bad week for the gooners

Well I was saying that Arsenal might suffer a reaction after that disinterested performance they put in against Man U in the FA Cup on the basis that once momentum is lost it is hard to turn on great performances just like that. Their overall game against AC Milan in mid-week actually looked alright but they ended up with a goalless draw and the away match will be difficult for them. Yesterday they had one of those games against Birmingham City and again came away with a draw. But they lost more than 2 points of course. That dreadful tackle, which was more clumsy than malicious I think, has robbed them of an in-form player for the rest of the season. That was bad enough but they seemed to lose their cool too yesterday – understandably upset at the injury to Eduardo and increasingly frustrated by some of the decisions that went against them yesterday. Although they remain 3 points clear at the top of the table, they had a resigned, losing look about them. That said I was pleased to hear that Wenger had modified his immediate post-match comments about Taylor. That was appropriate.

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newchucklebros united

Well I’m sorry Lawrie and other NU fans but for the rest of us it’s thoroughly enjoyable watching developments at St James’. It could be a melt-down as I keep saying, then again they have the talent and the resources and incredible fan support to get themselves out of their current mess. I suspect the world has moved on faster than KK realised upon saying yes to the challenge. That may have been Ashley’s one big mistake so far but it wouldn’t take much to change things I suppose. Whether he could resist offering the job to Shearer I don’t know. It looks like they might have to just go down the Shearer road to get it out of their system once and for all. Otherwise he’ll always be there in the background like a malign spectre for every struggling manager, a bit like Busby was for a succession of managers who followed him without success at Old Trafford. Continue reading

Newcastle and Manchester, united in disappointment

Not a good day for Newcastle yesterday. It seems that Nigel Pearson has already had enough of the new Keegan regime and has resigned as assistant manager – or whatever title he had at the club. That didn’t take long and wasn’t the greatest shock – after Keegan’s failed wooing of Shearer to be his number 2. You wouldn’t have been terribly impressed with all that if you’d been Pearson would you?

I knew Nigel a bit – he was club captain at Middlesbrough when we first sponsored the team and he always struck me as one of the few principled footballers I ever came across. So I wasn’t surprised when his resignation was announced. Anyway he was off in the morning and yesterday afternoon NU got a real tonking from Aston Villa.

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the premier league goes on its hols

Well Scudamore’s gone and stirred things up now by suggesting that Premiership matches be played in attractive locations abroad – the host venues bidding for the rights to do so. What do you think? The marketing man in me can see the logic and the appeal of it. It’s a brilliant way to expand the brand and generate new revenues. As Scot Hastings pointed out to me this morning, the European tour already plays several of its golf events outside Europe with great success and he has a vision of seeing Scotland play Ireland at rugby in New York. Now that would be brilliant. But the football traditionalist in me thinks the idea of having Middlesbrough play Derby in Bangkok in an actual points-at-risk game is not just a little bizarre, it’s an attack on the soul of the game. What next, 10ft high goals, 15 a-side, time-outs, shoot-outs? This is the wedge developing from having sold our clubs to overseas billionaires who want to max their investments and squeeze every ounce of juice from it. When they’ve done that they’ll wash their hands of the game and chuck it back to its roots as a dried out husk. Maybe it’s me just getting old and reactionary but why should it be desirable to contrive these arbitrary extra fixtures? That just makes a nonsense of a season based on every team playing each other home and away. It’s very simplicity is its beauty. Can’t Scudamore and that half-wit Richards see that? I wouldn’t mind them playing internationals abroad or Cup fixtures but add-on League fixtures? Welcome to the Premiership Asylum; roll up, roll up ladies and gentlemen – come and watch the lunatics play a once-noble and beautiful game. Bye bye American Pie.

capello’s team; here at last

Well here we are about to witness a new England managerial period under Sr Capello. To be honest I’ve been impressed with Capello’s no nonsense approach; banning hangers-on and WAGS from the hotel, games of golf, filp-flops and insisting on all eating together, punctuality etc all seem eminently sensible. I’m not sure about the use of surnames – these are grown men after all (well some of them) but anything’s better than listening to McQuiff’s sickening faux mateyness, referring to Stevie G, JT etc. How was that ever going to inspire respect? Continue reading

lost weekend

How do you get by without online access these days. It’s purgatory isn’t it? We’ve been having a few niggles on our broadband connection for a while (service just disappearing for a few minutes several times a day) so I called Zen our SP and BT, line provider. BT first, the company I worked for for more than 30 years and who installed all my internal wiring/extensions/bb connections etc as part of my package. First off it took for ever to actually speak to someone and when eventually I did, they told me they tested the line from the exchange and there wasn’t a problem on it. But if I wanted an engineer round to check things out it’d cost me £116 if the fault was anything beyond the first junction box. So any problem in the wiring installed by BT is my fault? Yep! Ummm. I thought better of it but immediately after I rang off an extension just ceased working as did my BB line, just like that. Continue reading