Friday, June 30, 2006

Monty Hall problem

Monty Hall problem

Suppose you're on a game show, and you're given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what's behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, "Do you want to pick door No. 2?" Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?

Just made a tit of myself by arguing incorrectly against the Monty Hall Paradox until eventually a light came on in my head.

Gearing myself up for today's Germany/Argentina game...who does an Englishman pick out of them two? Tricky...I think that could be de facto final. Could be a great game...unfortunately I'm stuck in work.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

icLiverpool - Australian Melrose is new Waterloo coach

icLiverpool - Australian Melrose is new Waterloo coach

This is good news...was worried about the lack of new coming out of St Anthony's.

Looking forward to the new season now.

The less said about the cricket the better...England just can't seem to click (where have I heard that before?). Hope we can get it together for the Pakistan tour.

Aparently Sleater-Kinney have decided to take an indefinite hiatus...Sad but it's better to go out on a high. I've seen bands end up fading away producing albums that lack all the spark & verve & genius of their previous work. The breathless Monday morning dash to the record shop turning into a grudging stomp 'cause deep down you know you are buying it more in hope than expectation. The concerts where the new material's fine but all the highlights are the older songs and the crowd know it...and deep down you can sense they know it. SK never did things by halfs...there's not too many bands you can say that about.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

And relax...

there's been 2 or 3 footy games on telly every day for the past 3 weeks...all of a sudden we've reached an will we survive? The 2nd round finished yesterday with Brazil beating Ghana (although Ghana deserved to be at least drawing at half-time but couldn't hit the side of a barn) and France surprsingly edging out must fancied Spain.

Spain 1-3 France

Rednoses seem to think Spain are their team all of sudden...they seem to think that supporting England somehow makes them less of a red.

liverpool Forum : Spain v France

Now we wait until Saturday for England V Portugal. Sven V Scholari 3 : The Revenge

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

National Anthem & Veteran's Day

YouTubers are doing some tremendous work during this national anthem.

Today is the first ever Veterans Day in this country...not sure what's being done for it but it's a good idea to acknowledge the service and sacrifices made by older generations (and indeed people from our generation).

Veterans day 27 June 2006

look out for this badge.

On a similar note a chap in work showed me the commonwealth war graves website...this, as far as I can tell, is my great gandfather who died in the run up to The Battle of the Somme 90 years ago :

Pioneer Albert Brandwood

It's a cruel, cruel game

The aussies must be sick going out of the World Cup on the last kick of the game.

Despite the protestations you have to say Lucas Neill really shouldn't have flung himself to ground in front of an on-rushing attacker. It was a soft penalty but they can't really complain.

In the evening watched an utterly timid affar between Ukraine and Switzerland. Nether team seem to have any will to attack. It felt like we'd done a marathon after the end of the 3-0 penalty shoot-out win for Ukraine.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Bugger me......25 fouls but 16 yellows (including 4 second yellows). That was some refereeing display. The Dutch and Portugese decided to play out a war of attrition with player after player flying in or exaggerating fouls to get other players booked. In the end Portugal came out on top but it was a surreal can’t help but feel that the Netherlands played into Portugal’s hands.

At the end of the day all the bad-tempers were great for England fans as the depleted winners, or should that be the survivors, of that game were due to meet the all conquering name-on-the-trophy super-fantastic Ingerland! Yep! The super stupifiers have yet again progressed. People seemed to assume Ecuador would be push-overs patently ignoring the fact that England, apart from a few fleeting spells have basically been rubbish so far. In the end it was yet more of the same, it’s just not happening. The team has yet to click and yet here we are in the last 8. This time a 4-1-4-1 was employed with Carrick as the holder employed to allow Gerrard and Lampard freedom to do their thing. Hargreaves was brought in to support Beckham because Carragher is just no good as a full-back when his winger can’t beat his man.

Rooney leading the line on his own looked isolated, Joe Cole did well but he seldom had anyone ahead of him. Another frustrating afternoon. We could have conceded early but for great work from Ashley Cole

but ultimately the game was decided by a perfectly placed Beckham freekick.

The only problem was that after the previous day’s football I didn’t think it had gone in at all. Yesterday in the Germany Sweden game a shot had ruffled the side netting and rebounded behind the goal so 90% of the stadium had the illusion it was nestling in the back of the net. Sweden just didn’t turn up to their game and Germany strolled past them. The game was notable for a shameful incident when some Germany players almost demanded the ref give a Sweden player a second yellow for next to nothing.

Game of the weekend was undoubtedly Mexico v Argentina. Two teams going at each other hammer and tongs from the first minute...quick, pacey football with skill and balance throughout the teams. Both trying to beat each other at all costs. In the end the game was settled by a breath-taking strike from Maxi Rodriguez (who I’d been saying was the weak link that their side, D’oh!). Sublime chest and volley into the far corner but with his back to goal and the full-back in attendance...sorry Joe but it was better than yours mate.

We’ve got lots of other stuff going on in our lives but at present the World Cup is taking up our time...lots of wedding stuff that we should be doing. Anne has hopefully solved the Fiendish Sudoku puzzle that is the seating plan and we are striving towards planning the mass and typing up the order of service (in fact what am I doing wasting time writing a blog!). A few things to sort out but hopefully we are on top of it.........hopefully. It’s very easy to make yourself hyper-ventilate about this. Lots of things to organise that you just cannot be arsed about. It will be worth it in the end but we just need to avoid drowning in logistics.

Especially when there’s a world cup on.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Poll set for early World Cup exit

Poll set for early World Cup exit

Giving one player a second yellow but not sending him off was the icing on the cake as Graham Poll had basically got everything wrong (missing two blatant penalties). As far as us bluenoses are concerned this controversy is just karma for when the buffoon chalked off our freak injury time winner in the derby a while back (then just smugly lied about it later).

The winner that never was

The Aussies did really well...chuffed for them. They rallied round brilliantly after conceding early. Not sure why that keeper replaced Mark Schwartzer, his spill for Croatia's second was well dodgy. Aparently after the game Tim Cahill ran over and swapped his shirt with a bluenose in the crowd.

Croatia 2 - 2 Australia

Earlier on the Yanks came up short against Ghana...terrible descision for Ghana's penalty but for me they didn't do enough on the second half. Ridiculously tough group that though. I imagine Italy would prefer not to be player the Aussies in the next game.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yo-Bo! Yo-Bo!

Yobo on the brink of new deal

Looks like Yobo will sign...that's good news. Opinion is divided on Yobo but he is undoubtedly better than Stubbs or Weir.

Nostradamus predicts Spanish World Cup win

"Nostradamus, predicted that Spain will win the Germany 2006 World Cup finals.
The prophecy predicts that: 'At the end of the sixth month of 2006, the King of Spain will cross the Pyrenees with his army. The legions of Beelzebub await the battle on the central European planes. Destruction and defeat will fall on the evil-doers. The Holy Grail will be returned to Spain by the triumphant King.'"

Well that's that done & dusted.

Yet more of the same

World Cup over for injured Owen?

Well we hate to say we told you so. An entire nation is probably thinking that this morning. Michael Owen's knee twisted and buckled under him within 60 seconds of the start of last night's game and it looks like he'll be going home. This leaves our striking options as an unfit Rooney, a gangly comedy player (who to be fair looks competent in flashes) and a completely untested 17 year old. How Defoe must be feeling now. We have so much cover in midfield why not leave out someone like Jenas and take five strikers. Anyway what's done is done, and let's face it : The way things are going it's not like we are going to lose the world cup due to lack of forwards.

Yesterday was, apparently, a much more entertaining game...entertaining for everyone other than England fans. We still look pensive and nervous going forward...we lack movement and seems easily stifled. Joe Cole might look back on this game as his true coming-of-age (fabulous looping, dipping volley from his own chest down

and a brilliantly measured delivery for Gerrard's second...The way he looked up, made the angle for himself and then held onto it that extra second drawing the Swedes in was brilliant), Hargreaves showed what he can offer England, I think Beckham is coming into the game more but Lampard was woeful. It just feels like we never swing momentum round our way, take the game by the scruff of the neck. Last night brought in a new element...we were woeful at set pieces and could have conceded another 3 goals. Lot of work still to be done. We just aren't ready for the likes of Holland, Spain & Argentina.

Anyway job done...and ultimately a slight improvement on the previous two games and compared to our normal group stage form we aren't doing that bad. Sweden always frustrate us. Hopefully it's got to click soon.

Sweden 2-2 England

Monday, June 19, 2006

Fans lose trousers to gain entry

Fans lose trousers to gain entry

"Around 1,000 fans arrived for the Ivory Coast tie in their traditional bright orange trousers - but bearing the logo and name of a Dutch brewery.

To protect the rights of the official beer they were denied entry, so the male fans promptly removed the trousers and watched the game in underpants."

God bless those Dutch folks!

Finally, it had to happen. The German police were forced to use water cannons on England fans


Corea team fighting!

France 1-1 South Korea

The Korea fans are more entertaining than the players...they just keep on singing and dancing. France were all over them but just couldn't finish them off (despite having one goal disallowed when it wasclearly over the line) the end Korea nicked one and thier fans went mental.

Other than that a weird weekend of footy in terms of allegiances. Saturday found us in a the best seats in the house getting served free pizza, pasta hot-dogs and burgers by our favourite land-ladies. The US seemed to be getting the backing of most of the pub although I drew the line at drinking Budweiser & so stuck to Peroni.

I would rather go thirsty than drink Bud but their Brad & Hal soccer presenters have been entertaining us throughout (although nothing will be as good as this)

Italy 1-1 USA

It was a rough old game, the US showed loads more spirit and fight but will have to rely on Italy beating the Czechs AND see off a feisty tenacious Ghana team. It can be done though. Ghana really deserved their win against the Czechs but may well come to rue their striker needlessly drifting offside for a third goal that would have put them ahead of the Czechs on goal difference. Of the Africans Ghana and Ivory Coast have really impressed. It's just a shame they are in such tight groups.

As if a pub full of Brits desperately cheering on the Americans wasn't weird enough Sunday found a pub full of Brits desperately cheering on Australia!

Brazil 2-0 Australia

The cliched hype surrounding Brazil is grating on people's nerves and Australia worked like Trojans. 2-0 was ridiculously flattering to Brazil, especially as the ref seemed to be protecting their flare players thus penalising Australia for getting in amongst them. Another nervy final group match there methinks.

Friday, June 16, 2006

mmm Beer

Beer, life’s most precious commodity...and yet that’s what I’ve wagered on the, at present purely hypothetical, outcome of an England Argentina game. Today the Argentines sent a message to the rest of the tournament. The Serbs had on of the most highly rated defences going into the tournament and yet Argentina took them to the cleaners. Yes Vidic was a big loss for them and yes they were down to ten men for the least third of the game but make no mistake : Argentina were imperious, sublime, irresistible. But England will beat them...cometh the hour cometh the man. At the moment I wouldn’t back us against Costa Rica but being on the Argentineans and somehow you just think “Why not?” (and maddeningly you know the players will have that attitude too) the eternal paradox of being an England fan. Anyway all this foolish bravado means that if we match up with the Argentines and for some weird reason (like them looking truly, truly awesome at the moment) they manage to beat us then I owe Sara DeWitt a pint.

The stakes don’t get any higher than that...Come on England.

Group C is proving to be every bit as good as it looked. After the 6-0 masterclass from a team who look like winning the thing (providing they avoid England that is) came Ivory Coast V The Netherlands…another brilliant match up. The first 45 minutes sounded outstanding, I was driving home from work. Today’s roads were eerily quiet compared to yesterday’s England inspired gridlock.

It’s a shame only two teams can go through from that group. The second half which I watched down The Vic’ in Woolton were, as sod’s law dictates, fairly tight & edgy. Anyway The upshot is that The Dutch and the Argentines go through. I am disappointed for the Africans ‘cause they look class and would have stood a really good chance of progressing if it wasn’t for such a wretched draw.

Later on I watched Mexico V Angola. I was torn between wanting the underdogs do well and an affection for Mexico which is such a great country. I wonder if they’ve got screens in the Zocalos….that’d be a great place to take in the game. Possibly not tonight though, Mexico squandered the best chances and it finished 0-0 so the last round of games in the group will be quite cagey.

That’s about it….I went to JJB and whilst there checked out the world cup kits rack…my theory about the Puma kits being made out of bin-bags was not too far off the mark.

Now THIS is sarcasm!

Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

"I take full responsibility for losing the game," said Claudio Reyna, whose shot off the crossbar of the Czech goal as the U.S. trailed 1-0 in the opening half of play has been shown to coincide with a significant bump in the suicide rate, a momentary increase in reports of domestic violence, and a $0.45 increase in the per-gallon price of gasoline. "But we still have games to play in this opening round. I realize that the United States, more than any other country, loves this game. But that is no reason for so many people to cancel their weddings."

"This cannot last," said Bruce Arena, coach of the U.S. World Cup team and by extension effectively the second-most powerful man in America, in an address televised simultaneously on every national channel Wednesday night. "We cannot have crops unharvested in the fields, the doors of our churches sealed shut, the Stars and Stripes fixed at half-mast, all because of our dishonorable standard of play. We cannot ask you to forgive our loss to the Czechs, as that must be left to the wisdom of the God of our fathers. We have always been a nation blessed with strength, not only in our love for our soccer teams, but in our love for one another, and we must call on both now if we are to endure these dark days."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More of the same

England 2 - 0 Trinidad & Tobago

Well, the saying goes that it’s better to be lucky than good. England are going with this. For our first 150 minutes in this world cup we’ve been stuttering and struggling and trying and just not clicking. Regimental 4-4-2 left Trinidad with a fairly straightforward job of going toe-to-toe with us. For 45 minutes we knocked at the door and had a few chances but ultimately we were thankful for JT doing an acrobatic clearance off his own line.

BUT Rooney and, perhaps more importantly, Lennon came on with Beckham switching to the centre and we went 3-5-2 and eventually we broke through. Just when were thinking it wasn’t going to happen a high looping Beckham cross and Crouch at the far post.

Just to make sure Gerrard chipped it with a Gerrard special. We’re through.

I had to go to Mass at 7:30 (Holy day of obligation during a world cup, best not to get anyone up there angry methinks) so missed a far bit of the first half of the Sweden game…for most of the game it looked like somehow it would finish 0-0. Sweden had so many attacks (their defender made if anything a better acrobatic goal-line clearance) but eventually they got what they deserved….after all the luck England have enjoyed you can’t really begrudge the Swedes some too.

But anyway the way Germany’s group is working out it’s unclear who the winner of our group could be playing. At present Ecuador are topping Group A so a draw for them will do in their third game.

In summary…England are through, Rooney is back, my flag is hanging out the window and the England world cup song is growing on me. Bring it on. It’s the world cup. It.Is.Now!

You never know.

icLiverpool - Blues choose Kirkby site

icLiverpool - Blues choose Kirkby site

Another none story...can't see them just upping moving to Kirby. What on earth does the allegience of a Tesco employee have to do with it.

It's near County Road! - MAP

Decent transport links though.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The world cup so far :

Sorry yanks but in terms of performances you are at the bottom after the first round. The top six all looking top, top sides. There are reasons for England being so low but there is a lot of improving to be done if we are going to make an impact.

Czech Republic
Ivory Coast
South Korea
Costa Rica
Saudi Arabia
Trinidad & Tobago

Tonight's game against Trinidad should be easy but complacency could kill us...We all remember the Northern Ireland debacle. At least having avoided our customary dropping of points in the opening game we can relax somewhat and play with a bit of freedom. The reports hint that Rooney is going to play, a superb recovery. Rumours persist that United were exagurating his injury in order that he'd be left out of the squad.



With a Klingon in defence we'll surely do well.

Well that's good news....looks like van der Meyde is off though...pity, he looked a superb player but apparently he just did what he pleased in training.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Brazil 1-0 Croatia

Brazil 1-0 Croatia

I know Brazil are the kings of football, you can't deny it but the media do go overboard somewhat. This isn't the fault of the Brazil players but to listen to the build up today it was like The Harlem Globetrotters taking on the Washington Generals. Well Brazil, with commentary cliches trailing in their wake, scraped a 1-0 against a Croatia team that gave as good as they got.

In the earlier game Korea won against Togo and France managed something we didn't actually think possible, they put in a performance at least as dull and uninspired as England. In fact they probably should have lost had Switzerland remembered how to head a ball.

Webby Awards 2006

Webby Awards

Well worth a browse

Adopt a German


How odd...will investigate.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Australia 3-1 Japan

Australia 3-1 Japan

Currently Everton have the joint top scorer in the competition. Timmy Cahill came off the bench to spark an Aussie revival and grab a brace in the process. Chuffed for him. Top stuff.

Also dashed home to watch the US take on the Czechs....tough, tough group and, being honest, it looked like men and boys which is dissappointing 'cause we'd heard good things about the septics.

There is three ultra tough groups in this world cup. C, E & F all have at least three strong teams in them but as England proved in Japan (England, Sweden, Nigeria & Argentina) it can be done.

Violence as England game screened

Violence as England game screened

There's always one or two...Sun + Stella. Luckily we ended up in O'Neills which was ace.

No big problems in Germany yet which is always a relief.

Enjoyed the world cup so far but it has to be said that England game has been the least entertaining of all. At one point the ball actually hit the overhanging scoreboard (the shadow of wich evoked memories of the giant spider from 1986) sloppy is that?

One thing is abundantly clear..the sooner the teams wearing Puma kits go out that better...they always seem to be utterly saturated with sweat after about 5 minutes. Ewww!

Argentina, Ivory Coast & The Netherlands have been three of the best teams so far and they are all in the same group.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ashes heartbreak for bowler Jones

Ashes heartbreak for bowler Jones

I wonder if Ricky Ponting still thinks Gary Pratt shouldn't have been on the field?

Martyn announces retirement

Big Nige has been forced to call it a day...desperately sorry to say him go. He's been a great keeper for us and he seems a really nice fellow too.

"I had to get on the phone to the manager after making the decision between myself, Baz the physio, John the consultant and my wife. It was a decision based on being able to live a normal sort of life afterwards - that was the primary concern because it is a nasty bone to have a problem in."

"I have loved every minute of my time at Everton. I have a lot to be thankful to Everton for because I was languishing at Leeds at the time. I was out of favour at Elland Road because I would not go on a tour and so I will always be thankful to the manager for putting his faith in me and giving me another chance.

To be able to play two and a half seasons was a big thing for me because it meant I could finish my career properly."

Hopefully he'll pop back to Goodison to get the ovation he deserves.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Everton Collection

The Everton Collection

The appeal to raise enough to keep The David France Collection (Ie a collection that is basically the entirety of Everton's history in the hands of the fans (via the charitable trust) is not going well apparently. The club has put half of it up front and Lord Grantchester, a board member, has stumped up further cash but there is still a lot to be done.

I suppose you either like this sort of thing or you don't but it's priceless..we are one of the oldest clubs in the country, founder members of the football league. This needs to be preserved.

Spare a thought!

Texting my mate Dave last night...he is preparing for hibernation or at least some sort of period as a hermit. He hates footy and so this world cup is proving unbearable for him.

To be honest I can see where he's coming's lazy journo heaven out there the moment. Reports on kids and pensioners doing Crouch's robot dance, Guides to World cup outlining which pair of shoes each team resemble. Every advert you see be it McDonalds (at least they are sponsoring the thing), Argos, Kellogs or Canesten Cream (okay I made that one up) are jumping on the bandwagon. It is, in truth, getting tiresome. It'll be good once the footy actually starts so we can get 45 minutes at a time away from all the media hype!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

World Cup 1966 flashback

World Cup 1966 flashback

It must be hell being a Scot or a none footy type at present...couldn't resist linking this though.

England v Sri Lanka

England v Sri Lanka:

"Even England's players on the balcony look on in disbelief as Panesar heaves Muralitharan one bounce over square-leg for four. Another swipe flies into the crowd in the same region, the crowd are on their feet and you'd think the Ashes had just been retained."

"Monty Panesar, rating : 7 - The one positive aspect of England's performance, celebrating his first five-wicket haul, keeping the fielding blunders to a minimum and even hitting three fours and a six in making his highest Test score of 26."

Well, England blew it. Murali skittled them out on day 4 but basically our catching let us down in the first test and our bowling in the third. We let there tail hang around for hours in those two games and it cost us a series win. Got to hope that our thre first choice bowlers & our captain get themselves back fit...especially with Flintoff and Pietersen picking up injuries.

Bright points include crowd favourite Monty getting a 5 wicket haul and smacking a rampant Murali around the ground.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The A-list

Soap star joins Tory elite list

Tory elite list rejected at Chislehirst

I remember ages ago I mentioned media friendly Amber Rudd and Esther McVeigh all being put up as Tory candidates in Liverpool. This A-List is even more cringeworthy. David CameraOn et al are just so depserate to be media darlings it's pathetic...what worse is that generally the journos seem to be crawling into bed with them in now that they've decided they want Labour out.

Larkham still hurt by final loss

Larkham still hurt by final loss

Nice to know but come on...they were holding on by their fingertips for the entire game. They were only in the game 'cause of a couple of stupid unforced errors by England players and it only went into extra time 'cause of a baffling penalty given by that South African ref at the death.

Anyway...the weekend. The world cup is coming, when it arrives this means an end to all other considerations. With this in mind we had a lot of fit in on Saturday...the garden needed doing top to bottom, things needed to be painted, stuff for the wedding had to be bought...if we did all this we could then justify going to the pub and watching England say farewell with a friendly against Jamaica.

England 6-0 Jamaica

It was entertaining but ultimately meaningless...Crouch's ironic goal celebration is gaining him a cult following...his penalty taking won't. Less than a week now...virtually an entire planet is counting the days.

You never know.

Sunday we got some exercise was a gorgeous day so we went for some walking in the fresh air. We plumped for Malham Cove.

Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales

Lots of nice views...

...and a pint of nice beer at the end of it.

Copper Dragon, Skipton

Thursday, June 01, 2006

tick, tick, tick, tick

National Geographic Magazine - World Cup

Getting closer and closer to the off. A quick look at Sara's blog will tell you exactly how long 'til der Weltmeisterschaft.

Can't wait...................

You never know!