Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Picking Over The Ashes

Okay I've been resisting even mentioning it for a couple of months but I wouldn't be human if I didn't want to say something about the cricket. (I do mention the footy later). Although in this case cricket is a term as loose as an English batsman's forward defensive.


I've read various articles cataloguing where it went wrong for England this winter. Not one of them has suggested that the self-centred twots that pissed on the Oval pitch last summer just got a little bit too complacent for their own good.


Mitchell Johnson was quick, yes, but he sprayed it around like, well, like a celebrating Englishman's urine. Clarke was a top batter, yes, but he's got a bad back so we'll pick four - count 'em, FOUR - lanky pacemen to bowl at him and he'll run and away and hide. Haddin's old. Harris gets injured. Warner's a nutter, Watson's an lbw in waiting.


We haven't got any time to practise while we're out there but who cares? We beat them 3-0 at home.  We're great, they're crap.


Wait, wasn't that 3-0 based on scraping home in one, the rain saving us in another, and the fact that Ian Bell was unbelievably good all summer. None of this seemed to matter a fig.


There were mitigating factors. Trott's departure didn't help but clearly the man needed to go and his admission of mental anguish was the only courageous act by an England player all series.


At the opposite end of the spectrum you have the comedy spin king - Tuffers' heir apparent - scampering off the sinking ship with his trousers round his ankles, the yellow streak down his back visible to all. No mental breakdown for Swanny. No he'd just had enough and was bowling a bit shit. Compare that to Matt Prior - having a dreadful series himself but still around to support those that replaced him.


Now I have been told - and I believe it to be true - that cricket is a game for vertebrates. You need a backbone. The wafts and swipes and tossed-off tonks that saw batsman after batsman surrender just stick so horribly in the craw that I'd like to see them all join Swanny on the after-dinner circuit and leave some less self-satisfied bastards in charge.


So something has to be done. Now of course George Osborne would tell you the job's only half-done. Let me finish ravaging the poor and then we'll have a proper economy in place.


And indeed Weed has said he's staying (a Weed is an unwanted Flower). Cook looked catatonic by the end both as batsman and skipper but who else is there? Pietersen gets loads of flak but frankly he's not the only one to have been awful and at least he got a few (and I mean a few) on the board before he gave it all away.


Not one of the three replacement six-and-a-half footers was ready to bowl. Only Broad and Stokes can claim to have tasted anything like success. I'm surprised someone hasn't shouted 'FUCKING SHAMBLES'. Oops I just did.


It's debatable whether Flower is the man to steer the pedalo SS England out of choppy waters. He took us there didn't he? But there's no doubt that whoever comes in, you can't just jettison half the team when their records speak for themselves. Cook, Pietersen, Bell, Anderson and Broad have to stay. For now. The rest of it is entirely up for grabs.


Grab a blindfold, grab a pin, get out your Wisdens and pick now!!!


The cricket management don't have Fat Sam's get out of jail free card. There's not even an injury list to concern Andy Flower. Allardyce's threadbare selection for the Cup thrashing at Forest was par for the course. He has a League Cup semi-final and Premier League survival to think about. Hammers fans are just fortunate that their manager picked eleven human beings - I'm sure Sam was hoping to field a couple of lambs and a guinea-pig.


Allardyce has the avowed support of Sullivan and Gold - and I don't know about you but that would give me the creeps. It's like being kissed by Michael Corleone. But even his troubles don't quite match up to Moyes's at Man U.


Since I tipped them for 4th, United have rediscovered their early season form. Delightfully enough. It doesn't help that Van Persie's out and Rooney's not fit. But what's worse - and to be fair Fergie papered over this crack quite brilliantly - is the midfield is just a vacancy.


Cleverley? Anderson? Giggs? Fletcher - welcome back but..? Fellaini, when he returns, well he's not exactly creative, except with his elbows. Compare that with the top three's midfields: Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere; Toure, Silva, Nasri, Navas; Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Mata. And they don't all get a start each week.


In the case of Chelsea and Arsenal, if the out-and-out forward creates or takes something that's a bonus. The midfield is the team. Moyes's side has resorted to lumping it forward more just to escape the errant flicks of a Cleverley or the tortured toe-pokes from Kagawa.


Moyes doesn't see him buying anyone in the transfer window. If he can't pick up someone to tweak the central area - and I suggest Dereen Brown might not be a bad place to start - then goodbye Champions League.


Tonight they're at Sunderland. Not a place to fear. I suspect if they don't get out of there with a win, the Govan Beetroot will be out of the stands and under a dug-out roof before too long. For Fergie, it must be like watching a stranger crunching the gears on your beloved old Ferrari.


But stop moaning United fans. It's not God-given, after all. And besides, you're making the rest of us smile and that's got to be worth something hasn't it?







50 comments:

  1. In fairness to Andy Flower,he's lost only 4 of 18 series since he took over (one of those was the very first,which he had no input into).He is the right man to rebuild the team,as he's done it before.There are areas we need to look at,combined with a number of players reaching the end of the line.The players are there,they just need the time to become test match hardened.Someone to partner Cook at the top of the order,someone to bat at 3,wicket keeper and spinner.

    Not much to ask.

    As for Un**ed,well it's a similar story really.

    Just funnier.

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  2. Lovel and funny as shit Robbo!!! Still THE MAN!!!
    England were just a whole lot shit, weren't they? No back bone indeed, no bite, no nothing!!! Rolled over like a pom in a whorehouse!!! Love it when mighty fall!!!!!

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  3. In all fairness, Flower had his chance. Time to breath some new/fresh air into proceedings. Could do no better than Bob Woolmer. Oh, I forgot, he died! Guess ENG will then forever be just a bit shit then! AUS seem on the up? Their upcoming tour of SA should be cracker! Can't wait!

    As for united, no tears this side. Long may it continue

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  4. Yeah, quality stuff Robbo, as usual. Nail smacked firmly on head. I reckon Anderson needs a (long) rest, though: looks knackered.

    As does David Moyes (hair surely greying by the week?). I reckon the PFS (Purple Faced Scotsman) saw what was on the horizon and deserted a ship he could see sinking rapidly. Glazernomics comes home to roost.


    Jedi

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  5. Belated Happy New Year to everyone, sadly am now back at work properly but on plus side it does mean that entertainment comes in form of your blogs Robbo and my fellow posters....

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  7. Of the 3 mentioned midfields Robbo, chelsea's look the most shit. But 100 times better than utd's tho. Can see a desperate moyesy splashing heavily on a midfielder or 2, Lallana, Barkely, Sneijder etc.

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  8. Good stuff Robbo. Only one man can save English cricket, Harry Redknap.

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  9. Just because ManU and Arsenal are desperate to buy midfielder/striker, does not mean other clubs are desperate to sell.

    Perhaps a swap is in order.

    Wilshere for Rooney?

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    Replies
    1. ozil probably worth more than the whole united team

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  10. Did you hear about David Cameron's Barber getting 'honoured'?

    His achievement, shifting Cameron's parting from right to left.

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  11. Moyes at the wheel of Fergie's Ferrari, Robbo? Would that be a Ferrari Mondial 8, the worst Ferrari ever built?

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  12. this comment on the BBC site is genuinely funny -
    ---------------------------------
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball
    Saikat Nandy: I genuinely believe Man Utd can cause an upset tonight.
    --------------------------------

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  13. Weed is an unwanted Flower

    Not in Holland. ;)

    Nice one RR.

    My urban lower working class upbringing made cricket way too hoighty toighty a pass time. Googlies, tossers, creases and wickets all sounded a bit too wierd.

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    1. Happy New Year, H2H, you don't mention the fielding positions; point, silly point, deep point, fly slip, silly mid-on/off, square leg, deep square leg, long leg, etc. Not forgetting the commentating either: "The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey" can't see that coming out on MotD. Great blog (as usual) Robbo. Is the Spanish Archer en route to Manchester?

      Spider

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    2. Weed is an unwanted Flower

      Not in Holland. ;)
      ===============
      Or Colorado now.

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    3. teehee .. naughty emmanuel

      metro.co.uk/2014/01/07/emmanuel-frimpong-trolls-david-moyes-with-taxi-for-moyes-instagram-picture-4253939/

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    4. Whats happening with Frimpong though? He was touted to be the gunners next big thing a couple of years ago, but don't think he has even played a minute for them this season, nor does anyone seem to want him on loan.

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    5. If footy was played on social media then Frimpong would be Messi.

      Unfortunatly, injuries and him trying to be DENCH, seems to be getting in the way of his career.

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  14. How the f*** did Spurs manage to lose at home to West 'Am twice this season?



    Jedi

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    Replies
    1. It's because they're crap too. :)

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    2. Seriously though, those two cup performances from the Spammers were woeful.

      Forrest took them apart like they were Citeh..... and Citeh, well I stopped watching when the fourth goal went in.

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  15. Massive respect to Thomas Hitzlsperger. It takes a very brave man to go on national TV and admit to millions that he used to play for West Ham.
    bisq

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    Replies
    1. And Aston Villa.

      Well done bisq, I laughed out loud when I read your comment.

      Spider

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    2. I'll raise your 'laugh out load' with a ' laugh out loud and fell off me chair' !

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  16. Excuse my hammerphonia!
    Bisq

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  17. Finally back from some of the many isles you that slipped through your grasp. Sandwich, I believe? And I return to... was that cricket or football? Do you have any national sides that aren't shambolic? Or at least any national sides that live up to the far-too-high expectations you all seem to have for them? Never mind. I forgot you prefer your national teams to have strong Foundations...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iol0B-clFFM

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    1. Well tbh Stephen it's difficult when you basically invented everything which defines the modern world - parliamentary democracy, football, telephones, computers, jet engine, concentration camps, football, machine guns, genetics, railways, cricket, underground railways, ok the french did photography we'll give them that. By definition it means at one point we were best at everything.

      So the high expectations are partly nostalgia.

      But the real problem is that just once in a while we are genuinely brilliant at stuff again. Only 8 countries have won the world cup. Guess what? We're one of them. The team that was mullahd in Oz has been mullahing the ozzies for a decade and now their time is up.

      It's frustrating though having these interstices of not being shit any more. It makes us feel anxious and expect too much. It happened to classical Athens and now it's happening to us.

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    2. Not forgetting we also invented the Jaffa Cake (OK he was technically Scottish but we will adopt him along with Andy Murray)

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  18. Our (non-drugged) cyclists have done well of late Stephen.

    I was pleased to see the Polar Vortex reached Hawaii. How was your trip?

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  19. 10 days into the transfer window, and no one has signed (or sold) anyone worth talking about. How boring. Mourinho is right, the window should be 2 weeks long. Gives us lot something to talk about much sooner.

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  20. Thanks, Trotts. Hawaii was amazing, at least for someone used to being indoors all day. Warm beaches, sunny days, left just before the rain set in. None of that makes any sense to you Brits, though, does it? Barely does for me now that I'm back to perma-snow and temps that never rise above freezing. But which cyclists aren't drugged?

    And Blogs, I've got to hand it to you on the inventiveness (at least for the West), but were you guys really good at stuff, or was no one else better than you yet? By now, even we've topped you at nostalgia, as ours is for a reality that never existed.

    On the other hand... Bradley and Defoe to Toronto? Soon enough we'll be competing with you to overpay decent talents and every washed-up has-been and almost-was. Watch out!

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  21. To those lamenting England's lost greatness, and in the great footballing tradition of Becks and Terry, I give you - Jason Puncheon. He improves the shambolic penalty misses of his forbears by not slipping, not appearing to be hit by a thrown coin or blinded by a laser pointer - he merely seems to have been thinking of balloons:

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/early-doors/worst-penalty-premier-league-history-155326468.html

    Other suggestions I would have for the poor guy on his miss: 1) Sneaky Tottenham-area-residing officials substituted one o' them Jabulani World Cup balls. 2) Wanted to give the kid in a wheelchair parked behind row Z a souvenir. 3) (Borrowed from Metro headline) Trying to become first Premier League footballer to hit the International Space Station.

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  22. It just landed in my back garden Scott.

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    Replies
    1. at least he sent the keeper the wrong way.

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  23. Watched Col u v.Gillingham...gills pretty crap bit the u's played well and worth the win.

    The kids were v.excited by one megastar player though who came in for the gills with 20 mins to go. Built like two dockers welded together, lady and gentlemen.... the Strongest Player in the World.....Adebeyi Akinfenwa........According to FIFA14 (97/100).

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  24. Really fun game against Stoke. Cant believe we scored 5 at the brittania or that we won for the first ever time in the PL or indeed that we're such a shambles in defense. At least we managed to get across the lines with 3 points.

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  25. We've had the Ashes of Disaster. So where are the Roses of Success? And wile you're looking can you check if the snows of yesteryear are also down the back of your sofa. All I found down the back of my sofa was an old Smartie, which i ate, a 20 p piece and a human ear.

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    1. Has Tyson paid you a visit recently Blog.

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  26. I'm still annoyed that Tom Pope isnt up for the Ballon d'Or it's clear discrimination against the less able players

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  27. so puncheon reckons that qpr players paid warnock to pick them for the team? er isnt it the other way round? it's a jibe which misses its mark by as much as his penalty

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    Replies
    1. Maybe his solicitors have nothing to do at the moment Blogidy.

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  28. Yeah United are in the steamy brown goo at the moment and and their recent results fuels the less than attractive envy of most of your posters but how many titles have Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverscousers or even the mighty Chelsea won in the last decade. We haven't done too badly seeing as how supposedly we haven't had a very good team for years. What does that make everyone else then....shit.
    Yes it is a little humbling to find out what supporters from other teams are used to and that is what it's like not to win most games or competitions.
    Red Devils forever and yes I am a born and bred Mancunian, not some imported southerner or bandwagon jumper that just supports the team because they win everything.
    Feel better after that rant yes I do and further more, there is more to life than comiing firat on this blog.

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  29. or even First, never could spell.

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