jedi

      Delete
  80. Yet another goal conceded from a corner. ho hum.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Bitey's back and you lose and fail to score.

    When is someone going to put one and one together and come up with 40million reasons why you should have dumped him in the summer.

    Glad you didn't though.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Well, we did lose the last game we played as well without scoring, that too at home. Bitey or no Bitey, Moses shouldn't have missed from 6 yards out, so I don't think that conclusion is the only one that can be drawn. It may be true, but probably needs another 3-4 games to be proven. Too late to do anything about it anyhoo. Had we sold him to you, not only would we have been able to afford another top striker (or two), but I doubt AW would've spent another 40 mil on Ozil. Missed a trick.

    ReplyDelete
  83. 4,000 expected to die? for a few games of football? Qatar Mass Corruption and the Money Pit?

    Shambles is the correct term for this most sinister, deadly and corrupt world cup which no one wanted except the arab kleptocracy ...

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/26/qatar-world-cup-migrant-workers-dead

    Isnt it about time someone organised a boycott of Qatar 2022?

    I nominate you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SOmeone already has .... sign this (or not)...

      http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-world-cup-in-qatar

      Delete
    2. we'll win the world cup in '14 and '18 which will get us automatic qualification so if everybody else boycotts it, we'll be winners by default, or maybe pop over for the final and beat the hosts then retain the trophy forever as three time winners! I'm all in favour of everybody but us boycotting it.

      Delete
  84. but what if we lose to ourselves in the semi finals on penalties. how embarrassing would that be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we have to take risks sometimes, Blog. Let's encourage everybody else to boycott Qatar and worry about penalty shoot-outs later.

      Delete
  85. I suppose you're right trot. I shouldn't worry about Gareth Barry scoring an own goal from a penalty - slipping and doing an overhead bicycle kick into the goal at the other end - and then everyone else failing to hit the empty net - but the more I think about it the more likely it seems...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you reckon Gareth will still be in the team at 61 years of age? Maybe on the bench as an impact sub?

      Delete
    2. "who else is there?" Woy, aged 134yrs

      Delete
  86. Chelsea can't even top the most-managers table. Something to aim for, though.

    "...after taking seven points from the opening six games Zamparini made the change, with Italian media reporting that Gattuso is the 43rd manager to be fired by the 72-year-old president at Palermo or previous club Venezia."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24272733

    ReplyDelete
  87. Seeing all this America's Cup coverage over on the Beeb with Ben Ainslie has got me thinking back. Just 17 years ago I was sat at college next to Ben having a 'it's my first day, what's your name?' conversation.

    He may be Sir Ben, have 4 Olympic gold medals and just won the America's Cup, but I've got a receding hairline and an expanding waist, so it's tough to judge who has done better out of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is true it is hard to choose between the two of you Noel but I believe Sir Ben (or Bennibooboo as he likes to be called by his coach) is a Chelsea supporter so that I think that may just trump your expanding waist/receding hairline argument

      Delete
    2. That reminds me of the last line in Some Like It Hot.

      Nobody's perfect.

      Delete
    3. "Sir Noel" has a nice ring to it, plenty time yet.

      Delete
  88. I dont see Bennibooboo doing well in the Robbo FFL Leagues. You have my vote Noel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew I shouldn't of listened to him when he told me which players to put in my team

      Especially not helped when going into FFL just now and seeing that a) I put the 'wrong' Lambert in and b) by having Mata (captain) and David Luiz in there too but I am going with what I think was RBAs philiosphy and leaving everything as is til end of season to complete my humiliation or possibly stun you all with my sheer brilliance **cough, cough **

      Delete
  89. AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, 23, has apologised for a sending-off against Napoli in typically bizarre fashion by saying: "Mario has made a mistake. He has been provoked and made a mistake in reacting. If Mario makes a bad mistake, Mario should be punished."
    -----------------------------------------
    Isn't it awesome to be able to talk about yourself in the third person?

    ReplyDelete
  90. Ouch;

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/sep/26/jose-mourinho-cried-manchester-united

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum;

      https://www.google.co.uk/#q=photos+of+mourinho

      Delete
    2. on subject of yum - not you I am afraid in this case H2 :) - it's that time on a Friday to head off home for wine (and Strictly starts this weekend, life is good)

      Have a good weekend everyone

      Delete
    3. I do hope it's a good weekend for you BHB, as the Spurs need to lose some points soon. A dour 0-0 would do well as I have both Ivanovic and Vertonghen in the FFL.

      Delete
  91. Speaking of FFL my curses have started taking effect pretty early this season. First coutinho, then benteke, and now looks like Ramsey too. going to have to make extra transfers now. It's just week 5.

    ReplyDelete
  92. We think of the key, each in his prison
    Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yup, in and out of the same lock for the rest of time.

      Delete
  93. 1-1. I suppose we'll take it. Torres lucky not to be sent off for a scratch/slap in the face, but unlucky to be sent off when he was. Probably deserves a longer suspension. Anyone heard of that Mata character who came off the bench? Seems to be a decent player.

    ReplyDelete