Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How to enjoy two thirds of a rugby match

Counties make up for clubs' disappointing seasons

Lancashire 32, Devon 26

Good display by the Waterloo boys by the sound of it.

Being a Skyless pauper my mum taped this game for me and I was planning on enjoying it tonight I checked the tape last night and somehow the Sky box must have froze 'cause the channel information panel is stuck on the screen throughout the game meaning only the top two thirds of the screen is visible. Bugger.

I wonder if Devon & Lancs confined all their attacking play to their blind & opensides respectively?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Everton complete Johnson capture

Everton complete Johnson capture:

"I believe Everton will afford me the best opportunity to fulfil my twin ambitions"

Yeah baby, Yeah!

My only reservation is that Evertonians might be induced into singing that pigbag song when he scores...that'd annoy me, but not that much.

Give Guy Goma A Job At The BBC Petition

Give Guy Goma A Job At The BBC Petition

Seems the BBC didn't give "The Wrong Guy" the job. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Super Andy Johnson?


"I find the prospect of playing for one of the biggest names in British football impossible to resist and I am now just hopeful that I can swiftly complete my medical so that I can sign on the dotted line and commit myself to the club."

How to win friends and influence people!

Not sure 8.5 million represents good value but apparently it's all tied up with clauses & the like. A pacey striker to play off Beats is just what we need. It's a lot of money but it could be awesome. We still need a centre half though.

Everton to hijack Wigan Huth move

Had a nice bank holiday...Enjoyed a couple of afternoon pints of Cains as I watched the rugby final on Saturday (after a nice stroll to the pub)....Monday went out for someone's birthday and got drank perhaps a few too many (as my hopelessly over enthusiastic dancing showed). You see...Everton sign a striker and all restraint and decorum go out the window.

Monday, May 29, 2006

England seal test win

Thankfully TMS tempting fate didn't totally jinx England.

England seal second Test triumph

That Pietersen reverse sweep shot was is Malinga's bowling action.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


After years of bemoaning the injustice that is the playoff Leicester Tigers cant realy complaine. The best team, over the season, won. It's just a pity that the same can't be said about the other years when the Tigers have been head and shoulders above the other teams only to get pipped to the post in the post season.

Next year beckons.

Friday, May 26, 2006

TMS tempt fates

The tempted fates strike again

1545: One of the most amazing shots you will ever see from Pietersen, who reverse sweeps Muralitharan for six over point. He follows up by berating someone for moving behind the sightscreen.

'England are in such control that you almost feel it's fading out as a contest. I can't imagine Murali has been treated like this by many batsmen.'
TMS analyst Gus Fraser "

1546: WICKET ENGLAND 290-6 Pietersen 142

Groans from the crowd and Pietersen walks off shaking his head after Hair decides he is out lbw this time to a Muralitharan doosra. A good decision from the umpire robs the crowd of more entertainment.

1551: WICKET ENGLAND 290-7 Flintoff 6 Malinga beats Flintoff for pace and rips out his off-stump with a good delivery. The skipper had been unusually subdued and registers a rare failure. England have lost their two kingpins in successive overs but are still in control with a lead of 149.

England B 1-2 Belarus

England B 1-2 Belarus

The world cup build up began in earnest yesterday and it got off to a bit of a dodgy start with the second string losing to 10-man Belarus. A few positives though...Owen looked sharp, Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell both came through the game and Crouch seems to lurch between pragmatically effective and anonymous. Aaron Lennon was the star of the show and showed he is up to the job if required. Theo Walcott came on and showed pace and ambition.

I suppose it was a second string midfield so it was always going to be sloppy. Robert Green was the big loser, crumpling to the floor whilst taking a goal kick and lying prostrate in agony as the Belarus striker hit the ball straight into the unguarded net. His World Cup is over.

According to the BBC "Wayne Rooney will definitely miss England's World Cup group stage games.

The striker, who has had a scan on his broken metatarsal, has been told he will not discover when he can resume training for another three weeks."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rugby Franchisisation

Rugby union: Twickenham to offer end to relegation

I suppose that's effectively what it is at the moment. Aside from the formality of one team coming up as cannon fodder whilst one Premiership has a twelve month hiatus.

Look at the nationals...the RFU/FDR hasn't even got a sponsor for the country's second tier. No natioanl cup competition any more, just some be-group staged anglo-welsh monstrosity.

The RFU's plan, and it seems they will get it one way or the other, is for a closed shop of professional franchises with academys & development structures with a cheerful little amateur game sitting happily below that.

As it stands there is just no way you'll ever see Waterloo or Orrell or Richmond or London Scottish back...I know thems the breaks but there's always the dream for these clubs. Closing the shop seems damned un-British. It just feels incestuous and stagnant.....

...I can't work out if this is a heart or head thing. Perhaps I'm just an old fuddy duddy.

I suppose this is a sport that's only been competing in leagues for les than 20 years and has only been professional for about 10 or so. Growing pains? It seems a bit cyncical (or perhaps just pragmatic).

Surely they'll need a franchise from Devon & Cornwall and surely one from Yorkshire would be logical but the Leeds Tykes experiment seems to have failed. Could the RFU prop them up?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Good Lord!!!!!!!!!!!

MC DICKO in da surban semi-detached house

I really shouldn't laugh at this but it's just too funny. Good old Chester!

And on a similar note :

'Celebrity' in odd name for baby shocker

What exactly is that fatuous bimbo no-mark famous for nowadays?

Monday, May 22, 2006


Indian Traffic camera video


Apart from the curious lack of cows this is exactly what it's like all the time getting round in Indian cities.

Started a conflagration over on Sara's blog by sending her a BBC article patronising American soccer fans. Hell hath no fury....

It put me in mind of an article some American journo wrote ages ago when the exact opposite occurred. English fans, and for some reason Everton fans in particular, were used as a comparison to some basketball fans bad behaviour

Blackistone: Fans exceeding limits with distasteful behavior 02/11/01

"And above all, no matter how much you mortgaged to get in to the big game, you don't have the right to pelt the opposition, its fans or the referees with bottles, lighters, coins, batteries, bags of excrement, your great granddad's false uppers, your ex's door keys or the marbles you've apparently lost.
Where do you think you are? At Stanley Park in Liverpool with the Everton soccer team in the house!"

How very odd...not least of all the Stanley Park thing.

Wet weekends

It seems that I overslept on Saturday morning and woke up in garden is flooded again, my grass is growing out of control and the rain has forced the local ant nest to move into our house...little buggers.

Congrats to Munster for finally winning the Heineken cup and particular credit goes to Peter Stringer (above) who has put the handicap of not actually having a body behind him to play top level rugby. They did well to come back after a dodgy try was given early on (The Biarritz player clearly put a foot in touch). Biarritz are a great side so after coming so close twice it's a great achievment. Stringer's try was a great piece of oportunism.

On Sunday we braved the weather and the dreaded rail replacement bus to meet friends in town...The playoff game is generally worth watching and where better then in a pub with lots of Guinness?

Bit of a dull old game but it was nice to see the team that finished 3rd go up. The oddly named American Jay DeMerit was still sleeping off his hangover when the BBC were meant to be interviewing him on the breakfast show the next morning. I don't think anyone begrudged him it but it's a bit of a weak showing. Look at Flintoff's example after the Ashes, if a job's worth doing...

After the game we were all set to leave and were just going out the door when suddenly the rain started fizzing down....if ever God was telling us to stay put and drink more then this was it. Due to a mix up I got a rather nasty Southern Comfort and tonic...I really wouldn't recomend it. That was it for the weekend really...very dull without a footy or rugby game to go to and with it raining for 48 hours solid.

James Beattie Web | Your #1 source for James Beattie

Stumbled across this while undoing yet more kopite mishief on Wikipedia...I wonder if Beats checks out sites like this? Ir must be odd having people devote webpages to you....if anyone want to dedicate one to me though feel free.

Here is a list of National Division 1 fixtures for next season :

Fixtures and Results 2004-2005

Friday, May 19, 2006

Big Brother

Big Brother opens its doors and then closes them again.

I detest that show. The desire to go on Big Brother should proclude you from ever making it into the house. I'd love to have those morons gurn and strut their way into the house and prance around then they close the doors just turn the cameras off. Just leave them in there for 3 months with no-one watching their pathetic posturing and 'outrageous' behaviour.

Why do they always go for retarded idiots, slags who fancy themselves, outrageously gay people and bolshy misfit weirdos?

Car crash telly for people who are wasting their lives. Why can't they at least try to make it interesting like Survivor was....ship them off to any island and make them work to survive....Actually make them do something rather than just letting them sit or lie there drinking & smoking and arguing whilst a the nation's underclass waits with baited breath to see if any of them will actually have dignity levels low enough to sleep together. At least have the house gradually filling full of water...or rats...something. Or they should chloroform them & whisk them off to Africa and have them build an orphanage or hospital...I'd watch that. The money from all the texts could go on food & medicine.

Also saw this :

Officers discover sex-slave cult

You can imagine this dozy Canadian girl coming over and finding a grotty pebble-dashed council terrace on Teeside waiting for her instead of the opulent country mansion she'd been envisioning.

"Your slave is here master"

"Aye love, just pop down the shops for some tabs will yer pet"

Thursday, May 18, 2006

British beers

I can't really think of an excuse for a post devoted solely to some of my favourite British breweries...Our Cains beers have already been mentioned on here(Bank Holiday) but here are some links to some others :


Shepherd Neame


Wychwood Brewery


Being stuck in work in the summer is a real's the season for sunglasses, cricket, beer gardens, and beer.

Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal

Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal

I think all the complaining about the ref is a touch graceless. In the end the extra man told. Henry was out of his feet and so couldn't finish the game off when he had the chance...the resulting equaliser had a touch of inevitabilty about it and once that had gone in there was only going to be one winner.

Arsenal should look to their own performance...There is a lot to be proud of. Great start (could have taken the lead in the first 5 minutes), great resiliance after going down to 10 men (utterly unavoidable, the ref's only other option was to let the goal stand AND send Lehman off), great goal by Sol (from a dodgy freekick)...ultimately they ran out of steam.

You can't begrudge Barcelona anything...they are the best team in Europe and as a club they are the best in the world...I think every footy fan has a secret admiration for Barca.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chimbonda 'panic' led to request

Chimbonda 'panic' led to request:

"Chimbonda handed his transfer request to Jewell as soon as he walked into the Wigan changing room after their 4-2 defeat by Arsenal, according to Wigan's head of communications, Matt McCann.
'He unzipped his bag, took the note out and handed it to the manager - he hadn't even taken his boots off,' McCann said.
'The other players couldn't fail to notice what was going on and some of the senior pros were very angry. In fact they still are.' "

Good for Wigan for standing up to player and, more importantly, agent greed.

Hotel cleared over Spurs illness

Hotel cleared over Spurs illness

It seems it was just a virus laying the Spurs players low before the crucial game...The Marriot should sue after all the innuendo and bad publicity caused by this.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Champions League Final linesman denies Barca bias

Final linesman denies Barca bias

Probably just a bunch of Barca fans messing about by giving him the shirt to wear and posing for a picture.

I daresay this will play into Arsenal's hands...a few close offsides going against the gunners and he'll start feeling the spotlight on him.

Looking forward to the game tomorrow.

Update : UEFA have now replaced the linesman. Probably not a bad idea but it seems his home town newspaper did a feature on him and got him to wear it for a photo shoot.

BBC News 24's 'wrong Guy' is revealed

News 24's 'wrong Guy' is revealed

This is fantastic...Watch the interview, look at the poor bloke doing his best to not let the interviewer down. Hope he get's his job.

Dogs have owners, cats have staff members...I was dismayed to find some feline mischief had occured in our garden yesterday...I was taking a tour of the grounds and had just passed the orchard into the hardwood forest we are growing*. Around the bottom of one of the oaks I found the mess of feathers which can only mean that some bugger's cat has been taking some of the game birds. Either that or foxes or sparrowhawks....or we have poachers!

I hate cats and now I have to go rummaging round picking up feathers and looking for woodpigeon corpses in the undergrowth. Grim.

*Whilst technically true that bit is just a bit of an exaguration.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

FA Cup

Enough said. Still, my cover bet earns me some cash so who's moaning?

liverpool fc : One Evertonian (maybe two) away from mediocrity.

Tremendous work by Gretna taking Hearts to pens...shows what a team from the English leagues can do up there.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Celtic FC - News

Celtic FC - News

Very surprised Lennon played in that game...after Shearer had deliberately kicked him in the face and then squirmed his way out of the punishment.

In other Celt related news they are due to play the blues on July 23rd at Parkhead...that'd be nice. We are playing Preston at Deepdale too.

Everton pre-season details

Tickets again

Guardian Unlimited Football: "The stadium's chief executive Paul Sergeant welcomed that move but said the club only had themselves to blame. 'This is the most sensible conclusion to this unfortunate set of circumstances,' said Sergeant. 'There is no one more pleased than us that those fans who were due to miss out will now be coming to the Millennium Stadium after all. However, if Liverpool had followed stadium advice and dispatched tickets in a secure way, this situation would not have arisen."

The lfc forums are full of people proposing protests and booing down the national anthem or 'Abide with me'. Smalltime.

At the end of the day who's to blame...The wretches who robbed the tickets. The Millennium Stadium shouldn't be attacked for erring on the side of caution when it comes to fan safety. Notice Mr Parry seems very quick to say what's unacceptable, you'd almost wonder if he was trying to deflect criticism.

Anyway there'll be a 1,000 less rednoses in the stadium but by cancelling a ticket ballot all those who had their tickets stolen will get into the game. I suppose that's the fairest, feasible result.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ah, summer is here

"There is something Boycottian about the way Cook bats." "That's not a bad thing..."
Blowers and Boycott in the TMS commentary box

"If I was in against these seamers, you wouldn't get a bat down at number six, Gatting" "Yes, but there would ne no-one in the ground Geoffrey."
Boycott and Gatting go at it in the TMS commentary box

"There are people here with their shirts off - on 11 May! My word - are you allowed to do that at Lord's?"
TMS commentator Jonathan Agnew

"That's not England captain's attire! What is that? An athlete's singlet? A vest? On the Lord's balcony..."
TMS commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins

A Bridge too far

Middlesbrough 0-4 Sevilla

England 0 - 4 Spain for at the end of the 1st leg...the 2nd leg is in Paris next Wednesday.

I don't think there's anyone who could complain about that result...When you look back Sevilla were just too good for them. In the previous rounds 'boro had found themselves 4 goals adrift and after they'd scored one the opposition retreated deeper and deeper...inviting the comback. Sevilla were a better team than both Steau and Basle but even then, at 1-0, they were pit firmly on the defensive for 20 minute in the 2nd half. During this period Viduka had one fabulous chance that he met really well on the half-volley but went straight at the keeper, another shot that he should have got on target and a very good shout for a penalty...this was as good as it got...Sevilla, who always looked more like scoring, broke away and got the second goal and from there on in it was one way traffic.

You can feel sorry for the 'boro fans but you'd be a hard-hearted person if you didn't smile at the joy from the Spanish fans...this was their first trophy for 50 odd years and their first ever European one. The Sevilla fans were either dancing for joy or overcome with emotion (one particular guy the camera kept focusing on was in bits).

So that's it...can't see Arsenal managing to establish an aggregate lead in next week's 'second leg'.

The first cricket test starts today...the earliest ever start to the international season. Glorious weather at the moment. Full summer of cricket, Champions League final, play-offs and a world cup to come....who could ask for more?

As well as this their is the obligatory scanning of all news sources for info on close season goings on at Everton and Waterloo!

These are helping :



Wednesday, May 10, 2006

If at first you don't suceed...

Cry, cry again.

It is unfortunate but I don't see how Spurs can moan.

"Our next issue was team selection. Martin Jol and his staff, having originally selected their squad of 17 players for the match, were then left in the invidious position of choosing between starting the match with their original 17 players, 10 of whom were feeling very unwell, or drafting in Reserve Team players, the majority of whom have not played for the First Team this season or are untried and untested at First Team level. In any case, having ended their season, our Reserve Team players were scattered across various parts of London and the South East, would not have been prepared to play in a Premier League (or any other) match at such short notice and would rarely, if ever, have played together. "

In other words "We didn't have our best team so we shouldn't have had to play". Still I suppose it's a bit of a tradition for the team finishing 5th to complain and try and get the rules changed.

Bit of a grim situation up her at present :

FA Cup final ticket theft

It seems harsh that the Millennium Stadium won't re-issue the tickets but I can sort of see their point about safety issues. If there was barcodes or some other way to instantly identify the stolen tickets at the turnstile you could sort something out but once there 1,600 people in the groud that need ejecting it becomes a nightmare...the question no-one seems to be asking, least of all Rick Parry, is "Did liverpool Football Club really just drop £100,000 worth of tickets in the outgoing mail?". That seems a touch irresponsible...why not get Securicor to take them to the sorting office.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Walcott & Lennon in England squad

Walcott & Lennon in England squad

With the injured Rooney and Owen taking up two places Sven has went with out-of-form Peter Crouch and 17 year old Theo Walcott who's never played a game in the top level of domestic football never mind international level.

I assume he's hoping for a bit of an Owen98 or Rooney04 effect but it seems kind of ricky to pin all your hopes on that happening, especially when the kid in question is completely un-tested. I'd have gone with Defoe but I'm not the manager.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Everton - Statistics

Everton - Statistics

remember how utterly abject we were up until mid October.

goal distribution...look at how many we conceded eary in the 2nd half. I remember at the Charlton game Moyes had the players out for most of the half time break doing light passing and stretching...that was pretty much a turning point.

Beattie 11
Cahill 7
McFadden 7
Osman 5
Arteta 3
Yobo 2
Anichebe 1
Bent 1
Cahill 1
Davies 1
Ferguson 1
Weir 1
(own goals) 1

The goals table looks a bit paltry...I wish Beattie had grabbed a few more in the last month of the season.

Soccerbot annotated table

And that's that for another year.

The game on Sunday was a chance to pay tribute to Brian Labone...we applauded 'til our arms ached. Some fans wanted to ignore the moments silence and applaud through it...I can understand the might have been slightly awkward but it was warm & genuine. That's what mattered.

BBC - Everton 2-2 West Brom

The game on Sunday was pretty meaningless but a win could have took us into the top half which would have been nice. Everton were very disjointed against a busy West wasn't really against the run of play when they took the lead through Gera.

We were very disjointed and they hit us with a sucker punch at the start of the 2nd half. Fans were getting edgy (Simon Davies seems to be the target for the Boo-boys now despite him playing fairly well) but their keeper was playing an absolute blinder and made 5 or 6 good just didn't feel like our day.

In the end they couldn't hold out for ever...Young Victor Anichebe managed to squirm on through Tomasz Kuszczak's legs and then in the last minute Arterta earned us a penalty..looked a soft one but I'd have to see it again properly to know for sure if it was a dive. Despite the club paying a tribute to one of it's legends and farewell to one of our current heroes, plus superb saves and contrversial offsides a-plenty we only got ITV-esque coverage on MotD. If a job's worth doing....

Anyway the ball was given to Big Dunc who didn't look like he wanted to take it but it HAD to be him who took it, he was skipper for the day and it looks like this will be his last game...even then Kuszczak saved it but Dunc was left with a simple tap in...2-2. Fans ran onto the pitch, it was a very happy place. Dunc's status as a talisman has always defied logic but he is The Big Man...there is no arguing.

A lap of appreciation by the players was emotional, it was great to applaud the players, people may boo and moan but they are still our heroes. Duncan trailed behind the main group applauded the fans who stuck by him no matter can say what you like about him but a bond like that between players and fans is something truly special and at the end the players made a guard of honour for him to leave the field to as the fans sang his name.

Elsewhere there was an interesting end to the season Arsenal were having a party to bid adieu to Highbury (one of English football's venerable old stadia) before they move into their sumptuous new Ashburton Grove.

They were hoping Spurs would falter at West Ham in order to capture the last Champions League place. Beforehand it was announced that the West Ham v Tottenham was in doubt 'cause most of the Spurs team were suffering from food poisoning after going to a hotel the night before the game.

Probe into Spurs illness outbreak

Now it sounds a dodgy coincidence that it happens the night before such a crucial game but regardless the show must go on (remember 'boro getting fined and docked points for calling off one of their games when most of their best players had flu).

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Why has no-one ever heard of Magnum PI

Well fancy dress is a funny business...Anne's sister, who lives up on Teeside was having a fancy dress party for her 30th...Anne went as Lara Croft which was fine but barely anyone remembered Magnum PI and so my get-up (Hawaiian shirt, wig, fake moustache etc etc) was a bit of a disaster...managed to drink away the pain and get up the next day for our dash back across the country for the match.

Friday, May 05, 2006

List of monarchs in the British Isles

List of monarchs in the British Isles:

Willy Willy Harry Steve,
Henry Dick John Henry three;
Then three Edwards Richard two,
Henry Four, Five Six then who?
Edward four five, Dick the bad,
Two more Henries, Ned the lad;
Bloody Mary she came next,
Then we have our Good Queen Bess.
From Scotland we got James the Vain;
Charlie one, two, James again.
William and Mary, Anna Gloria,
Four Georges, William, and Victoria.
Edward, George, the same again,
Now Elizabeth - and the end.

Sure this'll come in useful at some stage.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rooney's foot...the real cost.

Manchester United Official Web Site - Club & News - News - What The Papers Say - 2:08:43 PM

"Wayne Rooney's uncle stands to rake in £50,000 with an amazing 250-1 World Cup bet - £250 placed with bookies when the soccer ace was only 12. A pal said: 'He always knew Wayne was amazing. The only thing that could get in the way is if Wayne is injured. We're all on tenterhooks.'"


Rooney needs a miracle - Eriksson

"Wayne Rooney has 'more than one fracture' and maybe needs a 'miracle' to be fit for the World Cup, according to England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson."

Membrane thin boots with ultra soft soles? Firm pitches? Who knows...really can't see him making it though.

Liverpool 08

Liverpool 08 website

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bank holidays come 6 times a year

and then it’s back to work a.g.a.i.n!

Today was set aside for wedding stuff….it was nice to do something pleasurable because recently the hall we’d booked for our reception has, out of the blue, told us there’s no way they’d be able to accommodate the 140 people we’d invited to their 160 capacity room. In fact they told us this again, and again, and again. I’m not for messing about but we’d booked the room a year ago, apparently they’d mentioned that there was not way the room would take 160 for a silver service meal (which we aren’t having) and apparently it was all over the booking form that the room only take 100 people (no idea but I’d be surprised if we’d completely ignored such explicit warnings) and apparently it was is also on the confirmation documentation they sent us (it definitely isn’t mentioned anywhere on this).

As you can imagine this is putting a big steaming turd in the middle of our wedding preps…

…so today we went to John Lewis’ to point a cool barcode laser device at everything we’ve ever wanted…Bleep : Denby Dinner service. Bleep : Posh duvet cover. Bleep : Stainless Steel carving dish. Found lots of reasonably priced gifts, hardly anything over twenty five pound….we feel cheeky telling people what to get us but it’s nice that people know that they are getting us something we do really want without breaking the bank.

It did take a lot of trudging around though. John Lewis’ in Liverpool is labyrinthine. (Kitchenware? 2 buildings over and down to the basement. Sports? Go up to the 4th floor walk along then down to the 3rd floor, along again and then back up to 4th again). As a reward we flopped into Doctor Duncan’s, a pub owned by Cain’s……what more could you want? Cain’s Lager, new Cain’s Liverpool Lager, Cain’s 2008 & Cain’s Treble Hop all got resounding thumbs up. Cain’s IPA, Cain’s Best Bitter & Cain’s FA are all ace but we didn’t have time. Cain’s Victorian Beer and Cain’s Sundowner all tantalise on the menu but aren’t available at present. Classic rock blared out as we did the Time crossword before a switch to incongruous dance music razed me to a brief Victor Meldrew-esque fury…limp 80s rock and another pint followed and by late afternoon we strolled towards Lime Street to see if a train was due to take us home…we made the train by 2 minutes so things could scarcely have gone better…apart from the train getting stuck behind some broken points : We sat there watching train after train zipping to and fro and squirmed as my bladder go fuller and fuller. Ultimately I got away without wetting myself so at the end of the day all’s well that ends well.