Sunday, December 17, 2006

'Fill Your Boots' - Bet of the Week and Why?

The outstanding bet of the week lies firmly at Craven Cottage this coming Monday night, in a real 'Clash of the Titans' meeting as Fulham play host to Middlesbrough.
It's live on Sky for those who have finished knitting their winter cardigans or just enjoy the live entertainment of watching grown men running around on a cold winter's evening in short-sleeved shirts wearing gloves and quite likely tights. Mind you for twenty grand a week..........I'd do it stark bo**ock naked!

Back to reality and this match looks like a nailed on 'bore draw.' Both teams are struggling, Fulham have scored only seven times in nine games at home and 'Boro only six times in eight games on the road. To add to Fulham's woes they have a seriously long injury list which includes the likes of Boa Morte, Bouba Diop, Pearce, Elliott and long term casualty Jimmy Bullard.
'Boro on the other hand have used more players this season in the Premiership than any other club - 24 in total, so maybe squad rotation is not always the best policy.
A meagre haul of seventeen points from seventeen games, leaving the Teesiders languishing in seventeenth place in the Premiership would seem to confirm this.
Injuries and suspensions I realise do dictate such circumstances but it is a poor return whichever way you try to dress it up.

Returning to the nitty gritty and the draw is generally available at around 11/5. Predictably skinny but the real appeal is in the 8/1 available if you shop around on the match finishing goalless.
Happy punting!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

'Quote Of The Week' - Chris Rattue of The New Zealand Herald.

I more often than not dig out my 'quotes of the week' from the garbled nonsense extracted from the mouths of the arrogant, overpaid, tantrum prone, intellectual geniuses that grace 'The Beautiful Game.'
However I had to change allegiances this week, so as to accommodate a cracking quote made by a flamboyant New Zealand rugby journalist (in a NZ newspaper), as he injected some further hostility into this Saturday's 'friendly' international at the Millennium Stadium, where a recently rejuvenated Wales play host to the All Blacks.
As if the fire needed to be stoked any further when only 24 hours before this was printed the Kiwis were accused by fellow Welsh players, both past and present of being the best 'cheats' in the world.

Inhabitants of Southern Hemisphere countries truly believe they were put on this planet to play sport and as a result have a divine right to be considered the best. Without a doubt in some fields they may well be........but don't they go on and on and on about the fact!

I refuse to talk sport with a Wallaby, Kiwi or a Bok in any social environment.....particularly on their territory, like at BBq's in Earl's Court!
BBq's are a definite no no, as they were created by the Aussies naturally!
I also avoid surroundings where copious amounts of wine and beer are likely to be consumed, because the Southern Hemisphere make the best vino and the best lager in the whole wide world, and they can also drink more and drink faster than their British or Irish counterparts......naturally of course.
Enough said:

I hope the outspoken columnist in the New Zealand Herald who mocked Gareth Jenkins’s home side does not end up eating his words!
It reminds me of when I was a lot younger. I'd play poker in a dingy late night bar with pals and a bottle of tequila for company.
You start off cocky and flush and you end up losing and skint.
Then as a forefit you have to drink the last shot in the tequila bottle, yes the one with the worm in it........of course.

According to Chris Rattue of The New Zealand Herald, Wales are not worthy rivals, they are an incompetent laughing stock.

He said:

"If rugby between New Zealand and Wales was a boxing contest, they would have stopped it many rounds ago and revoked the Welsh licence. I hear the cry that now and then Wales get close. Real close. Real, real close. Real, real, real close. And you know what? They still lose.
Let’s face it, Wales are rubbish. They are the village idiots of world rugby. They had a brilliant team 30 years ago. Since then, they have totally stuffed it up and they will stuff it up again this weekend."

I only wish Ireland at Lansdowne Road lay in wait for the Kiwis this weekend.
That would have been the mother of all matches judging by the comprehensive Irish victories over the Springboks and the Wallabies in recent weeks.
Roll on next year's World Cup!

Friday, November 17, 2006

'Why King Really Went Ape'

During the week just gone a pal of mine forwarded onto me an email he received from a work colleague, who was aware I had recently set up a Blog site that was footy orientated.
My pal is a longtime friend, and a big sports fan who earns his crust doing computer aided drawings. The sound, honest, reliable type. The sort you would happily introduce to the in-laws.
He knows who he is and now Gavin has got himself a mention, I shall hopefully get some peace for the foreseeable future!
Anyway his work colleague for the purposes of this posting I shall refer to as Andy. I have never met Andy or even spoken to him. As a result before reading the subject matter I was naturally open minded and I had no pre-conceptions on the material or its origin.
After initially reading it I thought just another footy fan jumping on the anti-Chelsea FC bandwagon.
As the week went by I kept going over it in my mind and finally decided it was worth publishing and deserved some feedback.
The content of the email is very controversial, perhaps overly, maybe even untrue, but what the hell.......... it is without a doubt definitely worth a read!

Andy wrote:
Apparently on the Internet message boards it is alleged that John Terry told Ledley King to 'Shut up you lippy black monkey' before getting sent off on Sunday. This would explain the following:

WHY King went mad, when normally he is mild tempered and the incident appeared harmless,

WHY Chimbonda went berserk and had to be physically restrained. WHY Zakora went mad too, and WHY Drogba, who was there and always gets involved, did nothing.
It may also explain WHY Terry calmly walked away seemingly
expecting to be sent off, for what appeared on TV to be nothing of consequence.

Terry was accused by Eto of making racist comments in the Barcelona game

last year.
Apparently a Spurs player has leaked this, but Chelsea are working overtime to keep it quiet.
Ashley Cole has said that Poll told him the lack of discipline by Chelsea was out of order and Chelsea are trying to discredit Poll, but he cannot possibly come out and say what Terry really said.
He is after all the England captain!
Instead Poll preferred to say he sent Terry off for 'ungentlemanly conduct'.

Finally, Rio Ferdinand said in his recent book that a current England player was a known racist. Wonder who he meant?

If this story is true, it will be massive and I can't believe the press haven't got hold of it yet. Chelsea must be weighing journalists out left, right and centre.

Have you heard this particular race row before? If so, where did you hear it ?
Is there any truth in it, or is it simply idle pub gossip?
Do you have any thoughts or opinions you would like to share on this potentially explosive issue?
If so, then kindly post your comment below.

Friday, November 10, 2006

'Quote of the Week' - Steve Bruce

Following Brum's Carling Cup exit at the hands of Liverpool this week, Steve Bruce was shooting his mouth off in true managerial 'chic' fashion, in an attempt to acknowledge that referees were taking the physical contact out of the game by blowing up for fouls involving minimal contact.

Brucie said: ''If we're not careful we'll end up playing in high heels and skirts and playing netball.''

What he does behind closed doors is his own business so at the bottom of the page I've left his wife's telephone number in case you want to make it your business!!!

Fair comment I hear you cry, in respect of his remark about referees, but remember Brucie was in his playing days, how can I put it........well technically speaking of course ' a dirty meat head of a centre-half for Man U,' and by simply wearing the red of Manchester he was a protected species and immune from punishment. He of course played with passion and tackled with studs up!
However, I as much as anyone find it frustrating when at a game you see players going to ground all too easily. But on the other hand I don't want to see players on the end of a Joey Barton elbow, a Roy Keane meets Alf Inge Haaland knee-capping or a Zidanne head-butt.

There lies the problem and the answer. You know it, I know it, all fans of the game are aware of it. In a word 'Consistency.'
Easier said than done I know, but thank you Stevie anyway for pointing it out to us with such technological and scientific etiquette. No need for me to sleep with the light on anymore then!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

'Lad of the Week' - Freddy Star!

Lifelong Manchester United fan and Romany traveller Freddy Eastwood (right) poured Carling Cup misery on Alex Ferguson's squad of multi-millionaires at Roots Hall on Tuesday night.
Eastwood, a former second-hand car salesman struck a stunning 30 yard free-kick to help book Southend United a place in the fifth round draw on Saturday, where the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle await.

To be fair to the 'Sweaty Sock' (Ferguson) who was celebrating 20 years in charge of the 'Red Devils' he appeared gracious in defeat, something one or two of his fellow Premiership managers would do well to take on board.

Nevertheless Essex celebrate, the holders are out, the romance of the cup continues to throw up the unexpected, heroes are born and for those who were there to witness the victory, well........ they deservedly have a night to remember forever.
Hats off to Freddy and the Dreamers.

'Lass of the Week' - A Brit of Alright!

Pop babe Britney Spears was certainly looking a real 'Brit' of all right in the tabloid newspapers this week.

With a new barnet and oozing sex appeal, she was seen out in Manhattan only hours after news broke that she had dumped her text message!
Why is it that ex-girlfriends and/or wives always up their game the moment you’re no longer joined at the hip?

How often have you bumped into an old flame when out & about. Fine, but have you noticed how it only seems to happen on days when your look like you have spent most of it shovelling s**t, in tandem with an alcohol infused spotty teenage boat race.
As you lurch to one side, exchanging 'unpleasant' pleasantries you find yourself staring in amazement at the body of a goddess, that was once your ex.......except that when you were dating her all you seem to recall was somebody resembling Reggie Perrin's mother-in-law!

My dosh is on her next hubby being one of her current bodyguards!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

'Babe of the Month' - Nice Shirt!

'Quote of the Week' - Gordon Strachan

May I thank 'Mr Celtic' for a comment he made this week that was so simplistic, yet true that every walking, talking living doll that has ever been out on the lash can relate to it.
I was greatly touched that the 'Sweaty Sock' should include me (and you) when he addressed the point in question to his players and staff alike.
Cheers Gordon!

He said:- "Going out drinking doesn't help team spirit. When you drink you just tell lies and talk rubbish"

I say:- Guilty as charged.
As a consequence may I suggest this weekend that we all celebrate our inclusion into the lifestyles of the football emporium by talking nonsense whilst necking copious amounts of liquor, starting with a wee dram of finest Highland Malt Whisky in honour of Mr.Strachan, even if it does stunt your growth.
God Bless you all!

'Fill Your Boots'-Bet of The Week & Why?

It's that time of year again in the world of English top flight football.
Welcome to the 'Wacky Weekly World' of the managerial merry go round.

Without a doubt having a small punt on the next coach/manager to walk the plank......whether pushed, or privately relinquishing their role in a vain attempt to save face (tricky if your a Dowie......facially speaking of course).
This is of course after first receiving the now traditional ceremonial backing (back-stabbing) from the....... well er 'backers.' This makes for more funtime than showtime!

Inside information is undoubtedly useful, but common sense is suffice. Remember losing the job of handing out the bibs during & collecting the cones at the end of a training session may not be everyone's idea of how to put bread and water on the table in an effort to climb the career ladder. However the music has stopped and their are not enough chairs to go around, so with a touch of South London bias I would engage my hard earned pounds floundering in 'The Orrifice' this week in a Managerial Exit Win Double.

Get on before it all kicks off, on and off the hallowed turf of stadiums around the country this weekend......with the exception of the wonderful atmospheric and stylish home of Brighton FC.
Blame the council I hear the success starved Sussex settlers snivell, but that doesn't change the fact that your ground is still a dump! I digress.

'Fill your boots' says get on two ex-Crystal Palace Managers for the chop after this weekends fixtures. In the Championship Bruce's blues are away at a resurgent Derby under 'Billy the Wizz' Davies......and I can't see the ex-Palace boss coming away with anything from Pride Park except abuse. Bye bye Brucie.
A skinny 5/6 I know, but the best is yet to come.

By next week the Palace will be associated nationally with punters and supporters alike, as having given something back to the game by providing the 'fall guys' for some of the other so called 'bigger clubs.'
The phrase 'bigger club' is without doubt a truly monotonous, tiresome and irritating expression devised and used by the Associated Press to ridicule and exclude anyone and anything football related, unless it contains the 'C' word, namely Champions League, Chelsea, Cudicini, Cech, Carvallio, Cole and Cole, Cheating and Cheque book.

Now take the letter 'C' and you bring me to the 6/1 generally being offered on Charlton's Iain Dowie being the first to be shown the Premiership door next week. Ok, so they are home to Watford on Saturday, but anything less than three points and the proverbial '' clear your locker out and leave the key at reception Mr. D. your taxi will be here in five! '' seems inevitable.

So there we have it a 12/1 win double give or take a few bob.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


'Where art thou Englishman to stick it in thy onion bag?

Answer:- The future 'King of England'

Thursday, October 12, 2006

World Cup Exit - The Shame of it!

2nd July 2006

To whom it may concern,

Is there a Supreme Being up there?

Before I even open a newspaper this morning or before Sven’s 10.30am final & farewell press conference and after throwing all my toys out of my pram following our miserable & scandalous dismissal from the biggest sporting showpiece event in the world, I have only one word left, ‘WHY?’

Why to not one but numerous questions?
I want to be objective, but feel like I saw a conspiracy theory second to none in the Portugal versus England World Cup quarter-final game yesterday.
Even before the tournament began one can ask several questions beginning with that dreaded three lettered word.
Why did Sven pick a squad with only 4 strikers?
Why did he pick only 4 when he knew 2 were injured or recovering from injury & a third in Walcott that had never even played a senior game for his Premiership club.
Defoe & Johnson probably don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
These are all issues that the nation is acutely aware of & have been scratching their heads ever since the day the squad was announced. So moving on….

What is Sven’s obsession with David Beckham? Why does he favour Beckham so much? Why does he never drop him or god forbid substitute him?
Can someone enlighten me please?

Beckham is not a great player anymore. He is in the twilight of his career. He contributed to 50% of all our tournament goals but nothing else. His free kick versus Ecuador was magnificent but it was his first set piece goal in a competitive match for England in three years! He has such a hold on what goes on (& off the field) we don’t know if any other player can strike a decent free-kick, because we never see anyone other than Beckham get the chance.
Beckham as skipper? Beckham an automatic choice to start?
I wont even bother to delve deeper……every supporter has their own opinion on Beckham.
My overall feeling is that he is the Anna Kournikova of football.

Losing hurts but why so much?
Not because of another quarter-final defeat, or even on going out on penalties-for the sixth time in a major tournament?
Nor because we are a nation of bad losers. Losing is a habit & the England football team has turned this country’s passionate supporters into gibbering wrecks, that continually end up consoling themselves with habitual quantities of alcohol, in comfort not in celebration.
I’m sure my Blood type is ‘L’
L for lager that is!
It’s an all too familiar story!

This country is full of people suffering from total disillusionment and in football they see a temporary route to escapism where reality can take a back seat & therefore allowing themselves the ‘luxury’ of putting the mundane misery of this fractured state to bed for a couple of hours.

Why is a referee of a nationality, in this case Argentinean, chosen to be put in control of a football game involving another nation of which there is a history of political tension.
No human being on this planet is free from total impartiality.

The scourge of the Portuguese football nation is now upon us. Give up on your holidays to the Algarve, don’t buy Mateus Rose, and boycott Port and Sardines.

It is not a win at all costs competion.
Negativity, spoiling, diving, spitting, feigning injury, abusing opposing players verbally & physically & the constant pressurising of officials on a national stage is unacceptable.

If Portugal goes on to lift the trophy, the World Cup tournament itself will be de-valued and the competition should be disbanded!

As for Cristiano Ronaldo may he choke on a well-hidden sardine bone.
I am not a Man Utd fan, far from it, but that is not the issue. He has proved himself to be a disgrace. He has a cheating mentality, is a troublemaker & a man who clearly thinks well above his station.
He created problems at his club this season in the shape of Ruud van Nistelrooy. Ferguson, foolishly or not sided with Ronaldo & Ruud was put on the bench to stew.
He has according to the press, been talking up a move to Real Madrid apparently using Man Utd as a stepping stone.
Currently in terms of trophies lifted in recent times he is clearly misguided.
How can any Utd fan want him back at THEIR club? He has taken the game into the gutter.
He must never be allowed to put on a Man Utd shirt on again!
He conspired to get a fellow pro sent off, and a player who he trains & shares a dressing room with on a daily basis.
Rooney must be seething, guilty or not?
I should think Manchester police will have him under house arrest on his return or Ronaldo will feel the full weight of a ‘Raging Rooney’ dealing with him in the way he used to look after himself, growing up on the streets of Toxteth.

Finally Mum’s & Dad’s to be kindly refrain from calling any future children ‘Cristian(o)’ because that is something he will never be. It’s slanderous!

Yours faithfully,

Mark L.A Ross
Mr. Angry of Bromley.

Jordan Bennett!

The Chairman
Crystal Palace Football Club
Selhurst Park Stadium
London SE25 6PU.
6th June 2006


Dear Mr. Jordan,

Following recent events at the CPFC I felt compelled to write to you, & take this opportunity to congratulate you on the way you have dealt with circumstances of late at our Club, yours as the Chairman & mine as a football supporter.

As a die-hard Palace fan I have always had a high regard for the enterprising way you have publicly represented Crystal Palace Football Club, and in particular the dynamic way in which you have stood your moral high ground on a number of issues. This has expressly come to light in view of recent affairs, not to mention several others during your tenure.

In addition, your dealings with regard to the Andrew Johnson transfer were indeed a terrific example of your business acumen. AJ was a wonderful player, a terrific pro & a credit to CPFC.
You successfully secured his services with a substantial contract offer last summer & he stayed with us far longer than many fans thought he might. The temptation for Andrew to join a Premiership club must have been tremendous following our infamous last day relegation defeat at Charlton.

You negotiated a substantial, yet totally justifiable fee for a proven goalscorer & an England International.
He may even have seen out his contract at Palace, had we won promotion this year, so it was inevitable he would want to further his career with a Premiership club, but not ‘any old’ Premiership club as it turned out (in the cases of Wigan & Bolton). That in itself added an interesting dimension to the eventual outcome!

I felt some of the offers for him were derisory & insulting to say the least, to you, to the Club & indeed the player himself.
You were spot on when you dismissed a previous attempt by Everton to secure AJ’s services, when you were quoted as saying that their offer of £6million was, ‘Not enough to buy his trainers.’ And so it proved.
I wish Andrew the best of luck at Everton FC & I hope some of the money from his transfer can be used to strengthen the team & backroom staff this summer, in pursuit of promotion next season.

All in all as disappointed, as I was to see him depart it was a terrific bit of business for a player that cost £750,000 back in 2002!

Moving on, what is Mr. Iain Dowie trying to do except embarrass the Club by moving to The Valley in such a fashion. I myself wrongly assumed that when Billy Davies was linked & interviewed for the vacancy at Charlton, that Dowie would then be given an opportunity to impress those at Deepdale & convince them he was the man to succeed Davies at Preston.
If appointed Dowie would have therefore successfully achieved his ‘apparent desire’ to return to the North-West, by enabling him to both work & live in close proximity to his family. Bingo!

As it tuned out Davies was so unimpressed with Murray & the Charlton set up that he turned down their offer and went to Derby County, which says it all! So what was it that attracted Dowie to the Charlton post?
I am still at a loss. Surely it wasn’t the resplendent trophy cabinet, or did Murray pull out all the stops & offer him a sparkling new caravan & a pitch on Woolwich Common.

Serving him a writ on the day of his unveiling at the press conference was a masterstroke. Not in terms of a publicity stunt, but in showing the footballing nation of this country that it should be possible to reach an amicable settlement providing both parties are honest in their intentions.
Dowie obviously reneged on your agreement.

I agree with you, I don’t care if it had been Charlton, Millwall or Brighton he went to. It’s the principle & he has disrespected the fans of the club as well as yourself.
I have spoken to some close friends who are Palace supporters & they are fully behind you.
Dowie failed to get us promoted. That was his primary job & it proved futile.

Our fate was ultimately sealed in forty-five second-half minutes of madness at Selhurst Park in the play-off semi-final first leg, as we witnessed the Club lose out on a financial windfall at the expense of a talented, but pretty ordinary ‘London’ club. A club we had beaten twice in the regular season.
As fans we all felt the team played pretty ‘mediocre’ football for much of the season & were tactically inept, particularly in games when we were up against it. I personally hope the new manager, whoever it may be is more tactically astute.

When Steve Bruce decided he ‘fancied’ a change, not long after being installed as Palace boss in 2001 you played another trump card & subsequently put him on ‘gardening leave.’
If only more Chairmen would not be intimidated by ‘bully boy’ managers & make them honour their lucrative contracts, or pay the price.
Mr Dowie could have found himself in a not too dissimilar position if he had not misled all and sundry regarding his intentions.
I look forward to greeting Mr. Bruce with jeers of derision both at Selhurst & St. Andrews this season.

I have to whole heartily agree with you on your stance regarding the behaviour of Players’s Agents.
They are simply ‘advisors’ & advise they indeed do, but in many cases pretty badly. They prey on naive young professionals, extorting outrageous sums of money, they describe as ‘fees’ for doing quite often very little, in an effort to further line their already opulent pockets.
Surely parents, fellow professionals, managers & chairman alike can see this!
Greed is their food of love. It’s a set menu.

In a previous life they were probably all failed insurance salesman, who drove bottom of the range company 4 door saloons, with their fibre mix jackets hanging up in the back whilst listening to dolphin music.

Their idea of an evening out was meeting up in a once fashionable now re-furbished wine bar & drinking non-vintage champagne straight from the neck of the bottle.
I digress, & bad taste is not an excuse to abuse, just one to avoid. However this does not change the fact that morally they are evil self centred individuals, whatever their taste!

Hindsight is a marvellous thing & I could say to you that the Tim Cahill transfer fiasco may have cost us dearly on the field in terms of midfield creativity & goals, but off of it somebody needs to make a stand & these parasites must be shown the error of their ways.
How do they sleep at night……..probably on their own!

Mr Jordan, may I say as a loyal fan, that as a Chairman you are a credit to Crystal Palace Football Club, & a breath of fresh air to the football fraternity.

Good luck for the forthcoming season.

Yours sincerely,

Mark L.A Ross.