Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Now if anyone can't make this meeting...
Now if like me you are either a) not important enough to attend or b) not free (I qualify under both criteria), please permit me to surmise:
"because we, in Britain, have a moral superiority to others (particularly Moslems). It is ok because we are good guys (no, really) and won't use them on anyone apart from bad guys (Moslems - unless the Commies come back again). Also, we must ensure no other countries (apart from Israel) can develop nuclear weapons, but if we (the civilised West) can make a buck or two out of flogging intelligence and capability improvement means we should proceed without any form of responsibility (India and Pakistan)"
Barry's full of Bull
Thereafter followed a few doubles matches between the Wednesday boys, although with 5 of us left it need a closest to the Bull to decide who would chalk. Beefy only puts his first dart straight in the bullseye and then next game to determine the scorer he does it again. That's top darts.
Labour Member launches another pre-emptive strike
Anyway, last Wednesday saw an Opposition Day debate on Acute Hospital Services and things proceeded pretty much to form with the usual 'oh yes you did' 'oh no we didn't' charade that is the meat and drink of British democracy. Thankfully things started to get a bit spicier when Ian Austin, the Labour Member for Dudley North, got called. Here is a man who takes an enormous amount of joy in winding up the Tories, often getting a warning from the Speaker for his joie de vivre. It was a lively speech and he was in his element slating the Tories for preaching one thing when anyone with half a brain (a memory would also suffice) knows that under a Tory Government there would be massive health privatisation (even compared to this Government) and substantial cuts to public spending. After a brief intervention by Laura Moffat, Austin continued saying that not one Tory had intervened on him because they knew they could not refute what he was saying. At this a few Tories started mumbling and guffawing, one of whom was Mike Penning. Now Penning is to political philosophy what deep-fried pizzas are to a healthy diet, so Austin called his bluff:
Mr. Austin: I did not notice that, but I did notice that not one of them has got up to deny that the effect of their policies would be to cut public spending, which is what they believe in. They cannot deny that. It is an absolute fact that the effect of the proceeds of growth rule would be to cut public— [ Interruption.] Well, if the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning) would like to intervene on me to deny that the effect of the proceeds of growth rule would be to cut public spending, I would be more than happy to give way. Does he want to— [ Interruption. ]
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. May I suggest that the hon. Member for Dudley, North (Mr. Austin) should not tout for business in that way? I must also ask the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning) not to make any more sedentary interventions.
To put this in school-bullying terms it is like picking on the weedy, speccy kid wearing his older brother's ill-fitting hand-me-downs. What Hansard failed to convey was that Austin actually sat down, leaving the Plato of Hemel Hempstead looks even more limited than usual. Of course any other Tory could have jumped in, it would have been impossible not to accept the intervention but they didn't. Any why didn't they? Because they had nothing to say, they had been rumbled, their flush was busted.
I saw Ian and had a bit of a laugh with him about this and then talk inevitably turned to subjects about which we differ (i.e. Trident replacement) and then he went back to calling me a "dirty Trot". I have enjoyed his acquaintance for a good couple of years now. By now he should know flattery gets him nowhere.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Would Sir and Madam be caring for full pension?
The High Court ruling has, however, found that the Government is culpable of inaccuracies and potential misleadings regarding the minimum funding requirement. The Court also ruled that the Department of Work and Pensions should reconsider making arrangements to restore fully the pension losses of the people concerned when their employers became insolvent.
However, the Government has been cleared of being in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and has also been absolved of being responsible, through maladministration, for the financial losses of every indiviudal who suffered the winding up of their pension scheme.
The Government was also cleared of the murder of the first born and the snow a couple of weeks ago.
What would be helpful was if the Government put politics out of this and realised that there is a massive issue to be solved and their truculence in recent times has not helped at all. The Treasury should dip their hand in their pockets (not for that!) and cough up more money for the Financial Assistance Scheme and, basically, just get a move-on.
There could, of course, be some way of getting BIG BUSINESS to contribute to compensation packages if they actually gave a fuck about people as opposed to cosy little Corporate Social Responsiblity ideas and Community Projects. Or they could just pay more. Sorry I've turned into a Commie. Next up I'd probably suggest something heretical like if we didn't renew Trident for billions and billions of pounds we could cover all of this, raise the state pension and still have enough left for a rainy day.
Busking beggers on the tube beggar belief
Twice last week I was accosted by a clarinet player on the District Line. Twice this guy peddled out a few numbers and twice I got nowhere near recognising any of it. Hint to budding, aspiring clarinet players: if you get near a note, play it. In fact, it really was a pain in the neck. By nature, I am not the greatest in the morning. Ideally, I will either do a sudoku or two, or more normally read a book. You know, have the decency to keep myself to myself. So what do I get for my troubles? Some prick making a racket, that's what. I can't read my book. I am stuck there with a deep and all consuming hatred and loathing burning in my heart. Then when he has finished, he comes around the carriage with his purse - pausing in front of every passenger and rattling it (his purse). Now I take exception at charity collectors shaking their tins in my vicinity, I most certainly do not appreciate the clarinetist doing the same.
And then on Friday, I had another busker on my tube. Not a clarinet player (this is good) but rather an Irish duo playing the bloody bastard banjo and singing jovially. At least the clarinet player had the decency not to be able to speak the Queen's. These characters have the patter, right down to every stereotypical nuance: the cheeky smile, the banter, the "bejeesus" - seriously they were one stop away from "top of the morning" and a full-blown riverdance. These wankers persisted for two whole stops. I felt lower than a snake's belly. After they eventually wound-up, about 3 people clapped. In the words of Alan Partridge: "I loathe these people[...] I wish all of you[...] people would get on a bus and just drive over a cliff. I'd happily be the driver."
Friday, February 23, 2007
Keeping us on our toes
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Chris Eubank arrested
* he drives a Jaguar.
By the way, the Chris Eubank cartoon is courtesy of this quite marvellous site
Spin isn't always bad
And then came Monty. And behold he was good. Very good. It's refreshing but the news that caught my attention was that the aforementioned Saqlain has receovered from a career-threatening knee injury, married an English woman and got a contract to play for sussex. Basically put he should be eligible to play for England in 2008 when he will be, a relatively sprightly, 31. Saqlain was the pioneer of the 'doosra' - the one that goes the other way with the identical action to his stock delivery. He was the youngest player ever to reach 100, 150, 200 and 250 One Day International wickets - and reached these milestones in less matches than any other player. He has also scored a test match century. And no less of an authority than Michael Atherton held him to be top, top drawer.
The notion of Monty and Saqlain in tandem (just think of the beards and fingers twirling in unision) with a pace attack of any of Freddie, Broad, Anderson, Harmison, Hoggard or Jones. Oh yes.
On a side note, we also attempted to compile our best ever England and World test XIs (within our living memory). It soon became clear we wouldn't agree on the World XI. Even withstanding Googly's irrational dislike of Jacques Kallis, how can you fit Steve Waugh, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid in a batting line up? Similarly how can you pick a bowling attack out of Wasim, Waqar, Curtley Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Murali, Donald and Pollock?
Anyway we sort of agreed on an England team:
Stewart as keeper and probably Gooch (maybe Athers) as captain. This post has made me happy.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Personally, what I would ideally hope for is that Labour MPs who have their suspicions of the Brownite agenda but cannot bring themselves to vote for John McDonnell will instead plump for Meacher, i.e. Meacher nicking off Brown and not McDonnell which, in turn, would leave a fatal 3 way between Brown, Meacher and McDonnell - now that would be quite good.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Tory Party: not racist, right?
The Cllr in question, Ted Pateman defended his comments explaining that in his generation the word wog is quite common. He also comes up with an ingenious ruse to get out of this mess by saying: "The term is in the Oxford English Dictionary." This argument falls down when you consider that, for argument's sake, the word cunt is also in the dictionary, however I wouldn't use this word to describe foreigners either. Undeterred Cllr Pateman continues: "They're all equal, all English and you can see that when the kids go to school in the morning. In my Close of 42 houses, we have 11 different nationalities and they are all neighbours. There's no racism up here in Cambourne and I don't think there is very much in Cambridgeshire." Ok, but it does also reveal that he has a bordering on the obsessional interest in the number of non-Britons in your street, especially for someone who starts off by saying "They're all equal, all English". If they're all equal, surely each of the 42 houses in the Close is lived in by English people?
Racism isn't only reflected in lynchings, stabbings and the Police Service (boom, boom) but also by comments that clearly show that immigrants are different from the indigenous British population. Obviously this 'different' is normally equated to 'worse than'. Therefore, someone like Ron Atkinson (famed for calling Marcel Dessaily 'a lazy fucking nigger') is a racist even if his daily routine does not revolve around race-hate like Adolf Hitler. Racism is racism and it can take the form of hate, prejudice, ignorance or words out of the dictionary.
Of course not all Tories are like this and perhaps Cllr Pateman at a less than spring chicken 79 is not the shining embodiment of Cameron's Tories, but you can bet that people who share these views (significant sections of the older generation, shall we say?) are the life-blood of the Tory Party upon whose votes they are very reliant.
p.s I once spent the weekend in Cambourne as the hotel me and my girlfriend booked was heinously called the Cambridge Belfry. It isn't in Cambridge, it's in Cambourne. Cambourne was incredibly dull. I even don't think it was finished.
Take me to your leader
Defenders of Brown, and by God there are shedloads of them, and the more optimistic will say that Gordon is more like 'us'. 'Us' in this instance referring to the rank and file of the Labour Party, the good Comrades who believe, with absolutely no proof or hopeful blind faith, that Gordon Brown is more of a Socialist than Blair. That is like saying I am a better footballer than Stephen Hawkings: I may well be but it still doesn't mean I'm any good. To remind those of us with amnesia, Gordon Brown 'the Socialist' has never voted against any measure introduced by Tony Blair - that includes Iraq, top-up fees, foundation hospitals, Trust schools, PFI and I.D Cards. Gordon Brown 'the Socialist' has also been in favour of the Government not recognising the findings of the Parliamentary Ombudsman over the ongoing Occupational Pensions fiasco. La plus ca change, la plus la meme chose?
This brings me to the actual point that I wanted to make about the Deputy Leadership campaign. Paul Linford has done a quick sweep of some Labour bloggers to find out who they were backing for Deputy Leader . I think the general consensus of the results was that they told more of the individual bloggers than the views of the Labour Party rank and file. No shit, really? The point I would make is that does it really matter who is Deputy if Brown is the leader, or McDonnell for that matter? The only worthwhile leadership in living memory (only just) was the 1981 Healey vs. Benn dust-up, which was essentially a fight between the Centre and the Right (Centre being the revisionist term. Contemporaries saw it has a struggle between the Right and Left wings of the Labour Party - little did they know that Blair would do away with Clause 4 and give new meaning to the word Right in hte Labour Party context).
Recently, Sheffield Wednesday appointed Brian Laws as manager; I was pretty happy about this. I couldn't say I was too fussed that at the same time Russ Wilcox was appointed Assistant Manager. Back in the days of boundless enthusiasm, I thought Sven would do a good job for England, I didn't really hold an opinion about Tord Grip (and still don't - actually I don't think I'd recognise him if I walked past him in the street). I would point out that Jon Cruddas does actually seem to have ideas about the role of the Deputy Leader and the importance in re-establishing the link between the Party and the Government. The others don't seem to actually say anthing, and how can they? They're not going to be Leader.
Monday, February 19, 2007
The Bitterest Pill (I ever had to swallow)
Middlesbrough or West Brom v Manchester United or Reading
Arsenal or Blackburn v Manchester City
Chelsea v Tottenham
Plymouth v Watford
No, that's pretty dull.
Update: Just for a change, common sense has been conspicuous in its absence within the hallowed corridors of the F.A. A suggestion mooted by Arsene 'the Professor' Whinger and Glenn 'The Smallest Mouth in Football' Roeder that replays in the F.A Cup should be scratched has fallen upon deaf ears. So what that it causes loads of fixture congestion and only a moderate proportion of fans will turn up to replays played midweek; just think of the wonga you can get by screening yet another Middlesbrough replay. And, of course, punditry from insightful legends like Shearer (zzzzzzz...), Wright (ah man, you know what I mean Al?) and Hansen (they're playing with passion, power, passion, power and power)
Yet another cricket post
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Better late than never
Doh! Simpson to stand down
How come we weren't allowed to stick the foot in
I got your back!
Blair backs Goldsmith (the Guardian)
Blair backs Blunkett (the Guardian)
Blair backs Prescott (the BBC) - actually it's only the 'PM's Spokesperson', but when it comes to backers you take what you can get
That's a lot of backing. I suppose that's why it's all Current Affairs.
Close shave for Shitney Beers
Labels: Audley Harrison
Shirley you can't be serious...THE CAT????!!???
Friday, February 16, 2007
So we're all going to hell in a handcart? No, of course not; because we're going to have some really big gigs. I'm sure these will evoke comparisons with Live Aid, but truly these will be crap and will certainly have no effect on Climate Change. And are they expected to raise awareness of Climate Change? Every man and his dog has an opinion on this subject, so I cannot see any point apart from all of these artists having the ability to pat themselves on the back and say: "Hey, I've done my bit for Climate Change." The answer to which would presumably be: "What exactly?"
Labels: Climate Change
Thursday, February 15, 2007
I do like cricket
May I take this opportunity to do my own bit to gee the boyz and girlz up. I hereby declare Why I Do Like Cricket - click to enlarge:
* Note to readers us Left of Centre people are generally happy not being consumed by hate and bile and Gordonaphobia
Recess Monkey is my Guardian Angel
Today, I received an email drawing attention to Messagespace adverts from 18 Doughty/Dullty Street that had been somewhat partisan, despite Dale's claims that 18 DS is not politically biased, dissing London's very own Ken Livingstone. These adverts will now no longer appear on this blog (honestly, I don't think the adverts even referred to Red Ken as 'a lovely guy who has an unfortunate propensity of occassionally appearing slightly, of course inadvertently, anti-Semitic). At the moment, MessageSpace seems to be advertising...itself.
Reselect Sir Patrick
However you can expect the majority of Tories, who were incidentally cock-a-hoop about Peter Law winning the previously Labour held seat of Blaenau Gwent as an Independent, to no doubt have the greatest of sympathies with Sir Patrick...Blaenau Gwent...blah blah blah...and really bloody disapprove of the process, but then miraculously managed to salve their collective consciences (when someone with high-precision guidance weapons can locate it) by concluding that to stand as an Independent would really damage the new Tory party. This new Tory party will not only be, as Alex Hilton notes here "dedicated to lining up the entire British working class and buggering them one by one" but also stabbing each other in the back. You think they would have got this out of their system after the unfortunate knifing of the unfortunate George Iain and Duncan Smith.
Good luck Sir Patrick, whether by reversing the deselection or standing as an Independent
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Mixed news for Essex boys as England name World Cup XV
On the bowling front it is as expected with Saj Mahmood (25)**** getting the nod over Stuart Broad (20)***** Personally, I would have gone the other way with Mahmood being a bit expensive for my taste and Broad is a type of quick that we don't have in the squad. What it does mean is the end of Darren Gough's international career. As England flopped from disgraceful performance to abysmal surrender to abject attempt of cricket, Gough was again touted as the saviour. However, as England turned things around and eventually prevailed against the Convict Scum ******, it became clear that England could win without Gough (36)*******. I think we can now expect Gough not to renew his contract and Essex and to announce his retirement imminently. I hope this isn't the case, Essex needs you Dazzler!
* including their age in brackets clearly denotes journalistic talent and research
**** God, I'm good
***** So good
****** No, they really are.
******* You get the drill now?
Get well soon
Dead or Alive?
Labels: dead or alive
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Life after Albert Square
Let's look at that paragraph again. "A tennis pro who gains superhuman abilities" - that's Roger Federer, he the man. However, perhaps they are referring to another British star, "who gains superhuman abilities after her body is rebuilt with high-tech electronic parts following a near-fatal accident." 'Superhuman abilities' (to offend everyone)...'after her body is rebuilt' (fake boobs)...'following a near-fatal accident' (Celebrity Big Brother). Yep, it's Jade 'I'm not a Racist, but actually am' Goodie/Baddie.
Barry's big scoop
A dirty protest and a very impressive put-down to the perpetrator who, in all likelihood, has not revisited the scene of the crime.
I shall let the images speak for themselves. No I won't I'll spell it out; someone, presumably in the grip of dysentery or some such disease, has missed the bowl...(and presumably absent-mindedly shut the lid and re-opened for a smear effect.
Anyone for tennis?
The letters arrived one day after the other, obviously it is far too important to be contained to one letter. However, not important enough for the letters to deviate too much from a pretty standard format. Perhaps tomorrow an invite to the Parliamentary Badmington Club?
I would advocate great caution, would you want to go up against someone with DL after their name? Ooops my fault, I thought it said DHL - like express delivery. In a self-depreciating manner, Mr Foster says "most of the Members are I suppose 'basic club standard'". Oh I see, they're shit. And there I was picturing Piara Khabra and Kenneth Clarke re-enacting the classic Borg vs. McEnroe Wimbledon final, or Gwyneth Dunwoody and Anne Widdecombe recreating magical Williams sisters' triumphs. Or similarly Viscount Thurso doing a Desmond Douglas - he was a British table tennis player in case you don't know (Douglas not Thurso, who is a Lib Dem MP who has seemingly overnight grown a formidable beard to match his rather dashing moustache).
Update: I didn't say when the meets are; (adopting a Socttish accent) around ten-ish, I should think.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Freedom of labour: another foreign flop
Foreigners with massive (at least proportionately to where they have gone) reputations who have failed, miserably, in England. Well, let me think - for every Prosinecki at Portsmouth there are a load of flops...Ramón Díaz as manager of Oxford United springs to mind; Roberto Mancini playing for Leicester City; Thomas Brolin at Leeds and Palace and Attilio Lombardo at Palace (now Lombardo was a good player, Brolin a fat, idle waster (who I believe went back to Sweden to sell hoovers), Square Football's version of Palace's Terry and June: (On Lombadro being appointed manager)The snag was that the Italian couldn’t speak a word of English which produced the 'Odd Couple' combination with the Swede Thomas Brolin, who presumably kept a straight face when asking the players for more effort. Eventually the club finished bottom but Lombardo stayed with the club in Division One.); Taribo West at Plymouth (the lunatic claimed to have been told in a dream to sign for Plymouth and was on an annual salary alleged to be in the region of £600,000 - tragically, he ignored the dream he had where he was offered the chance to host Deal or No Deal). A (dis)honourable mention should also go to Javier Mascherano.
Football: it's a funny old game. Any other foreigners with massive reputations who did absoutely nob-all? Maybe, World Cup winner Roque Junior at Leeds? Although, I am particularly after the more improbable, rather than plain shit, examples.
Update: The Lib Dem MP for Torbay, Adrian Sanders, who if memory serves was once voted 'Hardest Working MP', has drawn my attention to his own blog where the Torquay fan has posted a frankly scary homage to Lubos Kubik. Now will he reciprocate and link to me?
Goldenballs is still the Real deal
Sunday, February 11, 2007
England turn the screw
Dave had a sp(l)iffing time at Eton
I'd have had more respect if Dave had just admitted to it and given it a 'no regrets' stance, but no; we get the 'well we've all make mistakes' spiel. Instead, you get the feeling that Dave is a liar, certainly not a 'pretty straight-forward kind of a guy'. Stll it's nice to see that the Tories do have some green credentials.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Archer fires his arrow of injustice
I'll have the Full English please...tattooed on my head
Initially, there were reports that Gilbey was going to raise money for the Birmingham Children's Hospital, but in reports of the actual tattoo there was no mention of the hospital.
Friends have asked him why he had it done and he had a ready prepared answer: "For me it's just something different which has never been done before. My mum is really unhappy about it and threatened to throw me out but I don't think she'll go through with it."
This really is unfeasibly stupid, I mean what was he thinking...no hash browns???? But the creator of this idiocy, Blane Dickinson, is not done with hare-brained ideas next up he wants to tattoo an image of someone's face on the back of their head. Jesus wept.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Welcome to Collingwood
Woeful England fail Spanish inquisition
Well it's a case of what might have been. That was a pretty piss England performance. England didn't turn up and looked toothless. Big Boy up front on his own didn't do anything. Macca did, however, solve the eternal problem of England's left flank. He literally didn't play anyone there. Thank goodness Macca wasn't a General at Waterloo. Nominally it was Lampard but in reality Lamps was about as left as the current Labour heirachy. With Barry and Downing in the squad, Macca decided to start with Phil Neville. That's a good omen.
I know we were lacking a number of players, but the lot who turned out were proper poor. This is a combination of the players and the tactics. It just seems that whatever formation Macca goes for, he doesn't seem to tell the team until mid-way through the anthem. Just play 4-4-2 mate. If you can play left-footed players at left-back and left-midfield and stop trying to fit Lamps and Gerrard into centre midfield we might even turn in a performance worthy of the name. This is no slight on Lamps purported weight, but Gerrard is far and away the better player.
What Macca needs to recognise, and pretty damn soon, is that you pick a formation and then pick the players to fit into that system. You do not, sorry you really really should not, pick 11 players and put them into a formation. Lamps/Gerrard is a case in point. Macca, and Svennis before him, seems besotted with putting them in the same midfield. I am not sure how many more times they have got to fail to click not to get picked. I mean look at Spain, they had Alonso and Fabregas on the bench and, for my money, they're better than Lamps; hell Alonso didn't even get on at all. This means that you drop Lampard and play Hargreaves. If Hargreaves is injured again, you pick someone who can play the holding role, whether that is Carrick, Barton or Butt or anyone frankly. You don't put Lampard there and hope he'll play in a way that is totally alien to his instinct.
Equally, you pick someone who can play on the left of midfield and don't just put the odd one out of the centre midfield there as if you were, in effect, sending them to Coventry. For goodness sake, it's not rocket science. The idea continues: you play strikers who can score, have pace and compliment each other (not in a "oooh Wayne I do like that shirt" way, although it's quite an amusing concept.) Crouch on his own? Now I know the big-lad-with-a-good-touch is a bit of a freak, but he's alright. Yet, playing on his own he's about as effective as the Liberal Democrat party. We have loads of young, quality strikers so if Macca is hell-bent, as it seems, on not giving Defoe a proper chance he could call up, say, Leroy Lita or David Nugent or Gabriel Agbonlahor or Ashley Young. Just take the plunge Macca.
The current team and the current management are treading water. Next up Israel and, sadly, they're not the mickey mouse outfit they were a few years ago. I'd even go so far as to say if it wasn't for a rather heated second-half debate on who's better Sharpe or Jack Bauer (it's Sharpe by light-years) this would have been one of the most deflating 90 minutes of my life.
Mind due, it could always be worse, I could be Barry O'Beef and I could be Irish and could have just watched my team scrape a 2-1 win over San Marino, a team with all the class and talent of the Queen's Head 3rd XI.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
England win again/Aint is easy
Labels: the Krypton Factor
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Wilkinson puts Scotland to the sword
Labels: 6 nations
Friday, February 02, 2007
England flops to hear first-hand what Barton Finks
So what if this has put the noses of such literary luminaries as Gerrard and Lampard out of joint, frankly their performances during the World Cup did the same to a large portion of the country's football fans. Barton is set to remain unrepentant and fair play to him.
Also included are Kieron Dyer and Jonathan Woodgate after their injury woes and recalled after 4 years is Gareth Barry. These are all plusses, so I'll put my hand up and say 'Well done Steve McLaren'. The squad doesn't quite score an A* though. I would have had Matt Taylor in as left-back cover and wouldn't have included either John Terry or Andrew Johnson. It's only a friendly and as neither of these players are fit yet, wouldn't it make more sense to brave it with kids? Any one of Agbonlahor, Young, Lita, Nugent, Walcott or Derbyshire (all in the U-21 squad) may have been worth a go. And at the back you got to think Sol Campbell's renaissance at Portsmouth has been mighty impressive.
Out goes Kieran Richardson (back to the U-21 squad) but sadly there is no call-up for Scott Carson and Jenas is still in the squad. I would have liked to see Kevin Nolan or, as an outside shout, Tom Huddlestone.
All in all though, it's the most encouraged I have been during the McLaren era. Now we got to see who he actually plays. As ever, come on England.
Return of the Mack
And after doing the bare minimum to prove his worth, he pitches up as England coach. If there is one man who could possibly induce a feeling of enthused nostalgia for Svennis, it is McLaren. Results have gone down the pan.
Today, he should redeem himself by recalling such players as Kieron Dyer and Jonathan Woodgate to the squad. With Ashley Cole now out surely Matty Taylor of Portsmouth should get the call as back up for Wayne Bridge? I would also like to see Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton in the squad together with Scott Carson - for my money the best English keeper in the Premiership.
However, Macca's day got off to a sluggish start as another Macca stole the limelight: Massimo Maccarone, the former U-21 Italian international incredibly improbably signed for a whopping £8.15 million by none other than...Steve McLaren during his tenure as Middlesbrough chief. Massimo Maccarone was never really given a fair crack of the whip at Boro, I mean if you splurge over £8 million, it's probably worth giving the lad a run in the team? Pah! What do I know? I'm not the England manager. I'll let the hot blooded Italian's comment stand alone, I don't think there's a lot to add, but I do reckon there's something rotten in the state of Steve McLaren.
"The ever-smiling Steve 'The Magnificent' McClaren is the most two-faced and false person I've had the misfortune to meet in football. He disgusted me by leaving me on the bench for the 2004 League Cup final after having told everyone I was his number one and he was counting on me. At the end all he could do was mutter 'I know, I know'."
Rumours abound that he has been misquoted, or rather mis-translated but he can't have been mistranslated that inaccurately, can he? McLaren seems to be gutless, tactically naive (or inept) without demanding the respect of his players.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
England stick it up the Aussies but the future still isn't clear
Personally, I was overjoyed to see Ravi Bopara makes his debut. Ok so I am an Essex fan, but Essex players in the team just makes sense. Like the England selectors I really am not sure who to play as the first XI in ODIs (unlike the selectors, however, I am not paid for the honour) so instead I'll plump for some security and go for the squad of 15:
Chris Read/James Foster
I know there's no Collingwood and no Nixon, but them be my choices. However, rumours have emerged today in no less an authoirty than the Daily Mail that the selectors are going to make a panic call for Darren Gough (other names netioned in the mix have been James Kirtley and Ryan Sidebottom).. I don't think this would be a progressive move at all and would give Plunkett, Broad, Chris Tremlett or Saj Mahmood a prolonged run in the team.
And just in case anybody has forgotten: we rammed it up 'em today!