Well after 100 days the Premiership resumed last night. As Jack Bruce once sang, I’m so glad. But it was a strange experience wasn’t it without spectators? Yet another thing this bloody crisis has shown the true value of is the humble fan. Without them turning up in there 1000’s at quite ridiculous costs, the spectacle just isn’t the same. The skill and artistry is all there but the critical ingredient in making the event exciting is not the sodding tv coverage after all but the passionate fans. Maybe now the clubs will appreciate them more. Nay cherish them. Nah it’s not going to happen is it? Continue reading
Well I see that the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is having talks today with football administrators and medical experts over the possibility of allowing top class English football to return next month behind closed doors and at neutral venues. Now nobody would be happier than me to see football’s return – so long as it is safe for all concerned. Indeed yesterday the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, was gushing about how the Premier League’s return could ‘lift the spirits of the nation’. Wow it only seems a few days since Matt Hancock publicly pilloried top flight footballers for their wealthy lifestyles and shaming them into making a bigger contribution towards the cost of the NHS (that is in addition to the heavy tax they pay on their massive earnings) which many were already doing privately. It makes you laugh doesn’t it. The Government targets easy scapegoats but with 30,000 covid-19 deaths already on their watch (the largest in any country bar the USA which does have 4 times our population) they are suddenly in need of those overpaid footballers to take the attention and the pressure off them. And people accuse me of being cynical. Pah
Well I thought it might be time for a change in subject matter and whilst I don’t want to alienate my many (ahem) female readers, I thought it was about time to talk sport.
I almost forgot to mention the other thing that really got my goat up with the Minister for Health’s pronouncements this week. Basically we all wanted his answers to two key questions:
- when will the NHS staff in all positions of the service get their essential personal protective equipment?
- when will we have sufficient stocks of testing equipment available firstly to carry out essential tests on all NHS staff and then on the general public to meet and if possible exceed the target of 100,000 per day?
and as I’ve made clear in the earlier posting he couldn’t give any clear reassurances on either. But to deflect attention he then proceeded to play to the public gallery and vilified footballers for not accepting substantial pay cuts at this difficult time, when many people are being laid off etc. It’s such an easy target and I thought it was a really cheap shot.
Well it’s ages since I did a posting on a really laughable tv ad but I’ve found one for you dear readers. It’s for Renault’s new electric car range, specifically the Renault Zoe. Now it’s a very nicely produced ad and the background music is spot on, whilst the characters are believable and the creative idea of showing things which ought to be electric being powered by little combustion engines puffing out exhaust smoke, is simply brilliant. So what’s my problem with the ad? Well it’s the female voice-over and she has just about the most ridiculous French accent I’ve ever heard. Like a refugee from ‘Allo ‘Allo. Have a listen (or as we say in Franglais avoir une ecoute)….
See what I mean? It’s the best laugh I’ve had since scouser Joey Barton started speaking English with a faux French accent whilst playing for Marseille and that Yorkshire dipshtick Shteve McLaren adopted a Dutch accent in hish tv interviewsch whilst managing Twente. As they say in Peckham, Bonnet de douche my old son…
Well I have a confession. Up until very recently I’ve never really enjoyed watching women’s football. It just lacks the intensity of the men’s game to my liking – be it the physicality, skill level, pace, passion etc. However I’ve been watching the current World Cup matches on tv and I’ve really, really enjoyed it. Particularly the England matches of course. Last night the Lionesses reached the semi-finals by beating a very good Norway side 3-0 and it was a super game to watch. Maybe I’m missing the men’s game a bit but there’s no denying it was for a a compelling match. In fact all the England matches have been and I’m clearly not alone in thinking that. The last two games have seen tv audiences of 6.1m for the win against Scotland and then 6.9m for the Cameroon match – both record numbers. I haven’t seen the figures for last night’s match yet but I’m sure they’ll have smashed those figures again.
Well it’s been a great WC for a change hasn’t it? Alright England ran out of steam and composure in the end but their performance generally was as good as I’d wished for and predicted several weeks ago and my forecast of Harry Kane winning the Golden Boot looks likely to happen (unless Mbappe has a field day in the final, which he might). So as I’m clearly clairvoyant I thought I’d try a few more cheeky predictions:
– Messi to retire from international football properly this time
– Phil Jones never to play for England (and hopefully Man U) ever again
– Diego Maradona to shake the hand of God before the next WC qualifiers begin
– Gareth Southgate to be tempted by a serious offer of a job by Crystal Palace within the next 6 months but declines
– his assistant Steve Holland tempted by serious job offers from one of Southampton, Derby, Cardiff and Huddersfield within next 6 months and accepts only to leave a year later
– ManU to buy one player from each of today’s WC finalists France and Croatia but Jose Mourinho fails to get the best from them
– Paul Pogba to leave ManU
– Real Madrid to make a big name signing (ok not a stretch) but it’s not Neymar nor Mbappe then tempt THFC with a Bale/Modric double swap deal for Harry Kane/Delle Ali. Daniel Levy tempted but demands £60m too. RM Pres Perez chokes on his frittata
– Giroud to move on from Chelsea to …..who cares?
– Roberto Martinez to be sacked as Belgium manager and be replaced by Sam Allardyce (that last bit is just for fun)
– Alan Shearer to be named (and I’d never thought I’d find myself saying this) best pundit at the WC
– Russia to be judged as best WC hosts (and I’d never think I’d be saying that either)
There you go. Feel free to suggest your own
Well these were some of the gloriously happy scenes that greeted England’s victory over Sweden on Saturday, repeated up and down the country. We watched the match at my brother’s place and what a super day. And it happened the day after my lovely sis H got married to J which was also a great day. So a fantastic few days eh, especially for us. But the great thing is the effect England’s progress is having generally. Everyone seems to be up for it and excited at the prospect of tonight semi-final against Croatia. Shop assistants, waiters, check out girls. Everyone wants to know where are you watching it. I guess it’s that history in the making thing. Well at least potentially because a loss tonight will be gutting. Well except for maybe a few people in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia etc etc.