Thursday, May 31, 2007
Sheffield United (relegated)
Ok, so not so bad here. The top 4 unsurprisingly was right, just in the wrong order. I think acceptable. As for relegation, well Watford went down quicker than Divine Brown whereas the Pigs gloriously went down on the last day of the season. Wigan survived by the skin of their teeth. I'll predict now: Wigan going down next year.
West Brom (champions)
Colchester United (relegated)
No accounting for the Baggies choking so bad. Birmingham did finish second and Southampton made the play-offs. I wrote this pre-Keane so don't feel bad about missing out Sunderland.
Colchester were the biggest surprise in English league football last season and having watched them trounce Wednesday 4-0 on a shitty Wednesday evening, I can testify that they're pretty good. QPR were rubbish and in John Gregory they have a hopeless manager. The highlight to their season was a mass brawl between their reserves and a load of Chinese players. They're just a small team in Fulham. Barnsley just about survived, although a last day 7-0 caning by West Brom bodes perfectly for next season.
Nottingham Forest (champions)
Forest chucked it away. They should have gone up automatically and then should have gone up through, or at the very least made the Final of, the Play Offs. Frankly, they should be ashamed. Swansea finished one spot out of the play-offs, but Bradford let me down big time. Crap for the whole season they went down comfortably.
Millwall's season picked up and they finished an encouraging 10th under the stewardship of ex-Wednesday #2, Willie Donachie. Cheltenham are useless and I'm surprised they survived but with Kayode Odejayi signing for Barnsley today, they'll be there or thereabouts at the bottom come next season. Orient were lucky to have 4 worse teams in the league. They finished 5th bottom. Poor Rotherham. The Dingles tried valiantly, got safe, got very safe and then lost and lost and lost and capitulated: a team in very real danger.
Swindon Town (champions)
Swindon went up thanks to ex-Owls supremo Paul Sturrock. A great man. MK Dons lost in the Play-Offs. Accrington were sadly dire and Darlington never got it going.
Macclesfield looked dead and buried, but Paul Ince lived up to his 'Guvnor' moniker and worked his magic. Stockport, perenially crap, flirted outrageously with the play-offs and Jim Gannon's team were unlucky in the end.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Another Summer, another England Test Match Series
When Hoggard pulled up early doors, things looked glum for England. Paul Collingwood bowling second change? Hmmmmmm...maybe this attack is going to struggle to get 20 wickets. As it transpired they toiled away to get the 10 wickets they managed. With Hoggard out, you would have expected, ok crossed your fingers and hoped, that Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett would step up to the plate, which to be fair they did. They just weren't successful. Between the two of them over both innings they bowled a combined 77 overs conceding 293 runs and taking 3 wickets. In the words of the greats, let's break it down: that's 77 overs at 3.8 runs per over, getting a wicket for every 97.66 runs conceded with a strike rate of one wickets every 154 balls, or 25.66 overs if you prefer metric.
Freddie is missed for sure, but without Monty we would have been in so much trouble against, well, it's not the most inspiring West Indies batting line-up. Yes, they boast Gayle, Sarwan and Chanderpaul but it's a long way short of Haynes, Greenidge, Richards, Richardson, Hooper, Lara and all those others who I have seen pulverise England in my formative years.
So what to do? Here's the tricky bit. Rumours that 'White Lightning' Allan Donald is to be the next England bowling coach are encouraging and show that the bowling is in desperate need of a shake-up. The age-old quest to find a bowler who can bat at number 8 (in England you'd be more likely to find the Holy Grail) has been ditched to finding bowlers who can 'bowl in the right places', 'in the corridor of uncertainty' or basically fast and straight.
The inclusion of Ryan Sidebottom, belatedly making his second English appearance, offers England someone who can bowl straight and is consistent, he is also a left-hander who will add variety to a samey attack and has experience of Headingley having come up through the Yorkshire youth system and into their first XI.
However, these problems are not only found in England. With Warne and McGrath retired along with the, as yet, last greats of world bowling: Ambrose and Walsh; Wasim and Waqar and Donald, there is only Murali, Shane Bond and probably Mohammed Asif left (Pollock, Kumble and Harbajhan aren't what they used to be). Batsmen should be filling their boots and they have: look at England. We have Strauss (test average 42.66), Cook (46.42), Vaughan (42.94), KP (50.50), Collingwood (44.58), Bell (45.52) with Trescothick at a measly 43.79 hopefully to return. I would play five batsmen with Freddie (32 with both bat and ball) at 6 and Matt Prior (147...really, ok after just one Test but still) at 7. Let's be modest then and say that the five batsmen will score 40 each (conservative estimation given that they all average higher than 40) and Freddie and Prior score 30 each. That'll give you 260 and hope that the last four can nurgle 40-odd. So this should be the bare minimmum an England side batting first should score. For the non-batting bowlers you'd have Hoggard and Monty and then who? How long does Harmison stay in the team on reputation? Will Plunkett and Mahmood ever be anything more than worryingly inconsistent? Will James Anderson ever be as wicked as he was when he first emerged on the scene? Will Sidebottom take his chance and stake his claim to a permanent spot? Is Stuart Broad as good as he looks? Will Simon Jones ever be fully fit again?
Basically, it is time for the batsmen to carry the bowlers: we need five bowlers so the batsmen have got to knuckle down and do their job. The bowling attacks are more playable than for the whole on the 1990s so come on England, score loads.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Ben Furber is my best mate, you can be too.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Is Islam the answer?
Yet this was emailed me by new Beef Source Dave, and it quite clearly puts things from a different angle. Well put it like that and I guess you're having the best of the argument thus far. But one issue I must take issue with: "The Western nation is one with a history of failure, and future of failure". No way man, what about iPods and Sky Plus? PS3 and Satellite Navigation? I'm also not 100% how a nation of modesty can so readily big itself up. But, as I say, I'm no theologist; suffice to say that there are some crazy folks out there.
Open question for all Deputy Leader hopefuls
Update on Colin
Monday, May 14, 2007
Two assholes, one ring.
New father Galloway throws down the gauntlet
By Oliver Duff
Published: 15 May 2007
Trouble brewing in the sweaty corridors of talkSPORT. Two of the radio station's presenters, the cat-impersonating MP George Galloway and the ranting Sun columnist Jon Gaunt loathe one another. Galloway says he has tired of Gaunt's goading and wants to shed the right-wing motorgob's blood.
"He called me a coward," says Galloway, once an amateur boxer in Dundee. "So I've thrown down the gauntlet to him: five rounds in [the Bethnal Green boxing venue] York Hall with a referee of his choice and proceeds to a charity of his choice."
The MP says he received a text message on Saturday from someone purporting to be Gaunt, "saying that he didn't like the [suggested] Queensbury rules and that he'd prefer a sumo wrestling contest". Galloway, who was last night "watching Raging Bull and shadow boxing in the corner", adds: "I'm going to chase that wee fat piggy."
Gaunt hid from my calls yesterday. He "despises" the Respect MP, dismissing him as an "anti-American, anti-British buffoon". Galloway, in turn, considers Gaunt's opinionated discharges "crypto-fascist ... like Richard Littlejohn, without the intellect and the wit".
Pandora will be there ringside with the water bucket and bloodied sponge, collecting the broken teeth to give away as reader prizes.
As an aside, I take this opportunity to congratulate Gorgeous George on becoming a father for the second time. At 12.20pm on Sunday, in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, his partner, Rima Husseini, gave birth to a baby boy. Fidel?
Jog on Meacher. Jog on!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Time to get on the Tinnies
Friday, May 11, 2007
No, I'm not sure why either...
The Danny Read Steak Sauce Sensation
"Slap it on your steak and smile"
Ingredients: Half white onion, 5 shallots, half yellow pepper, 1 green chilli, 5 mushrooms, 6 cherry tomatoes, redcurrant jelly, tomato puree, red wine.
Heat some oil in a pan. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables into very small pieces.
Put all the chopped veg in to the pan and stir for 3 minutes on a medium heat.
Put 1 ½ teaspoons of the redcurrant jelly into the pan and stir in.
Put 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of tomato puree in and stir in
Add a splash of red wine and stir in.
Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour over your steak and try not to come in your pants. It will be difficult.
He's having a mayor
What would you put in Room 101?
[Long deliberation] If I was going in the room I'd want a telly I suppose. [Slightly depressed] Put a telly in there.
Eh, no, this is something you can get rid of!
Oh right, okay - so it can be anything I want to get rid of (increasingly excited). Ken Livingstone. Because I drive in London every bloody day, and every bloody day I pay the congestion charge, and every day I sit in traffic. And I hear this gobshite going on about how he's making London easy to get into. Ken Livingstone without a doubt.
Candidates for Northern Ireland?
Tony Blair - 'Peace in our time' soon to be moved upstairs of the Labour Party FC. Blair has the experience and is a man-motivator. Keepy-uppy with Kevin Keegan displayed his prowess and panache. With Northern Ireland still able to qualify for the European Championships (read it and weap Macca, oh shit I'm English...) Blair may well feel the hand of history on his shoulder.
Sven Goran Nokia - Well Northern Ireland did turn England, under the expert tutelage of the Svengali, over. It would be a right laugh though, innit?
Sanchez does the dirty on Northern Ireland
Expect Sanchez to sign David Healey and Steven Davis. I'll make a prediction that he won't last that long, a season and a bit, tops. And a message to whoever gets the Northern Ireland gig, pick Chris Brunt
Yet another reason to watch Eastenders
Eastenders, clearly sensing the nation's malaise, has commissioned two new characters...both of them Mitchells. Pleasingly neither of these ladies are bald. Roxy and Ronnie Mitchell will be cousins of Phil, Grant and Sam and will be played by Rita Simons (don't know her, but she is the niece of Sir Alan Sugar) and Samantha Janus. Inexplicably, Hello's website (no scrimping on research) have posted a really bad photo of her.
The eyes of chaps (and some ladies, I'm sure) who grew up in the 90s will light up like a Christmas tree, Cheshire cat smiles all round. Game On!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Blair today, gone tomorrow
Talk of Blair's legacy is equally daft. The only Prime Ministers in recent times to have left a legacy are Churchill, Attlee and Thatcher. Churchill for World War II, Attlee for the Welfare State and Thatcher for stealing our milk. When Lady T passes away, and she will, loads of people will be happy, very happy and will remember every single callous, heartless decision she took. Now that's a legacy. Blair? He was just a man doing a job.
Just one more thing though Tony...BACK MCDONNELL
Labels: Tony Blair
Owls fly the nest
Four players have been offered new contracts: club captain Lee Bullen; superstar Deon Burton; shit-hot Steve McLean and youngster Sean McAllister***
* before some goon removed this deserved epitath.
** this is not hte first time Adamson has been released by Wednesday, but last time Sturrock failed to get a back-up keeper and ended up re-signing the hapless one.
*** at the ripe old vintage of 28, I can call him a youngster.
A case of Moore being less
Anyway to the wise sage's words: "The trouble is that the BBC now is run by women and it shows: soap operas, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays. You wouldn’t have had that in the golden days." Ok then tv fans, a quick quiz:
1) What was the first British soap opera?
2) Who hosts the four largest viewed cooking programmes?
3) Name 5 quizzes hosted by women
4) What the fuck is a kitchen-sink play?
5) In the 'golden days' did millions of poor saps tuned in to 'The Sky at Night'?
Answers at the bottom.
"I used to watch Doctor Who and Star Trek, but they went PC - making women commanders, that kind of thing. I stopped watching" continues nut-job Moore. I don't like Dr Who and have commented on it before here quite near the bottom of the interview, but the whole thing is worth a read if truth be told), but I recognise that this Tennant Doctor is a bloke. His assistant is a bird, but haven't they always been? And Star Trek? Well if that's what you're into watching I don't think it matters if the Commander is a bloke, bird or someone with a cornish pasty implanted into his forehead. It sucks more than a WAG after a handbag.
Sir Patrick (How did he become a knight of the realm? Through being old, sexist or having appeared the most times on Through the Keyhole?) also believes that Eastenders is realistic. Have a look at this? Is this realisitic? Fucking hell, you're spending too much time looking up telescopes or kaleidoscopes or whatever the fuck you do.
1) Coronation Street. First broadcast in December 1960 and devised by Tony Warren. That's Tony as in Anthony and not Antoinette, i.e. a man.
2) Anything with Gordon Ramsey (man), anything with Jamie Oliver (man with big fat tongue), Can't Cook Won't Cook hosted by Ainsley Harriot (man with shiny head) and Saturday Kitchen hosted by Anthony Worrell-Thompson (1/2 man, 1/2 weasal).
3) The Weakest Link and...
4) No idea
5) Yes. I imagine the only good thing about the Tory-inspired three day week was not having to watch this toss. And Brian May (guitarist in the worst band in the world ever) is a frequent guest.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Whatever happened to good-sportsmanship?
Jose Mourinho - you spent loads, lost the Premiership, got knocked out by Liverpool...again, sold loads of players because you wanted a slim-line squad and then moan like a c*nt when it all goes Pete Tong. Stick to going to WWE events with your kids.
Alex Ferguson - we know you are great. You also have Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Darren Fletcher and Kieran Richardson in your first-team sqaud and expect to win the Champions League. Not so great, eh? Also Michael Carrick is the single most over-rated player in England, surpassing even the rotundness that is Frank Lampard. Given these MISTAKES you think you can turn around and be dismissive of Liverpool's chance of beating the team that beat you like a dog? Prick.
Arsene Wenger - just because you have shat out this season, please don't think anyone likes you at all. You are a lying tossrag. I didn't see it. Someone try and run him down then.
Rafa Benitez - please stop trying to look like Nasser Hussain
Sven Goran Nokia - please, please, please, please apply for the Newcastle job
Steve McClaren - Resign and do some reality TV. Like Big Ron Manager.
Glenn Roeder - Oh Glenn, I will miss your small mouth and your woeful team. If I had a shit defence the one thing I would certainly do would be to continue playing Titus Bramble.
Brian Laws - You are the man!
I used to be a cockney, you know?
But I am particularly happy to see Kat Slater, I mean Jessie Wallace, back on our screens. It's relief indeed that she isn't typecast. Oh no. She's playing a slightly tarty, bawdy and jovial vamp. Home from home, eh?
Monday, May 07, 2007
It's Great When You're 28
So this one's for all my freaks in cyberspace.
It's been a while now, no? You been missing me? Well I been missing y'all too.
But never fear the smile is back, I'm hot to trot.
SHOCK HORROR - Glenn 'the Smallest Mouth in the Premiership' has been axed as supremo of Newcastle United. His replacement will be notorious big-mouth Sam Allardyce.
Wednesday finish in 9th place. Highly credible and we're on the up and up.
Since the last time I blogged it's nice to see that the Deputy Leadership campaign is *really* hotting up. Sheesh kebab, it's hot. Who'll get my vote? Well, let's just say it's all to play for, and I hope they're just limbering up at the moment.
Oh yeh and McDonnell for leader. If that clown Meacher gets more votes and Maccy D has to back him, it's over. The game is over.
Facebook is still the greatest site in the world.
Michael Vaughan is injured again.
Duncan Fletcher has been given the old heave-ho with Peter Moores becoming the new big cheese. Also good to see, ex-Zimbabwe and Essex star Andy Flower appointed as his deputy.
Cricket season is back on.
And finally Neil Warnock is still the biggest c*nt ever. Come on Wigan, stuff those Pigs and then West Ham can get a point off United and send those Piggy Bastards down.