Friday, September 28, 2007

'My Goal Of The Week' - Marta Vieira da Silva for Brazil at the Women's World Cup.

'My Goal of the Week' was scored by Marta Vieira da Silva on 27th September, for Brazil against the US during their semi-final match in Hangzhou, China at the Women's World Cup 2007.

Marta, only 21 (pictured right) was born in Alagoas, Brazil and plays her club football in Sweden for 'Umea IK.'

She is the 2006 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, was runner-up in 2005 and is currently the World Cup's leading scorer with seven goals in just five games.

Marta scored twice against the U.S, her second a magnificent individual effort in the 80th minute. Taking a pass from Renata Costa outside the penalty area, and with her back to goal she deftly flicked the ball with her left foot over both her head and that of U.S.defender Tina Ellertson to break into the box. She then cut back inside to avoid defender Catherine Whitehill, before firing a low 12-yard shot with her right foot into the bottom corner of the net to put Brazil 4-0 up.

Brazil's 4-0 rout of the Americans in the semi-final played in front of 47,818 at Hangzhou Dragon Stadium, saw the U.S teams 51-match unbeaten run come to an end.

Now Brazil will play tournament favourites Germany in the Final on Sunday 30th September at Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium.

The U.S. will face Norway for third place on Sunday in a match that will precede the Final.

Click on the 'Link' below to see Marta's audacious strike!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Watch The Clip Of Last Saturday's Superb Sky Sports Soccer AM Soccerettee 'Emily'

Again I missed last week's Soccer AM show as I spent most of the my day in the pub either side of watching Palace win a five goal thriller against Sheffield United.

However in doing so I had to forgo seeing the lovely Emily strutting her stuff as the shows Soccerette......and what a hum dinger of a babe she turned out to be!

I can forgive her for being a Wolves fan, because she had a pair of pins to die for......they went on forever and a day!

So if you missed that part of the show on Saturday, for whatever reason or want to see it again, then just click on the 'Link' below, and see Emily in all her glory.



Monday, September 24, 2007

London BAR King - 'Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green'

After an unutterable quantity of sport and alcohol this weekend I decided on Sunday to try and ease my gargantuan hangover at the curiously named 'Paradise by Way of Kensal Green' public house on Kilburn Lane, West London.

For the record I established the name is in fact from the final line of a poem called 'The Rolling English Road' by G. K. Chesterton.

Anyway the purpose of my Sunday jaunt, particularly in my rather fragile disposition was to join the pub regulars at the recently introduced 'Bloody Mary Sunday Club' in the delusional hope of installing life into my......lifeless body!

It sounds fine until like a piece of DIY furniture you examine it in more detail and then decide that this is going to be a little trickier than one initially anticipated.

The reason being that when you go in and ask for a Bloody Mary they ask you which of eight recipes you want.....and then if you would like to make your own!!!
For heavens sake when did a bartender last ask you to pour your own pint?

It's just far too much to try to cope with!

So instead I opted for a chilled glass of Chablis from the impressively extensive drinks list, took a look at the food menu, then scrutinized the surroundings and atmosphere for good measure.

The food menu could be best described as modern, Mediterranean stroke Asian, but refreshingly resonant with its traditional British cuisine on Sunday lunchtimes.
The food coming out from the kitchen looked impressive without being pretentious.

The atmosphere was relaxed and the crowd could be best described as mixed!

As for the interior, well the décor is gloriously chaotic.
It could be described as flamboyantly tasteless and alarmingly garish to the extent of oozing vulgarity.
Wandering across the sanded floor boards into the calming lime-green interior you’ll notice capriciously placed plaster angels and solid urns dotted about as if placed there on a whim.
The walls are covered in an assortment of numerous modern canvases with funky chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, casting shadowy halos over the bohemian interior. In the midst of all this obvious manifestation of expression, Paradise still hangs on to a welcome trace of British pub.

For fans of the great outdoors they have a garden with heaps of character and a terrace area, thus creating the perfect all year round hang out.

A quirky, wacky kind of venue. The type of place you might go once a month if you wanted something a tad different, or your local had gone a bit stale!
It's an experience......full of atmosphere, with a wide-ranging selection of beers, wines and cocktails. The food looked good, and then of course there is always the 'Bloody Mary Sunday Club.'

'Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green' is located on: 19 Kilburn Lane, London W10 4AE
Nearest tubes: Kensal Green or Queen's Park.
Opening Times: Mon to Thurs: 12.30pm-Midnight,
Fri and Sat: 12.30pm-02:00, Sun: Noon-23.30

Food served: Mon to Sat: 12.30-16.00 and 19.30-23.00, Sun: Noon-21.00
Children allowed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

'My Goal Of The Week' - Abby Wambach for the United States at the Women's World Cup.

'My Goal of the Week' was scored by Abby Wambach on 14th September, for the US against Sweden during their Group B match at the Women's World Cup 2007.

Abby, 27 (pictured right) from Rochester, New York finished fourth in the voting for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2006.

She hit both goals in her sides 2-0 victory against Sweeden, the first from the penalty spot.
Her 2nd goal however in the 58th minute combined terrific chest control with an absolute sublime half-volley.

Now the US will play England in the quarter-finals this Saturday 22nd September.

Click on the 'Link' below to see Abby's wonder strike!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Watch The Clip Of Last Saturday's Superb Sky Sports Soccer AM Soccerettee 'Sammi'

Each week I am hoping to publish the video clip of Sky's Soccer AM Soccerette strutting her stuff!

The main reason for this is that I often miss the show, as I did last week while I travelled to Norwich early Saturday morning to consume large quantities of Norfolk ale, either side of watching Crystal Palace.......and by heck does one need copious amounts of alcohol if you are brave enough to follow The Eagles at the moment!

Anyway this week's soccerette was the lovely Sammi, who will be of particular interest to Villa fans.....that's fans of Aston Villa NOT Valencia's David Villa!

As always it's entertaining stuff and probably the best part of the show. So if you missed it on Saturday, for whatever reason or want to see it again, then just click on the 'Link' below.



Friday, September 14, 2007

Got A Date? - Need A Chic Place To Eat?

Now being a South East London guy the social butterfly in moi rarely sees me venture to South West London, mainly as I have no relatives or close friends from that part of the world.
However this week I was in the locality sampling the delights of 'Napket' - on a blind date!

To describe Napket as a cafe is to restore the true meaning to the word, and if fashion could be captured in an edible format, it would probably look like Napket.

This setting is without doubt the recreation of café society in London's King's Road. But refreshingly that doesn't mean the cafe itself is as pretentious as the people walking past it's exterior.

Unlike so many eateries which place such a heavyweight emphasis on 'the look and feel' Napket concentrates on serving up fine cuisine. The food is delicious, imaginative and superbly presented.

As a date place, it fits in nicely either as a place for a spot of brunch or alternatively for a quick post-work appetizer.

For a start if your date looks like the something out of a horror movie, at least
there are pictures of pretty people on the walls to divert your attention.
For the more vulgar, ill-bred person there is a facility to plug your headphones into the iPod sockets situated on each table, for those who would rather hum along to say Janet Jackson's 'Nasty' or Rihanna's 'S.O.S (Rescue Me)' and pretend they are elsewhere!

The date itself was er.....forgettable. Not bad enough to require the iPod service, but not good enough to require a second bite of the cherry.....enough said!

The venue although diminutive (only 25 covers) seeks to dazzle with subtly rather than in your face extravagance. It is well designed with glossy dark surfaces and glass chandeliers.

To enjoy such sophisticated surroundings and fine food one would think that it could leave your wallet feeling severely distressed, but not a bit of it, Napket is indeed excellent value.

'Napket' is located on 342 King's Road, London SW3.
Nearest tube: Sloane Square.
Opening Times: Mon - Thurs: 08:00 - 21:00, Fri - Sun: 08:00 - 22:00.
A meal for two is about £25.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cataclysmic/Catastrophic Player Signings - Part Two:

Expensive foreign signings have had their fair share of bad press over the years and rightly so in some cases!

Winston Bogarde's career at Chelsea remains one of the most farcical of the modern game. Dutch international Bogarde was signed by Gianluca Vialli from Barcelona in 2000. He made only two League starts for the Blues over a period of four years, during which time he earned an estimated £7m in wages, handsome reward for training with the youth team all week, and going shopping or ten pin bowling on Saturday afternoons.

Newcastle signed Spanish international defensive 'hardman' Marcelino from Real Mallorca in 1999 for £5.8m. He made just 15 League appearances in three and a half years for the Magpies, and missed almost a whole season with a damaged finger before leaving the club on a free transfer.

In 1997 Crystal Palace signed Italian forward Michele Padovano from Juventus for £1.7m. In a year at the South London club Padovana scored once in 12 appearances, never played more than two games in a row and eventually left on a free transfer as Palace were relegated.
To rub salt in the wound after his departure, Padovana then returned to Selhurst Park to claim £1m in unpaid wages from the club's administrators during a financial crisis that almost saw Palace go out of business.

One more illustration of the 'foreign import syndrome' that has blighted our national game occurred way back in 1995, when Notts Forest became the first English club to sign an Italian international. Boss Frank Clark signed striker Andre Silenzi from Torino, as a replacement for Liverpool bound Stan Collymore.
However Silenzi spent most of his 15 appearances strolling suckily around a small area of the pitch, and his time ended in acrimony as he refused to return to England after a loan spell at another Italian club side Venezia. By the time his contract was cancelled the beanpole target man had scored a total of two cup goals and had cost bankruptcy bound Forest nearly £3m.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cataclysmic/Catastrophic Player Signings - Part One:

Disastrous/shocking/appalling/dreadful/unforgivable/deplorable/inexcusable/diabolical/indefensible..........or just simply plain awful signings are nothing new!

Ever supporter of every club side has had to suffer the ignominy at the ineptitude of a 'big money player' coming to their club and 'flopping spectacularly' after having splashed out an exorbitant amount in transfer fees (and wages).

What often adds to the humility is when the said player is then shipped out to another club, usually for a fee substantially less than initially paid out, in some cases to a rival local club AND he then becomes an instant hit!

What is even more exasperating is on his return to your club he plays a blinder and/or scores the winning goal in injury time!

Recently, expensive foreign imports have tended to stand out, but even back in 1938 Arsenal caused public outrage by spending a then record £14,000 on Welsh forward Bryn Jones. A fee considered so inflated that questions were asked in The House of Commons. After a year of undistinguished performances Jones was spared another season by Hitler's invasion of Poland.

The mid-1990's were a particularly low point for the British game.
Notable poor Premiership signings include Ade Akinbiyi, for whom current Crystal Palace boss Peter Taylor paid Wolves £5m while he was manager of Leicester City. Akinbiyi failed to score for seven months!

In 1994 Joey Beauchamp moved to West Ham from his hometown club Oxford United for £1m. He never actually played a single game for The Hammers, before two months later returning the 50 miles back west on the grounds of homesickness.

Hammers manager Harry Redknapp's most notorious signing remains 'Mad' Marco Boogers, a Dutchman signed on the basis of a highlights video sent to the club by his agent!
Needless to say Boogers stay was eventful, if very brief.
In only his second appearance, coming on as a sub against Man Utd he was immediately sent-off for a violent tackle on Gary Neville.
He promptly disappeared and was discovered several weeks later hiding out in a mobile home in a Dutch caravan park.

Before the start of the Premiership bad signings often stood out, almost more so!
Man Utd and Man City both paid more than a million pounds to Notts Forest and Wolves respectively, for Gary Birtles and Steve Daley.
Birtles took almost a year to open his account at United before being sold back to Forest, and Daley was off loaded to Seattle in the USA, after just a season at City for next to nothing.

Part Two to follow.......

Sunday, September 02, 2007