30 Sep 2010

Semantics

The BBC always comes under fire whenever there is a change of Government, and usually more so when the Tories (and by extension their vested interests) are involved. This time is no exception, with the Murdoch dominated media calling for all manner of cutbacks and the repeal of the licence fee. As a consequence you may be forgiven for thinking that the BBC is a left wing inclined organisation, when in actual fact it is very balanced. A small example of this balance swinging the other way has been their coverage of the election of Ed Millibrand as the new Labour leader, and the subsequent shenanigans involving the defeated sibling, Dave. Reporting the decision of the elder Millibrand to take a back seat and let his brother get on with the job, last night's Six O'Clock News said David had "rejected" a place in the Shadow Cabinet. This is simply untrue, as the five o'clock deadline was for prospective Shadow Cabinet members to put their names forward. No posts had been offered, so they could not have been "rejected". That word makes the whole episode sound like Dave had snubbed his brother when nothing of the sort transpired.

This morning on BBC Breakfast, the time between Ed being elected and Dave deciding to withdraw from frontline politics was described as "indecision" on Dave's part. This makes him sound like he was dithering, when he had every right to take his time on deciding an important career move for himself, and the effect it has on his brother and his party. I would call it consideration not "indecision".

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Dead Moose Found In Loaf Of Bread!

A food production company was ordered to pay nearly £1.73 in compensation after a man found a dead moose in a loaf of bread as he made sandwiches for his wolverines. Arthur Man, 37, of Railway Cuttings, East Cheam had already used some slices when he came across the moose.

"At first I thought it was coz of all those mushrooms I ate, then as I looked closer I saw that the object had antlers on it” said Mr Mann.

Mr Mann said he had already used some of the bread when he noticed "a dark-coloured bony object embedded in the corner of three or four slices". "Initially I thought it was where the dough had been tampered with by a wizard or had slipped into a time vortex prior to baking, or summat" he said.

Mr Mann said he continued to prepare some sandwiches for his bats and their friends from another loaf of bread. "As I was feeling blue round the gills I couldn't face eating anything myself. I sat with the little monsters as they ate theirs."

Mr Mann contacted East Cheam District Council and environmental health officers visited the family's home to collect evidence. During the visit one of them identified it as a moose minus its tail. The officer, a Miss Morvanna Woman, 18 stone, while munching furtively on something hairy was quoted as saying Mr Mann was "...quite lucky, as had there been a tail there too, lord knows how it would have all fitted in the loaf, even allowing for quantum theory"


100% of your guideline daily amount of Moose


"Her comments made me feel like making love....er, no,...I mean ill once again, as there was no indication as to where the tail was," added Mr Mann, 59.

Rafa Benitez refused to comment.

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And now for something completely different - Some signs & portents...


OMG! Where did you leave your brain?


Warning! Fast sex!



Firewood Street....

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26 Sep 2010

Yellow Submarine

You should know by now that I am a long suffering supporter of Everton FC, because unlike 90% of the fans of our red rivals, I was actually born in the city. This season my team were expected to do great things, and many had tipped them to break into the fabled top 4 of the Premier League. Unlike the previous season, we started 2010/11 with a fully fit squad after an unusually successful pre-season. What has happened since, in typical Everton fashion, has confounded all those expectations, and this morning we lie bottom of the table.
Actually I am not yet that worried, as the Newcastle game apart we have actually played quite well, bossed the possession and had had more shots at goal than the opposition. What does worry me is that after years of banging his head against the glass ceiling that separates 4th spot and Champions League qualification from the rest of the division, David Moyes is appearing more than a touch battle weary, and sometimes seems at a loss as to what to do.

We have been crying out for another striker to share the load with Yakubu for some time, and Moyes must know this, but he loaned out Vaughan who scores a hat-trick on his debut for Crystal Palace, and he got Beckford on a free and tries him in the unsuited lone striker role when the Yak was sidelined by injury.

Moyes has had an obsession with the 4-5-1 formation which he pioneered in the PL in 2004/05 when with an admittedly poor team he secured that Holy Grail of 4th place. This season when the formation does not seem to working with a less than match fit Yakubu leading the line, and Beckford being unsuited to the lone striker role, surely it's time for 4-4-2, at least until the Yak is fit? No, Moyes will continue with 4-5-1 regardless, even to the extent of leaving Beckford on the bench and playing Cahill up front on his own in the dreadful Newcastle game. Yesterday's game away at Fulham, where we have lost 10 of the last 11 previously, showed the Yak getting better so maybe the corner to be turned is not that far away.

This is a small example of what the more fickle fans see as Moyes' stubbornness working against him. Although I do not count myself in the small but unfortunately growing band of the "Moyes Out" brigade, I do reckon that after nearly 9 years in charge and with a practically fully fit squad, this is the season that we should achieve something, be it 4th or a cup (already meekly out of the League Cup makes that harder I know). Maybe at the end of the season with nothing achieved it will be time for a change?

It could be worse. I could easily have followed my dad and been a Liverpool supporter. Everton are playing reasonably well but not getting the points - you can see that eventually things will improve. Liverpool are, well, playing rubbish and scrapping out draws. Yesterday's game against Sunderland was almost farcical and again relied on Stevie G to drag them back into it, when it's debatable as to whether or not he should have been on the field, having elbowed a Sunderland player in the head while going up for a ball. The ref booked Gerrard, but as Alan Shearer said on MotD it was either a red card for an elbow, or not a foul at all.

The Red's first goal should never have stood, a free kick having been set up for the opposition, one of the Mackems rolled the ball slowly back to the keeper, plainly for him to take the free kick. The 12 year old ref, who was looking the other way and who had not blown for the kick to be taken, lets a Liverpool player nick the ball on its dawdle back to the keeper, passes it across field and another Pool player scores, to the bewilderment of everyone in the ground!

Not to mention that Sunderland had a stonewall penalty denied, the game summed up Liverpool's currently clueless approach to the game. The first Merseyside derby takes place in two and a half weeks, and on current form and at home I fancy our chances. That's jinxed it!

Far more worrying than their form on the field for Liverpool fans is the state of the club's finances, which make Everton's annual search down the back of the sofa for a transfer kitty look like the height of largesse! The club have until October 15th to refinance the largely RBS loan Waldorf & Statler saddled them with by way of the frankly ludicrous Leveraged Buy Out scheme, the likes of which should be outlawed by the FA as a means of taking control of football clubs. This of course assumes the FA ever grow a pair, which is unlikely.
RBS have a number of options:
1. They can refinance the loan - unlikely since they've already done that at least twice.
2. They could put the club into administration - not likely at all as they would stand to lose serious money.
3. They can call in the loan, which is looking the most likely option.
By calling in the loan they will effectively own the club until a buyer can be found at a price which will repay the loan (about £250m) but leave the Yanks with next to nowt. You can see why the fans want this option to happen, as the Yanks want to sell for at least £600m and walk away with a tidy profit - and you wonder why there's been no takers!

RBS owning Liverpool is full of delicious irony. They will be owning a club whose kit sponsors are Standard Chartered for one, and secondly I as a taxpayer and RBS stakeholder, will own a part of Liverpool FC.

This could be filmed as a football version of Spinal Tap!

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Most neutral football fans' second team is Arsenal, who when they get it right play probably the best football to watch in Europe. Being Arsenal however you just know that their flakiness will surface at some point, and so it proved against a resurgent West Brom yesterday, losing 3-2 at home. Who would've thought it! Manuel Almunia is a comedian not a goalkeeper, and why Wenger didn't buy Shay Given in the last transfer window is mystifying. Oh, yes, Arsene Wenger, a typical moaning Frenchman cliche - a man who wants to outlaw any form of physical contact so his team of gaily coiffured foreigners can waltz past all opponents. Why shouldn't teams "park the bus" at The Emirates, and close down Arsenal's passing game with close marking and fair but hard tackling?
At the other end of the beautiful game spectrum the rays of the sun are blocked out by the larger than life figure of Sam Allardyce, a man whose teams go too far in the direction of out and out physical intimidation for my liking. Looking at that perennial bruiser El Hadj Diouf, one gets the impression that the only thing he does in training is knock over goalkeepers with full body slams, or sly elbows.
Allardyce has claimed in recent interviews that he should be in charge of a Real Madrid or an Inter Milan as he would win the "double or league" every season. You can't fault ambition, but this is pure delusion.

You can see the scene now. Mourinho is sacked after half a season because he's only 1 point clear of Barca in La Liga, the Madrid president accidentally imbibes some psychotropic drugs, and while under the influence appoints Big Sam, who arrives with El Hadj Diouf and the two Kevins. Before the first training session he gets one of his coaching staff to tie a piece of fluorescent string round a seat in the very top tier of the Bernabeu directly above the half way line. The other end of the string is tied round a chair directly opposite on the other side of the pitch.
"Right Casillas lad, and all you defenders, worra want you to do every time you get the ball is to kick it as high as you can and see if you can get it over tha' piece of string. In England we call this "The Hoof", and ar reckon 'tis future of game. In 2014 when ah'm int charge of England this is how we will win t'World Cup, bypassing all you fancy Spaniards wit yer celver passin' an all. Git me another lorry load of Wrigleys"

Black Pudding Bertha & Ecky Thump!
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23 Sep 2010

Sweet!

In over 35 years of following the results of my local team, the (not so) mighty Cobblers, which includes a good 10 years in the late 70s to the late 80s of regularly going to games home and away, and steadily dwindling attendance ever since, I am hard pushed to recall a single result that has the sweet resonance of

Liverpool 2 Northampton Town 2 (aet), Liverpool 2 Northampton Town 4 (penalties)

Go back and read that again, it really is that good!

OK there were the two Wembley play-off finals. and a probably more important result was the last day 3-2 win at Shrewsbury in 92/93 that saved us from relegation to the Conference, but none invoke quite the joy of last night's win. Listening to the second half and then extra time and penalties on the the radio it was apparent that we were the better team for long periods and actually deserved to win the game in normal time, were it not for a late equaliser by "Rafa, why did you" Ngog.
When the game went to penalties I thought we had no chance as they were to be taken in front of the baying hordes of Norwegians in The Kop, but Jan Molby in his wonderful Danish-Scouse accent, thought we were destined to win, and he was dead right! Our winning penalty was scored by a fella called Osman too, which brought a smile to my face I can tell you.

Watch brief highlights here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/league_cup/9028766.stm

The draw for the 4th round - the first time the Cobblers have been that far since 1966 - takes place on Sky's Soccer Saturday and I want Manchester Utd away. Yup, they'll probably thrash us, but the money will keep us in tea and biscuits for a lifetime!

COYC

21 Sep 2010

A late summer weekend out

Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire is a World Heritage site, because it was here as far back as the late 17th century that the Industrial Revolution started, which ultimately led to the consumerist lifestyle we lead today. Whether or not that is a good thing is a debate for another time. Within a two or three mile stretch of the Severn valley about 8 miles from Shrewsbury are numerous museums and working exhibits showing just how the enduring ingenuity of us Brits kicked the whole shebang off in the 17th century. There are museums dedicated to to iron works, pottery, mining, all kinds of things.

The jewel in the crown is Blists Hill Victorian Town. Centred on an original humongous blast furnace, an entire working Victorian town has been created, it even has a pub. The woman next to me at the bar asked for a half of lager, and the suitably attired Victorian innkeeper looked at her blankly and said "Be that a bitter, mild or cider madam?" I laughed.



Probably the most famous sight in the area is the Ironbridge itself, with wonderful views up and down the Severn.



Another enjoyable trip was to the Tar Tunnel. A tunnel dug to transport coal through a hill came across a reserve of natural bitumen, which can still be seen today. Very messy! Hard hats are supplied.



When you get to Coalport, visit The Boat Inn for lunch. Hidden away on the far bank of the river this is a pub for the locals, that has a flood marker on the door you can see on the right of the picture, showing that the floods of 2000 came up to a level of 9 feet! The food is simple but wholesome, and was the best we had on our short stay, the ale is Jennings. Their Golden Ale is a good session beer - very nice. Also very dog friendly.


All in all a great weekend, the only drawback was our choice of base. Being one of those freaks who does not drive, we have to plan our trips around public transport. Interwebby research told me that a weekend tourist bus service ran at regular intervals from Telford through the gorge and back again, the first bus leaving Telford just after 9:30. We'll stay in Telford methinks, as the chosen accommodation, the Park Inn was a mere 10 minutes stroll from the train station and the town centre. Sounds like a plan!

Little did I know that Telford is a "town" that makes Milton Keynes look like the most soulful and culturally deep place on the planet. Looking like it was built in the late 70s and seemingly forgotten about ever since, Telford centre consists of a VAST homogenised shopping mall and virtually nothing else. There are no restaurants, unless you are inclined to spend your hard earned in the dreadful likes of McDonalds, and I've gone 50 years without doing this, so why should I start now? Frankly, I'd rather starve. More amazingly, there are no pubs, not even rubbish ones!

Ironbridge Gorge is a World Heritage site. That means it ranks alongside The Great Wall Of China and the Pyramids at Giza in terms of cultural importance. When in Telford you would have no idea this was the case. The Tourist Information centre has been shunted around so many times no-one seems to know where it is, or if it even exists. The shuttle bus service is a misnomer as on the Saturday the first bus simply did not turn up at all, and on the Sunday we waited for the second bus on the assumption that they simply couldn't be arsed with the first one, and that was 15 minutes late!

Telford is a dungheap of colossal proportions inhabited by lackadaisical people with glazed expressions. Avoid it at all costs!

A Rant (that earlier bit was just a starter) - Telford is full of thousands of glassy eyed shoppers wandering round in a daze. In Asda to pick up evening provisions we checked out next to what we thought at first glance was a grossly overweight dad and his 19ish year old daughter, also somewhat of the lardy persuasion. Mr Lard proceeds to empty the contents of his piled high trolley onto the checkout, and out came box upon box of every variety of frozen food imaginable, followed by sundry bags of frozen chips, chicken "shapes" etc etc. I had to look away for fear of laughing out loud. When I did venture another glance (it was horrible - similar I've no doubt to watching a car crash) Mr Lard had turned round. What I first thought must be a 40 something bloke was actually no older than 28! These are the kind of people who claim eating healthily is too expensive, when the reality is they're just too damned lazy. And they'll end up costing the NHS thousands too. Rant over.


"Ironbridge and Telford - Is there a better English day out?" - Makes so much more sense if you leave out the words "and Telford"!

11 Sep 2010

Misery in Walford

So she's gone. Hooray!

EastEnders is a program I watch occasionally as it is sometimes on when we eat our evening meal. I used to watch it regularly until about 5 years ago, when the doings of a bunch of at best amoral losers and scumbags wallowing in a moral cesspit of their own making became too wearing to endure. A brief moment of levity was when Alfie & Kat ran the Queen Vic, but even their story ended in heartache and misery. They were replaced by the severely limited acting "talents" of Barbara Windsor and her god awful clan of low life criminals, the ubiquitous Mitchell family. They are "Old East End" which in EE speak means they're all into petty crime, bullying, and amoral shagging. One of them even raped his own daughter ffs!

In this week's episodes former knucklehead clan chief, the crack addicted and alcoholic Phil Mitchell, has a big row with Muvva and sets fire to her beloved Queen Vic which is completely gutted in the blaze. Phil is trapped inside as searches for cash to feed his drug habit, but tragically some effin' halfwit rescues him! WHY DIDN'T HE DIE?? In fact why didn't they kill off all the Mitchells in an orgy of knives guns and alien abductions. Would've made my day!




Peggy eventually walks away from The Square with tears in her glassy eyes to who knows (or cares) where, hopefully never to be seen again.....yippee!

It seems Alfie & Kat are coming back, no doubt to eventually run the Queen Vic again. Maybe the BBC have picked up on some of the disdain I'm sure some viewers must feel for the ghastly Mitchell clan? Probably not.

10 Sep 2010

School Daze

There was a TV program on recently called Grumpy Old Schooldays where various celebs (mainly comedians) reminisced about how awful school was for them, when schooldays are often, and mainly erroneously referred to as "the best days of your life". Whilst I concur that some aspects of school were truly hideous, there were some laughs to be had.

I have vivid memories of an alcoholic maths teacher we had in the two years prior to taking O levels. If we were lucky enough to get an afternoon maths lesson, Mr B (name witheld in the unlikely event the old sop is still breathing) would more often than not be more than a little worse for wear having spent a two hour liquid lunch break in some local watering hole. As would be expected the latent merciless cruelty of school kids always rose to the surface on these occasions when his whisky befumed lectures on the finer points of trigonometry were often interrupted by our gales of laughter.
One prank that often ended in the holding of sides involved sliding our ancient school desks around on the highly polished floor. These desks were the all-in-one kind on worn steel runners - see pic.



This wheeze could be accomplished almost silently owing to the lack of friction between the time worn smooth steel runners and the worn polished floor surface, so that when Mr B turned round from the blackboard we were all in different places, and the braver amongst us would be sitting at their desks with their backs facing the blackboard! Being somewhat pissed our teacher knew something was afoot but rarely worked out exactly what was going on.
Another trick played on this poor unfortunate was put into operation in the warmer months, for reasons that will become apparent. If we had a lesson in a particular classroom on the ground floor at one end of the main building, and again when his back was turned, one at a time a few of us who were sat near the outer wall would climb out the open window nearest to their desk, make their way round the end of the building, re-enter, knock on the classroom door and say something along the lines of "Sorry I'm late sir, got asked to run an errand". This would happen two or three times, sometimes the same boy doing it more than once, before Mr B twigged!
Oh how we laughed.
The very last lesson we had from the old lush ended when he was so drunk he fell over when turning round from the blackboard (nothing to do with us I hasten to add). One of us reported the incident because by now it was no longer funny. Two teachers turned up and hauled him off, never to be seen again!
Somehow I passed my O level maths with flying colours, how I don't know.

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Being not bad at footy at the time, when I was in junior school I actually manged to get in the school team on a couple of occasions. Passing my 11 plus meant a future in the Grammar School, where to my horror I soon discovered that football was not on their radar. You played Rugger by God, and liked it. For an over-tall and underweight bag of bones like I was at the time a more inappropriate sport than Rugby cannot be imagined. Imagine an 11 year old Peter Crouch - luckily my growth rate slowed considerably after the age of about 14, and stopped at a sensible 6 foot 2 inches a few years later. To make matters worse our games master was Bob Taylor ex Northampton Saints & England. He did not suffer the weak willed gladly I can say.
It did not take long before I was coming up with every excuse under the sun to avoid Rugby, and having seen how useless I was, Bob Taylor being a decent bloke often let me get away with it. Instead he sent the fat, the weak, and us malingerers on the dreaded cross country runs. A mate and I had the good fortune to live about 100 yards away from the school as the crow flies. Between our homes and the school playing field was a commercial orchard. You can see what's coming can't you? Once we were set on our way for the one hour romp through the town's parks, and of course when out of sight, we would double back on ourselves, climb the fence, run through the orchard, over my mate's back garden fence and spend the next half an hour playing his singles - we were both into Slade, T-Rex, Bowie, pop was so much better then, sigh - and then ran back through the orchard, hid in the bushes until the by now exhausted fat boys trundled past, rejoined the race making sure we didn't finish last. Did we get caught? Of course! We often had to run the damn thing after school followed by a teacher, who would appear at strategic points en route to make sure we didn't cheat again, get in his car, drive to the next vantage point and so on. Bastard. Also, my mate's mum kept getting asked why she liked Jeepster so much, had she gone off Elvis? It didn't take her long to rumble our game either.


Sheer torture! If this was from our school runs, I'd be one of those barely visible specks at the back. I do believe the lad at the front is wearing gloves too, a luxury I'm sure we were deffo not allowed. I'll bet he was the Rugger captain, the sod.

Footnote - News out earlier this week showed reseach has found evidence that ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome could (my emphasis) be caused by a virus. This is a condition where the body essentially says "Sod this, I'm having a kip". God, I wish ME had been around when I was trying to skive off rugby - oh, hang on it was, but back then it was known as Malingerer's Excuse!

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8 Sep 2010

Ignorance and Stupidity plumbs new depths

The Dove World Outreach Center is a tiny fanatical Christian church in the USA that until today 99.99% of us had never heard of. On the anniversary of 9/11 these stupid, small minded, insular, bigoted morons intend to publically burn copies of The Koran for reasons only they can begin to explain. The name of their church is almost a perfect definition of an oxymoron, the word Dove with it's peaceful connotations being emphatically denied by this act, and the word Outreach being the exact opposite of what these dreadful excuses for humanity are doing.

This act is a deliberately highly provocative statement and will in all certainty lead to riots in Islamic countries, and probably elsewhere too. It will inevitably lead to more recruits for Muslim terrorist groups, and The Taliban must be thinking all they've hoped for is just round the corner. Added to that it endangers the lives of any Westerner who happens to live or work in an Islamic country.
If one UK soldier or citizen dies as a direct or indirect consequence of the actions of these stupid ignorant fascists (and I do not use the word lightly) one can only hope that karma seeks them out in whatever form it chooses.

The US authorities have banned these despicable scum from holding bonfires in open spaces. It will be interesting to see how strongly the police enforce this ruling. One can only hope they have the balls to stop what I'm sure some of their more extreme right wing compatriots would like to see take place.

There's a phrase often used to describe the stupid - "If he (or she) had a brain they would be dangerous". These people already are.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11223457

5 Sep 2010

Hopping Mad

The Queen Adelaide Beer Festival was visited last night by Phill & Roger, or The Two Boys Of The Beer.



The QA is a truly fine venue, my current favourite pub in town. Knowledgeable and friendly host Paul and his lovely wife Krystyna presiding over 29 barrels of fine ales (and a few ciders) from all over the UK, including Valhalla Ales from the spectacularly remote isle of Unst in the Shetlands, the most northerly island in the UK. So remote is this place that you can't get any definition on Google maps below about 30000 feet!

Located in a marquee in the pub garden the festival was already in full cry when we arrived at around 7:45 ish. Amongst the ales tried were Alederflower, a fine distinctive hoppy ale, Simmer Dim from the aforementioned Valhalla Brewery - very nice mellow light ale that obviously travels well, Photon cask lager (a lager that actually tastes of something by jove!), Gravitas from Buckinghamshire's Vale Brewery - this is a long time staple usually imbibed at the now sadly neglected Victoria Inn in Northampton on pub quiz nights, but it tasted better here! Also Apache which was refreshing and very nice, and the stonkingly named Verbal Viagra, and Dursley Steam Bitter, a good session ale. There were a few others but our** memory ain't what it was. Who are you again??!

**thanks to Phill for remembering about half of the above beer names for me!**

Here's a suitably blurry pic from the QA Facebook page:



 If you're reading this today (Sunday 5th), the festival is still on, so get yourselves over to sunny Kingsthorpe for a few halfs of Britain's finest!

4 Sep 2010

Sunrise

England v Bulgaria - Euro 2012 qualifier

With a face like a windswept Northern sea front, Sgnr Capello leads out a renewed, nay, invigorated Ingurland for last night's opening salvo on the road to Poland & Ukraine two years hence. Up and at 'em we was right from the start. Before you know it, Rooney to Ashley Cole, a great cross, BOSH - Defoe - 1-0!! Just the start the occasion demanded to settle any early nerves. In the aftermath of the goal we were first to everything, not allowing the Bulgars any time on the ball. They hardly got out of their half in the first ten minutes. Rooney is playing a deeper role than normal and seems more relaxed. Gerrard is enjoying the freedom of the middle of the park without having to constantly check if Fat Frank is about to step on his toes. Defoe is full of clever runs.
Then - nearly disaster as Glenn Johnson (surprise surprise) attempts to clear a Bulgarian cross for a corner only to see his effort head at some speed towards goal. The hitherto inactive Joe Hart makes a good save - we breathe out.
As I suppose was inevitable the intensity of England's game lessened as the half wore on, and we go in 1-0 up.
First effort from us in the second half sees Rooney collect a nod from Defoe to try a long 'un over the top, and the keeper has to tip over. Then - OUCH - Dawson who has been having a decent game at the back with Jags goes down awkwardly on his knee and is in all kinds of agony. The Spurs centre back curse strikes again. You've got to feel for the lad as he's stretchered off and on comes not Upson (thank gawd) but young Gary Cahill, the first Bolton player for yonks to don the three lions. Decent job he does with Jags from then on in too. We seem to have plenty of options at centre back now, which bodes well for future.
Soon after the now commanding presence of Joe Hart beats out a fierce shot from somebody ending in ...ov, and we surge up the field, Rooney and Defoe combining for the little bloke from North London to slot home. 2-0 game (hopefully) over.
Another fine stop from Hart is followed by a good clearance from Cahill as the Bulgars chase the game. With about 20 minutes to go the effervescent but largely ineffective Walcott is replaced by Citeh's Adam Johnson. Stevie G has a shot which is parried and Defoe almost gets his hat trick on the rebound.
Capello, who showed no reaction to the first goal, and maybe the slightest tiny glimmer of a smile for the second is now fuming like a reawakened Vesuvius as Adam Johnson wastes a shot when he had better passing options. But soon after the Italian is forced to eat his scowls (is that possible?) as Rooney from deep (again) combines with the Citeh winger and the stats will show "Goal - A. Johnson". And soon after that Defoe completes his hat trick thumping a through ball from, you've guessed it, Rooney, into the net. Soon after Defoe who seemed to tweak something scoring the goal and is subbed for Ashley Young. The Spurs man is off for a groin operation soon, and some wondered at his inclusion. Right call by Capello this time.
4-0, who would've thunk it?

Joe Hart - 9 - We seem to have found a commanding presence between the sticks at last. How he will react to his first mistake, which will happen, will be the real test. Shrewsbury apprently will now pocket £500000 as a result of Hart's England appearances. The rest of L2 will be going green with envy!
Glenn Johnson - 6 - Can't defend to save his life, almost scored a needless OG. Put Stephen Warnock at RB.
Ashley Cole - 8 - Usual unflappable performance.
Phil Jagielka - 7 - Steady. Not that much to do.
Michael Dawson - 7 - Ditto. Hope the injury is not as bad as it looked.
Gary Cahill - 8 - Impressive. Great clearance saved a goal.
Theo Walcott - 7 - Crossing improving but still runs into blind alleys.
Adam Johnson - 8 - Would start with him in preference to Walcott next time. Great goal.
Steven Gerrard - 8 - Enjoying the freedom. Showing us how much more versatile he can be without Lumpard to hold him back. Did I really just give Stevie Me an endorsement? Nurse, the spoons! He's a miserable sod though - aah that's better!
Gareth Barry - 7 - Fully recovered from the injury that held him back in South Africa. Good passing and shutting down.
James Milner - 6 - a fairly anonymous game for "Spotty".
Jermaine Defoe - 10 - What more can you say? MoTM obviously.
Ashley Young - Not on long enough to judge.
Wayne Rooney - 9 - A new midfield role for Wazza seemed to suit. The pressure to score was off and he had a hand in every goal.

Capello - Smile you glum bugger. Mind you next to the current Scotland boss Craig Levein (the dourest Scot in the world) Fabio has the countenance of a clown. :))

1 Sep 2010

Ooh, There Goes Concorde Again..

This week has seen some glorious late summer sunshine, clear azure skies, and is a very welcome respite from August's incessant rain. Walking to work today looking up at about 60 degrees I could see a half moon in a cloudless blue sky. Absolutely gorgeous. Below and to the left of the moon I noticed a very bright object, nothing unusual, probably a plane. Keeping my eyes fixed on this while simultaneously avoiding getting run over (who says men can't multi-task?) it soon occurs to me that this bright object does not seem to be moving. Odd that, but I suppose it could have been a weather balloon or somesuch. Then both the moon and this sparkly thing are obscured from view by a line of buildings. When I reach a road junction, the vista opens up again, and there is the moon, but my mystery object has disappeared completely...deedee-deedee---deedee-deedee!

Decrying all logical explanation (yes I know there's plenty), there goes a UFO baby!

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If you've ever used Amazon they will subsequently bombard you with emails containing all their latest offers, the majority of which I never check out, but today's was bargain cds which I always have a quick shufty at. As you may imagine there are thousands of titles and these have been helpfully sorted by genre, and then by sub-genre. Under Psychedelic Rock, a sub-genre of Rock, is Christmas With The Salvation Army by The Salvation Army Band & Choir! No, honestly. This hitherto little known psych masterpiece of lysergically assisted brainstorming wigout music contains all your fave Xmas raves such as O Come All Ye Faithfully Monged, Away In A Manger To Space, Oh Little Bong Of Bethlehem, Ding Dong Merrily & Get High. It can be yours for a mere £4.47!!

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A bit of school days nostalgia - this was posted by yours truly in the Comments section of a positive review of Hawkwind's In Search Of Space on our old friend Amazon:

Richard & gigidunnit - how I wish you two were in my 6th form common room waaaay back in the mid 70s! I can remember a music lesson we had where once a month we were allowed to bring in our own records for the listening pleasure of the rest of the class. When it was my turn I decided on (King Crimson's) Starless & Bible Black over (Van Der Graaf Generator's) Pawn Hearts (still both in my all time top ten albums), as I thought A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers might be a tad too much for our mild mannered music teacher. After side one of S&BB, only one mate voted to play the other side, while the rest of the musically moronic hordes drowned him out with boos! Those were the days my friend....

I think it was probably a case of "You can't out-weird me three eyes". I can certainly recall being quite chuffed at the number of boos my eclectic choice generated! Here's the Hawkwind review and its comments in full:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/RCZY7YHYQPRI4/ref=cm_cr_rev_detup_redir?_encoding=UTF8&cdPage=2&asin=B00005MCX0&newContentNum=12&store=music&newContentID=MxONZV4NZFPDVS#Mx3ADM2DP3HS5P3

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