Monday, September 29, 2008

The Physio Room - Injury Update

Click on the 'Link' below to see which Premier League players are feeling below par this week, & will instead be staying at home to play 'camps' in the front room, using a clothes horse, towels & old bed linen, whilst hoping the missus is up for a bit of hilarity at the suggestion of a pretend game of 'Doctors & Nurses' (in the desperate hope of a bit of a fumble)!

All this & a bargain bucket of KFC each night along with the entire back catalogue of the 70's classics 'The Likely Lads' & 'Citizen Smith'............. a sure-fire source of pain relief.

We name and shame them...........!


Monday, September 22, 2008

The 'Goal' That Never Was & The Top 5 'Genuinely Good Goals' That Got Away!

As the shenanigans of 'The Stuart Atwell Circus' left Watford this weekend, Steve Coppell the Reading manager has renewed the campaign for video technology, after blundering officials awarded his team a 'phantom' goal during their fixture with Watford at the weekend (20 September 2008).

Coppell was as puzzled as Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd, the players and the fans when the officials awarded Reading a goal after the ball clearly went wide in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road in their Championship League clash.

While they were waiting to see whether the officials would give either a corner or a goal kick, they were amazed when referee Stuart Atwell awarded Reading a goal after after he received a signal from his linesman Nigel Bannister, indicating that a goal had been scored. This put Reading one up.

'I was in the stand at the time and I haven't seen it since. But when the whistle went I wondered what it was for as I couldn't see a foul,' Coppell said. 'Everyone trooped back to the centre and then it became obvious that the referee had given the goal. But after speaking to Noel Hunt after the game it became clear that the ball went out of play wide of the goal.'

Coppell said the incidents strengthened the argument for the introduction of cameras and goal-line technology to help officials decide whether the ball had gone into the net and crossed the goalline.

But he dismissed the suggestion that, after realizing the officials' blunder, Reading should have then let Watford equalize.

'Let's get this clear. The responsibility is not with the opposition to right a wrong,' he said. 'It is up to the officials to get it as right as they can.'

Boothroyd said it appeared the mistake was by the linesman rather than the referee.

'I've never seen anything like it. It's like a UFO landing, a mistake like that,' he said. 'I've been to see the referee and, in fairness, he's only going on what the linesman says. He's working in a team and if someone comes in his ear telling him it's a goal then I suppose he's got to give it.'

Watch it here:

There is a growing list of instances where the wrong call has been made over whether
the ball did or did not cross the line and here are some of the most famous genuinely good goals that got away.....!

1/ Clive Allen - Coventry v Crystal Palace, September 1980.

Allen, playing for Palace in those days, collected a free-kick passed square to him by Gerry Francis and lashed it goalwards, the ball arrowing into the far corner of the net. Only this thunderbolt hit the stanchion behind the goal & rebounded out with such ferocity that the referee did not even see that it had gone a good three feet over the line.

'They called my free-kick at Coventry the goal that never was & soon after that they got rid of the stanchion at the back of the net,' Allen said. 'We were 2-1 down at the time so it would have been an equaliser — but we lost 3-1. We went on a bad run after that & that certainly contributed.'

2/ Pedro Mendes - Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, January 2005.

Tottenham were holding United to a goalless draw at Old Trafford with just over a minute to go. Roy Carroll raced from his goal in an attempt to pump the ball back into the Tottenham penalty area, but after a bit of head tennis the ball fell to Pedro Mendes some six yards inside the halfway line. Spotting Carroll haring back towards his own goal he let fly. The goalkeeper regained his ground in time to make what should have been a routine catch, but inexplicably spilled the ball behind him, where it bounced once before he scooped it back out, the ball having been an estimated two feet behind the line.
'Carroll has been denied the most embarrassing moment of his career, that is a travesty,' said commentator Alan Parry at the time.
It certainly is a decision that Mark Clattenburg, the referee & in particular Rob Lewis, his linesman, will want to forget.

3/ Jonathan Howard - Middlesbrough v Chesterfield, April 1997.

Chesterfield, of Division Two, looking to cause a huge upset, raced into a two-goal lead in this famous FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford. Still ahead 2-1 and trying to weather a comeback from Middlesbrough, Jonathan Howard appeared to have given them some breathing room when he fired a shot that rebounded down off the crossbar. David Elleray, the referee, was unsighted and did not award a goal, though replays later showed it was several inches over the line. The match ended 3-3 with Middlesbrough winning the replay 3-0.

4/ Tommy Black - Crystal Palace v Leeds United, February 2003.

Trevor Francis, the then Crystal Palace manager, was absolutely livid when referee Dermot Gallagher disallowed a Tommy Black ‘goal’ that would have given his side a 2-1lead over Leeds United in an FA Cup fifth-round tie at Selhurst Park. Gallagher decided the ball had not crossed the line, but again replays proved otherwise & what made it even more galling for Palace was that Michael Duberry, the Leeds defender, actually clawed the ball back into play using his hand. The visitors went on to give Terry Venables an undeserved 2-1 victory on his return to a former stomping ground.

5/ Gerry Taggart - Bolton Wanderers v Everton, September 1997.

Bolton were denied their first ever victory in the Reebok Stadium when Stephen Lodge, the referee, failed to spot Gerry Taggart’s looping header fall six inches behind the line, before it was cleared by defender Terry Phelan. The match finished goalless, and the two sides finished level on points at the end of the season. Bolton were relegated on goal difference, whilst Everton stayed up.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Physio Room - Injury Update

Click on the 'Link' below to see which Premier League players will be crying off this weekend, in favour of an afternoon playing Blackjack in a darkened room with a bowl of cheesy Quavers and a couple of cans of Irn Bru for company!

We name and shame them...........!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jolly Hockey Sticks or Ice Creamed!

As the clock ticks by the England National Football team is preparing to tip-toe into a volatile Zagreb tonight knowing defeat to Croatia in this 2010 World Cup qualifier could demote us to also-rans on the World football stage. If Croatia,(not Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil or Agentina) beat England tonight then there will be carnage in the tabloids tomorrow, burning effigees on the streets, messageboards dining out on four letter expletives from now until kingdom come, along with a comprehensive meltdown on radio phone-ins, as enraged fans holler in despair at our demise........once again!

After sneaking away from a ski resort on Saturday by 2 black runs to none, pride may have been dented but the points were won. However there can be no slip up tonight as the former love child of the cockney East End wide boys from the London Borough of Newham will tell you, Slaven Bilic is no mug & he will take almighty pleasure from outsmarting his opposite number as he prepares a modus operandi of his own - it's just which English Football Club he endorses, not when!

Never in the history of International football have England ever been beaten on three successive occasions by the same nation until........hopefully never!

English sport is not all doom & gloom...........spare a thought for the Bulgarian National Hockey Federation.

With more goals than minutes in a game, Slovakia's women's ice hockey team claimed an amazing 82-0 victory last Saturday over Bulgaria in a European Olympic pre-qualifying tournament for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, in the Latvian town of Liepaja.

Bulgaria conceded a goal on average every 44 seconds!

Slovakia outshot the Bulgarians 139-0 during the 60-minute game, scoring on 58.9 per cent of their shots on goal.

The margin of victory is a record for a women's International Ice Hockey Federation-sanctioned event.

Janka Culikova led Slovakia with 10 goals, while Martina Velickova scored nine, Slovakia had 12 players record hat tricks, & fourteen different players scored at least one goal.

Bulgaria was eliminated after scoring one goal and conceding 192 in the tournament. Bulgaria lost to Italy (41-0) and Latvia (39-0), and it followed its 82-0 loss with a 30-1 defeat to Croatia.
In total, Bulgaria's women's ice hockey team surrendered more goals in four games(192) than the Detroit Red Wings did in 82 games last season (184).

The game was 7-0 after five minutes, 19-0 after 10, and an incredible 31-0 after only one period.

So at what point during an 82-0 loss in a women's ice hockey game do you turn to your mate and say, 'Come on pal, finish your drink we're outta here, & we may even beat the traffic.'
Well apparently there were fewer than 40 fans in the crowd for this rather one-sided contest.

After two periods, Slovakia led 55-0. If you're Bulgarian and still in the arena during the third period, chances are you're either one of the players or someone who also refuses to leave the worst movie ever made because you paid 'good money' for your ticket.

Down 77-0 with three minutes to go, Bulgaria put in its back-up goaltender, who promptly let in another five goals in just 85 seconds of playing time.

The 82-0 defeat capped what may have been 'the most pathetic tournament appearance in international hockey history.'

Slovakia, which also beat Croatia, Latvia and Italy, advanced to another qualifying group with Germany, Kazakhstan and France. The winner will secure a spot at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

To add insult to injury Slovakian coach Miroslav Karafiat said after Saturday's game, 'we took it as training.'

Ironically The Slovakian men's team clinched its biggest ever victory against none other than Bulgaria 14 years ago, when they won 20-0.

According to sources a Bulgarian media outlet that actually stands up for the women's team has taken the Bulgarian Government to task rather than hitting out at the players.

With a population of 7.4 million, Bulgaria have just 299 registered hockey players of which only 37 are registered female players, (Canada has about 74,000 female players) & only three indoor ice rings in the whole country.
On that basis Bulgaria could have hardly hoped for a successful run in the competition, although this ruthless and systematic destruction was nothing short of a national embarrassment.

The International Ice Hockey Federation said the result, set a record score for a women's IIHF-sanctioned event. It was not the all-time record for futility, however, that is still held by Thailand, who lost 92-0 to South Korea in the 1998 Asia-Oceania U18 Championship. Well that's a relief then!

The chair of the Bulgarian Hockey Federation is calling Slovakia's 82-goal win 'a kind of insulting mockery, & not at all sportsmanlike.'
We're counting down the moments until he lashes out at the glib reaction of the international sports media, which refuses to acknowledge goalie Liubomira Shosheva's amazing 57-save performance,(she faced 134 shots in 57 minutes).

A few Bulgarian news sources are picking up the story today, and they're calling it 'one of the biggest defeats in sporting history' & 'nothing short of a national embarrassment.'

.......Go on England, make us proud & bring home three precious points from Zagreb!

Monday, September 01, 2008