Monday, January 22, 2007

Watch Your Back, Organ Be In For A Big Surprise!

Now it usually takes something quite controversial, irritating or witty for me to get home after yet another dire day at 'The Orifice' and sit down the moment I get through the door, fire up the PC and start writing.

Today is indeed one such day. As I rode home on the 'Cattle Chuffer' from Victoria I began scanning 'The London Paper' for newsworthy articles that didn't include the words Goody, Channel 4, Pete Doherty and Snow.

I was indeed drawn to page 7 and a fine pair of pins in a micro skirt. Below was a rather disturbing headline 'Judge Held For Flashing' and to the left of that a typically demure picture of Wayne Rooney with his gob open and looking pretty vacant......well nothing new there then. Believe me the excitement does not end there as it was suggested that 'The Everton Reject' was a massive fan of, and indeed knew all the words to the songs of the musical 'Oliver.'

So what I hear you holler as you lean towards the 'off button.' Is there indeed a point to all this? Are the three subjects in someway all related?
Well no, not to my knowledge anyway!

But wait.......In the top right hand corner was an inch square article that literally made me think.... you are bloody joking! It was both amusing and unbelievable at the same time. In fact I felt it was well worth sharing with other like minded individuals.

So the story goes that in Argentina a teenage football fan is suing a tattooist who drew a penis on his back instead of his favourite team's badge. Not an easy mistake to make surely, but as it happens the tattoo artist took 'umbrage' at being asked to draw the logo of the Boca Juniors on the teens back because he supported their fiercest rivals River Plate!!!!!!!!!!!!

My immediate forethought was if the tattoo artist is that malevolent, then imagine what he would do to you if he caught you messing with his missus!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

'Premiers**t - You're Having a Laugh'

Don't talk to me about the 'magnificent' spectacle of the Premiership! The tremendous ding-dong battle to win the title etc etc.
The Premiership is great for mainly one thing - plenty of revenue in the form of TV money for all the clubs involved and not a lot else!

There's a two horse race at each end of the table, Man U versus Chelski and Watford versus Charlton, and then 16 other mediocre teams battling it out for mid-table respectability.....I think is the well overused media pundits terminology.

Look at the likes of Spurs, Pompey, Everton and Blackburn. All battling it out for what?
A UEFA Cup spot, which is basically an overrated cup tournament for Champions League rejects, teams finishing 5th or worse in the Premiership, along with the domestic cup winners that cold potentially could come from anywhere in the Football League.
I'm sure the opportunity to start the season in July, and the prospect of visiting the respective pastures new of the Champions of such historical football nations as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia and Slovakia must be huge!
The lure of a few bob to line the the pockets of the already overpaid players, board and management alike is the only odour I can smell!
Two words springs to mind.......Dull and Greed!

It is self-defeating in it's very nature.
Remember the fans! They are the ones who have to pay for this potential 11 month season.
Jet-setting abroad, hotel accommodation where necessary, match tickets and beer all add up to a more than average priced midweek non-adventure, such as a meal with the opposition, namely her indoors or a trip to the local pub with the lads, equally unpopular with the Missus. (But she knows where you are, and in her eyes at least that beats blowing the family budget on gallivanting around The Balkans).
Not to mention the time taken off from work, whether as holiday or sick.
Do the Clubs care? Is the Pope a Jew?

Dare I say it, but maybe the likes of Pompey and Reading could even step up to the UEFA Cup mark this year.....which would in itself be an incredible and more than likely one-off achievement for both Coppell's and Redknapp's sides this season. But not something their fans will have experienced previously or are likely too again for sometime after.
Pity all the magnificent fans of all the above mentioned clubs, and shame on the clubs themselves for providing such mediocre 'entertainment' for most of the season whatever the final outcome, at extortionate entry prices!

Now drop down a division to the Championship and you can watch a terrific example of weekly unpredictability all season, due to a much more level playing field. High octane passion fuelled local derbies, particularly in The Midlands this season and the possibility of about 4 or 5 teams fighting it out for automatic promotion and a further 6 or more in with a chance of making the play-offs. At the wrong end their are probably still any of 6 or 7 sides that might drop down a division. All this will undoubtedly still be unfolding come mid-April.
That's what I would endeavour to call entertainment, fierce competition, and value for money.... all season round.

A couple of months ago Brucie was a goner, now he's Singing the Blues.
Cardiff under Dave Jones got off to a magnificent start, now they are rocking badly, Preston are up there again despite a change in stewardship, and Southampton look really dangerous.
WBA, Wolves and Palace were all expected to make the top 6 if not automatic promotion pre-season, but all are finding the going tough!
There may be no Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Ronaldo, or Henry in the Championship but there are some quality players on view including the likes of Upson and McShefferey at Birmingham, Nugent at Preston, Vine at Luton, Rasiak and Bale at Southampton, Halford at Colchester and Eastwood at Southend to name but a few, along with some excellent coaches and managers doing the rounds.
Look at Burley at Southampton, Mowbray at WBA, Laws at Wednesday, Davies at Derby, Pullis at Stoke and of course Williams at Colchester.

A Championship XI to match much of the Premiership mediocrity:
Hoult/Upson/Halford/Alexander/Bale/McShefferey/Cook/Skachel/Vine/Nugent/Eastwood, and there are many more good enough to make up a squad.

All good news for fans' of Championship Clubs.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

'Cards on the Table' - The Champs and The Chumps come the end of the 2006/07 season. My Predictions and the Odds!

Dangerous times to make predictions as the transfer window opens, but sometimes financially it can work to your advantage.
Any team currently doing reasonably well could with a few shrewd signings increase they're chances of glory, BUT their odds decrease. Likewise if you fancy a team to fail then back them before they offload any of their stars to get the BEST price. The 3rd Round of the FA Cup begins this weekend, and there are some cracking ties including these possible upsets as Norwich have to go to Tamworth, Brighton to West Ham, Oldham visit Wolves, Charlton go to Forest, whilst Birmingham host Newcastle.
Get in their early my son might not be an unreasonable way to word it!

This Weekend:- Lay Norwich 8/15, Lay West Ham 4/9 , Lay Wolves 10/11 , Back Forest 7/4, Back Birmingham 15/8.

My Season Predictions with odds courtesy of Betfair as at 5th Jan 2007:-

Premiership Champions - Chelsea 5/7.

Top 4 Finish - Man U 1/100, Liverpool 1/3, Arsenal 1/5.

Top 6 Finish - Portsmouth 11/4, Bolton 4/7.

Premiership Relegation - Watford 1/14, West Ham 7/4, Wigan 4/1.

Championship Winners - Southampton 9/1.

Promotion - Derby 11/4 and Birmingham 4/9.

Champions League Winners/Finalists - Lyon 9/1 Outright Winners, Lyon 7/2 Finalists.

UEFA Cup Winners - Werder Bremen 6/1.

FA Cup Winners - Tottenham 16/1, Outside Sniff Pompey 37/1.

Happy Punting!

Monday, January 01, 2007