Sunday, September 30, 2007

Big weekends

We squeezed a lot in this weekend. Our friends Helen & Andy popped up to visit on Friday night and we went to a beer festival at Liverpool Cricket Club and had a thoroughly good time. It was put on by The Beer Festival Company and was really well organised, definitely recomend it. All that fun meant I missed the England/Tonga game but WAP phones meant we kept in touch with the score and so soothed my nerves.

Saturday had us popping down to Blundellsands for our first Waterloo game of the season. Great to be back, Waterloo played fairly well and were creative throughout but they were so sloppy it was untrue and a game they should have won at a canter turned into a nail-biter. We scored some great tries but time and time again knocked-on or gave away penalties or tried quixotic grubber kicks in the last few minutes when going to ground and getting some slow ball would have been just what we needed. Anyway can't moan too much 'cause a win is a win (including bonus point).

Crosby Herald review
Nuneaton review

Straight into the clubhouse for more Deuchars andthe end of the Wales/Fiji game. I don't really bear the Welsh any ill will ("As long as we beat the English" aside) but it was great to see a nation like Fiji having their moment of glory (there was a huge cheer as the ball came out on the Fijian side of that final ruck). It stinks when it's you on the recieving end but in the grand scheme of things it's great to think of places like Suva, Nadi, Lautoka and Ovalau going ballistic as the final whistle goes.

Sunday saw us off to Everton, it was "Ladies Day" which sounds very twee but it meant the club were promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and giving a fair bit of cash to Cancer Research so well done for that...another win but still not a particularly satisfiying one. Everton took advantage of dodgy marking to take the lead early on (Yet another goal from Super Joleon Lescott) but could have been 4-1 down at half time.

Boro wasted loads of chances and in the end a comfortable 2-0 win flattered us a bit. Great performance from McFadden and Arteta was back as was the old Tony Hibbert (which was great to see). We were the only game that day so MotD2 contained a shedload of eulogising about Everton's under-rated players which was nice.

The Sheff Wed & Boro results will have restored some confidence going into the game on Thursday in the Ukraine. Really hope we can nip in with an early goal. Habemus Arteta & anything is possible.

BBC Match Report

As we waited to get out of the Upper Gwladys there was one last bit of sporting business to attend to...Argentina had beaten Ireland and so were through to face Scotland in quarter final. Whereas Fiji was a small nation having their day in the sun you feel Argentina really are coming of age in this tournament. Apparently interest in the game down there is massive and the players are being lauded as national heroes. Great to see. So far the tournament has been full of great stories with the big nations being the least interesting among them. For me this World Cup is all about Tonga, Fiji, Gerogia and Argentina. I suppose we are getting to the business end now and the big crunch games will just be the icing on the cake.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Minnows facing cull for 2011 Cup

"The current Rugby World Cup is likely to be the last featuring 20 countries, BBC Wales Sport can reveal.

An investigation for the Sport Wales TV show has learnt of plans to cut the tournament to 16 teams, with a second level tournament for so-called minnows."

The form of the smaller nations and the support they've recieved has been the best thing about this tournament so far.

Why would you want to lose that? What is it with the upper echelons of rugby trying to ring fence their own positions. You'd think a game that was amateur until so recently would be in touch with it's grass roots not trying to concrete over them

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Return of the Yak

Sheff Wed 0 - 3 Everton

Phew...I have the feeling that was a vital win. It just felt like a defeat would have seen things start to spiral. We now can hold our heads up going into the game on Sunday and if things go well there then we are nicely set up for the return leg in Kharkiv.

Great to see Yak involved in all three goals too. McFadden too. Hibbert got dropped which will probably help take the heat off him a bit. We do need AJ to chip in with a goal...he hasn't been playing badly at all but we do need him off the mark.

It sounded like a pretty ropey performance against a Sheff Wed side with dismal form but ultimately a win is a win. A real tonic.

Tremendous result at Old Trafford for Coventry...aparently they brought 11,000 fans with them too.

PS Well done to ITV for devoting most of their hour highlights show to two games (including full analysis). ITV : rubbish at televised it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.

Everton back Ayegbeni Yakubu's work ethic - Telegraph

Everton back Ayegbeni Yakubu's work ethic - Telegraph

Worrying :

"The Nigerian was left out at Villa Park as Moyes felt the £11.25?million club record signing had not been working hard enough recently.

After coming on as a 69th minute substitute, Yakubu was admonished by Leighton Baines for failing to chase down a simple ball. That resulted in Baines remonstrating with Yakubu for his lack of effort..."

further down

"...Irvine also believes left-back Baines was perfectly entitled to vent his frustration at Yakubu.

"It's the way it should be, and it's the way it's always been," added Irvine.

"The best teams have always been able to tell each other what they think. Everyone talks about team spirit, well team spirit isn't about always being everybody's friend, or telling them the good things.

"It's about being able to tell them what you think and what they need to do to help you, and people have to accept it and not take it as being something personal.

"When people can argue, get on with things and still be friends, that's when you know you've really great spirit.

"And from what I've seen, he [Yakubu] has not taken it personally at all. He has come in smiling.

"He trained in a very small group of lads yesterday who hadn't played, and was terrific. While today he has come in with a smile on his face and there has been absolutely no problem."

Really hope we haven't replaced one Beattie with another (and chucked in £7m for the privelige). Return of the Yak! Show us what you can do.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Hot on the heals on Lancashire's disappointment Everton & Waterloo both lose at the weekend. *Pout*.

Judging the mood of the Evertonians I know I am fearful or another Villareal effect if we don't turn it round in the second leg against Metalist. I hope not 'cause it was a cripplingly depressing season two years ago. Again, depsite being talked of as shangri-la European football might well turn into a poison challice for Everton.

Villa V Everton

Speaking of poison challice's Waterloo's recovery from being poisoned (Ie going up into National Division One) is stuttering with a bonus point loss to Henley...sounds like ill discipline cost them dearly. A win there would have put us well and truely underway....hope we can sort it out at Blundelsands on Saturday.

Henley V Waterloo.

Whilst that was dampening my spirits the final of the Twenty20 world cup was proving totally compelling. India V Pakistan was the dream final...a derby between the two most cricket obsessed nations on earth. Brilliant stuff...It went right to the wire and was impossibly to call right upto the very end. Congrats to India in winning what has been a tremendous competition. Looks like it's been well & truly hyped up over there :

Indian Reaction

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Don't stand up for The Special One

Football: 'Turncoat' Terry

Icy handshakes

Interesting things coming out of Stamford Bridge :

"Half an hour before the Group B fixture, claims a dressing-room source, Terry told one of Mourinho's assistant coaches that he had 'things on my mind'. Only the intervention of a team-mate put him in the right state of mind to take part in the pre-match warm-up, for which Terry arrived late.

Midway through the first half Rosenborg scored, after Miika Koppinen beat Terry at a set piece. When Mourinho then directly criticised the centre back's defending at half time, Terry refused to accept responsibility for the goal or even to respond to his manager.

Earlier on Tuesday, Terry had been informed that Mourinho had gone to the club's medical department to ask whether there was any physical reason for the player's sub-standard performances in matches this season. Mourinho hoped to find an explanation for a significant decline in Terry's play following an operation to remove a disc from the defender's spine in December.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon was made aware of the dispute and, according to the dressing-room source, presented the information to an emergency board meeting on Wednesday as evidence that the manager had lost the trust of key players. The club subsequently asked Mourinho for his resignation, which he refused to tender, but ultimately settled on dismissal by 'mutual consent'. Later on Wednesday, Mourinho sent Terry a text message sarcastically thanking him for talking to the club's hierarchy.

On Friday, several first-team regulars apparently took their captain to task during a 50-minute team meeting called by Terry in the aftermath of Mourinho's dismissal. Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda are believed to have accused him of not doing enough to keep Mourinho at the club.

Terry is England's best-paid footballer after agreeing a five-year, £131,000-a-week contract this summer. In initial negotiations he had requested a 'limitless parity' clause to ensure he was the club's biggest earner for the duration of a proposed nine-year term. According to a Chelsea insider Terry also wanted - and was refused - a contractual option for him to manage the club at the end of his playing career."


"Tuesday, 10pm, home dressing room, Stamford Bridge. Andriy Shevchenko is taking Michael Essien to task on his performance in the night's embarrassing 1-1 draw with Rosenborg. The former European footballer of the year tells Africa's finest midfielder that he tried to make too many passes through the centre of the Norwegians' formation where '70 percent of their players were'. Essien learns he should have been passing to the wings 'where they only had 30 percent of their men'.

Not the most insightful of tactical advice, but then these are not the thoughts of a Ukraine international, they are those of a Russian billionaire. Standing beside Shevchenko, tactics board in hand, Roman Abramovich is the man telling Essien how to play football. Shevchenko is merely there to translate. In another room, attending to the press, Mourinho is utterly unaware of his employer's actions.

Tuesday, 7:11pm, the home dressing room. Chelsea's squad of 18 are called out for their pre-match warm up. All the players step out for the carefully prepared drill - except one. John Terry remains sitting where he is. One of Jose Mourinho's assistants urges Terry out. Chelsea's captain refuses, swears, and, according to an eye witness, says he is upset and has 'things on my mind'. Terry is said to be furious after finding out that Mourinho had been asking in Chelsea's treatment room whether there was a medical reason for his perceived loss of form over recent weeks. The stand-off continues until a team-mate cajoles his friend out on to the pitch."

Various things

BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | England 44-22 Samoa

This was a welcome long last England with a backline playing like a unit and a pack that dominiates. Great to see. The forwards really did let loose, Gommarsall was superb and it all went from there. Gommarsall, Wilkinson, Barkley, Tait and Sackey, Cueto and Loosey just looked so much more assured. Samoa gave us our scares and both teams must have been at a pretty low ebb going into the game. It just felt like England knew what was expected of them for once.

Tonga will be a tough, tought game. They did very well to give South Africa their first real scare of the tournament.

I have to admit to being surprisingly gutted at Lancashire's so-near-yet-so-far in this years cricket county championship. 74 years is an awful long time for a county like Lancs to go without a title of their own. This time they were just 25 runs short.

74 and counting

The Twenty20 world cup has been superb and now that we know Australia aren't going to win it we can all just relax! India V Pakistan should be a fantastic final.

An looming large on the sporting horizon is the Mayweather V Hatton fight. I am in now way a follower of boxing but fights like this don't come along very often. It'd be amazing if Hatton could beat gave him a chance against Tszyu or against Castillo. Who knows.

"Mayweather is a six-time world champion in five weight divisions, including super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight.

Hatton has also been successful across the weight divisions winning multiple world titles at light welterweight and welterweight.

The Manchester boxer enhanced his reputation as a ruthless boxer with victories over Kostya Tszyu (for the IBF light welterweight crown in 2005) and Jose Luis Castillo in 2007, when he became the first fighter to put the Mexican down."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Useless feckers

Okay that sounds a bit petty but it was such an annoying game last night. At least almost 40,000 bluenoses can tell our grandkids that we saw the world's narrowest midfield, it was practically a 90 minute group hug from Carsley, Osman, McFadden and Neville). Apart from the first 25 minutes we got suckered into playing narrow & tight with them and frankly they were better at it than us. There was no nouse or brains because as far as I could see an expensive game would have killed them. Any width we are going to get was going to come from Baines & Hibbert getting forward and Johnson & Yakubu darting out wide. Yakubu looked extremely ponderous whilst Hibbert stood out as player having an absolute nightmare.

At 1-0 with AJ having just slotted in a penalty and them down to 10 men it all looked rosey. The ref spotted an encroachment and AJ missed....we then gifted them a goal from nothing (a clearance rebounding and them breaking forward). From there at all felt utterly forlorn and when Johnson stepped up for his third penalty of the night (courtesy of an almost comical rugby tackle on Anichebe) you knew what was going to happen. So result for the Mentalists and we need to chase the game in Kharkiv (a game they'll sit on quite comfortably I'd say). European football is cack.

Эвертон v Металлист - BBC Match Report

Thursday, September 20, 2007

No more special one

Wow really shocked at this

Jose Mourinho leaves Chelsea

You've got to love Jose...Arrogant, possibly. Honest, most of the time. Entertaining, always. The premiership will be duller without him. I suppose it's what happens when you do a deal with the devil. Abramovitch was always going to take over slowly. Can't see this director of football guy commanding anywhere near the same loyalty from the spine of that Chelsea team somehow. Anyway this is the BBC's Jose quote anthology

This is pretty impressive :

666666 > .66666

Yuvraj Singh smacks 6 sixes in an over completely eclipsing Dimi Mascheranas hitting him for 5 sixes last week. The icing on the ignomany cake really. The Twenty20 World Cup is proving to be a great tournament, just a pity we don't seem capable of mounting a challenge in limited overs cricket.

The tournament has been made bearable for me by those lovely people at the "Out of the Ashes: Lovers of English Cricket" facebook group. Thanks for the banter chaps and uber-thanks to Swotty Mel & Ceci for their Collingwood photoshops :

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sportsmanship and irresponsibility

Nice to have a story about sportsmanship and doing the right thing for once :

Leicester give Forest a 'free' goal.

Leicester allowed Nottingham Forest's keeper to score in order to reclaim the one goal lead they had when the match was abandoned after a Foxes player had a heart attack at half time a couple of weeks ago.

I was a bit surprised about this :

Paul Colingwood nips to a lap-dancing club.

I do hope this is just a prank the other players have played on him...Nowadays they aren't just people turning up to play for England, they are centrally contracted professionals. They are supposed to be ambassadors for English cricket...if they don't want the responsibility that comes with it they can turn in their test numbers.

I don't expect them to be living like monks but the England cpatain shouldn't be going out to a club of any description the night before a game let alone a bloody lap dancing bar. Very shabby indeed, it says a lot about the team's attitude if the skipper is doing this...especially after what happened in the World Cup.

Away from sport this is certainly a bit too "x-files" for comfort :

Scores ill in Peru 'meteor crash'

Sunday, September 16, 2007

domestic sport

Double header against the Manchester teams met with mixed results

Waterloo V Manchester

Everton V Manchester

Didn't get to see either game 'cause we were at a family wedding (who gets married during the footy season). Despite my best effort to pout about missing the sport we all had a great time. My cousin Gary and his new wife Kirstie did us proud laying on a brilliant party.

Aparently Everton were easily worth a point...very annoying to get mugged like that.

Waterloo were more assured and should have put Manchester to bed easily but a spirited comeback and a few dodgy refereeing decisions meant it was pretty close at the time. It'll take time for Waterloo to gel so getting some points in the bag early is welcome. Like the sound of the new coach, Chris Callaghan, his column in the programme was a great read.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


God that was a pitiful start to the weekend's sport :

Australia 136-2 (14.5 overs) bt England 135 (20 overs) by eight wickets

Not good at all....they basically made mincemeat of us. You almost expected that Australia were going to put us out. If anyone could have done it (136 from 9 overs required to destroy our run rate) it's them. These Twenty20 specialists really need to up their game otherwise the wilderness awaits. Our only compensation is that Australia's guernsey style attire is more embarressing than our team's performances...

and so to the rugby :

England 0 - 36 South Africa

It's difficult to know where to begin...ultimately England are so far behind the rest of the field it's untrue. We truly worth our current world ranking of 7th. The performance on Friday was that of a minnow desperately trying to live with vastly superior opposition and should be judged as such.

The picture above is of the only two people who can hold their heads up. Robinson was the only player who put in a world class performance and basically he ran himself into retirement. Lewsey was his usual self but him and Billy Whizz couldn't do it on their own. The rest of them played right into South Africa's hands all game. This world cup is proving to be a depressing one but to be honest I didn't really expect much else.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Big games tomorrow

BBC SPORT | Rugby Union | English | England v South Africa (Fri):

"With Jonny Wilkinson and Olly Barkley both sidelined, Mike Catt, 36 on Monday, will start at fly-half, with Andy Farrell alongside him as a second playmaker and the team's principal goal-kicker."

Common sense has prevailed there I think but still not too happen with a 36 year old with a bad back as our fly-half. Ultimately I think this game is irrelevant for pains me to say it but I just don't think we are capable of winning.

England did well to hold Zimbabwe at bay today at the Twenty20 World Cup...looked a bit dicey at one stage...didn't want to go the same way as Australia. KP did his magic and the required run-rate was always going to be challenging for the Zimbabweans. I was just wondering about Mascheanas' bowling when he made the breakthrough for us. Australia tomorrow...a win would put them out. That would be nice.

Midweek aceness

Another great night to be a sports fan...more entertaining matches in the rugby world cup which really is shaping up well. The less established nations are giving great accounts of themselves and the crowds seem to be having the time of their lives. Highlights are available here.

It seems that England are going to take to the field on Friday with *drum roll* Andy Farrell at fly-half. The man is more than capable of putting in a performance but surely if this was was our fall-back position for what is one of the most key postions on the pitch (a position seemingly cursed with injury) then we should have blooded him before now. Personally I think he's capable of doing it...never forget his record in rugby league. It's just you need to be a natural in that position rather than a stop-gap. Sometimes with Farrell you can almost see him going through the decision process in his mind (This is to be expected with his amount of experience playing at this level). At stand-off you need to be instinctive. We'll see anyway...The South Africans fill me with trepidation. Rightly or wrongly this will be a grudge match for them after 2003 and they look bang on form.

Down in the cricket Twenty20 world cup Zimbabwe gave us all a checkle by beating Australia in the thriller.

BBC Report

I know it sounds petty but I will always love to see the Australians getting beat...we'll see if England go a similar way today when we play the Zimbabweans.

At 8pm turned over for England V Russia...great performance from England. Russia were very lively in attack but England looked really well balanced for once and it was just basically an impressive job-done type performance. No fireworks just beating the opposition all ends up. McClaren has GOT to stick with those players now. Lampard simply cannot come back into the midfield now that Barry & Gerrard are looking such a good combination, same goes for Heskey and Owen. We just looked really well's something that looked a million miles away againt Andorra a few months ago.

BBC Report

Whilst that was going on news was coming through that the Scots were winning against France in Paris and so I spent the last 20 minutes of the England match anxiously checking teletext. That was a monumental result for them...McFadden scored an absolute pearler...what with that and the goal he scored at the weekend (and his two goal of the season awards for Everton) he seems to be turning into the classic scorer of good goals (as opposed to the good goal scorer).

BBC Report

0-1 McFadden
Uploaded by danyab

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Phil Neville deserves cheers not jeers - Telegraph

Phil Neville deserves cheers not jeers - Telegraph

"A quick rewind through the past month shows why, starting on Aug 14 at Tottenham Hotspur when Neville utterly dominated Jermaine Jenas in leading Everton to victory.

At the final whistle, the midfielder ran across to the jubilant hordes of away supporters. Neville removed his sweat-darkened shirt, leant across the hoardings and handed it gently to a wheelchair-bound Everton fan. A special souvenir for a special night."

Good old Phil Neville. Nice to see him getting a bit of recognition (even if it is in two of my least favourite papers).

Why footballer Phil Neville's daughter is a walking miracle

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Great days

Ah does it get better than this :

Important games in footy, rugby and cricket on the one day. Our apetite had been well and truly whetted by Argentina's fantastic performance against France the night before...they really worked themselves into the ground for that. It was so good to see a nation that's basically been cast adrift by the powers that be come good. Again as at Twickenham last year they did it with quiet dignity...the epitome of being a good winner. So onto Saturday

England V India

England V USA

England V Israel

Who could ask for me...I resisted the temptation to put a treble on the three of them seeing as the odds would be so rubbish. Had some some my bro and some friends round and watched the footy with the rugby on a portable tv with the volume turned down (we also had the cricket updating on teletext 'cause we've got no Sky).

Thoroughly enjoyable although the rugby seemed a wee bit tortuous...they'll be lucky to get out of the group playing like that I'm afraid. Barkley and Ress impressed, Lewsey and Farrell did okay....not a lot else to be happy about. South Africa look scarilly good and on the evidence showed so far in the tournament Samoa could give us big problems. As a footnote it was great to see ex-Waterloo scrum-half Chad Erskine playing for the USA in the world cup.

In the footy it was just a good day at the office. Richards looks the business, chuffed he got a goal. Wright-Phillips took his well and Owen's was something really special....job done. If we can get a result against Russia on Wednesday we are back on an even keel.

Remember this on Friday. After all is there really anything to be worried about?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Just what is the matter with our sports stars :

and now Hargreaves!

In the rugby Wilkinson has managed to do his ankle ligaments just days before the World cup starts and over in the cricket Flintoff's ankle still isn't right.

There are numerous others missing...what is going on? How can this many people be getting injuries especially with the footy season barely having started. I hope Gerrard is is fit (injection or not) 'cause we really need 6 points from these two qualifiers. I've pretty much given up on the rugby as a lost cause anyway.

Over on XFM Jason Manford has exclusive commentary rights on the current Biscuit Dunking World Championships. This morning the championship was thrown wide open by a fig role somehow outlasting a ginger nut. Tremendous listening.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Last gasp winners!

There are few things better than a last gasp winner for your team.

BBC SPORT | Football | Premier League | Bolton 1-2 Everton

That really is a great result. I know Bolton are in turmoil at the moment but going there and nicking the points is very satisfying. Great to see Yakubu break his duck immediately. Brilliant work by AJ to lay on a plate for him. By the sounds of things it was another thrilling game.

Sounds like there was great all round contribution made by the new signings...Moyes seemed pretty happy with the options he's got on the bench nowadays. Interesting the Hibbert wasn't in the starting line-up. Hope he can turn his form round.

PS It looks like Lescott has finally earned an England call-up. Would love to see him get his first cap as he's an absolutely superb player.

"He drops for world cup glory"

Even 4 years later the words still make you shiver. How Australia managed to push a vastly superior England team all the way still escapes the ref ever gave the Aussies that last second penalty still riles. Anyway it's all ancient history now...the trophy is up for grabs again :

ITV World Cup TV Schedule

BBC world cup blog


After months of talking about it seems to have crept up on us but it's all go from Friday onwards. Can't see England doing anything....we don't even know what our best team is and we've no form whatsoever. Still looking forward to it though. Two recent Waterloo players will be there in the form of Chad Erskine and Ander Munro (USA and Canada respectively). It's not hard to find reasons to watch each and every game.

Bring it on.

Monday, September 03, 2007

icLiverpool - Otley 25, Waterloo 15

icLiverpool - Otley 25, Waterloo 15

Hmm, what's wrong with this sentence :

"Waterloo took an early lead with a penalty by Alex Davies but tries from Otley’s Dan Smith, converted by Alan Greendale, and Paul Williams gave the Yorkshire side a 12-0 lead at the break."

That was always going to be a toughie, pity we didn't nick a losing bonus. Nice to get the season underway.

(Notice from that picture a distinct decline in shirt sponsorship from last year's shirt)

I suppose Sedgeley Park should be a second team for me this season. Steve Nutt, J-Lo van deVenter and Freeman Payne were all Waterloo superstars so I really hope they do well....However they also got off to a losing start facing Exeter. Our old mate Jason Luff chipped in with a couple of tries.

The Sedgely boys have got Northampton coming up in the next few weeks. Have fun chaps.

Sunday, September 02, 2007 forum *** CHRIS BASCOMBE IS A SELL OUT *** forum : *** CHRIS BASCOMBE IS A SELL OUT ***

Hell hath no fury...

Look like Chris Bascombe, who I've long held contempt for as one of the bitterest most arrogant kopites around, has jumped into bed with The News of the World (Ie The Sun's sunday edition). Given I always thought he was an appalling 'journalist' anyway I find this whole thing very, very funny. Not only has he stuck two fingers up and the club he's sycophant-in-chief for but also at the fans who lapped up every fawning word he's ever wrote. Given the shockingly poor standard of his one-eyed jealousy laced ramblings it also tells me everything I need to know about "The Sunday Sun" that they'd employ the guy.

Over at Everton aparently the old Bellfield tradition of getting unsuspecting souls with a bucket of water from the first floor window is still going strong but for Gravesen's return they got him with a bucket of oxtail soup. Lescott was saying that once Beattie turned up for training in some posh, expensive jacket and when he got back into the dressing room all the team had signed it telling him they assumed it was for charity. I love Everton.