So a third posting on football-related maters which is unusual for me. But I couldn’t let today go by without congratulating my home time team Blackpool FC having won promotion to the Championship from the Div 1 play-off final. Wey hey. They beat Lincoln City 2-1 at Wembley after conceding a first minute own goal. Kenny Dougal was the 2 goal hero and a bit of a poster boy. Do you know that Blackpool are the play-off kings having won 6 finals – a record! God knows how they’ll do in the very competitive Championship but that’s all for tomorrow. After the years of mis-management by the detested Oystons it’s a time to celebrate. Let’s have a look at one of the goals being scored…
Oh dear it’s not a very flattering description is it, but there’s more. The comments on this particular person were released this week by members of the diplomatic service via WikiLeaks and the Daily Mail. We learn that the person was described as ‘cocky’ and ‘rude’ by a U.S. ambassador as he carried out his duties as Britain’s special trade representative to the Middle East. Colleagues put this behaviour down to an inferiority complex about being mentally challenged – something of a family trait. This may be a slight exaggeration, but his attitude certainly drew attention to the fact that he was invariably out of his depth at meetings.
Well we arrived at our local Italian restaurant just in time for the opening England match and we missed the first few minutes as he was a little busy and we were the only English folks in there. But generously he switched it on just for us amidst more than a little local tutting – good on yer Giovanni – and literally the first thing we saw was Gerrard’s lovely opening goal. Would this turn out be goal-fest from the 3 Lions…er no. Continue reading
So Fabio finally made up his mind this evening and waved goodbye to Theo Walcott, Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson, Darren Bent, Leighton Baines and Adam Johnson. Umm. Which means that Shaun Wright-Phillips, Emile Heskey, Matthew Upson, Joe Cole, Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick and Stephen Warnock do make the World Cup squad. Umm again. I don’t know about you but it’s slightly disappointing don’t you think? He’s clearly gone for the guys who have proved themselves to him in the past over current form – something he said wouldn’t happen. I suppose when it comes to the crunch moments managers always tend to play the percentages. It’s easy to be an armchair manager without the expectations of a nation on our shoulders but one or two of his decisions today have left me bemused.
Oh blimey, Blackpool FC only went and did it, didn’t they? Winning promotion to the Premiership when all the pundits were saying it would be an unfortunate outcome for the Premiership (or an embarrassment if you listened to Talksport’s intellectual giants). Well up yours Mike Parry because the Seasiders will be rubbing shoulders with all of England’s footballing top dogs next year so get used to it. Continue reading
So Man City finally sack Sven GE as their manager yesterday. Sven, of course, once accepted the job of managing Blackburn Rovers before giving back word. Now Man City are chasing Mark Hughes the current Blackburn manager, who once played for Chelsea. Chelsea once interviewed Sven GE for their manager’s job before giving it to Jose Mourinho, who surfaced yesterday as the new manager of Inter Milan, having sacked Roberto Mancini the other day. Mancini is one of the candidates for the Chelsea job which became vacant following the departure of Avram Grant, who is one of the candidates for the Man City job. So too is Big Phil Scolari, the current manager of the Portuguese national side, but Phil is also being chased by Chelsea. If he cannot be prised away then Chelsea may well plump for the afore-mentioned Hughes. Sven GE is unlikley to return to Blackburn and will probably take up a role with the Mexican national side. Blackburn may therefore go for Sam Allardyce who used to manage rivals Bolton before he moved to a bigger job at Newcastle from whence he got sacked earlier this season. The Newcastle job was probably the one that ought to have been offered to Sven GE but they’ve now appointed Kevin Keegan, who’s done the job previously. That was before he went to Man City who finally sacked Sven GE as their manager yesterday…..
Well things are shaping up in the Premiership and it’s time to pay some dues I think. So hats off to:
– Pesky Heskey for scoring that late equaliser last night against Russia FC. They’ve doggedly pursued Man U but I can’t see them overhauling the reds now. Good on yer Emile (that’s twice this year you’ve brought a smile to my face)
– Avram ‘Hannibal’ Grant. I was sure he was dead man walking when Chelski were playing that crap football earlier in the season and they recruited Henk ten Cate as his assistant on apparently double Grant’s salary. But to be fair he has kept Russia FC in the title chase, in the semis of the Champions League with an opportunity to avenge the defeat to Liverpool and he’s matched Mourinho’s Premiership first season points achievements (minus a trophy of course) and maintained their undefeated home record. That’s not bad for a guy nobody rated. Of course it could all go tits up before season’s end but let’s not be churlish.
– King Kevin. Yep I’ve been slating the guy quite a bit since his 3rd coming, doubting whether he had anything in him as a decent manager any longer. I was forecasting possible relegation for the Toon and KK’s dismissal but he’s turned it around. 3 wins and a draw in their last 4 matches are not to be sniffed at and they have rescued the season. I still think that game against Fulham was a clincher. If they’d lost that I reckon a deep fog would have descended on the Tyne but they won the game – KK’s first victory and the spirit and the confidence returned instantly. He’s got a huge re-bulding job to do there and he’ll never recruit some of the best players in the world again (well that’s Dennis the Menace’s job now) but he’s got them going in the right direction.
– now that Newcastle have steadied the ship, I think a big hand is deserved for Messrs Hicks, Gillette, Parry and Benitez for turning a great club into the Premiership’s latest circus. It’s like watching the scouse version of Phoenix Nights. The co-owners detest each other and one wants the Chief Executive to resign. The CE hates working for the Americans and is trying to do a deal with the Dubai consortium he thwarted in the first place. The manager distrusts the CE and believes the owners don’t understand football at all. The owners and the CE don’t rate the manager and tried to tap up another guy for the role who’s never managed another club in his life. First Leeds, then Newcastle and now Liverpool. Such fun – unless you’re a hapless fan of course, in which case it must be a living nightmare. It only needs that dodgy Chairman of Man City to get extradited for corruption and embezzlement for the next Billy Smart’s to be created. Don’t you think the FA or the Gov’t should start to consider the possibility of denying overseas entities the opportunity of owning our major football clubs? I don’t know how you prevent it when clubs are publicly traded companies but it needs to be considered IMHO.
– Gareth ‘Jumpers’ Southgate. I’m starting to think he’s got the makings of an excellent manager. As ever hats off to Steve Gibson for his foresight and backing. Mind you he did also appoint Steve McClaren as manager which just proves that you can’t be right all the time.
– Paul ‘camcorder’ Jewell for showing the Derby fans that going down isn’t all bad.