Friday, March 31, 2006

Lib Dem Cllr caught with his pants down

When not playing with his organ (see post below) there is nothing the good Bishop of Brustwerk prefers than to surf the Internet. Sometimes the Bishop multi-tasks and does both activities at the same time. At his ripe age that is no mean achievement.
So who's this ripped, cut, jakked and tonk young man in the photo? Well the Bishop (no bashing gags...) revealed it's none other than Lib Dem Lambeth Cllr Charles Anglin advertising himself on a gay dating website. This is quite similar to the furore caused by Rhondda MP, Chris Bryant when a picture of him surfaced on t'internet in his underwear (although I think the pic of him on the Web came about via a disgruntled ex-amour).
In fact the reaction of their respective parties are eerily...well judge for yourself. When defending Anglin's naivety (let's be generous) Lambeth's Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr Peter Truesdale said the pictures were a private matter. And when defending Chris Bryant, a Welsh Labour spokesman said: "It's a private matter..." Spooky!
You know what people get up to in the privacy of their own lives is their business, but it really is strange for supposed savvy peeps to present what is, in essence, an open goal. And unlike Emile Heskey, I don't miss open goals.
In his web advert, Anglin is ANGLING for loving action by saying how arousing he finds wrestling. I wonder if he is also a footie fan? If he is, he might be interested in this opening.

Protestors pipe up and take lead in organ debate

The story that is gripping the UK: Lead Pipe Organs. A new EU directive has led the Department for Trade and Industry to announce that Lead Pipe Organs can have only 0.1 per cent of its weight in lead, prompting the Ilford Recorder to LEAD with "Ban church organs? EU must be joking."
My source, the Bishop of Brustwerk, pointed me in the direction of three parliamentary questions. A shivering Bishop of Brustwerk informed me that his father taught him to play with his organ at an early age and often watched him play even today.
Displaying that they are now indeed in touch with the kidz, Tory MP Tony Baldry had a cunning plan, asking:

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many organpipes have been disposed of on landfill sites since 2002.

Mr. Bradshaw: No data are available on the information requested. However, I would expect recyclable organ pipes would be sent to scrap metal facilities rather than to landfill.

Not deterred by this, Liberal Democrat Shadow Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Dr Steve Webb asked:

Steve Webb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many pipe organs there are in the Church of England.

Sir Stuart Bell: The Church of England does not hold figures centrally for pipe organs in its cathedrals and churches. However, there are some 28,000 pipe organs registered in the UK (National Pipe Organ Register).

Well that's cleared that one up then. However, things got a bit tastier when the Labour and Co-op Member for Stroud, David Drew asked:

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to ensure that on (a) the restriction of hazardous substances (2002 95/EC) and (b) waste electrical and electronic equipment (2002 96/EC) prohibiting the use of lead in component manufacture do not adversely affect the organ building and repair industry.

Malcolm Wicks: The Department of Trade and Industry continues to work closely with the European Commission, other member states and industry on the RoHS and WEEE directives. The repair and refurbishment of existing pipe organs (both now and in the future) will not be affected; neither will pipe organs that are not reliant on electricity to function. A total exemption for the manufacture of new pipe organs from the substances restrictions of the RoHS directive would require a formal application by the industry to the European Commission (under article 5.1b). The Department has offered to work with the industry to help them develop such a case.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the EU Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment on pipe organ (a) building and (b) maintenance; and if he will make a statement.
Malcolm Wicks: There is no impact on pipe organ building or maintenance arsing from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive.

Look closer to Malcolm Wicks' answer...he skillfully answers David Drew's but is comprenhensively stumped by wily David Chaytor answering that "There is no impact on pipe organ building or maintenance arsing..."
MAINTENANCE ARSING? Now that is a debate we could all enjoy.

Hopefully, these proposals will only apply to newly built organs. Otherwise a bit of drum 'n' bass might address dwindling congregations.

* photo courtesy of the Ilford Recorder

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Catch-all Mitchell Friday Party Fun

Slags of the world unite. Obviously, not slag as in its sexually promiscuous sense but rather its Eastend gangland meaning. It's Recess! It's Friday! So liven your day up by dressing-up as Eastenders characters. I know! how good? It's not really Phil Mitchell, it's my colleague wearing a Phil Mitchell mask.
Get your masks here and you can even do Eastenders invitations for all your chums. Elsewhere on the 'Stenders BBC microsite you can find other masks including Dot Branning. As a hint, you may need to enlarge the mask using various Microsfot programmes for the optimum mask to actual face size ratio.

Get what you want on Ebay.

I am an avid fan of Ebay. I just like buying things. However, (adopting Lloyd Grossman voice) who would buy a mug like this? Sold with the great caption: 'I'VE HAD BUM SEX WITH A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT'. Because you probably have. Brought to you by BEELZEMUGS 'Getting bigger with every mouthful' this delightful object is going for £4.95 + p&p. Click here to bid
or click here to check out other mug auctions including the "Ruth Kelly doesn't know I work here" mug and the News of the World "I've been made a twat of by the Fake Shiekh" mug.

King of Chavs stripped of privileges

This is yesterday's news, but thanks to a certain TWO RUDE TORY MEN it had to be delayed.
The Sun was quick to cover the story of jailed, King of Chavs, Mikey Carroll. As Britain's favourite tabloid reports:
"Carroll, who won a £9.7million jackpot in 2002, is serving a nine-month stretch for affray after pleading guilty last month to brandishing a baseball bat in a mini-riot at a Christian rock concert in Downham Market, Norfolk."
Hey until reading this, I never knew Mikey was a Christian. I bet he wasn't in your play Kerron...
Mikey Carroll got into trouble for getting smashed on prison-brewed hooch (generic word for booze rather than the sadly no longer in existence alcho-pop) and then shouitng, singing and insulting any and everyone at the top of his voice. No booze was found in his cell because he had drunk it all. He was subsequently stripped of his privileges, but not his burberry.
Carroll is one of the scummier people in the UK best (along with Jeffrey Archer) and is famed for his misdemeanours, which include chucking Big Macs at pedestrians (becuase Quarter Pounders aren't big enough - really!); posession of cocaine and handling stolen goods. Not to mention racing his cars, at full pace and volume, until two or three in the morning, sometimes all night.
However, Stella-necking animal Carroll has also entered the boxing ring for two celebrity fights with Rhyno (the most massive of all the massive Gladiators - awooga!). Mikey's girlfriend Sami (not sure if they're still together) said; "I am really proud that he had the guts to get in the ring. He did do some runs before the fight - but most of his training was on lager." The first fight was somehow called a draw but in the rematch, with the nation urging Rhyno to do Carroll, the tattooed, football kit wearing Chav was knocked out in Round 2.
If this isn't enough, he also tried to bribe his local Council into letting him switch on the Christmas lights to where he lives (somewhere near Norwich I think)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Same Old Tory B*stards

I was just about to do a post on Mikey Carroll, the self-proclaimed King of Bling, when a friend rang me asking to sign him in. So I saunter downstairs and am walking from Norman Shaw South to Portcullis House and am holding the door open as becomes people with manners and Messrs Cameron and Osborne barge straight past without a by or leave, nevermind a thank you.
This is not the first time I have been dissed by high ranking Tories as I have been previously shamed by Michael Howard and George, Iain and D*ckhead-Smith as reported here by the always-on-the-ball Recess Monkey. So if we accept that Gideon is to be the next Tory leader it would mean I have been victim to the lack of manners of the last FOUR (if we accept George, Iain and D*ckhead-Smith as one person) leaders.
After those TWO RUDE TORY MEN walked past, Lynne Featherstone (the always polite Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green) looked at me - we had eye contact (in the manner of star-crossed lovers, or a hypnotist and patient) and both shook our heads at these inconsiderate people. GIVE THEM ASBOs. IT'S THE ONLY LANGUAGE THEY UNDERSTAND.
So well done Lynne and also Nadine Dorries, Tory MP for somewhere in Bedford, for saying thank you (I must have held the door open for about 10 people in what felt like waiting for the funeral cortege at the beginning of You Only Live Twice to pass).
And thanks to Cameron and Osborne you'll have to wait til tomorrow for the Mikey Carroll post.

(Pris)Cilla, Queen of the Dessert

Cilla doing her best Jack Nicholson as the Joker impression

Ever since time began Cilla (62) has been on TV. Before that she sang in Liverpool. She has fronted such programmes as Surprise, Surprise and Blind Date. However, she has been off the small screen for a number of years. Yet fear not for Cilla is back. Eating with... Cilla sees the Scouse gastronome talk about her life in relation to key foods. Sound sh*t? You betcha!
Whilst researching this post I found this rather amusing little anecdote about Cilla:

I can always remember many years ago, talking to Cilla after one of the "live " shows in Eastbourne - and I asked her if she ever thought she might forget the words of any of her songs while singing on stage.

She just laughed and said that she was more worried about singing what she was thinking of at the particular time....usually about what she was going to have to eat after the show! So she was afraid she might sing out "steak and chips!" or something! So I guess she's always been fond of her food!

Hilarious! Lovely story that.
And that tasty morsel was posted on a chatboard by a man called Ken.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shameful episode continues as Wembley lays off staff

Lay offs galore

It was as if Sir Alan Sugar entered Wembley looked around, surveyed the mess, found a few workers and uttered the immortal "YOU'RE FIRED". Of course not, because for all that Sir Alan is accused he is actually a successful businessman. So this must be down to the Circus from Down Under, Multiplex who have laid off hundreds of steelworkers, scaffolders and welders.
Some points become obvious very quickly: firstly, it aint their fault it's all running late and secondly who the f*ck is going to finish the job? Last week some girder fell off the roof and there are also problems with the sewage system (the last time so much sh*t was seen in Wembley was when Leicester City reached the Worthington Cup final). Unions have been quick to denounce these sackings, advising their members to continue working as their is still work to do.
What a shambles.

Update: I heard a rumour today that Multiplex had actually folded and were skint. It'll be interesting to see if there's any truth in this.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Always happy to oblige

Here are a few more dire waxworks, I hope you enjoy. Skuds - if you wanna nick them just copy them off here, it's all I did off someone else's site.

OK then this is bad. There's Daley Thompson, Eddie 'the Eagle' and, believe it or not, Kevin Keegan looking like he never has before. The guy on Eddie's left, I can only assume to be Eddie Kidd in healthier times.

It's not only sports personalities who get the hot wax treatment; here's TV funnyman Jim Davidson. You can tell cos of the name plate. In the background are luminaries including Mr Blobby and Noel Edmonds (BAFTA nominee) and you can clearly see Rene Artois from 'Allo 'Allo and sign for Ewing from Dallas.

Jason and Kylie are present too. Wearing clothes donated by local charity shops. In their prime, Jason and Kylie were quite the cool kids, but according to their dress sense they were eminently responsible and enjoyed nothing more than a cup of tea and a hobnob.

And finally here she is, the best Queen we never had (joint best with that Jeanette Krankie), Princess Diana, the Princess of Hearts. I think the bouffanty hair dates this during her marriage to Prince Charles. A truly appalling waxwork made by a candle in the wind.

Mega farcical metatarsal

Worst waxwork ever?

If the above picture is accurate, Michael Owen will struggle to be fit for the World Cup. But well done to the brighters ones amongst you for noticing that the above is not Michael Owen but moreover a waxwork. Presumably a waxwork made by someone who has never seen Michael Owen. And, get this, the guy behind Michael Owen is Ian Botham.
Owen injured his metatarsal on New Years' Eve, happy days when Souness was still manager of Newcastle, Whales were yet to invade and Barney was still with the BDO. The initial diagnosis was 8-10 weeks out, as it is now the end of March it makes you wonder whether Multiplex organised Owen's health plan.
People will undoubtedly remember Uri Geller doing his bit for England by beseeching people to touch an image of David Beckham's foot on the TV in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup (it was a T.V programme rather than people having a picture of his foot on their TV) to heal Golden Balls who had suffered a similar injury. So please summon up all your GOOD energy (no bad energy thanks) and pass it to Michael Owen.

Deal or no deal?

Bafta nominee Noel Edmonds

What has the world come to? BAFTAs have about as much credibility as MBEs, OBEs and CBEs (unlike becoming a Lord which is a real slog) and Britain's premier televisual awards have plumbed new depths by nominating Noel Edmonds for his role as host, smug git extraordinaire and mannequin for the visually impaired on Deal or No Deal.
Despite being an Ilford-boy, I have never liked Noel Edmonds. I think growing up in the shadow of someone dying (penultimate and one before that paragraphs) during the filming of The Late Late Breakfast Show; or was it those god-awful pullovers, the trimmed bearded (still remains) that suggested a painful history of psychological issues or just his general annoyance factor.
However after Crinkley Bottom was dropped it appeared that Noel was to be left out to pasture. But the Bearded One's now back; this time on Channel 4 hosting Deal or No Deal, which whilst being pretty good has already, in my own esteemed opinion, outlasted its purpose. How many different permutations are left? They should call it quits when Lucy eventually gets called. Poor lady has had to suffer Edmonds for months, she deserves a good bit of lolly.
Noel will go up against Jeremy Clarkson, Jonathan Ross and Jack Dee for the best entertainment performance TV Bafta. AND WE PAY OUR LICENCE FEE FOR THIS? ROLE ON TURNING 75.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blair fights back

He'll go when he's ready

Supposed beleaguered Prime Minster Blair fought back at all asundry who are pressing him to go.

Alright bruv?


Mitchell's Phil and Grant are back in the Square and this time its personal! Proper Eastend boys, it's good to have them both back. Watch out Johnny Allan, you're dead man walking.
Please check this link for Phil having fun, or this link for a mask (I have one waiting to be donned) or this one if you're feeling brave (especially when there's Mitchells about)

The Ayes have it

5th place

Adam Rickitt, the Games wooden spoon winner and worst diver since Dider Drogba, managed to f*ck up both his eyes spazzing it off the high board - giving the Tory MP hopeful first hand explanation of "The Ayes have it". Political jargon made easy.
Over the weekend Rickitt's Coronation Street grandmother Lynne Perry (Ivy Tilsley) passed away after suffering a stroke at age 75. After leaving Corrie, Perry got temporary exposure and permanent notoriety by turning up absolutely smashed on The Word and also horribly and embarrassingly weird on Shooting Stars.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Beef Jerky of the Week


The Jerky of the Week is back, and congratulations to the PM for winnig this one hands down. I think the picture says it all really. It makes it no easier that the Tories and Lib Dems are equally as sleazy and makes it no more palatable that Labour are now introducing some form of transparency. Shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

How to get £14 million quick

Is Djibril Cisse the answer to the Labour Party's woes?

Djibril Cisse, yes him of tattoos, improbable muscles, lightning speed and ability not to score against all odds has emerged as a shock makeweight in a deal that could save the Labour Party. It was Gerard Houllier who signed him from Auxerre for £14 million and with Nasser Hussain look-a-like, Rafael Benitez having already fallen out of love with him; it appears that he may be off-loaded.
£14 million. Now where's that figure familiar from? Is it the Queen's overdraft? No, I don't think so. Now come on. Think. Concentrate. 14 million...Is it the number of viewers Davina McCall has lost in the last month?
Hold on it's the combined debt accrued by the Labour Party in loans from Gulam Noon, Chai Patel, Ron Aldridge, Lord Sainsbury et al. So is there any way Benitez would loan Cisse to Number 10 (he is Numer 9 for Liverpool)? Labour could then keep Cisse on the bench for departmental questions as collateral until the monies are paid off legally?

The Final 23 - Part IV - Strikers

Wayne Rooney - Forget about Springtime for Hitler, it's Goaltime for Wayne. The scene is set for the boy-wonder on the biggest stage. Unbelievable player; so strong, so skillful with great finishing and awareness. Has got over his penchant for 50 year old hookers and if he keeps his temper and doesn't break his foot again, England must feel it could be their year. Also inspired my favourite tabloid headline of the year: "Rooney: Hungrier than ever"

Michael Owen - Has more international pedigree than Crufts. Poacher extraordinaire who loves scoring goals for England. Hopefully, he gets fit soon and bangs in a few for Newcastle before spearheading England's World Cup effort. Even when not playing well, always likely to pop up with a goal or two (see evidence A: England 3:2 Argentina). Legend material even if he doesn't quite have the pace of old. And that goal against Argentina in 1998...

Jermaine Defoe - What exactly has he done to piss off Martin Jol? Spill his Grolsch perhaps? Or said he didn't like Shrek? Whatever the reason Defoe is unlucky not to be playing that regular for Spurs and looks destined to leave in the summer with high-class suitors including Liverpool. Defoe has a great eye for goal and is basically a type-for-type replacement for Owen. Not a starter but an invaluable sub who could prove crucial.

Dean Ashton - For me Ashton has done enough to pip good touch for a big man Peter Crouch to the final place in my Fantasy Squad. Ashton has been consistently top-notch for a few years. Bagging goals left, right and centre for Crewe, Norwich and latterly West Ham, Ashton looks like an excellent prospect. And don't England tend to do well in World Cups with a West Ham player up front?

When a name says so much about the person

Cllr you Caunt be serious

I am sorry for posting a lot on football and cricket. It’s just that I like sport loads. However, don’t think for one iota that I have lost my passion for local politics. So it’s with great joy that I turn to Dudley, the place forever damned with the Lenny Henry accent. The leader of the Council is one David Caunt, Cllr Caunt to his friends. And guess what? He’s a Tory.
This man wears his failures like a badge of honour. Recent ‘you didn’t wanna do that’ blunders include shutting the local swimming bath (inspired when we have just got the 2012 Olympics) and attempting to shut local schools (although the Schools Adjudicator has just flipped him the bird and told him he can’t – not Caunt!). However, the coup de grace is his group’s decision, after much pressure, to give the people of Stourbridge a pedestrian crossing. Good news, eh? Not when the crossing is slap bang in front of a Fire Station. Does the collective Council brain-trust think making it slower for fire engines to get to 999 calls is sound decision making?
Intensive research shows that the 4 local MPs have continually harangued and criticised the hapless loon who defended himself with the most surreal riposte imaginable. He said the MPs should keep their beaks out of it and concentrate on matters Westminster. This is the ultimate Royston Vasey approach to politics: LOCAL POLITICS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE. Ironic that Dudley Council is run by a bunch of duds. Avid politicos may be interested that in a poll taken just after the General Election, Cllr Caunt was recognised by 4% of people asked. In the same poll Peter Andre was recognised by 92%.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Final 23 - Part III - Midfield

David Beckham - It seems so long since Beckham has played to his full potential for England. Who can forget his free-kick in the last minute vs. Greece in what was the best solo performance I have ever seen? It's about time Becks started whipping in those dangerous balls, bursting the onion bag with a Bend It Like Beckham special and playing a simple pass instead of the 60 yard Hollywood ball (we'll never forget you Ron). Has previous at World Cups so hopefully it'll be third time lucky for the tattooed superstar.

Steven Gerrard - Two words: Stevie 'fuc*ing' Gerrard. Cross your fingers, toes and handkerchiefs that Gerrard can play for England like he does for Liverpool. Needs to score more for England. Great player going forward, great in the tackle, brilliant passes, great stamina and leadership. Stevie's the man. He can also make women faint by just being in their presence and doesn't mind get punked by a little kid

Frank Lampard - The footballer formally known as 'Fat Frank' has graduated from promising fringe player to essential goal-scoring midfielder. His impressive outings for Chelsea finally convinced Sven to choose him over Paul Scholes, a decision made easier when Scholes retired from international football. Bags loads of goals for England and Chelsea, Frank will start in the middle with Gerrard, and if they fire things look good for England.

Joe Cole - Despite looking like a hungover tramp with a massive head, Joe Cole is England's most improved player of the season and has guaranteed his starting place with a number of highly impressive performances for both Chelsea and England. His finishing is still not as good as it should be, but Coles's trickery and new found strength offer England a little something extra.

Michael Carrick - Can play the holding role and can pass the ball. Carrick has really come on leaps and bounds this year at Spurs and played pretty well against Uruguay. Although Sven will perservere with Lampard and Gerrard in the middle, Carrick can actually play the holding role in the 4-4-2 better than anyone else. Yes, even better than Phil Neville or Owen Hargreaves (of whom I must admit to being a fan).

Shaun Wright-Phillips - Small enough to be included as hand luggage the little guy adds another dimension: pace. He's quicker than Tony Blair going round with a chequebook at a Labour Party fundraiser. Sorry a Number 10 fundraiser (no Jack Dromey). But at £23 million costs more! People who say he shouldn't go because he hasn't played that much for Chelsea are missing the point. His pace can really stretch defences. These foreigners don't like them up 'em.

Kieron Dyer - I am sure this selection will raise a couple of eyebrows in a manner that would befit Roger Moore or the Rock. If fit, I think Dyer should go he is really pacey and a top quality player. Despite their unquestionable talents the starting midfield 4 (Becks, Lamps, Gerrard and Cole) have misfired as a unit too many times and consequently it would make sense to have the double pace injection of SWP and Dyer. A friend of mine once overheard Dyer saying, after the 2002 World Cup, that he would never play for England again 'because they're rubbish'.

Kevin Nolan - The trickiest selection. I changed my mind on this one. Having initially decided to take 5 strikers, I am now going to go with 4 and take Nolan as an extra midfielder. Tough, uncompromising, box-to-box, goals there's not a lot he can't do. He won't make the 23 in all probability cos Sven doesn't like Bolton (for once I must agree), but with Nolan there the midfield is covered and him and Dyer can play as an auxiliary forward if needs must.

BBC commentators liven up dull matches

Duck! Stray arm

As inconvenient as they may be for the teams playing, I have enjoyed BBC showing the four F.A Cup matches on weekday evenings this week. However, the last two matches: Chelsea vs. Newcastle and Charlton vs. Middlesboro were on the dull side. Actually they were dull. So enter John Motson and Jonathan Pearce; two plonkers of Rodney Trotter proporotion.
After two players (sadly cannot recall who) went up for the ball one got hit in the face by the others arm, Motty declares that player one was caughty 'by a stray arm'. A stray arm? How? Did someone from the crowd just happen to have a spare arm upon their person and throw it on to the pitch to liven up proceedings? Or was it Thing from the Adams Family?
Compare and contrast this with offender number 2, Jonathan Pearce; who for some reason best known to himself insisted on continually calling Middlesboro goalie Mark Schwarzer (pronounced Schwoortzer - sort of!), Mark Schwartzer. For the unitiated of you schwartzer is the yiddish word for a black guy. Is Jonathan Pearce a yiddish speaker, or is he just a tosser? I find it well annoying when commentators pretend to be more au fait with international football by seeking to give their own interpretation to the correct pronounciation of anyone whose surname is more foreign than Smith or Jones.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Final 23 - Part II - Defence

Gary Neville - Dependable and ugly, Gary Neville will be England's right back. Solid in defence and a good crosser of the ball, his experience will also be crucial. Mouthy as anything, he is always likely to rile opponents.

John Terry - Should be captain, but Sven will invariably stick with Golden Balls. Inspirational for Chelsea and getting better with every game for England. Has rightly broken the Rio/Sol partnership and is a dead-on cert for starting. An excellent defender and key to England's hopes.

Rio Ferdinand - Classy. Kind of 21st century version of Alan Hansen. Classy on the ball with excellent football mind. Despite being slagged off continually in the Press, Rio's played better than anyone could be expected to when playing alongside Michael Sylvestre. His biggest problem seems to be momentary lapses of concentration, but I think his quality will prevail. A definite starter.

Ashley Cole - Injury-permitting Ashley Cole will be marauding down the left flank putting the fear of God into hapless right backs. Represents the perfect balance to Gary Neville. Missed by Arsenal and England equally when unfit, an England team with Cole has a far better chance of success than an England without him. His crap name should not be held against him.

Jamie Carragher - A Champions League winner, a quality solid centre back who can also deputise capably at right and left back, Carragher is unlucky to be playing at a time when England have such strength in depth. Committed, popular and ever-willing Carragher is ultra dependable and the kind of player Sven loves.

Ledley King - Whilst always looking impressive at Spurs, King has really upped his game and has virtually booked his place on the plane to Germany. King has been excellent whenever picked and his pace and power going forward is vital. Can also play the holding role in midfield, so Ledley would be the player in the squad as a Defender and Midfielder, therefore, making the squad 3 Keepers, 7 Defenders, 7 Midfielders, 5 Strikers and Ledley King.

Wayne Bridge - Would go as an understudy to Ashley Cole. Becuase Cole offers so much, I would feel safer having specialist back-up in the squad and Bridge has proved himself for England. I don't know why he's been outed from Chelsea in favour of his spitting image Asier Del Horno (who also seems to be for the chop) but hopefully his loan move to west London neighbours Fulham will get him games and confidence. Although, crippled by Paul Robinson it was evident that it would not have happened had Bridge been playing regularly enough to have confidence to clear it before colliding with Robinson.

Jonathan Woodgate - Despite being almost constantly injured since leaving Leeds, Woodgate is absolutely awesome and if he can prove his fitness at Real he should be in the squad. This is a big if, and it's more probable than not that he will not be fit enough to travel. If that is the case, I'd take...

Wes Brown - Although, Brown is injured almost as often as Woodgate he has started playing very well for Man Utd and is also capable of playing at right back.

The Final 23 - Part I - Goalies

Paul Robinson - Without a shadow of a doubt Robinson is the best keeper in England and when not crippling his England teammates (Owen and Bridge thus far) Robinson gives real steel to the England backline. Gone are the days of watching Seaman get progressively worse and of watching David James try harder and fail. In my opinion he is, after Rooney, England's most important player.

Richard Wright - I have always rated Wright highly, but I cannot deny that his inclusion (in my squad, it is very unlikely he'll make Sven's) is due to a dearth of quality English keepers. I cannot bring myself to put James in because of past failures and Robert Green hasn't had the best season with Norwich. The only other feasible choice would be Chris Kirkland but he is perenially injured. So for my third choice I would go for (brace yourselves Kerron and Wooter)....

Ben Foster - I have only seen him live once and wasn't that impressed (mind the other keeper that day was a decidedly dodgy Nicky Weaver), but as a young keeper with plenty of potential, he has had a strong season with promotion-chasing Watford (Come on! Stuff the Pigs and the Scum) and going to the World Cup would be beneficial. But let me say, injuries permitting, Wright and Foster would have no chance of playing.

The Final 23

Sven posing with Shaun Wright-Phillips' t-shirt

With the World Cup looming - now less than 80 days away - England have a great chance of winning the tournament. We have some excellent players and quite frankly some other teams are not as strong as they have been previously. But we have Sven. So let's give Sven a hand in choosing the squad because without us he will invariably include some crappy player no-one else in the country would.
After consulting with a fellow blogger and a couple of chums I will start posting on this after lunch. It should keep me awake during the Budget.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

England reap reward of deserved Indian summer

Sehwag out for a bombay duck

Waking up in the arms of a beautiful woman and hearing the words India are 92-7 on Radio 4 is the ideal way to start your day. England have achieved the highly improbable by beating a star-studded Indian line-up by a whopping 212 runs. Come on!
And this is England minus first XI players: Marcus Trescothik, Michael Vaughan, Ashley Giles, Simon Jones and Steve Harmison. England's achievement in drawing the series 1-1 in India, generally accepted as the hardest place in the world to tour, is immense. In this match England had Andrew Strauss, debutant Owais Shah, Shaun Udal, Matthew Hoggard and James Anderson all make valuable contribution. Even Geraint Jones temporarily gave up on his seemingly permanent David James impression (dropping everything near him) to snaffle at least 3 world class catches behind the stumps. And engineering everything was Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff. Emergency stand-in captain, chief bowler, star batsman and inspired tactician. I can't praise him highly enough. Duncan Fletcher, England's Zimbabwean coach, now has a welcome selection dilemma come the summer's Tests against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
We have 3 top quality openers in Trescothik, Strauss and Essex's Alistair Cook and combine that with a middle order consisting of any 3 of Vaughan, Pietersen, Bell, Collingwood and Shah England's batting looks very prolific. Freddie at 6 with a recalled Chris Read (touch wood) coming in at 7. Leaving 3 pace bowlers to be picked from Simon Jones, Harmison, Hoggard and James Anderson (who exorcised the ghosts of his nightmare last test vs. South Africa with an excellent performance in Mumbai) with a fit again Giles, Udal or, more likely, Monty Panesar as the spinner. The big losers will be Liam Plunkett and Ian Blackwell who sadly failed to display any of their considerable talents when picked. It speaks volumes that players who do not perform will not automatically remain in the team.
Dismissing a batting line up of Jaffer, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Y. Singh, Dhoni, Pathan, Kumble, H. Singh, Sreesanth and Patel for 100 is almost beyond belief. And if this is the last of Udal's test appearances (and at 37 with quality alternatives it may well be) he can be rightly proud of figures of 4-14 (including Tendulkar), especially after the pasting he took in Pakistan.

Blunt and to the point

Don't go to the sea with this guy

We recently got a digital DAB radio in the office, and not being the coolest of kids (no shit, I write a blog) I listened to the tunes not really knowing who was who, or what was what. Those days of ignorant bliss are sadly long gone and I wish to vent my anger in the direction of James Blunt. The mop-haired guy who sings like a girl.
Now if "You're beautiful" being the worst aesthetic song since Baby Bird's horrible "You're gorgeous" isn't enough his latest offering, "Wise Men" plunges new depths of debauchery. The first verse contains the lyrics, "And they're really sorry now for what they've done, They were three Wise Men just trying to have some fun" and you're just thinking fair play, 3 lads having a laugh, enjoying the craic and they're sorry; just forgive them. But then it emerges, in the chrous of all places, that "Those three Wise Men, They've got a semi by the sea."
I'm none too sure this is what our youngsters need being transmitted over the wavelengths. It's the lunatics running the asylum.

Not quite a dinamo anymore

One of this lot is Doina Melinte. I know it's not barefoot Zola Budd (number 283) but it could be any of the others. Using the national colours I'd guess 641.

Let's get something right straight off. Crime isn't funny, big or clever; it doesn't pay. Unless you keep an eye on Romania. Seriously, if it's a laugh you're after Romania's the place. Whether it's football teams struggling to get the concept of the Euro and dealing in meat or Priests getting sexual and political post-Ceausescu Romania is certainly quite the hot-spot. And it is with this firmly in mind that I was not surprised to discover that 1984 Olympic gold medallist Doina Melinte was recently mugged and the muggers outran her! Sadly, no longer quite the athlete she once was, Melinte (49) could not stop them. That's age and the fact that she is no longer pumped full of the various illegal drug concoctions for which the Soviet bloc are so fondly remembered. It remains undisclosed whether any of the muggers set personal bests (PB).

Accy on the up

Accrington Stanley milking it

Boy 1 enters shot, puts ball on top of fridge, and opens it

Boy 2: "Got any lemonade?"
Boy 1: "If you want!" (he takes a bottle of milk from the fridge)
Boy 2: "Milk.....Ugh!"
Boy 1: "It's what Ian Rush drinks."
Boy 2: "Ian Rush?"
Boy 1: "Yeah, an' he says if I didn't drink lots of milk, when I grow up I'll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley!"
Boy 2: "Accrington Stanley? ... Who are they??!"
Boy 1: "Exactly!"

Boy 2 tries to get to Boy 1's milk.

Boy 1: "Nah, gerroff!"
Boy 2: "Gimmie some!"

Yes, the immortal advert for milk which entered Accrington Stanley into the folklore of everyone aged more than 24ish. And now Accy find themselves on the brink of regaining their place in the Football League after having been relegated in 1962. The kid in that advert is now a manchild called Carl Rice and he was invited to the recent home match vs. Stevenage (1-1) as a sort of guest of honour.
After a little bit of digging I found a couple of facts about Accy. Firstly, Accrington F.C (not Stanley, but another Accrington - same place, different team) were one of the original 12 Football League teams. However they dropped out of the league in 1893 (only founded in 1888), and folded shortly afterwards due to financial problems, thus giving Accrington the distinction of being the only town to have lost two football league clubs.
Famous Accrington peeps include Ronnie 'the Rocket' Baxter and Mystic 'happy medium' Meg. So congratulations and any team whose renaissance is in part due to the money gained through a percentage sell-on clause of Brett Ormerod is alright by me.

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