Monday, May 29, 2006

Lib Dem declaration of mediocrity

Listening to TalkSport as I was posting the last article and there's some programme slagging off Prezza - fair enough really. But there was a special guest phone-caller...drumroll...Vince Cable. Wow! I'm sure about 5% of Talksport's listeners have heard of him, but anyway the host Jon Gaunt, a kind of no-nonsense, tough-talking, belligerent tw*t, turned on Cable almost immediately asking if Blair, Prescott et al were so bad and out of touch and if Cameron was perhaps not making as much immediate progress as hoped how comes Ming Campbell was so useless. Classic. Cable admitted that Ming needed to improve a bit. Oh dear, oh dear. Surely, the nice people party aren't sharpening those knives again?
And Gaunt, in a moment of non Prescott bashing, turned his scorn to John Reid asking why he was on holiday when he had promised to spend '18 f-ing hours a day' sorting out immigration. How's about because it's Recess, you tart.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

KP breaks into Top Ten

From the photo you would think that Kevin Pietersen was left-handed, but he is not; he is right-handed and, simply put, amazing. He can be more proficient than this eras great batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Steve Waugh and as destructive, if not more so, than the modern day blasters Chris Gayle, Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist. His reverse sweep for 6 off Murali (currently ranked #1 in the world) was pure bravado executed in the showman's style that KP personifies (we'll gloss over that he was out LBW immediately after). It was announced today that KP has broken in to the world top ten batsmen and, surely, it is only a matter of time before KP becomes the first English batsman to reach #1 since Michael Vaughan briefly did, and before him Graham Gooch.

Maybe it's because I am Londoner

that I love Eastenders

Watching the Eastenders omnibus, a real Sunday afternoon treat, it was funnier than usual. Firstly Ben, the devil-child and from my extensive poll the joint least popular Mitchell, admitted to hitting Freddie - which left Little Mo unable to concentrate on anything. Now in soap operas there is a rule of how to communicate that someone is under stress and doesn't hear what others are saying. One character will say something to which the under pressure character will reply 'Oh yes'. Sensing something awry the concerned character will keep on saying things progressively more surreal to which the character under pressure continues to absent-mindedly say 'Uh huh'. In this case Charlie Slater asks Little Mo something, sorry can't remember what, Little Mo obligingly answers 'yes'. Charlie, smelling a rat, says 'Yeh I was involved in a pile-up on the M25', 'Oh right' answers Little Mo. 'Yeh cab was a total write-off' continues Charlie, Little Mo is still miles away and then Charlie asks 'What's up?' to which Little Mo immediately answers 'No, nothing - what do you mean?' So the mystery is how did she hear that but not the rest of Charlie's blethering?
And later on Minty goes into Billy's video shop and seeing his mate starts a chant of 'Billy, Billy, Billy boy, Billy boy, Billy boy' - a truly amazing and genius ditty - I'd love to be an Eastenders scriptwriter. And if that wasn't good enough Sonja goes into the video shop to rent out Amelie - I didn't think advertising was permitted on the Beeb? - and Billy says it wasn't much good - you know all too emotional and not enough action - and then says 'That must be the advantage of being a lesbian' - just top class.
If it wasn't for Eastenders sometimes I think I really would go mad.

Friday, May 26, 2006

***Breaking news***

In the last hour, or less, it has been confirmed that Andrei Shevchenko will be leaving AC Milan. Shevchenko, a long-term target of Chelsea, will probably confirm his destination (*cough* Chelsea *cough*) after this Summer's World Cup. So I would like to congratulate Chelsea on winning their third successive Premiership and if Shevchenko wishes to bring his Mrs to the Kings Road all the better.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Simple Simon

It isn't very often that anything in the political world astounds me, or probably you for that matter. However, Monday's at times fiery debate about the Armed Forces Bill offered one such example.
An intervention by Birmingham Erdington's Labour MP Sion Simon on Harry Cohen (Leyton and Wanstead). Harry was arguing the point of whether a war or occupation is legal or illegal and if an occupation was deemed illegal then a soldier's individual refusal not to partake in the occupation should not be punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Mr. Siôn Simon (Birmingham, Erdington) (Lab): Is not the point that my hon. Friend keeps making entirely oxymoronic? Is it not obvious that it will not be in the legislation? Can my hon. Friend not understand that it is not possible for this country’s armed forces to launch or be involved in an illegal war? It has never happened, it will never happen, and it cannot happen. Only in the minds of mad conspiracy theorists* does this country launch illegal wars. It is not possible, and that is why it is not accounted for in the Bill.

*Barry Beef editorial note: 'mad conspiracy theorists', or anti-war protestors as they are better known.

This apologist rhetoric, somewhat conveniently, is that as the UK Parliament voted for the war it cannot be illegal. It has not been condemned by an International Court of Justice, so it's legal.

Three points to counter that argument:
1) As there was no UN backing for the Iraq War surely the war has not been proved as legal either, especially given the lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Surely, in the case of war the burden of proof must lay with proving that, what in essence equals an invasion, is legal rather than illegal.
2) The Serbian Government voted in favour of war against Bosnia and this country's Government, along with the International Community, declared that it was of no major significance of what the Serbian Government decided - it was still an illegal war - meaning that an individual Government's declaration of war does not comply, in any shape or form, with internal law.
3) And this point is hazy: didn't an Internation Court find against the USA in relations to its dealings with Grenada back in (I think) 1989? And the United States' response was to denounce, rubbish and eventually illegitamise that particular court.

And another interesting point was that the Liberal Democrats - in a position of epic fence-sitting proportions - deigned to reinforce their anti-war protestations whilst signing up to the argument that Parliament's passing of the war made it legal (notwithstanding the lack of UN backing). For an anti-war party I found this incongruous.

Now this is what I call an exclusive

Neil and Christine Hamilton singing for England. Oh yes. This is real. It will be released.

Diving update

Next season's Premiership is already starting to look good. Already one diving cheat has left, Robert Pires and rumours abound that another diving cheat, Didier Drogba wants out becuase fans and pundits have the audacity to brand him a diving cheat. Good riddance.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bolton wandering?

Listening to the radio in the office and the news headlines came on and, shock horror, it was announced that Michael Bolton and Desperate Housewives, Nicolette Sheridan were not going to get married yet. I think my reaction, reflected that of the UK as a whole, "Who cares?" - maybe it has something to do with the mullet Bolton modelled in his younger years.

The forgotten man

Owen to his talents Hargeaves has made the squad

Being, by nature, a coward and vicious piss-taker it is really not in my make-up to defend people. But for once I'll put my neck on the line and defend, what some would call the undefendable, Owen Hargeaves.
One writer on hearing that Hargeaves had made Sven's 23 declared that Hargreaves could survive a nuclear holocaust. I am not sure he could, and I am sure the comment was meant in a derogatory manner but Hargreaves is a determined and very talented player. He has two faults, which the great British public will always struggle with, one he's not pure bred English - being some weird hybrid of German, Canadian and English and secondly he plays for Bayern Munich which means that armchair asshole fans can't watch him every weekend and pontificate (almost exclusively inaccurately) as to his strengths and weaknesses. Still as he's playing in Germany he is probably a Nazi and not very good. Seriously, this is the depth most commentators, pundits and blokes in the pub go to. OK maybe not the Nazi bit.
Owen Hargeaves plays regularly for Bayern Munich, he has won 3 Bundesliga medals; one German League Cup; an Intercontinental Cup winner's medal; two German cups and, oh yes, one Champions League medal. This guy has pedigree. He has experience of winning. The problem, inevitably, is Svennis. For once, he is not wrong. Well not totally. His insistence on picking Hargreaves is commendable but he fell into the trap of using Hargeaves versatility. I think Hargeaves has played all four midfield positions and, perhaps - memory fails me, filled in in defence.
Despite having 29 caps and this being his second World Cup, Hargreave's versatility - added to Svennis' insistence to play Gerrard and Lampard together always and for Beckham to always play on the right - has led him to being perceived as a stop-gap - a point which will be strengthened as it appears it'll be Owen Hargeaves playing right back in the England's upcoming 'B' international. So Hargeaves is second choice right-back? Most probably 3rd choice with Carragher second choice (Carragher will be playing centre back in this 'B' match).
People have said Hargeaves is lucky to be in the squad. I disagree, and would go so far as to say he is more desrving than a number of the 23 - names springing instantly to mind are Robert Green; David James; Jermaine Jenas and probably Theo Walcott.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Last night I caught Bullseye on Challenge TV - not the Jim Bowen classic but the new version with Phoenix night's Dan Spivey as the compere without compare. It really wasn't as good as it was, the thing that comes to mind aobut the original is the point Peter Kay makes in his stand up routine - Bullseye was shit and good. This new version is just shit.
The only good points are the the bits nicked straight out of the original. Spivey even nicks Bowen's motto: "You can't beat a bit of Bully". Inevitable that it would remain in the shadow of the superior, trail-blazing original. Oh and Tony Green is still one of the more annoying people ever.
Highlight on the evening were three-fold:
a) One of the team's darts player was a woman who missed the board 3 times and had a bounce out and, basically, lost her bottle
b) Spivey asked: "What is a modulator-demodulator better known as?" One guy answers: "sorry don't have a clue", second answers: "a television" and last one answers: "a plug"
c) The star prize (won when the geezer planted one right in the treble 20 to win the 101 in 6 darts challenge) was a hot tub. Now that's a great prize.

The Secret of Politics is....

...the timing (courtesy of thie month's Progress - as ever click on it to enlarge)
See Polly Toynbee's answer to "Who is your greatest political villain?".

Monkey has informed me this was in the Independent - I trust the majority of you don't read the Independent. Either way, I bet Shirley Williams must be a bit nervous...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

New World Order

Just for the John Barnes rap

Lordi finnish on top!

I TOLD YOU. Long live Lordi. Wiping other Europeans aside like a hybrid of Hitler and Napoleon but armed with microphones, guitars, amps and masks rather than the Imperial Guard or the Luftwaffe, Lordi ruled the roost.

Going Underground

Somewhat buoyed by a lovely day spent in Eastbourne I embarked on the obstacle course that is, of course, the London Underground of a weekend night. My mission should I decide to accept it, which given it's where I live significantly influenced my decision, was to get to Gants Hill on the Central Line - not that I live in a tube station but rather it's the closest to where I live; you get the picture.
Anyway my regular route would be to Oxford Circus and change onto the Central Line although staying on the Victoria Line through to Blackhorse Road and getting the 123 bus was a possibility - until I got on the tube and found myself within earshot, which I quickly estimated to be about two light years, of a drunken and seemingly pointless display of braggadocio from three instantly dislikeable characters. Obviously this necessitated a quick exit.
So once on the Central Line I was faced with three options - I hope you appreciate the enormity of my task: go Eastbound to Hainault via Woodford and wait for the train to go back Westbound via Gants Hill; go to Leytonstone and get the 66 bus - Mummy and Daddy Beef's favoured route - or go to Stratford and get the overland to Ilford and then the bus. Exciting isn't it?
Armed with arms and also Pat Gilbert's excellent biography of the Clash I was quite tempted to take the long route around the loop and not have to budge at all, but occasionally being of an inteprid nature, and Saturday was one of those times, I got off at Stratford and, luck be a locomotive, the Shenfield train pulled in within, at most, ten seconds. Top notch alighting! Straight through to Ilford (quick train) and get the bus immediately. Literally immediately, it was like Ken Livingstone had organised for it to be there precisely when I got off the train. Unlikely I admit but what a journey.
Being reliant on public transport certainly keeps you on your toes - much like a ballerina.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Chatting about Wednesday on a Thursday night

Went home on the tube last night and felt a bit peckish and popped into the Tesco metro and on leaving Tesco I walked past a man in a quite disgustingly lurid, Sheffield Wednesday shellsuit style top. Well, emboldened by a couple of pints I chatted to the guy who was alright apart from telling me Wednesday had released Steve McLean. And also that he spoke to me like I wasn't an Owls fan and was just lying to him in the first place. Still, small world when you can turn your head 360 degrees and emit pelletts.

Oh lordy, it's Lordi! (part II)

Finland's answer to Spinal Tap turned it up to 11 last night and are through to the final. After a beseeching voicemail from Beef source Jackson I text voted for them. Let's hope they go one better than in the Winter Olympics Ice Hockey...

Arsenal end of season bash


Egg on Face
Seasoned Hash
Frogs legs (past their best)
Spanish Surprise (well beaten)

Main course
Humble Pie
Chump Chops
French (has) Beans
Manager's Beef (not rare)
Catch of the Day - big lemon Sol (gutted)
NB: everything is imported, nothing is home grown.

Sour Grapes (may be hard to swallow)
Fruitless Tarts
Raspberry Fools
Hard Cheese


Little Spirit
French Whine
Cabernet Empty 2006
Champagne - sorry none ordered

NB: drinks should be consumed from glasses as there will be no cups this year.
Guest speaker:
Sir Alex Ferguson - "What it's like to win the European Cup"

Oh lordy, it's Lordi!

Eurovision is kitsch rubbish, we all know that. So sometimes they chuck in a transexual like Dana International, but mostly you get crap like Bucks Fizz, Gina G et al but not this year. No way! For the first time I shall not be supporting the UK - that Daz Sampson song is some pseudo Mikey Skinner-lite bullsh*t. But look at these guys. Lordi rock! They make Slipknot look like the Carpenters. Come on Finland and here's a little prep-talk for the boys kind prepared by Lordi fan #1, Jackson:

Koko Suomen kansa on suunnattoman ylpeä Lordista! Lordi on paras Eurovisio ehdokkaamme kautta aikojen! Jos Lordi ei voita, sankarimme syö kaikkien kanssa-kilpailijoiden lapset ja perheet! Eläköön Lordi!!

loosely translated as:

The whole Finnish population is tremendously proud of Lordi! Lordi is by far the best Eurovision contestant Finland has ever had! If Lordi doesn't win, our hero will eat all the fellow-contestants' children and families! Long live Lordi!

Sentiments with which I am in 100% accordance. Too long has death metal sat in the shadows of pop pap.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sweet F.A

click on pictures to enlarge

What a load of Arse

Watched the Champions' League Final in the Sports and Social and it was a great evening with the pub living up to is name with a variety of comrades, Lib Dems, SNP (cheering Larsson) and House staff all milling around.
It was a fun final and I am sorry that Arsenal lost, but Osama Bin Laden supports Arsenal so it's not all bad. Personally, I was happy that Pires got subbed early doors, I have never liked him and I am glad he'll be pissing off and not cheating throughout next season's Premiership (leaving it to Reyes instead).
And just to think until Larsson came on Arsenal were going to win. HAIL, HAIL.
And to end, a joke that was emailed to me this morning:
Q) What goes "beep, beep, beep"?
A) Arsenal's open top bus reversing back into the garage

If done right, Schadenfreude is a beautiful thing

All You Need Is Love (a prenuptial agreement and a decent lawyer)

So Paul McCartney, purveyor of happy smiley tunes, is splitting from Heather McCartney-Mills. Macca stands to lose up to a whopping £200 million (almost a quarter of his personal fortune), although apparently early negotiations have shown that Ms Mills does not have a leg to stand on.
No more getting her leg over either. Ever since they got married, I must say I had reservations - as in doubts rather than in the Native American sense. I empathised with Heather - how would you feel on your honeymoon when after a bit of romance you decide to cook up some veggie feast only to open the freezer and have a picture of the ex on the packaging? Think about it.

Friend of Beef, Gutbuster forwarded this tasteless joke, which made me laugh: A South African loses a leg in a gold mine accident. "I'm f***ed now!", he said. "Who'd want a one legged Gold Digger?" … "Me", said Paul McCartney.
Although it's not all bad news: this story reminded me to download the MP3 of Jet. Sadly, I have only found a real media version thus far, so if anyone has the MP3 feel free to send it to me at

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

***Ugly blokes in World Cup latest***

The following players have been nominated for 'uglier than Franck Ribery' accolade. To be sure neither of these beat Monsieur Franck, in my humble opinion, but both are worthy of shaming so here, I present:

Peter Crouch

Carlos Tevez

Long Roed ahead for Geordies

Glenn Roeder, the man with the impossibly small mouth and the perpetual arms-crossed-in-front-of-chest pose, has been appointed the full-time manager of Newcastle Utd. Wahey man! Seriously, it is incredible that such an appointment should ever have happened. People may well point to the relative upturn in Newcastle's fortunes after Roeder took over from Graeme Souness. In my mind anyone with half a brain could find several teams with worse players, and considerably less cash, than Newcastle - thus making a total nonsense out of the supposed phoenix from the ashes routine that some commentators (tossers) have been sputing.
To put it bluntly, Newcastle are loaded and have enough cash to get in big names and, personally, I would think Ruud Van Nistelrooy may well end up at Newcastle. With Ruud and Michael Owen up front you will not get relegated. N'Zogbia, Dyer, Parker, Emre, Solano and Bowyer are good midfielders and Given is a given as a quality keeper. It is the back four that needs strengthening, or rehauling and a trained chimp could accomplish this.
I don't think Glenn will succeed and think he'll do well to last the whole of next season.

Technical problem

Yo wassup homies - a question for the more gifted amongst you. Why does my blog not function properly from Internet Explorer but does from Mozilla Firefox? Mozillians should see two polls in the right hand column and should be able to vote. However, Internet Explorers may have to scroll right down to the bottom to see the polls and then have your vote cancelled. So I am very confused, or as Navjot Sidhu, the legendary Indian ex-opener said: "He's as confused as a child in a topless bar."

You only ming when you're winning

A while ago (February 16th) I wrote a post about Franck Ribery and erroneously referred to him as a "a white-trash, incestuous version of Gary Neville". At least, I thought it was erroneous, but the more I look at him (and it aint that often) the more you can see the possibility.
However, the excellent news is that Franck Ribery has made the French World Cup squad. Just look at him! My God, but that face could re-start the Paris riots.
So the challenge I lay before you is for you, my loyal, ever-suffering readership to find a player in any squad who is uglier than this (I humbly present exhibits 1-6):

If you know of an ugly footballer please email me at - to be eligible the player *must* be in a squad for the upcoming 2006 World Cup

It's a funny old game

If Greece winning Euro 2004 taught us anything it was that even the biggest long-shot can turn form and class upside down and steal the tournament - so with this in mind, and as unlikely as it is, you shouldn't (not insinuating that you have) rule out Iran or Saudi Arabia. I cannot seriously believe I have typed that. Neither of them will qualify from their first group stage. There! I've done it. That's a prediction, I'd even be tempted to bet on it although I am not a betting Bull by nature.
The strength of my conviction has been determined by the Guardian who have kindly listed all the World Cup squads. Well follow this link and see if you can see why I don't fancy our Middle-East pals' chances that much. I hope FIFA are not dropping a hint...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Big Brother's watching you and, tragically, we're watching Big Brother

It's that time of the year again: the time where the most annoying, false, stupid and desperate for fame freaks, deviants and objectionable fools get together in a house and make ridiculous, boring and substandard TV and like the dullards we are, we watch. Every night.
In fact, I haven't watched BB regularly since the first two series - not that I am a Big Brother elitist, far from it, just that it took me two series to realise how much it is possible to detest people you will never meet. Hopefully. Touch wood.
Last time out, weirdos included a guy called Science; a x-dresser called Kemal; an alleged illegal immigrant Makosi; Derek Laud (black, gay, Tory and posh); Orlaith who has since become an occassional page 3 girl; Kinga the Minger; stupidly camp Craig and loads of women who had massive boobs but still failed to be fit.
This year's tomfoolery promises a complete stranger entering the house after getting a 'winning' ticket in a KitKat - just like Willy Wonka, I bet the chosen person will be more wanker than wonka - call it a hunch.
Rumours abound that milk will be off the shopping list and instead a cow will be in the garden for milking purposes. Hilarious. Another rumour was that a celebrity would be in the house, but as a non-celebrity; just showing how desperate Channel 4 are to live off the success of non-celeb, Chantelle Houghton going into, and eventually winning, Celeb Big Brother.
If things couldn't get better, enemy of Beef Davina McCall will handle proceedings. One contestant already announced who sounds so bad I hope he doesn't make it in is Shahbaz Choudhary. Well, my least favourite BB contestant ever is Marco - so this guy still has miles to go to reach that level. Actually, do I hate Marco more than Jade? Too tough to call. Jade might just snatch it with her determination not to be shifted out of the media spotlight (well, at least, DD list).

It's comedy, but not as we know it

I took a break from the factually flawless Braveheart to watch a bit of 100 Greatest Comedy Characters...since we last did it on Channel 5 and just missed Alan Partridge at number 20. The next characters were Frank Spencer, Mr Bean and Tony and Gary from Men Behaving Badly. This would constitute my pantheon of comedy hell. The true low-light being when Barry Cryer popped up and the corresponding name was listed as Richard Curtis, a man who should not be associated around comedies. So I switched back, in disgust, to Braveheart which proved to be far more amusing.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Trottsenham Hotspur

you got the shi*ts and you know you have

Well for whatever reason, nerves or culinary trickery, Spurs well and truly sh*t themselves when all they had to do was beat West Ham. Yeh, Spurs were diar(rhoea).
Hat-tip and thanks to first time contributor, Red Tamarin. This whole thing could not have happened to a nicer team and a nicer set of fickle fans.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

'Allo 'Allo what have we got here then?

Resisting progress

You can buy this phone card off Ebay. I saw it and I must admit it made me laugh. Quite a bit. But then I am a big 'Allo 'Allo mark.

Gaze into the future

Beware gay people...Big Catholic Sister Kelly is watching you

Ruth Kelly is a practising Catholic. Fine. She should be good at it by now. Recently shuffled and given the job of minister for Women and Equality. All sounds fine until it emerges her attitudes to homosexuality may not be quite as liberal as the job description requires.
Her voting record doesn't help her out much either (all this nicked off Pink News)

On 22nd June 1998, Ruth Kelly was absent from the Crime and Disorder Bill to reduce the age of consent, as she was on the 1st March 1999 and the 10th February when the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill sought to achieve the same goal (the first having been rejected by the Lords).

On the 24th October 2001, she was absent from the voting on the Relationships (Civil Registration) motion that was the catalyst for introducing the Civil Partnerships bill in Parliament.

On the 29th October 2001, she was absent from the third reading of the Adoption and Children Bill (Programme), to allow gay couples to adopt, as she was on further votes on the same subject on 16th May 2002, 20th May 2002 and the 4th November 2002. On the 10th March 2003, she was
absent from the vote to repeal section 28 which banned local authorities from promoting homosexuality as a valid lifestyle.

On the 12th October 2004, she was absent from the vote on the Civil Partnerships Bill, as she was on the 9th November 2004.

When asked if she viewed homosexuality as a sin she refused to answer clearly instead saying it is a private matter but everyone should be free to live their life free of discrimination. So even if Sister Kelly doesn't approve, gays can breathe a sigh of relief that they won't be burnt at the stake then. Would it have been too much to appoint some not controversial. It's like having Prezza as Minister for Sport or Margaret Hodge as Minister for not encouraging the BNP vote.
One question present itself: How many homosexuals believe catholicism to be a sin?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Not to be taken for Granted

The best thing about the local elections being over is that I can watch Eastenders more often. Tragic, I know but 'Stenders is great.
Whilst Phil bonds with his son Ben, the other Mitchell hard-man is playing mind games with Jane by flirting with Chelsea (no idea who she is, some scarlett harlot from days gone by, I think). This gave Mitchell plenty of screen time to do that look-of-love he has perfected - a sort of half-smile that looks like it could have been wind. Enough to turn women to quivering wrecks. I hope you enjoy this Ross Kemp tribute site which contains polls with such questions as: Which has been your favourite Ross Kemp role; What is it you like about Ross Kemp; Have you ever met Ross Kemp? and How long have you been a fan of Ross Kemp? Spellbinding stuff indeed.

How's about best of three?

If this hadn't happened, I wouldn't have believed it possible. I checked the dates but despite being off work ill today the calender has not shifted back to April 1st.
Tottenham Hotspur Chairman, Daniel Levy has sent an open letter to the Premier League asking for last Sunday's match against West Ham to be replayed due to the illness - suspected food poisoning - that befell the Spurs squad leaving up to ten players not quite up to snuff.
As it stands Spurs have qualified for the UEFA Cup, but apparently a lasagne is being examined and interrogated by the police and foul play is suspected. It really is one of the more remarkable football stories. Tough luck Spurs, but requesting a replay is ridiculous, you lost, deal with it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

High Flyer!

The Rt Hon John Reid MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department

So was the ganja found in the good Doctor's pad his? Had it really been there for years, or had Reid's habit led to problems in time perception - I've heard of similar things, ie. people getting run over cos they thought they had a month to cross the road.
It is rumoured* that whilst under the influence Reid had a vision - something or other about a list of signatories, a left-wing plot or something - being passed around the PLP like, well like a spliff.
Anyway a safe pair of hands, and it is nice to see that his sticking-his-nose-in opposition to the Smoking in Public Places Bill, probably the most important advance in public health policy since the establishment of the NHS, did not detract from his promotion to the Home Office in any way.

* It's not rumoured at all. Just me prattling away. As usual.

Sven's big gamble

Sven bets big

'Devilfish' Sven Goran Eriksson has, at last, found his balls, taken a risk and gone all in - last time he did this it involved Faria Alam. Sven has included not only Aaron Lennon, Spurs improbably excellent winger but also Theo Walcott, the former Southampton, and current Arsenal, wunderkind, in his initial squad of 23. Two brave and forward-thinking decisions. Leaving out Shaun Wright-Phillips is a brave and, on the whole, acceptable decision - given SWP's limited playing time and inconsistency this season.
Never one to get something wholly right, Svennis blotted his copybook by selecting David James (seriously having played a few games on-loan at the Owls Scott Carson has been awesome and should be in the squad); Jermaine Jenas, Sol 'where's my head at?' Campbell and Owen Hargreaves. 'Ol Mr Brocolli Head himself. His selection will raise more eyebrows than a troupe of tribute acts at a Roger Moore convention.
Rooney and Owen both make the squad, unsurprisingly, despite both being injured; whilst Jermaine Defoe has been left out despite being the single closest type-for-type replacement we have for Michael Owen.
For anyone interested, probably not but wtf it's my blog, out of my predicted 23 (see links here, here, here and here) only 14 got selected with my chosen players: Richard Wright, Ben Foster, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King (injured or would have made squad for sure), Kevin Nolan, SWP, Kieron Dyer, Jermaine Defoe and Dean Ashton all missing out.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A much more polished effort than my own amateur Paintbrush offering, ermmm...I mean, exclusive CCTV still

Wenger serves up a treat for Spurs.

A la carte, monsieur?

This exclusive picture courtesy of CCTV at White Hart Lane.
Make your own conclusions.

John Prescott is the Man With No Job

Sent Off early doors

Andreas Johansson (above) came on as a sub for Wigan in the 76th minute and promptly got sent off in the 76th minute. Lasted about 30 seconds and got sent off for hauling down Freddie Ljungberg in the penalty area. Henry cooly slotted home the resulting penalty completing his hat-trick in Arsenal's last ever match at Highbury. Henry's hat-trick will live longer in the meory than Andreas Johansson's dismissal, which is a shame as getting sent off in 30 seconds is an immense achievement and, I think a Premiership record.

Beef Jerky of the Week

Someone, within my earshot, drew the comparison between F.A Chief Executive, Brian Barwick and Pinnochio. Interesting I thought, especially as I initially misheard it as Pinochet.
Despite Luis Felipe Scolari being offered the job and turning it down Barwick said:
"Steve did two fantastic interviews. He was my first choice, the FA board's unanimous choice...My first choice was always Steve. That might be difficult for people to get their heads across." Yes very hard.
My favourite thing of the whole selection process was this post off a BBC message board from early March:

Guus Hiddink would be ideal for England. He has four arms.
Arto Zubisjki, Czech Rep.

Return of the Mac

The dust has settled and Middlesbrough's, Steve McLaren has been appointed England manager after the F.A ballsed everything up in the most English of fashions. Or as Barwick laughably tried to spin it that McClaren had been his first choice all along and that the nominations committee (totalling about 145 faceless bureaucrats and Sir Trevor Brooking) had single-mindedly pursued him virtually from day one. Still the tabloids didn't want a bloody foreigner anyway.
Sven waxed lyrically: "You know what I think about Steve McClaren, he is extremely good. As a coach, he has been perfect. Every time."
Are you sre everytime? What about the 7-0 and 4-0 drubbings against Arsenal and Aston Villa respectively, but not respectability?
Oh well. Here's wishing him all the best. Things auger well for McLaren - he's already been caught out shagging somneone he shouldn't have been.

****London Local Election Update****


Cook Report reads well

Earlier today it was announced that Essex's Alastair Cook will bat at number 3 for England in the First Test against Sri Lanka at Lords on Thursday. He's not to be confused with Alistair Cook, the journalist and broadcaster - which probably wouldn't happen for the obvious reason Alistair Cook is dead. I'm going off on a tangent.
Cook came to national prominence when he smashed 214 off the Australians last September (Essex creamed 500 off the Aussies in a day). Injuries led to him being called up to the squad in Pakistan, although he was not used. In the following series against India Marcus Trescothick's sudden departure gave Cook his chance and he took it scoring 60 and 104* on his debut.
The decision to have Cook at 3 after Strauss and Trescothick (both of whom have already posted domestic centuries this season) is brave and forward thinking. Ian Bell, who interestingly has a brother called Keith, will fight it out with Paul Collingwood for the final batting position with Kevin Pietersen at number 4.
England's batting averages make for encouraging reading:

Strauss 45.38
Trescothick 45.47
Cook 61
Pietersen 42.38
Collingwood 40.50
Bell 39.65
Freddie 33.47
and that's not to forget the injured captain Michael Vaughan (42.94)

The bowling ranks have been depleted somewhat with Giles, Jones, Harmison and Anderson all missing. The selectors have plumped for Gloucestershire's Jon Lewis, a sort of Martin Bicknell, very English cricketer who consistently offers swing and accuracy, but seems destined to never be in favour and Lancashire's promising Sajid Mahmood, who I think is Amir Khan's cousin. Mahmood is pacier and has more potential, Durham's Liam Plunkett is also in the squad and his batting may give him the nod. In the spin department Monty Panesar is preferred to the veteran Shaun Udal - figures of 5-32 against Somerset didn't fail to catch the selector's eye (which is like Sauron's).

So Beef's starting XI would be:

M.E Trescothick
A.J Strauss
A.N Cook
K.P Pietersen
P.D Collingwood
A Flintoff
G.O Jones †
L.E Plunkett
M.J Hoggard
J. Lewis
M. Panesar

Given my previous prediction record (I still have a poll up in the sidebar about a bloke who never got the England job...) I'm sure this won't be team. Selectors will probably go for Mahmood over Lewis, but we shall see.

Taxi for Van the Man

Speculation abounds that horse-face Man Utd striker, Ruud Van Nistelrooy has played his last game at Old Trafford and is set for a summer exit. On being told he wasn't playing in the last game of the season against Charlton, Van Nistelrooy left. There have been rumours that Van Nistelrooy will be offered along with a whopping £12 million for Athletico Madrid's Fernando Torres. Newcastle are also said to see Van Nistelrooy as the ideal big-name replacement for the now retired Alan Shearer.
In Van Nistelrooy's absence, Man Utd cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win - over a Charlton team under the stewardship of Alan Curbishley for the last time - with Van Nistelrooy's rival Louis Saha scoring.

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