Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Chelsea preview

Arsenal will, no doubt, pass the ball in small triangles and work their way up and down the pitch in a steady tempo creating the illusion of being in control. After 40 minutes (or 5 if we're unlucky), Drogba will get his first chance and score - game over. 2nd half - who knows? Pessimistic but realistic.
Alternative scenario: Arsenal play an aggressive, high-tempo game, creating chances and opening up a 2-0 lead at half-time. Arsenal show incredible belief and fight to maintain their challenge for the Premiership and a determination to beat their rivals. Fabregas shows real leadership, cajoling and encouraging the team. Sagna doesn't put a foot wrong. 2nd half - who knows? Overly optimistic based on too much Christmas spirit.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Dodgy LP covers - #3

I can honestly say I never bought any of these or received them as Christmas presents. I don't think I even bought any of the featured tracks.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Cesc reads CBP

Noticed on the train that a couple of the red-tops have articles about Cesc stating the Arsenal haven't got the bottle. Absolutely agree! Not sure what he's doing about it/going to do about it but perhaps there's also an element here of paving his way back to Barcelona. Hopefully, he'll be playing victoriously in the Camp Nou shortly - for one night only!

Dodgy LP covers - #2

Not a puppet, more a resident of Madame Tussauds! Or is it the first recorded usage of Botox?

Dodgy album covers or not?

Worst Album Covers 15

This is #15 on a website of the Worst Album Covers. I tend to disagree - cover seems ok to me though different. Music, however, is top notch!

ManU v. Arsenal

Some time has passed since Monday but my thoughts on the match haven't really changed. To go there as table-toppers and not show any fight or desire to remain there (at the top of the table, not OT) is symptomatic of Arsenal's lack of belief. An incredible nervousness coupled with a lack of real leadership on the pitch means that this Arsenal team, for all its technical prowess, does not have the mental strength to be a really successful side.

There are reasonable match reports at

A brief word on the substitutions, in particular the introduction of RvP. AW seems to believe that he can play in the middle of the 3 in a 4-2-3-1. In this match, in this role, he offered nothing. It is all the more puzzling as AA remained wide on the left when his most influential half this season was in the second period at Villa when he played just behind the main striker. To me, it would have been better to move AA centrally and to play RvP wide, say inside-out on the right where he could cut-in on his left, stronger, foot.

Howard Webb - 'Fergie's Rent Boy'

Nuff said! Even an Old Trafford penalty. Luckily Wayne saw how unfair it was and blasted over in a rare show of integrity (I think??)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Dodgy LP covers - #1

I know nothing about Keely Smith or her music. The mix of colours on this cover may have been fetching in the late 50s(?) but to my eyes she looks like an extra from Star Trek.

Favourite football crowd scene

After a particularly bad mistake by the goalie!

Clayton Park Bakery

Pie-makers to Blackburn Rovers.

Even got a picture on their website with Sam and a tray of pies. He looks like he's already scoffed a couple of tray-loads! (Hardly original, I know, but true all the same.) The thin guy on Sam's left looks well miffed - he obviously didn't get a look in.

Update: Just checked their website and they also supply pies to Everton. Unbelievable - see previous post re. Everton away.

The dentist & Barcelona v. Real Madrid

Was at the dentist on Monday and he had Talk Sport on the radio. They were previewing the upcoming match between Barcelona and Real Madrid (which turned out to be a great game to watch). They were speculating how Barcelona or Real Madrid would fair in the Premier League and how Chelsea and ManU would do in La Liga. What they didn’t talk about was refereeing and their interpretation of the rules. I certainly think Barcelona and Real Madrid would struggle to dominate in the Premier League with English referees who allow a more physical game and tend to warn players rather than book them immediately for physical transgressions. There was a raft of bookings in the Barcelona/Real Madrid match, many of which would not have been seen as such in England. But such an environment encourages skilful play and minimises the impact of those with a ‘good engine’ which, generally, is code for no skill, runs around a lot and can kick people.

Whilst on referees – the commentators on the Spurs and Liverpool match were discussing the apparent difference in the application of the laws of the game with regard to incidents in the penalty area. Atkinson failed to give a penalty when Assou-Etc’s follow-through on Kuyt upended him but booked Johnson for a similar situation with Bale near the half-way line. Atkinson was also the official in last night’s Carling Cup encounter and allowed a similar challenge/assault on Theo to go unpunished – it was in the penalty area, of course.

One of the fundamental problems in English football is the standard of refereeing and their collusion in the ‘good old English way of playing’ that minimises skill. This is one reason why England is never truly successful in the Euros or World Cups.