Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nothing really to grumble about

Grumble, grumble, grumble. In future weekends I think I’ll publish a list of all the teams I’m rooting for…this will allow you folk to bet against them and clean up.

Everton took on Villa…Martin O’Neill is one of my favourite managers. He did a superb job at Celtic but even stretching back to his Leicester City days. He’s a good honest manager. He calls a spade a spade and always puts out a decent side. It wasn’t his fault he had zero budget at Leicester, there was very little class in that side but two league cups were a tremendous achievement.

His Villa side, a team that looked utterly clueless last season weren’t anything breathtaking…they were just fully committed and well organised. They took their chance and then took control of the game as Everton probed and huffed and puffed but never really carved anything out. Cahill went off with a twisted knee and Beattie came on. Him and along with Osman seemed to flirt on the fringes of the game when more was required. There was no balance to Everton and certainly no brains or guile. The effort was there but they kept us at arms length and ultimately Sorensen didn’t really have much to do. AJ could have got one or two but he’s having a barren patch…the thing is though that he is doing everything he can to compensate for it and make a contribution to the team. I don’t think you can say that of Beats. It’s very frustrating.

As we trooped out to meet our jubilant Villa fan Nigel it was cold and rainy and windy…kind of matched our mood.

A quick check of the internet phones revealed that England had ballsed up against Argentina at Twickenham…that is just not good enough. Argentina have some good players, they are a decent team but that’s all…we are meant to be world champions. It is worth saying that the Pumas really deserve to be invited into the tri-nations or the six nations. They have potential but as mere bystanders to international rugby (world cup notwithstanding) they can only go so far. England are caught in a terrible trap…their every move is scrutinised. The nerves are palpable, the decisions they players are making are a bit baffling…but basically the team need to have a look at themselves.

The depression over the result was dispelled somewhat by two things…a crowd booing a kicker as he’s about to take a penalty deserve everything they get. The interview with the Argentine captain was a reminder of how much sport can mean to some people.

Waterloo took another caning away at Coventry…another game where we really needed to pick up a point at least. It’s all a bit of a downer sportswise but on Remembrance weekend you realise that it’s not the be all and end all of life. Moments silences and singing “Abide with me” bring it home how lucky we are to have had forbearers who were prepared to give up everything and lay down their lives answering their country’s call. Even today four soldiers have died in Iraq (one of whome was a bluenose). We will remember them.

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