Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Football Jargon - A Language In a League Of Its Own!

All sports have their own jargon but none is so great as 'the language of football.'

All professions like to envelop themselves with an air of mystery and often do this be by inventing/creating a language of their own, that both confuses and belittles outsiders. Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, IT Specialists - all rely on our fear of their superior knowledge to safeguard their interests.

Of all sports, football arouses the blindest loves and the bitterest hatreds, and as a result football commentators, reporters, players and managers have developed a way of speaking to express these deepest emotions.

Football is 'unique' in that it has a language that is both lacking in poetry and invention!

This extraordinary dialogue has been created through the sheer passion felt by all those who have an affiliation with the game, and could be summed up as an assortment of incredible claptrap, baloney, mumbo jumbo, drivel, tripe and balderdash!

The contrast for example between the facility with which 'star players' express themselves on the pitch and their inarticulacy off it can be a source of embarrassment and humour!

Without further ado, here are some of my favourites:

'He dribbles a lot and the opposition don't like it - you can see it all over their faces' - Ron Atkinson.

'Hagi could open a tin of beans with his left foot' - Ray Clemence.

'Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven dicks on the field' - Metro Radio.

'If that had gone in, it would have been a goal.' - David Coleman.

'It's like a toaster, the ref's shirt pocket. Everytime there's a tackle, up pops a yellow card' - Kevin Keegan.

'We had 99 per cent of the game. It was the other three per cent that cost us the match' - Ruud Gullit.

'I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel' - Stuart Pearce.

'When a player gets to thirty, so does his body' - Glenn Hoddle.

'The USA are a goal down, and if they don't get a goal they'll lose.' - John Helm.

Stock Phrases:

'We were robbed.'

'We gave 110 per cent.'

'This match is a definite six-pointer'

'A peach of a ball.'

'That was a bad goal to concede.'

'Now would be a good time to score'

'A schoolboy howler'

And I ask you:

Why is a left foot either 'trusty' or 'educated', but a right foot is neither?

Why is a bad back pass almost invariably 'suicidal' ?

Why are hooligans always a 'tiny minority' even when there seem to be hundreds of them throwing seats across Kenilworth Road?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'CRAP TOWNS' - The worst places to live in the U.K

Whilst in the throws of reading some literature lately on ' The 50 worst places to live in the UK - The idler book of CRAP TOWNS' - I began to deliberate in my own mind as to whether there was any correlation with some of these 'crap towns' also being towns with football clubs attached.

Irrespective of the success or otherwise of any such football clubs, I was more interested in whether or not it was possible to argue that having a football club in a town made it a better or a worse place to live.

A form of investigative journalism if you like!
Now being an avid footy fan I have to say over the years I have visited, (for better and for worse as a priest would say) both some alluring and equally abhorrent places whilst following my team around the UK.

Britain is full of crap towns full stop. Why?

Well look at all the miserable faces you see walking around the streets of your very own town, the overcrowded trains, the filthy walkways, inner-city crime, poverty, the economic climate, the smell, the concrete monstrosities for housing estates, hospital waiting lists, CCTV on every street corner, kids pushing prams, speed humps, cycle lanes, plastic glasses...........

The UK is soiled and full of people with tales of all the various forms of misery their towns have inflicted on their lives.

The UK and its towns are full of 'Rules' and 'Fun is Forbidden.'

A few years ago Hull, the gateway to Europe was considered 'The UK's No.1 Crap Town' but having used the 'net to check if this was still the case I subsequently found out that Luton indeeds currently holds the crown!

Both footballing towns, Hull has been described as 'smelling of death' due to the combination of its own chocolate factory and on days when there is a a south-east wind blowing, the smell of nearby Grimsby adds a fishy staleness to the odour.

Windsor perhaps surprisingly, was voted the second worst place to live this time around.

One voter said: 'The big thing about Windsor is that its townsfolk believe that by living near the castle they are more or less royalty themselves.'

Sunderland was described 'not so much a town, more of a mortuary' and came in third.

Other towns to feature included Croydon where the slang phrase 'Croydon-facelift' derived - hair that is scraped back so tight in a pony tail that it pulls back the wearer's cheekbones.

Morecambe the seaside town that promoted itself as a smaller version of Blackpool has been in a sad decline since the late 1930's.
Why anyone would ever go there is beyond me, unless you were unlucky enough to be born and brought up there!

Hythe, a small town on the south coast is quite possibly the most 'spirit-crushingly tedious town in Kent.' (Quite a feat)
Hythe has been labelled as: 'the place that makes nearby Folkestone look like Las Vegas.'

Other 'crap towns' to make the list that also double up as footballing towns included: Middlesbrough, Nottingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Brighton, Stockport, Portsmouth and Peterborough.

It is claimed Portsmouth is one of the most densely populated areas in Europe and is said to have one of the thickest populations.

Stockport is a typical mill town in South Manchester made prosperous by the Industrial Revolution.
However the superseding 'look' for Stockport locals is a shaven head with optional designer label baseball cap/visor, a shellsuit, the legs of which are tucked into a pair of luminous socks accompanied by a pair of kicker-style boots.
Gold plated jewellery in the form of chains, bracelets and earrings are an accepted and necessary part of the 'look.'

Brighton, the home of the nearest beach to London and Tory conferences, trades on a misinformed reputation for coolness!
The town was once described as 'The World's End' despite the council beating on about it being a 'beautiful city by the sea.'
It is neither beautiful nor a City!

Half of it is dirty, noisy & packed with horrible, gobby young fashion victims, mainly students studying 'The life and times of Peter Ward' or 'All things football in London's SE25.'
The rest of Brighton is a grimy Southeast town with council estates, teenage mums and screaming kids.
The guys roam the seafront on a Friday night, looking for someone from the other half to knock ten bells out of.

Now for the results of my investigative journalism.
I could not find any rhyme or reason to link 'crap towns' and 'footballing towns' together. There was no reason to suppose a town hosting a football club was any better or worse off as a result..........but it was fun trying!

If you would like to nominate a town that you consider to be one of the worst places to live in the U.K then post the name of that town and one reason why it is so awful in the comment box below, and I will pass it on to the writer's of The Idler magazine.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

'Best Bet' - Championship Betting Tips with Betfair

Hello, I'm Tom Mallows and welcome to my latest fortnightly football betting preview on behalf of this site.

I shall be looking at this weekend’s Coca-Cola Championship fixtures, along with some of the LIVE TV games in more detail, and hopefully I can try and win you some cash with my 'best bet' football tips.

Last time out it was a weekend of shocks as the likes of Forest, Plymouth and Sheffield Wednesday came up with some coupon busting victories. Here’s hoping for more luck this week.....

Doncaster Rovers v Birmingham City
Saturday 14th March KO 17.20 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Despite being favourites with the bookies for relegation, Doncaster have been on a great run of late, winning four and drawing one of their last six, to move ten points clear of the drop zone. Birmingham, meanwhile, appear to be wobbling at the other end. Deprived of many of their strikers, goal-scoring has been a problem, and they will have to improve if they are to secure automatic promotion.

Current Match odds:

Doncaster 15/8 The Draw 9/4 Birmingham 15/8

Doncaster 1-0 15/2 2-0 15/1 3-0 41/1

Birmingham 0-1 15/2 0-2 14/1 0-3 39/1

Draw 0-0 17/2 1-1 11/2 2-2 18/1

My ‘best bet’ prediction:

Given their respective league positions, this would normally be an away win banker! But Rovers are in decent form and I fancy them to sneak a narrow home victory.
Doncaster 1-0 win @ 15/2.

Bristol City v Cardiff City

Sunday 15th March KO 13.15 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Just three places and two points separate these sides in what is becoming an exciting race for the play-off positions. Cardiff could have pulled further clear in midweek but slumped to a surprise defeat to struggling Norwich. Bristol City, meanwhile, are joint top of the form league, with seven wins out of their last ten games.

Current Match odds:

Bristol City 6/4 The Draw 9/2 Cardiff 2/1

Bristol C 1-0 7/1 2-0 13/1 2-1 9/1 3-0 31/1

Cardiff 0-1 17/2 0-2 16/1 1-2 11/1 0-3 47/1

Draw 0-0 9/1 1-1 11/2 2-2 17/1

My 'best bet' prediction:

I believe this one will go to form. Gary Johnson’s 'Robins' are gaining momentum at just the right time, and I fancy them with home advantage to gain all three points on Saturday.
Bristol City 2-0 win @ 13/1.

The best of the rest:
Fancy a sections list this weekend? A multiple bet can win you some 'serious' cash.

Here are my tips for this weekend’s matches:

Home Wins:

Burnley v Nottm Forest
Reading v Ipswich
Swansea v Crystal Palace
Wolverhampton v Charlton

Away Wins:

Southampton v QPR
Watford v Sheff Wed


Norwich v Plymouth
Barnsley v Blackpool
Sheff Utd v Derby

My Tip Of The Weekend:

Coventry have been in pretty good form of late, and put up a brave effort against Chelsea in the FA Cup recently. I fancy Chris Coleman's Sky Blues to turn over Preston and come away from Deepdale with a surprise away win.
Coventry 2-0 win @ 28/1.

Go to Betfair for all the latest football betting this weekend.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Classic Football Quotations said by Football Fans or made about Football Fans - Part Two

It'll be a good day for the burglars and one one when the sheep will be left in peace - DICK CAMPBELL, Brechin City manager, on the exodus of fans from the city (population 10,000) to Rangers for a Scottish Cup tie, 2001.

To celebrate Arsenal's defeat in Europe, 10 per cent off everything - ADVERT by the food retailer 'World of Kosher' in the Jewish Chronicle, 2004.

The fans all had the the complexion and body scent of a cheese and onion crisp, and the eyes of pit-bulls - MARTIN AMIS, novelist, reviewing a book on football hooliganism, 1991.

A policeman called me at home. Friday night again. He'd caught a dozen courting couples in the stand and asked me what to do with them. I told him to fix the bloody fence and board 'em in. Best gate of the season it would have been - FRED WESTGARTH, Hartlepool's manager, 1957.

We don't need Viagra to stay up - BANNER by Charlton fans, a month before their team were relegated, 1999.

I always answer letters from supporters. It's death threats I object to - REG BURR, Millwall chairman, 1990.

Even the hooligans had a good time and enjoyed the party. Maybe the cannabis relaxed them - JOHAN BEELAN, Dutch police chief, on the behaviour of England fans in Eindhoven, 2000.

The English stick their psychos in Broadmoor, while the Welsh put theirs in Ninian Park - FULHAM FANZINE, There's only one F in Fulham, awarding Cardiff supporters 0 out of 10 in their 'Best Fan' poll, 1995.

I expect abuse, but I also got a hamburger and about £4.50 in change - GARY NEVILLE, Manchester United captain, on objects thrown at him by Liverpool fans at Anfield, 2006.

Will the owner of a horse attached to a rag-and-bone cart in the visitors' car park return to his vehicle immediately - ANNOUNCEMENT at Cardiff City when West Ham were the visitors, 2004.

He told me I was a dead man and that I wouldn't get out of The Den alive. Then he said I was fat. I said: 'Have you looked at yourself lately?' - KEVIN PRESSMAN, Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper, on being confronted by a pitch invader at Millwall, 1995.

Are you Tamworth in disguise? - SONG by Burton Albion fans as Manchester United were held 0-0 in the FA Cup against the non-league side, 2006.

To see more classic quotations made by Fans, Managers, Chairmen and Players alike posted on this site previously, type Quotations into the search box in the top left hand corner of the page).

Sunday, March 01, 2009